Saakshi Nagpal

I am alive

Hie,

How is 2013 going so far?

Presently, anything that I am crossing by is ‘new’ for me. With frequently changing cities apart from weather differences, I am occupied with cleaning, packing, moving, unpacking and then starting again with cleaning process these. Checking out my old notes on my first computer, I got a treasure, hidden in this old computer hard disk from nearly a decade.

My dad gifted me a computer , the one with big and bulky  white screen covered behind a screen guard, big CPU which required a decent cooling system in the room keyboard  with big keys

The Neil Diamond Collection

The Neil Diamond Collection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

producing music every time you touch them (ouch !! touch-me-not beauties) on my birthday. I was in my primary school and thus my play time was for limited hours every evening. Those days I recall my motto was to listen new songs, improve my verbal English, learn using computer and speed up typing.  I came up with the solution, to play English songs on computer, open a notepad and start typing as the song play.

Here are the lyrics from a beautiful song written by Neil Diamond perfect for a fresh start of a brand new year dedicate to a great life , enjoy !!

I am alive

I am alive

Take a walk

You can hardly breathe the air

Look around

It’s a hard life everywhere

People talk

But they never really care

On the street

There is a feeling of despair

But everyday

There is a brand new baby on

Everyday

There is a sun to keep you warm

Its alright, I am alive

Take of your life

What its got to give

I am alive

Everybody

Look here

I am alive

I am alive

So , what are you waiting for gear up your energies, raise your chin , smile a bit , wear  bring-it-on attitude and chant ‘I am alive’

Be happy , Stay Blessed

Happy 2013

Saakshi

Happie Happy 2013

Hie,

So we have survived the Mayan’s prophesy,  wow!  Feeling lucky and happy that we are back enjoying the benefit of uncertainty that life cunningly serves us , here are my this year’s resolutions .

a)      To spend first 90 min of my day to myself every day.

This is my wish for a long time. Now when I am married, I should act mature and more spiritual (something for my soul). I wish to spend the first 90 to 120 min (oh ! yeah I am lavish) every morning to do what I love to do. Be it dancing, listening music, reading a book, writing, cooking, walking or simply thinking. These minutes will be like charging my soul to maintain my super duper energy levels.

b)      To laugh for 10 min daily.

Weird? Recently I got plenty of compliments for my smile (blushing me J , I do lie , lol ). At times smile is the best gesture one can make. It has the same impact as to show a brave silence or as to acknowledge acceptance. Smile does look good on anyone’s face, but there are moments when we ask ourselves, ‘when  was the lastI laugh whole heartedly and how long?’  Laugh for 10 min daily is my this year must do task.

c)       To have a bit more empathy in my voice.  I have an habit of asking  feedback all the time over and over again , till the time I get to know how far I have achieved my objective ( I am obsessively goal oriented person). This is what I got, ‘add some empathy to your voice’. How m gonna do it , no idea , but sure I will cultivate this skill.

d)      To organize my wardrobe bi-weekly. (Pay attention its organize not re-organize) . Stacking and maintaining clothes is a big project for me. You are most welcome to my place and open my cupboard at any point of time on your own risk. For sure my neat image is gonna vanish in no seconds. So trying to be more organized this year . Wish me luck .

Along with these ,I am borrowing my last year resolutions (mentioned on my last year’s blog – Dusk (2011) and Dawn (2012) ) and carrying them for this year too which I was able to stick  for the most of the year.

e)      Write and Workout daily. (Notes to self – walking and a bit of dancing is not a workout !!)

I am done with my resolutions and hopeful of pushing myself to achieve them. I wish you all a happy, positive, stress free, eventful, loving and spiritual 2013.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Good Night 2012 … Welcome to a happie happie   2013 …

Stay blessed,

Saakshi

 

One Moment … One Life

Hie ,

One lIfe

One lIfe

I always wonder how one text, one song, one mistake, one lie, one word, one truth, and one person could change your mood in one moment.

Strange but it happens this way.

I wonder how happiness starts with one word, one joke, one text, one phone call, one song, one hug, one kiss , one look … and stops with one mistake !!

