Respond or React ……It’s your choice…. 

Reactions-Black

Respond , not react, to any situation calmly , that is what every Guru (Teacher) tells. We all know the basic difference Reaction and Response. Reaction being more of an impulsive action (theoretically speaking) taken without much thought in a given situation and Response being a more logical , rational / calm action taken in a similar situation.

When we all are aware of the differences and the apparent advantages and disadvantages then why do we still react under some situations if not all?? The second logical question which arises is that should all actions taken without much apparent thought be termed as reaction or to put in simple words can’t a snap action be termed as response ?

My experience has been that we generally react when we are dealing with a junior (or our child ) or a person we consider / perceive is weaker than us, someone we have nothing to fear from or someone we think will not react back. Whereas we respond very calmly while dealing with our seniors ( the boss) or people in power or someone we perceive is stronger than us. Someone who can cause harm to us physically or can harm our career prospects . We often come across people in our professional life who very forcefully state that they don’t take nonsense and blow their top at the smallest reason on the juniors but their behaviour is dramatically totally opposite in front of their seniors or people more powerful than them. In short , our angry reactions are generally reserved for the juniors or the weaker. I always narrate this example to the youngsters in the organisation to explain response and reaction. If my boss comes to my home and accidentally drops and breaks a glass, the action I take thereafter will fall in the realms of response ( I will be very polite and get the place cleaned and offer another glass to the boss) whereas if my child drops and breaks the same glass my follow up action may be totally opposite and termed as reaction . I may give her my piece of mind , a lesson on her absent mindedness and carelessness may follow. A different reaction or response to the same loss.

Our reaction and response also depends on the situation and the place. In most cases when we think we have something to lose we may respond calmly and diffuse the situation / resolve the issue whereas at a different place our reaction may be ‘louder’.

The best example of Response vs Reaction can be seen on social networking site where some people choose to react in whatever way they want because of their perceived notion of immunity since they are hidden behind a fake name / identity and their face is not on screen. Then there are others who just choose to stay quite and ignore .

Our experience may also help in invoking good responses even in snap situations. Since we have already been through a similar situation before hence we may not take much time in giving an adequate and appropriate response. This is so true for juniors , they get so used to the behaviour pattern/ reactions of their team leader that they develop auto response system.

People in the Defence ( Defense ) / Police services do feel that at times situations develop so fast that they have no option other than reacting fastest with whatever they have , to control it. Well I will term that reaction as Response because the Defence officers have a progressive and tough training regimen. They practice dealing with every possible war like situation, which can be visualised , during the training . It is this training which empowers them to make quick mental appreciation of a developing situation and helps in responding in a very fast time frame. (Some may say – in a fraction of a second). Same will be true for any professional, provided a constant endeavour is made to upgrade skills and gain knowledge.

Response is what is needed. “With so much of stress already in the environment, why add to it with our unreasonable reactions. Response is to a situation irrespective of who all our involved in it”.

“It should not matter whether the glass was broken by the Boss or the child , the action to resolve the issue should be same”.

Be the driver of your Life…..

self-confidence

 

“The difference between who you are and what you are going to be is what you do today” 

Life is a beautiful journey , the route full of scenic locales , it’s up to us to live and enjoy or be so busy in our routine and miss out on the beauty. The choice lies with us to be the driver , in control of the steering of the vehicle or be a passenger just going where ever the vehicle takes us. There in lies the difference between the successful and not so successful. 

The majority takes the safer option of being the passenger trusting the skill of the driver to take them through. Trusting someone else with their future. 

Most get nervous with the mere thought of being in charge. We have all experienced nervousness at some point in our life . There can be ‘N’ number of reasons when one felt the heart racing or the palm sweating ; before an exam , attending an interview , before a presentation or even when we are getting late for an appointment or a flight. 

