5 Creative Ways To Encourage Non-Profit Activities In the Workplace

People with generous hearts and altruistic spirits are valuable assets to any company they join. Their initiative and willingness to support a worthy cause demonstrates that they are hardworking and action-oriented individuals. These are surely the traits and attitudes companies are always looking for. From this point of view, you can see how any company will benefit from fostering a spirit of giving in the workplace.

This goal can be challenging as activities associated with altruism can be so typical or predictable that they fail to generate much interest. Most of the time charitable programs only include doing community service, pledging donations or running fundraising campaigns. So how can companies encourage employees to actively participate in philanthropic activities? Incorporating creative techniques can greatly help! Listed below are five creative ways to encourage non-profit activities in the workplace.

Make it a competition.

Games are a great way to snap people out of boredom, especially when it comes to philanthropy. Adding an element of competition in your company’s philanthropic event is likely to garner plenty of interest. You can liven up ways to support causes by turning them into a fun contest between different departments in the organization. For example, the team who can generate the most donations will win a big prize. Aside from helping the company raise more money for donations, this strategy will also inspire people to be creative and innovative. It can also strengthen a team and result in better work relationships between employees.

Include loved ones.

Even if they are passionate about helping others, employees will likely say no to an event that will steal precious time away from their loved ones. A company can eliminate this dilemma by allowing their employees to bring family members during a corporate charity event. This way, instead of thinking of ways on how to avoid an office event, people might instead look forward to it. How nice would it feel to do good deeds together with the people closest to you? This technique is a simple way to make the event more exciting, fun and memorable for everyone. Doing this will also show that your company is family oriented and values work-life balance.

Seek the opinions of your employees.

For altruism to pique the interest of more people, you need to come up with innovative ways of doing it. A good way to generate fresh ideas is by running surveys or asking for suggestions from employees themselves. You may be surprised by the ingenious suggestions you will receive. You can even offer a prize for the best idea. Meanwhile, running a survey will help ensure that the charity or cause you choose appeals to most people in the organization.

Focus on skill enhancement or learning.

Philanthropy is a great avenue to showcase one’s skills or talents and even learn new ones. In a workplace setting, the management can organize events that allow employees to share their special talents with those in need. Another approach is by assigning certain individuals to do things for charity that they don’t usually do in their line of work. For example, a computer programmer can be asked to tutor small children or a graphic designer can shop for food items to give away. This approach takes out the notion that altruism is a boring or dull activity. Moreover, presenting charity as a way for your employees to do the things they enjoy such as painting, singing or teaching will entice more people to participate.

Reward and recognize.

Generosity and altruism are positive concepts that most people want to associate themselves with, making philanthropy plenty rewarding on its own. However, it is still important to offer rewards or recognize people’s efforts in altruism. You want to let your employees know that you are noticing their good deeds. A simple reward or recognition will not only further fuel their generous spirit, it will also encourage other people to follow in their footsteps.

Philanthropy offers tons of benefits for both management and employees. It can boost employee morale, improve a company’s reputation and reduce attrition. To reap all of these benefits and more, a company should be ready to try creative ways to incorporate altruism in the workplace.

Brad and Julie Duncan5 Creative Ways To Encourage Non-Profit Activities In the Workplace
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Are Your Leadership Skills Future-Ready?

Leaders of today are under much greater pressure than ever before. Aside from the usual tasks of overseeing the development of a team and creating strategies to meet a goal, leaders also need to keep up with rapid technological developments. With machines threatening to take over many jobs, advancements such as artificial intelligence and automation pose a potential threat to future leaders. They can’t afford to sit around and wait for the future to unfold. Great leaders prepare for the future by taking steps to further enhance their skills and abilities. The following lists some of the hard and soft skills that will make leaders indispensable even in an ultra-modern world.

Technological Savvy

It is safe to say that now and even into the future, turning away from technology is no longer an option. More than ever, leaders are eager to learn and embrace new technology in order to benefit their team. They eagerly keep track of the latest applications or software that are relevant in their field of work and take steps to understand how they works. Some of the hard skills that experts say will be in-demand in the future include cloud computing, UX design, and mobile application development.