I wonder why it’s just one moment that holds the power to get attached or get detached ?

Why just one moment to decide either to make it or break it ?

Too much dependency on emotions , matters of heart ..  :-(

But that’s what makes us feel alive.  Moment by moment we fall in love with life.

We move ahead.

We take decisions.

We react and then anticipate.

We hold our faith.

We create pleasant and self favorable myths.

We love. We live . We die.

I wonder how many of you can give a big shout out with me

I am in love with life .. I am alive . . .each moment and every moment

Love,
Saakshi

To a healthier better me – My birthday resolutions

I am a big big girl, in this big big world, its (any issue) not a big big thing, come on bring it on to me..

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

Yeah , it’s my birthday week . he he he :)  I usually celebrate my birthday the whole week. So now that I have stepped on to the second quarter of my life , or to say I am crossing mid twenties/late twenties and rushing towards 30s  but instead of focusing on anti-ageing treatments to disguise my age , I am putting my energies to a very obvious thing that unfortunately I had been ignoring from long time.

Family, friends, long lost friends, colleagues, acquaintances, well wishers, everyone showed their immense love on my birthday. They wished me happiness, prosperity and good health. I have been saying this on my blogs over and over again, but yeh ! I am confessing even I have tendency to walk over it (bad bad girl). I am blessed I always get cooked ready to serve – excuses to put my health not on top priority.

Well, I’ll be honest; it’s not that I’m not capable of committing and following through – anything that I have decided for myself. I don’t bind myself with point to point resolutions, but it’s too easy to slip in my comfort zone crushing my all healthy thinking’s :( . I am going to experience a 360 degree turn soon in my life (keep guessing ;) ) transitions have already started then why not fixing my health status.

Being a woman, I sincerely apologize; I am adding few more vanity (mind, body and soul) changes in my resolution cart.

Here I am  with my resolution cart :

  1. To take good care of my health

a)      Go for 30 min walk or meditation.

I love morning walks. I am sad I am not going for them due to all the stupid reasons I can think of. But from this morning, I am back in action.

b)      Will have proper 3 meals a day.

I am not going to try to have a proper diet, I can’t afford trying. I will do it.

c)      To have 6 hours of sleep a day.

I can see, people who know me smirking (and also those who can see the time of the post). I am an insomniac. This will be a fight but I want to win sleepily , else one day will come when I will be called as zombie . (Currently, they have termed as ghost)

d)     To take my medicines on time.

I am not that ill, that I have to take so many medicines daily. But whatever I need to take (multivitamins, calcium, iron tablets, pain killers etc etc) , I will have them on time. Already, placed a daily alarm.

e)      Start my day with lemon and honey in warm water.

Ya, ya I want to lose those stubborn inches. Do you know how bad it feels , when you have a Van Heusan dress in your wardrobe from last 11 months (price tag freshly enacted) and you try it every Saturday morning , just to say ‘I wish I could look better’ L

2. Do something that I love to.

I love to write. I love to dance. Writing and dancing is being in trance form for me. Need to come over my mood swings –  write/dance. Need to vent out my anger – write/dance. Need to express my happiness – write/dance. I know I am not regularly blogging but tweeting. I am trying to be active on blog again. Coming to dancing, what gratifies me – locked my room, dim lights , loud music dancing in front of mirror , just like that.

3. Crop the cribbings

I do sometimes crib, human tendency please don’t judge me. Thanks. Every day is a new day , every moment is a new moment, every situation is a new situation.. Face them , live them, embrace them. Life is a bed of roses but with some thorns. Once pinched by the thorn tip immediately turn to the softness of roses, don’t stay there and start cribbing the thorn , better to confine into the softness of roses.

4. Keep my wardrobe organized.

Don’t want to waste precious morning minutes in finding what to wear and then iron them , uff , I do need to fix this bad habit.

