Posts by tperrault

Emotional Intelligence

I was sitting in one of our values sessions the other day on emotional intelligence. We teach this concept in a couple of our classes in the Leadership Program. It got me thinking about how we have to also reinforce this concept not only in ourselves but in our students.

The soft skills areas are one of the most challenging; especially with the already packed curriculum in all of our programs. How do we justify teaching this valuable skill to our students? Can we integrate the concepts into our every day teaching? Can we coach our students when we see opportunities or situations where they are not using the best emotional intelligence?  We can and we should! It is about being aware of our own E.I. and using that to our advantage. Share experiences where you were not so “emotionally intelligent.” Soft skills in combination with the hard skills assists are students in being a well-rounded and successful employee.

I was also thinking about how E.I. relates to what we are teaching in college 101.

8 Choices of Successful Students

  • Accept personal responsibility-seeing themselves as the primary cause of their outcomes and experiences.
  • Discover self-motivation-finding purpose in their lives by discovering personally meaningful goals and dreams.
  • Master selfmanagement-consistently planning and taking purposeful actions in pursuit of their goals and dreams.
  • Employ interdependence-building mutually supportive relationships that help achieve their goals and dream (while helping others do the same).
  • Gain self-awareness-consciously employing behaviors, beliefs and attitudes that keep them on course.
  • Adopt lifelong learning-finding valuable lessons and wisdom in nearly every experience they have.
  • Develop emotional intelligence-effectively managing their emotions in support of their goals and dreams.
  • Believe in themselves-seeing themselves as capable, loveable, and unconditionally worthy human beings.

All of the 8 choices can be related to the 5 Pillars of Emotional Intelligence; Self Awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and Social Skills! I hung a poster outlining the 8 choices in my class room. I refer back to it when a situation warrants.

So as you begin to reinforce what students learn in college 101 remember that hard skills get jobs and soft skills keep jobs!

Simulations to Spark Learning

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In my human resource management class I created a simulation experience to teach the following concepts.

  • Job analysis
  • job description creation
  • Interview question creation
  • Candidate selection planning
  • New employee orientation
  • Compensation

We use a “fast food supervisor” as our model for the entire 7 week course. This is a person that at least all of the students have seen in action. it allows the entire class to focus from start to finish on the whole process we would use in Human Resources and as a leader! Students are in charge of the process working in groups to learn the entire process. Students also partake in mock interviews as if they were hiring an actual candidate to gain experience.

The Job Pyramid is a way for students to visually understand that if we don’t get the first part right we ultimately won’t hire the correct person.

One of the issues leaders face is the lack of training as it relates to interviewing. Normally they are given a list of interview questions and told to go interview. This is recipe for disaster!

Each class is different and the amount of instructor intervention is different. What I find that as the course progresses I find new ways to make it more meaningful for future classes by watching how the students react to the simulation along the way! It gives what can be some boring material a life of its own in many ways.

Ultimately students have commented that they didn’t realize how much went into hiring an employee, the right employee!

Video Conference and Blackboard Discussion Boards


Ever try to explain an assignment to students working in groups over video conference? It can be confusing and at best cumbersome. My experience with teaching Video-conference (VC) for over 7 years is that one piece was missing.

The questions, “What are we doing again?” “What is it that you wanted?” or that what I was getting back from the students in their presentations didn’t match my expectations.
The fact is most of our learners are not auditory learners and need clear and concise written instructions. So the question was how do I do that in the VC environment. The answer was right in front of me in blackboard by using the discussion board!
In each of my VC classes I created a “Classroom Activity & Presentation” discussion board. This allowed me to posted instructions and handouts for activities that we would complete in class. The other benefit was that students could post their presentations as a reply and that allowed anyone in the class to see their work. I also allowed groups at multiple VC sites to work together!

Now I am able as part of my class preparation to create the class activities so I can hit the ground running before the class begins for the day.
A very simple solution right in front of me!