Alive


Every day to come had gone
I so felt like natures pawn
What was my life I would wonder,
Never rain just always thunder

I was told life lives this way,
Death was reserved for another day
Do it right or pay a bribe
All that matters is to survive,

I agreed to have my say
My dreams would just not let me stay
Years of life yet days to remember
To my future, I had to tender

How?, I would think now and then,
There was no way out, just when
I knew my fate had taken its turn
Found my diamonds in a rotten urn

It was the spirit within ,
Tolerating life was a sin
Survival was a thing of past;
My big dreams have to thrive
I now live in this blissful waltz
More than ever feeling alive…

Friendship


With him I shared my tennis racket,

My joy and sorrows and my leather jacket

He was the one I found standing ground

When there was no one around

He met she and I was told

They were precious to me, more than gold!

And then I saw them fall apart,

His punching bag and his speaking tree

His last air-bender that was me

I lied; I tried and played old pranks

I dated beauties and I dated cranks

There was someone to advice

Always around to help me rise

For all I know, he would never read

But he kept his wisdom by the bead

Between us was this stronger thread

Born apart, together bred

Before we knew it, came the days

We had to pick our different ways

I hoped and prayed that our paths would cross

We were hung on a bit of floss

…and it all seemed to end

Years later he emerged,

Looking different was the trend

I looked through him and saw his heart

And yet still, he was my friend

–              By Abhinandan Chatterjee

Loneliness


He was thinking of a way till the hay turn gray,

Sitting all day and not a wise word to say.

He would have his moments

Sorrow and fun, he was just like others

But he would never run

Yet he had, no friends to fiddle

 

As he grew he did meet a few,

The feeling was indeed – new.

Time went by as they flew apart

It was beer soon and not lemon tart

He dunked and drank

Occasionally, pulled a prank

Yet he had, no friends to fiddle

 

The tanks galore, he was sent ashore

Fighting for his people, he still felt alone

There were many a priests and motifs profound

He longed soon for his 6 feet of ground

Knowing not what he had in store

He moved on to inspire a dozen

Yet he had, no friends to fiddle

 

A breeze so sweet and a woman came by,

Back again he was on a high

Life’s testimony was not yet over

He had found his four leaf clover

That was when he was on a roll

Every evening he would go for a stroll

He knew some souls who he met very often

Yet he had, no friends to fiddle

 

That was the day, yesterday,

Now he is no one new

There are still people

So does he say?

He eyes seem waiting, till this day

Yet he has, no friends to fiddle.

 

–              By Abhinandan Chatterjee

Microphonics @ Bennigans


First time I ever encountered Microphonics was last month , around 13 August, I guess.

Honestly , I was a little worried about getting bored when Shruti Bhatia ( Old Microphonics Agent) pushed me to Bennigans  with her and a couple of other friends.

I am alright with music but I haven’t been a fan as such for many years now and when it comes to singing, people would pay me ( not to sing !).

So, I reached the place early , met Manish – ( The Music Maker) and a few others and before I knew it the place transformed into something else. The atmosphere was electric and alcohol couldn’t get me even half as high as I was on fun !

This was by far the best karaoke eve I’ve ever had ! I sang like a dozen ducks but I sang and all thanks to the awesome team at Microphonics.

P.S. Bennigans was good too .

 

I would rate this event (5 Star)

Definitely recommended !

 

 

 

Life


I don’t see the end is near

Close up shots of my fear

Put in words, but not so clear

And I wonder, why should I rise…

 

Divine riots in my head

Bloody fights for a piece of bread

Books on wisdom never read

A dog-eat-dog world ahead…

 

An aching heart with thoughts amiss

Love is out to take a piss

Serpents whine with a louder hiss

all I need is a caring kiss…

 

Happiness is just so scarce

Save as much for life’s stare

Sad are stories with no end

Dark and gloomy – now a trend…

 

And just then I see the sun

out of darkness, on the run

though it knows its life in hours

Shines upright with a blazing gun…

 

you should be the best you see

so what? If the darkness falls

only then will you feel the light

if you walk through the darker walls…

 

If i were the sun, i feel

ill be thinking why to rise?

 

The night will come as the end is near

I could choose to live in fear

‘To live now is the ‘present’

and with death comes no prize’

With this thought I am clear.

