Category Archive: Self Help

Dec 13 2017

Everyday MUSINGS 2: ‘Follow your OWN path’

It was a cold winter morning when I decided to leave from Chandigarh to Delhi in my car since had to be in the city for an important business meeting. I usually start while its dark to avoid traffic on the highway and save time.

But that day, nature had a different plan for me. I had barely driven 10 miles out of the city when a thick fog welcomed me. It was so thick that I could not see anything beyond a few feet and had to decide if I wanted to continue driving in that condition.

Since the meeting was critical – I decided to continue, at a snails speed though. Whenever I got a little better patch of visibility – I use to pump it up and cover for the loss of time. It was a nerve-testing drive, and the music was not helping much too.


I had put on the blinkers and fog lamps of my car – for obvious reasons. The situation was so bad that not even a single vehicle passed by for almost 20 minutes of the drive on a usually busy highway.

Suddenly, I noticed a headlight flashing in my rear view mirror – it was some vehicle behind me asking for the way. In a matter of seconds, I saw an SUV passing me at a good speed – I wondered how was that guy able to see in such a poor visibility. Without wasting a second, I pumped the accelerator and started following the car as he was making way for me too clearing the fog. I was delighted to be able to drive five times the speed I was driving at for past hour.

Since I was hopeful of making it in time for the meeting – I started planning things in my head, going over the agenda and other things. Things looked right, and we drove like that for almost an hour and a half – me following the car at a reasonable speed.

After a while, I sensed the car in front of me was slowing down. I also slowed down telling myself that the fog might have got thicker for even the SUPERHUMAN in the car in front to drive fast. In a moment, the car came to a halt – I stopped too. I was keeping a good distance between the two vehicles for safety, and so I wasn’t even able to see what was happening in front of that car.

When he didn’t move even after a minute – I honked, politely. Nothing! I honked twice this time, a little louder. Again – Nothing.

Then I pumped the horn with all my strength for a while – not in a rude way though. I couldn’t gather the courage to step out of my warm car into the cold, so kept sitting there ducking in my warm seat.
Just about then, I saw a gentleman, must be in his late 40s, walking towards my car from the opposite side of the car in front. He looked little confused, which got confirmed when he gestured ‘WHAT’, twisting his hand!

Yes, just that way Rusell – you got that right! 🙂 

It was time for me to give up the coziness and step out, which I did immediately. I stepped out and greeted the gentleman with a warm hello (as warm as I could be in that cold).
He also very politely asked as to what the matter was. I enquired if everything was alright as he had stopped and wasn’t moving – with all the astonishment on my face!

His response just blew me, and I felt like a dumb ass standing in the middle of the road.

He said, “Sir, I have reached my home. This is where I live – why should I drive further?”

I cannot explain how I felt at that moment; really, I cannot. But then I had to manage the situation. So, I did the best thing I could do – told him the truth that I was following him all the way ASSUMING that he is going the same way and will lead me to my DESTINATION. And since he was driving like a pro, I blindly followed him as he seemed to be a better driver on a foggy road.

He laughed at it, and that somehow helped me to come out of the embarrassment. He was very kind to offer me in for a hot cup of tea and the guided me to the highway as I had come all the way inside a town, a few hundred meters off the road.

I had the tea, thanked him for his hospitality and left for my journey ahead. In about an hour from then, the weather cleared up, the sun started shining bright, and fog disappeared. I zoomed my way to my destination and had a very fruitful meeting with the client, but that was not the most significant achievement of the day for me.

 


Actually, it was the LEARNING that I had during the incidence in the morning. I learned that every individual is on his own journey in life. I might come across people who are heading in the same direction, but they might not share the same destination. Every journey is unique, every path different from someone else – so I may still choose to follow someone but not BLINDLY. Not without knowing where I want to go and whether the path is going to take me there.