5. Not to say ‘I am busy’

There was a time, when friends always taunt me because I am always ‘busy’. Credits to last few weeks, I am actually busy (oops I said that , I am sorry).I am not liking this , feeling totally burn out. I am daily struggling to manage my just 24 hour day. The way I am moving with life (can’t dare to say growing with life) I feel I would never be free from schedule madness until I will be comfortable taking responsibility of ‘my time’. No one is going to beat me for declining meetings. Being busy is not cool !

So where does this list will leave me? I believe in results, I am sure I will be sticking to above mentioned resolutions (fingers crossed)

Life is short, though I wish to live 100 years. I want to make this life worth living every moment. No walking away from greatest life episodes. Not to miss any single moment to say thanks /sorry / love you. Do something that I am proud of , in my signature style.

Cheers, to a better , wiser, more organized, more energized, new freshen one more year older me … happie birthday :)

Thank you everyone, hugs and kisses. Stay Blessed

Saakshi

Keep expectations , Keep moving forward

Jhilmil loves to dress up in a feminine way, adjusting sari drapes and adoring herself in mirror.  She enjoys spicy Indian street food. . She longs for spending time with her childhood friend, Barfi. Though she is autistic but she is just like any regular girl.  She keeps her guards high. One fine day she experienced insecurity and jealousy from Shruti. Shruti is Barfi’s ex. She was expecting Barfi’s complete attention which now Shruti was sharing. She felt so bad, so  ignored andso  lonely that she left the place silently.

She was in love with Barfi.

Jhilmil and Barfi were childhood friends but what made her realize that she is in love with him ?

After Jhilmil left,  Barfi lost the zeal of life. He then realized he was in love with her. Why? Earlier he was trying to get rid of her. Now, she when is gone, what has changed? Why he have an urge to get her back in his life?

The beautiful adorable couple faced such separation because their expectations from each other did not meet. Does it look like most of the love stories today? Either they are maturing together or ruining their self because of ‘expectations’.

Our expectations determine whether we feel good or bad – happy or sad – content or angry – over whatever happens in our lives. They impact how we feel about our relationships, work, friends, and people we meet on the street, special days like holidays or birthdays and the world around us. Expectations set up the judge and jury on how we feel about our lives and ourselves. Our expectations are a ‘big deal’.

Some wise people have said, don’t keep expectations or keep them at minimal. It will only hurt you. But tell me, if you won’t expect anything from anyone, how will you cherish the gift you have in your kitty? How will you feel the precious love around you? We usually fight with friends, family and loved ones over various sensible and stupid reasons. Try digging out the nature of those arguments, you will find it’s always the difference in expectation level.  These are the relationships worth fighting for. These are the relationships worth keeping expectations for. If you don’t have dreams what are you going to live for?  Similarly If you don’t have expectations what are you going to achieve?

In any matrimonial alliance, the most common, initial and important question one stakeholder asks the other is ‘what are your expectations from this settlement?’

To determine the ‘big deal’ of our expectations, we have many unhealthy ways to try to meet them. Many struggle to fulfill them by pushing or controlling situations to fit into the mold already created. We may use manipulation, persuasion, passive aggression or intimidation (with anger or tears) to fill our expectations.

There are many different types of expectations that like approval, respect, attention, and love; validation of our good self, qualities and success; to have power or control on situations; to be taken care of by others and so on. If we didn’t receive them while growing up then it would impact our today’s expectations; whether we will receive them now or not. We may even unconsciously select or attract people to fill these types of expectations.

Many times we have expectations that are not reasonable or realistic, but that doesn’t mean that we are “bad” or demanding. It just means that we hope for things that, perhaps, we didn’t get at some time in our life.

Now, when I am entering in the 2nd quarter of life (oh yeah!! I expect myself to live 100 years. . . ) My mom’s expectations are changing, earlier she expected me to behave nicely, study well, speak in a polite cheerful way. Now she expect me to behave maturely, look into family issues, help her (read guide her) through various issue. etcetera. Her expectations are shaping me up to be the lady she has dreamed of me. She always wants me to go for higher studies, be independent and take my own decisions, because this is what she was expecting herself in her time.

Expectations define your relations.