Ask me a question !


If you have a business situation, a challenge in life or while achieving your goals; this is our platform to ‘ ask me a question’. Based on the work I do and whatever I little I know, I am committed to assist you in getting what you want in life.

You can read my professional profiles published at different sources simply by clicking on any of the following links:

This blog also has a Facebook page
Please feel free to post your questions as comments or email them to me at abhilearning@aol.com. Ciao.
Glossary of Links:

Welcome to my blog – Index


Welcome to Humanware Works . This is a practical and simple blog created to discuss different aspects of business,people, learning, growth and life.

Index

Right under ‘Humanware Works’ , you can find the menu with seven items on it. I have explained them below for you to be able to narrow your search :

1.Mindfood

This section is about business and people performance related topics like leadership, time management, stress management, communication etc.

Here you can read about best practices and simple yet practical tips and techniques to better your performance. Simple sensibilities that drive results.

2.Soulfood

In this section my heart spreads out on paper and makes its way with words, paint and pictures. Mostly my poems and quotes to start with along with my paintings and photographs ( Lucky Flicks ) !

3.OD-to-DO

I am trying to play around with organizational development models and philosophies that can drive sustainable change and consistent innovation. This section is about the BIG PICTURE from the organizational perspectives.

Lets find (5W+1H) for companies. You can look out for case studies, Situation based pedagogy, Best Practices and my Consulting insights here.

If there is anything about OD that specifically interests you, let me know and I will write about it too.

4.Story-Tail

A collection of stories from all around the world. Some written, some adopted, some reproduced from what people said, but all with some learning to work and live by.

5.Critique

Being a Virgo, though i don’t believe in the logic of zodiac signs much, criticism comes naturally to me.

In this section I will talk about my first hand experiences about everything in 100 words or less. I will also rate my experiences on my ‘goodness scale’ from 1 being the lowest to 5 being the highest.

Just some good old unsolicited advice.

6.My Work Space

This section will lead you to my work profile and highlight the work that I love as much as I love my life, family and friends. You can also read some of the testimonials I have received from my participants in different programs.

7.TheBongKong

This is my latest fascination and it is with stand up comedy. Yes, Stand-Up Comedy. I would rather dance naked but this is something that I have to do so i’ll be ‘thebongkong’ and hopefully, you’ll be be the one laughing!

History

I started this blog in 2007 on blogger.com and it has recently been migrated to http://www.abhinandanchatterjee.com at WordPress. It has an alternate address as well, http://www.humanwareworks.com.

I am abhinandan, and this blog was born out of my passion for learning and sharing it with anyone who needs it. This article is simply an ‘Index’ that will help you navigate through the blog and find what you want.

You can read my professional profiles published at different sources simply by clicking on any of the following links:

This blog also has a Facebook page. You can always ‘share’ and ‘like it’ because sharing knowledge only develops it!

Also,below this post, you can find all the unclassified articles written till date. I hope this information makes your time spent on this blog more rewarding.

All the work on this blog post are my creation unless otherwise stated. Since it took some effort, I would appreciate if you ask me before copying any material for any reason other than reading.

Please feel free to drop a comment anywhere you like.You can tell me what you liked, disliked or if anything needs improvement. I love feedback and I promise to implement what is relevant  !

Read-On & Regards,

Abhinandan Chatterjee © Copyright.2012

[ To skip the index and find all my posts at one place ; Scroll Down ]

or read the index above to find what on this blog might suit your taste !

 

Story-time : Ethics don’t hurt


An Amdavadi auto-rickshaw driver did the unexpected on Saturday morning-returned a bag containing Rs 20 lakh worth of diamonds to the trader who had forgotten it in his three-wheeler without checking the contents. The driver was later felicitated by the trader and police.

Mohammed Ansari took to driving auto-rickshaw to feed his family of eight. On Saturday, his first customer was Rupesh Jain, a diamond trader from Jaipur, who had come to the city to meet his ailing mother. He hired Ansari from the Kalupur railway station to a private hospital in Thaltej.

“Ansari had loaded Jain’s bag into his rickshaw and driven off assuming that the passenger was already in the backseat. However, Jain was left behind at the station with his other luggage and the diamonds in the rickshaw. Ansari realised his mistake when he reached near Dilli Darwaza and drove back to the railway station,” said D S Patel, inspector of Kalupur police station.

