Creative thinker

A story triggered me the most about creativity is in my first self-help favorite book 'I can do it'. She said if you create a bank account, you are a creator. It sounds simple. But that simplicity made me know that 'we can if we do'. That simplicity is simple enough to break the limiting belief in someone who does not believe in themselves. When they break that barriers, they take action then they can make it happen.

So, no matter what do you believe, you want to allow yourself to have a chance to try, you don't know how much creative you are, you don't know how much you can do until you try, try, try even more.

In the context of our life, we are the creator of our life! Let's create a life that we are proud of that when we look back we know 'I have done my best'.

SOME SCIENTIFIC-PRACTICAL-BASED WAYS TO EMBRACE CREATIVITY:

1. Draw, paint, doodle, watercolor

2. Do something physical like exercise

3. Do reflection

4. Watch Ted talk or listen to a podcast or read novels

5. Traveling, going to nature

A POSSIBLE PROCESS OF CREATIVITY

(CPS’ of the CPS framework stands for ‘Creative Problem Solving’ of Alex Osborn):

  • Opportunity-finding

  • Data-finding

  • Problem-finding

  • Idea-finding

  • Solution-finding

  • Acceptance-finding

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Critical thinkers - 20th May Cspeaking gym

Before getting to the detailed ways, we can set a common understanding that we need to acknowledge that we have 2 different systems running underneath our brain – fast and slow system (referring to the book ‘Fast and slow thinking’). The fast thinking system makes us react without much thinking while the other system makes us think logically then act.

Sometimes we need to pause and think before acting to avoid emotional decisions and actions leading to unwanted results.

(1) Pause

To start a process of critical thinking, we want to pause to evaluate what we hear, see or read. Instead of reacting, pause then ask ourselves

- What’s the problem?

- What are the possible solutions?

- What are the advantages of disadvantages of each solution?

We don’t over-analyze but we don’t want to act without thinking!

(2) Research

Do your research to get information from different perspectives and consult your mentors or successful people would also help. But ultimately to take action not to overwhelme yourself.

(3) Ask instead of assumption

Assumption is normally based on information of the past and that may not be relevant to your current situation so you want to ask questions and do research instead of assuming you are right.

(4) Keep it simple

Although having time to think and analyze, it doesn’t mean you want to stay there for long. Re-connecting to why did you start analyze at the first place, the why, the outcome of doing it and allow yourself to make a decision to take action.

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Critical thinker

How many of you here who like to eat fish?

How many of you who like to eat plastic?

You may think the two things –are separate but actually, they are the same.

Why?

Because the plastic cup we throw away normally goes to the ocean. As plastic cannot biodegrade, after some years it only can be broken down into smaller pieces. Fish also eats them and we eat fish. 

If you told me that 3 weeks ago, I would have looked at you as some of you look at me now and ran away. I now believe and know it is happening. 3 weeks ago, my friend refused to meet me in a coffee shop which uses a lot of plastic products. That made me think and reflect upon my use of plastic and the consequences caused by plastic.

Have you ever paused to reflect upon why do you do what you do? Have you ever critically thought about why do you do what you do? Do you often use critical thinking to analyse and evaluate things so you can do things more deliberately? 

To challenge everyone improve their critical thinking, we will discover on the topic together at CSpeaking gym today!

WHY CRITICAL THINKING?

Critical thinking can be explained in a simple way - is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or believe. Critical thinking helps us to see the big picture of a situation. 

Hence, critical thinking brings different advantages:

  • Save time: Critical Thinking teaches you how to prioritise your time and resources by analysing what is essential to the process. This also helps you to know that a decision is ultimately a good one.

  • An appreciation of differing worldviews: Critical Thinking enables you to see beyond, not judge, cultural norms and learn how to understand other factors that can influence decision-making. This empathy and understanding is crucial to effective teamwork and leadership.

  • Enhanced Communication: By teaching you to analyse and build your evidence for any given premise, Critical Thinking can make you a more effective communicator. Consistent and relevant points to support your theory are pivotal in communicating a proposal or idea proficiently. When you know your stuff, so will they.

