Monthly Archives: March 2014

The development of Soft Skills helps to compliment Hard Skills

Softskills image with avpt logo

Soft Skills the new Hard Skills

Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterise relationships with other people.

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed

Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person’s IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

So why does contemporary society place great value on standardised achievement tests to sift and sort people, to evaluate schools, and to assess the performance of nations?

Despite the widespread use of standardised achievement tests, the traits that they measure are not well-understood. Cognitive ability like IQ the important skills that achievement tests miss or mismeasure, are now being recognised as the skills that also matter in life.

Achievement tests miss, or more accurately, do not adequately capture, soft skills— personality traits, goals, motivations, and preferences that are valued in the labour market, in school, and in many other domains.

The larger message is that soft skills predict success in life, that they produce that success, and that programs that enhance soft skills have an important place in an effective portfolio of public policies.

Teacher Facilitated Learning Strategy AVPTMeasurement of cognition and educational attainment has been refined during the past century. Psychometricians have shown that cognitive ability has multiple facets.

Many social scientists—even many psychologists— continue to use IQ tests, standardised achievement tests, and grades. Even though scores on IQ tests, standardised achievement tests, and grades are positively correlated with each other,  recent literature shows that they measure different skills and depend on different facets of cognitive ability. Recent research also shows that all three measures are associated with personality, but to different degrees across various cognitive measures.

Standardised achievement tests were designed to capture “general knowledge” produced in schools and through life experiences. Such knowledge is thought to be relevant to success inside and outside of the classroom. However, achievement tests are often validated using other standardised achievement tests or other measures of cognitive ability—surely a circular practice.

Success in life depends on personality traits that are not well captured by measures of cognition. Conscientiousness, perseverance, sociability, and curiosity matter. While economist  up until now have largely ignored these traits, personality psychologists have studied them over the last century.  They have constructed measures of them and provide evidence that these traits predict meaningful life outcomes.

Many scholars—inside and outside of psychology—have questioned the existence of stable personality traits, arguing that constraints and incentives in situations almost entirely on the magnitudes of measurement error on a variety of economic measures, see Bound et al. (2001).

These authors report that at most 15–30% of earnings variance is due to measurement error.

Some early studies in economics are Bowles and Gintis (1976), and Bowles et al. (2001). An important study in sociology is Jencks (1979). Work in psychology going back to Terman et al. (1925) shows that personality traits matter (see Murray, 1938; Terman et al., 1947; and the discussion in Gensowski, 2012).

There is no tape measure for perseverance, no caliper for intelligence. All cognitive and personality traits are measured using performance on “tasks,” broadly defined. Different tasks require different traits in different combinations. Some distinguish between measurements of traits and measurements of outcomes, but this distinction is often misleading.

However, traits are not set in stone. They change over the life cycle and can be enhanced by education, parenting, and environment to different degrees at different ages.  It is my opinion  people try harder when doing  achievement tests so you can scores and capture both cognitive and personality traits.

Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies within educational institutes will help with promoting self- control, emotional awareness, and social problem-solving skills. 

80% students get qualified

High Blood Pressure, Hypertension: The New AIDS Epidemic?

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Strokes, Heart attack, thinning arteries

High blood pressure could be as devastating to global health as AIDS, causing more deaths over the next two decades than the infectious disease, a group of international experts is warning.

article by Diane Shawe M.Ed

Writing in the International Journal of Epidemiology, three British experts in international health said most governments and aid agencies around the world are doing too little to combat high blood pressure, and that current efforts to target the condition mirror the halting global reaction to HIV/AIDS 20 years ago.

hypertension can move you towards high blood pressure

Manage your Hypertension

In an editorial entitled “Is hypertension the new HIV epidemic? ” the authors — Peter Lloyd-Sherlock from the University of East Anglia, and Shah Ebrahim and Heiner Grosskurth of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine — suggest that “valuable lessons for hypertension could be taken from HIV/AIDS policies,” but health officials are not applying them to the growing rate of high blood pressure.

“Our response to the global epidemic of hypertension seems little better than our response to HIV/AIDS two decades ago: too little too late,” they write. “Can we not wake up earlier this time, before millions have died?

