Re-Discovering Socrates: Conversations To Learning

The evolution of the educational and training sector has condemned in organizing the delivery of its services in ways that often misaligns with the needs and preferences of adult learners. This misalignment fails to engage participants in active learning , thereby underlining the intent of the very process, itself. An alternative approach re-passages the Socratic dialectic, wherein conversations become the engine leading to learning. This also has important implications for managers to consider when training their employees.


Learning can involve the acquisition of information, the discovery of knowledge, the mastery of a skill, and / or the adaptation of deliberate behaviors. With any given topic, there is an intense body of knowledge and a variety of optimistic theories, models and approaches, as well as contradiction expertise.

Having extensively studied a particular subject area, the teacher or trainer then organizes the relevant materials into a rational sequence. But because there is so much important information to disseminate and, conversely, limitations on the time in which to do it, teachers / trainers often close to a pedagogical methodology – a system intended to fill each participant's tabula rasa with precious packets of learning.

In such circumstances, the environment is not participant-focused, since it is the teacher / trainer who controls the information, the content delivery and the allocation of time. This creates order and security for the teacher / trainer, but may result in isolating the participants who can become totally disengaged and alienated. This is our story.

Student Council Leaders

There are student councils, boards or associations at Ontario's colleges and they are supported directly by student fees. The fees contribute to ancillary college operations, as well as activities and services delivered by the staff of the student councils.

Students run for council leadership positions for any variety of reasons. Although they generally are enthusiastic and well-meaning, their lack of leadership experience severely challenges their abilities to manage through alien situations and dynamics.

Suddenly immersed in a high-demand environment, student council leaders are confronted by the need to:

• Demonstrate leadership
• transform the board into a team
• set goals and priorities
• overse financial accountability
• manage conflict and performance
• direct staff

A lack of continuity from one year's board to the next further impaired transit considerations, resulting in repeated "start / stop" performance. As well, most student leaders participate in their council for only one or two years, resulting in a near-continuous turn-over. In the past, student council leaders were stranded on their own to work through such issues, with varying degrees of success.

The College Student Alliance

The College Student Alliance (CSA) is a member-driven provincial association, representing 23 student councils at 16 of Ontario's colleges, encompassing over 125,000 full-time students. These student councils are responsible for managing a combined budget of $ 56 Million, annually. In 2007, CSA entered into a partnership with Diamond Management Institute to deliver leadership training to student leaders from across the province in four workshops throughout the year. This …

Accelerate Your Career With These Hot Interview Skills Tips

All interviews are daunting whether you are being interviewed by one or more people. Most interviews are conducted by more than one person to ensure fair-play and equality. You should prepare for a panel interview in exactly the same way as you would prepare for any other interview.

If possible you should try to establish how many people are on the panel prior to interview and their role in the organization. You should be able to obtain this information from the Human Resource department and it is often included on the paperwork you receive inviting you to interview. Having knowledge of who panel members are and their role enables you to prepare your questions so that during the interview you can address you question to the relevant person by name.

Try to stay focussed and calm when you enter the room as it can be quite daunting to see a number of people sat behind a desk waiting to interview you! Try to make a good first impression and although it is difficult, try to remember their names. Make eye contact with each panel member, shake hands firmly and greet them using their name. It is always tempting to rush through this part of the interview, but this first impression can be cruel. Taking your time will also help to calm your nerves.

Usually one person leads the interview and explains what the process will be. This often involves panel members making notes through the interview. Do not be put off by this. It is perfectly normal and should not be seen as a negative sign. You can, of course, take notes yourself through the interview, but this can often be distracting.

Answering questions in a panel interview is no different to answering questions in any other type of interview. This is what you have prepared for. This is your opportunity to highlight your skills and abilities in relation to the role and your opportunity to demonstrate your excellent communication skills. Remember to answer the question! Take your time and address your answer to the panel member who has asked the question, remembering to make eye contact with them predominately but also other panel members too. Try to use the name of the panel member who has asked the question at the start and finish of your answer.

As with any interview, use relevant examples to demonstrate what it is you can bring to the position applied for. If possible, try to consider your answer from the panelist's point of view. For example, if the panelist asking the question is from Human Resources, try to incorporate an aspect of Human Resources in your answer. If you can cross-reference your answers, even better! For example, "To develop further on my answer to Joanne, I have also worked in …" This demonstrates that you have been listening and that you have the ability to link themes.

As part of your preparation for interview, you will have put together a number of questions …

Do College Grads Need More Training?

In an article published in the Deseret Morning News, Wendy Leonard says, “Colleges and universities dump a lot of graduates into the work force, and yet some in the work force still need additional, specialized training to perform well in the jobs they choose.”

Whether the college grads come from vocational training schools, career education programs or other traditional college or university programs, employers do often speak about the need for additional training.

Although qualified in the technical content on paper, some new grads need extra training on the soft skills required to be effective in their new jobs.

Employers and colleges are finding ways to collaborate to create custom training opportunities that will meet the need for this additional post graduation training.