Virtual Management Skills

Technology has made communication and collaboration possible with anyone, anywhere in the world. To take advantage of these benefits, leaders need to know the tools and apps that will help them manage a virtual workplace. They also need to develop the skills that will allow them to deal with a team coming from multicultural backgrounds and industries. As remote jobs become more popular, leaders need to have a more organized and systematic way of leading their teams and executing on business strategy.

Critical & Creative-Thinker

In the future workplace, where analysts are predicting that monotonous and repetitive jobs will be fully automated, a leader should prepare to train and encourage their team members to exercise their creativity. As the world gets increasingly competitive, the ability to think out of the box becomes more necessary. To keep abreast of new developments and stand out from the rest, you cannot afford to stick with the methods and processes that your team is accustomed to. You will lead the growth of the whole team (including yourself) by committing to conceptualizing and trying new innovations.

Leaders of the next generation are strategic thinkers because they think ahead. They do not just settle in following the trend. Instead, they change the rules of the game by presenting fresh ideas. They do not just stay updated with what is the latest, but also predict what will happen next by studying forecasts and insights.

Emotional Intelligence

The onset of a highly sophisticated world can be very stressful and demanding. Leaders need to be able adjust with major changes in the workplace and help their team cope with these changes. This requires a leader that can easily adapt to any situation. They know that there may be times when they need to adjust their leadership style for the betterment of the whole team. They also know how to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their team members. All of these tasks will require leaders to exercise emotional intelligence and develop related skills such as flexibility, empathy, patience and humility.

Great leadership is an endless quest for learning and innovation. Even if you are already on the peak of success, you constantly look for ways to further improve and stay ahead. With a mindset that is geared towards continuous learning, a leader can rise up to any challenge and stay relevant no matter what the future brings.

Brad and Julie DuncanAre Your Leadership Skills Future-Ready?
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Embarking on a New Career Path

Abandoning familiarity is frightening. Fear of the future and work-related anxiety is common, but for many, excitement is also a welcomed side effect. Envisioning the accomplishments to come and the adventure awaiting ahead can be just the motivation you need to spark your career change. Although the process of switching professions will be a challenging endeavor, there are steps you can take to ease your transition. Here are four tips to help you successfully embark on a new career path.

Have Confidence
Naturally, doing something you’ve never done before can breed uncertainty, but in spite of your fears, you must remain confident in yourself. Your new coworkers need to trust in your capabilities and resolve. Setting the tone starts with you. Fight your instinct to feel as if you don’t belong or don’t deserve the job. Own your space. Rest assured that you are there for a reason and have something special to offer your new career field. Hold your head high, even if you have to ‘fake it until you make it’. Soon enough, your confidence will become genuine and reassured.

Find a Mentor
Having an experienced ally makes all the difference. As soon as you can, find a mentor who is willing to help you fill in the gaps. Being the newcomer is difficult. You won’t want to rely on just anybody for support and advice. The best mentors are approachable, available, wise and helpful. Be selective in your choice, then use your resource to help you find your footing. Once you’ve adjusted and mastered your new career, you can pay if forward by mentoring someone else who is new to the field.

Study Hard
Being surrounded by experts and longtime professionals will undoubtedly create the occasional gap in knowledge (or experience). To remedy this you will have to study harder and more often than your counterparts. If you encounter a subject that you haven’t completely mastered or don’t feel fully comfortable with yet, take it upon yourself to put in extra study time when you clock out. Putting in those additional hours of self-initiated study will show your team you are dedicated to pulling your weight despite your inexperience. Fortunately, in due time, you’ll notice the number of topics that require study steadily decreasing.

Remain Open to Feedback
Learning something new comes with making mistakes. While it’s never fun to be informed of your errors, it is a necessary evil when it comes to improving. You can’t control how feedback is given to you, but you can control how you receive it. Remain open to the possibility that you’ll receive constructive criticism, sometimes in moments that you least expect. Do your best to take it in stride. Afterward, you have the freedom to decide what to do with the information you’ve received. Remember you aren’t required to give every opinion legitimacy and you have full discretion over filtering what is worth addressing or ignoring.

Following your dreams and changing your career takes courage, hard work and patience. Enduring the highs and lows of the transition will yield a reward worth seizing. Remember these four tips along your journey and enjoy the success that follows.   

Brad and Julie DuncanEmbarking on a New Career Path
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Three Ways to Travel Respectfully

Travel is a luxury that brings great joy. Setting foot on unexplored land can create unmatched feelings of wonder and excitement. Learning about new cultures, people and environments is a life changing experience for those who travel. But that exchange of knowledge is best accomplished when done respectfully. Local residents and native lands should be observed with the utmost care. Here are three ways to travel respectfully.

Do Your Research

Before the wheels of your plane ever touchdown on the runway, you should first learn all you can about your destination of choice. Study the people, the terrain and the cultural differences. If you are visiting a foreign country where most residents speak a language unfamiliar to you, study it. Learn common phrases to help you communicate greetings, directions, travel questions, and niceties. Check the weather and make adjustments to your packing list with climate in mind. The goal of researching and preparing in advance is to lighten the burden on your fellow travel companions, the residents of your destination and the environment. Asking questions will always be a great way to seek information. However, people are much more open to offering assistance to those who’ve put in at least a little effort to assimilate. Instead of expecting everyone to do the heavy lifting of keeping you informed and safe, take the initiative by coming prepared.

Follow the Rules

When researching your destination, you most likely will encounter a few do’s and don’ts. As tempting as it is to downgrade hard-and-fast rules to mere suggestions, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Many places around the world have both implied rules, as well as outline laws that prohibit certain actions. As a guest, it’s your job to adhere to both. If signs say to stay on the marked path, do so. If the local custom is to leave nature untouched, keep your hands to yourself. As simple as this sounds, many tourists still behave as if they are allowed to discard whichever rules don’t fit their desires. Don’t be that traveler. Lastly, remember to give the same level of courtesy you’d give at home. Ask for permission before taking pictures of strangers, don’t stand too closely to others and mind your p’s and q’s.  

Respect the Environment

Protecting the environment, the last tip of traveling respectfully, often goes overlooked. Understandably, some people struggle with this concept abroad because they struggle with it at home as well. As global citizens, it’s our job to honor and nurture the planet we call home. Each of us is responsible for taking care of our little corner of the globe. However, as travelers, that responsibility follows us wherever we go. Whether lounging on the beach, exploring the backroads, or hiking the peaks, we must be mindful. Be considerate about the amount of water, electricity and other raw and natural resources you consume. Tread lightly, limit your contribution to air, noise and water pollution and remember not to litter. Do your best to leave your destination in a better state than you found it – if that’s not possible, leave no footprint at all.

(For more information on environmental impacts, click here)

The rule of respectful travel is to be on your absolute best behavior. Be a worthy representative of your hometown and leave the locals feeling happy you visited. Think of the impression you leave as the determining factor of whether tourist like yourself should continue to be welcomed with open arms. Use the three travel tips above to exercise humility and gratitude. Set an example for other visitors by being the gold standard of respect.

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Ways to Travel Respectfully
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Everyday Philanthropy

We’ve all heard of the philanthropic undertakings of the millionaires and billionaires around the world and hoped to one day be able to do the same. But what if you could, even without needing a six-figure salary to get started? You can. Philanthropy is the act of sharing something, big or small, with someone in need. You have talents, skills and a unique community around you that qualify you to become the perfect full-fledged philanthropist. Here are five ways to practice everyday philanthropy.

Habitual Kindness
Foster a habit of being kind all day, every day. Kindness goes beyond simply being polite, it requires you to take the extra step to be generous and considerate as well. The difference is thinking deeper than superficial niceties by transitioning pleasant words into actionable care. Generosity inspires us to give more than is required. Consideration motivates us to be selfless in our thinking by employing empathy and thoughtfulness.