Hypertension is seen as a disease of the West, of prosperity and therefore of little relevance to poorer countries. This is despite the growing body of evidence that prevalences in poorer countries are quickly catching up.” They noted that hypertension is a non-communicable (NCD) disease and argued that the behavioral factors associated with it —obesity, lack of physical exercise, and poor diet — make it difficult to persuade funders and taxpayers to help people who “eat and smoke too much.”

They added that the situation is reminiscent of the slow response to AIDS prior to 1990. “HIV was faced with political denial and public misunderstanding in the early years of the pandemic, especially in some poorer countries,” they said. “There is a similar pattern of denial with hypertension … based on the misguided view that hypertension does not affect poorer social groups.”

“Yet there is substantial evidence that hypertension is highly prevalent among poorer groups and that they are less likely to have access to effective treatment. As with HIV, hypertension can be both a cause and a consequence of poverty, over work, non satisfaction in your job, debt, no job.”

hypertension caused by stress at work  can move you towards high blood pressure

Job burnout and stress in epidemic proportions

Managing your stress and Hypertension in the West.

Today’s workforce is experiencing job burnout and stress in epidemic proportions. Workers at all levels feel stressed out, insecure and misunderstood. Many people feel the demands of the workplace, combined with the demands of home, have become too much to handle. A one-day workshop explores the causes of such stress and suggests general and specific stress management strategies that people can use every day.


Sourced from © 2014 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.

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Social Media challenges for Rainmakers’ How to use linkedin even when you hate selling!

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LAW2014 18-20 MARCH 2014

Although some professional often think that social media is a tacky way of selling,  it is not. Negotiating the process of how you introduce your company and services is just  one stage of that process. There are three  stages  timing, intuition, and flexibility.  Law2014 Strategies for Success conference will be looking at some of the threats posed to the high street law firm by the introduction of ABS it is more important than ever for the high street law firm to maintain their customer base and effectively market themselves.

The Strategies for Success conference is the essential conference for all Management and Marketing personnel working within high street law firms and will provide the busy high street law firm professional with practical marketing tips in an increasingly competitive market place.

The conference will focus on strategies the high street law firm can adopt not only to ensure their survival in the face of fresh competition but to prosper in the new legal landscape. A line up of impressive spreakers on the topics to be covered will be:

Diane Shawe 1Social Media Challenges for RainMakers – how to use Linked In even when you hate selling!
Diane as a founder and CEO of two successful Training Companies based in London and Luxembourg Diane has built the company from a standing start in 2003 to a globally recognised training provider with an impressive year on year growt

john espley

John Espley, Peapod Legal Office

Strategies For Success for Small Law Firms
John has been working in the legal market for 10 years and has always helped small law firms to become more profitable

Alan Joenn

Alan Joenn, Collier Pickard

Fee earners and CRM – why both?
Alan Joenn is the Marketing Director at Collier Pickard. He has over 35 years’ experience in business automation, office automation and personal productivity within the IT sector and the commercial arena.

Phil Dedman

Phil Dedman, Mediaworks

Demystifying SEO 

Phil has worked with many global companies over the last 25 years and continues to be involved with companies internationally for both SME’s & Blue Chip companies

Roger Lane

Roger Lane, Actionstep UK

Modern Practice Management Go Beyond Managing the Matter 

Roger Lane, has spent over 30 years in the IT industry in a wide range of roles, including sales & sales management (including international), product marketing, strategic marketing and general management

Mark Scane

Mark Scane  ITM

Rani Sur

Rani Sur ITM

How to ease the burden of Auto Enrolment – The role of middleware 

Mark is a highly experienced consultant in corporate employee benefits with over 12 years within the pension and benefits market. Whilst Rani is a Senior Technical Consultant at ITM, the leading independent pension data and administration consultants. Rani works with the development and innovations team designing and developing the Auto Enrolment solution at ITM

Clwyd Probert

Clwyd Probert, Whitehat

The Google Zoo: Effective Internet Marketing Strategies For Law Firms 
Clwyd Probert is the founder, CEO and chief technical architect of Whitehat SEO. He is a technologist and marketer with international experience in London and New York

Each speaker is going to set out some of the real nuggets high street solicitors should put in place to establish a firm ground for all considerations once you decide to seriously utilise some of the benefits of Social Media and through the internet.