It is this nervousness or lack of confidence which makes or mars the future. Why should one be nervous? If you have prepared well , done good research work , rehearsed well ,  there should not be any reason for nervousness. Invest well in skill development, gaining knowledge and your health . These are the basic ingredients for building self-confidence. At times it is the hangover from the past or fear of failure ( Worrying about what others will say)  which gets on the nerves. If you have done step by step preparation you should not fear the outcome. Even if you do not achieve the desired result, the life does not come to an end. There is another day , more opportunities to excel . Do not give up at any failure , just analyse the reason and move on . May be you did not have the requisite experience for that job, get it. Or may be that job did not deserve you , there is something better waiting. 

Have faith in your abilities , trust your instincts . This will only come if you are honest in your preparation. Do not start looking for help at the smallest of obstacle, find your own solution. Get your own experience, it will build your confidence and come in handy in overcoming bigger hurdles later in life. Take charge of the steering and be the driver of your life. It’s your destination, you will understand the way better and utilise your abilities to your advantages. 

“If you leave the steering of your life in someone else’s hand you will only be sure that the vehicle will start, but how the journey will be and where it will hand will not be in your hand. Take charge of the steering…..live your life your way…..Be sure”. 

Do not let nervousness come in the way of your success. Be like a child, instead of being nervous , be excited. Only you can change the narrative of your life. 

“Invest in building your confidence…..it will take you places….certainly to your desired destination”

Discover Yourself ….. You are Awesome….

“The first step in making a dream come true……is to decide what you want……once a decision has been made….put your heart and mind in achieving it…….there will be struggles , obstacles……. stay focused……let not your mind waver …never ever give up…….you will live your dream”

Have you realised your true potential? Have you achieved what you could or rather are you even aware ofwho am i what you were capable of achieving? Most of us love to work from our comfort zones and are not comfortable with the idea of venturing out ….doing something different….or doing things in a different way. This happens for variety of reasons which may include fear of failure, not wanting to take risks , averse to change  or may be sheer laziness. We have to understand that all of us are unique and have the ability to perform /achieve much more than we think we can. Let us try and analyse the factors which may help one in achieving his / her true potential.

The first step is to understand and accept yourself the way you are ; your capabilities and shortcomings. Once you understand your strengths and weaknesses, it will become easier for you to focus and work on them , to exploit your strengths and to improve upon your weaknesses. Be clear in your mind , unless you accept a weakness ,you cannot find a solution for it. A critical self- appraisal , feedback / interaction with colleagues and may be support of an experienced coach ( in case of students ; may be the help of teachers and parents) will help in this area.

Once you have understood your strengths and weaknesses , the next logical step will be to invest in self- improvement. Self- investment is a must in the area of health , building up your knowledge base , honing up your skills and your personal grooming. While talent may be natural, God’s gift, but it is only of any good if supported by good skills. You may be having a good voice but unless you rehearse / practice regularly under a good coach , you may not become an established singer and just remain part of the chorus.

Personal grooming , is one area , which normally gets neglected. Personal behaviour, the way you conduct yourself , the way you walk and talk and look , all matters in your growth , both personal and professional. Combination of well groomed manners, smart looks and a ticking brain under the neat hairstyle is always a winning combination. Presentation matters , but what matters most is a well packaged presentation which is beautifully laid out, has novelty and brimming with logical professional content.

Once you have invested in personal your growth , you will be comfortable working anywhere , anytime and not limit yourself to so called comfort zones. Once this happens , nothing will stop you from achieving your true potential. The aim should be break free from the comfort zones , the earlier you do ,better it will be.

Have a dream and follow it relentlessly, the flame of passion should keep burning till you have realised your goal. Do not be averse to taking risks or stop yourself from doing things differently because of fear of failure. Remember the good old saying “No success is the last and no failure is fatal”. Once you have prepared well, chances of failures are negligible and even if you do not achieve what you intended , there is always a second time. Once you have taken home correct lessons from the first failure , nothing will stop you from achieving your goal the next time , you only got to be persistent and focused.