Assuming that we can follow the way someone else maneuvered through the challenges in his/her life and make our lives SAME is vacuous. Every individual has a unique story, different characters, and different scenes – no two scripts can ever be the same.

This relates entirely to today’s social situation where a lot of people start idolizing a few successful individuals and try to emulate every aspect of their lives. It doesn’t work that way in life.
Dropping out of school or college might have worked out for a couple of super successful people, but that doesn’t mean every drop out is a success

Though I cannot contest that one need to get directions from successful people, however, one needs to know where one wants to go to seek directions to that destination. One cannot just say “I want to do something great” and then start emulating lives of people – it will only bring disappointment in the end.

 

So, should we NOT seek inspiration from our idols?
We should, absolutely – but we should ensure that we FOLLOW our OWN PATH.

 



Let me know if you could relate to the story or if you too had a similar experience. Does it resonate with you?

I would love to hear views and feedback.

 

Dec 10 2017

How LEADERS impact the organisations?

A discussion with one of my friend about how leaders shape organizations and careers led me to think deeply about this issue. Why I call this a problem is because I realized that somehow not all who reach the TOP are LEADERS. Of course, I do not have to define LEADERSHIP again for you. Right?

I believe that leaders are expected to give directions to thought-streams and motivate people to bring out the best in them. However, these days these qualities are hard to be found in many of the incumbents in top offices in organizations. Today Leaders are somehow taking employees as well as their motivation for granted.

I am sharing a research note from Scott Blanchard on similar lines, which clarifies that why should leaders not manipulate Employee Motivation.

Have a read: 

 


Why Trying To Manipulate Employee Motivation Always Backfires:


CEOs have two levers they pull on a regular basis to influence their organizations. The first lever adds to or takes away from strategic intentions. The second one controls the hiring of key talent to ensure that the right people are in the right seats.

Levers work well for many of the factors that impact business success; but one area–employee engagement & motivation–resists “leveraging.” Even after a decade of trying, organizations as a whole have made little progress on improving employee engagement.

Why the struggle with improving this particular area? In short, it’s because you can’t control motivation. While traditional carrot-and-stick levers can influence behavior in the short term, they do not create the intentions to apply discretionary effort and work collaboratively that are required in today’s more sophisticated work environments.

manavlalotra.com

It’s time for a change

It has been known in social science circles for decades: Carrot-and-stick thinking is, at its core, a control method–and people always resist being controlled. Even if they don’t openly resist, people resent being coerced into certain behaviors.

People have their own beliefs and attitudes about their work environment. They make decisions about what is in their best interests based on individual perceptions of what is adding to–or taking away from–their sense of well-being. Building on the pioneering work of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan at the University of Rochester, our recent research into motivation and employee work passion is finding that perceptions of autonomy, relatedness, and competence are the factors that lead to positive employee intentions to stay with organizations, apply discretionary effort, and be good corporate citizens.

We are finding that giving people a chance to succeed in their job and setting them free to a certain degree is the key to motivation, as opposed to trying to direct and control people’s energy. It’s really about letting go and connecting people to their work–and each other–rather than channeling, organizing, orchestrating, and focusing behavior.

 

Read more about “HOW TO” manage CHANGE effectively in the organisation?

 

The role of senior leaders

Senior leaders have an important role to play in creating this type of environment. Top leadership sets the tone for this attitude in a company. But many organizations are still set up–explicitly or implicitly–in ways that work against these three motivators.

For example, a woman recently told us her CEO believed that a little bit of fear was good and that moderate to high levels of competition between people and business units were beneficial and kept the company sharp. This attitude of friendly competition inside the company permeated the culture, flowing out from the boardroom and cascading throughout the organization.

This approach had worked for this technology company in the past but began to become a liability as customers asked for more cross-platform compatibility. Because customers were asking for everything to work well together, these internal divisions needed to cooperate more effectively. This required the different business units to think beyond self-interest to the whole customer experience. It proved difficult to change the mindset of this historically competitive culture.