By then, Jain had reached the police station and narrated his tale of missing diamonds. When the complaint was being recorded, Ansari came there. Jain rushed to the bags and was overwhelmed to see the diamonds still there.

Ansari did not make a big deal of his act. “Some auto-wallahs have earned a bad name for everyone. I hope people see us in a new light now,” he said. “Compared to other cities, Amdavadi auto-drivers are more honest. Police can also rope us in for information on suspicious activities. Who knows, the bag could have had a bomb instead of diamonds,” he said

Story-time : Excellence


A German once visited a temple under construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God. Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the sculptor, “Do you need two statues of the same idol?” “No,” said the sculptor without looking up, “We need only one, but the first
one got damaged at the last stage.” The gentleman examined the idol and found no apparent damage. “Where is the damage?” he asked. “There is a scratch on the nose of the idol.” said the sculptor, still busy with his work. “Where are you going to install the idol?”

The sculptor replied that it would be installed on a pillar twenty feet high. “If the idol is that far, who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?” the gentleman asked. The sculptor stopped work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I will know it.”

The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not. “Excellence” is a drive from inside, not outside. Excellence is not for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction and efficiency…

Everyday Bliss : Managing Stress


Stress can be intimidating. It may seem that there’s nothing you can do about your stress level. The bills aren’t going to stop coming, there will never be more hours in the day for all your errands, and your career or family responsibilities will always be demanding. But you have a lot more control than you might think. In fact, the simple realization that you’re in control of your life is the foundation of stress management.

Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems. The ultimate goal is a balanced life, with time for work, relationships, relaxation, and fun – plus the resilience to hold up under pressure and meet challenges head on.

Identify the sources of stress in your life

Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. Your true sources of stress aren’t always obvious, and it’s all too easy to overlook your own stress-inducing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines. But maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that leads to deadline stress.

To identify your true sources of stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?

Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”).

Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and    unexceptional?

Until you accept responsibility for the role you play in creating or maintaining it, your stress level will remain outside your control.

Start a stress journal

A stress journal can help you identify the regular stressors in your life and the way you deal with them. Each time you feel stressed, keep track of it in your journal. As you keep a daily log, you will begin to see patterns and common themes. Write down:

  • What caused your stress (make a guess if you’re unsure).
  • How you felt, both physically and emotionally.
  • How you acted in response.
  • What you did to make yourself feel better.

Look at how you currently cope with stress

Think about the ways you currently manage and cope with stress in your life. Your stress journal can help you identify them. Are your coping strategies healthy or unhealthy, helpful or unproductive? Unfortunately, many people cope with stress in ways that compound the problem.

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress

These coping strategies may temporarily reduce stress, but they cause more damage in the long run:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much
  • Overeating or under eating
  • Spending hours  in front of the TV
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
  • Using pills or drugs to relax
  • Sleeping too much
  • Procrastinating
  • Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems
  • Taking out your stress on others (lashing out,angry outbursts, physical violence)

Learning healthier ways to manage stress

If your methods of coping with stress aren’t contributing to your greater emotional and physical health, it’s time to find healthier ones. There are many healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, but they all require change. You can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose, it’s helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.

Since everyone has a unique response to stress, there is no “one size fits all” solution to managing it. No single method works for everyone or in every situation, so experiment with different techniques and strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.

Dealing with Stressful Situations: The Four A’s

Change the situation:

  • Avoid the stressor.
  • Alter the stressor.
Change your reaction:

  • Adapt to the stressor.
  • Accept the stressor.

Stress management strategy #1: Avoid unnecessary stress

Not all stress can be avoided, and it’s not healthy to avoid a situation that needs to be addressed. You may be surprised, however, by the number of stressors in your life that you can eliminate.

  • Learn how to say “no” – Know your limits and stick to them. Whether in your personal or  professional life, refuse to accept added responsibilities when you’re close to reaching them. Taking on more than you can handle is a surefire recipe for stress.
  • Avoid people who stress you out – If someone consistently causes stress in your life and you can’t turn the relationship around, limit the amount of time you spend with that person or end the relationship entirely.
  • Take control of your environment – If the evening news makes you anxious, turn the TV off. If traffic’s got you tense, take a longer but less-traveled route. If going to the market is an unpleasant chore, do your grocery shopping online.

