History Of Balloons

There are references which indicate that balloons were invented by the Aztecs around 1300, but historically balloons were constructed of animal bladders and intestines. Long slender balloons were made from animal intestines; different animals would have differing lengths and diameters. For example, a cat's intestine would be small, whereas a whale's would be far larger. Pig's bladders were often filled with air or water and used as a ball for children's games. In science, A pig's bladder was inflated by Galileo in an experiment to measure the weight of air and the first rubber balloons were made by Professor Michael Faraday in 1824 for use in his experiments with hydrogen at the Royal Institution in London.

Balloons have been extensively modernised and are now free of all animal innards and made of latex which is manufactured from natural rubber; the white sap or latex is extracted from the Haevae Brasilienis tree and collected as liquid. Latex is collected without harming the tree, using environmentally safe, traditional processes. The tropical rain forest trees are highly valuable and a well-protected natural resource.

Balloons can now be made of foil which is a technology straight out of the NASA Space Mission which is the process of "metallisation" of plastic sheeting that has given us foil balloons. The balloon industry uses the name as "foil" balloons, because they are made of nylon sheet, coated on one side with polyethylene and metallised on the other. Foil balloons are highly popular as the can be printed with bright complex images and last for much longer than the latex balloon.

Latex balloons can be blown up with natural air either by using ones lungs or a pump, they can also be filled with helium which enables them to 'float' in the air. When balloons are filled with helium they have to have a counterweight tied onto the opposite end of the balloon ribbon to keep in rooted to the ground. The first 'floating' balloons were filled with hydrogen which had one-tenth more lifting power, however, helium is far safer.

Latex balloons are a popular, lost cost solution to decorate at corporate events and are often printed with the company logo and in the company colours. These are also used as an advertising and marketing strategy to promote the brand and advertise their website or a produce they offer.

In the 1920's The Toy Balloon company in New York used luminous balloons in balloon showers, balloon-decked parade floats, in fashionable window displays and also released 50,000 helium-filled balloons at one time. Each printed with an advertiser's name or logo and bore a tag which offered a prize to the finder.

How Many Bathroom Cabinets Is Too Many? Choosing the Right Bathroom Furniture

Now that we have overcome the fashion for sparse minimalism in the bathroom that has been the prevailing design trend for several years, and now that bathroom furniture is back in a big way, a few new questions have questions have presented themselves. Which cabinets and units should I opt for? Can I overload my bathroom with too much furniture? Fortunately, it is largely a matter of personal preference, but here a few ideas to help to you make your decisions.

To create a bathroom free from clutter, to create a peaceful atmosphere in which you can relax. Then storage is going to be required. All those cosmetics and toiletries may well be essential to your daily routine, but all that mismatched packaging and multi-coloured irregularity can easily make a bathroom feel cramped and busy.

Due to the resurgent popularity of bathroom furniture, there are now hundreds of varieties of bathroom storage options available, in all manner of styles, size and finish. A great starting point when selecting units is the basin vanity unit. Fitted beneath, either incorporating or providing a counter for, your basin, a vanity unit will provide you with a storage area for all of the items that tend to accumulate around the basin, whilst keeping them stowed away neatly and in easy reach.

To accompany the vanity unit, above your basin, why not upgrade from your bathroom mirror to a mirrored, wall-mounted cabinet? Internal shelving will allow you to separate cosmetics or toiletries by category, or by bathroom user, and the height of the unit will provide a safe place to store any medicines out of reach of children.

To move on from the basin area, a fitted unit around the toilet cistern is another great place to store cleaning products discreetly. One of the key benefits of fitted furniture around your fixtures, aside from storage is that it will also cover up plumbing and pipework to lend a far more streamlined look to your bathroom. Fitted units that join the basin and toilet are also available, which will create ample storage space, only occupy floor area that usually goes unoccupied, and create a unified stylistic theme throughout the room.

After your fitted units and mirrored cabinet, most of your essential storage requirements should be met. However one final trick to complement your bathroom with a little flair is a freestanding shelving unit, or 'tallboy'. These tall narrow units can be a great place to store towels, or with open-faced models, a wonderful display area for any photo's or design flourishes you may wish to include.

So measure up your available space and start planning. Your bathroom can be transformed into a serene and ordered space with the addition of just a few well-chosen cabinets. And remember, the colour, finish and much more are all still entirely up to you! Happy hunting.

Inert Education

This is a rant about Education. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it, but my question is who uses it, and what is it being used for?

Funny thing to ask I suppose, but how many people in our Western civilised world recognises the privilege we have been given. All of us go to at least 2 or more centers of learning.

Primary school, high school, and higher education, give us so much access to knowledge. And tragically, so much of all that we learned is consigned to the back waters of our memories, never to be seen again.

And when education IS used, some of it's use is of a dubious nature. Qualification for career is big, really education's biggest use. And for that, you get a job, a spouse, kids and a car. Was that it?

Was education designed just to pump up affluence? When will we use education to make the spirit of human existence free. And who currently among us, uses education as a leverage in the drive towards the fresh air of freedom, happiness and some order of a Utopian dream? Anybody?

That's my rant really. Education's lack of use, and it's mis-use.

Those people who have endured persecution, crippling lack, and deprivation, are often the very people driven to use the wedge of education, towards a freedom of spirit.

These people are the inventers and planners of a better life. Artists, musicians, poets, architects, town planners, those who discover break throughs in health, wealth, resource management, those who in mental health have made profound discoveries of living a better life,... The list goes on.

Yet, these are a very small and select group, in comparison to a vast population of highly educated, but inert people.

IS the fresh air of freedom, really out of fashion? We certainly have affluence, but does it free us, or enslave us. Is the air of our affluent freedom, as polluted as the air in our cities?

We need to be perhaps a little bit hungrier for the true fresh air of Freedom. The great spirit of what it is to be alive and human.

It is perhaps a pity that those people who crave it the most, come from great deprivation, persecution and pain.

People living under some tiny tyrant, or those living in poverty, or in the midst of a war, are those that know without a shadow of a doubt the true value of Education.

These people have awoken. We Inert educated, are living within the warmed slumbering air of affluence, and it's time we woke up!

Happy reading,



How to Stay Committed to Your Goals

The difficult task people often face is remaining steadfast in the pursuit of their goals. Life is demanding to say the least. The capacity to manage ones finances, health, relationships, career and a host of other things makes it arduous at the best of times. It's any wonder we often neglect those things which are important to us.

You might find your relationships fall apart when least expected, your health deteriorates or your finances take a beating. At this point you're perplexed how this all came to pass without seeing the writing on the wall.

Rest assured managing life requires vigilance, dedication and commitment. After all, you're only human and from time to time things will slip past you. The following quote serves as a reminder of the importance of the bigger picture;"Don't sweat the small stuff, because in the end its only small stuff."

The following paragraphs are straightforward advice to encourage you to stay committed to your path. Life will continuously test your resolve to see how much you desire your goal. I've written and produced video blogs about giving up being easy. In fact, it's become fashionable - as a rite of passage for some.

I often hear the reasons people recount why they gave up. It typically follows this course of dialogue; "It wasn't meant to be," "It wasn't fun anymore," or"Life is all about having fun." The point worth mentioning is our minds have the ability to create any mental state we impose upon it.

Through belief, you create the circumstances for giving up and thus validate it by looking for evidence to substantiate it. Think about this for a moment. How many stories or biographies about successful people have you read where the narrative involved smooth sailing or an easy path toward success? Very few I would imagine.

Success requires discipline, hard work, perseverance, tenacity, will, courage and faith. With that in mind, here are some guidelines for persevering with your goals - no matter what life throws at you.

1. Create successful habits

I've mentioned in previous articles about the importance of establishing sound habits for long term success and results. You're already in an advantageous position to drawn on your habit making skills.

Many of your current day to day tasks are habitual in nature. You may have started them months or even years ago. Some of them have remained with you since childhood. The key element is to create daily habits that will draw you closer to your goal.

If you're aware of negative habits, replace them with affirmative ones. To illustrate, when I sit down to write or research I find myself wasting time surfing the internet on occasions. I know I'm buying time from the real task at hand - writing an article.

In recent times, I stopped this habit by disabling my internet connection so I could focus on the task at hand. I continued this process for twelve straight days before the NEW habit became ingrained; thus disabling the old negative habit. I now work unaffected writing with the internet connection active, since I know I won't aimlessly waste time surfing the web. I have solidified the new habit by persisting with it.

Continue your new habit until it becomes second nature - until you have a firm grip on it. Phase out the old habit by replacing it with the NEW, empowering habit.

2. Be accountable to someone

I've always been an advocate of being accountable to someone, irrespective of how disciplined I am. Some time ago I used a number of mentors to help me stay focussed. I gained valuable insight into my work as I had the luxury of having someone else critique me as well as make creative suggestions on areas for improvement.

Being accountable may also entail making declarations of your commitment to those close to you. You might verbally or in writing, declare your intention to achieve a certain goal by a specific date. We're likely to stay focussed on the task at hand since we don't want to disappoint others.

Being accountable allows an impartial observer to assess your work. It is advisable to work with people who have walked your path or who have similar experience. Alternatively someone who is completely unrelated to your interest may also serve as a watchful eye as they offer an unbiased perspective.

3. Focus on smaller victories

Depending on the size of the goal, it's advisable to focus on smaller victories that draw you closer to your goal. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon (42km), you might allow a specified period in which to realise the goal.

It might be a ten month project or more in which you undertake smaller goals along the way. Completing your first 10km run and gradually building up to competing in a longer distance event would be a logical progression.

Focussing on smaller victories along the way gives you the self confidence you need to forge ahead. It is self empowering and testament you're on the right path. You might stumble upon setbacks along the way during the pursuit of smaller goals.

These are valuable lessons since they allow you to iron-out the creases before pursuing the larger goal. The opportunity to get it right in the build-up phase is advantageous than getting it wrong when it matters.

