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Self-Explaining and Learning

May 4th, 2017

In today’s economy, one of the most important skills a person can have is the ability to learn. In fact, it is the ability to learn that has the most significant impact on a person’s future earnings. Companies everywhere pay employees for training and to take courses.

But knowing how to learn is a skill in itself, and that is something that is not addressed. One such effective learning strategy or skill is called self-explaining. It is literally the act of talking to yourself out loud and asking yourself questions.

For example, when you are reading something, you would ask yourself things like, “What does this mean,” and “Why is it important?” Research has shown that people who explain ideas to themselves out loud learn about three times more than people who do not.

Here are some tips on using the self-explaining method.

1. Talk to yourself out loud.
It is understandable if you are reluctant to talk to yourself. After all, it is generally perceived to be a sign of mental instability. But it is very helpful for learning. For one thing, it helps us to become more self-conscious about the learning process, to focus on how and what we are learning, how well we know the material, and what we may be confused about. It forces us to slow the pace a little, to step back and review to make sure we really know what we are reading.

2. Ask questions, especially why.
It is through asking questions like, “Do I really know this,” or “What is confusing about this,” that we get more of a handle on our learning process and help to improve it. Always asking “Why?” helps us to better learn as well, helping us to probe more deeply into a subject until we really understand it.

3. Summarize
To summarize, we need to put things in our own words, to explain things to ourself, and this helps us to better understand the material. Plus, by doing this, it helps you to remember the material better.

4. Connecting
When you are explaining things to yourself, you should be looking for connections, relationships between concepts as well. This also helps to better understand and remember.

Trinity Staffing has the experience and expertise to find the right position for you. We are one of the leading staffing agencies in the San Antonio area. Give Trinity Staffing a call today

Avoiding Mental Traps

April 27th, 2017

We all want to get ahead at work. But often what prevents our progress is not something external, but internal – our own mindset and attitude.

We develop mindsets that dampen our mood and motivation, that keep us from focusing on our tasks and giving them all the energy they deserve. Here are three such corrosive attitudes and what psychologists say we can do to change them.

1. Not letting go of the past.
We all have made our share of mistakes – made bad decisions, did things we shouldn’t have or did not do things we should have. But many cannot get past these things. They are filled with regret, remorse, or anger at them. They continually replay them in their mind, chewing on them continuously.

Regret, however, is a useless emotion. We need to move ahead. Certainly, we should learn from the past so we don’t repeat the same mistakes. But then it is time to let go. If we do not, we don’t fully engage with the present, and squander the only time that matters – now.

2. Accepting the truth.
Sometimes this is difficult to do. We easily see the flaws in others but are often blind to our own. But if we know the truth, we need to accept it, rather than turning a blind eye to it. Denial does not work either because eventually the truth will catch up.

We often miss the truth simply because we are not paying attention, according to psychologists. We are very aware of what we pay attention to, but unaware of the things we do not attend to. Psychologists say that we need to confront the pain and fear that we feel in order to combat them. We need to recognize that life is not meant to be easy, and there is no guarantee of safety and security for anyone.

3. Trying to change other people.
If you believe you can do this, you need to change your thinking here as well. When dealing with difficult people, you need to accept them for who they are, and to develop ways of working with them, or detaching from them.

Trinity Staffing offers the most comprehensive workforce services and solutions in the San Antonio area. We have the expertise and experience to find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

How to Wake Up When You Need To

April 20th, 2017

Do you have trouble getting up for work? Do you find yourself constantly rushing in the morning because you never seem to have enough time? Or maybe you would like to get up earlier so that you can get more done in the morning, workout, for example.

If you are having difficulty getting up in the morning, here are a few ideas that may help.

1. Move your alarm away from the bed.
This is a simple little trick to help you get out of bed. It forces you to move, which also helps to wake you up. You cannot simply roll over and punch the snooze button, which research has shown is not a good idea anyway. You should avoid the snooze button.

Some more daring people even put obstacles between the bed and the alarm, which forces them to navigate through them. However, unless you really find this helpful, you need to be careful here because of the risk of injury.

2. Make the bed immediately
As soon as your turn off the alarm, your next move should be to make the bed. This will prevent you from crawling back into it again. Also, making your bed is a little act of self-discipline that helps you get your day off to a good start.

3. Apply cold water
Nothing wakes you up like the feel of cold water. You can simply splash some on your face, or if you feel adventurous, take a cold shower, which also has a number of health benefits.