 

  • Avoid hot-button topics – If you get upset over religion or politics, cross them off your conversation list. If you repeatedly argue about the same subject with the same people, stop bringing it up or excuse yourself when it’s the topic of discussion.

 

  • Pare down your to-do list – Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.

Stress management strategy #2: Alter the situation

If you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to alter it. Figure out what you can do to change things so the problem doesn’t present itself in the future. Often, this involves changing the way you communicate and operate in your daily life.
  • Express your feelings instead of bottling them up. If something or someone is bothering you, communicate your concerns in an open and respectful way. If you don’t voice your feelings, resentment will build and the situation will likely remain the same.

 

  • Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior, be willing to do the same. If you both are willing to bend at least a little, you’ll have a good chance of finding a happy middle ground.

 

  • Be more assertive. Don’t take a backseat in your own life. Deal with problems head on, doing your best to anticipate and prevent them. If you’ve got an exam to study for and your chatty roommate just got home, say up front that you only have five minutes to talk.

 

  • Manage your time better. Poor time management can cause a lot of stress. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused. But if you plan ahead and make sure you don’t overextend yourself, you can alter the amount of stress you’re under.

Stress management strategy #3: Adapt to the stressor

If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and regain your sense of control by changing your expectations and attitude.
  • Reframe problems. Try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. Rather than fuming about a traffic jam, look at it as an opportunity to pause and regroup, listen to your favorite radio station, or enjoy some alone time.

 

  • Look at the big picture. Take perspective of the stressful situation. Ask yourself how important it will be in the long run. Will it matter in a month? A year? Is it really worth getting upset over? If the answer is no, focus your time and energy elsewhere.

 

  • Adjust your standards. Perfectionism is a major source of avoidable stress. Stop setting yourself up for failure by demanding perfection. Set reasonable standards for yourself and others, and learn to be okay with “good enough.”

 

  • Focus on the positive. When stress is getting you down, take a moment to reflect on all the things you appreciate in your life, including your own positive qualities and gifts. This simple strategy can help you keep things in perspective.

Adjusting Your Attitude

How you think can have a profound effect on your emotional and physical well-being. Each time you think a negative thought about yourself, your body reacts as if it were in the throes of a tension-filled situation. If you see good things about yourself, you are more likely to feel good; the reverse is also true. Eliminate words such as “always,” “never,” “should,” and “must.” These are telltale marks of self-defeating thoughts.

Stress management strategy #4: Accept the things you can’t change

Some sources of stress are unavoidable. You can’t prevent or change stressors such as the death of a loved one, a serious illness, or a national recession. In such cases, the best way to cope with stress is to accept things as they are. Acceptance may be difficult, but in the long run, it’s easier than railing against a situation you can’t change.

  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things in life are beyond our control—  particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

 

  • Look for the upside. As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” When facing major challenges, try to look at them as opportunities for personal growth. If your own poor choices contributed to a stressful situation, reflect on them and learn from your mistakes.

 

  • Share your feelings. Talk to a trusted friend or make an appointment with a therapist. Expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic, even if there’s nothing you can do to alter the stressful situation.

 

  • Learn to forgive. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world and that people make  mistakes. Let go of anger and resentments. Free yourself from negative energy by forgiving and moving on.

Stress management strategy #5: Make time for fun and relaxation

Beyond a take-charge approach and a positive attitude, you can reduce stress in your life by nurturing yourself. If you regularly make time for fun and relaxation, you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stressors when they inevitably come.

Healthy ways to relax and recharge

  • Light scented candles.
  • Savor a warm cup of coffee or tea.
  • Play with a pet.
  • Work in your garden.
  • Get a massage.
  • Curl up with a good book.
  • Listen to music.
  • Watch a comedy.
  • Go for a walk.
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Call a good friend.
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Take a long bath.

Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life that you forget to take care of your own needs. Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury.

