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Advice for students: Staple!

Advice for students: Staple!
Swingline Tot 50 Stapler

There are many ways for students to annoy their professors: “Did I miss anything important?” (No, nothing like that happens in our class.) “Will this test affect my grade?” (No, not at all.) “What are your office hours?” (They’re the first thing on the syllabus.) Most professors understand that such questions are harmless; few, if any, would give the responses I’ve imagined here.

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An annoyance that’s less understandable is the absence of a staple to hold together pages of written work. No matter how good an essay or report might be, a missing staple says a lot. Unstapled work says that the writer either doesn’t know what finished work looks like or isn’t willing to take the care necessary to produce it. Unstapled work says that the writer couldn’t be bothered to use a stapler in a library or residence hall or ask a friend. (My son tells me of a table in his undergraduate library with ten staplers available for students’ use). Unstapled work might also indicate a failure to follow directions, as many course assignments carry a reminder to staple. Worse perhaps than the absence of a staple are turned-down upper-left corners, which seem to acknowledge that there’s something wrong, but that the writer can’t be bothered to fix the problem properly. And worse still is the question that comes up in class when written work is due: “Do you have a stapler?”

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In such circumstances, some professors become codependent, so to speak, bringing a stapler to class when writing is due. To my mind, such professors are giving their students a false picture of the workings of the larger (so-called real) world. Can you imagine submitting a report or proposal as a sheaf of loose pages? Or asking your boss for a stapler before handing over that work? If not, start now, and staple! Unless, of course, your professors prefer paper clips.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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