For friendships, you might want to consider what you are looking for, and what do you want from a friend. How do you expect to handle conflict and communication with them? How are feelings and thoughts shared? How much trust do you have in your friendship? How much emotional dependency is ok?

For romantic relationships –  How do you define love and what do you expect from love? How do you approach problems and situations with your partner – as a team or independently and what does that do to your expectations?

When we can understand our expectations and where they come from, then we can begin to select those we wish to keep and begin to chuck out those that hold us back. We begin to gain more control and feel more content with our lives. Expectations give hope and excitement to our lives.  They give us the pushing factor to make them happen.

If I say ‘I wanna grow old with you’ I am expecting that you will be with me and I’ll do my best to hold you till eternity. Barfi had expectations from life, he wanted Jhilmil to be with him, he then made it happen.

Keep expectations, keep moving forward.

Saakshi

The Leader as Coach

In this world there are two kinds of leaders one who loves to collaborate and partner along and second who loves to direct and are control freaks in nature.
If partnering and collaboration are more gratifying to you rather than directing and controlling then I hope next few minutes would be helpful for you and if you are among the second group, please pay attention ,  you may find something interesting.

Most of us see ourselves taking leadership positions in near future and some are already in leadership role and Toastmasters gives us platform to practice and hone our leadership skills. Among team management, time management, stress management, project management, some XYZ management and lot of etc etc imaginable managements ….. . the most important responsibility is to grow and develop the team.

Henry Kissinger, a German born Noble prize winner American writer has once “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. “

As a leader, you are measured, recognized and rewarded not for what you do, but for the accomplishments and achievements of the people you lead. If you want to achieve your goals, you must do everything you can to help your team succeed. If you consider present and past great leader they are alike in 3 areas.

  1. They provide a clear direction through their mission and vision.
  2. They foster collaboration through team building, delegation and coaching.
  3. They motivate team members to achieve by providing feedback, support, recognizing and by resolving conflict.

Many of the world’s greatest leaders say that their team growth is how they measure their own success. Dhoni is considered as the most successful Indian Cricket captain of all times. Not just because he ia great player & his hair styles are trendsetters, even his bald look is still in fashion. But because under his captainship India has won world cup , Twenty 20 world cup , so many series and has set records.

Following Henry Kissinger’s advice , when you coach others to reach their potential you are helping world’s future leaders to gain strength and skills to succeed. You are writing new success stories. People have more potential in them  than they currently show in their lives. If they only knew how to surface their potentials they would have already done so. But the ground reality is that most of them don’t. If provided coaching they get to surface their greatest potential.

Looking for the most convinciable example of being leader as  a coach & writing history, I am able to pick a name close to Indian hearts – Kabir Khan ( sattar minutes ….. Chak De India) . He proved his innocence, his capability , his patriotism by coaching women hockey team and lead them to the path less travelled …. Indian Women Hockey team won 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Some leaders are fortunate enough to get formal training in coaching skills, many are not. They have to develop these for themselves.

 If you  search the techniques on internet you will find numerous tools and techniques which will help you to learn to trust your instincts to become a better coach and so enhance your team’s performance.

 Does this sound daunting? Indeed it is.

 We are talking about how to grow the capabilities of a team and help them achieve what might they have just dreamt. After searching a lot , the easiest approach  to implement and to remember , I got was the GROW Model.

 GROW is an acronym standing for Goal – Current Reality – Options – Will.

 The model is a simple yet powerful framework for structuring a coaching or mentoring session.

 A useful metaphor for the GROW model is the plan you might make for an important journey. First, you start with a map: With this, you help your team member decide where they are going (their Goal) and establish where they currently are (their Current Reality). Then you explore various ways (the Options) of making the journey. In the final step, establishing the Will, you ensure your team member is committed to making the journey and is prepared for the conditions and obstacles they may meet on their way.

 How to use GROW model ?

 Grow :

First , you will help your team member define a goal that is specific, measurable and realistic.

In doing this, it is useful to ask questions like:

  • “How will you know that you have achieved that goal?”
  • “How will you know the problem is solved?”

