Tag Archives: personal development goals

Good Facilitator Skills │ Everything you need to know!

To have good facilitator skills and lead Workshops and training events is an interesting prospect. However, mastering the art of facilitation takes some years of practice to attain. The purpose of this article is to simplify all you need to know to excel as a facilitator.

Who is a Facilitator?

To facilitate is “to make easier” or “help bring about.” Thus, facilitation in the workshop context is to help smoothly manage the flow and learning activities of a group. The facilitator guides the activities and attempts to maximize member’s time and energy by keeping the event and discussions on track – in terms of time, topic and learning outcomes. By taking a group through a process that produces a specific outcome (learning, decision-making, problem-solving, etc.), facilitation generally encourages all members to participate in some way, shape or form. By recognizing and utilizing the unique and valuable contributions of each member, an effective facilitator increases the collective value of the entire group.  By mediating the group process, the facilitator plays an active and critical role in ensuring that a group taps deeply into its own knowledge. Good facilitators should be able to:

  • value people and their ideas
  • think quickly and logically
  • communicate excellently

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The Role of a Facilitator

The role of a facilitator is to help the group move through their intended agenda, reach learning targets while carrying along all participants. The facilitator helps ensure that these learning targets are in harmony with the pre-identified learning objectives. The facilitator is therefore expected to:

Plan each day’s activities

  • Decide the agenda for each day
  • Gather resource materials that support topic
  • Arrange games, techniques, stories appropriate for your target group
  • Prepare learning aids. Improvise if necessary…
  • Set up your materials in the classroom ahead of the participants’ arrival
  • Meet with other co-facilitators to preview the day’s activities and split up the workload.
  • Ensure that the classroom has easy access to conveniences, water supply, adequate ventilation, and good lighting. Ensure that girls and women in your class have access to the nearest provisions.

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Set Up Learning Activities

  • Be at hand to welcome participants to the class
  • Be sure that all participants understand why they are at the training
  • Access knowledge/skills level of participants
  • State the purpose of the group session,
  • review the agenda and ground rules, and
  • remind everyone how much time is available for discussions. Everyone should be encouraged to participate actively while observing the laid down ground rules.

 

Gathering information

  • Make sure everyone has a chance to participate in activity,
  • remember that some participants are shy so may need encouragement
  • Use probing questions
  • Invite the experts to speak up
  • Call on individuals in the group
  • Invite debate
  • Try to keep discussions focused on the topic and get to the root cause of any issues,
  • ask for more details in order to gain clarity if needed
  • Key questions include: How do we understand …? What have we tried before that works? What would happen next? Is that what you mean?

Organizing information

  • group common thoughts and ideas together
  • avoid repetition, but don’t lose the details
  • Don’t lose good ideas that are off-topic – record these for use in the future
  • Key questions include: Are these ideas similar? What would happen if we tried these ideas together? Can anyone add anything to these ideas?

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Connecting ideas

  • Rephrase ideas so they relate to the issue we are discussing
  • Combine ideas to build solutions
  • Key questions include: How can we use that idea to help with our issue? What can we do today that will make a difference? Can we see some solutions or next steps emerging from our ideas?

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Wrapping Up a Discussion Session

  • Summarize key learnings,
  • Make sure everyone is clear on what has been decided and what will happen next.
  • If there are assignments to be completed after the class, be sure that everyone knows who is responsible for this and when it will be turned in.
  • Remind everyone how important it is to involve ourselves in these activities.
  • Don’t forget to thank everyone for coming, and ensure everyone is aware of the next agenda on the program of events if any.

Dealing with unproductive behavior

Difficult behavior is often unintentional or occurs as the result of an emotionally charged situation. You can expect a lot of such ‘charged’ moments in a human rights education class. You might be dealing with inattentive members who are engaging in side-bar conversations, taking calls or indiscreetly dealing with e-mail.  You might also be dealing with personal agendas or disrespectful behavior.  Progressive intervention will most often assist you in dealing with behavior that does not help the group achieve its meeting goals or objectives.  The following tips might be useful:

  • Use gentle and appropriate humor for redirection
  • Restate the ground rules directly
  • Direct your questions to the individual for clarification
  • Seek help from the group
  • Address the issue at a break or offline

 

Remember to

  • make eye contact,
  • smile,
  • be enthusiastic
  • avoid “closed” body language such as crossing your arms or turning your back on your audience
  • listen (listening is a key part of successful facilitation)

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Overcome Failure and become a super success story

The essence of success

Stories of successful people motivate us. They strike a fire in our hearts, gives us a sense of direction, models to emulate, a path to follow, a plan of action and the list goes on. In general, it does different things to different persons but all pushes to one goal: the goal of becoming successful so that we will have our stories told to the unborn.

Success stories are everywhere: in places of worship; at work; in buses; markets; music videos. They adorn the lips of men and the bodies of women. Success has become idolized; a sort of demigod everyone finds some affiliation to in a bid to allow some of its magic rub off.

