Posts Tagged ‘communication skills’

The Leadership Benefits of Reading

February 8, 2013

Deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders.

Steve Jobs is said to have had an “inexhaustible interest” in William Blake. Winston Churchill won his Nobel prize in Literature, not Peace). President Harry S. Truman read every book in the library named after him in his hometown of Independence, MO, before he died in 1972.

Many business titans are or have been avid readers, believing that reading cultivates the knowledge, habits, and talents to improve their organizations, as well as their own personal effectiveness.

A larger vocabulary, more world knowledge and abstract reasoning skills are just a few of the leadership benefits of reading. Reading is one of the quickest ways to acquire and assimilate new information; and reading a wide variety of things is good for creativity, exposing leaders to insights in other fields that might lead to innovations in their organizations.

Reading novels can improve empathy and understanding of social cues, allowing a leader to better work with and understand others. Reading can also increase verbal intelligence, making a person more adept and articulate when communicating with others.

You might want to try reading one book this year in three areas outside your comfort zone. If you are working on a problem in one field, seek out books in other fields to see if there are applications that might cross over to your profession. Share favorite books with co-workers to encourage discussion and new ideas.

If improving your reading is on your agenda this year, Dr. Jane Stewart at Optiminds offers customized programs to help readers of all ages improve their skills and comprehension.

To learn more about Optiminds brain training and tutoring programs, call us today at (248) 496-0150 or email Dr. Jane Steward directly at: And be sure to visit the Optiminds website at

Coming Soon: Optiminds© Cognitive Camp 2011

April 20, 2011

“My child improved so much we had to  rewrite the IEP goals in the Fall.  He loves going to camp. This will be his third year.”—Suzanne, a camper’s mother

If you are looking for a fun way to help your children keep their brains in shape over the summer, it’s time to register for the 2011 Optiminds Cognitive Camp.  Held at the Birmingham Covington School, the camp offers individualized programs that are customized by skill level.

The upcoming session of our Cognitive Camp is June 28 through August 13. Hours are from 9:00 a.m. to 12 Noon.

Here is a sampling of what’s in store for campers:

  • Handwriting—Manuscript & Cursive (NEW for 2011)
  • Math, English, & Language Arts
  • Pre-learning in Social Studies & Science
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Individualized Cognitive Training
  • Social Skills
  • PCI©Reading Program
  • Orton Gillingham© Phonics
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Using Puzzles & Games

Camp fees are $55/day and $220 /week.  A $55 deposit must be included with Registration.

Birmingham Covington School is located at 1525 Covington Road, Bloomfield Township.

Optiminds is a Cognitive, Professional Brain Training Skills Center owned and operated by Jane Stewart, Ph.D.

Visit us at:, give us a call at (248) 496-0150 or email us at:

A Few Words About Self Improvement

December 1, 2010

Every individual born in this world has been gifted with inherent capabilities and inborn strengths. It is these strengths that help a man become a strong individual. But at times, there are certain geographical or genetic factors, which curtail the development of certain traits which attribute to a normal and a successful person. These traits which result in shortfalls in the personality of a man should be developed and honed, so that a strong personality emerges out of these. There is a need for self improvement and polishing of the life skills, which already exist in a man.

OptimindsThe parameters on which self improvement takes place include economic development, intellectual development and emotional development. Intellectual development happens out of education and gaining knowledge. We should possess the will to gain knowledge and make attempts for the same. Education leads to the broadening of horizons and thereby refines ones thought processes. The final outcome of these is a self actualization within a person.

Intellectual development leads to the economic growth of a person. Therefore these self improvement factors are correlated and should be achieved in totality for a balanced personality. Other traits which require self improvement include confidence level, which are also correlated to intellectual as well as economic development.

Any person who is educated and is economically independent and self sustaining, then his confidence is bound to be par excellence and amount to high self esteem. Low education results into lower confidence levels and thereby leading to low self esteem.