4. Develop an insatiable hunger

Undoubtedly this remains the most challenging aspect of successful goal attainment. What makes some people pursue their goal with vehement desire while others give up when the going gets tough?

This has been my interest for the last few years - studying human psychology and behaviour toward success. I've noticed on a personal level and having modelled a number of successful people that there's an insatiable hunger to succeed that is common to both.

Successful people are unrelenting toward the pursuit of their goal. Sure they experience setbacks and failures like everyone else. What sets them apart is the ability to get back on track and learn from their mistakes immediately. It's the ability to do this time and time again until they gain the prize that sets them apart.

You see, successful people believe in themselves. They've developed an inner resolve - an inner dialogue that continually feeds them with successful images, thoughts and beliefs. These inner dialogues have the power to cancel out any external misgivings that arise in the pursuit of their goal.

I invite you to find your inner conviction. Discover the reason for pursuing your goal. Why do you want it? Who will you become once you've attained it? What will life look like when you've reached your goal?

Model the people who've attained a similar goal and pursue it with passion. Successful people are adaptable. They know what they want. They're open and receptive to allowing life to show them the HOWS.

When you develop an undying commitment to achieve a goal, roadblocks and failures are merely speed humps instead of stop signs.

Your goal needs to be so great that it feeds and ignites your soul with purpose and meaning. You embody the goal in every cell of your being so that you become inspired to attain it as opposed to motivated.

Create a New You With Personal Development Courses

There comes a time in most people's lives when it is time to reinvent ourselves. This could be the result of a divorce, a death or recovering from a challenging disease. The desire to be reborn could also simply be the result of being bored or unhappy or come from a desire to have more fulfilling loving relationships.

There are many different types of personal development courses that you can take to improve your life. For instance, if you are always in debt, there are courses that you can now take to help you manage your money more wisely as well as help you get out of debt. When it comes to your financial health you can also find personal development courses that teach you how to build the type of mindset that is characteristic of millionaires.

If you are recovering from a bad relationship or feeling very disappointed with your social life you can find personal development courses that can help you identify and vanquish those negative feelings. Most of these disciplines entail identifying the thought that is triggering the bad feeling and then revising that thought so that you no longer are in distress. Regaining emotional control of yourself is crucial to raising your self-esteem and earning the respect of others.

If you are having problems at the office or with your family it might be that you need to practice some techniques and strategies that will help you communicate more effectively. There are many ways that a life coach or a NLP expert can advise you when it comes to expressing yourself in a clearer, saner manner that precludes any confusion and prevents the escalation of any arguments.

Personal development courses can also help you figure out what it is you want to do with your life. If you are not yet in a career that fits the now famous saying, "Do what you love and the money will come" then coaching, therapy and other types of self-improvement exercises can help you determine what you are best suited to do.

Yet another realm that is embraced by personal development courses is that of your personal appearance. Courses in deportment, shopping for fashionable clothing and how to do your make-up count as self-improvement.

Not everybody feels the call for personal development training because they are in trouble. Some people simply take these courses so that they can optimise their ability to be successful in all areas of their life.

Accessorise Your Car

Getting your car to look its best can sometimes take more than a bit of polish and elbow grease. Even the best maintained cars might start to look a little dated after the passage of a few years. Fashions change, even in car design and you may feel that it is time to upgrade your motor for something a little more contemporary. But before you pay what could run into many thousands of pounds just to keep up with the latest trends, consider whether there is a cheaper and easier way of sprucing up your car whilst saving you money. Car modifications are not just limited to boy racers with turbo-charged Ford Sierras. Indeed, there are a range of options that you can turn to if you want your car to look cutting edge without venturing anywhere near a body shop or your mechanic.

Many items on a car can easily be replaced with just a little DIY know-how and a few minutes spare time. From steering wheel covers, to new door handles, gear stick knobs, wing mirrors, wheel trims and performance lighting, you can effect a dramatic transformation in a very small space of time. Indeed, headlights or fog lights, for example, can change the look of your car and though you may think that few people will notice what you have on your car in the way of lighting, it is surprising how much of a dramatic transformation new performance lighting can make. The type of lights that you choose will, to a large extent, be dictated by the car you have and the size of the existing lights. So, if you are buying online, take care to ensure that you get the right size and that they have the right type of fittings for your make and model. If in doubt, it is probably easiest to check online and a simple search for your type of car and the appropriate performance lighting should put you in the right direction.

Other great car accessories include seat covers and floor mats. These are often overlooked, but ensuring you have bright and fresh upholstery can make it seems like you have got a new car again. Modern seat covers are a lot more advanced than the poorly fitting types of yesteryear and you can often find something for your exact model of car. Why not give your car the treat it deserves by updating and buying new lighting, seat covers and mats?

Has the Quality of Leadership Vanished?

Leaders, in a sense of the poetic, are valiant warriors who have guts to take risks, brave the opposition, and standup to the bullies of corruption. Instead of believing the folly of their own mythology, hiding high places to trade their integrity for the thrill of the sound byte, leaders are on the frontlines. Today, if you ask a group of people to name a truly outstanding leader, most are hard pressed to come up with a single example. Some will cite movie stars, sports figures or television personalities. Confused, they stammer and stumble, struggling to define who or what a leader is. People are frustrated with politicians, the press, the priesthood and college professors who espouse nebulous theories. Most people want good leaders, if they could find one. However, our media oriented culture sends mixed messages. Short sound bytes seem to have all the answers before cutting to the next commercial. Fads, quick fixes and instant gratification don't solve the long term complexities of human interactions.

Instead, leaders stick to the necessity of consistent well-defined problem solving truths. Leadership is not found in the fakery of salesmanship, warm fuzzy clever slogans or simplistic solutions with no direction. Dedication to principles over practices takes precedence. As such, taking command is about strength of mind in what really and truly matters for the greater good of all persons. It is an extension of one's belief system in sound ethical precepts, moral correctness and rightness of action. Being in charge, concerns the construction of ways, means and methods to instill the desire among subordinates to create cohesiveness, productivity and exceptional performance. A leader uses his or her mental skill set to ensure success. Leaders exhibit a clear articulation of the basis for understanding the goals and objectives of the organization. Leadership is the competitive edge against organizational or global tyranny in marketplace of serious winners and losers. They do what is right regardless of the challenges in the fight. Leadership carries the weight of its own personal armor, projecting adherence to values, ethics and professionalism. Character stands against the corrosion of personal corruption. With leadership, there is no simple lesson plan that can teach its principles, practices and predilections. You can't buy it, sell it or delegate it. You simply got it or you don't.

One has to take command, get the job done and move on to the next objective. By demeanor of personal expression, physical presence, and manner of dress, a leader demonstrates his or her unique identity. Leaders reside in the remote hallowed corridors of trust, respect and ability. Unfortunately, what we've evolved instead is a culture of the weak, the timid and hesitant. Pacifistic tendencies of conciliation have replaced the responsibility of standing for respectability of what is just, proper and fair. A lot people would rather feel good. As opposed to getting their act together, toughing up and overcoming their difficulties. The sense of fear pervades the modern workforce in facing decisive efforts to do the honorable, upright and righteous things. Regardless, we fail to see how weakness provokes the sinister, wicked and malevolent aspects of human nature. Predators are quick to spot their prey. Take advantage of vulnerable opportunities to advance their own causes. But, leaders understand the necessity of personal strength, asserting their courage in the face of opposition, and dissenting against the treachery.

In the meantime, the cowardly hide behind a cloaking pretense of justified deception. And, if one spreads a big enough smoke screen, then others are likely to get used to the fumes. The rational is usually avoided because the irrational is easier to accept. Hypocrisy passes for wisdom, while truth suffers the setbacks of myth, magic and metaphor. This trinity of illusion scams the gullibility of those who long for authentic credible leadership. While some people are pompous windbags of dogmatic delusion, others are committed followers of their mystic demagoguery. Still there are some who maneuver cleverly back and forth between the two. All too easily though, without serious question, most herd themselves into flocks of sheepish anonymity. They wait for someone to lead them. Imposters, false prophets and gurus of self-help marketing schemes collude in the communal conspiracy of self-deceit. In spite of the evidence, many find fiction more fascinating than fact. Fantasy, whim and fable have nearly become the new reality. However, leaders know better. They don't accept the pretense of false assertions. They fight back with well-founded information, substantive detail and absolute facts against unsubstantiated foolishness. The burden of command concerns itself with evidence, certainty and truth. Leaders stand ready to confront the pretenders, who manipulate people for the sake of hidden agendas.

In every organization, there are many good managers, supervisors and technocrats. However, such capabilities are not the same as those required to be a leader. Being in charge and possessing the scepter of leadership is something very special. It's not easily imparted in seminar, lecture or weekend retreat. Neither is it the stuff of clever slogans, colorful hype or smart looking window dressing. Leaders are manifestations of educated experience, intellectual capacity, emotional stability and personal integrity. They reside in the nobility of being good for their word. Likewise, they have a special ability in displaying a caring temperament for others. And, an ability to balance power and control issues. Leaders posses a profoundness for imparting what they've learned in life.

When leaders emerge at home, in politics, on the police force, or the corporate realm, they're known for who they are. And, for what they believe. Especially the exhibition of ethical precepts in practicing principle over popularity. It's a poise of authority possessing meaning, relevance and rectitude. The well-differentiated leader has his or her own unique personality. At the same instant, they don't pursue the myth, magic and metaphor of the latest fad, fashion or feel good tool, tactic or technique. For him or her, simplistic templates of quick fix problem-solving don't get the job done. By virtue of critical thinking skills, the leader implements creative, innovative and daring strategies. They're inventive at getting results and accomplishing the goals by pursuing efficient and effective objectives. He or she doesn't fit a specific mold. So, you can't delegate, clone or typecast leadership. It evolves in the right individual at the right moment in time for the right place. From sincere compassion for subordinates, to enthusiasm for the career field, including exceptional physical and mental energy, to technical and tactical abilities, the leader knows the essence of command. And, he or she understands the burdens that go with it.