 

Well, here are some tips on how to become a successful person.

  • Go to bed very late every day and rise up early: you will see yourself doing a lot of work and making great efforts to reach your goal. To help keep awake, drink lots of coffee.
  • Alienate your friends and family: if they would be a source of distraction, why not!
  • No birthdays, hangouts with friends or any of such: time is precious.
  • Try to imitate the mannerisms of your favorite successful person: if you have to be like them, you have to learn to talk like them.
  • Don’t worry about your looks, they are not important: this is not the time for that.
  • Do not care a lot about food.
  • Work hard, harder and harder: if you don’t, how would you succeed?
  • You do not need your colleagues: this race is individual, personal.
  • Learn to walk with determination: it gives you that success attitude.

 

When you have attained your desired level of success, you will need to share your story with people around whether friend or foe. The following hints will help you transmit the story better.

  • Learn the ancient art of theatricality: stories are nothing without some drama. You will need it.
  • Learn to dress fashionably: this is important as it makes the listener convinced that you have truly “arrived”.
  • Learn to be humble: it’s important to show your listeners to know that they can connect with you.
  • Improve your vocabulary: you will need this a lot especially when you must create some intense moment and polish some grey areas.
  • Join a group of like minds, like a success group.
  • Never show your bad habits in public, you will lose respect.
  • Always exude an air of confidence and control, like you can control time and have no worries.
  • Walk closely with social media and learn her vocabulary: it would help you connect with the younger generation and give you a timeless appeal.

 

 

Now to the real story.

Success is a measure calculated in the amount of impact made in other people’s lives. It is not the position we want, the physical acquisitions, the spouse and children. Life is a journey, not a destination, which is, though odd, enjoyed when the odds are against us, that there will always be lonely nights and busy days. Success is a fleeting thing just as money is because a person who is deemed successful today might become a pauper tomorrow.

Why should anyone alienate others on their quest for success in their chosen field of endeavor? Success is not a lonely journey, everyone we meet on our journey brings us a step closer to our goal. And without good health, moments of bliss such as when we hit a goal, will not be enjoyed.

It’s not about the goals we achieve, the things we acquire or the length of time we have spent on earth. It’s the impact we have made, the lives we have accompanied, the souls we have touched.

 

4 Simple Ways to Achieve your Personal Development Goals

Formal Education is no longer enough to meet the challenges of today’s workplace. Young people feel that they lack adequate skills to compete for a few available jobs. societal problems, on the other hand, raise the performance bar for new businesses.  whether one seeks a job in already established firms or wants to grow a business, the task can be quite daunting. Either way, the road to success begins with setting Personal Development Goals.

Personal Development Goals are some concrete achievements a person aims for. They could include virtually anything from increasing study hours, socializing more or building certain skills. This article brings to you four (4) simple ways to achieve your Personal Development Goals.

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1. Focus on You

The first step begins with the individual. The uniqueness each person expresses implies that we have very different sets of abilities which may be known or unknown to us. Some skills come easily to us because we are naturally inclined to them. Other skills may take an effort to acquire. Either way, your natural skills can be found in the things that make you light up naturally. It is normal for people to live within default zones. A Default Zone is a state of life inspired by pressures of socialization or life’s circumstances. People just find themselves acting in certain ways because it’s alright in their immediate background. it is common for parents to program their children into certain lifestyles or careers.  Default Zones differ significantly from comfort zones because it’s just how things are. People are often not in any comfort and may not foresee any exit routes.

To focus on oneself, one needs to know what drives them. There is a vision in every person. An ideal situation they would rather be in. This is not a time for reality checks. The basic questions here are: “Are you satisfied with the life you have now?” “Is there a thing you would rather be doing now?” It may not always be a new fulltime job or business or habit. It could be an improvement or a little extra something. The answers you find should put a vision of the new you in your mind. Think about the new life you could have if you achieved this vision.

All that is left is to create goals that reflect what you need to do to become the new you. This could be to learn a new skill or to make some accomplishment related to personal life or work. articulate specific things you need to do in simple terms. Examples could be:

  • Contribute 20 dollars towards a cause from January till June 2018
  • Learn to drive a truck and gain all required certifications
  • Train to become a prolific public speaker

Once your personal development goals are clear, then you are ready for the next step.

