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Posts Tagged ‘teacher

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

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This article is inspired by John Gurdon’s experience on criticism. He received Nobel prize in 2012. Though I have never met him, I counted a blessing that in a period of my life, I walked / cycled passed the Gurdon Institute (named after him) regularly.

An Eton teacher of John Gurdon wrote that the then 15-year-old John Gurdon wouldn’t listen, couldn’t learn simple biological facts and, horror of horrors, "insisted on doing work in his own way". In one test, Gurdon scored a miserable two out of 50.

The report made John Gurdon disheartened, but fortunately one of John Gurdon’s early decision on not to listen to non-constructive criticism indeed played an important role in his subsequent research work, including the discovery that mature cells can be converted to stem cells (and ended up winning a Nobel prize).

How not to listen to non-constructive criticism?

1. Be prepared that in life, no matter what we do (including noble actions), some people will criticize us. To protect ourselves against these peace robbers, we can
# enhance our inner strength by reminding / focusing ourselves on our strength
# have a thick face

2. Be aware of the reasons why people give non-constructive criticism

# jealousy and justification attempt. They are jealous of our achievements and attempt to gain self-importance by criticizing us. They justify themselves at the expense of us. Do not fear those who criticize us because of their jealousy. Perhaps, those who criticize us suffer from low self-esteem and meet their need of having self-importance by criticizing, instead we can be kind by giving them empathy and sympathy.

# ignorance and inexperience. For example, you want to attempt a new venture and you seek advices from people around you. Those who never start up a company or those who have failed will project their fear and criticize you. Do not listen to these naysayers. Instead, consult those who have successfully achieved what you want to achieve.

3. Be mindful of your perspective (mind), emotions, and body

# Must be able to see the BIG PICTURE
When I was a primary and junior high school student, I accept the fact that teachers are role models. I did not question their authorities. They were the grown-ups with more knowledge and wisdom than me who was only a fledgling individual. I did not realize that teachers are also human beings, subjected to human conditions (both positive and negative attributes). Few of my teachers had ego and misused their authorities. They criticized students who refused to follow them, e.g. if a student refused to learn bad words, he would be labeled as self-righteous. Fortunately, I moved to a better school and I learned a lot from my kind teachers – those who teach for the passion of teaching and nurturing the next generation more than for earning an income (of course everyone has to earn a living). Looking back, those teachers who criticized things I thought as right, did no longer matter.

Then, when I started my study in a famous place, an unhappy professor told me that the only reason I went there was because of the fame. Well, while that reason honestly contributed to my decision, I had bigger reasons why I fought all my ways to gain admission there. At that time, when such a professor with his authority / power and perceived superiority (in knowledge, ability, etc) said such things to students, the impact could be huge. However, I did not listen to him. I shifted my focus to my purpose (FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSES). I managed to work with more successful (and more generous and kinder) professors, produced results, and graduated. My mentor CNC loves to say that success is always the sweetest revenge (without harming our past offenders).

My learning journey then brought me to meet inspiring entrepreneurs. In some aspects, I look up to entrepreneurs who create jobs for many people and excellent products / services with great values, more than to professors who care only about their tenure, publications, and self-importance in their fields (of course, there are always kind professors, I was fortunate to meet and work with few of them). My experience with the entrepreneurs unleash an inner desire of me: to be an entrepreneur. That is why I am working everyday to prepare myself for my venture, to provide values to my customers. I believe that I will be invited to teach / give talks at universities because of my expertise, instead of having to apply and fight for limited faculty positions.

To summarize, I have met more people and seen the world, my perspectives have changed. When you climb a mountain, your standpoint / perspective has elevated, you can see wider and hence the bigger picture.

# Must be able to be the master of our emotion
Often, when one is criticized, one will end up feeling sad, shameful, worried (worry is a kind of fear), or angry. All these emotions are of lower consciousness.
Be aware of your emotion, then you can shift those of lower consciousness to those of higher consciousness (e.g. courage, patience).
For example, you can manage your anger through techniques such as loving yourself, Siberian North Rail Road, and detachment.

# Learn to relax our body
Criticisms from people whose matter to us (e.g. parents, teachers, bosses, co-workers, or even peers) can result in racing heart, sweating, shaking, flushing face.
When you are aware of these physical reactions of your body, use relaxation to calm down. Breath deeply. Visualize / imagine serene places that you remember from your travel. Recall prayers that you have said countless times.

"Let nothing disturb you,
nothing frighten you,
all things are passing.
God is unchanging.
Patience gains all;
nothing is lacking to those who have God:
God alone is sufficient."
St Teresa of Avilla

Related:
How to Handle Criticism and Nonconstructive Feedback by Nicole Wolfe
*Davidson_not_hopeless* (in my ref folder)

More readings:
http://www.economist.com/node/21564525
http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/

How to increase our income?

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Income = value x time x scalability

Indeed, in September 2012, I learned from an Australian mentor with numerous patents (KS) that scalability and low cost enable easy commercialization.