  • Set aside relaxation time. Include rest and relaxation in your daily schedule. Don’t allow other obligations to encroach. This is your time to take a break from all responsibilities and recharge your batteries.
  •  Connect with others. Spend time with positive people who enhance your life. A strong  support system will buffer you from the negative effects of stress.
  •  Do something you enjoy every day. Make time for leisure activities that bring you joy,  whether it be stargazing, playing the piano, or working on your bike.
  • Keep your sense of humor. This includes the ability to laugh at yourself. The act of laughing helps your body fight stress in a number of ways.

Learn the relaxation response

You can control your stress levels with relaxation techniques that evoke the body’s relaxation response, a state of restfulness that is the opposite of the stress response. Regularly practicing these techniques will build your physical and emotional resilience, heal your body, and boost your overall feelings of joy and equanimity.

Stress management strategy #6: Adopt a healthy lifestyle

You can increase your resistance to stress by strengthening your physical health.

  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity plays a key role in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise, three times per week. Nothing beats aerobic exercise for releasing pent-up stress and tension.

 

  • Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat. Start your day right with breakfast, and keep your energy up and your mind clear with balanced, nutritious meals throughout the day.

 

  • Reduce caffeine and sugar. The temporary “highs” caffeine and sugar provide often end in with a crash in mood and energy. By reducing the amount of coffee, soft drinks, chocolate,and sugar snacks in your diet, you’ll feel more relaxed and you’ll sleep better.

 

  • Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs may provide an easy escape from stress, but the relief is only temporary. Don’t avoid or mask the issue at hand; deal with problems head on and with a clear mind.

 

  • Get enough sleep. Adequate sleep fuels your mind, as well as your body. Feeling tired will increase your stress because it may cause you to think irrationally.
Hope all of this helps you feel better and live longer !

Lead Yourself


‘Leadership’ has been a business buzzword for well over 30 years now, most of what could have been written about it, has been written, what could have been thought, has been cerebrated upon and yet we stand amidst people who struggle to be the leaders they have always wanted others to be.

Why is leadership such a hard choice?

Robert Frost, in his poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ said the best of what I think every leader would agree to;

“And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference”

All of this bubbles out a lot of questions every professional asks at the hierarchical crossroads, and how they answer them, determine their journey ahead.

–    What is leadership?

–    Do I qualify to be a leader?

–    How can I be a successful leader?

Let’s see if we can find some simple yet practical answers for these age old dilemmas’.

–    What is leadership?

Leadership is Responsibility. You can get it or you can take it.

I learnt my lesson early here, after my father died when I was 15, we were left stranded in the middle of nowhere – financially, emotionally and socially. Expensive treatment led to debts and an expensive lifestyle, like my family had, led to problems and an acute inability to manage in less resources.

I am the eldest son in the family and it was going to be my responsibility later to do the damage control (once I grew up – Sigh!)

I just had one question, can we afford ‘later’?

Every bit of logic I had said ‘No’

The crossroads came, I had to either ‘take responsibility now’ or ‘wait or watch the things to move on their own’.

I chose to take the responsibility, surprisingly a lot of hands started to come handy.

Lesson learnt: Help comes only to those who help themselves!

My school was the most expensive school in the city, I couldn’t have paid the fee, My teachers paid it from their pockets, I never understood, why?

I was too young to work; I didn’t tell anybody my age in my interview.

I went to an international BPO, the first in town, to get myself a Job. I appeared for the interview, cleared it, negotiated my salary and told the panel all about my age and situation afterwards.

The look on their face was worth it; they asked for some time, consulted some lawyers and gave me a job. Full time, as an apprentice.

There I was, cycling 15 miles to School, 10 back to my office and another 10 back home by midnight. But I managed to support my family. My need was met and we survived the winter.

Lessons Learnt:

Hard work is good, Smart Work is great but they can’t substitute each other.

Leaders hold themselves accountable for the outcomes of their actions, even if the task was done by the one they delegated it to and speculatively take risks.

A leader takes responsibility to take control of the situations around , no matter how good or bad they may be.

–    Do I qualify to be a leader?

In my book, there are only two ways you get into leadership.

i. Designated Leadership – A leadership role granted by authority, a type of leadership where the designation makes the person a leader. This comes with power, the power to reward, punish or make decisions. So maybe your next promotion is when you can start.

