Monthly Archives: March 2010

Learning How You Learn

With work, personal, and many other demands, it is critical to be as productive as possible; and understanding learning styles can help maximize efficiency. Below is an outline inspired by a class so you too can learn how you learn—to most effectively tailor to it.

Note: this is a recap of Learning Styles and Strategies by educators Richard Felder and Barbara Soloman and is reproduced with permission.

  • Active and/or Reflective
    • Active learners learn by doing things such as discussing or applying it
    • Reflective learners learn by thinking things through first
  • Sensing and/or Intuitive
    • Sensing learners tend to prefer facts, details, practicality, real world connections, and established methods
    • Intuitive learners tend to prefer discovering relationships and possibilities and tend to work faster and with more innovation
  • Visual and/or Verbal
    • Visual learners do well processing information through diagrams, sketches, photographs, and so forth
    • Verbal learners do well writing summaries, outlines, and listening to and explaining information, and the like
  • Sequential and/or Global
    • Sequential learners like linear steps that follow in logical order
    • Global learners like more random larger jumps to suddenly “get it”

Still not sure which style you are? Take this questionnaire to find out. Then become a part of the discussion, by relaying your learning preferences and what mediums teach you best.

Want More? Check out this article on “Technology as a Learning tool,” this index of “Seven Things You Should Know About” technologies and the like, and this three-part series of “100 Web Tools to Enhance Collaboration.” Just be sure to return and share your knowledge.

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Filed under accomplish, Advice, Barbara Soloman, Learning, Learning How You Learn, Learning Preferences, Learning Styles, Learning with Technology, Opportunity, Positioning, Richard Felder, Success

Q & A with NYOF Founder Olga Murray

A few days ago I had the good fortune of doing a Q & A with Olga Murray. Soon before her retirement from practicing law in San Francisco she was trekking the Himalayan Mountains when she broke her leg. A local porter carried her for days, which significantly touched Murray, and then she was moved again by the countless children at the hospital with such terrible disabilities and bleak resources. So soon after her fall—in 1984, she started to work with children in Nepal. In 1990 she founded the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation. NYOF’s mission is to empower the youth of Nepal—and already their successes include freeing over five-thousand girls from bondage. But even after around two decades of service, Murray says she believes that there is still much work to be done. The eighty-four-year-old Californian volunteers full time to lead her causes forward, even living much of her time in Kathmandu, where she was when I interviewed her. Below is her insight:

When and why did you get into service work? Because I was approaching retirement, always had an interest in children, and wanted to do something to help them.

Before NYOF how did you picture retirement? I thought I would work as an advocate for a child in court or tutor at a community center, but I fell in love with the children of Nepal when I came trekking here in 1984, and decided that I would work with impoverished children here.

How did you start the nonprofit? NYOF developed organically, driven by the needs of children in Nepal. We started out by giving scholarships to orphans, but expanded to other programs when we encountered children in dire circumstances who really needed help.

How did you obtain support? At first, through friends. Later, we became more organized, wrote grant applications to foundations, and increased our donor base through publicity.

Is the work what you expected? Why or why not? The work has far exceeded my expectations both in scope and [in] the amount of satisfaction I get every day from knowing that we are providing a better life to thousands of Nepali children.

What were the needs you were originally filling? At first, we started by giving college scholarships, but eventually [we] increased our scholarship base to disabled children, those whose parents could not afford primary school, those who had no homes, and poor children in villages so that today we support thousands of youngsters in school, from kindergarten to medical school.

How have those needs evolved? They evolved from our observations about the needs of children in Nepal. When many children were dying or became stunted because of malnutrition, we began a nutritional rehabilitation home to restore them to health and educate their mothers about child care. [Today NYOF has restored the health of more than five thousand children and has educated thousands.] We now have ten such facilities all over the country. When we learned that little girls were being bonded away for fifty dollars a year for labor, we began a program to eradicate the practice, which is now on the verge of success. [Estimates are that around 1200 girls, which is twenty percent of the former total number, still need to be rescued from bondage.] When we discovered children who had no homes and no hope for an education, we established two homes for children—one for boys and one for girls.

