For those who feel like they’re marching into battle when facing a hectic day, a new audio CD set offers “survival skills” to achieve productivity and happiness at work and in life.
Developed by veteran corporate trainer and keynote speaker Rosemary Rein, the Go Wild! set of four CDs uses audio learning to teach skills for problem-solving, project management, conflict resolution, time conservation and more.
The idea for Go Wild! was born at a “Wilderness Survival” weekend retreat in the U.S. state of New Jersey, which Rein and a friend attended just before she moved to Costa Rica eight years ago. In the process of learning survival skills for the rugged outdoors, she came to the conclusion the same techniques are applicable to life in general.
“Life is a jungle, but there’s a formula for handling it,” Rein explained. The CDs spell out this formula, which includes five “survival keys”: awareness of surroundings, adaptability to change, communication, conservation of energy and a positive mental attitude. Rein talks listeners through the concept of each “survival skill” and offers exercises to put them into practice.
For example, the section on communication addresses gender and personality differences that can lead to problems in the workplace.
Speaking in the inflected, attention holding tone Rein maintains throughout the CDs, she offers interesting tidbits for reflection, such as the fact that on average, women speak almost twice as many words per day as men.
“People think they can use their own communication styles with everyone, but this isn’t the case,” Rein explained. “In order to influence people, we have to speak to people the same way they speak to us.”
Another “survival skill” highlighted is the importance of being aware of one’s environment and managing one’s space to promote productivity.
“Changing small things in an environment can really make a difference, like exchanging negatives for positives,” Rein said.
As a practical tip, she suggests spending the first 15 minutes after waking up in the morning, when a person’s environment can set his or her mood for the day, on quiet, reflective activities, such as reading something inspirational or appreciating nature, rather than plowing into work or watching the news.
The four CDs are chock full of these and other tips Rein has collected during her work managing bed and breakfasts and restaurants (she and husband Barry started up the renowned Café de los Artistas, in Escazú, west of San José) and holding training seminars for “people from all walks of life” in the United States and Canada.
“I’ve spent 20 years interviewing people who manage stress well, and I know what works,” said Rein, a U.S. citizen whose clients have included multinational companies such as BP and Disney, nonprofits and U.S. police officers. She also works as an adjunct professor at two universities in the United States: Rockhurst University, in Kansas City, and Park University, which offers online degrees and has campuses around the country.
The idea behind the CD format, rather than a book, is that busy people can listen while driving, exercising or whenever they have some time to relax. Also, audio learning has been proven to be an effective way for adults to learn, Rein said.
“Maybe everyone can’t afford to hire a career coach, but with the CD, you can have one with you in your car,” explained Rein, who is from the United States.
Go Wild! encourages reflection on self improvement, and can also be used to rejuvenate drained workers on their commute home to give them energy for time with family.
“If only we were like cell phones that could be recharged whenever our batteries get low … listening to the CDs can be therapeutic and allow for this kind of recharging,” Rein said.
Through her company Costa Rica Learning Adventure, she also teaches the principles spelled out in the CDs during week-long retreats, keynote addresses and seminars.
Other specialized workshops, such as stress relief for women, are also on the menu of offerings posted on her Web site.
“Costa Rica is such an inspirational place for learning,” Rein said. “I found that people want to travel here to relax and see the country, but they also want to work on themselves too.”
So far, Rein has worked mostly with U.S. and Canadian clients who travel here to retreats at relaxing spots such as Manuel Antonio, in the central Pacific, and Alajuela, northwest of San José.
However, Costa Rica Learning Adventures has a bilingual staff and Rein says she is looking to expand and work with Costa Rican groups as well. A program can be specialized to meet any group’s needs and Rein donates 10% of what she earns from any keynote address to youth scholarships.
For more information on Costa Rica Learning Adventures or to order the Go Wild! CDs, visit www.costaricalearning.com or call 228-7129.