Without a shift in thinking at the top of an organization, it is almost impossible to change an organization’s culture. A study conducted years ago shed some light on the role of senior leaders in changing organizational culture and behavior. The study concluded that the CEO’s disposition and personality had everything to do with the company’s service orientation and collaborative mindset.

CEOs whose personalities and dispositions were more competitive had a direct influence on the degree of competitiveness and fear experienced by members of their senior leadership teams. This resulted in a greater degree of siloed behavior within the organization and less cooperation among sub-units. The net results were less integration across the business, less efficiency, poorer service, and ultimately lower economic performance. On the other hand, CEOs who were more cooperative generated less competitiveness—and less fear-based anxiety generated better results.

Leaders as environmentalists

It’s important for today’s leaders to be environmentalists. Whatever level of leadership you have, challenge yourself and others to use less directing and controlling behaviors and instead look to create a focused and inspired workplace. Customers are requiring that organizations move toward an environment of internal cooperation to create truly innovative new products and services.

Today we realize that control doesn’t work. Find a way to connect your people with the big picture. Create an environment free of fear and anxiety. Leaders don’t need a new lever–they need a new approach to bringing out the best in people. Give a little bit. You’ll be surprised at what can be accomplished when people are free of fear and find their motivation within, instead of being controlled by external carrots and sticks.

 


Scott Blanchard is the co-founder of Blanchard Certified, a new cloud-based leadership development resource, and experience. Ken Blanchard is the best-selling co-author of The One Minute Manager and 50 other books on leadership. You can follow Ken Blanchard on Twitter @KenBlanchardor @LeaderChat and also via the HowWeLead and LeaderChat blogs.


 

Dec 04 2017

Everyday MUSINGS 1: ‘EMPATHY’ – A missing People Skill

 

‘EMPATHY – a missing People Skill these days’

 

It was a usual weekend outing with family to a newly built shopping mall (extension of one of the best hotels in the city). It wasn’t a mad rush but still, there were a good amount of people around.

 

manavlalotra.com

 

The mall management has done a good job in creating a lounge area with comfy chairs, ottomans and big couches – made for people to just hang around and chill.

 

The place was packed with people and I somehow could get my hands on a chair in one corner – while the family was busy shopping.

 

I was killing time on my phone when I saw a group of people walking in with cameras & other gears. They stood in a corner, scanning the entire area and looking a little worried In about a couple of minutes, some people from mall concierge joined them, then some folks from mall’s security team joined and the group just swelled.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that they were there to do some video shoot kind of thing and were worried about the people occupying their shooting location (I was one of them).

 

Next, I saw one of the security guys walking up to a group sitting in the lounge and started talking to them. I couldn’t hear him but could figure that he was asking them to vacate the place for the shoot to take place.

 

Well, quite expectedly – he got rebutted badly by the group and rightfully so as they were really having a good time. ‘How can you ask someone to just leave?’ – am assuming that’s what they might have said! The poor guy went back to his group, dejected and the group got even more tensed and worried. All this went on for some time while I sat in the corner watching everything.

 

In that moment, it hit me that these guys are missing a very vital aspect of People Skills i.e. EMPATHY. They certainly had to do what they had come for and for that they had to move those people from the area – but certainly not the way they were trying to do it.

 

So, being a Samaritan – I walked up to the leader of the group (you can always tell who it is) and shared a piece of advice. I suggested that they should personally go and talk to each group in the area – explaining the reason. I also suggested that they should first get the tables in the coffee shop on the lower floor arranged for these guys to make them comfortable.

 

Amazingly, the leader took my advice positively and spoke to his team about that. They quickly divided themselves into 3-4 smaller groups and started talking to the guests one-by-one. I was very happy & satisfied to see the results – in less than 3 minutes the entire area was vacated and people were relocated to the lower floor coffee shop.

The whole team was delighted and they came one and all to thank me – it felt really nice. I spoke to them for a couple of minutes on the magic that EMPATHY can do and then they went on to do their thing, happily.

