All entries for Thursday 07 June 2012

June 07, 2012

A7 Speed Reading

Follow-Up 1: Self Reflection and Road to change


Reading skills are a key aspect in everyday life ranging from entertainment to education etc. A skill that we have developed since childhood into early adulthood. An crucial skill which is taken for granted and never pushed to its limits to improve it. Hence even though each person encompass the ability to read, some harness it much better than others.

Prior to coming to this session, I have always found reading fast to be difficult. This feeding back along with the monumental amounts I am expected to read during my Masters Degree, makes the idea of reading a very daunting task. Even though I would be prepared to do it, I always had the feeling of insecurity and lack of confidence, that ‘I would not be able to read the text well’ or ‘How will I read through all this text as well as try and understand something from it?’ Thus understanding this I set on the road to change and develop my reading skills.

The workshop introduced me to a number of techniques, most favourite of which was ‘Using a Guide’. Observing my initial reading speed of 180 wpm and an average comprehension rate of 60%, really reflected my worries and the need for change. Implementing the ‘Using the Guide’ technique really illustrated a boost in my reading speed, as I found my eyes flowed over the text better. It also exuded the fact that with the use of a guide I did not stagnate on one word or a string of words. The text seemed to flow better and I also seemed to use my peripheral vision to see the upcoming words prior to the guide actually passing under them. The resultant effects using a guide doubled my speed to 410 wpm, improved comprehension to 75% as well as gave me a sense of achievement and relief (as for my upcoming dissertation I knew a lot of reading will have to be done).

Another key effect that I noted was a reduction in sub-vocalisation, that is as long as I followed the guide and did not back track my eyes over the last few words again. However, sub-vocalisation is another point I will have to tackle, possible with the use of ‘SPREEDER’, which initially seemed to preposterous and overwhelming but something I realised was forcing me to subdue the overly active sub-vocalisation.

Hence in short, following this workshop I have assignments and presentations which are an excellent place to start practising these techniques and thus preparing me well for the big task of dissertation based research. I plan on executing the following developed ‘Action Points’ , which include

  • Constant use of a guide
  • Practise using Spreeder to quieten the Sub-vocalisation
  • Ensuring regular 10 minute sessions are taken for practice and another 10 to evaluate my progress and troubleshoot issues, I might come up against.


Thank You Han-Na for the valuable techniques

Best regards

Melvin Jose

P3 Working In A Team

Follow-Up 1: Self Reflection

In Team Character > 

Preferred Roles: Completer Finisher, Monitor Evaluator, Shaper

Manageable Roles: Implementer, Co-ordinator, Plant


With teams being an integral part of society and working in them being vital, I believed understanding them was crucial to operate successfully in them. Results are used as the primary measure of ‘success’ simply because they are easy to measure. However, there are better means of measuring team performance; which can both be linked 100% to an individual and in which Belbin Team Roles play a crucial part.

It is a well known fact, throughout the world at large, that inputs lead to outcomes. In companies this means that the results you achieve come from the activities you put into the market. In turn, these activities result from the competence of the individual concerned. People do not like carrying out activities where they think they will fail. Or, if they are forced to carry out this activity, they will not be as successful as they should be. It’s the difference between ‘doing what you’re best at’ compared with ‘doing your best’.team

Thus using the Belbin’s Team Roles my preferred roles were highlighted, stated above. These traits come with both pros and cons, illustrating that I need to truly understand my strengths and work using them in a team. It also suggests I understand the cons the traits exude and thus improving on them. So using the skills I learnt from this workshop, I plan on equipping myself with knowledge of my preferred traits (ones I am possibly good at), as well as knowledge of the other traits that are need in a successful team ( traits other group members could be). As I have had varying experiences with group/team projects whilst on the course, I aim to optimise myself to in team working through good understanding of the team dynamics and the roles played in a team. Therefore, I aim to make this session over the 2 week period very good and fruitful.




Hence in short, following this workshop I am about to start my next module which contain group work, an excellent place to use these team working skills. I plan to meticulously follow the developed ‘Action Points’ , which include:

  • Understanding and analysing the traits of each of the group members
  • Work at my strengths, however in times of clashes (2 shapers/both co-ordinator and shaper being present) be ready to accommodate and implement my other manageable roles.
  • Ensure I apply my preferred roles thoroughly to ensure project completion and avoidance of conflicts, whilst also making sure all the roles in the team are filled, which would give a well balanced team of ‘Thinkers, Doers, Co-ordinators and Socialisers’
  • Also having the deadly 3 I will need to ensure, whilst working in the team to work with each member, as the disadvantage of my preferred roles illustrates one who does things independently

All of the above are essential to prevent the formation of a dysfunctional team.


Thank You Trudy

Best Regards

Melvin Jose

June 2012

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