Month: January 2016

Tips for Trainers

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A message for freelance trainers - 6 tips to engage an audience

There’s something highly potent about being a learner in a damn good training session. I mean in the sense that you’re present in the moment, enjoying the experience and benefiting both professionally and personally.  As a trainer, I like to put myself in the shoes of the learner.

I haven’t yet met a successful business person who doesn’t continually seek some new knowledge, to extend their success or to diversify.

If you’re thinking of getting into the training business, it’s probably because you have considerable and vital knowledge in your specialist topic that you’re just itching to pass on to others.

I have a tried and tested formula for creating an engaging training course, whether for 3 hours, 6 hours or 2 days.

It’s important to ensure that the learning experience is discerning, that your attendees can ‘go the distance’ and that they...

ADHD in class – Don’t mix up your Neurotransmitters with your Neurotypicals

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In this post I’d like to try and explain - as simply as possible - the importance of neurotransmitters, and how a person with ADHD is enormously influenced (for the better and for the worse) by the fluctuating levels in their body.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word Neurotransmitter as:

“A chemical substance which is released at the end of a nerve fibre by the arrival of a nerve impulse and, by diffusing across the synapse or junction, effects the transfer of the impulse to another nerve fibre, a muscle fibre, or some other structure.”

Put more easily, these are brain chemicals which communicate information to nerve cells, and regulate our behaviour and emotions.

When these brain chemicals are lowered in effectiveness or the levels occasionally dip or peak, they become out of ‘synch’ which impacts on our behaviour.

trio dopamine serotonin norepinephrine

ADHD and Learning

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD and Learning

Have you ever wondered what the heck ADHD has to do with problems with learning?

When was the last time you were in a classroom or training room all day?

I’ll bet that even the most studious of you felt restless at times, looking forward to a break or a change in the pace of the learning.

Ask yourself this question: “What are the top skills you need in order to be successful in the classroom?”.

Some of you may come up with answers such as

  • an enquiring mind

  • the desire to succeed

  • a good pen!

  • organise work easily

  • be able to work independently

Whereas others might say:

  • able to concentrate on tasks

  • capacity to remember facts/excellent memory

  • ability to sit still in class

  • working with others

  • pay attention during lectures

The second set of skills (above) are examples of how a person with ADHD is...

High and Low Emotional Intelligence

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"Why Don't You Just Get Stuffed ?!?"  (Is this high or low emotional intelligence?)

Attitude is everything.  Don’t believe me?  Some people are blessed with a super positive attitude, but unfortunately most of us have to work to maintain one.  Attitude has played a huge part in all our development, and I believe that studying emotional intelligence and mind-set helps it to become stronger every day.  Especially if you are a teacher.

Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer coined the term 'Emotional Intelligence' in 1990 (although this may have been earlier used by Michael Beldoch in a 1964 paper).

Salovey and Mayer described it as "a form of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one's thinking and action".

To maintain a positive attitude and make it easier to monitor our own feelings and...

Pigeons and Slot Machines – Positive reinforcement

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There are many interesting components to behavioural psychology, and none more so than Skinner's Operant Conditioning (positive reinforcement).  Have you ever wondered how and why some people can sit at an expensive one-arm bandit for hours on end and yet feel compelled to carry on?

In 1938 a behavioural psychologist B.F. Skinner coined the term operant conditioning which roughly means changing behaviour by the use of ‘reinforcement’, to increase the probability of a behaviour being repeated.  When you have the desired response, you reinforce it.   This is broken into several sub-classes, including the well-known term of positive reinforcement.

So you’ll often hear of teachers ‘ignoring the negative behaviour and praising the positive behaviour’.

In class, this means (possibly) that the teacher may strongly acknowledge the children who have followed instructions and are working well.

That’s great James and Catrina, you’ve got off to a good start and you're really working well.”  James and Catrina...

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