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Why I Joined LearnEd – Yash Maniar

At school, I was very shy and never interacted with anyone a lot. Things changed with my interactions during college…
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At school, I was very shy and never interacted with anyone a lot. Things changed with my interactions during college festivals, while giving presentations during the Management course I did and while studying at an entrepreneurship programme in the US. 

While I have been fortunate to have these experience, there are many friends who haven’t been abroad or have been ridiculed for their ‘poor English’ and many more who don’t express their ideas and don’t step out of their shell because of this fear.

While researching a bit, I was shocked to read some of the stats – Out if 1.2 billion population, there are just 125 million who can understand English (as per 2012 reports). This is when majority of the social media happens in English and most of the consumers have smartphones, when the world is becoming smaller and trade with international companies is growing each day! It made me think of the fact that there is a need for people to learn how to communicate, both on and off social media.

Often, It isn’t even about speaking the language ‘English’, but about having the confidence to share ideas, express opinions and create an aura that helps people achieve their dreams and inspire others around them. In many ways, it’s about empowering people to live their lives fully!

Communication for me is constant work in progress – to practise and learn to speak effectively. How can I give a Ted-like speech? How can I be a good story-teller?  Learning has always given me a high. Trying new things, discovering new processes and skills. It’s like a magical box that you open up and it equips you with different kind of powers and I feel I am striving to become a brilliant orator that can inspire people. Hence, I always look for opportunities like these.

I came across LearnEd while speaking to a friend about the ed-tech industry and how technology is educating millions of people around. When she mentioned LearnEd’s focus on English education, my first thought was about the impact such education can have on youngsters.

A little bit about me – I am passionate about Entrepreneurship, Sustainability and Food amongst many other things. I have always believed in the power of businesses and how it can be used to do good in the society. With this idea in mine, at LearnEd, I look after implementing the online projects contributing to the growth of the company . The journey so far has been – exciting, challenging as well as fulfilling at the same time.

LearnEd has taught me that it is not about Communicating, but the fear of Communicating, and that there is a huge difference between the two. It has exposed me to the various aspects of Communication and helped reflect on what it is that I can work on.

The vision of LearnEd to use gaming and new learning techniques to teach effective communication inspires me to create a beautiful, enriching experience for the participants. Our game LeapOn is the new way of learning. In today’s time, where travel and time is limited, LearnEd is taking risks to bring people online to interact, learn and become pros at communicating in English. A huge help is that the team is on board with the vision. That’s half the battle won, and that’s the best thing about working at LearneEd. LearnEd has given me the chance to explore different ideas, be experimental and take risks, and I hope to inspire the same in all our clients as well!

From the Horse’s Mouth: Your English will Land You the Job You’ve Been Looking For

In a day and age where unemployment is on the rise, every debate finds its way around to the fact…
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In a day and age where unemployment is on the rise, every debate finds its way around to the fact that people are constantly looking for work, and often fail at finding it. Discussions have been aplenty, but no one really seems to have an answer as to why the job market is such a sinking pit.

With so much competition among candidates for every position, it becomes exceedingly important to give yourself an edge when it comes to your skills and abilities. Arming yourself with knowledge of your field and staying updated with current affairs is a must. However, along with this, it is equally important to sharpen your communication skills and soft skills. Companies all over the world are looking for smart-talkers, for people who can deftly make their point heard and who can talk to clients effectively. The need of the hour is people who can speak fluently in English, thus allowing a company to form a global presence. In fact, the Executive Director of the Malaysian Employers Federation, Shamsuddin Bardan, states this clearly: “Most of the jobs available require knowledge of English as you need to communicate with your clients or customers, especially in marketing and sales, which are normally the kind of jobs available now.When you don’t have that requirement, it’s very difficult for the employers to do anything.” The MEF’s report even states that 59% of their fresh applicants do not get hired because of their poor command of the English language. Don’t believe us? Read more here.

Not just in Malaysia, but in so many countries, a competent understanding of English is fast becoming a basic requirement. Britain’s Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, states that “the government wants people to learn the language so they can enjoy more of the benefits of living in the country, and so there is less resentment among others who expect them to make such an effort.” He also states this learning English “transformed the life” of his own mother too!

This isn’t just a story of other countries. In India too, the ability to communicate in English is a basic requirement. The Dean of IIT Madras, R. David Koilpillai explains, “Students must be able to communicate technical ideas clearly in interviews. Proficiency in spoken English gives confidence.” HR Managers also state that candidates with English skills above the local average stand out from the crowd and garner 30-50% higher salaries than similarly qualified candidates without English skills. You can read more about this situation here.