Making Resumes Recruiter-Ready

As is the case with most industries the profession of resume writing is trending in new directions and undergoing changes. As writers we know that to make resumes effective for their primary purpose, getting the job candidate an interview, we have to please not only the job searcher, but perhaps more importantly the recruiter or hiring manger viewing the resume.

Career Directors International, a global professional organization for career professionals, recently published their 2012 survey of hiring authorities, so that we in the business can track the latest preferences of recruiters, hiring managers, and others sourcing talent when viewing resumes to make hiring decisions. As one who wants to present my clients in the best possible light to these stakeholders what they think and want matters to me a lot. In sharing some of the more salient, and frankly unexpected, findings of the survey, we can also review what many believe to be conventional wisdom, or should I say old fashioned thinking, about the constructions of resumes.

At the top of the list is the notion that resumes need to be one page only. Only 6% of the respondents felt that way (21% for blue collar resumes) with 34% preferring two pages and a surprising 37% feeling that length is not an issue as long as the content is quality. Given how busy these people are you would think they'd want as brief a document as possible, but apparently not so. But let's not assume this means they want pages of verbose fluff. Three-quarters of the respondents already think that there is too much embellishment in resumes and they want less irrelevant wordiness not more.

Functional resumes are the type that are focused on skills and competencies rather than chronological work histories. They are often used by people who have gaps in their work experience or who are just entering or returning to the workforce after a long absence. General thinking is that recruiters don't like them because of the perceived lack of consistent work experience. But a whopping 72% said "yes" or "maybe" they would consider interviewing a candidate with a functional resume and without a first impression employment timeline. Looks like what you can do might be starting to trump longevity at work.

One of the big challenges in resume preparation is writing the professional summary that serves as a lead in grabbing the attention of the reader. It should tightly communicate brand, strength, and achievement. The question often is whether to include one, and if so, should it be short or long. Again a surprise finding in that 43% are fine with a longer summary version, 18% with a shorter version, and only 17% saying to skip it entirely. A combined 61% of respondents are therefore saying to have one. The unexpected part comes in that reading a longer summary is okay with busy people. I'm getting the message good information is desired even for those with full schedules.

Finally there is a tendency to include new elements into resumes, such as links or QR codes to social media profiles or to present resumes as web based videos. My assumption has been that most recruiters don't like straying too far from predictable, if not traditional, resume styles. Two-thirds said looking at external links is something they would consider, but only 13% would bother with video resumes. Sounds like putting time and energy into your LinkedIn profile may get more viewership than your self-promoting YouTube video.

The bottom line is that there are few if any certainties when it comes to preparing your resume for competition. What is in today probably will be out tomorrow. But one absolute appears to remain: Having a resume that communicates high quality accomplishments and core competencies and that speaks to the position to which you are applying.

Counselling, Race and Diversity

Race is a 19th century pseudo-scientific construction that has been discredited since the human species (homo sapiens) could not be genetically thus compartmentalized. There are of course superficial visible differences that have been historically identified, for example, as Negroid, Mongoloid and Caucasoid. Superior force allied to the development of science and technology favoured the European Caucasoid races (so-called) and enabled them to define and dominate the modern world order. There followed an assumption of superiority by the Whites over Blacks and Yellow 'races'. Racism is based on the belief that perceived racial differences also account for differences in innate human characteristics and ability. Although debunked by science, such beliefs persist and are still the cause of discrimination and prejudice.

Racism is not the same as ethnocentrism. While race is seen as defining the identity of a person with fixed innate and unalterable characteristics, ethnic identity is acquired and learned through a shared culture of language, customs and belief systems, and often a shared geography. Today, there is more concern over ethnic differences than race in creating divisiveness in the world and therefore has the gravest implications for counselling relationships. That does not mean that racism does not exist in some contexts just as sexism remains an issue requiring continuous monitoring and sometimes litigation even in the industrially developed countries of the world today.

Recognition - that monocultural models of counselling and therapy that prevailed until the mid-20th century to deal with problems presented by today's racial and ethnic diversity in most nation states was inadequate - led to rethinking in favour of a multicultural approach (Sue & Sue 1999). Hitherto, counsellors and therapists had been trained in the psychodynamic, person-centred, and cognitive behaviour therapy models, to name but a salient few. Sue and Sue (1999) were the first to propose a theory of multicultural counselling and therapy (MCT). The hitherto 'invisible other' became aggressively visible with the Black Civil Rights Movement (US), and compelled counsellors to explore the impact of cultural identity and diversity in the counselling relationship. The aim of counselling was no longer to encourage and enforce 'assimilation' of the 'other' into the dominant culture, but to empathise and explore the assumptive world of the client from whatever background he/she came from. Integration, rather than assimilation, where individuals belonging to a minority culture could preserve their cultural identity, and co-exist with the majority, began to be valued.

It was soon evident that counsellors could no longer ignore their own cultural background and how that impacted on a client from other, quite different backgrounds. The counsellor needed to be aware of the socio-political influences which shape a minority client without which there would be no basis for communication.

Increasingly, counsellors are required to offer their services to migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. However, commentators on 'diversity and counselling' have argued against 'target group oriented approaches. Individuals in these groups do not necessarily have similar experiences nor do they react to their experiences in any standardised fashion.

Target group orientation 'constructs' the clientele targeted by the counselling programmes mostly in terms of characteristics of individuals or social groups. Such construction practices are criticised in the social sciences as essentialising, because the individual life situation of the person affected is reduced in its legal, economic and social dimensions to this one differentiating characteristic; all other personality characteristics are regarded as secondary or subsidiary to the fact that the person is among other things a migrant, has a disability.

It is alleged that currently there are around 145 million people who have chosen to live outside their country of origin. The majority of these people are voluntary migrants in search of a better life (to them) in a new country. Indeed, the UN estimates that about 2 million people will annually migrate from the less developed regions of the world to developed countries until at least the year 2050. However, an increasing number of today's migrants are asylum seekers and refugees forced to flee their country of origin due to wars, natural catastrophes, and ethnic conflict. Intercultural counselling to deal with the process of integration or assimilation in the host countries of such a large and diverse influx of people is becoming ever more urgent and imperative. Diversity and pluralism are the hallmarks of the postmodern world.

The British Psychological Society in a Special Issue on Refugees and Asylum Seekers sought to address this problem. See The Psychologist, March 2007. It uses the more inclusive term 'community psychology', rather than the somewhat emotive cross-cultural, transcultural or intercultural, terminology that has gained currency in the US. Community psychology is said to draw upon the philosophical 'ideas of social constructionism' (op cit p156). As early as the 1960's Gilbert Wrenn was advocating that counsellors should take a total, global view of their clients in their 'social/cultural predicament' (Wrenn, 1964). Social constructionism as the guiding principle of counselling and therapy has also given rise to the recognition of the importance of narrative or story telling as the primary mode of discourse and dialogue between client and therapist. Gergen says that it is only counselling discourse that 'enables clients to re-story their lives, to conceptualize their life trajectories in new and more livable ways'.

Again, it was Wrenn who first coined the term 'cultural encapsulation' to draw attention to the plight of the counsellor who was unable to break out from his or her own cultural framework and see the world from another's perspective. The culturally encapsulated counsellor, according to Wrenn (op cit) 'holds at the centre a notion of normality 'derived from the dominant (white, middle class)) culture, which is irrelevant to many clients and most likely could alienate them. Paul Pedersen (1991) continues the argument by referring to the 'encapsulated counsellor' who brings his/her own biases and does not test them against the client's perception of self and others. His definition of multicultural counselling is much broader and includes:

Ethnographic variables such as ethnicity, nationality, religion and language; demographic variables such as age, gender and place of residence; status variables such as social, educational and economic; and affiliations including both formal affiliations to family or organizations and informal affiliations to ideas and a lifestyle (p. 229).

As the humanist counsellors have always recognized, both clients' and counsellors' 'identities are formed and embedded in multiple levels of experience (individual, group and universal) and contexts (individual, family and cultural milieu)'. The consensus is clearly that there are many more variables one has to contend with when counselling clients from backgrounds very different from that of the counsellor.

Let us remind ourselves of the commonly agreed minimum skills asked of the counsellor before undertaking counselling work. To begin with, the counsellor must have respect for the clients' person and his/her value system. The counsellor is expected to be non-judgemental and show positive regard. He/she should develop rapport and gain the trust of the client. He/she should listen actively, use reflective skills so as not to misunderstand the client's concerns. He/she should not shirk from self-disclosure when that is called for. This means that the counsellor is authentic and models authentic behaviour and expects the same from the client.

The counsellor has to be aware of transference and counter-transference issues which to a large extent are unconscious, according to the psychodynamic model from which they originated. In the context of intercultural counselling, transference could mean the extrapolation of feelings and responses toward the new culture from the old without adaptation. These need to be worked through. Counter-transference on the part of the counsellor could be in the form of uncritical projection of pre-conceived attitudes towards members of a particular group. This, for example, may surface as unintentional racism or sexism.

This essay has utilized concepts like race, racism, ethnicity, diversity, and pluralism, influencing the increasingly complex intercultural milieu within which counsellors and clients interact. The practice of counselling cannot be conducted outside an ethical and value laden setting. In any counselling relationship, unless the underlying assumptions, beliefs, values and goals of both parties are not elicited in dialogue (particularly with attention paid to non-verbal cues) there is little likelihood of resolving differences and gaining a positive outcome. We have not even touched upon the role of interpreters where the client and the counsellor are conversant in different languages and cannot have a dialogue directly with each other. Much research yet remains to be done in intercultural counselling.


Gergen, K. (1999) An Invitation to Social Construction. London: Sage.

Pedersen, P.B. (1991) 'Multiculturism as a generic framework', Journal of Counselling and Development 1991, 70, 1: 6-12.