Maintain a positive attitude and this is only possible if you have prepared well  (invested well in yourself) and have faith in your abilities .You start anything with faith in yourself , ability of your team and your plans chances of failure are negligible but if you start anything with a doubt ,chances of success are remote. Maintain your cool and be calm under all conditions, do not ever let the stress get the better of you.

Be selective in the company you keep. Company matters in what you can achieve. Have a selective team of advisers , friends and colleagues(team members) , who will be there with you in your endeavours. There has to be mutual trust and understanding between all team members. Remember “Success of any team depends on how well each member inspires , motivates and co-operates with each other………….manipulations , complaints and blame are recipes for failures”.

You were born unique , to achieve something different , to be unusual , to do things differently. Prepare well , step out of your comfort zone, take risks , keep your feet moving and mind ticking …success will be yours.  

“Do not try to fit in…….you are different…. you are unique……you were not born to be someone else…you were born to be awesome”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invest in yourself…….

 

 

investment

“Invest in yourself…there are so many things in life we cannot control,so make sure you take care of what you have been freely given….your body ,your health and each other……invest wisely”

Every individual, be it an entrepreneur, businessmen or a salaried employee is busy investing effort, time and money in their profession with the singular aim of earning the desired money which in turn, they think, will facilitate them in living the life they dream. Apparently there is nothing wrong in this aim and approach but are they succeeding in it in the real sense. Yes , they maybe able to earn more money but at what cost ? They have less time for family / friends , increased stress levels, new lifestyle diseases and negligible time for self. This in a way is bound to adversely affect their personal and professional growth.

The ans, to offset this vicious cycle, lies in a planned, systematic  investment in personal growth .Learn to invest your time in a balanced manner ensuring time for work , skill development , health , play , breaks , family and friends.

First and foremost is the health which is the most affected because of the lifestyle the young generation is leading, with the aim of achieving more in small time. There is no set routine, the food habits are not good and off course there is no time for a good workout .  Health , if not taken care of, will pose the biggest hurdle on the road to your desired goals. Try and follow a routine wherein there is adequate time for work, family, food and leisure. Do not neglect food and do not over stress yourself. Periodic health check up is a must even if you think you are still young and healthy .

Do not forget taking a break at regular intervals to freshen up your mind and body.  A good break may range from just a two minutes stretch on the chair , tea break or walk in the garden, a great weekend or an outing once a year . Healthy mind and body are two main things which will help definitely help in achieving the desired goals.

Another field which require constant investment is knowledge . If sincere efforts are not made to keep abreast with not just the technological changes, the new work techniques but also the happenings in the environment you are bound to be left behind in the profession. Constantly upgrade your skills and acquire new. Develop habit of reading; time is never an issue, it is the will to read which you have to muster. Knowledge will not just help in tackling the challenges or in efficient guiding of the team but also prepare one to question the set patterns and find better ways of doing things. Knowledge is always respected and so will you be.

Invest in a hobby, if you can. It will help you to counter stress, whatever may be the cause. It will help in improving creativity and thought process. Drawing, painting, singing, cooking …….anything you like just go for it .The returns will be amazing and the only regret you will have is why you started so late.

Good relationship is another area, investment in which will give tremendous returns. Good relationship both at home and office are a must. Better the relations and bigger the circle of people you call us will lead to excellent output. The emotional support you get will see you through any stress situation. Social graces matter in the overall human growth.

Lastly , do not forget to invest in your personal grooming ,the ps & qs ,the way you dress, look , walk and talk .Always look your best, disheveled looks do not impress much. 

“Smart looks , neat hairstyle along with a ticking brain under it and some self discipline is a deadly combination which will rarely miss a target . Even if it misses , it will leave a mark”.

