Sunday, July 1, 2018

Ask the Experts - Study Tips

6 Study tips to succeed

As the CEO of Mantra Training & Development for the past 10 years I have been heavily involved in VET (Vocational Education and Training) for over 15 years. I have seen many people succeed in their learning and many people just quit, before they got the support that they needed, if only they asked for what they needed.
As a kid my Father would always say “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” This is true but I have to ask if it was shown how to drink would it have had a better result?
You may ask why we need to have study tips, well, this is easy, the statistics that we look at around enrollments, retention and progress down to successful completion and the results tell the story. Now I won’t bombard you with numbers, but I will tell you what we see, those that enroll and have a clear plan and the right support succeed, it really is that simple. 

If you fail to plan you plan to fail – Jim Rohn

Tip #1 - Make a Plan

 A plan is very individualised, it’s about what works for you given your lifestyle and commitments. What do we mean by study Method? This is the method of which you choose to study, Online, Face to face, distance based or a combination of 2 or more methods.

Online (E-learning) – This is a great way to learn as you can study in your won time, this is great if you are self motivated or have a good internet connection and for some people they don’t even have a computer, so this option may not be the best choice.

Face to Face – This is a great way to learn if you need more interaction and you get benefit from the group activities and discussion, The interaction and hands on is great for those learners that need to see the practical application in a group setting. Some people may get bored with the structure where others need to set days to attend classes.

Distance based learning -  If you live remotely this may be your only option, or maybe your lifestyle lends itself to distance based, be sure to identify what support is going to be available.
Before you make the plan as these questions:

1.       Why do I want to do this course?

2.       How committed to this course am I….. on a scale of 1-10

3.       Realistically how much time can I dedicate to study each week or fortnight

4.       Do I have the resources I need to be able to study, Library, internet, computer……

5.       Do I know how to study, research, take notes (so I can read them later)

6.       Do I know someone who is good at this? Maybe they could give you some tips.

Once you know what mode you can start to plan the best ways for you and understand what support is available and how to access this. Answer these questions before you go on!

 

Tip #2 - Ask for support

This may seem simple but a lot of our students start out and won’t ask for help. They feel like they shouldn’t need it or feel like they are asking dumb questions. This is why we constantly remind students that we are here to help. Once someone gets the help they need they can then move forward in the unit or course a whole.
Support needs look different to everyone but here are some of the most common that we come across.
·         Asking for support – This is a big one as many don’t seem to ask
·         Time to check in, this could be weekly or fortnightly
·         Additional tuition support at scheduled times
·         Attend additional study days
·         Identify skills gaps and address those with some video support or other reading
·         Talk to your trainer about issues stopping your progress

Tip #3 - Figure out your study Zone

What is a study zone you may ask, well this may look different for many people, but it can be the place you study, the time you study and other things that help you study. It can take up to 45 minutes to get in the zone and this can vary depending on the individual and other factors effecting life. Lack of sleep, poor focus, being hungry, feeling anxious and many other variables.
Ask these questions;
·         Am I more focused in the early morning or later at night or at times during the day
·         Do I have what I need to be able to effective in my study
·         Am I focused on my study or distracted and how can I minimise distractions
·         Do I like to study with music
·         Do I want to be part of a study group
·         Do I need an accountability buddy (This can be just committing out loud to someone)
·         Like going to A Dr or a Dentist you have to be there on time, make an appointment for study and focus on that time for that one task
Now go forth and create a study zone, for me I study best in the early morning when its quiet, I have my books and a time set that I will study. I like to be warm and have some light music playing that is more zen music than hit songs. One of the more important things I do is set it up the night before so I’m ready to get in the zone as fast as I can.

Tip #4 - Study Groups

Study groups are really beneficial. It allows you to bounce ideas off others and also allows you to brainstorm ideas and complete group activities if this is allowed. When you attend classes, you can speak to your trainer about a study group and they can encourage others to join in. Here at mantra Training we offer our room if its free, if its not free on the days they can get together they all meet at the local library or a coffee shop.
Ground rules – It is important to set some ground rules about what’s ok and what’s not ok.

Do’s
  • Support each other
  • Be respectful
  • Show up\
  • Call or text if you can’t make it at the last minute
Don’t 
  •  Take on too much responsibility each person is accountable for their own participation
  •  Be disrespectful, we all have a different view of the world and like when you are in class its about respecting diversity
  • Plagiarism or use someone else's work as your own

Tip #5 - Seek confirmation of your progress

As you work towards completing your work it’s a good idea to seek some feedback about how your doing and if you are on the right track. Feedback will be given if you have not met the criteria or have some gaps in your submission but sometimes just a bit of feedback reinforces you are on the right track.
When you know you are on the right track and progressing through your study your confidence tends to increase, and you keep progressing and momentum will continue to build.

 

Tip #6 - When your plan fails redesign based on the results

Sometime the best plans don’t go to plan and that’s ok. What’s important is to be able to review your plan and see what is working and what’s not working and redesign. This can be as simple as the time you study doesn’t work, or the resources you need are only available on a particular day/time.
The important lesson is to not give up, it’s about looking at your results and seeing how you can do this differently and you will get results. Set a new goal and this may include the timeline for completion. If that is out of your control then you need to remind yourself that this is a short term demand that wont last forever. When we look at a situation in a different way we can see possibility.
Goals should be SMART and this will help you design a realistic plan

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely


I do hope these tips have been helpful and if you would like more information please drop me an email and I would be more than happy to assist. Contact Us

Donna Moulds
Founder/CEO

 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Investing in your Education - Real Skills for Real Careers


Investing In Your Education!

Here at Mantra Training & Development we want you to learn and grow but more importantly we want you to find your hidden skills and be able to develop those skills and turn them into Real Skills for Real Careers. If you cant use a computer with confidence, let us help you develop those skills, if you want to become a Work Health and Safety Officer, a Admin Officer or someone who has Leadership potential in your organisation,  let us help you develop those skills.

It is really important when you are starting a new career or just updating your skills that you find a training provider that suits you and your needs in education. This could also be about the location, the atmosphere and more importantly the trainers whom are going to be sharing knowledge and skills with you. You have to build up trust and rapport with them and also feel that they are providing value. Lets face it you are investing in your education and you want to be able to develop real skills for real careers. 

#RealSkillsforRealCareers Take a look at the video below with amazing case studies of people investing in their education.

Ask if the course you would like to do is flexible, can you come to class and study at home. Ask if the course is funded as the ACT has many funded programs on offer. Talk to the course coordinator and share your concerns, this will assist you in making the right choice.   

Habitual Learning

Most people that know me, know that I am addicted to reading and listening to educational materials, in particular I love audio books. For the past 15 years I have been listening to educational programs in my car, when I am walking or just waiting for an appointment at the doctors or dentist I am learning. In fact I like it when they are running late as this gives me more time to stop and listen to some great stuff. Over the years I have had a walk-man, an iPod shuffle to an iPod touch and an iPhone. I have it on my computer and in the office, it is everywhere.  Education at my fingertips!

I wasn't always a strong reader, in fact i used to have to read a book many times to be able to absorb the information but it never stopped me. I recall reading paragraph over and over again. I also remember many years ago having one of Steven Covey book and I had to read it with a Dictionary next to me as i didn't know the meaning of many words in the book so it took me months to read. Now I can read a book in a day or two.
I recall last year I had a strong desire to be by the sea so I took myself and my book to the Ocean and stood in the water reading and I was in heaven, i felt like I had the best of both worlds at my fingertips.

I have listened to some of the audios that I have more than 20 times. Jim Rohn has a seminar that was held in 2004 and I have continued to learn from him for the past 10 years. One of the great lessons he taught me was to listen to it all. Listen to Gandhi and Hitler and then make up your own mind on what you learn from them. Over the years I have built up a library of many great Philosophers to one hit wonders, as my father would call them. I read as much as I can and then decide what to take from each one and apply this to my life but only if this is aligned with my values and Goals. 

Many years ago when I was learning about NLP (neuro linguistic programming), I though I was learning too slowly and was frustrated and fearful I was never going to get it. Then one day I realised everything clicked and I found myself using this tool effectively and often unconsciously. Now I understand that I am learning as much as I can in the time that I need to and it all comes into your consciousness at the right time. One thing is for sure, we never stop learning. As Tony Robbins once said "if you aren't growing you are dying, just like a tree"

Formal Education + Self education

Formal Education is a necessity of life. If we want to progress in our Career formal skills can provide opportunities or if we need to enhance skills as technology changes and the needs of the organisation change. Just look at marketing for example, this has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and more so in the past 5 years. How marketing was done 10 years ago doesn't work today.We can reach more people in less time that 10 years ago.

Formal education such as Traineeships and Apprenticeships allow us to get a foot in the door of the industry we want to explore in our early years or even later in life when we want a career change. These opportunities allow us to earn at the same time as learning and obtaining a Formal education in Vocational Education and Training. Self-education is where we educate yourself by identifying there is something we don't know and researching how to apply this in real life.


If you look at Entrepreneurs for example you will see that they are all self-educated and had very little formal education. Take a look at Richard Branson, Jim Rohn, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Ford. They all dropped out of College or didn't even go to College. They have all become successful but I can assure you they certainly worked hard on their self-education and surrounding themselves with the right people.

Education makes you wealthy?

Recently I went to PNG to trek Kokoda and I learned that they choose one child to go to school and get an education as it is not affordable to send all children to school. Just one child out of 2 or 4 children gets an opportunity to have an education....this was a great shock and also a realisation as to how fortunate we are.  Its just normal for us all to go to school and get an education. Its normal for us to have constant access to books. Lets face it how much does a library card cost??......that's right its FREE!!

I recall reading in Richard Branson's Biography about a lady who wanted to borrow $300 to buy a sewing machine and she promised to pay him back. She was an educated Business Woman who saw an opportunity and took it with both hands. Now Richard didn't think he would see the money ever again but three years later when he visited that village again, he got the money back. They were waiting for him to return the money and thank him for his kindness. The lady had built up her business and employed a number of staff and she was thriving.

My own personal experience has been a true testament to this. When I wasn't educating myself it was costing me my future. It was costing me as a Parent and it was costing me as an Entrepreneur. When I wasn't reading, I wasn't learning, I was making mistakes and didn't have any leverage to learn from them. Once I understood what self-education could do for me I never stopped reading, listening and learning.

I am currently listening to SEO for Growth and it is truly insightful into the land of SEO. The amazing thing is when I first wrote a blog on investing in your education in 2012 I was reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, This is really amazing as it talks about the compound effect which realistically is what SEO is all about, well the end result is compounded hits to your website, the more traffic the more sales, the more your business grows. 

Both books and many more contribute to you self education. Programs like these will all be that investment in your education that you will always reap the rewards from.
Remember, knowledge is not power….. it is potential power.

#RealSkillsforRealCareers #trainingcoursesgungahlin #trainingcoursescanberra #cbr #skilledcapital

Till next time keep investing in yourself,

Donna Moulds