What are your largest setbacks? Lack of funds. We could do so much more if we had more money.

What, if you can distinguish one, is your most touching experience in Nepal? My relationship with the children at our children’s homes is the most touching experience here. I see them come in as neglected, malnourished little waifs and leave to go to college as confident, happy young people ready to give back to society.

What is your typical work day like? I spend a good part of the day on the computer keeping in touch with donors and our office. In Nepal I also do this, but I also spend time with the children at our children’s homes and visit our projects.

Who are your idols and why them? The usual caste of characters—Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, The Dalai Lama, because they have found a way to encourage people to live in harmony together.

What are your future goals? To expand NYOF’s activities. So much needs to be done in Nepal, and we have a local staff and organization that is able, passionate about children, and could provide for their needs.

What advice do you have for people who want to get involved? Go to our website and find a program they are interested in. If they wish to do so, they can donate money to help the children of Nepal.

Want to help Murray but don’t know where to begin? Go here. For additional nonprofits click here.

Need more information about NYOF? Read on here.

Concerned about legitimacy? Be assured NYOF is authentic by contacting them here or visiting their newsroom here.

Photos are reproduced with permission from Gregg Tully of NYOF.

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Filed under accomplish, Advice, Altruism, Giver, Helping Youth, Insider Insight, Inspiration, Interview, Leader, Learning, mentor, Nepal, nonprofit, NYOF, Olga Murray, Opportunity, Overcoming, Service Work, Social Justice, Success, Working Hard

How I Set a Sales Record

In high school I was fortunate enough to earn the opportunity to work at a respected insurance agency. While there I set records in scheduling financial and insurance review appointments—enabling the agent to reevaluate client needs and make more sales. Here’s how I did it:

1. I knew what I was selling

Yes I had a script but I knew enough about the review and its significance to communicate script-free with clients. The result was that I exuded more confidence, had better responses to questions, and therefore clients felt more secure.

2. I listened to clients and then articulated value based on their individual needs

Usually when I asked to schedule the review responses were along the lines of being too busy. However, by listening to when those times were—along with their needs, I could respond with other times and also explain the value of the review to their circumstances.

3. I remained polite

Once in a while people responded to me rudely, but I always reacted with politeness. Occasionally, even this solution did not prevent a client from requesting to be taken off of the list, but more often than not the result was a call me later—which I always nicely did.

4. I asked for what I wanted

Letting the conversation go organic is great… for a little, but I always stayed in control by bringing it back to what I wanted: the review. Only the people who ask get, and from exercising this and the above tips, I usually succeeded.

5. AND I followed up

Follow up is key. This is because appointment times need to be reminded of so people show up; those who request a call back are usually impressed when it happens; and when clients finish an appointment (or any sale) then ensuring that they are happy keeps them returning for more.

These are just some of the basics to selling—there are tons of other related advice pieces at About.com, Entrepreneur, and Eyes on Sales.

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Five Must Read Job-Related Pieces

While I am flattered you are reading this—and I urge you to stay ahead by continuing to do so, please also explore other posts from other places. With job talk in such high supply, I am compiling five of my favorite pieces on the subject. See them below:

  • These tips target teen job hunters, but Schwartz Communications outdoes itself to benefit any job seeker. Some of my favorite advice is work in areas similar to your favorite classes—but this can be applied to activities too, and utilize your network. Discover more recommendations here.
  • Starting a business can be full of complexities, but Under30CEO has compiled ten steps to make the process much simpler. Reduce the stress of working towards your dream by reading their insightful guide here.
  • The blogosphere provides many interviews with insightful people, but Jun Loayza’s with Gail Cayetano, the founder of the PR firm Starfish Events, is worthwhile because it sheds light into the workings of successful entrepreneurship—and it does so through both video and a text recap. Check it out here.
  • This Ms. Career Girl post spurred from one of Sherry Argov’s books targets women, but nevertheless reminds everyone of the importance in developing healthy habits AND exercising them consistently. Read on here.
  • Once you land a job, you likely want to maintain it—such as by meshing well with colleagues. Of course, to do so you probably will steer clear from gossip, but Emily Bennington shares nine more points for avoiding becoming a “nuisance.” Stay in by clicking here.