Prime Minister is a good example of this type of leadership. I can also cite my first managerial role at work. Simply put, it mattered more what my business card said than what I said.

ii. Acquired Leadership – A style of leadership where an individual develops a character of leadership within by working on his strengths continuously. This can be done either by building a strong relationship with the followers, by being a source of inspiration or by developing expertise in the chosen field. This would mean you can start being a leader ‘Now’.

Indira Nooyi of Pepsico who built her way to the top through her expertise and capability or a business consultant who enjoys no designation yet caters to high responsibilities in any organization. ( Like me , Sigh !)

Lesson Learnt:

It’s not who you are but what you dream for and how desperately so, that makes you a leader.

So, of course you qualify to be a leader; but ‘How’ is still under wraps. Let’s find out!

–    How can I be a successful leader?

“Endowed with his bright armor,

He came all the way…

A spec of doubt saw not his face,

Though he had a beast to slay…

With the rising sun he embarked

To accomplish what was right…

And till this day we sing his song,

He was the Golden Knight”

We have all heard stories of Knights and Superheroes; it almost feels that you need to be one to succeed as a leader. But think of it this way, no matter what the density or depth of water might me, if you know how to swim, with the correct technique and adequate effort you can get through the liquid.

The two things, technique and effort stand out to be the mark of any leader.

Now effort is the result of desperation and passion, of how badly do you want to achieve whatever you are gunning for. It can’t be taught but can only be realized. That’s your job!

For the technique, as the poem above talks of Armor, every leader needs one.

That needs to be developed through practice and persistence.

So, what is this Armor? How can you get it?

It’s a code of conduct which if followed ensures your success and I will share this secret with you.

L.E.A.D.E.R – The Six Elements of Leaders Armor

L– Legitimate: Be whoever you are but be real and fair. Nobody respects a phony with sly perspectives.

E– Effective: Take planned action. There are more chances to succeed if what you are doing is planned well in advance versus it being an improv.

A– Assertive: Be true to your word by being logical and comprehendible

D– Decisive: Make decisions that are fair, logical and credible

E– Evaluative: Know your environment without judging people for who they are, work around what they do and make it better

R– Resilient: Learn as if there is no tomorrow, the day you stop learning, you stop living.

This is not rocket science, in fact it’s like cooking a hearty meal – a fine balance of spices masters the taste.

Now, you have the Knowledge, your key to the power which brings along with it the responsibility. You don’t have to be a L.E.A.D.E.R, but if you wish to be one,

Lead On and Lead Well!

The Master Key to Successful Feedback


If you want to be more successful in helping others succeed, regardless of the source or sources of your coaching, you need to clearly understand this master key.

If you want to take advantage of and be open to any coaching or feedback you receive, you must understand this key as well.

The master key to successful feedback is intent.

Stated simply, when our intent is clear and pure; when we really are giving feedback and coaching with the very best for the other person in mind, it will be more successful. And if our purposes are vindictive, punitive, meant to “fix” someone, or come from our frustration or anger it will be less successful.

In other words, coaching shouldn’t be about us, but about the other person and their success.

Since we have all received much coaching and feedback in our lives, we know this is true. When we sense that the feedback we are receiving is valuable and comes from a perspective of truly wanting us to improve, we are more open to hearing and applying it.

 

All said and done , it’s you who got to choose if there is someone’s life you would alter, just a little, in a good way.

 

The Coaching Anchor


There have been numerous books written on coaching and they talk about models, techniques and even the dummy style route maps to being a successful coach.

Short term quick fixes work well, but I wonder if they drive commitment that can last over a week.

Think about it, what you would like to see in your coach.

Try to remember that one well wisher who you would believe instantly and discuss things willingly with. What was different in the relationship with that person?

The difference is the TRUST factor.

As a coach or a mentor, trust is the key to effective and lasting motivation that drives change.

What drives trust?

Trust

Trust is built upon three key elements on the long term perspective:

Honesty: The birth of positive and open culture where fairness is the most prized element is a must to generate trust. Do people feel appreciated or confronted? Do people think of you as assistance or as competition?

These questions must be answered to unsure comfort for everyone in the situation.

Benevolence: Are you a good human being? Do people around you believe a good human being? Trust is built on beliefs, the more positiveness we can pump in through being kind, the higher the amount on trust will be.

Capability: Are you an expert? