Category Archives: Critical Thinking

Is it Ever Okay to Fail?

Help Them Fail!

“The greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail.
-Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

As educators and leaders, our job is to help our students and employees to fail. Before you delete this e-mail please give me 2 minutes of your time to explain why students need to fail.

As a professional educator and entrepreneur, I have failed many times over. Unlike Zuckerberg, I didn’t have the freedom to fail, but the lessons I learned were priceless and have fueled my success. Looking back on my failures I wouldn’t change one thing, because iMar Learning Solutions is the result of those failures.

The quote from Zuckerberg is from his 2017 Harvard commencement speech but his message is still relevant a year later. I agree with Mark 100% because students and employees need a safe space to try their crazy ideas that might not work but also might change your entire industry.

The threat of automation coming to take jobs is real and now is the time to prepare our students and employees for these changes. As leaders in the workforce and classroom, it is our duty to prepare our followers and students by first mentally preparing them to fail. We can achieve this by giving them permission to “take a stab at it” and take the fear of a failing grade out of the equation. David Nigel of Campus Technology reported in his study that, “Creativity needs to be infused more deeply into the curriculum. However, according to a new study, testing, federal and state mandates, and a dearth of time and resources, among other factors, are getting in the way.”

I challenge you to take the first step with your employees and students. Share your ideas and stories here with the iMar community so we can all learn from each other!

Read More: Mark Zuckerberg: Success Comes from the Freedom to Fail

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Will Your Skills Be Needed in the Future?

Will You Matter in 2030?

Demand for higher cognitive skills such as creativity, critical thinking and decision making, and complex information processing, will grow through 2030 at cumulative double-digit rates.”
-Adam Jezard, The World Economic Forum

I know that 2030 is a long time from now, but it is never too early to start planning for the future. If you have been following iMar Learning Solutions then you already know that 2020 is the year that the way we “work” is scheduled to be impacted the most. A lot of reports originally reported doom and gloom, and there is some truth to that. Here is a list of the Top 20 Jobs that will be eliminated by 2020.

New reports are actually stating that A.I. will create more new jobs than they eliminate, and that is GREAT news. But, do you have the correct skills to land one of these new A.I. created jobs? Skills like creativity, social and emotional intelligence, and creative problem solving will be more important than ever because we need leaders that can navigate the new landscape and lead their respective teams to the promised land. Oliver Cann, Director of Public Engagement for The World Economic Forum, said, “A clear majority of businesses believe that investing in skills, rather than hiring more short-term or virtual workers, is the key to successfully managing disruptions to the labour market for the long term.” Don’t forget to check out the article below to learn more about what you skills you will need to succeed in 2030.

Read More: The 3 Key Skill Sets for the Workers of 2030

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Are Millennials Doomed For Stunted Growth & Darkness?

You Can Improve Your Critical Thinking 

Critical thinking punctures myth in favor of reason because it challenges us to set aside opinion for reason and logic. Therefore it is essential for individuals, teams, and organizations. Failure to evaluate options critically results in stunted growth and darkness.” -John Baldoni, Forbes

This post is for Gen-Xers and Millennials because we both have to learn to work together. Gen-Xers grew up in a time when workers did not depend on technology as much to accomplish tasks. This also means that Gen-Xers have a responsibility to help mentor the younger generation to develop their critical thinking skills in the workplace and Millennials should help their older co-workers stay ahead of the technology curve.


Chip Conley states in his article,4 Ways to Help Different Generations Share Wisdom at Work, that “There are now five generations working alongside each other – an unprecedented opportunity to learn from such a diverse range of experiences. But there’s not always an obvious path for people to share with and learn from each other. Especially when generations are siloed, both older and younger workers keep their wisdom buried.”

Workers have to take advantage of the human resources that are available in order to become the best “YOU” that you can. The future of your career may very well depend on your ability to think critically, see beyond numbers, make connections, and show your employer that you have the vision that will help the company remain competitive.

Enroll in iMar Learning Solutions’ Critical Thinking Academy Today for only $19.99

Read More: Wanted Millennials Who Can Think Critically

EQ is the New IQ

“Emotional hijacks aren’t pleasant, but they’re inevitable. The question is: What are you going to do with them? With the right strategy, you can make them work for you, instead of against you.
-Justin Bariso, EQ Applied

In order to stay employed in today’s workplace, you must understand your level of emotional intelligence. Justin Bariso in his book EQ Applied defines emotional intelligence as,  “the ability to make emotions work for you, instead of against you.” If you have a high level of emotional ability you will be valued as an employee and leader in your organization and this will help increase your likelihood of being considered for promotions and special projects.

Harvey Deutschendorf of Fast Company said, “once someone gets promoted, technical skills become less necessary, and interpersonal ones become more critical in their workplace.” Emotional Intelligence is one of the most important factors that employers use to decide if they will hire or promote you, and that is why iMar Learning Solutions is here to help you improve in this area by focusing on leadership development, creative problem solving, analytical thinking, collaboration, and emotional intelligence.

Enroll in iMar Learning Solutions’ Critical Thinking Academy Today for only $19.99

What Job Skill is the Most Lacking in the US?

Do You Know the Answer?

Not surprisingly, there continues to be an imbalance with regards to software engineering. But somewhat surprisingly, interpersonal skills is where we’re seeing the biggest imbalance. Communications is the No. 1 skill gap.” –LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner

The ability to communicate with your team at work will carry you very far in your career. Many Gen-Xer’s complain that millennials struggle in this area. In Scott Mauz’s article, “What Job Skill is Most Lacking in the US?” he shares Jeff Weiner’s advice on how to improve your communication skills. Make sure to reach out us at iMar Learning if you feel like you or your team can improve in this area, we are ready to listen!

Read More: “What Job Skill is Most Lacking in the US?

Can Business and Education Close the Skills Gap Together?

Closing the Gap Together

Despite U.S. high school graduation rates reaching all-time highs, many employers are finding that recent graduates are unprepared to succeed in the workforce because they lack foundational “soft skills.” While technical skills are often industry-specific, soft skills such as professional communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and time management are valued by employers across sectors.” -U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently published a report on why the business and education sector must work together to close the soft skills gap. These two sectors working together seems like one of those solutions that is almost so obvious we could have almost missed it. iMar is working daily to seek out partners so that we can bring our soft skills training to the people that need it most. We focus on the “Big 6” of critical thinking: Leadership, Creative Problem Solving, Analytical Thinking, Collaboration, Social & Emotional Intelligence, and Communication, because as the report mentions these are the skills that employers want that are rare to find.

Click Here to Download the Full Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

D. Wesley-IMar Learning Solutions

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Click Here to Enroll in IMAR’s Critical Thinking Academy

Does Your Work Follow You Wherever You Go?

The Future is Here

People are using technology like voice-activated apps and smartphone calendars to enhance their everyday lives and that is also translating to their work,” Cotton says. “As employers, we have to embrace that — how do we give people the opportunity to work from anywhere while still being productive?” writes Pooneh Ghana for WIRED magazine.

Our jobs are no longer constrained to just the brick and mortar office of yesterday. Our office is now online, we meet in chat rooms for meetings, we share project duties through resources like ASANA, and the ability to manage all of this can become a nightmare. Preparation and updating your skills will be the key to success for the future of the workplace, and iMar is here with you every step of the way.

Click to read Pooneh Ghana’s full article for WIRED magazine.

Alanna Cotton (right), senior vice president and general manager at Samsung Electronics America, speaks about the future of work with Jason Tanz(left), Wired magazine site director, at the SXSW Conference in Austin, TX. (Credit: Pooneh Ghana)

D. Wesley-IMar Learning Solutions

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Click Here to Enroll in IMAR’s Critical Thinking Academy

Traditional College or Career Training…or Combine the Two?

How Do We Reskill America?

Katherine Newman, author of Reskilling America: How Technical Education Can Transform Our Society, said, “Students from working-class and poor communities need options that traditional forms of higher education may not provide, and they need them now, not thirty or forty years hence, when their working lives are in the rearview mirror.

I completely agree with Katherine, and something has to be done to help those students gain the skills they need to be successful in and after high school. Yes, the jobs that your father and grandfather had in the manufacturing warehouse may not be available anymore, but new opportunities are becoming available every day.

The Impact of Technology

Technology and automation are changing the skills that are needed to do certain jobs. Adult workers today have to make sure they are monitoring how their job might change due to updated technology and adapt their skills so they are not left behind. iMar Learning Solutions provides the soft-skills that will help you grow and be successful on the job, but you still need the hard skills that schools like Essex Technical Skills High School provide to its students.

Click Below to read Emily Richmond’s article for PBS News Hour

Start With Why, Then Find Your How

Simon Sinek, is the author of the 2009 bestseller, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (View Simon’s TedTalk Here).  Sinek’s lessons have been more than inspiring for me, they have been life changing. Sinek does an excellent job of explaining the importance of starting with “why.” I have learned that finding your reasons for doing something is just as important as what you do. Many of us have big dreams to accomplish certain goals. Some of us are motivated because we want to make life better for our children, to help others that are in need, or to help make our planet healthy again. We all have different whys or motivators, but a vast amount of us stop there. I am going to share 3 tips on how you can start with why then find your how, so you can turn your vision into action.

Continue reading Start With Why, Then Find Your How

Are We Preparing the Next Generation for Success?

The Future is Now

Attention teachers, parents, professors, and anyone that cares about helping our society achieve its maximum potential. If you fit any of these categories then continue reading because this message is for you. If not, you need to keep reading anyway because this is a message that ALL citizens of planet earth should hear because our future success depends on what you do after reading it. I am an educator; I did not know when I graduated college that the journey we call “life” would lead me to a classroom. I did not know that I would find my passion in writing, blogging, training, and helping others achieve their goals by creating IMar Learning Solutions. But, I am here and I am happy that at the end of the day I am able to bring awareness to the need for soft skill training and critical thinking. These are the skills that will help you advance in your career. Continue reading Are We Preparing the Next Generation for Success?