By Bonnie Adams. Managing Editor
Westborough – Mark Altman, the founder of MindsetGo, has spent much of his career helping business professionals and companies enhance their communication skills. Over the past few years, he has added to his company’s offerings to help two other groups – tweens and teenagers.
Although he has had great success over the past two decades teaching communication, sales and engagement skills to business professionals, there were several reasons that inspired him to offer programs for younger people.
A single father of three young adults, he noted he has always had “a passion for helping kids.”
“I have been disenchanted with education for some time,” he added. “Its six hours a day in a sterile, uncomfortable environment – who would ever choose to learn this way?
“And I have always had the bug to be a teacher – to help inspire through coaching and mentoring people of all ages and help them to learn new skills,” he noted. “I really feel that face-to-face communication skills are becoming a lost art.”
In 2016 he decided to concentrate on writing programs that could help young people develop critical interpersonal skills. “Lights Camera Communicate,” is geared for tweens and features fun activities designed to showcase their personality on camera, while LEAP (Listen, Experience, Act and Progress) is a program that coaches kids to support other kids in efforts to build confidence and promote self-advocacy.
“I really feel that many kids don’t have a voice,” Altman said. “There is a hierarchy between a parent and child and a student and teacher. Kids need an outlet to talk about things they care about and a way to deal with their anxiety, stress and fear.”
Taking it one step further, LEAP evolved into the program, Mindset Career Path.
“Kids in high school are forced or choose to get a job,” Altman said. “Most of those jobs are not that fun, but that’s the only kind they can get because of their age or lack of interpersonal skills. In this particular program, we teach them skills such as persuasion, conflict resolution and problem solving.”
Learning those critical skills can help foster confidence that will help them on the next steps of their journey, whether it is college, an internship or a different, more fulfilling job, he noted.
This fall, students from Westborough High School participated in a Mindset Career Path program with Altman at the Westborough TV studio to work on their various skills.
MindsetGo offers other programs designed to help families, whether it is the parent, child or both.
Altman also offers a variety of programs geared toward companies in areas such as working with millennials, networking, sales training and professional coaching.
Training can be done on a one-to-one basis or through workshops.
He stresses that training done through MindsetGo is a “nontherapeutic approach” based on “combining different immersive activities that mimic real-world challenges by connecting lessons learned with the realities of work, school and home. It allows participants to learn by doing, and not by just listening, reading or watching.”
“Everyone needs a cheerleader in life – someone to support them,” he said. “We can help people of all ages to develop new skills, change certain habits and develop confidence.”