  • Decision-making abilities: You leave intuition or guesswork decision-making behind, and begin to work on a more analytical and considered basis, resulting in sounder decisions.

(Source: Regan, 2015)

CRITICAL THINKING LEVELS: 

There are some levels of Critical thinking that is reflected well in the model named Bloom's Taxonomy: 

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Communication from your heart

Yesterday, at CS, we got a great question from one of our dedicated gymers Smiley Giang "How to speak meaningfully?" and we got a great answer from one of our members "As long as you speak from your heart!"


I love this answer! Yesterday, 13th May, we discovered the topic "Communication from your heart" and I believe that it is a fundamental factor of making your speech meaningful to the audience. And maybe you do not always believe in your message especially when you first start your speaking journey! You may hear a lot of voices that your message is not worthy or who would listen to it. And because of thinking about it, during your speech instead of being fully with the audience, you spend some energy on doubting yourself leading to less effective performance.

So let's practice the 3 simple steps together to speak meaningfully when you first start speaking

(1) If it is the only chance you speak in front of that audience to share one thing that has been a valuable lesson throughout your life or makes you happy, what is this message?

(2) Do not need to please everyone, which means you please nobody! There will be people who feel connected with your message but does not mean all people - and this is great because we are different. But guess what, when you connect with at least a certain group of people, others may resonate from the aspect of acknowledging that your message is valuable for someone.

(3) Knowing that the audience time is valuable and they are there for you so spending your full energy on the audience not the doubts or nervousness. And yes, it requires practice -being aware of the doubts and reminding yourself to change the focus, the muscle of confident speaking will get stronger!

Love

Jen,

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Creativity is confident to fail

A story triggered me the most about creativity is in my first self-help favorite book 'I can do it'. She said if you create a bank account, you are a creator. It sounds simple. But that simplicity made me know that 'we can if we do'. That simplicity is simple enough to break the limiting belief in someone who does not believe in themselves. When they break that barriers, they take action then they can make it happen.

So, no matter what do you believe, you want to allow yourself to have a chance to try, you don't know how much creative you are, you don't know how much you can do until you try, try, try even more.

In the context of our life, we are the creator of our life! Let's create a life that we are proud of that when we look back we know 'I have done my best'.

SOME SCIENTIFIC-PRACTICAL-BASED WAYS TO EMBRACE CREATIVITY:

1. Draw, paint, doodle, watercolor

2. Do something physical like exercise

3. Do reflection

4. Watch Ted talk or listen to a podcast or read novels

5. Traveling, going to nature

A POSSIBLE PROCESS OF CREATIVITY

(CPS’ of the CPS framework stands for ‘Creative Problem Solving’ of Alex Osborn):

  • Opportunity-finding

  • Data-finding

  • Problem-finding

  • Idea-finding

  • Solution-finding

  • Acceptance-finding

Collaboration - Effective teamwork - 8th Apr 2019 CSpeaking Gym

Which teamwork style will be the most effective?

We had a happy empowering insightful night to discover this topic thanks to all gymmers! The answer will be “it depends” but we believe “collaborative style is an effective way of developing the whole team capability”.

To test out the advantages and disadvantages of each teamwork style, you can try out the activity we did - building the strongest and tallest tower (yes, it is my favourite activity when it comes to teamwork). With that same mission, each team worked in different styles: individualistic, authoritarian, delegate then after that all team tried the collaborative style. We found different disadvantages of each style:

  • individualistic team - each person has their own way of creating the tower: the team couldn’t ultilise the resources including materials (distributed for each person) and the members.

  • authoritarian - one person decides each person does what: the team couldn’t ultilise the ideas of their members as the leader decided everything

  • delegate - one person lets the team do what they want: it took time for the team to get used to work together and discussed to find the way to work out to achieve the mission

  • collaborative - one person facilitates to let all the team involve in the process: it would take time to listen to all ideas of people that could lead to disagreement

We also acknowledged that in different situations, we will need to use different teamwork styles as they also have their own advantages. For example,

  • Individualistic: When the tasks of each person is clear, that person needs to be fully responsible for what they do so having ability to work individually is important

  • Autocratic: In a crisis situation, the leader needs to decide quickly (he or she needs to be competent)

  • Delegate: when the team is really strong then having the inputs of the team in the process can maximize the resources of the team

  • Collaborative: when the project has a certain time to finish and each person is good at a certain things and the team has a mission to grow the team

But we believe, after all “together we go further and two minds are better than one” so we believe COLLABORATION is the sustainable way to develop a team.

challenge for you:

Which teamwork style do you normally use? And what is your favourite one? What is your action to change the style to make the best out of teamwork?