 

Lesson learned: 

People are usually WILLING to HELP, you need to ASK appropriately!

 

EMPATHY can do what AUTHORITY cannot, EVERY-TIME.

 

manavlalotra.com

 

Do you think there could have been a better way to handle the situation? How do you feel about EMPATHY as a People Skill? Would you want to share any personal experience? Share in comments.

 

Facebook Page: Manav’s Space

 

Nov 12 2017

INDIA Inc – What’s going on with Work-Life Balance?

I had a candid discussion with an old friend over coffee today. He didn’t sound fun at all – am mentioning that since he was one of the most lively people I ever knew my entire life.

He went on to narrate his ordeal of not being able to manage work and personal life. His manager would call him at any point of night, would send emails and expect him to answer them in middle of the night.

This brings me to think about this issue more and share my thoughts about it.

It’s important for Corporations and Managers to understand that HOW employees spend their time from 6 to 9 actually impacts HOW they perform during 9 to 6.

Do not push them to give away their personal space – it won’t help anyone.

If calling/texting/emailing people late at night is a norm with you – you seriously need to relook at HOW you are structured as an organization.

If you are unable to get tasks accomplished during normal office hours – your work system is flawed – better fix that than wearing your employees out!

STOP getting into personal time of your employees – for they work so that they can have a GOOD LIFE and not otherwise!

It’s for a reason that many countries have LAW around this – employer CANNOT contact employees after a certain time in the day.


But How about India? Where are we heading?

 

 

Aug 01 2017

Infographic – 4-Tier Process of Change Management

 


Change management, Infographic, managing change, self help, how to manage change

 

May 29 2013

Manager vs Leader

Managers and leaders are often referred to synonymously, but only leaders allow their employees to solve problems with their own insight. The truth of the matter is this: Every leader may not be a manager, but every manager should be a leader. It’s easy to see that leadership and management aren’t the same thing, but a manager who lacks effective leadership traits will drive a business into the ground faster than you can count to 10.

Change doesn’t happen overnight when it comes to transforming managers into leaders. It takes time and energy to improve the way you manage and utilize more leadership characteristics on a daily basis.

Here are some tips to help you make the necessary improvements:

1. Managers give answers, leaders ask questions. There’s nothing certain to turn your employees against you faster than shouting orders at them. Why not spare yourself the impending resentment and simply ask your employees this: “What would you do?” or “What do you think of this idea?” Allowing people to participate in the decision-making process will not only transform what could have been an order into something more easily swallowed–it also inspires creativity, motivation, and autonomy.

2. Managers criticize mistakes, leaders call attention to mistakes indirectly. It may seem more efficient to point out your employees’ mistakes directly, but this will only leave them feeling embarrassed and frustrated. You should really be giving them the chance to learn and grow from through your critiques. Instead, give your employees the chance to address their mistakes.

For example, say a project was sent to a client and you receive back a disgruntled message. Calmly ask your employee about the clients concern and whether they feel what was provided was on par. This will give them a chance to provide their input, while also improving for the future.

3. Managers forget to praise, leaders reward even the smallest improvement. Praise pays off when it comes to increasing the overall success of your company. Finding time to recognize your employees for even the smallest accomplishment will only increase their interest in what they do. If you’re interested in ensuring your employees take pride in all that they do, regular feedback and recognition is certain to do the trick. Everyone wants to be genuinely appreciated for their efforts.

4. Managers focus on the bad, leaders emphasize the good. This really comes down to seeing the cup half empty or half full. If you’re only willing to point out the flaws of a project or an employee, you’re not giving them much interest in learning or improving. Instead, create a sandwich effect. Start with some form of praise, follow with the criticism, and end with praise.

5. Managers want credit, leaders credit their teams. Managers who lack leadership abilities are always first to take credit. But effective leaders understand the importance of crediting their teams for the big wins. This pays off in the long run for creative a workplace with a more positive company culture and employees who are driven toward more successes as a team.

