Archive for June, 2011

A Day in the Life: The Sequel

June 30, 2011 2 comments

Camair-Co’s Recruitment Team – The Sequel 

“Please feel free and relax” That’s our popular introductory phrase when we welcome candidates for an interview session.

Camair-Co is searching for highly talented and competent people who can add value and help the company to reach its objectives. And boy do we feel good when we meet such candidates. Well, on the flip side we may feel bad sometimes, but we do not let it discourage us, we ride on!

By 8 am the recruitment team is in place, getting paper work done, calling candidates for interviews (oops , that happens a few days before), making sure the Security officer gets the exact details of those coming through the elevator of the 6th Floor. Sometimes we move chairs and tables. Need I mention the downloading, screening, coding and short listing of CVs before we get to the point of calling candidates? Well, these processes are all part of the Specialist’s daily routines among many other interesting duties. Just a minute, there are many fun moments and humorous stories, some of which will feature in future editions, for example, I have the funniest phrases compiled.

If you observe our office on a full recruitment day, you may notice good people coming and going at intervals of up to an one hour, some smiling, some nervous, some sweating and some are just totally amazed. Maybe because the professional environment they meet and the busy activities throughout the office leaves them feeling overwhelmed. Whatever the reason the truth lies with a panel of three or two people who just told that person to have a great day and wait for an email that may change their lives.

By the close of business, we may have spoken with about 15 people, sometimes 40 if we have group interviews or double panels. At the same time we would be preparing plenty of paperwork for the next day whilst also calling candidates for future interviews. By 6 pm most of us still have a few hours to put in so the next day starts smoothly. And most often it does!

Recruitment involves analyzing many aspects about candidates. However, there is one that often strikes me? Maybe this story below can help you get it.

“A minister told his congregation, “Next week I plan to preach about dishonesty. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17.”

The following Sunday, as he prepared to deliver his sermon, the minister asked for a show of hands. He wanted to know how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. The minister smiled and said, “Mark has only sixteen chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon.”

Being honest and integral is an important aspect candidates as well as panelists must demonstrate. And that is one among many.

To get to the standards we want, we shall see a crowd. We do not know the outcome, but we know we shall interact with many people. Some may be good some may not. However in the end we shall have them. Our aim is to get as many of them hear or read the word “congratulations” and we in return get a very motivating “thank you”

Categories: My Career

Guess who’s Back?

June 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Hi Folks! Accept my compliments of the day. Its been a while I blogged, I know. Just had many things to handle. I have been busier  than the Count of Monte Christo. It takes a lot to escape from a prison cell you know and plan a come back.  But just like him I am back to run this blog and share information with you all.

Its been very exciting picking up on a new job and settling in a new environment.

I will be pleased to share the details with you. Stay connected!

Categories: My Career

How Adults Learn

June 30, 2011 1 comment

Adults are by nature conservative and cautious. This calls for a lot of creativity and innovation in our approach to preparing learning programs for them, and thus we must be aware of these conservative and cautious tendencies as we guide them through their learning processes.

This write up explores adult learning. I attempt to explain as per my understanding some of the major factors which affect how adults learn. I hope it increases our awareness of how we, as individuals, learn best. We can then use this knowledge to ensure that our training or presentation sessions are as effective as possible.

Learning has been defined by Kim as the process of ‘increasing one’s capacity to take action’. Thus it should be distinguished from training: ‘Learning is the process by which a person acquires new knowledge, skills and capabilities whereas training is one of several responses an organization can take to promote learning’.

Argyris points out that: ‘Learning is not simply having a new insight or a new idea. Learning occurs when we take effective action, when we detect and correct error. How do you know when you know something? When you can produce what it is you claim to know?’

It is imperative that we understand how as individuals we learn. In my little training experience with JCI, there is a learning exercise those who intend to be trainers are often called upon to do which distinguished our learning style when using the Kolb’s learning cycle. Though subjective, the exercise deepens ones understanding about how adults learn.

Personally, I am a Pragmatist; I like sharing ideas, testing new theories to see if they work. But again there are moments when my learning is influenced by the other learning styles. This somehow validates the assertion that learning is complex and touches things such as knowledge, skills, insights, beliefs, values, attitudes and habits which are influenced by more than one learning style.

Many scholars have advanced interesting dogma on this topic. David Kolb created arguably the most efficient theory on adult learning styles. Wenger and Snyder believed that learning required a lot of social interaction. Reinforcement theory expresses the belief that changes in behaviour take place as a result of an individual’s response to events and their consequences. Cognitive learning theory expresses the belief that learning involves gaining knowledge and understanding by absorbing information in the form of principles, concepts and facts and then internalizing it.

In our attempt to understand the learning styles, let’s be reminded that none is good or bad or best. Different situations may trigger in us one or more learning styles. Now let’s understand these learning styles.

Learning Styles: Learning is a continuous and life-long process, constantly progressing through four distinct and mutually supportive stages. 

Activists: Concrete Experience: Activists learn best from constant exposure to new experiences. They like to involve themselves in immediate experiences and are enthusiastic about anything new. They learn least well from activities that require them to take a passive role.

Reflectors: Reflective Observation: Reflectors learn best from activities that allow them time and space to ponder an experience and assimilate information before making a considered judgment. They often spend a good deal of time listening and observing. They learn least well from activities that require rapid action with little time for planning.

Theorists: Abstract Conceptualization: Theorists learn best from activities that allow them to integrate observations into logically sound theories. They learn least from situations that they are unable to research in depth. They assimilate disparate facts into coherent theories. They tend to be perfectionists who won’t rest easy until things are tidy and fit into a rational scheme. They like to analyze and synthesize.

Pragmatists: Active Experimentation: Pragmatists learn best from activities that have clear practical value. They learn least from situations where learning is not related to an immediate purpose. Pragmatists are keen on trying out ideas, theories and techniques to see if they work in practice. They positively search out new ideas and take the first opportunity to experiment with applications.

Every learning experience should effect a change, a transformation within us; well if we let it. For us to broaden our chances of learning, I recommend we incorporate all four learning styles mentioned above. It may require a lot of flexibility and as adults we may not find it easy leaving our zones of comfort. But, to me it’s the only way.

In closing, the key to effective learning is being competent with each learning style when it is appropriate. For this to be effective, we must be situated within an organizational environment in which learning is regarded as important. We must find time to learn, like my colleague Olivier BILOCK keeps saying, “We should never stop learning”.

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