Have more referrals for great tips, posts, articles, studies, or anything else regarding jobs? Please share them below.



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Filed under Advice, Getting In, Insider Insight, Learning, Positioning, Rising, Staying In, Success, work, Working Hard

Exclusive Audio Featuring Physician Michael Rokeach

Yesterday I caught up with Dr. Michael Rokeach at California Pacific Medical Center where he works as an emergency room doctor, director of medical transport, and chief of staff–when he is not busy being president of the San Francisco Medical Society. After following him on urgent care rounds—where one patient even granted exclusive access into his treatment, Dr. Rokeach was nice enough to spare a few minutes for an interview. Included in it is how he came to be a doctor and advice for strivers.

Enjoy!

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Filed under accomplish, Advice, Audio, Getting In, Insider Insight, Inspiration, Interview, Success

Some Fair Use Points for Helping You Stay Safe

In class the other day we reviewed fair use. Its interpretation to the internet is quickly evolving, but I want to communicate some basic points because many bloggers in particular do not realize that they violate its provisions. Note: this post is not intended to be, and does not replace the need for, legal advice.

1. The Definition of Fair Use:

According to the U.S. Copyright Office, it is section 107 of the copyright law, which stipulates “various purposes when reproduction of a work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.”

2. It Considers Four Factors:

  1. Circumstances. I.e. nonprofit educational purposes are more likely to qualify as fair use than commercial uses.
  2. Nature. I.e. facts are more commonly interpreted as fair use than fiction.
  3. Percentage of Use. I.e. using less material reduces chances of breaching fair use.
  4. Impact on Original Work. I.e. the less the work infringes upon the original’s economic value, the less subject it is to a lawsuit.

3. Keep In Mind:

The scope of fair use is changing, and there are also other legal issues surrounding reproducing work, so do not assume that because your situation seems to weigh in favor that a court would agree.

4. The Best Solution:

Whenever in doubt, give the owner a shout. That’s right: crediting someone is not enough. So rather than potentially stirring problems—especially to the person who’s work you probably appreciate, ask for reproduction permission. He or she will usually be flattered for the offer and accept your request. If not, then when applicable consider linking to the site or making a recommendation of another place to access the work.

THERE IS MUCH MORE TO FAIR USE ! Please read on at places like What Is Fair Use, University of Texas’ Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials, and Stanford’s Fair Use Blog.

HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN A CASE OR DO YOU HAVE A RELATED STORY?  Please share it below—the more we know about past cases the more we can possibly stay clear. (Although because the court has ruled one way does not mean it always will.)

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How To Never Forget Logins AND Keep Them Safe

With so many online banking, news, shopping, and other places to register at, you probably have racked up usernames and passwords to the point that you no longer remember them all. The “Forgot My Password” feature is good insurance against total losses, but is unnecessary. Here is how to never forget logins and keep them safe:

1. Do not use the same password for two registries. This is because many companies have breaches in privacy and if one account gets hacked into and that same information opens your others, then those others become at risk.

2. For less sensitive registries make things simple, like by changing these passwords only slightly from others. An example is using “Good1,” for one account, “Good2,” for another, and so forth.

3. To keep track of each registry, keep a folder of them on your computer or in any private place. Then every time you register for anything, write its information down and save it in that folder.

4. Password protect your registries folder if it is on a non-password protected computer–or if you want extra security. (Although if you do this consider backing up that password just in case you forget it.)

For information on password protecting a folder on a MAC click here and in Windows click here.

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Filed under Advice, Insider Insight, Organization, Sensitive Information, Success