Armed with this knowledge of how more and more recruiters and companies are insisting on English and Soft Skills, would you still want to be left behind when it comes to advancing your career? Step up, today, and let LearnEd help you race to the top!

English: The Language of the Internet

Think back to the last time you went for a holiday or for work, away from your state or country.…
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Think back to the last time you went for a holiday or for work, away from your state or country. Do you remember the struggle to get across the most basic information, or the difficulty you faced when asking the simplest of questions? The fight to communicate with people in a place where you don’t speak the same language as them is a real one. Not only does it impede your communication with others, it will also make you feel extremely limited in your own ability to get anything done. Similarly, imagine being in a place where people from all the different parts of the world interact, but everyone speaks in their own language. Imagine the kind of standstill that will bring all interaction to. Enter reality, this is the Internet.

The fact is, in the middle of the vastness of the Internet, it is the English language that becomes a common denominator for most of us. Today, we can buy wares from a small seller in China, get tech advice from someone in Hong Kong, discuss hospitality with hotel owners in Greece, football with a fan in Spain and not once be worried about knowing their language. The internet has truly made the world into one small village, and through it, we can have conversations with people across the globe from us. This happens because most people use English on the internet. Be it Google, Facebook or news networks, English is the most commonly used language on the Internet. While translation softwares are available aplenty, most of them have English set in a a default conversion language.

In a world where globalisation rules the roost (do you know what that idiom means?),  the internet is the handiest of all tools for us. Whether we are studying, working at our own businesses, looking for jobs or for partnership opportunities, we utilise the internet. In a situation like this, sharp control over your usage of English and enhanced communication can easily make you stand apart from the crowd. Knowing how to write a succinct but impactful email, putting up an inviting advertisement, writing the correct product descriptions or merely responding to a query – each of these require good conversation intelligence and English fluency. English was the founding language of the Internet, and while most of it is coded in English, nearly 56% of all the information online is in English. This may seem like a small amount, but to put it in perspective, the next most used language is Russian, at 6%!

With as dense a concentration, a lack of English skills could really slow you down in comparison to others. If you too are looking to make it big through the internet, it is time to sharpen your language and communication skills. Your team at LearnEd is constantly on its toes to keep you updated with every way to sharpen your skills, at the speed of a click! Write to us today to see how we can help you!

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Employ Empathy at your Office

I spent some time in our last post talking about how it is empathy in any business that can make…
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I spent some time in our last post talking about how it is empathy in any business that can make or break it. There are several studies that prove that consciously incorporating techniques to build empathy in the office can help significantly boost the employees’ as well as the business’ performance. How do we do that, though?

Danny Leffel, the CEO of the communications app CREW states “The empathy for the teams that you lead, empathy for the workers that are here, it’s such a shortcut in so many ways to being a more effective leader because you understand what’s going on and so I think that’s a really important quality.” Building individual and collective empathy can really build stronger teams, stronger products and happier clients. These are a few of our top tried and tested ways to build empathy in your office:

Individuals, not just groups: Whether you are in a leadership position at work, or you are dealing with customers, speak to your people as if they are individuals, not just a group of people for you to deal with. Use their names when talking to them, ask questions about them and what they need. Find small ways to appreciate them and connect with them. It may take a few minutes more of your time, but it will build connections and will give you more insights about them as well.

Listen: Okay I swear this isn’t just a way for me to plug in LearnEd’s previous blog posts on listening effectively, but one of the simplest ways to practice empathy is to listen to people around you. It will take a few minutes of your time, but it will build connections and will give you more insights about them as well. Let your colleagues know what they think matters.

I Understand: Acknowledging someone’s point of view or opinion before you try to say otherwise makes them more likely to listen to you. “I understand how you feel/I understand where you’re coming/I would have felt the same way” – beginning a sentence like this, even if you were to disagree after, will go a long way.

Be kind – in word and action: Don’t make assumptions about people. Everyone has their own struggles and showing a little kindness, especially when you are angry, can avert the biggest of disasters. If you wish for your boss to understand your situation better, you need to start doing the same for your boss, and eventually you’ll both find the common ground to be able to talk about the problem at hand. Communicate effectively without being harsh.  Give second chances as far as possible.