You should drink a glass of water as well. During the night, your body becomes dehydrated, so a glass of water first thing in the morning is a good way to get hydrated and get your body functioning as it should.

4. Get some exercise
This is a great way to help you wake up because it gets your blood pumping. You can run or walk, do calisthenics, yoga, push ups and sit ups, or work out on an exercise machine.

5. Get enough sleep
This is probably the most important piece of advice to help you get up in the morning. Most Americans are sleep deprived. So naturally, if you are not getting enough sleep, it’s going to make it difficult to wake up. Not only that, you may find yourself nodding off during the day.

Most adults need around seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

If you are looking for work in the San Antonio area, Trinity Staffing will work with you to evaluate your unique skills and experience to find the right job for you. Call Trinity Staffing today.

Taking Risks in Your Career

April 13th, 2017

In our jobs, and in life, we are continually facing challenges and obstacles, coping with adversity. We have to deal with constant competition.

Some people deal with these circumstances by adopting a defensive posture, alert to parry any adverse thrust that life may throw their way. This is what they are focused on, trying not to get knocked off balance.

All of their attention and effort is channeled toward staying upright, maintaining their status and equilibrium.

But they are so consumed with not getting knocked down and giving that all their energy, that they have given up any chance of making any forward progress. You are not spending any time toward developing your skills and knowledge that will enable you to move ahead.

The fact is that we all get knocked down frequently. Failure and setbacks are a part of life. But we cannot allow that to force us into a guarded, defensive stance toward life.

Love the Mat

Those who practice the martial arts say that you have to learn to love the mat. In other words, when you practice martial arts, you are going to take a fall many times, you are going to hit the mat over and over, and so you cannot be afraid of hitting the mat. In fact, as they say, you have to learn to love hitting the mat. Only that way can you really make progress.

If you learn to love the mat, your mind is no longer consumed by the fear of getting knocked down, and you can devote all of your attention to attacking your opponent. And, paradoxically, you end up not getting knocked down as much.

Psychologists say the same is true at work and life. You have to embrace setbacks, embrace risk, embrace adversity, because sooner or later you are going to hit the mat no matter what, so you need to learn to love it. Only then can you truly make progress and improve your performance.

One well known admiral expressed it in the following way – if you grab a thistle timidly, its spines will stick you, but if your grasp it firmly, it will crumble.

Trinity Staffing is the place to go if you are looking for work in the San Antonio area. Trinity works with you individually to determine your skills, interests, and experience, so that we can find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today

Taking Breaks at Work

April 6th, 2017

The accepted wisdom these days among companies is that employees accomplish the most when they work continually, the longer the better. Taking frequent breaks is often considered just a waste of time, a way of avoiding work.

But psychological research is now showing the necessity of taking breaks. Work requires a lot of energy, effort needed to focus, to blot out distractions, to keep going. All of these things become harder the longer the person is at the task.

So, breaks are needed to rest and recharge. Taking breaks allows the person to recover and return to the task with renewed vigor. In fact, research has shown that after a break, a person’s performance improves when they return to work.

But some kinds of breaks work better than others.

And, unfortunately, employees often do things during their break that hurt more than help. For example, they might have a snack, drink some coffee or other caffeinated beverage, or gripe to a colleague. These activities do not help reduce fatigue because they do not get at the cause of the fatigue.

When taking a break, the employee needs to do something that allows him to completely separate himself from his work mentally. This helps him to recover more quickly. When taking a break, you also want to do something that generates more positive emotions and thoughts, something that is enjoyable. This helps to boost the flow of blood to the brain, which helps us to better focus.

Here are a few ideas for things to do during a break that help a person to separate from work and generate good feelings.

1. Meditation.
This helps you to clear your mind and to relax.

2. Physical activity
This helps to get the blood flowing throughout your body and to your brain. It also helps improve your mood and reduce stress. So, take a walk around the office, or if you can, outside.

3. Learn something new
Gain some new knowledge, which increases positive emotions.

4. Help out a colleague
This too boosts your well being.

5. Think about your goals

If you are looking for work in the San Antonio area, Trinity Staffing is the place to go. Trinity Staffing is among the best in the Lone Star state and can help you find a job that fits your skills and experience. Give Trinity a call today.

Psychological Observations That Help at Work

March 23rd, 2017

Often, we have attitudes, mindsets and beliefs about ourselves and others that become impediments to good decision making and to following the best course of action to achieve our goals at work. That is because these beliefs are inaccurate. They are based more on feeling and intuition, rather than facts and evidence.