We challenge everyone to incorporate at least one style in a suitable context to expand the flexibility of their leadership ability.

Join us for the challenge!

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Collaborative leadership and Self-leadership

After my sharing in the seminar Leadership from Below organized by the UK embassy, a gentelemtn asked me "You said leadership starts from leading your life - be the leader of your life. If everyone wants to be the leader, and if they have different ideas then how can a team work together?"

Really interesting! Maybe sometimes we may think being able to work alone conflict with being able to work in a team. 

Here are 3 ideas why these two abilities support each other to help us develop our life:

- A person who cannot even control his or her behaviours will be difficult to influence others which mean they cannot work in a team well. Therefore, before really leading any team, we need to be able to lead ourselves 

- In a team, we are all leaders of what we have to take responsibility for, doing our best on our part to complete the mission of the team. 

- Our daily life is also important as our work because what happens during our life would influence our work performance. Therefore, we need to be able to take fully responsibility for our life and lead our life to be our best so we also can work with our highest performance

Tonight, in Cspeaking gym we will go deeper in different aspects of collaboration that I call collaborative leadership.

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Build your Squad

I came back to Vietnam in 2014 and really wanted to start over my personal development training business. I was on fire.

But after 3 months staying in Vietnam, I ran away. I felt nobody supported me. I went to work as a consultant in Malaysia.

I then went to the UK and learned more about the industry and prepared mentally stronger. I went back to Vietnam last year and I am still in Vietnam now, I haven’t run away anywhere yet. One of the main reasons is because I have a team and you with me!

Thank you team - AWESOME TEAM! Lucy, Smiley, Rose, Ha, Hoa, Eri, Inny. You have made me feel home in Vietnam. Thanks to every single of you coming to my events, I believe more that my mission is helping someone.

Having someone who believes in our mission and vision can help us multiple our belief in our mission and vision. Having a supportive group will help us to be stronger in the long run.

In the best selling personal and leadership development book based on a 10—year study, Brendon calls the supportive group - “Squad” shows 5 ways to level up your squad:

· Add one more awesome friend

· Volunteer

· Play sports

· Seek mentorship

· Earn it - master what you do, be really good at that!

Thank for being my squad. I am grateful to have you as an awesome friend to our personal and leadership development group - Cspeaking gym! Thanks for your coming last time and looking forward to seeing you on Monday!

love and cheers,
Jen,

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SOLAR model for active listening

WHAT is solar?

SOLAR (introduced by author and professional management consultant, Gerard Egan) is a well-known model that aims to a way to physically demonstrate your interest and engagement when talking with others.

WHY it is important?
SOLAR helps us to have an effective manner of nonverbal communication or gestures and facial expressions that according to psychologist Albert Mehrabian, comprises 93% or more of our interpersonal communications.

WHICH CONTEXT to use solar?
The context to use this model can be when you go to a networking event and you want to start a communication with someone. 

Depending on the situations or the people, there will be different ways to help you to start a conversation with others! But yes, giving this model a try to create the most comfortable posture when you communicate, you may see a good result!

S.O.L.A.R:

S (Sqare): Face squarely; by doing this it shows you are involved.
O (Open): Keep an open posture: this means not crossing arms and legs. It make people feel engaged and welcome.
L (Lean): By leaning forward when a person is talking to you, it shows you’re involved and listening to what they have to say.
E (Eye Contact): Use good eye contact. Your gaze shows that you’re listening and not distracted.
R (Relax): It’s important to stay calm and avoid fidgeting when a person is talking to show you are focused.
(Source: Amanda, 2014)