Salt Lake Community College and Utah College of Applied Technology offer programs to help employers tailor training courses to meet their business needs.

One such employer, Stampin Up!, a supplier of craft products for the scrap booking marketplace, operates two state-of-the-art facilities in Utah. In partnership with Salt Lake Community College, they applied for grant money to facilitate a series of communication training seminars for their new employees.

New college grads should consider the availability of additional training as they evaluate the companies where they want to begin their careers. Consider asking about the availability of additional training in the following areas:

-Team building

-Leadership or supervisory training

-Customer service and client relations

-Interpersonal skills

-Project management

New employees should also consider working on professional certifications to enhance their professional development. Research professional associations in the career areas of interest and explore the certifications that these professional career organizations support.

Seriously consider companies that will pay for membership in professional associations, cover the cost of certification or additional training as needed.…

Want Career Success? Embrace Change!

Do any of these scenarios resonate for you?

You've been on a great career path for several years, but you've hit an advancement plateau.

You've been working in one industry since college, but you find yourself thinking about doing something else.

Your company has gone through a merger, and you feel like there's a "downsize" target on your back.

Seeing yourself in any of the above situations means you're contemplating change – on your terms, or on terms handed to you with a severance package. Current conventional wisdom is that each of us will have three to five careers AND between 10 to 12 jobs in our lifetimes, so fasten your seatbelt. Change is inevitable.

Change is the only constant in our lives. Our bodies change as we grow and age, our lives change as we travel on our career and domestic paths. Human nature resists change – the child in all of us wants our world to stay the same, to maintain the familiar comfort of predictability – but a more empowering response is to see change as an opportunity, to embrace change as a growth medium.

Change and risk are in many ways conspiratorial – during change, the final result is not visible. You're flying blind. Think of Stevie Wonder at the helm of a 747 and you'll get a gut feeling for what "flying blind" really means!

So, here you are, knowing that change is inevitable but frightened because you can not see where you're going. The key here is to immerse yourself in the challenge – if you're busy strategizing, you will not be focusing on your fear.

First, decide what you really want. If change is inevitable, why not ask for what you want? I'm not asking you to "think outside the box", I'm telling you to throw the box out the window and build a new box.

If you know you're management, VP or partner material, but you've hit a ceiling in your current position, research the firms in your industry that would welcome your skill-set and experience and network your way in the door.

If you want to go back to school to get a degree that will give you the credentials to land your "dream job", put your project-planning skills to work and turn achieving that goal into your # 1 project – and see if your company has a tuition-assistance plan.

If you find yourself with a merger or downsize bulls-eye on your job description, put your network to work to identify opportunities at other companies that would welcome your skills and experience.

The key here is to focus on positive outcomes – do not let fear immobilize you. Concentrate on what you want , not what you fear .

Life is short, so it should be sweet. Do not be afraid of change – turn those forks in the road into adventure challenges and manifest your own destiny. …

Time to Get the Raise You Deserve? Here's How!

There is no question that money plays a major role in our lives, yet a few of us were ever provided with good examples on how to approach this topic. Remember your first interview when everyone you know warned you not to bring up the "salary discussion", so in an effort to appear "polite" you avoided the whole money conversation?

Salary negotiation can certainly be overwhelming, especially for those without a great deal of previous work experience, but there are situations when it makes common sense to go over to your manager and say, "I believe I am worth this company than I am being paid at the moment; I would really appreciate a raise. "

Before you rush into your manager's office to discuss the possibility of a raise, consider the following three consequences: One, you may get the raise you really deserve. Two, you may find out you are not nearly as good as you thought you were; so you might as well forget about it. Or, three, you could lose your job since you made your boss focus on your weak performance.

There is no "acceptable" approach to ask for a raise since it's something that we are not trained to do, and it's rarely discussed. So how about we go through the following techniques that will definitely bring a better outcome than doing nothing or approaching this matter in the wrong way.

Ask for Extra Work

Get yourself in a position to ask for a raise. One effective way to approach this is to ask for extra responsibilities and link it to the pay raise you want, if not right away, then in the future. This is a mature approach that employers respond to better than if you simply asked for a raise without a solid argument to back it up.

Another smart approach to tackle this is to ask for a performance-related increase based on your achievement of better outcomes than your previous or expected levels. This will also be perceived positively by your employer because it shows that you are not just asking for more money, but you actually deserve it.

Research Salies in Your Field

Get a clear idea of ​​what your job typically pays, but do not forget that salies vary from one industry to another. Your performance evaluation combined with the research you've done on current industry salies will determine the fair market value that you deserve. It's really important that you watch your tone when you discuss this issue with your manager; instead of you shouting "You're Underpaying Me!" try to tackle this subject as if it's a career-related discussion in which you're presenting a research paper.

Do not throw a tantrum if your request gets rejected; instead, ask what you can do in the next couple of months in order to make this discussion have a successful exit the next time.

Be a Good Sport

Whatever happens, keep your attitude and conduct professional at all times. Whether you get …