Here are a few insights into what people really believe based on psychological research.

1. People don’t notice you as much as you may believe
People are more wrapped up in their own problems, needs, ambitions and desires. After interacting with you, they are on to the next thing and you have disappeared from their minds. There are more important issues to attend to.

This is important to remember if you feel shy or embarrassed. People often feel this way because they erroneously believe they are the center of attention, that everyone is looking and talking about them. The truth is, they are actually paying little attention to you, and forget about you quickly.

2. Our self is constantly changing
As we age and go through life, we are to a great degree a different person than we were in our youth. We have gained a lot more experience. Our values and desires are much different. What we consider important has changed. Our mindset is different.

3. Don’t compare yourself to other people.
This is a fool’s game. Unfortunately, with the rise of Facebook, it is something that preoccupies more people – and makes them more depressed. But, you need to remember, everyone is different. And there is an old saying that pretty much captures of foolishness of making comparisons – “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

Things may look better, but that is mostly because of your imagination. We are all human, all with our own frailties, vices, insecurities, and problems. Life is messy and ambiguous for everyone.

4. People seldom listen to advice
It’s true. So, you may feel the need to offer some out of the goodness of your heart, but don’t be disappointed if your friends or colleague pays no heed. Giving advice is generally wasted effort.
People learn mostly from their own experiences.

5. Conquer yourself, not the world.
This quote from the French philosopher Rene Descartes sums up the psychological insight that we need to focus on the one thing we can control — ourself. We have total control only over our own emotions and thoughts and behavior, and that is what we need to focus on. Improving ourselves, making ourselves the best we can be, before we can even think about tackling the issues surrounding us.

Trinity Staffing is among the most respected recruiting firms in the San Antonio area. If you are looking for work, Trinity Staffing has the resources and network to find the right job for you. Give Trinity Staffing a call today.

Traits of Creativity

March 9th, 2017

These days, one of the key traits that businesses look for in their leaders is creativity. When the pace of change has continued to accelerate, and there is more data to assimilate, when companies need to negotiate global markets, innovation and creativity have taken on a new prominence.

According to a recent IBM survey, creativity has become the most important trait that companies look for.

But creativity, unlike other desirable traits and skills, is still in many ways shrouded in mystery. How one develops creativity is still a question open to debate. To some, it is an intrinsic quality one is born with, and if you don’t have it naturally, it is difficult to develop. But others see it as a skill that you can improve through training.

Psychologists side with the latter group, arguing that we all have the ability to be creative, an ability that manifests itself in different ways among different people. And, they say, we can all develop our creativity through practice.

The Research

One human resources firm looked at several thousand people, one group consisting of people whose work is mainly creative, and another group whose work is not. The firm then sifted through data relating to the personalities of the two groups, and arrived at traits that are common among creative types and traits more common among non-creatives.

Traits Found

Here is what they found. People who are creative tend to be more intellectually curious, more sensitive to artistic creations, more emotional, more adventurous, more spiritual and more energetic.

The non-creatives were more organized and more compliant than the creative people, according to the data. And while the data showed that creative people are generally more rebellious and impulsive, it also showed paradoxically that they were more cautious. But the caution, it turns out, applies more to being conscientious about their work.

So, how can you increase your creativity? One way might be through cultivating those traits shared by creative people. For example, indulge your intellectual curiosity by learning about things outside your job and areas of interest. Explore new areas and ideas. Try meditating to get in touch with your spiritual side. Get more involved in the arts, either by trying your hand at them yourself or viewing the artistic creations of others. Try to get more in touch with your emotions by being more aware of them.

Trinity Staffing offers the most comprehensive workforce services and solutions in the San Antonio area. We have the expertise and experience to find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

How to Handle Failure at Work

March 2nd, 2017

Sooner or later, something will go wrong. That is just the way things are. The path to success is narrow and fraught with obstacles. It is easy to lose our balance, stumble and fall to failure. So, failure itself is not something to fear. The important thing is how we handle failure and recover from it. Here are some tips on dealing with failure at work.

1. Acknowledge your failure
This is the first step in confronting failure – admitting that you erred. Some people have a habit of blaming everyone but themselves when something goes wrong. They look for the cause everywhere else. Others simply attempt to shove it under the rug, pretend it never happened.

Adopting these strategies, however, is counterproductive. You will never move forward, grow and develop if you do not admit your mistakes and deal with them. If you don’t acknowledge failure, you doom yourself to making the same mistakes again.