 Examine Current Reality

As the team member tells you about his or her Current Reality, the solution may start to emerge.

Useful coaching questions include:

  • “What is happening now?”
  • “What, who, when, how often”
  • “What is the effect or result of that?”

Explore the Option

By all means, offer your own suggestions. But let your team member offer his or hers first, and let him or her do most of the talking.

Typical questions used to establish the options are:

  • “What else could you do?”
  • “What if this or that constraint were removed?
  • “What are the benefits and downsides of each option?”
  • What factors will you use to weigh up the options?

Establishing The Will

By examining Current Reality and exploring the Options, your team member will now have a good idea of how he or she can achieve their Goal. That’s great – but in itself, this may not be enough! So your final step as coach is to get you team member to commit to specific action. In so doing, you will help the team member establish his or her will and motivation.

Useful questions:

  • “So what will you do now, and when?
  • “What could stop you moving forward?”
  • “And how will you overcome it?”
  • “Will this address your goal?”
  • “How likely is this option to succeed?”
  • “What else will you do?”

So ready to go  , hold on !!

Beware of common mistakes :

  • Assuming everyone is coachable
  • Overestimating the short term results from coaching
  • Assuming every situation provides the opportunity for coaching
  • Failing to establish rapport which creates the trusting space for coaching to occur
  • Failing to get others’ permission to coach them
  • Confusing coaching with training or supervision

 Benefits of Coaching

Again , investment done in coaching results in improved performance. This investment reaps other benefits too.

a)    High Morale : When everyone is working together and achieving goals, team members feel good about their work .

b)    Empowerment . People feel confident and willingly accept more responsibility.

c)    Development. Team members learn and improve. As they grow, they become more creative and are able to contribute even more.

Does it sounds good ? Here is lot more to it…… Team productivity increases, and the team complete tasks to your expectations . As their skills increase, you can delegate more so you have more time for other leadership responsibilities.

Win Win situation.

 Lets accept the situation, world needs strong , competent leaders now more than ever before. Effective leaders not only in government and industry but even in our civic organizations and toastmasters. At the end of every year, Toastmasters international rewards titles to every club –be Distinguished, Select Distinguished or President Club . The difference between successful clubs like this and unsuccessful clubs is the quality of leadership within the club. Being a leader its your duty to ensure you do everything possible to improve the performance of your team and……………………… to take them where they have not been.

PS : This article was my speech as one of the projects required for ALB (Advance Leader Bronze) Certification by Toastmasters. I hereby completed my ALB , yeah !!

Saakshi

Resolving Conflicts

Just Imagine :

You’ve just arrived to your workstation which you share with a colleague, and it looks as if it’s going to be another frustrating day.

Your side of the office is neat as a pin and incredibly well organized. You take care not to talk loudly when you’re on the phone, so that you don’t disturb your office mate.

Your colleague, however, is the exact opposite. Empty cups and crushed biscuits wrappers litter his side of the office. He sometimes puts the music on while he’s working, which breaks your concentration. And hell breaks when he is chit chatting with others while you are on call.  Stationary items at your side of office are often misplaced, at times you dread yourself coming into the office every day, simply because you don’t like sharing your space with your colleague. He drives you crazy, and you often argue.

Can you recognize that there’s conflict between you two because the two of you have completely different working styles.

Let us try to understand this..

What’s Conflict?

It’s the difference of opinion with two or more people, real or perceived that is not resolved, worst if someone is getting aggressive.

All of us experience one or the other conflicts at work, personal life and even in Toastmasters. Members can have disagreements over programming, logistics, meeting styles and people.

Conflict is not always bad. When it is addressed and resolved, conflict often leads to positive changes, increased productivity, better decisions, innovation and bonding among people. Adversely, unresolved conflict can lead to poor productivity, low morale, distrust, and failure.

A leader must know how to handle conflict.  He/ She can choose to ignore it, complain about it, blame someone for it, or try to deal with it through hints and suggestions; or can be direct, clarify what is going on, and attempt to reach a resolution through common techniques like negotiation or compromise.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is what we do to identify and address conflict in a mature and respectful way.