Sue, D.W. and Sue, D. (1999) (3rd Ed.) Counselling the Culturally Different: Theory and Practice. New York: Wiley.

Wrenn, C.G.(1964) 'Human lives and work in American life', in H.Borow (ed.) Man in a World at Work. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Defining Your Style Through Eyewear

Most people think clothes, or possibly shoes, when they think about creating their personal style, but they may be missing an important way to create a look that is uniquely their own. Over the years, many people have established their own look just by consistently choosing eyeglasses that help define their personalities.

The trend to create a personal look via eyewear goes back decades to legends like Buddy Holly and Audrey Hepburn, but it didn't stop there. Paris Hilton has adopted the Audrey Hepburn look with oversized round sunglasses. Johnny Depp is often seen sporting red-tinted round glasses a la John Lennon. The use of glasses to define one's look even slips into fiction. After all, who can picture Harry Potter without his round wire frames? And after Top Gun, it seemed like half the nation was sporting Aviator sunglasses, just to look cool.

Buddy Holly

Almost every picture of 1950s rock legend Buddy Holly features his black plastic frame eyeglasses. With a slight point at each corner, the glasses are reminiscent of the cat-eye glasses popular in the decade and the so-called "birth control" glasses that are standard military issue. The reality though is that Holly worked closely with his optometrist to find just the right look.

The doctor found the black frames by Faiosa in Mexico and convinced Holly to give up his other choices. The glasses were so much a part of Holly's image that after he died in a plane crash, it was noted by the coroner that his trademark specs were not found in rubble. They were recovered months later and sat unclaimed in the sheriff's office for the next 19 years. Eventually they were returned to his widow and became part of an exhibit honoring Holly in his hometown of Lubbock, Texas.

Audrey Hepburn

After Breakfast at Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn established her style with trademark cat-eye sunglasses that are sometimes mistaken for Wayfarers. The tortoise-shell frames and double bar across the nose seemed to be designed for Hepburn and her eyes certainly caught movie-goers' attention when she lowered the glasses just enough to look over them.

The sunglasses were officially the Manhattan style and were re-released in 2011 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the movie.

Creating Your Style

Working with your optometrist or optician to create an eyewear look that is distinctively your own puts you in great company. Whether one needs corrective lenses or not, glasses can add a signature style to any fashion look.

To choose yours, start with a basic eye exam. Just like your skin, your eyes can be damaged by the sun's UV rays, so pick up a pair of flirty and fun sunglasses or release your inner geek chic with lenses eyeglasses that will help you see better. An annual eye exam will help keep your eyes healthy and a great frame can help you be a more iconic you.

Information Regarding Flights From Chennai to Bangkok

Flights from Chennai to Bangkok cater to the needs of the passengers from the southern tip of the Indian peninsula and help them to fly to one of the most attractive tourist destinations, Bangkok. Serving as the administrative capital of Asian country, Thailand, Bangkok attracts millions of tourists from all corners of the world and Chennai is no exception. It is the capital of Tamil Nadu and is nestled conveniently at the Coromandal coast near Bay of Bengal. Aptly called as the Cultural capital of South India, Chennai is home to several commercial, economic, cultural and educational institutions. Evidence of the British Raj is present at every turn and is exhibited even by the architectural delights of the city. Traditional hospitality of the people of Chennai is incomparable.

Paying airfare from Chennai to Bangkok takes the discerned travelers to another very popular destination Bangkok which appeals to people of all ages, religions, castes and creeds. The Asian investment boom during the decade of 1980's invited many multinational companies to open up their headquarters in Bangkok. Now, the city has developed into a major force in business and finance. Being a regional center for fashion, arts and entertainment and an international hub for health and transport, Buddhist temples and more, it is flooded with tourists all through the year. It is ranked third after London and Paris in the terms of most visited and has been named World's Best City for three consecutive years.

Flights from Chennai to Bangkok are availed by numerous travelers who wish to explore the destination at their own pace.

Airports Facilitating Chennai-Bangkok Travel

Chennai International Airport that comprises of Anna international terminal is the point where the flights from Chennai to Bangkok commence from. It is the third busiest airport and the second busiest cargo terminus in India. It manages 316 flights in a day, again making it at third spot among Indian airports. Bangkok is served by two commercial airports- the older Don Mueang International Airport and the new Suvarnabhumi Airport. It has made it to the world's sixteenth busiest airport by passenger volume and the fifth busiest in the Asia Pacific region.

Information Regarding Airfare From Chennai to Bangkok

The airfare charged may not always be pocket-friendly. However, if you check out online and make researches, you can get budget travel opportunities on various airlines. The number of private players in the airline industry has increased tremendously and this has led to an increase in competition. The companies have slashed down their prices in order to attract maximum number of travelers and hence to fill up more seats. By going through various official websites and comparing the rates, it is possible to get the most reasonable flights to this hot tourist destination.

Advantages of Buying Handmade Jewelry

If you're looking to convey a message of importance or show appreciation to someone you hold near and dear, you can't go wrong with a meaningful piece of handmade jewelry. Available in a variety of bracelets, rings, earrings, necklaces and more, handmade jewelry has some great advantages.

Originality and Style

Jewelry made by hand is always unique hence no two pieces will ever be the same. You're not constrained by recent trends or fashions because you're not wearing the same jewelry everyone else is wearing. Handcrafted jewelry can also be personalized to suit your style or personality which allows you to stand out in a crowd.

Quality Craftsmanship

When you buy handcrafted jewelry you are helping to patronize hardworking artisans who have put their heart and soul into every piece they create. Jewelry artisans love what they do and it shows in their designs. Therefore, they produce only high quality jewelry for their customers. You are also helping to encourage good quality craftsmanship worldwide.

Cost & Affordability

You'd surprised to find that jewelry made entirely by hand is affordable. This is mainly because there are fewer overhead expenses to make jewelry by hand. The cost of handmade jewelry is typically lower in comparison to items you'd find in larger jewelry stores. The time taken to produce a beautifully handcrafted piece may take longer, but you will end up with something you can cherish for years to come. That in itself, is well worth the cost of any handmade jewelry item you acquire.

Trust & Understanding

Most artisans create and run their jewelry businesses themselves, which enables you to communicate one-on-one with them to develop trust and understanding. You will also have a better appreciation for the use of high quality materials and techniques. Many artisans will also work with you to create a customized piece of handmade jewelry specifically to your personal taste and style.

Availability & Selection

Another big benefit to consider is the variety of handmade jewelry available to choose from. There are many stones, beads, precious metals and techniques, so you're guaranteed to find a whimsical, meaningful and unique piece of handmade jewelry to treasure for a lifetime.

In addition to the benefits listed above, handmade jewelry is available online. Browsing online jewelry boutiques allows you to shop for items right from the comfort of your own home. This is also a great way to do all of your gift shopping while saving both money and precious time.

Online Shopping Tip: Use online shopping to your advantage and do your research before you buy any type of jewelry. Read the About Us and F.A.Q. (Facts, Answers, Questions) pages for each website you visit. If you do have questions, don't hesitate to email or call the artisan for help. Any good quality designer will be more than happy to answer your concerns or provide information to you.

How to Get Rid of Weight and Look Sexy?

Due to increasing trend and fashion, girls and boys are more focused towards their care and looks. As they have to roam around, go for office, meetings, social gatherings, parties and other ceremonies, therefore, they want to look the best among all. People with fat body with stomach coming in the outer way don't get the attention of the people. Therefore, one should always follow some healthy diet plan.

As every human has different kind of body, therefore, the consumption needs also vary from person to person. Some people feel hungrier always and they always want to eat something. Especially the people in Asia with the "Pakhtoon" category are always fat especially their women. They get fatter when they get married and it is the worst thing for those women to lose the weight. Many women have skinny bodies and it is very hard for them to gain weight. They have to eat loads of fattening food to get some bulkiness. The blessed woman is the one with the Ideal Figure. Such woman eats healthy and fresh and fulfills all the hunger needs. She eats her favorite food but don't get fat faster on her body and she look smart and sexy always.

The best way to lose the weight is to reduce the hunger capacity. It will take time in the beginning and you'll feel irritation. Try to eat the nuts and dry fruit whenever you feel the stomach empty. Dry fruits will avoid the weakness from your body and reduces the hunger. It's all about making a habit. If you make habit eating fresh and less, then you'll lose the weight and will continue the diet. Many people lose the weight and again start their previous eating habits. Remember that healthy eating habits always help you to reduce fat fast from your body so you try to make a proper list of all the foods that you'll need to reduce extra fat. You should start your day by eating healthy breakfast.

Remember, if you really want to get rid of the weight, then you should first make up your mind. You should set your weight loss goal. Your outer personality is the thing that will be noticed by the people for the first impression. Maintain yourself in a proper way and look sexy and hot always. Be a center of the concentration and focus and attract everyone towards you.

Marble Tiles for the Timeless, Victorian Feel in Your Home

This timelessness and everlasting appeal is exactly why Marble tiles have stood the test of centuries. Right from the courtyards of Caesar, the indulgence of European Palaces during the Renaissance and the Taj Mahal to more recent architectural landmarks like the Trump Tower in New York, this building material has had an illustrious career. In residences, marble is most suited for floors, but its application is also being extended to add dramatic flourishes and accents to kitchen backsplash, countertop, living room foyer, pool and garden areas, hallways and bathrooms. It is being used for the sample applications in commercial buildings too.

So, how exactly did this unique stone originate? It is basically a type of limestone, but is subject to tremendous amount of heat and pressure while remaining deep in the earth over millions of years. This causes the original limestone to re-crystallize into marble. The various veins like patterns running across the stone and the rich range of colours (depending on the minerals which were re-crystallized) give this stone its unique appearance. They are then quarried and processed into slabs or tiles depending on the purpose. Then, it is polished and small fissures in the tiles are filled to protect the appearance and structural durability of the stone.