Management shouldn’t be approach through force, but rather through influence. Put these techniques in place to improve the way your employees perform.

Ispired by :Ilya Pozin, Founder of CIPLEX

Jan 27 2013

Steer your career in 2013!

I have been working on different teams, doing different things and exploring new avenues in last few years of my career. However, lately a sense has starting developing within me – where am I going? What direction is my career going in? I did have some fantastic moments in my career in the past and I am doing great things in present as well – but can I keep doing that for rest of my life?

I realized that we become so consumed in our careers that we fail to really think about our careers.

As a habitual reader, I came across a wonderful piece of information which outlines some steps to avoid the trap. It is a fruitful exercise which must not take more than a couple of hours to reflect on one’s career – and plan the next year.

Let’s see how it goes:

Step 1: Review 2012. Review the past year, month by month. Make a list of where you spent your time: include your major projects, responsibilities and accomplishments. No need to over-complicate this.

Step 2: Ask, “What is the news?” Look over your list and reflect on what is really going on. Think like a journalist and ask yourself: Why does this matter? What are the trends here? What happens if these trends continue?

Step 3: Ask “What would I do in my career if I could do anything?”Just brainstorm with no voice of criticism to hold you back. Just write out all the ideas that come to mind.

Step 4: Go back and spend a bit more time on Step 3. Too often we begin our career planning with our second best option in mind. We have a sense of what we would most love to do but we immediately push it aside. Why? Typically because “it is not realistic” which is code for, “I can’t make money doing this.” In this economy—in any economy—I understand why making money is critical. However, sometimes we pass by legitimate career paths because we set them aside too quickly.

Step 5: Write down six objectives for 2013. Make a list of the top six items you would like to accomplish in your career in 2013 and place them in priority order.

Step 6: Cross off the bottom five. Once you’re back to the whirlwind of work you’ll benefit from having a single “true north” career objective for the year.

Step 7: Make an action plan for first 2 months. Make a list of some quick wins you’d like to have in place end of March 2013.

Step 8: Decide what you will say no to. Make a list of the “good” things that will keep you from achieving your one “great” career objective. Think about how to delete, defer or delegate these other tasks. Emerson said, “The crime which bankrupts men and nations is that of turning aside from one’s main purpose to serve a job here and there.”

A few hours spent wisely over the next couple of days could easily improve the quality of your life over the 8760 hours of 2013–and perhaps far beyond. After all, if we don’t design our careers, someone else will. (Greg McKeown)

 

Dec 03 2012

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE – In my view

The design and performance of integrated systems and processes that create superior strategic, competitive and operational value through speed, flexibility and cross-purpose adaptability – can define Operational Excellence in any given organisation.

Operational Excellence is a methodical approach used to drive an organization toward world-class execution, integrating Operational Excellence concepts, methods and tools into an organization’s operating model, principles, and culture.

Operational Excellence, at the conceptual level can be understood as methodical designing of systems and processes that are integrated to deliver competitive and world class operational value by providing flexible and adaptable methods and tools for functioning.

It might be a bit perplexing to understand the right meaning of Operational Excellence. Let’s try to understand it from the perspective of an organization.

Every organization in the business world has the core focus on delivering quality product/services in time to earn maximum revenue. To achieve more, organizations need to scale and with scaling come the challenge of high level of management. Imagine an organization that wishes to grow many times its revenue and customer base but is completely ignorant about the maturity of its operations! Do you think it can achieve its goals? NO would be the obvious answer to this question.

The way an organization is designed to function defines the scope of growth. An organization with poor structure, systems and processes is destined to find it troublesome to grow beyond a certain point. By any chance if any such organization happens to grow to certain level of success, it will not be able to sustain it without improving the operational capabilities.

The key partners in achieving the operational maturity in any organization are People, Processes and Technology. These three working together can build sustainable and profitable organizations.

