Category Archives: November 2014

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Critical Thinking Development Workshop

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In today’s society, many people experience information overload. We are bombarded with messages to believe various ideas, purchase things, support causes, and lead our lifestyle in a particular way. How do you know what to believe? How do you separate the truth from the myths?

The answer lies in critical thinking skills. The ability to clearly reason through problems and to present arguments in a logical, compelling way has become a key skill for survival in today’s world. This two-day workshop is recommended for professionals who want to enhance their thinking processes to achieve better results in business, and individuals who desire to develop critical thinking and problem solving as a core competency. It will combine practical tools and hands-on experience with critical thinking and problem solving.

Participants will learn to define critical and non-critical thinking, identify personal critical thinking style(s), including areas of strength and improvement, describe other thinking styles such as left/right brain thinking and whole-brain thinking, work through the critical thinking process to build or analyze arguments, develop and evaluate explanations, improve key critical thinking skills, use analytical thought systems and creative thinking techniques, and prepare and present powerful arguments.

Course Outline

  • Understanding critical thinking
  • Where do other types of thinking fit in? (including whole-brain and left and right brain)
  • Pitfalls to reasoned decision making
  • The critical thinking process
  • A critical thinker’s skill set
  • Creating explanations
  • Dealing with assumptions
  • Common sense
  • Critical and creative thought systems
  • Plenty of hands-on case studies

The course will be facilitated by Dr. Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas, who holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. Shewas a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities. She also wrote three books on Psychology/HR Management titled Psychological Assessment: Theory and Practice, Uses of Psychological Tests, and Human Resource Management.

The workshop fee is PHP6,500 and includes small group workshops, snacks and lunch, a specialized student workbook, a personalized certificate of participation, a free eBook on thinking skills, and a free Profiles Critical Thinking, Logic, Comprehension and Perception Assessment (CTA) – this assessment provides raw scores and percentile ranking for each of the areas measured. The areas include; Evaluative, analytic and inferential reasoning; deductive and inductive reasoning; logical reasoning, and reasoning and comprehension.

To learn more or register, please visit ProfilesAsiaPacific.com.


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How to Manage Productive Teams

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Image from “The Office”

There is no magic key to unlocking team productivity. Great team cohesiveness comes from hard work, communication, and a dedicated leader. According to the Harvard Business Review, Gallup has found good managers motivate employees with a compelling mission and vision, drive outcomes despite of adversity and resistance, “create a culture of clear accountability,” and make decisions based on “productivity, not politics.” Managers play pivotal roles in a team’s success, and below are some traits of successful leaders with productive teams.

They know their team members. Managers who know their team members’ strengths and weaknesses understand how to assign the best role for each member. Always play to a team member’s strengths, and help them improve their weaknesses. They may also have hobbies or special skills that could apply to their job.

They encourage continual growth. The best managers care about the growth of their teams, and encourage the development of strengths and management of weaknesses. Team members value managers who are concerned with their self-improvement, and teams get better as a unit as each member grows.

They keep learning. Managers are leaders, and should lead their teams to becoming better and more skilled. The continuous learning of team members is important, and a role model in the endeavor will help guide and refine the process. Managers have to be one-step ahead of their teams; if your employees are taking an intro to statistics class, you should be taking the advanced statistics class.

They think about their employees’ futures. Great managers plan for the futures of their teams as a whole, and for team members as individuals. Train your dedicated, talented employees for advancement within the company. Having a pool of skilled individuals to draw from within your company will safeguard against havoc when someone leaves unexpectedly, and creates opportunities for advancement within a company.

To summarize, in order to manage productive teams, you must understand the strengths, weaknesses, futures and potential of your team members and encourage continual learning and development.


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Understanding Assessment Tools for Greater Business ResultsTraining on Test and Measurement Design

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Do you work in the field of HR and/or education? Are you a teacher, professor, guidance counselor or mentor at work? Our seminar-workshop could provide you with the vital knowledge, abilities and skills that are needed to carry out an in-depth evaluation of educational and psychological tests and understand how to interpret the results. The two-day seminar will help participants develop an appreciation of psychological testing and its importance, understand of the basic concepts of reliability, validity and test construction, and be able to interpret scores.

Course Outline

  • Brief History of Psychological Measurement
  • Importance of Psychological Testing
  • Characteristics of Psychological Instruments
  • Purposes of Test and Measurement
  • Types of Tests
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Application of Psychological Measurement in Educational, Personnel and Clinical Testing
  • Ethics in Psychological Testing
  • Steps in Test Construction
  • Choosing the test Format
  • Validity and Reliability
  • Scoring and Interpretation

The course will be facilitated by Dr. Dr. Maria Vida G. Caparas, who holds a Master’s Degree and Ph.D., Summa Cum Laude, in Psychology. She is an Accredited Trainer of the Philippine Government with invaluable experiences in Organizational Development as a Human Resource, Training and OD practitioner. Shewas a Trainer Delegate of DFA-Foreign Service Institute in Italy and Singapore in 1999-2000. Dr. Caparas is a recipient of various national awards and also a professor in prestigious universities. She also wrote three books on Psychology/HR Management titled Psychological Assessment: Theory and Practice, Uses of Psychological Tests, and Human Resource Management.

The workshop fee is PHP6,500 plus tax, and includes small group workshops that provide “active learning,” snacks and lunch, a specialized student workbook and a personalized certificate of participation.

For more information or to register, please visit ProfilesAsiaPacific.com.


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The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace

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Strength lies in differences, not in similarities. – Stephen Covey

A wide range of skills is important in every business. Each company needs different departments that specialize in different fields. Much like skills, a variety of cultures also adds a desired dimension to businesses. This office diversity is vital to a business’ innovation and creativity, and it is something that human resources is both a curator and gatekeeper for.

Why is Diversity Important?

A diverse workplace empowers employees to show their own individuality, and in this encouraging environment, productivity, creativity and innovation thrives. A Forbes study found that workforce diversity and inclusion often drive innovation and business growth, and a Harvard Business School study showed that multicultural networks often promote increased creativity.

Ideas and Problem-Solving

A diverse workforce will offer different angles and solutions to a problem, and bring different perspectives that enable leaders to make well-informed decisions. People from different cultures will have uniquely valuable ideas. For example, someone who has lived in France for 10 years may point out that a traditional French holiday and event opportunity is coming up, and spur a marketing event surrounding the occasion. Multiple cultural point-of-views also ensure that ideas and problems are handled in a culturally sensitive way.

Skills and Talents

People from different backgrounds will bring different talents to the table. Someone who is a former teacher brings years of experience in instruction and education, whereas someone who used to work for a newspaper would have a wealth of knowledge about editing processes and media standards. A diverse workforce makes it more likely for someone in the office to have the skills and expertise needed in almost any situation.

Languages and Communication

Communication is vital in today’s quickly globalizing world, and having a multilingual workforce makes it much more likely for your company to effectively communicate with multiple target audiences. For example, if you’re holding an event where some of the population speaks English, and others speak Filipino, it is a good idea to produce promotional materials in both languages. To do this, you will need copywriters and editors who are fluent in each language.

Inclusion and Brand Protection

According to Neil Lenane, a Business Leader of Talent Management at Progressive, “if you do not intentionally include, you unintentionally exclude.” Alienating a potential client because of a lack of diversity and cultural awareness results in lost profit and damaged brand image.

How Can HR Encourage Diversity?

HR does the hiring, meaning they are able to introduce diversity to the workplace by consciously assessing people for a variety of different backgrounds, experience and cultures. According to Forbes Insights, “as companies compete on a global scale, diversity and inclusion frequently have to shift, as different markets and different cultures have varied definitions of what diversity means.” How can HR ensure that a business stays diverse and competitive in the industry?

  • Hire candidates with different backgrounds and life experiences.
  • Hire individuals with different philosophies and a variety of outlooks.
  • Hire individuals complementary but different personalities from existing employees.
  • Hire candidates from different ethnicities and have an equal gender balance.

Equip your HR department with a simple way to gauge different personalities and roles. Make sure your HR department isn’t stuck hiring the same “type” of person by profiling each candidate in an unbiased assessment. Visit ProfilesAsiaPacific.com for profiling assessments or email [email protected] to find out how we can help diversify your workforce by profiling current and potential employees.


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Office Dress Codes: Where to Draw the Line

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How casual is too casual?

The Philippines is a tropical country; it gets hot, humid and sticky every day unless it rains. With such temperamental weather, it makes sense for residents to dress in shorts, flip-flops and tank tops. However, depending on what kind of business you run, this may not be appropriate attire for employees. Setting a dress code can be useful for reigning in the inappropriate attire, but you must be careful not to breach any laws or alienate your employees.

All offices need some sort of dress code, even if it is as basic as “no visible underwear or private parts.” Below are a few guidelines on how to implement a dress code without pushing your employees too far.

  • Give employees dress code regulations in writing so they have something to refer to. If employees are in violation, management has something to refer to.
  • Clarify with measurable guidelines so there is no room for misunderstanding. For example, instead of saying “no short skirts,” say “hems must be kept at knee length.”
  • Implement regulations that make sense. If an employee has to remain on his or her feet all day, don’t require uncomfortable shoes. If a regulation is for safety purposes, such as closed-toe shoes in a lab, specify the reasons.
  • Never discriminate. Whether it is for gender, race, religion or otherwise, office dress codes must be extremely cautious about discrimination. Do not say “no bra-straps,” but “no visible underwear.” Likewise, steer clear of gender-exclusive requirements. Instead of demanding heels (unless you will require them of the males as well), request formal footwear.
  • Enforce equally. In addition to steering clear of discrimination in setting the rules, the enforcement of dress codes must also be equal. For example, if there are strictly no piercings are allowed, yet earrings on women are often overlooked, it could count as gender discrimination against men when they are prevented from wearing earrings as well.

Whether your company enforces a business professional or casual dress code, make sure it is fair, makes sense, and there is solid thought behind it. If you have a current dress code in place, it may be time to reevaluate based on how your company and workforce has evolved.


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How to Inspire Innovation in a Conventional Office

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Colors are a great way to add personality to your office

Conventional offices sometimes suck the creativity out of employees, and hinder innovation instead of helping it. But they don’t have to be that way. Try a few of these tricks to kick-start the innovators in your company and showcase what creativity is all about.

Colors

Color theory states that different colors can stimulate different things. Red makes you hungry, blue keeps you relaxed and invigorated, yellow keeps you cheerful, and so on. Depending on what your employees are supposed to be doing, a change in color and atmosphere could go a long way. If your office space is rented, and you can’t reasonably re-paint the entire office, try equipping your employees with whiteboards and different colored markers to add a pop of color to their desks. Whiteboards are also great spaces where employees can lay out and organize their ideas, write down new ones so they don’t forget, and brainstorm with coworkers.

Out of office meetings or events

Getting out of the office once in a while is healthy for all levels of a company, from top management to an intern. Thinking and interacting in a new space encourages new ideas by showing employees there are different ways to do things. Have a meeting in a coffee shop, or show a movie in the office once a month just to shake things up.

Seminars and learning workshops

Continuous training and education is necessary to keep minds sharp. This doesn’t just apply to new employees who need to be trained for their job, but also for long-term employees who should be continually trained and educated to remain competitive, especially with emerging technologies and competition within the industry. Seminars and learning workshops are great ways to get employees to think innovatively and step outside of their comfort zone by learning new things…or a new way to think about what they already knew.

Help foster innovation by giving your employees the tools to keep working beyond their self-set limitations, and show them that they have what it takes to be creative. Try the suggestions above, or add your own in the comments below.


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Creative Thinking and Innovation

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Creative thinking and innovation are vital components in both our personal and professional lives. However, many feel that they lack creativity. What most of us do not recognize is that we are creative on a daily basis, from picking out what clothes to wear or stretching a tight budget at work. While these tasks may not normally be associated with creativity, it takes a great deal of creativity to get these jobs done. While some people seem to be simply bursting with creativity, others find it a struggle to think outside the square. If you fall into the latter category, it is important to understand that boosting your creative and innovative abilities takes practice. Recognizing and honing your own creative potential is a process. That’s what this two-day workshop is all about.

From November 12 to 13, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Profiles Asia Pacific is hosting a Creative Thinking and Innovation workshop at unit 502 OMM Citra Bldg., San Miguel Ave. in Pasig City. Participants will learn how to identify the difference between creativity and innovation, how to recognize their own creativity, ways to build their own creative environment, the importance of creativity and innovation in business, problem solving steps and tools, individual and group techniques to help generate creative ideas and how to implement creative ideas.

Course Outline

  • What is creativity and innovation?
  • Individual creativity and how to get creative
  • Developing the right environment for creativity
  • Creativity and innovation in business
  • Where does creativity fit into the problem-solving process?
  • Defining the problem
  • Creative techniques (RAP model, shoe swap, mind mapping, metaphors and analogies, situation/solution reversal)
  • Encouraging creativity in a team (brainstorming, rolestorming, brainwriting, stepladder, and slip writing)
  • Putting it all together

The course will be taught by Ms. Blesilda “Baebee” Reynoso, who holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and Literature. She is a Creative Communications and Personality Enhancement Consultant specializing in training programs on Communication Skills, Learning Strategies, Team Building and Corporate Image. Ms. Reynoso, as an artist-educator, also conducts lectures in Humanities and Art Appreciation for students and teachers. She also conceptualizes and organizes heritage tours, art conventions, seminars, and exhibitions. She is also an author/consultant for publishing houses.

The course fee is PHP6,500 and includes small group workshops that promote “active learning,” a specialized student workbook, a free eBook, a personalized certificate of participation, snacks and lunch.

To register or for more information, visit ProfilesAsiaPacific.com.ph.


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