Much has been said about the elegance and aesthetic appeal of the stone. But, what are the practical benefits? Most health-conscious consumers opt for marble tiles not just for their resilience, but also due to their anti-allergen properties. That's why it is a great alternative to floor carpets which breed germs and allergens more easily. Cooling costs can be reduced during summer months when it becomes a pleasure to walk barefoot on them,

But the unique patterns of each marble tile become its bane and matching them tile to tile becomes a headache. We have to ensure that all tiles originate from the same batch during installation. Marble surfaces need to be sealed and cleaned regularly using mild detergents. Any spills or stains must be cleaned immediately. This tile also cracks easily and when it does, it shows in a very obvious, ugly fashion. But the most forbidding factor that prevents middle-class families from using this material in their dream homes is the exorbitant costs.

Yes, it is true that the versatility of marble shows itself most strikingly in the special artefacts and sculptures that it is a part of. But any proud homeowner who has styled his home using this tile will vouch that no matter how simple the application of marble tiles is in your home, be it for floor or wall tiles, the result is always spectacular. It is nothing less than a beautiful piece of art. Your marble floor or wall becomes a monument to itself as it is to your sophisticated taste and penchant for the ultimate in luxury.

Why Is My Market Research Participation Such A Big Secret?

Being selected to take part in a qualitative market research event (such as a focus group or in-depth interview) can often feel like quite an achievement in the first place - finally passing through screening surveys and interviews, and going forward to the interesting face-to-face part of the research, the part you actually get paid for! Of course it may have taken may attempts to get this far, and finally find the right research event for you.

When you get to the event you often find yourself taking part in exercises and activities that seem only peripherally related to the product or service in hand any way - how can it possibly be helpful to the researchers for me to colour in pictures or imagine personalities for brands? And then it can be very confusing when they tell you afterwards, that everything you have seen or discussed is confidential. I mean, who cares whether you thought Brand X was more like an orange, whereas Brand Y made you think of a banana!

But the thing is to the clients paying for the research, the marketing director of Brand Y, that insight is not only incredibly valuable, it's also highly sensitive. They might have a huge brand definition problem, or they might be trying to reposition themselves, or be about to launch a new product range. They could be investing in a massive advertising campaign, that you get to see different executions of during the research - how you respond to those ads is vital intelligence to help them decide how to proceed. So this is why the whole thing can get a bit intense about the secrecy, and you will be asked not to talk about the specifics of what you saw and heard in the research session.

Depending on what exactly you are going to be shown, you may also be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement - this is particularly common in research for technology companies, whose new directions could be very secret indeed, as they try to stay one step ahead of their competitors in a crowded marketplace. You also get it in very trend-led markets such as car design or fashion, industries that depend on a big 'reveal' of their latest launch, when they decide that the time is right.

If you are being asked to sign a legally binding agreement you should always be given the time to read and understand it, especially as the language is often a bit complex and demanding. It's often difficult to make time for this in a tightly-scheduled research interview or focus group, so typically your recruiter will send the agreement to you in advance, so that you have a chance to print it out and have a good read through, making sure that you understand exactly what the requirements are and what is expected of you.

Other times the whole issue will be dealt with via the wording on the sign-in sheet when you arrive at the research, and are registering to receive your incentive payment. Again even if it's brief, you need to make time to read through it properly and be sure you are comfortable with what you are agreeing to - however keen you are to get signed in and get your payment! You are signing your name to it as an agreement, and you will also find confidentiality clauses there which protect *you* - so check it out carefully.

It's all there simply to protect the commercially-sensitive context of what you are doing in the research, and it's absolutely fine to say that you took part in a focus group or interview, and the kinds of activities you did. All you need to remember is that anything you were told or shown that is not yet in the public domain needs to stay that way, for the time being. Then when they finally launch that new application or advert, you can safely and proudly say, 'I helped with that'!

Zoggs Swimming Goggles - The Premium Brand For Your Specific Needs

Professional and amateur swimmers choose Zoggs swimming goggles over the other brands in the market because of their innovative and trendy features. Whether you prefer to swim for leisure or competition, it makes sense to use the finest swimming gear brand that meets your specific requirements.

Zoggs remains as one of the top brands that you can find in stores. This Australian company has become famous worldwide because it offers quality features that most consumers expect in a swim gear. In fact, Zoggs was the first to introduce innovative features such as the split yoke and UV protection, which now serve as standard features in the finest types of swim goggles preferred by most swimmers.

This premium brand has become the ultimate choice of most swimmers, and it competes with other long-standing and reputable brands in the industry, including as Speedo, Aqua Sphere, and TYR swimming goggles. Zoggs goggles provide more than just ordinary swimming spectacles, but have the bells and whistles that combine comfort and style evident in all their product lines.

Zoggs Swimming Goggles At A Glance

What sets Zoggs apart from other brands is the wide array of advanced features and comfort in each type of goggle. For instance, many types comes with UV protection and polarized lenses that shield your eyes from glare and the harmful rays of the sun. Zoggs goggles also have other notable features such as the split yoke, soft and adjustable frame, and anti-fog lens coating for maximum comfort and performance.

If you need a pair of swimming spectacles that is ideal for professional or competition purposes, then you will find just the right type of goggles by Zoggs. The brand is the best swimming goggles preferred by amateurs and pros because of the ideal eye shape and less drag as you swim water. This means, you can experience the kind of comfort and eye protection that you need for better performance while swimming.

Excellent Options Available in Zoggs Goggles

Zoggs offers a unique combination of advanced and stylish options in every type of goggles that the brand offers.

The Predator Flex Polarized, for example, is one of the premium goggles model by Zoggs. It provides ultimate performance and ease because of the innovative "4-Flexpoint" technology. This model features less drag, secure fit, and mirrored Italian lenses for maximum protection and style.

Another remarkable model by Zoggs is the Fusion Air, which has adjustable features and air-cushioned seals for minimizing pressure and discomfort around the eyes. The tinted lenses and UV protection prevent your eyes from damage caused by the harsh rays of the sun. Fusion Air also comes with additional components, including three types of nose bridge pieces and a split yoke.

Zoggs swimming goggles deliver everything that you can ever wish for in a pair of comfortable and fashionable swimming goggle. If you want to learn more about the other remarkable models and outstanding features of this brand of goggles, as well as insights into choosing the best swimming goggles for your particular needs, please feel free to visit our website.

Bodacious Branding

A strong, compelling brand is significantly important as the battle for clients heats up day by day. Be watchful as you build your brand. A brand is a promise of the quality your client will receive. As you prepare your brand, maintain consistency across all of your communication as this will prevent confusion for your clients.

Incorporate these powerful ideas as you build your brand.

1. Spend time researching your target market. Avoid seeking to become all things to all people. To generate a effective brand you must you have to understand what your prospective clients are looking for. Pinpoint on your target market and analyze their specific needs. How are you meeting those needs?

2. Research your competitors. Are other suppliers meeting those needs? Examine your offerings to those being offered by others in your industry. Is there an aspect that the challengers is ignoring?

3. What do you do better than the rest? What is your specialty? Does your brand communicate your competence? What makes you distinctive?

4. What are you actually selling? What you sell is much different than what you offer. Walmart offers a wide wide selection of goods, some of which have been discounted as loss leaders. What Walmart actually sells however is a friendly, one-stop shopping experience for the whole family. You can purchase a cup of coffee at McDonalds but most would rather to go to Starbucks despite the fact that Starbucks coffee costs a good bit more. Although Starbucks offers coffee it sells a comfortable, attractive site in which individuals may get together and converse. Discover and incorporate what you actually sell in your branding concept.

5. Create captivating value propositions to communicate these benefits, results and solutions your product/service produces. It is beneficial to contrast between features and benefits. A feature is a specific attribute or aspect of your product such as size, color, potency, options available, etc. A benefit is the advantage a client enjoys from the use of your product such as relief from pain, convenience, less stress, cleaner home, etc. Effective, compelling brands are built around v p. As you work to fashion your brand consult the book POP- Stand Out in Any Crowd by Sam Horn. Sam is a master at the art of creating 'purposeful and pithy' branding statements.

6. Be novel. Is your brand eye catching? According to Dr. A.K. Pradeep in his book The Buying Brain "Our brains are trained to look for something brilliant and new, something that stands out from the landscape... " As new clients look at your Facebook page or website, are they engaged or bored by the 'sameness'. Be unique. Chose appealing colors, uncluttered layouts and upbeat music.

Your brand is the focal piece in your company's marketing and communication strategy. It is not about getting your clients to choose you over the competition. It is about getting your prospective buyer to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem. By defining your brand you generate the foundation for all other components to build on.

Year of the Water Snake 2013-14: Fortunes of the Rabbit/Hare

Your birth year, the Chinese Zodiac's fourth Sign 'lucky' Rabbit? If you were 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72 (and so-on in 12-year increments) between 3rd February 2011 and 23rd January 2012 (Rabbit/Hare Year's end) know of a baby born during this period or have partners, friends, relatives, colleagues parents or children in this category? If so, this article is for you!

The Rabbit/Hare

Years of the RABBIT/HARE:

1903 Water; 1915 Wood; 1927 Fire; 1939 Earth; 1951 Metal; 1963 Water; 1975 Wood; 1987 Fire; 1999 Earth; 2011 Metal, 2023 Water.

Famous Rabbit/Hares Include:

Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, David Beckham, Ingrid Bergman, Albert Einstein,Orson Wells, Donnie Yen, Bob Hope, Angelina Jolie, Lewis Carroll, John Cleese, Leon Trotsky, Li Lin-Jie (Jet Li) Frank Sinatra, Tiger Woods and Whitney Houston.


Rabbit/Hares are considered the luckiest of the Chinese Zodiac's 12 Animal Signs. Usually laid-back and relaxed Rabbits/Hares being conservative and risk-averse at heart are rarely tempted to gamble but do so skillfully, when the occasion arises. Reliable, trustworthy and dependable, Rabbit/Hares are articulate, virtuous and well-liked

Rabbits are sometimes prone to gossip and small-talk and can be a little too easy-going at times. Rabbits can be be over-cautious and sometimes excessively modest and self-effacing.

Ideal Rabbit/Hare Careers and Occupations Include:

Fashion, Design, Medicine, Administration, Politics, Diplomacy, Writing and Publishing, Education, Performing Arts, and Public Relations-Rabbits/Hares also make excellent Therapists.


Rabbits/Hares are most compatible with individuals born under the Signs of the Dog and Pig. They are least compatible with those born under the Signs of the Rooster and Rat.

The Rabbit/Hare in Snake Year 2013-14

Snake year contains hidden dangers for Rabbits, particularly regarding financial matters. Take care with respect to those around you and don't be too trusting lest hard-earned wealth suffers a negative outflow.

Rabbit stubbornness may cause friction in close relationships and good communication skills may be required. Overall, Rabbits' health should be fairly good during the period although colds, flu and headaches may be a problem at times.

Regarding Rabbits

Rabbits' Longevity links are well known.The Rabbit's Lunar-location (see below) emphasises this via the Moon's well-known reproductive-cycle links. Rabbits are also considered the most fortunate or 'lucky' of the 12 Animal signs..

Look carefully at the next full moon- the Chinese see a Rabbit, under a tree, with the elixir of life in its paw. As they reproduce so quickly, the world will never experience a rabbit-shortage! Thus, the Rabbit is a Chinese longevity symbol.

Tips on How to Make an Excellent Shaving Lather

In the past years wet shaving has known a tremendous increase in popularity. This occurred mostly because of the entire trend is leaning towards the vintage. However, after the first hundred or so were converted, they attested the results to have surpassed their highest expectation in terms of comfort and quality. Hence, the next few thousand that followed were a great catalyst for a lot of companies that were near bankruptcy to improve on their products and actually prosper. Not to mention the other dozens who emerged following the same pattern: the fashionable gentleman needs his needs attended. So all in all, wet shaving is good for the economy.

Basically, good shaving is done wet. The fact that the hot towel ( and the occasional straight razor for the particularly courageous hobbyist ) is involved does not really justify such name, but since that's the term we are going to go along with it.

The most important thing about wet shaving is that you have to keep your face hot. That is why my first advice is to attempt shaving only after or during a hot shower or bath. When laying in steam, your face softens and the pores become less rough and consequently less of an impediment for a very sharp piece of steel that's gliding across your skin. After a 15 minute hot bath during which your face is immersed in hot water for several seconds, you proceed to creating your lather.

For making a perfect lather you will need two things: a good shaving soap or cream and a shaving brush. The better the soap, the better your lather will be. The technique is pretty straightforward for starters. You soak the brush in hot water, let it drip a few seconds so the excess water runs out, then you start rubbing it in the soap or cream. After a few passes, when you notice the tips of the hairs gathering soap, you start rubbing the brush on your skin. The skin that's about to be shaved, that is. You don't stop until you get a creamy slick result that you can't see through. When you are satisfied rinse it off with hot water. Yes, just wipe away your 5 minute effort and then start again. The main reason for doing this is that your skin will be cleansed by the procedure and the support for the next lather that's about to be applied will be better. Repeat the lathering procedure and you will notice a definite improvement as far as consistence goes when the new result is applied on the skin.

Always check the amount of water you leave in the brush before applying it to the soap. As experience grows you will notice that some soaps prefer more water, others just a little bit. If your lather is too bubbly, keep on rubbing the brush in it. If it doesn't get a creamy consistency, start over. The key word is 'slick'. If the blade doesn't glide easily on it, it's not worth it.

Collaborative Platforms Increases Productivity

Definition of Collaborative software: An online encyclopedia defines the term as groupware or computer software that is designed to accomplish common defined objectives. Peter and Trudy Johnson-Lenz connoted the term as "intentional group processes plus software to support them." Today, the workforce expects social and mobile collaboration tools that will facilitate a "one-stop experience and access." The objective of the software is to alter the means the documents and rich media are shared in an organization, which will effectively enable team collaboration.

To attain collaboration, the individuals need to collate their work in coordinated fashion. To achieve this goal, it is important that the teams be brought together. The software enables functioning over disparate locations by providing the platform that leverage communication, and extends problem-solving capabilities. It programs project management functionalities like assignment of tasks, time management and shared calendars. Adding social networking capabilities, the objective remains to foster innovation by integrating knowledge management capabilities within the business processes and which will assist in solving the business problems immaculately.

The vendors are all taking different approaches to build the collaborative platforms. While some are incorporating the social layer, there are others, which are inputting collaborative tools. However, the platforms share common attributes like easy accessibility and usability and mostly come with common set of functionalities. There are even programmed to resemble the major social networking websites, to enable the user being accustomed to its processes.

Benefits of the platform

The following are some of the benefits when the platform is implemented in the organization.

  • The messaging capabilities are extended with the in-built tools that are embedded in the program.

  • With the choice of multiple platforms, the users can choose it according to the hardware, operating, client and directory needs.

  • They are all integrated with the industry-specific standards of security to assist in the safeguarding of information critical to the business.

  • Implementing Collaborative Applications help in the maintenance of low-costs of ownerships as the messaging and collaboration architecture is optimized with support resources like CPU, disk storage, floor space, network bandwidth, etc.

  • They are equipped with server capabilities that enable clustering, server fault recovery, automated diagnostic tools and transaction logging.

  • The platforms are designed so that it can be administrated easily and thereby require the minimum number of staff for management, and updating

  • The platform can easily integrate with the existing applications within the organization because they are formulated to support the standard web services and open sources.

All these platforms come in different packages. While some of them are designed as the on-premise installations, others are deployed over Cloud.

Shopping Centre Leasing Strategy - How to Create a Cluster in the Tenant Mix

When you manage or lease a retail property, it is important to keep the tenants and the property successful. The key to the process is the tenant mix. If you get the tenant mix wrong, people will not come to the property; over time the vacancy factor rises and the rents become unstable. That is the beginning of an income disaster for the property landlord.

So it is not just a matter of having the right tenants in a property; there are some other factors to consider such as:

  • Placement of tenants in and around the property
  • The time or hours that the property trades
  • The number of tenants that are in the property how
  • The anchor tenant and their intentions for future occupancy
  • The reason shoppers come to the property
  • Vacancy factors now and known to be happening later on
  • Clustering of tenants into a pattern that works towards a better shopping experience

Let's look at the last item on the list for the moment. Clustering is essentially the process of placing tenants near to each other if it is considered that the customers that shop in those tenancies could purchase from other similar or complementary tenants nearby.

When a customer is buying something, they are inclined to purchase again relatively soon. Having tenants near to each other allows that trend to occur. For that reason you can create a 'cluster'. Here is an example of a successful cluster:

  1. Ladies fashion
  2. Ladies shoes
  3. Jewellery
  4. Perfume
  5. Ladies sportswear

All of these shops would work quite well in the same zone or cluster. The cluster could be placed adjacent to the anchor department store tenant.

When you get a cluster just right, you can look to introduce alternative tenants into the zone that may encourage shoppers to stay in the common area around the cluster and shop further. That is where you find coffee shops and cake shops may work. A successful tenant mix is a planned process.

So a good retail leasing executive knows how to make clusters work in a retail property. Everything has to fit into the requirements of the shopper and the known changes to the demographic of the region.

A tenancy mix can be shaped by utilising the expiration of leases and known vacancy factors in the property. To the customer visiting the property, they just want to have a good time and get what they want in a convenient way. The moment a retail property does not do that anymore, the commencement of rent and vacancy issues will start. Plan your retail property for today, but always look ahead and make wise decisions regards tenants in the tenant mix. 

What's the Difference - Rap vs Hip-Hop?

The differences in the rap and hip-hop music scene aren't rigidly defined. In many cases, a lot of people are likely to agree that rap is more a style of spoken rhythmic music, whereas hip-hop is more of a cultural phenomenon, which includes trends and fashions. Each of these genres has been able to establish a significant impact on our society and popular media. Originating in the 70s, the this music scene first established itself in New York City, and was influence at that time by the African-American community. By the late 90s, this type of music and cultural influences started to become more accepted, and became more widespread in mass media, including the increasing prevalence of rap and hip hop videos.

In general, it is often agreed that there are three mayor differences between the two types of music genres, which relate to the community message, the musical features, and the culture. It is these aspects that are often referred to in helping to separate the rap and hip-hop music scene from any other popular form of music. The influence of the hip-hop and rap scene, on politics to commercials, has significantly impacted many areas in our everyday lives.

In regards to the musical features, hip-hop is often cited as having a more rhythm and blues (R&B) feel, which generally has a more noticeable groove, and offers more in regards to crossover appeal. In relation to rap, this is often noted to have more hardcore edge to the lyrics, although either music type tends to deal with similar issues. Lyrically, the issues rapped about have changed quite considerably over the course of time, with rappers in the 70s and 80s often focusing on social issues, which were typically not popular in the media. While the more modern rap scene is often seen to focus on issues relating to relationships or consumer commercialism. And in relation to visual art, according to many the best rap music videos are those shot in black and white in the 90s.

Both of these music scenes are vastly popular in the music industry. In general, the rap artists are often seen to be predominately male, whereas in the hip-hop music scene, the artists are often seen to be more of a mixture of male and female. It is also the case that rap groups tended to be quite rare, with most artists performing as soloists.

The Innovative Value of a Car MP3 Player

The electronic industry is highly innovative. In recent times, the use of a car MP3 player has replaced the old-fashioned cassette players. These advancements have indeed served to enhance sound quality that makes audio productions quite enjoyable to listeners.