Nov 09 2012

Tips to be successful at your JOB

I came across a piece while browsing through some of the work of global leaders, who have been steering some of the greatest  establishments in the world.

Below is the extract of the same, which primarily was addressed to ‘New Employees’ in any organisation; however to me it seems to be mantra that everyone should apply – new or old!

These are a few tips to succeed as an employee at your workplace and it is applicable through the length breadth of any organisation’s chart.

  1. If you want to get ahead in the world, become a highly-concerned observer of the passing scene.
  2. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN – Don’t try to show off your knowledge – it will become known as you use it – if your mount is open, you are not learning
  3. Mentally challenge everything – not vocally – particularly the assumptions that are build into the situation
  4. Really listen to your peers – make them to like you – they are your best resources
  5. Do all possible to help your boss raise his/her status
  6. Develop a business plan for every assignment you are given – allocate your time and resources – develop calendar checkpoints
  7. Your availability is your most important asset – it should be directed UP, DOWN and SIDEWAYS
  8. Work at giving the perception and the fact that you are aware of the feelings and goals of others
  9. On entering a new situation, get an organization chart of your department showing names and responsibilities of your peers – walk the halls and let others see you
  10. Ask for help and show that you appreciate it, it is the best way to make friends
  11. Do not try to impress others by relating your education, travels or accomplishments – they will all become known in due time
  12. Do what you say you will do – if you can’t, let that be known
  13. Your first assignment is to become part of the team and not its leader

I, for sure, do relate to these words and can find a lot of meaning to all that has been said. Most of us always feel that we know all these things, but the big question is: Is just knowing it good enough? Are we applying these in our work life?

If your answer is YES, then you must be a successful person in professional life. Else, you know what you have to do!! Right!!

All the best!

Disclaimer: The above is not my creation and I do not intend to claim any right on it. I could not trace the source of this information, hence am not able to mention the same. 

Oct 14 2012

SMART and EFFECTIVE – At the same time!

 

It was just yesterday that I decided to put down my thoughts on a very common phenomenon  –  “SMARTER PEOPLE being INEFFECTIVE”. I personally have been a victim of this issue. Efficiency, as discussed here is not about BEING RIGHT but is about BEING ABLE TO GET THINGS DONE!

I will start with a short narration of an incidence.

 It is about a SMART guy who was pursuing his PG in Management. It was a great time for him since he was learning new things, was shaping himself for future and was looking for all the opportunities that he could get to improve himself. During the first few weeks at college he could make his place in the good books of professors as a SMART student. Many of his fellow batch-mates also had the same view about him. It was a good time and he was in high spirits! He was counted as one of the SMARTER people in the lot. But, the truth was way above his understanding and perception of it. Very soon, it hit him straight in the face. Read on to know how!

 The college (just like any other) had a practice of having one student as representative of the class for all internal matters – interaction with staff, management, getting things done etc. Since it was a bunch of SMART people, they wanted to have a fair process of selection of the Class Rep. The professor (a very SMART and EFFICIENT lady) came out with a plan of VOTING to select the CR from a bunch of nominees. Well, the idea got accepted by all and a consensus was built to go ahead for voting.

 Our guy, on the contrary had his own reservations on the process of selection since he felt that it would not be an unanimous selection. He suggested an alternative way of doing the voting which could be more effective. His idea was accepted by all and the professor also looked happy.

 Nomination process began – 3 of the fellow students (out of a batch of 60) expressed their interest to contest for the position and gave their nominations. Suddenly, people started shouting a name in chorus! Who was that? What? They all wanted him also to be nominated for the voting!! He could hear10-12 people proposing his to run for the post.

 “Ok” he said! ‘I give my name for the voting.”

 He felt good of the fact that people find him suitable to take up the responsibility. He was under an impression that people out there think of him as a SMART guy who can run the show well and can be really effective in the role.

 The voting started and ended as well in a jiffy. There were the results at the end of it!