2. Move past it
You need to admit failure, but you also cannot let it put you into a depression. You cannot beat yourself up over it, which also accomplishes nothing. You should not dwell on it. It happened, and you need to move on. You need to be able to look at what happened in a more objective manner, without all of the negative emotions attached to it.

3. Evaluate it.
Step 2 is necessary for you to examine what happened, to think about what led to the failure, what the causes were. When did things begin to break down? Examining the process will help you to determine where you made your mistakes.

4. Keep going
After you have determined where you erred, you can begin to come up with action plans so that you don’t repeat the mistakes you made. You can begin to use the failure as a learning tool to help you make better decisions in the future.

And remember not to let the failure define you. It is an event that occurred, nothing else. As Nelson Mandela said, “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

Trinity Staffing. It’s the place to go if you are looking for work in the San Antonio area. One of the leading recruiting firms in the Lone Star state, Trinity has the experience and expertise to match your skills and experience with the right job. Give Trinity Staffing a call today.

Lifestyle and Productivity

February 23rd, 2017

When we look at productivity, we usually look at the way we do our work – how we manage our time, organize our schedule, focus on our tasks, increase our efficiency. But there are other things that affect productivity as well, things we do outsisde of work that affect the energy and endurance we bring to our job.

Here are a few of those other things that influence our productivity.

1. Diet.
We all like our sweets. But research is showing that sugar is just not good for us. Yes, it may give you a quick burst of energy, but it soon passes, and you feel even more tired than before. That is because sugar can cause inflammation of our tissues, and that applies to brain tissue as well. Too much sugar can make it harder to concentrate and easier to get distracted, even put us in a bad mood.

For better productivity, eat a more nutrient rich diet, one with proteins, fruits and vegetables.

2. Stress
No surprise here. This obviously can affect our productivity. Too much stress can sap our energy and focus.

To combat stress, make sure to take breaks at work, and get plenty of exercise and enough sleep. Exercise and sleep have been found to be especially effective in fighting stress. Meditation helps as well.

3. Sleep
A lack of sleep can be a real productivity killer, but it is usually the first thing to go when we feel pressured to get work done. People generally feel they can cut down on their sleep with little consequence, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Research shows sleep is really important for our brains to recuperate and assimilate what it receives during the day.

4. Water
Like the rest of our body, our brains are mostly water – more than 90 percent — so it is important to make sure we drink enough water to keep our brains functioning at their best. If you don’t get enough water, it can affect your memory, mood, and your decision making ability.

It’s especially important to get enough water if you drink a lot of coffee or other caffeinated beverages that are diuretics.

If you need to be more productive in managing your job search, Trinity Staffing is the place to go. Trinity has the experience and the network of employers to help find the right job for you. Give Trinity a call today.

Reminders on Preparing for the Job Interview

February 16th, 2017

Job interviews are never easy. You never know exactly what you will face, since each company has its own values, goals and priorities.

However, there are some common elements to all interviews that you should keep in mind as you prepare. Remembering these things will help you to perform much better.

1. Don’t be too self conscious
This is easier said than done in a job interview. You want to make a good impression, and you know that what you say and how you act are being evaluated. But you shouldn’t get too hung up on a little gaffe or awkward moment. You should realize that these minor glitches are not situations that the hiring manager will pay much attention to. He has more important issues to deal with.

2. Read the company website
Know the company. It is pretty much standard operating procedure now that job seekers need to research companies. Naturally, you need to check the company’s website and find out what the mission and goals are and what is happening at the firm.

You also should know what the duties and responsibilities of the job are when you go to the interview. This you can get from the job description. If there is anything that you are not clear about, you should ask about it at the interview so you have a good understanding of what the job entails.

Also, you should be able to articulate clearly and persuasively what you can offer the company, how you can add value. You should be able to answer the question – why should we hire you?

3. Prepare for the questions
You may not know the exact questions the hiring manager will ask, but there are some common interview questions that more often than not turn up in interview situations. So, you should prepare for these questions and rehearse your answers. It might also be a good idea to write down your answers so they are more clearly and firmly implanted in your mind.

4. Remember that the interviewer is probably a little tense also.
This is something you as a job seeker need to be aware of too. The interviewer knows that he and his company are competing against other firms for your talents, firms that may be better known. So, he is trying to sell the company to you as well.

If you are looking to move ahead in your career in San Antonio, Trinity Staffing is the place to go. Trinity has the resources and expertise to make sure you do not fail in your job search. Give Trinity a call today.

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