Use Your Free Time for Good
When a rare free moment presents itself, make use of it! You may only have an hour or even as little as a few minutes, but whatever time you do have can be put to good use. Consider these examples. If you are on the road and pass a fellow driver with a blown tire, pull over and ask how you can help. If you’re driving and have a very limited amount of free time, think smaller and use those spare moments to give a fellow driver time to safely merge in front of you. The goal is to look for ways to help throughout the day because no deed is too small.

Small Frequent Donations
You may not have tons of extra money lying around for the sole purpose of philanthropy and that’s ok. Small donations have helped many people in need. If you are able, vow to allocate a small amount to be set aside on a regular basis for donations. You can then take that money and distribute it how you see fit. Whether you choose to pay for a stranger’s meal, buy lemonade from a young entrepreneur’s stand or donate to a GoFundMe campaign, your dollars can make a difference.

Be a Good Neighbor, Friend, Coworker and Family Member
You don’t have to limit your philanthropic work to major charities or foundations, you can think local and improve the lives of the people in your circle. Many people around you could use a helping hand, but rarely ask out of fear of burdening others. Make it known that you are willing to fill in the gap. Let your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers know that you are looking for ways to help around the community and would love to contribute your time, skills or company. You’ll be surprised by just how many of the people around you are struggling in ways that you never knew.

Be Aware
The last way to expand your philanthropy is to be persistently observant. The more aware you are, the more you’ll start to see the vast number of philanthropic needs that surround you every day. Be an active listener and you’ll start to hear unresolved problems that you may be able to help with. Open your heart to unexpected opportunities that will allow you to contribute to the lives of others. Once you tune in, as a willing ally, your next philanthropic venture will find you.

Kindness is contagious. Why not be the one who starts the chain? It doesn’t take much to make a large impact in someone else’s life. Everyday philanthropist make the world a better place by taking the initiative to create a difference.

Brad and Julie DuncanEveryday Philanthropy
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How To Be A Better Leader: Improve Your Listening Skills

Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say
– Andy Stanley

It is typical for people to associate effective communication traits with a competent leader. We expect the person who heads a team to be skilled in conveying ideas through talking or writing. This is perfectly understandable because leaders frequently share information and ideas. Their words, whether spoken or written, can form a foundation that can move a team upward or build a sharp axe that can crush a team’s spirit. Indeed, everyone knows that being articulate with words is an invaluable trait for thriving leaders.

Still, aside from the ability to speak and write well, there is one more important characteristic in communication that all leaders should have. This is the ability to listen well. Being a good listener is a crucial trait because a team where the leader is the only one who keeps on talking is not likely to succeed. Team collaboration is best when everybody in the team feels free to share inputs because they know that their concerns do not fall on deaf ears. So how can a leader hone their listening skills? The following pointers may be helpful.

Avoid distractions.

Even great speakers get bothered by audience members who do not seem to pay attention while they are giving their speech. Aside from being rude, it can also diminish a speaker’s confidence. For this reason, it is very important for leaders to learn how to listen with great attention to anyone they are talking to. To do this, they may have to eliminate possible distractions that can prevent them from focusing on the moment. They may need to turn off phone and email notifications to listen closely to what the other person is saying. A leader who does this will make someone feel respected and valued, and can even motivate them to work more efficiently.

Be genuinely interested.

You can listen with great focus but if you are not genuinely interested about what the other person is saying, the words can quickly fade into thin air. For words to stick in your mind you have to be interested in other people’s thoughts and ideas. This is something that is hard to fake. Feigning interest is not something you can do and hide from for long. On the contrary, good leaders take time to listen to others because they are excited to discover someone’s strength, potential and even weaknesses. For this reason, leaders who desires growth for the whole team aim for real connection and are are eager to get to know everyone on the team.

Pay attention to body language.

Not everyone can express their thoughts well and great leaders know this. To really understand or hear what the other person is trying to say, leaders sometimes need to read between the lines. They know how to notice subtle signs that show if a person is uncomfortable or scared. A bit of sensitivity can go a long way because it will help the leader show the appropriate response that a person needs in a particular situation. For example, a leader who noticed that a person is shy may respond with words that will encourage someone to open up. If a person seems uncomfortable, the leader may give the person more time to organize his or her thoughts.

Do not judge.

A great team is a team where everyone contributes to the best of their ability and does not feel any apprehension in sharing their feedback. To achieve this ideal status, you have to create an environment where everyone is encouraged to speak up. You can do this by controlling your reaction whenever someone decides to give a piece of his or her mind. You have to learn how to listen without letting your emotions get the better off you. You do not make hasty judgments or display uncontrolled anger. Instead you listen patiently until someone is done talking and assess your reactions objectively.

Efficient communication skills can take you places and can help you achieve your goals. But as you freely express your thoughts, remember to pay close attention to what the others are saying, too. Do not forget that flawless speech and writing may make you a leader, but if you want to be a remarkable one, you need to strive to be a great listener.

Brad and Julie DuncanHow To Be A Better Leader: Improve Your Listening Skills
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Lifelong Lessons Kids Can Learn From Family Adventures

Family adventures are usually synonymous with fond memories and exciting activities. Everyone looks forward to it because it feels amazing to visit great places and experience new things together with the people you care for. Aside from the fact that an adventure strengthens your bond as as a family, it also give parents a wonderful chance to mold the character of their kids. So if your family is about to embark on an adventure, do not forget to jump on the chance to teach your children the following lessons.

Appreciate and care for the environment.

Do you want to do humanity a great favor? Make it a goal to raise a nature-loving child, a task which will be much easier if you allow them to spend a lot of time outside the comfort of your home. Breathtaking sights and stunning sceneries often accompany outdoor activities and these experiences will help your children appreciate the beauty of nature. As you point to your kids the wonderful creations of mother earth, you can also introduce ways that they can do to preserve nature’s beauty. Simple things like not spoiling the place with trash and even respecting the natural habitat of wild animals are some of the lessons kids can pick up while you are traveling.  

Respect other beliefs and cultures.

Taking kids to new places is a way to broaden their perspective because they will discover that there are people whose beliefs and cultures are different from theirs. As your children get exposed to the diversity of the world, you can teach them to respect the ways and customs of others. Tell them that in spite of the differences, other things in life are universal so they can still find similarities with other people. You can teach your kids to focus on these similarities to still connect with others.

Learn the importance of patience and resilience.

Travelling is fun but can nevertheless be exhausting. Long trips along with unexpected mishaps on the road can be a test of your patience and resilience. The inconveniences that come with adventure can even discourage many parents from the idea of travel or adventure with kids. However, tagging your kids along on an adventure is a way to teach the value of being patient and resilient to them. Teach them that sometimes in order to see amazing sights, they need to learn how to wait. To survive on a road trip, they need to be strong and ready to conquer any obstacle they may encounter.

Increase flexibility and confidence.

When you go on an adventure, you take your kids out of their comfort zone. This will be beneficial as you teach them how to cope with different situations. Since they are on a trip, they have to deal with obstacles they may not find so amusing and make it work to their advantage. It will also be a confidence booster when they realize that they can come up with ways to adjust to different circumstances.

In a lot of ways, parenting is one great adventure. So why not enjoy this ride together with your kids? Take them on trips and go on adventures together. You entertain them and at the same time equip them with skills and virtues that they can use to tackle life’s future challenges.

Brad and Julie DuncanLifelong Lessons Kids Can Learn From Family Adventures
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Love Traveling? Protect Your Health While Quenching Your Wanderlust

You travel to see new sights and experience unique things. Exploring unfamiliar places will enrich your mind and nourish your soul. This activity, though, will require you to be in the pinnacle of health. You need energy and stamina to be an adventurous and smart traveler. Ironically, traveling exposes you to situations that increases your chance of catching a disease. With viruses and germs everywhere it is easy to be paranoid about all sorts of sickness you can get.

Still, fear of getting sick should not stop you from satisfying your wanderlust. Instead of abandoning your travel plans altogether, you can observe some simple precautions to stay healthy while on the road. Check out some tips below to ensure you do not taint your travel memories and experiences with the unpleasant feeling of getting ill.

Stock up on liquids.

It is such a hassle to go thirsty while traveling. This is because your body needs an adequate amount of liquids to function at its best. So ensure that you are well hydrated while roaming around. You can avoid dehydration by packing a water bottle everywhere you go.

Protect your skin.

Outdoor time is good for your health as you can breathe in fresh air, soak in warm sunlight and feast on stunning sceneries. Just make sure you are not jeopardizing your health in the process. Harsh rays of the sun can cause skin cancer and damage, so always apply sunscreen before heading outdoors. Choose a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 and apply as needed.

Take supplements.

A strong immune system will give your body the power to fight off all kinds of diseases. Of course, you need proper diet, regular exercise and enough rest to make your body stronger and healthier. You can further boost your body’s defenses by taking vitamins. Because you need to be extra healthy while traveling, make sure to pack your supplements before traveling.

Pack necessary medicines.

Traveling is an adventure so it is better to be prepared for any unexpected situations that you may encounter. It is a wise practice to pack medicines for common travel woes such as nausea, headaches or fever. You should also have a first-aid kit in your bag. To ensure you are fit to travel, you may want to visit a doctor (especially if you are going somewhere very far and for a long period of time) for a physical checkup before your trip.

Keep germs at bay.

As you visit various places, you will likely get dirty as well. Since cleanliness is a prerequisite to good health, strive to stay clean even while traveling. It won’t be a huge challenge as you can conveniently bring hand sanitizer or wipes. Wash your hands before eating a meal, too.

Keep your healthy routines.

Even if travel means a break from your usual routines, it is worth it to maintain daily activities that keep you healthy. Your body will thank you if you allot time for exercise and eat in moderation, even if you are not in the comfort of your home. Likewise, you should ensure that you get enough sleep. It is also a great idea to engage in healthy activities while traveling such as walking, running or biking.

Travel allows you to have fun and relax, but you should not sacrifice your health for it. If you follow the suggestions above, you will come back from your travel escapades stronger and healthier than ever.

Brad and Julie DuncanLove Traveling? Protect Your Health While Quenching Your Wanderlust
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Can Your Philanthropic Ways Inspire Others To Do The Same?

Philanthropy is undoubtedly a noble act. No matter how small it is, your efforts to extend generosity to others can go a long way. So just imagine the positive impact it can create if everyone took a step towards philanthropy. A single person cannot possibly do everything all the time so charitable work is better and easier with collaborative effort.

In a way, this means that the ultimate goal of a philanthropist is to persuade others to be generous with their time and resources. However, spreading the benefits of altruism is not that easy. People can come up with all sorts of excuses to avoid supporting a cause or sharing what they can give. So what can you do to be an ambassador of kindness and altruism in your own little way? The following suggestions can help.

Tell stories.  

If you want to reach out to people, do not make your journey towards philanthropy a secret. You can start by sharing your experiences with others. Storytelling is an effective way to communicate ideas and engage your audience. By passionately explaining why altruism is a worthy activity, you have a great chance to convince others to follow your in steps. Aside from sharing your personal experiences, you can also share stories of the people you encountered while doing charity work. This is an easy way to clearly show others why they need to help and how their initiative can make a difference.

Send out invitations.

Sometimes people want to serve as volunteers or help out on a campaign but fail to do it because they simply do not know how. They may also be too shy or scared to approach anyone related to a cause they want to support. You can make this easier for them by personally inviting them and offering to accompany them to the place where you do charitable work. If your charity work involves making donations, you can teach them various ways on how they can share their monetary help. You may be surprised to know that some people only need a small nudge before they willingly start doing something for a good cause.

Offer choices.