Empathy is not a golden wand that can magically grow your business or make you a superstar at work. It will give you strength and clarity, however. While it may take a while, practicing consistently and using techniques to build empathy will show you results for sure. Team LearnEd will bet on that! 

Empathy: The Key to a Successful Workplace

Scenario One: You’re quite unwell, and there’s an important deadline at work. You ask your boss for a day off…
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Scenario One: You’re quite unwell, and there’s an important deadline at work. You ask your boss for a day off and they refuse.

Scenario Two: You’re quite unwell, and there’s an important deadline at work. You ask your boss for a day off, they agree, but the work suffers because there is no one else to do it, or that it will take longer for someone else to get the hang of it.

Scenario Three: You’re quite unwell, and there’s an important deadline at work. You ask your boss for a day off, you boss doesn’t agree. However, they acknowledge your situation and work, and as soon as the task is completed, they give you a break to rest and recover.

Which team would you rather work in?

On the flip side, if you were a customer, would you choose to get services from a company where the employees just talk to you about the formalities? Or would you choose to give business to a company where you feel like you are getting personalised service and where the staff really understands your needs?

The reason I’d select the latter options in both these cases is Empathy.

Essentially, people define empathy as the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, and understand where they’re coming from, when in a certain situation. However, I find it physically rather impossible to step into someone else’s shoes, or mind. LearnEd defines empathy as the ability to bring yourself on the same page as the person that you’re dealing with- finding common ground and goals in any particular situation. In any office or organisation, empathy isn’t just about personal behaviour, but also about meeting targets without killing yourself for it. Empathy should reflect when dealing from the top to the bottom, and vice-versa. A 2018 study conducted by Business Solver on the State of Workplace Empathy states that 87% top bosses in organisation directly connect workplace empathy with business performance, productivity, retention and general business health. This idea is also supported by 79% of HR professionals who participated in the survey.

Harvard Business Review released an Empathy Index in 2016, which stated that empathy is more important to a growing business than ever before. In fact, the top ten most empathetic companies in this index have seen more than twice as much increase in value, compared to the companies at the bottom of the index! Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, echoes this opinion:“Empathy makes you a better innovator. If I look at the most successful products we [at Microsoft] have created, it comes with that ability to meet the unmet, unarticulated needs of customers.”

One of the biggest reasons why we do we well at a work is that we can show empathy towards our team, our staff and our clients. At a time where numbers drive our performance, it is important to remember that empathy is just as important. It is as basic as that.

Empathy, especially at the workplace, is one of the cornerstones of successful contact and communication, thus leading to good relationships- both personal and professional. Communicating genuinely will go a long way in building empathy. At LearnEd, we think that empathy can be cultivated through practice in our daily life. With that in mind, watch this space for the next post in this series, where we discuss practical ways to inculcate empathy in our team and yours!

VIEW POST Body Language: How Does It Matter?

Ever since we were in school, our parents and teachers have told us to sit up, backs straight, shoulders squared…
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Ever since we were in school, our parents and teachers have told us to sit up, backs straight, shoulders squared and look up. These instructions follows us to our offices as well. We are constantly told to watch our body language when interacting with other. Is it fact, though? Is body language as important as everyone makes it out to be?

Yes. The answer is yes. In fact, social scientists state that verbal messaging, or words, only make up for about 7% of a conversation. The rest is more about the tone and other non-verbal elements, Body language makes up for nearly 50% of the meaning that is conveyed! With this kind of weight on what our body language says, it is only natural that we pay a bit more attention to learning some ways to ace it.

With that in mind, we bring to you an engaging TED Talk by Amy Cuddy here. Amy Cuddy is an American social psychologist who has studied and written about body language extensively. After completing her own studies, Cuddy taught at institutes such as Rutgers University, Northwestern University, and Harvard Business School.

The interesting angle to this particular TED Talk is that she doesn’t just talk about what impact your body language has on another person or what impact someone’s body language has on you. She instructs the listeners to understand their own body language, and examines how changing your posture or certain mannerisms about yourself can impact you as well. Her ideas about the ‘Power Pose’ focus on how ‘faking’ a confident stance physically can actually build more confidence in you. A lot of scientists have debated the same, but there is no denying the impact it seems to have in the audience and in her students.

There are a lot of tricks to perfecting your communication skills, and through this video, the team at LearnEd is bringing to you yet another one. Explore, attempt and practice regularly, and you will also master confidence when it comes to communication, both inside and out!