Why there are conflicts?

Root cause of all conflict and complaints – unmet expectations. Unmet Expectations from others!

Lets us take a closer look when and where conflicts occur.

a)      Conflicting resources

ð  We all need access to certain resources -  office supplies, meeting rooms, scheduling conference calls via desk phones. There are n no of employees and limited resources , hence their needs can be at odds.

 b)      Conflicting Styles

ð  Everyone works differently according to  his/her individual need and personality. For instance some people love the thrill of getting things done at the last minute, while others need the structure of strict deadlines to perform. Whenever there is a difference in working style it may call a conflict.

 c)       Conflicting Perception

 All of us see the world through our own lens, and difference in perceptions of events cause conflict. For instance HR Work from Home policy. There will be employees happy with such a policy being strictly followed, whereas there may be few who are not that pleased. Their perception – why it bothers so much to HR when by any means the work is done. Office politics comes in this section.

d)      Conflicting Goals.

Sometimes we have conflicting goals in our work. We all work on projects which involve multiple stakeholders.  One of them may ensure the high quality service is top priority but another stakeholder may focus on regular project updates and statistics. It’s sometimes quite difficult to reconcile the two!

e)  Conflicting Pressures

We often have to depend on our colleagues to get our work done. However, what happens when you need a report from your colleague by noon, and he’s already preparing a different report for someone else by that same deadline?

f). Different Personal Values

ð   Imagine that your boss has just asked you to perform a task that conflicts with your ethical standards. Do you do as your boss asks, or do you refuse? If you refuse, will you lose your boss’s trust, or even your job? I hope this won’t be case with anyone here.

g)  Misunderstandings

 When rules and policies change at work and you don’t communicate that change clearly to your team, confusion and conflict can occur. Lack of or incomplete communication can lead to misunderstandings.

 Cost to individual

No points for guessing, conflicts are generally destructive in nature, with time, emotional and health costs. Conflicts with others results in stress, loss of confidence, unhappiness, hostility, withdrawal and even illness.

Cost to the organization

Research indicates that a typical manager loses 25% of the day responding to helpful conflict. This is time lost to creative, productive work.

Take a medium sized organization with 100 managers. Let’s assume average monthly salary per manager is Rs 80,000. With managers losing 25% of their time on conflict, the cost will be Rs20, 00,000

This only accounts for management time. The true cost will include higher employee time, higher staff turnover, missed opportunities, absenteeism, inefficiency, low morale and poor teamwork.

 How to resolve conflict

So how do you deal with conflict and complaints?

Do you become aggressive back when it becomes a matter of who “wins” or “loses” the argument?

Or do you use cunning and well thought through communication and interpersonal skills to get you through the other end with the outcome that you desired?

In any case if a conflict has taken place, being a leader you have to approach it.

Method 1 : Ignore it.

In some situations, the issue may not be important and it may be best to ignore it. Often, though, this method does not work. The conflict does not go away.

 It festers.

Method 2. Smooth it over.

 This method is appropriate when the issues are more important to the par­ties involved than they are to you and the team’s goals. This method preserves harmony and goodwill.

 It heals.

 Method 3  Force.

  A leader uses power to resolve differences. This method is best used when an emer­gency requires a quick decision. However, it usually results in “winners” and “losers,” and losers can be resentful.

 It wounds.

 Method 4. Compromise.

 Each party makes a major concession to arrive at a solution. Since both parties lose something, they may have less support for the compromise solution.

 It either unites or divides.

Method 5. Collaboration.

This is a good way to resolve conflict. Each side recognizes the other’s needs as legitimate and important and acknowledges their ability and expertise. They work together to arrive at an agreement that will resolve the conflict. When each party wins, they have greater commitment to the solution and no resentment or distrust

It spreads harmony.

Collaboration offers a framework that will result in a win-win situation. You can facilitate the collabo­ration process by following these seven steps:

  1. Find the root cause.

Once the issues have been determined, focus on solutions not blames.