Another key to self improvement is reading lot of books, which help you imbibe positivity and therefore a happy and contented life. You should also mingle with people emanating positive vibes and who are successful in life. Such people will generate positivity around themselves and eventually help you derive some positivity and secrets to their successful life from them. Your conversations should revolve around positive aspects of life and not discuss the failures.

Self improvement will happen only if you learn to focus on your goals and not look at life with a blank look. Search for an opportunity in every task that you get and make the best of the opportunities. Learn to prioritize in life, because there would be ample choices before you, but it is you who know, what is the best for you at a particular point of time. Leave out the meaningless elements of your life and spend a maximum of your time to accomplish the important priorities.

One major feature of a successful individual is that he has achieved success through his hard work and education. But he still is aware of his roots and is grounded. Down to earth nature of an individual is the mark of a man of mettle. He, who has not seen hardships or fails to recognize them will never reach the threshold of success.

Often they have used coaches, tutors, mentors to reach success. These professionals will have many techniques and exercises to help with your brain fitness. Finding ways to use successful strategies and be accountable to perform them are one way that mentors can assist in self improvement. Yes, sometimes self improvement takes a little help from others.

Identify the people who are your well wishers and those who emanate positive energies. People with negative energies will spell doom for you, therefore as one of the major secrets to self improvement remain away from such people. Have a long vision in life and remain away from short sighted people.

Optiminds for Brain Fitness

Positive Communication For Success

November 14, 2010

In a business context the communication style leads to the formation of four types of personalities. These include the analyzers, controllers and collaborators. The controllers are born out of the aggressive style of communication; the collaborators are born out of positive and passive aggressive style of communication. Analyzers are a result of assertive communication, they do not resort to petty issues and look at the larger perspective and weigh the pros and cons of all kinds of situations.
The communication style a person uses can really help enhance or degrade the personality of the individual.
Effective communication skills are necessary in the business careers of today.


Optiminds Brain Fitness

Dr. Jane Stewart is an expert in Brain Fitness. Her company is comprised of customized, individualized, exercises designed to stimulate targeted areas of the brain that can be utilized online or in person.

Your Communication Style Can Help Enhance Or Degrade Your Leadership

October 28, 2010

Communication is said to be the driving force at the work place or during relationships and has been a key to resolve any kinds of conflict. It can help to restore unity and integrity, in whichever circumstances, it is undertaken. There are two types of communications; one being positive communication and the other being negative communication, depending upon the impact.

The basic objective of communication is to convey the message in a medium that is available for the sender without any distortion so as to avoid miss-communication.
Communication styles are of four types.
1.) Passive communication,
2.) Aggressive communication,
3.) Passive aggressive communication
4.) Assertive communication.

OptimindsAs part of the passive communication style the communicator does not resort to direct communication. He allows himself to be guided by others in making a decision in getting communication across. He is emotionally dishonest and is not an active participant in the process of communication. This process of communication style is an outcome of an effort to avoid any kind of conflict or a confrontation. The communicator wants to play it safe and therefore uses a passive mode to communicate.

The next type of communication style is aggressive communication, wherein the communicator is of a confrontative or combative nature. He may resort to aggressive body language while communicating. This is an outcome of a superiority complex in a person. This type of communication primarily points out at the manipulative abilities of a person, which is the base of this communication. This type of communication is quite successful in the field of sports or in army when the soldiers are at war. Use of such communication, in case of a personal or official communication will prove to be a failure.

If the two styles of passive communication and aggressive communication are merged then the resultant communications style will turn out to be passive aggressive communication. This style of communication is confrontative as well as manipulative in nature, thereby implying that it is not straight communication. Therefore it is considered as negative type of communication, as the outcome is certainly not positive.

The last but not the least in communication styles is assertive communication. This is said to be a positive communication and is a type of communication which will not create conflicts but would help resolve them. There is no scope for manipulation in this type of communication, as whatever context has to be conveyed, is done in quite a straight forward manner and therefore appears amicable. He gives adequate importance to feedback and will make an attempt to resolve the crisis, rather than creating one.

Optiminds for Brain Fitness

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