2. Expose yourself to online learning resources

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Thank goodness we live in this time of information freedom. There are resources online that can help you to learn a new skill. Good news is that these resources are mostly free. Without much ado, find below 24 platforms where you can learn new skills online:

  1. Academic Earth curates online courses from the world’s top colleges and universities such as Stanford, Princeton, Yale, and Carnegie Mellon since 2009. Their mission is to make high-quality education accessible to people all over the globe, despite economic burdens.
  2. Alison is a free online learning site offering over 750 courses leading to either certification or a diploma.
  3. BBC Podcasts is an online learning website which offers free educational programming for pre-school students, primary school students, secondary school students, and adult learners.
  4. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative currently offers 27 courses, including titles such as Anatomy & Physiology, Arabic for Global Exchange, Introduction to Visual Design, and Probability & Statistics.
  5. Code.org is a targeted free education site offering full courses in computer science at no charge to the learner.
  6. Codecademy offers thousands of computer science classes free of charge. Some course titles include HTML & CSS, jQuery, Python, and JavaScript.
  7. edX was founded in 2012 through a collaboration between Harvard University and MIT. The courses offered on this premiere online learning site are curated from the top universities and organizations in the world, including UC Berkeley, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the Smithsonian, for example. Some popular programs available from edX include Cybersecurity, Marketing in a Digital World, Solar Energy Engineering, and Artificial Intelligence.
  8. The Open University on iTunes U has physical locations in the UK and delivers educational content in several formats, but one of the best ways for individuals around the world to access Open University content is through iTunesU. Courses contain a mix of audio and visuals and cover a wide variety of topics.
  9. Khan Academy is an online learning website that serves a diverse community of millions of learners by offering a wide selection of courses ranging from kindergarten to college.
  10. Open Culture finds free courses from other sources and organizes them into a list. Currently, the website lists about 1,200 free online courses from respected universities such as Oxford, MIT, and Yale.
  11. Udemy is an online learning website that allows experts to sell lessons and learners to buy them. Udemy is more focused on developing skills such as programming, animation, and Microsoft Office, as well as more unusual skills such as ethical hacking.
  12. Stanford Online is a prestigious online learning website that offers online courses in both academics and professional development.
  13. Harvard Extension is an online learning website that hosts several educational opportunities, including full degrees and graduate certificates. However, the offerings that most people will be interested in are the open enrollment courses and professional development programs.
  14. Open Yale Courses is an online learning website that hosts free recordings of lectures and other materials from Yale introductory courses. Courses are available on a wide variety of subjects, including Environmental Studies, Economics, and Music.
  15. UC Berkeley Class Central is a free education website that offers several free online courses across nine different subject areas.
  16. MIT Open CourseWare’s online learning website is part of an effort to publish all of MIT’s course materials online so that they are available to more people.
  17. University of London Podcasts The University of London’s online learning website links to podcasts and videos recorded by its affiliated colleges and institutes.
  18. University of Oxford Podcasts This is the University of Oxford’s free education website runs several regularly-updated podcasts that cover many different topics.
  19. TED Ed is TED’s youth and education initiative that creates original educational videos and allows teachers around the world to create and share their own lessons. Lessons from this free online learning site are typically short videos followed by questions and supplemental materials.
  20. Lesson Paths is an online learning website that grants access to a series of academic and recreational such as educational videos, readings, games, and quizzes on a particular subject.
  21. Memrise is an online learning website that offers several courses on vocabulary, and the most popular courses are language courses. But there are courses on other subjects as well. Most contents are free.
  22. Hubspot Academy is an online learning website where you can learn about marketing and sales training.
  23. Moose: On this platform, you can learn SEO and Search Marketing at no cost. Free learning is only available at basic levels. Advanced courses are sold.
  24. Saylor Academy is a nonprofit online learning website that offers about 100 flexible, self-paced professional and college-level courses.

Besides these, a platform like YouTube has become a formidable tool for learning and sharing. Though the contents are not organized into courses, using the search and filter functions will give a great crop of videos. Learning has never been as easy.

3. Learn from Great Achievers in your vision-line

There are people who have succeeded in all fields of life. These persons serve as mentors and have ample knowledge, skills and experience on the ground. They can help you make sense of all you have learnt and teach you how to put them to use. This is an important step for every person because the reality of how things work is often different from what theoretical knowledge states.

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The world is dynamic and most times, the clever and dynamic perform better than others. Every business is affected by various forces and it takes the relevant experience to master them all. With a good mentor, one can grow faster and achieve their goals. So here are a few tips to help you choose a great mentor:

  • Find someone who is available to share their business experiences with you
  • The Mentor must be well advanced in their field and have made some significant success.
  • The Mentor has to be aware that you consider him/her as a prospective mentor and accept you as a mentee
  • There have to be agreed timelines for mentorship sessions
  • The Mentor does not have to be the best in his line of business or work.

4. Begin Already

Little steps should be how to begin. If one plans to become a Public Speaker, start speaking with friends in little groups. Take every little opportunity to deliver a short speech. Skills could never stop growing and that is why refusing to exercise a skill will not help anyone. Constant practice will help you improve significantly.

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Fear is the biggest factor in starting new ventures where all other factors viz knowledge, skills, experience exist. One must learn to avoid taking up too much at a time. Deal with fear by making well-calculated moves. Do not be afraid to ask your Mentor for advice. Research will always come in handy when the unprecedented events happen.

When small successes are recorded, do not fail to celebrate them. These small successes will become strong motivations for future action. There will be ups and downs along the way. Whatever happens, you must learn to forge on and continue to work on your personal development goals. This may be a lifelong process but you will emerge a better person at the end.