  1. Allow all parties to speak

3. Encourage all parties to listen.

4. Identify areas of disagreement..

5. Identify areas of agreement. Once everyone has spoken, help them find and discuss areas they agree on, such as: Common goals, Interests and values

6. Search for solutions. Everyone

7. Reach a consensus, by, THE BRAINSTORMING METHOD

All ideas are written down as they are generated, without discussion or evaluation.

After the ideas are exhausted, team members return to the first item on the list and discuss it, evaluating its positive and negative aspects.

Eventually, the list is narrowed to the idea that best resolves the problem

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is what we do to identify and address conflict in a mature and respectful way.

 

When it is handled well it can lead to

  • Improved relationships between those who were in conflict
  • Increased understanding for the different parties around a situation or topic
  • The identification and hopefully, the improvement of the processes that aren’t working

If conflict is not handled well.

if it is allowed to escalate , relationships , the team’s ability to function, the workplace , and the product or service produced will all suffer. So understanding how to handle conflict is vital to ensuring that you can be as effective as possible in the workplace.

Somebody told me, leadership is not just about managing people it’s more about managing people’s ego.

 This article was actually my speech as one of the projects required for ALB (Advance Leader Bronze) Certification by Toastmasters.

Stay Calm and Blessed,

Saakshi

Originally posted on Daisy Quaker - Inbound Marketer:

Think back to the last time you attended a great public speaking event. What made it great? Often times you either learned something new, laughed till it hurt, or you were really inspired by the presentation.

Public Speakers have a tough job. They either give a  great presentation the audience welcomes and enjoys, or they are met with pin-drop silence. It’s an art and science that has hundreds of little techniques, but there is a common thread that runs through all great speeches that can be applied to writing great blog posts.

What do a great speech and a great post have in common? Purpose.

In public speaking there are 4 types of speeches: Informative, Persuasive, Entertaining, and Inspirational. Although a speech may have elements of each, most speeches fall in one of these categories. There is always a dominant purpose, or approach that the speaker uses to deliver value.

3 ways to deliver…

View original 459 more words

Awesomeness Personified

Hie,

How to be awesome in whatever you do?

If you think for a while that my next blog is going to be just a manual on How to be awesome, you are probably wrong. I am no trainer/teacher/coach to instruct you in few easy steps that how to be awesome!
I believe we all are awesomeness personified and just need to search the hidden persona of ours. There are always two different faces of a coin. If nature has beautiful snow covered peaks, it also has disruptive volcanoes. The point is where you are looking. One individual can’t be good at all things. If anyhow the person tries to be, there would be few weak points.

I like reading and occasionally write on my blog , but unfortunately from past few months life (ok, I am exaggerating ; my mood or emotions or outlook whatever you name it) has taken a 360 degree turn. All for bad. No, I am not cribbing or showing my irritation here on a public forum nor I am doing this in my real life but somewhere unconsciously its effecting me badly , I appear pale and lost most of the times . Happiness and smile are long lost entities and that’s one of the reasons of blogging ‘so rarely’.

I am going to work, finishing all my daily tasks, attending trainings (May – Aug my calendars are decorated with all sort of trainings. September will see me an improvised super human being :)  ). I am getting good rankings, appreciations, rewards, challenging projects. Strangely, I am socializing more, reading more books, I am losing my appetite and am an insomniac now. A strange demoralized phase in which I am in, is unfolding all my hidden weakness and finally adding it to my stress level.

Tony Robbins (an American Self help author and motivational speaker) says “In life you need either inspiration or desperation”. I choose inspiration. Inspiration from my own strengths.
So listing my strengths …
I am creative, confident, open minded, have a good patience level, ambitious, good at analyzing and organizing things. I am committed to my commitments. I am a quick learner. I can write well. I can push people to pursue their goals.bla bla bla ..
So, as the list goes on for my strengths similarly I have few ( !! :)  !! ?? :) ) weaknesses also .

Whatever they may be as I have said earlier , I am following Tony’s advice. Choosing inspiration over desperation . Inspiration from my strengths and disguising myself for a while that there exists no weakness that can potentially pull me down from being an awesome soul.

