contentgrrl

I am conTENT. My work is CONtent.

Posts Tagged ‘skills’

5 ways we’re trying to build our kids’ social skills and moral development

Posted by contentgrrl on November 30, 2007

Although Brazen Careerist inspired my last piece on 10 social skills to help our children build, I have to give due credit to Dr. Lawrence Kohlberg for the stages of moral development, and to Dr. Dale McGowan‘s book, blog, and forum for reinforcing the need to focus on raising ethical, caring children.

To me, those 10 social skills are important to transfer before my dear sons get lost in the mob of the classroom.
So here are five ways we’re working to build our kids’ social skills and moral development:

  • We take opportunities to discuss the choices facing us, the plausible results of each option, and how we’ll feel about those results. Not in so many words with the kids. More like, “You can do this, or that. If this, these next things happen. If that, those next things happen. Which do you want to happen, these or those? OK, then, should you choose this, or that?” (Still working on being consistent with this.)
  • We praise our boys highly when we notice them making good moral choices. We try to reinforce their pride in specific behaviors and rewards. Again, not in so many words. More like, “Thank you so much for helping to pick up your toys! Look what a great clean floor we have to run and roll around!” and “Thank you for helping to brush your teeth! Go show Daddy how fresh you are!” (Also working on consistency here too.)
  • Before we go out, we discuss what we might encounter and review the rules (such as safety precautions, responding to strangers, taking turns, standing in line, holding hands, voice volume).
  • We remind them to use courtesy with everyone we meet, and with all friends and family we visit.
  • Both boys are getting to the age where they need more socialization opportunities outside the care of their stay-at-home dad. Sure there are always little field trips to museums, zoos, the woods, the playground, the front yard, and visiting friends and family. After this summer’s Bible boot camp with the neighbors, we’re also starting the boys in a very liberal, Montessori-type Sunday school, using the SpiritPlay curriculum. And we’re looking into a summer pre-K program to ease the separation and grow more accustomed to classroom society. And down the line, I’m looking forward to some kind of scouting troop, to follow in the footsteps of my father, who it seems has always been at home in uniform.

Example: The other night, my husband found a teachable moment. Little brother was taking away toys, so big brother hit him. Sigh. Daddy admonished big brother, “Why do you think he is taking the truck away? Because he wants attention. Give him a little hug or a tickle, and say, ‘Do you want attention?’ and play with him.” Guess what? Little brother’s response was to laugh and they both played with a sunnier disposition.

Another example that comes up all the time? We talk about what goes on in the games we play and the shows we watch, and whether we would want to behave that way in real life.

These steps don’t guarantee good behavior. They don’t guarantee I can keep complete control of my children or keep them completely safe. And there are a few social skills my husband and I are still working on for ourselves.

But I hope that these steps will give our children the building blocks for making both great friends and ethical choices all their lives, and be my little heroes.

Posted in citizen, community, culture, heroes, learning, persuasion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

quantifying personal IP

Posted by contentgrrl on November 11, 2007

Management likes to be able to monitor employee performance and development. And to do that, sometimes they need to be able to quantify personal IP. By “personal IP” I mean personal Intellectual Property, and not Internet Protocol. ;^)

It’s simpler than you think, especially with a team of people who know their jobs. Make a list of measurable skills and competencies, assign a value, assess your people, and add it up. It helps identify skill gaps, training needs, expertise, and compensation rankings.

You’re looking for concrete behavioral objectives, using verbs and objects and success criteria as needed. What should they be able to do, using what tools or methods, (and maybe under what conditions or limitations)? For example,

  • “Given a corrupt file or file needing conversion, runs XXX program to compress the file into fields based on Data Dictionary”
  • or, in the project management arena, “Explains the criteria of selecting a stakeholder or subject matter expert to approve various deliverables throughout the life of a project.”

For the software help desk at DDMS, we’ve made a list of the concepts, procedures, and troubleshooting methods that our techs should be able to explain and do, and assigned a value to a group of skills related to the software we support. Some skill groups are for Level I or II techs, and some are for specialists at each level. Our managers currently use a spreadsheet as an annual assessment checklist, reviewing calls, self-assessment, and asking spot questions.

Ideally, you turn those competency items into test questions or lab activities, assess your people’s performance, and periodically monitor their individual advancement. There are systems out there that incorporate a database with user rights and more objective assessment tools, such as online tests or 360-degree peer & workgroup feedback. I have used such a system for a former company’s clients.

And two organizations in particular have helpful resources on this topic:

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