Be the First….Be Unique….Doesn’t matter much whether you are the Best or Not….

unique

Be the best is what we are told right from our school days. How long can one continue to be the best forever ? The competition is stiff and maintaining the top spot is not easy and then it’s not a necessity that the one on top is actually the best , there are numerous other factors which may propel one to the top spot. The other day I was listening to Jack Ma, the co-founder of Alibaba Group and he said aim to be the first not the best and it did make a lot of sense.

More than being the best what actually matters is being the first to grab an opportunity , being the first to get an idea , being the first to execute that idea . What will make you stand out is being unique , being different. Being first , being unique is what helps in beating the competition. When you are unique you don’t have to bother about others because the products or services they are offering are totally different from yours . You have your own Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

When you are first , you are ahead of the competition. Your uniqueness will always appeal to your target population. By the time others catch up with your idea or try to better it you have already made your mark and on way to diversifying and improving further. It is the first who is always remembered , who is always referred to or quoted. Whole world will know the name of first man or woman who climbed Mount Everest ,but hardly anyone will know the name of the person who was the fastest to climb . Same is the case of new products being launched . The first , sets the trend and the others are compared to it.

Being first doesn’t mean that you try and implement an idea without proper thought . An idea has to be reasonably analysed and then comes in your risk taking ability , your capacity to experiment and the strength to face the failure. Maintain your uniqueness , you may have got an idea from an existing product or product make it your own by infusing your mind into it .Your imprint , uniqueness should be clearly visible.

“Aim to do your best , be the first , be unique,

Doesn’t matter whether you are the best ,

Your uniqueness will carry you through”.

“Make your uniqueness your USP”

“Be ready to pay the price ….To realise a dream”

Dream-2

 

We all set goals in life , what we want to achieve, where we want to see ourselves in a given time frame but then why most of us fail to achieve what we started with the aim of achieving.

One of the reason for the failures, I found, was that in most cases actually the goals set are not our own, we don’t actually own them. A child, from early years, is being generally directed by the parents, teachers / elders towards a set goal and the child mentally starts accepting that’s what he wants to achieve or that’s what he wants to be.
His own dream remains buried deep down in his thoughts not allowed to flourish for various reasons.

As the child grows and gets into the professional field he gets exposed to the world and realises that’s not what he was born to do, his heart and mind is somewhere else. But not many have the heart to take that decision or the risk to change over and continues trying to excel in something he / she never actually loved. They try to adjust to the environment they are not comfortable with, and the goal post changes.

Not many parents / teachers encourage the child to take decisions, whereas the main aim of education , formal / informal , should be to empower the child with decision making abilities .By the time he understands decision making , he thinks its too late to take the risk of change and generally compromises. You compromise and the dream will be dead.

It’s not an easy task to realise the purpose of one’s life, what one wants to be. Some may get the enlightenment very early in life while most may take years and there is nothing wrong in it. The day you realise it , start working for it . Have the heart to follow your dream . The inability to follow the heart, the dream , is solely the failure of the individual and no one else can be blamed for it.

The issue of financial safety and security is drilled deep in our brains as we grow up. We are generally risk averse .We are not ready to pay the price attached to realising the dream. The price may be in the form of money , time or extra effort.

A dream like having a ‘Startup” may include the price of losing the security of present job, if you already have one. The risk of failure and losing all money will always be attached to it. Your family may also have to struggle along with you . Are they ready for it or are you ready to make them go through it? The dream may be a non-starter for want of finances or inability to take risks.

A dream of being a good mountaineer, having a good body and the like will require sacrifices of having a strict time and diet regimens . Getting up early and putting in extra hours over and above as required for your daily routine commitments. Specialised training over a long period under expert supervision. Only a truly dedicated person will succeed where the majority are bound to fail or just give up.

Simple dreams of being a singer, musician a dancer will require hard training over a sustained period of time. Many may just back out for reasons of time.

For a dream to be realised the basic requirement is a strong mind and heart. You have to make your decision after a deliberate thought and analysis. Be ready to face the risk not caring about what others may think. Be ready to put in that extra effort or burn the midnight oil as you train hard. Stay focused , not wavering in the face of odds. Chart your own path when no one seems to be giving you company. You will fall not once but many times, have the ability to get up and move on.

A dream should never be solely linked to making money . A dream is more related to being happy, getting satisfaction, than just make money.

“Be ready to pay the price ….To realise a dream”

 

Employee …. Soul of any Organisation….

undying-immortal-soul-large

Performance evaluations and counselling is a constant process in any organisation. The aim is to keep the organisation in good health by improving on the shortcomings, removing the non-performers or transplanting them where they suit better. One of the most important aspects on which depends the future of any organisation but at times not paid the attention it deserves. More than just firing the role of Performance Evaluation is for improving. Firing is always an option but not the only option.

Employees are the heart and soul of any organisation and on their health depends the health of the organisation. Everyone wants to hire the best , under the given circumstances, however, it has to be understood that no one can be perfect. An employer should not expect all employees to be as good in the performance as he himself is. No one can be expected to love the organisation as much as the owner. Given the prevalent circumstances in the job market where money / salary matters the most one cannot expect total dedication from an employee . The employee, in most cases, will take a plunge, whenever he gets a seemingly better opportunity, that is higher salary or better work culture. Only exceptions may be the government organisation where the employees generally works from joining till retirement and  enjoys the privilege of non performing and still getting the same salary as the performer and if he is smarter , manage the promotions too. This option is not available to the workers in ever growing private sector.

How does one then retain his people and keep them motivated to give their best always . A very difficult proposition for any business. One must understand that everyone cannot be same in performance. Expecting perfection is a Big No. The requirement is of the employees who give an above average performance constantly at the scale of 7 to 9 out of 10. Varied types of employees are required to sustain an organisation and outperform the competition. Having all ‘Perfect’ employees may be counter-productive because in most cases then not they will find it difficult to co-exist, being constantly under the impression that they know more than the others. Now that will certainly be harmful for the health any organisation.

Aim should not be to hire the best but to get the best out of people hired. How does one achieve this? Very early in my service career I had learnt a very simple principle of employees management from a boss of mine; Every man is good in something, develop the capability to see / understand goodness in people / things and use them for what they are good in. You cannot expect a fish to climb trees. Hire them and employ them for what they are good it. Do not keep trying to ‘Fit’ people where you want. The day a boss understands this, everyone and the organisation will be happy.

Understand the needs of your employees. They will have wants and desires too , but you focus at their needs. The first basic need is of self-respect and empowerment. Give them respect and appreciate the efforts they put in even when they have not been able to achieve the desired target. The shortcomings have to be boldly underlined and driven home but without humiliation or threat. Facilitate employees in

sharpening their skills and acquiring new ones which help them in their personal growth and the growth of organisation.

As a boss / Team leader , do not try to micro manage. Help people grow, by allowing them space for self-expression and encouraging new ideas. Do carry out analysis periodically and help them make corrections / rectifications but do not hover over their head 24 X 7 . Give them space to breathe and think. Remember what General George S Patton said ages back “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity”.

Try and understand the reasons for low performance by an employee. In most cases reasons are other than professional; a break up , an ailing family member and the like. Not withstanding the reason , the boss should be there to guide  , counsel or support them as the need be. More than firing , an understanding attitude of the bosses help in the growth of the organisation and helps in bringing out the best from the employees.

Ensure a good working environment. Do not keep breathing down the neck of the employees setting unrealistic targets which may only burn down the employees and finally the organisation / business. Do not keep changing the goal post / aim . If it has been realistically set then a change will be seldom required.

Take care of the physical, physiological and emotional needs of your people and they will give the best. A good work culture is a great motivator and the best facilitator for employee retention.

Employees are the heart and soul of any organisation, take care of them and they will take care of the business growth. 

“As a boss your aim should be to build a happy team where all members are always willing to facilitate each other’s growth thus leading to the overall growth of the organisation”.