In addition to the user-friendly interface, car MP3 players offer aesthetic appeal to the interior of the vehicle. This audio device is highly essential for every vehicle on the road. In comparison to ordinary CDs, a MP3 works by compression of music files. Because of being track-based, the size of a 5-munite music file on a CD is about 50MB. On the other hand, it is averagely 10MB on a MP3. The latter provides more music interface than the former - that is, more songs can be compressed into a MP3 than the ordinary CDs. Also, CD clutter is minimized on the dashboard.

A wide variety of these music players can be found on the market from the product lines of companies like Samsung and Sony. Car MP3 players are very unique in terms of durability and sound quality. Other alternatives to the players are portable play stations, iPods, car mobile mp3 players, and so on. Although their features are similar, these models differ to some extent.

Basically, the features that most of these audio devices support include:

• Track name
• Song ID display
• Motorized detachable panels
• Heat-proof quality
• FM and AM stations facility

More so, the play menu contains program, shuffle, repeat, and intro play options. The device also has an EQ preset, volume controls with a mute button, a USB port, a digital clock, and an auto-memory store. There are models that have an ISO mounting chassis. Typically, players that have USB memories and equalizer designs are usually expensive.

Furthermore, some brands of the device have features for connection with external speakers. Using a transmitters and a modulator can enable the connection of the device with a USB disk to read any audio files that are stored in the external storage drive. The FM transmitter serves to transfer signals to the car tuner while the output audio is obtained from the speakers of the player.

In a practical sense, the use of a car MP3 player is a great investment. The device is a good way to enjoy quality audio sound; it also adds to the beauty of a car's interior as it helps to add sensual appeal to the overall design.

Coaching Others in Job Skills

Over the course of a person's life, one accumulates a great deal of knowledge and expertise in a particular field. Coaching is the art of passing that knowledge and expertise on to less knowledgeable or experienced colleagues in a structured and meaningful way. This may take the form of one to one coaching, where you will have one learner and will concentrate exclusively on their needs or it may take the form of a training session for several learners.

In either case, in order to fulfil this function to the best of one's ability, a workplace coach must understand how adults learn and how to appeal to their learning styles.

Knowing how adults learn will allow a coach or trainer to make sure the learning process is aimed specifically at their audience and ensure maximum benefit for the student. Principal of adult learning include:

Adults often feel uncomfortable in the learning situation. The trainer should:

  • Acknowledge skills and experience that the learner already has,
  • Avoid embarrassing the learner who makes a mistake.
  • Acknowledge the learner's efforts, even if the task is not totally correct.
  • Praise good work.

For optimum transfer of learning, the adult must be actively involved in the learning experience.

  • Let the learner do parts of the task
  • Avoid long periods where the learner is just watching and listening
  • Ask frequent open questions.

Adults like to work on real life problems and examples.

  • Give them practical examples and scenarios from real life
  • Share your own knowledge and experiences - relating how you made the topics under discussion really work.

Adults want to use new skills acquired as soon and as often as possible.

  • Give the learner the opportunity to use skills by setting a real life problem or test.
  • Plan training sessions in conjunction with the needs of the department, so that the learner can use the skill immediately.

Adults like to have prior knowledge and experience recognised.

  • Ask the learner what parts of the task they can already do.
  • Let them show you.
  • Acknowledge genuine areas of competence.
  • Don't be afraid to learn from the learner.

Adults want to be able to question and debate.

  • Encourage the learner to stop and ask questions
  • Pause throughout the training session and ask if there are any questions, observations or concerns about the material discussed.
  • Thank the learner for asking questions.

Adults need to see training as relevant to individual goals.

  • At the start of the session identify the WIIFM (What's in it for me), ie; how will the training benefit the learner?

Adults have different ways of learning.

We are all individuals and, as such, we will differ in the way that we prefer to learn a new task:

  • Some will want to do the task and learn from mistakes.
  • Some will want to watch the task being done first, and then figure out how to do it in their mind before actually doing the task.
  • Some would prefer to read about the task before they do it.
  • Some will need a visual map
  • Some would prefer to listen to instructions.

As a coach, some simple pre-training steps can greatly enhance the quality of your training;

  • do not assume that the learner will want to learn the same way you did.
  • ask the learner how they best like to learn and incorporate their response into the design of your training.

Identifying the need for coaching

Before any training can take place, the need for this training first needs to be properly identified and a structure established. Factors that could influence the decision on whether coaching should take place could include:

A request for coaching from the colleague to be coached- If you have accumulated an extensive knowledge and expertise in a given task or role within your organization, you may be approached by a colleague and asked for assistance. If time permits you can then coach them in the specific skills or knowledge they have approached you about. This is an informal coaching arrangement designed to assist a colleague in becoming better in their role.

Your own observation and workplace experience- as a workplace supervisor you would have a duty to ensure that any staff under your supervision is able to complete tasks assigned to them effectively and efficiently. Doing a job properly not only affects a person's self esteem, health and safety, it also affects the organisation's productivity - if the job is done correctly there will be less errors, time wastage and costs. It is therefore up to a supervisor to coach (or arrange for coaching) of any staff member who is not functioning to the best of their abilities. This, then, becomes a formal coaching arrangement, as it is done with both the good of the colleague and the organization in mind.

Direction from management- coaching sessions can also be a matter of organizational policy. Staff routinely undergo annual appraisals and as part of such an appraisal it may become apparent that additional training for the staff member in question is needed. This may be due to:

  • the staff member not being able to complete their assigned tasks to the organizations satisfaction or standards
  • succession planning for the staff member whereby they are being groomed for greater responsibility within the organization and require further training to undertake new and more complex tasks.
  • the introduction of new policies, procedures or equipment necessitating coaching of the staff involved with these issues.

How a coaching session is structured will depend on the identified need. An informal coaching arrangement would be kept relatively loose, with instruction being given as and when time permitted, whereas a formal coaching arrangement would need a more structured approach;

  • a training schedule would be drawn up
  • permissions and approval for training would be secured from the relevant managers or supervisors
  • the training requirements and standards for the training would be discussed and agreed upon. For example, depending on the task to be coached the appropriate organizational or industry standards (if applicable) would need to be addressed in the coaching sessions.

The importance of Standards.

A standard is a statement or illustration which describes the required level of performance that a worker must be able to demonstrate to be considered competent in a given task. Standards are essential as a point of reference for both the trainer and the learner.

In the absence of any clearly defined, communicated and understood standard of performance, whatever the learner does is right.

Look at the above statement. In the absence of any clearly defined, communicated and understood standard of performance the learner/ worker does not know what is expected of them and the work they do may well fall far below an acceptable level. Who is at fault here - the worker or the company, for not telling the worker exactly how the job is to be performed? You cannot place blame on a person for not doing the job correctly - if there is no standard e to follow!

Standards are a measure of how tasks and activities must be fulfilled EACH AND EVERY TIME. This ensures:

  • That the company's products or services are of a consistently high quality.
  • That the worker's know exactly what they have to do, in order to perform their duties correctly.
  • That there is no confusion in the workplace at any level, as to what needs to be done and how it has to be done.

Categories of Standards

Standards can fall into a number of categories including;

  • Time
  • Weight
  • Height
  • Length
  • Shape
  • Smell
  • Number correct
  • Number of rings
  • Temperature
  • Texture
  • Angle
  • Colour
  • Taste
  • Attitude

For example:

Number of rings: The telephones must be answered within 3 rings.

Time: We will deliver your pizza in 30 minutes or it's free.

Weight: Each box of chocolates must weigh 250g.

Height: Each barbershop pole must be 2m tall.

These standards are very specific - leaving no doubt as to what needs to be done to satisfy the organisation's requirements.

Qualities of Standards

So as you can see, specific standards make job performance more effective and leave no room for error on the part of the staff. When standards are developed by an organisation, they need to be set in specific terms so that there is an actual measure that can be followed. For example;


"250 grams" versus "large"

"35 degrees" versus "hot"


"No spillage" versus "served correctly"


Diagram or photo versus words of definition


Standardised across the company versus different standards in different locations.

The quality of standards must be clearly understood and should leave no room for doubt. In the above grid under "measurable" for example it indicates that the word "large" is not an acceptable measure of a standard quality, ie;

"the bag of chocolates must be large"

will mean different things to different people, therefore what you end up with can vary greatly. A better quality of standard would be:

"the bag of chocolates must weigh 250 grams"

The standard must also be specific;

"The coffee must be served correctly"

doesn't actually tell you much does it? What exactly constitutes serving correctly? It is much better to say.

"The coffee must be served without spillage"

Documenting standards is also important. When putting these down on paper it is a good idea to use diagrams, slides, flow charts, photographs etc wherever possible.


Mr. Adams took on the job as a training and development manager for a large firm of solicitors. One of his first tasks was to develop a training record for the company's administration assistant. After observing the job and talking to the administration assistant, Mr. Adams identified the major duties as;

  1. Operate office equipment.
  2. Provide word processing support
  3. Greet and process visiting clients.

Using point 1. Above, he then broke each duty into key tasks, for example;

Duty 1: Operate office equipment


  1. Facsimile documents
  2. Photocopy documents
  3. Use telephone system.

Mr. Adams also realised that it was necessary to specify the activities for each task and the minimum acceptable standard of performance for these activities. The standards that applied were;

Task: Send facsimile documents.


  • All facsimile to be sent with a header sheet
  • Header page to be completely filled out using correct fax number
  • Send fax
  • Completed fax must be stamped "sent"
  • Time and date it was sent must be recorded.
  • Fax returned to sender with cover sheet attached.

This information was then structured to include the standards to which each activity needed to be performed as well as any general knowledge a person might require to be able to peform the task. For example;where to find client details or where fax headers were to be found

Identify specific coaching needs

When training, it is quite possible that the learner is already competent in some aspects of the job. Before you can develop a coaching program, you must first determine the level of training that is required. The process of determining this, is known as the Training Needs Analysis. To conduct this analysis you must be able to:

  1. Identify all the tasks a learner must be able to perform in order to their job to the required standards (desired state).
  2. Identify the tasks the learner can already perform (current state).
  3. Focus the training on the tasks that fall short of the required standards.