You may have completely different opinions on this subject matter and I respect that but according to me, it would be a painful experience when you are suddenly confronted with some bitter moment(s) of your life . A moment where the only word that could define it is “Crap”. A “double crap” when it’s exposed to everyone. Grr !! Public humiliation. You may either chose one way where you can escape from by just saying “this is the way I am” or falling in a guilt pit :( . My conscious chooses the first one that is not claiming your weakness as a badge of your identity. This is like putting your best foot forward, accepting yourself with the weakness and getting a inspiration to keep rising higher.

If you can’t overcome weakness, then why not shine your strengths more.

Doubts ???

Stay awesome , be awesomeness personified.
Saakshi

How do you communicate with Business ?

Hie,

Picture this:

It’s a Monday morning after a long weekend when you took Friday off to get out of the city , travelling across 3 states . You have to attend your cousin’s wedding, a family affair !! This results in no ‘allowed’ access to e-mails. Back to Monday (travelling early morning) – you fire your email application and you have some 300 + unread emails.

What will you do?

a)      Sort them according to sender’s name?

b)      Sort them according to ‘high importance’?

c)       Take a deep breath and grab a cup of coffee.

d)      Panicked and start replying in order you receive those emails.

This is like what my morning is, today. The troubled part was I have to again apply for a leave (long weekend) for coming Monday and Tuesday. A road trip to Badrinath, with family.

You may be wondering if I am having such a number of e-mails ,either  I am not managing my clients / projects well, or I am keeping them aloof for the project  status or they are not informed well in advance that I am taking some time off for myself. (In India , taking time for family is equal to  taking time for yourself. Whereas I believe, there are 4 defined sections – work , family , friends and yourself , demanding their own time).

Just to justify my situation, my leave was planned and communicated beforehand (out of office also placed), project status always up to date. Such an alarming no of unread mails were because of few CC’s and a lot of system generated notifications. But still looking at the no, it does create a panic situation.

Regardless of your communication skills, it always comes down to your personality how you deal with such a situation. Some will reply back just saying “Done. Please check.”  And some will draft a long blog like e-mail.  We all will agree, inviting everyone concerned on a short conference call, probably with screen share is the quickest way to reach the solution .But is it reliable? (ah ! making MOM and wasting time again :( )  Next comes the Instant Messenger, IM  (which often shows all stakeholders offline when you wish to talk and magically online just as you wish to go offline.) So the solution comes back to e-mail.

As a Business Analyst (BA), which mode of communication is preferred and reliable (!!)? From past few months I am working across so many cultures – American, British, German, Italian , Mexican , Middle East and Indians . Through the way they communicate (emails , IM and telephone  calls) , the clear difference in styles made me believe it was due to the culture they inhibit. Later I closely observed within our Internal team , my manager always ping me to ask if it’s a good time to talk , if yes then please  come to meeting room and on the other hand  my team mates put everything on e-mails; CC manager . So is it the generation difference? Managers or the SME (subject matter expert) are more senior, experienced and are in more responsible positions, they need immediate responses. Whereas BA, the younger generation grow up with texting messages, find it reliable and follow the e-mail norm religiously. 

In my CBAP (Certificate Business Analyst Professional) training workshop classes, my trainer told me “BA is 70% communication skills and 30% technical skills”. I fully agree. It’s the way we communicate that earns us fame along with bread and butter. So whether you choose e-mails, Instant messenger or telephonic calls , make your message crisp clear ,make sure the  timing is right. Study stakeholders well (yes, this is the unsaid part of your job, accept it)to decide what they would prefer a e-mail or a short call.

In my opinion e-mail is the best way, marking all stakeholders to be on same page. It makes the documentation work easier too. And it will serve as a life line, if something goes wrong when anyone is on leave.

Coming back to leaves, I am working in IT industry and as most of you may have expected, my planned leave stands cancel. Sipping my coffee and a long to-do list , I am now deciding communication strategy – how to deal this with family?

Wish me luck.

Saakshi

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