Your invitations will be more effective if you point out specific ways about how someone can offer help. Aside from financial assistance, organizations heavily rely on volunteers to run and maintain their operations. They often need all sorts of assistance. For example,  an institution may need a teacher, nurse, artist or musician. Instead of simply stating that a particular group needs volunteers, directly state the skills or professions that are needed. Philanthropy becomes more appealing if you present it as a way to hone someone’s talents and abilities.

Give advice.

People may shun philanthropy because they associate it with difficulties. This is where excuses can come in. They may say they have no time for it or express worry that they may not enjoy it. You can ease anxiety over altruism by sharing tips and advice. One way to do this is by relaying your own struggles about philanthropy and how you overcame it. Try to be a living testimony that philanthropy should not be hard and someone may just decide to give it a shot.

Convincing others to try philanthropy may be far from easy but it is still a challenge worth taking. If your good deeds lead to inspiring others to do the same, you end up helping more people. Likewise, you are giving others a chance to experience the joy and satisfaction that come from doing philanthropic activities.

Brad and Julie DuncanCan Your Philanthropic Ways Inspire Others To Do The Same?
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Leading with a Teacher’s Heart

Teachers spend their days imparting wisdom through lessons of love, compassion and inspiration. In turn, students grow into more capable, informed and mature versions of their former selves. They take their teachers’ guidance and go on to accomplish more than ever imagined. Entrepreneurial leaders can take those same methods and adapt them for the workplace and net similar results. Here’s how to lead with a teacher’s heart.

Affective Filter

In the teaching world, instructors are aware of a concept called the affective filter. This phrase describes an abstract boundary that plays a hand in a student’s ability to acquire a second language. A high affective filter means the student may feel a combination of self-consciousness, anxiety and tension. Contrarily, a low affective filter is marked by confidence, comfort, assurance and a willingness to take risks. Affective filters can be affected by intrinsic factors but can also change due to the environment or interpersonal interactions. Teachers work to control the second two.

Great teachers foster environments of inclusivity, affirmation and acceptance. They rebuke damaging responses when student mistakes are made and respect each pupil’s preference that affect their ability to process information. Amazing leaders can do the same. Earn your employees’ trust,

New Slate Every Day

Teachers understand that their students are in a constant state of learning, which means they will make plenty of mistakes. When children are in school, they are faced with new challenges every day, some of which causes them frustration and stress. When students feel these negative emotions, they sometimes act out in ways that are not ideal. As humans, instructors naturally feel disappointment and frustration in response, but they habitually try to understand the perspective of their students and offer new mercies every morning. They have high standards and expect the best, but reserve plenty of room for grace.

As a leader of adults in a work environment, your standards will undoubtedly include a smaller margin or error, but that doesn’t cancel out the necessity for patience altogether. Follow the example that teachers set and try to start each day with patience and understanding. Remember that your employees are trying their best and want to perform just as well as you’d want them to. However, everyone has the occasional off-day or noticeable mistake.   

Specialized to Each learner  

In many of today’s schools, teachers are presented with a class of unique learners. No two students have the exact same personality, preferences or learning style. To account for those differences, great teachers individualize instruction. Adept instructors constantly assess and reassess students’ needs and progress, then do what’s best to maintain a balance of challenge and accomplishment. They also make small changes to each lesson to help students thrive. For shy students, they may only call on them when their hand is raised. For active students, they may teach a lesson that intertwines exercise with the academic concept. However they can best serve each student, they do.

On the job, leaders too can specialize tasks. Distribute  a communication style assessment and personality test to figure out how each employee works best, then adapt their environment to fit their needs. Pay attention to their communication style, then converse with them using their favorite methods.

Teachers earn their students’ trust and inspire their best work by remaining attentive and sharing information in a kind and effective way. They pour their hearts into every student, every day, without cease. You too can yield the same results with daily practice. Leading with the heart of teacher is bound to help your employees feel secure and valued, giving them the confidence to outperform even your expectations.

Brad and Julie DuncanLeading with a Teacher’s Heart
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