Discussions with colleagues and supervisors

One of the most effective ways of determining a training need is quite simply to

  • discuss the issue with the staff member in question
  • discuss the requirements with the staff members supervisor
  • direct observation of the staff member performing the task

It should then be possible to determine the level of current competence and devise a training schedule to coach the staff member in the area where they are less confident.

Organising coaching sessions

Once you have established the coaching requirements you need to organise the session/s. Coaching sessions could be conducted in a range of contexts, including:

  • on-the-job during work hours - where you work with the student during their normal working day, watching them doing the task/s as the coaching session progresses. This method has the highest impact on the normal day to day operation of the business, as it is conducted during business hours and other staff members may be required to fulfill some of the students work load.

  • before or after work. Shorter coaching sessions can be arranged before work starts for the day, or after the business has closed. There are a number of advantages to this method as the coaching session does not impact on the operation of the business, but still provides all the necessary equipment and resources to do the job according to organizational standards. I may be difficult however to persuade a student to put in the extra hours if they are not being paid for their time. This would be an issue for the organisation's management to deal with.

  • in a simulated location away from the actual workplace. This would work best when there are a number of students to be coached. A venue is booked, possibly the organisations board or meeting room, or the training organisation's facilities. There is some impact on the organisation's daily operations here as, again, other staff members will be required to fulfill tasks that the student/s would normally do.

Before deciding on a coaching method you need to clarify and ensure certain points;

  • Discussions with managers and supervisors to ensure the staff member can be released from their duties for the duration of the training session/s
  • Informing work colleagues that coaching for a staff member is to take place and that this will in all likelihood impact on the work output of the department
  • Organising a time and date for the coaching to take place
  • Where necessary, organise a venue or training room
  • Ensure that all necessary resources are available for the coaching to be undertaken properly. For example if the coaching involves the use of machinery or equipment, then access to this machinery or equipment must be available.

So the first steps towards successful coaching are;

  • Understanding how individual adults learn, so that you can maximize the benefit of the training to them
  • Understanding the standards to which a task should be completed
  • Determining what the student can already do, to the required standard
  • Determining what training they still require to be fully competent
  • Outlining the basic program and organize the training to happen at a time, date and place to suit all parties concerned.

Explaining the purpose of coaching

You know who your student is, you know what they can already do, you know what they need to learn and what their learning style is. Now you need to ensure the student understands the coaching process. You should explain;

  • the reason for the coaching session/s. Let them know why they are being given this training. Reasons could include;
    • job progression planning - taking them up the next step in their career
    • they are currently not able to complete their tasks to organizational standards
    • a new policy or process has been introduced that requires retraining
    • they have been given additional duties to perform as part of their job role

  • the expected outcome. Students need to understand;
    • what they will be able to do as a result of the training
    • what benefits they will gain from the training
    • how the training could impact on their future with the organisation

  • the structure of the coaching session/s. students also need to understand;
    • how the training will take place (on the job, off the job)
    • how long it will take
    • time, date and place of the training
    • how they will be assessed on their training and so on.
Specific skills & knowledge

A student will also need to know exactly what they will be learning and how this learning will apply to their jobs. In order for an organisation to be successful the work that is carried out should be done to a consistently high standard. This requires an underpinning knowledge and skill set for each task. Underpinning knowledge refers to the essential knowledge needed to carry out tasks or undertake skills effectively, such as:

  • ingredients or components of items
  • knowledge of products or services
  • principles underpinning skills such as communication and selling
  • reasons for undertaking various tasks
  • legislative, OHS and hygiene requirements.

In short, the types of things a person needs to KNOW in order to complete the task properly.

Skills to be coached are generally those not requiring formal or extended training sessions, but short, commonly-used tasks such as:

  • customer service skills
  • technical or practical skills, such as operating equipment, making something or completing documentation
  • selling or promoting products and services.

In short, the types of things a person needs to be able to DO in order to complete the task properly.

Communicating clearly

During the training session it is important to communicate clearly and in a language and manner that the students will understand, and so that all learning styles are addressed. The formula for doing this effectively is EDAF: explain, demonstrate, have an activity and give feedback.

Explain- what needs to be done. This allows the student to listen while you explain the process of what needs to be done. The explanation could include background information and history so that the student fully understands what the task involves and why it needs to be done a particular way. Explanation appeals best to auditory learners.

Demonstrate- how it needs to be done. Follow the verbal explanation with a demonstration of how the task should be performed. This will allow the student to convert what they have heard to a visual picture of the task - reinforcing the training. Demonstrations appeal to visual learners.

Activity- allow the learner to do the task. Having explained the process verbal and given a visual demonstration the learning can again be reinforced by allowing the student to practice the task. Practice opportunities appeal to kinaesthetic learners.

[TIP] Giving students opportunities to practice the new skills or knowledge will solidify the learning experience and gives the coach the opportunity to observe the student and ensure they can now actually perform the task to the required standards. Practice opportunities can include:

  • Role plays - where the student must act out a role in a carefully constructed scenario - putting their new skill / knowledge into practice
  • Demonstrations - opportunities for the student to put the new skills / knowledge into immediate practice in their workplace or in the simulated (classroom) environment.
  • Class discussions - where students can discuss their ideas and opinions about the training topic with their peers and trainer - demonstrating their knowledge.

Feedback- give constructive feedback on the learners performance. Finally, it is important to discuss the students performance of the task; point out what they did well and give them practical advice on where they could improve. If necessary repeat the EDAF process until they are comfortable with the new task.

Feedback on the students performance is extremely important. It is an opportunity for the coach and student to discuss progress. Feedback should always be positive and constructive. For example:

  • 'how do you think you went in that task?' Allows the student to reflect on their own performance and discuss any issues they believe they still have.
  • 'what do you believe you could have done better?' Indicates that the task was, perhaps, not completed successfully and gives the student the chance to discuss where they went wrong.
  • 'well done.. an opportunity to improve some more could include... What do you think?' Provides praise while at the same time suggesting that there is room for improvement and discussion.

If the EDAF principle is applied to coaching sessions, there should be no reason why the lesson would not be successful;

  • You have explained and demonstrated the procedure
  • You have given the student the opportunity to practice the task for themselves
  • You have provided them with feedback on their performance

The next step would be to let them perform the task as part of their everyday work routine and monitor their progress

Follow up coaching

Once coaching is underway, progress needs to be monitored and reported on until the training has, clearly, been well established and the student has become comfortable with their new skills. This can be done through;

  • Continued observation
  • Discussions with the student and/or supervisor
  • Discussions with management

It is important to monitor the students progress for a period of time after coaching them so that the required standards are met consistently and the student does not go back to 'the old way' of doing their job.

Identifying performance problems or difficulties

Sometimes problems or difficulties can arise during, or after, training. The student may have difficulty learning the new task, or might have problems with the task once they are back in their normal daily routine. Performance problems or difficulties may be due to:

  • shyness or lack of confidence. In some cases the student does not have the confidence to speak up when they don't understand what they are supposed to do. In order to get around this problem the trainer could;

  • ask questions as the training progresses - for example "does that make sense" or "how do you think this new process affects your role?" or similar questions. The trainer could also get the student to perform the task a number of times in order to make sure the student has understood what is required of them by observation.

  • breakdown in communication - communication could breakdown during a training session for a number of reasons including;

  • sometimes different communication styles can get in the way of the learning process. A visual person can be very 'flamboyant' while a kinaesthetic person can be subdued and conservative - mixing the two can cause the more subdued person to withdraw. In this case the trainer could try and match their communication style to the students.

  • One-up-manship. It can sometimes happen that the person to be trained has been in the job for some time and resents the idea of being coached - particularly if the trainer is younger, or has not been with the company as long as the student. In this case the trainer could take advantage of the student's experience by asking questions about their work history and how they think the new processes / tasks could benefit them and their role. This makes the student a partner in the learning process rather that 'the one that needs to be taught.'

  • language barriers - can cause problems during a coaching session. If the student doesn't understand what is required of them then it will be difficult for them to relate what is being said back to the task at hand. This is where the EDAF principle comes in handy as the trainer would not only explain the process, but would demonstrate it, so that the student can SEE what needs to be done, and would also provide the student with the opportunity to practice the task so that they can actually DO what needs to be done. In explaining the task, the trainer should speak clearly, avoiding slang and jargon, and go through the process one step at a time in a logical flow.

  • insufficient opportunity to practice - practice, as they say, makes perfect. The idea in a training session is to teach the student how to perform a task to a required standard. The best way to do this is to let them practice - if needs be over and over. Not allowing the student sufficient time and opportunity to practice the new skill/s defeats the purpose of training them.

  • inappropriate circumstances for coaching - this can be a serious barrier to successful training. Inappropriate circumstances could include:

  • insufficient time for the training session. If time has not been approved with supervisors and/or managers then the student may be conscious of the fact that they have to get back to their job, feel rushed and unable to concentrate properly.

  • inappropriate place for the training session - depending on the nature of the job, training in the workplace could be loud and distracting. For example, if the training is to take place in the student's office they could be distracted by telephones and other staff coming in and out. In this case it may be better to conduct the session away from the workplace.

Reporting on progress

Training staff is an integral part of most organisation's human resource policies and can form part of their staff progression plan as well as affect their staff budgets.

This means that the outcome of the training could affect a staff members;

  • progression within the organisation - getting promotions
  • decisions on pay increases due to increased skill levels
  • future with the organisation in general - for example, the training may have been to correct the staff members bad work habits. The outcome of the training would mean that they either keep their jobs - or not.

It is therefore very important to report the student's progress to supervisors or management accurately and in a timely fashion.

Progress reports could include such information as:

  • original purpose of the training
  • outcome of the training - whether the student is now competent or not
  • constructive feedback on the students attitude toward the training and their ability to cope with the changes