Diane Shawe M.Ed will be speaking on Thursday 20th March 2014 at 9.30am.

The LAW2014 event is to be held at Kensington Town Hall
Hornton Street, Kensington. London, W8 7NX

Open times

18th March – Day 1 – The event will be open between 8.30am – 5.30pm.

19th March – Day 2 – The event will be open between 8.30am – 5.30pm.

20th March – Day 3 – The event will be open between 8.30am – 4.00pm.

Successful Rainmakers do not focus on selling, successful rainmakers take time to understand what their clients’ needs are—not what they hope or think the clients’ needs are—. The only way to discover what clients require is to communicate, collaborate and then listen to their answers. Only after clarifying their clients’ needs do successful rainmakers try to provide a services to fit their needs.

Diane will report on the 9 mistakes businesses make with Linkedin.

Solicitors can book their 1 day course on how to set up a prime linkedin profile at stand 6.

Solicitors can book their 1 day course on how to set up a prime linkedin profile at stand 6.

express training courses membership and accreditation diane shawe

Is there really a global skill race?

new rules of engagement towards long term employability-Entreployability the new breed by Diane Shawe jan 2014If there is a global skill race, who’s winning?

Governments all over the world want their countries to have high-value, high-skill economies, and they realise that the first step towards this aim is to have a well-educated workforce. In the UK, an appreciation of the connection between economic success and education has led to widening participation in university, as well as lifelong learning, being politicised as a priority.

But many Commentary from the organisations such as the Teaching and Learning Research Programme shows that this policy prescription may not be enough to avert a significant attack on skilled and professional employment in the UK.

Policy-makers have yet to appreciate the fundamental shifts which are now taking place in the way companies use skilled people. Large firms are increasingly aware that emerging economies, especially but not exclusively India and China, are building up their education systems at a rapid rate. Leading corporations are abandoning the idea that high-end activities such as research and design have to go on in the high-cost economies of Europe, North America or Japan. Instead, they are developing ways in which high-value work can be standardised, as manual work already has been. Once this is achieved, high-skill people in low-cost countries suddenly become an attractive option for multinationals.

This means that we may be entering an era in which many of the young people now investing heavily in their education across the developed world may struggle to attain the comfortable jobs and careers to which they aspire. They risk being bypassed by decisions to send work that would once have come their way naturally to people in Asia and elsewhere, who bring the same skills to employers at much lower prices.

We know that many people would argue that UK employers should provide work for UK people, but with the global competitive markets forcing prices down, UK employers need to remain competitive if they are indeed wanting to sell any of their services.

The Challenge

At least 26 million unemployed people have been looking for work across Europe during the long, hot summer of 2013. They will not be the only ones looking.

Millions of school and university leavers will join them in the search. Millions more are looking for more work than they already have – another part-time job, or a full-time job in place of part-time work.

And millions of others are not registered as unemployed but are also searching for paid work to supplement their income: pensioners in need; partners of someone in work whose wage has fallen; students who are studying full-time but cannot survive without a job on the side; children who are officially too young to work but whose families need the money.

Four key components that contribute to the challenges we all face ahead:

  1. Multi-Generational Workplace
  2. Technological Development
  3. Inexperienced
  4. Globalisation

13 Questions governments around the world will need to address that will affect you and your children’s children.

In order to help shape the
debate over labour and entrepreneurial policy for the twenty-first century we need to get involved in asking these questions throughout our communities, educational institute’s and economists. Questions such as:

  1. How do we ensure that workers get the skills they need to succeed in the twenty-first century workplace? (Not just the young people but those unemployed now)
  2. Will employers hire and train workers who initially lack skills?
  3. What happens to the worker laid off from a manufacturing job at age 55 —does he get training in new technologies or is he stuck in lower-wage jobs like groundskeeper, security guard, and warehouse stock controller?
  4. How do we make sure that people with disabilities have access to the technologies that facilitate their participation in the workplace?
  5. How will e-commerce impact employment?

To find out more, order your copy of ‘The new rules of engagement for long term employability’ By Diane Shawe

new rules of engagement towards long term employability-Entreployability the new breed by Diane Shawe jan 2014