 Well, not dramatizing it much – HE got just 2 votes out of 60! And guess what – 1 was his own (obviously he had to vote for himself – right!!).

That was a revelation for him. He was SMART but not EFFECTIVE.

He could not be effective – in making people sure about him being a good choice as their leader, in giving them confidence that if they choose him it will be in their good.  The same bunch who pushed him for nomination didn’t vote for him. Maybe they didn’t find him that good – or should I say that EFFECTIVE!

He still was the same SMART guy – but the batch had rejected him as a leader. He might know what was right but he always ended up explaining it to others as to why he was right. All of that was very infuriating for him.

Today, when I look back many years in my own life, I realize that no one can do everything alone. We all need help of other people at some point in time. We have to ensure that we can make it work when the time comes.

I could have been 100% RIGHT at times – but what about being EFFECTIVE? I had seen people getting annoyed when I was just stating facts. Maybe I was not able to take them ALONG or they were actually not following what I was trying to point out!

It precisely means that I was not able to INFLUENCE them! Yes, that’s the key word – INFLUENCE. If I can’t influence my audience (in any conversation); I will always face issues and will not succeed in making people work as per my plan, in turn making me ineffective.

Here are a few thoughts which came from self learning and from other’s experience that can help in working on this issue:

Mind (or Mend) the attitude:

Attitude plays a vital role in being effective. If you always assume that you know all the answers, you are very likely going to feel frustrated. Instead, you should let others share their views. You never know you might hear some great idea that would surprise you. Develop a learning attitude and respect inputs of others. Remember one thing, everyone likes to be consulted and asked.

Being the LISTENER (also) :

During conversations or meetings try to listen to others instead of arguing or cutting them in between. Do not try to impose your views about any issue but try to listen what others have to say about your ideas. Encourage others to share their ideas and pay complete attention to what they are saying. This might sound a strenuous activity but will win you support of the people.

No meaning in being ‘MEAN’ :

You might be surrounded by people who do not understand things in the first go and you might just try to be straightforward in telling them the right thing and help them. But it’s important to ensure that you are not being rude in an attempt to be practical. People might take you to be MEAN when you are just trying to correct them. They would see you as someone who is ignoring their thoughts and is looking to have an argument to justify himself. Instead, handle the conversations more amiably, respect other’s thoughts, have short arguments and build a consensus on the solution. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ work wonder in this process.

Learn to stay quiet when it needs to:

When you are in a situation where you are up against many such people whom you think are not as smart as you but are trying to speak and put their thoughts; it’s always better to keep quiet and just observe. If you actually are the SMARTER one, they will anyhow turn towards you for solution. Speak then and make the difference. You don’t always have to TALK to show that you are SMART.

I have another short story to share here. Same bunch of management grads (in the last story ) were once sitting together, deciding on having a party. The preps were being discussed and lot of arguments were put regarding the place, food menu, music to be played, list of invitees etc etc. Our guy was also a part of the discussion and since he had been involved in many such plans earlier he was talking the most. Suddenly, one of the fellow members lost it over him and shouted, “What the hell you think of yourself? Why always it has to be you to decide everything? Don’t forget, we all are equally smart. We all are also good managers”

Her reference of being EQUALLY SMART was on the premise of being of the same batch. Our guy felt odd and decided in his own good to be quiet. The discussion went on and on for couple of hours but no decision was being made. Then the interesting thing happened. The same lady who had slammed our guy some time back reverted to him. She wanted him to help them reach to some decision. He obliged her and shared his views with the group. Everyone liked his idea and after iterations, it was finalized.

If you try to accomplish everything alone when you have to work with people, you will always face hindrances and difficulties. Instead, try to bring everyone along and focus on the effectiveness. You will be amazed with the results in getting the job done with better efficiency and to everyone’s satisfaction. By employing these methods you will get much more done from the same set of people without getting frustrated or opposed to.

Good luck!

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