You Can Be Smart! A Winning Skills Book

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Instead, choose one or two skills to focus on at a time, and break that skill down into manageable goals. Reflect along the way To move from experimentation to mastery, you need to reflect on what you are learning. Halvorson and Weintraub both suggest talking to others. Talking about your progress helps you get valuable feedback, keeps you accountable, and cements the change.

Challenge yourself to teach it to others One of the quickest ways to learn something new, and to practice it, is to teach others how to do it. So share what you learn with your team, your manager, or your co-workers. With objectives like those, your learning will be much more focused and practical.

The reality is that it takes much longer. And it may take longer for others to see and appreciate it. Case study 1: Learn by trial and error Jaime Petkanics was a basic Excel user when she started her first job out of college. However, a few months in, she was asked to build an Excel model that would track and report the success rates of campus recruiting efforts. She started by learning as much as possible on her own. She found tutorials on Google, and watched instructional videos on YouTube.

But she still struggled. Over the course of two weeks, Jaime developed the model. But she continued to refine it, and because of her success, others asked her to take on similar projects.

2. Reading reduces stress

By the time she left the job almost three years later, Excel and data analytics were strengths that helped her land her next position. Case study 2: Experiment with different approaches Safia Syed, a regional finance controller at a global outsourcing company, noticed that any time she suggested an improvement to a financial or IT system, colleagues resisted.

Her ideas went through numerous rounds of review and were heavily questioned. She decided that her communication style was hindering her, and needed to be changed. Safia started by reading books about how to persuade people effectively and joined Toastmasters, a non-profit educational organization.

Through that program, she learned how to connect with stakeholders and present ideas in a more appealing way. This provided Safia with a perfect opportunity. She explained her desire to see her ideas have more impact and the boss advised her to focus less on why something needed to be changed and more on how it could happen, including what she could do to make sure it did.

Safia realized she had been assuming that her colleagues understood what the problems were and how to fix them. She had been highlighting what needed to be done, and leaving it at that. With her new understanding in hand, she was able to try a different approach: she mapped out a process and pointed to the root causes. This helped her audience understand where they could make changes and how exactly she could help. Safia has noticed a big difference in how colleagues respond to her suggestions: they are now more open to hearing them, and willing to work with her to implement them. Jobs and Careers.

Personal Growth. Working Smarter. Managing and Leading. Being Happy at Work. Education and Lifelong Learning. Amy Gallo ,. Listen to the audiobook here! The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an old Cuban fisherman chasing the biggest catch of his life. All alone, and miles out to sea, he battles with the fish for several days. It is the way this book deals with these themes that makes it one of the most famous and successful novels written in English. Hemingway uses short, simple sentences to great effect. This means that the book is quite easy and quick to read, but that it is also powerful.

Men are shown to be weak and small compared to nature throughout the novel and even in the title itself — The Old Man and the Sea. Words related to fishing are used a lot in this book, which means you will learn some specific jargon related to this topic. There is also lots of emotional language. George Orwell has a special place in many British hearts.

There is even a prize named after him: the Orwell Prize, which awards the best political writing across the world. It was released in and looked forward to a future where the world is run by dictators and everybody is constantly being monitored. In the book, the main character, Winston, tries to fall in love and struggle against the government in a world where his every move is being watched.

Since it was released, has been seen as a classic — meaning people think it as one of the best books of all time because of its story and the way it deals with difficult themes. Orwell also had several ideas in that are often used in political discussions in the UK. This means he has taken two opposite ideas and put them together. As you can see, deals with some quite heavy political themes — but this should not put you off. It is one of the most popular and entertaining books in the English language. Perhaps you have already read the Harry Potter books , or at least seen the films.

These books are a must read for all English students who enjoy fantasy novels. There are seven books in the series, which get progressively longer and more advanced in their English. It is best to start with the first. Harry Potter is a story about witches and wizards. All of the main characters go to Hogwarts, which is a school where they are taught how to use magic.

10 Books That Will Make You Smarter in Every Way - Barnes & Noble Reads — Barnes & Noble Reads

The wizarding world of Harry Potter has its own animals, history, and even words! You can see that these books are a goldmine for practical English words and phrases. Scotch tape is another word for sticky tape or Sellotape. This term sounds funny in English, but it can be a little insulting. In the extract, Rowling is painting a picture of Harry as scruffy and lanky — meaning his appearance is messy and he is tall and thin. YouTube has some great videos to help you learn English with popular books such as Harry Potter. The video below is an English lesson that uses the first book:. Nick Hornby is one of the most popular modern English authors.

Many of his books are bestsellers that have also been made into popular movies — including About a Boy the film. This is a funny story about an immature man who behaves like a boy and a serious young boy who behaves like a man. In many ways they are opposites, but they become friends and help each other to understand their own hearts. The great thing about novels is that they teach you both formal and informal English. It is a good idea to read new books as well as old classics, as they will help you learn the modern language as it is used today.

Hornby writes with a lot of energy and this makes his books exciting to read. About a Boy uses a lot of modern slang words and phrases. This is a phrase often used in England. If the odds are in your favour, it means something is likely to turn out well for you.

8 Benefits of Reading (or Ways Reading Makes You Better at Life)

Scott Fitzgerald is an example of how poetic you can be with the English language. Set in s America, this novel looks at the ideas of love and the American Dream. It is one of the best-selling books ever written in English. Although The Great Gatsby is harder to read than the other books mentioned here, you can learn many new words from it. Fitzgerald uses a wide range of vocabulary and images to bring out the beauty in the language.

This book may be a little complicated in places, but the story is interesting and will keep you turning the pages! There is a film version of this book , which you may like to watch before you read it. Although they are used in literature from all across the world, they have different names in different languages.

Warren Buffett’s reading routine could make you smarter, science suggests

Why not try using some of these techniques to bring your own English to life? Personification is when you give human characteristics to something that is not human. This might be objects or animals. This shows the emotion her worry is causing her. Examples in everyday conversation :. A metaphor is when you describe one thing as something else to create a more memorable description of it.

1. Why learn English through literature?

This can be used all of the time in conversation. Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous romance stories ever. In this line, Romeo is comparing Juliet to the rising sun to show how much he loves and worships her. A simile compares two things by saying item A is like item B. It is often confused with a metaphor. The difference is that you are not describing something as actually being something else. This is a lovely simile, which shows the many layers of the human mind.

2. How to improve your English by reading simple books

With this quote, Barrie shows how a simile can be used to describe something beautifully. Hyperbole is when you exaggerate on purpose to show how important something is. Hyperbole is often used in native English conversations , but be careful not to overuse it! In this example, the author is saying there is nothing to buy and nothing to see. Of course, this is an exaggeration: there are at least a few things to buy and see!

The hyperbole here makes the scene appear desolate — which means empty and bleak. Check out Literarydevices. English can be a confusing language to learn! Have you ever come across two words that sound the same, but have different meanings? These are called homophones. In this detailed guide, you will learn sets of homophones with real native examples. Due to their complexity, phrasal verbs often cause problems for foreign learners of English. What are the most common English idioms used today? This post lists the most popular idiomatic expressions to help you sound more like a native English speaker!

Our A-Z of idioms gives you the meaning of each expression, along with example sentences. Get started today by requesting your free minute consultation with OTUK! All rights reserved. Company registered in England No. Email: info onlineteachersuk. About Teachers Prices Courses Blog. Log In.