How much are you worth currently?
Your hourly current value = monthly income / hours worked per month

To create more value to our company and our clients, we must keep upgrading our knowledge, skills, intellectual capital.

We must constantly install new software into our mind in order to be able to create more value.

It is not one’s age, experience, or academic qualifications, but how much value one can create for his company / clients that matters and translates into different levels of income.

It is about "WHAT CAN YOU DO?"

Let us compare 2 insurance advisers.

Insurance adviser A, age 33, monthly income $3,000.
Waits for leads.
Follows up on leads.
Give adequate presentation on products / services

Closes the sale.
Never follows up with the client thereafter.
Closes monthly premium of $7,000.

Insurance adviser B, age 33, monthly income $20,000
Sets specific monthly sales target.
Actively generates leads from all source.

Creates partnership with other companies.
Ensures a minimum of 2 appointments for consultations / day.
Gives seminars on financial planning.
Writes and publishes a book on financial planning.
Does a a detailed needs and outcome analysis for potential clients.

Presents a highly beneficial and value-added plan for the client.
Helps the clients save money and identify important needs client may have overlooked (i.e. corporate insurance, estate planning, asset protection).
Follows up every 3 months to ensure client’s emotional and financial needs are met.
Sends a quarterly e-newsletter to his customers packed with tips on money management and investments.
Able to generate even more referrals from powerful services.
Helps recruit and train more sales people for the company.

Closes monthly premium of $50,000.

Now, let us compare 2 teachers.

Teacher A, age 42, monthly income $4,000
Has worked for 12 years.
Teaches the curriculum.
Gives and marks homework.
Gives tests and mark papers.

Fulfills minimum extra curricular duties.

Teacher B, age 34, monthly income $9,800
Has worked for 4 years.
Teaches the curriculum.
Able to motivate and inspire even the weakest and most unmotivated students.

Innovates / develops new curriculum / teaching methods.
Writes systems of best practices.
Trains new teachers.
Produces innovative marketing ideas to enroll more students.
Develops strong rapport with parents and provides additional family counseling.

Innovates ideas to increase department productivity, reduce expenses.
Has written 6 textbooks, assessment books that are sold locally and over the internet.
Uses accelerated teaching methods to boost grades.
Conducts seminars / workshops on weekends for parents on how to motivate their children.

Conducts seminars for students on exam skills.
Consultant to private tuition centers.

Things to increase in order to increase income:
1. leads
2. conversion rate
3. repeat business
4. average dollar purchase
5. net profit margin

In more details …

LEADS
learn how to create more effective advertisements (stronger headlines, more persuasive copy, i.e. text)
TV, radio, newspaper advertising
industry newsletter advertising
internet / email advertising
magazine advertising
outdoor advertising
flyers
promotion / sale
ask for referrals
member get member scheme
offer free gift
insert into other company’s invoice
letterbox flyers
sales teams
telemarketing / make more cold calls
buying / swapping database
seminars, events, roadshows
attractive window display / video
posters, large signage

CONVERSION RATE
define our unique selling proposition
set sales target
excellent customer service
introduce myself
survey our past customers
sell key benefits (not features) passionately
high quality in store posters / brochures
in-store sales scripts
be a consultant / problem solver
give a money back guarantee
benefits, testimonials list
give free bonuses that increase value
great prospects and use their name
learn closing techniques
ask for the sale more than once
personal grooming, high dress standards
video in store displays
leave price to last
study and prepare for objections
specialized knowledge about our products and industry
focus on client’s needs and emphasize benefits
convenient payment scheme (credit cards, nets)
offer installment schemes with 0 interest
allow mail order / home delivery
address concerns / possible objections upfront
sell on value not price
use NLP to build strong rapport with clients
follow up with prospects regularly
improve our presentation skills

REPEAT BUSINESS
direct mail offers of the months
keep in touch every 3 months
inform clients of our entire range of services
target likely repeat customers
send special occassion cards
make customers feel special (super experience)
build a close relationship / friendship
create a loyalty program
exceed customers expectations
discount voucher off the next purchase

AVERAGE DOLLAR PURCHASE
focus on a higher income target market
use a shopping list
sell add-ons/up sizes
make sure our client knows our full range of services
suggest most expensive first
create value packages / bundle several products in a package
buy 3 get 1 free deals
ask people to buy some more
increase prices by 10%
arrange easy finance and payment
free gift / lucky draw with $xx purchase
ask customers to buy more (e.g. McDonalds, do you want to have a combo meal? do you want to upsize? do you want to have a dessert? do you want toy?)
up sell
cross sell
do a complete needs-analysis to find out how we can add even more value to customers

NET PROFIT MARGINS
increase prices
sell on value / service than price / discounts
set monthly budget targets
track costs weekly and aim to reduce by 10%
stop running ads that do not work
sell more higher margin items / sell higher margin products 1st
source for cheaper suppliers which are just as good
bargain hard with existing suppliers
increase working efficiency

Written by blueroselady

September 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm