Saakshi Nagpal

Archive for the tag “United States”

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

Being Confident – My learning from Toastmasters.

Hie ,

How are summers going ?? 🙂 🙂

Last week , I completed my Competent Communicator along with  Competent Leader certification from Toastmaster manuals. Happy me 🙂 , I am just 9 month old with this programme .

Below is my project 10 from Competent Communicator manual : Inspire your audience.

My dear fellow toastmasters, I still remember my first speech. Those who have given their Icebreaker will be experiencing a sweet smile on their face and those who are still planning to give will experience goosebumps. Mine was a bit different. I thought I was dead sitting on the chair waiting for my turn. Fortunately or unfortunately mine was the first. I gave my first speech at Area Level Humorous speech competition representing our club at Adobe systems  

Before the competition, when I was bothering myself with the questions like ‘Can I do it?’ ‘ What I will do if I go blank?’ ‘Do I have the confidence, that I can make it?’ Our Mr President come to me , and ask to volunteer for Vice President  Public Relations role.

I was like uhh !! you can’t do this to me. I am the kind of person, who can work till late will never crib but interacting with entire organization and always being upfront to create a buzz ., this is just not me. I am the person who needs to be dragged to parties and then needs  some solitude to regenuate. I am not a social butterfly.  Now I am grateful , for the confidence Mr President has shown in me. 

From that day till today, the club meetings are like  weekly lessons. Thank you for all your support and guidance through the journey of learning till date. I can feel the brand new me J within me.

Lets think again, aren’t those questions scary ? Most of us , including myself try avoiding such questions b’coz deep down we have some or the other kind of fear of unknown. It can be driving, swimming, singing, dancing, public speaking or socializing.

I fear of social gatherings, no please don’t take me as an introvert or something it’s an area where I just don’t feel comfortable.. Comfortable of mass?? NO may be lack of confidence to communicate with the strangers at a personal level. I am well read , well travelled ,  enough to carry on any conversation except stock exchange and cricket !! But still … ahh !! I just can’t do that. I literally get cold feet.  Being socially inactive, my motivation was at a decline.

Finally I took charge of myself, coz , I was sick of this feeling, it was always a herculean task to approach someone and say “ hello , whats up , how u doing ? “ .  One fine day, there was a circular in my mailbox asking nominations for membership of an internationally recognized public speaking and leadership club. I at once nominated, without giving second thought or even looking at the cost. I nominated myself. I never had stage fear. In fact  I was the head girl of my school, a regular figure on stage not only b’coz  my mom can see me and hear me performing but b’coz I love the feeling of being here on the podium and addressing people. I can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but I go insanely awkward in groups and specially when I have to initiate any conversation, so I joined the club to exploit myself. Exploit b’coz in my heart I was confident that I can do it. As they say ‘no pain no gain’ my moto was ‘ if it doesn’t torture, then it doesn’t matter’.

The fact that here in Toastmasters, there is no one to judge you  or score you , here we all learn in a mutually supportive, positive learning and non threatening  environment. This means fewer chances of embarrassment and also a good opportunity to interact and socialize. Now the fear of public humiliation did the trick. Result, I am here , regained the lost self esteem projecting the much desired confidence .

This was my part of story. But one question has the power to either make it or break it – Do you believe you have confidence?

They say change is the only constant thing in life. I believe Change is other definition of life. With my year long journey with Toastmasters, now I accept that change is the only truth of life. To accept the eternal truth, one needs to have confidence and confidence in plenty. The confidence should be like a solid, which even when challenged will never backed down. The confidence should be your armor against all odds.

So, from where will we get this confidence? And when we find it , will this confidence remain with us ?

It’s a myth that confidence is a state of mind which is built by a constant thinking. The fact is confidence is within you, it’s in your heart; it’s in your belief.  Confidence creates a positive vibe around us and spreads too.  Don’t tell me you don’t try certain dance steps from Dance India Dance at home , don’t tell me you stop yourself singing in bathroom, don’t tell me  you  don’t try your hands at your favorite cuisine at home. No matter how absurd you may have performed it gives you a certain sense of happiness and satisfaction. A feeling of being ‘too good’.    

So, clearly you have the desire, take a step forward show confidence in yourself and just do it. Who knows the world around you may feel proud of you.

You love to dance, dance with your friends, feel the spotlight on you. You love to sing, then why in confines of your bathroom, don’t you think that echo ruins the melody? Call your buddies for Sunday brunch, have fun , someone may like the food and ask for tips!! Try it out

Find confidence in whatever you love to do to overcome the fears you always desire. It may not be easy because in reality, the world behaves in such a way that makes a vicious cycle revolving 360-degree without any clue. You may have fought with your fears and gave a shot but in the end, found yourself back to same place.  It must be very hard.

Most importantly, it is your confidence that tells your true worth no matter where you are and what you might be doing. Confidence is a treasure which boosts our  morale and helps in keeping us focused towards our dream despite of all odds.

And if you are thinking how to retain this confidence (I know it’s fragile) ,then have a TEAR in your eye.

Try , Enact, Analyse , Reform.

As I have been practicing this via Toastmasters, though I will be completing CC this afternoon , I don’t want to stop now. For me the fun and learning has just begun! so having said that I am confident that  I have inspired you enough to come forward and present your icebreaker , what you all need is just the CONFIDENCE and let it oozes out from your pores.

Let me know your take on this.

Keep Talking,

Saakshi

Tomato Story

I got this article in my mail and just thought I would share it just because the inspiration that emitted is imitable.

A Jobless man applied for the position of ‘office boy’ at Microsoft. The HR manager interviewed him then watched him cleaning the floor as a test. ‘You are employed’ he said.  Give me your e-mail address and I’ll send you the application to fill in, as well as date when you may start. The man replied ‘But I don’t have a computer, neither an email’. ‘I’m sorry’, said the HR manager. If you don’t have an email, that means you do not exist. And who doesn’t exist, cannot have the job.’The man left with no hope at all. He didn’t know what to do, with only $10 in his pocket. He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy a 10Kg tomato crate. He then sold the tomatoes in a door to door round. In less than two hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the operation three times, and returned home with $60.The man realized that he can survive by this way, and started to go every day earlier, and return late. Thus, his money doubled or tripled every day. Shortly, he bought a cart, then a truck, and then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles.

5 years later, the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US …
He started to plan his family’s future, and decided to have a life insurance.

He called an insurance broker, and chose a protection plan. When the conversation was concluded the broker asked him his email. The man replied, ‘I don’t have an email.’ The broker answered curiously, ‘You don’t have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Can you imagine what you could have been if you had an e mail?!!’ The man thought for a while and replied, ‘Yes, I’d be an office boy at Microsoft!’

This story teaches us 3 lessons:
1. Internet is not the solution to life. If you don’t have Internet, and work hard, you can be successful.
2. Success doesn’t come to those who have all the resources or are simply lucky.

3. Think out of the box. If you act like a crowd most probably you will be the crowd.

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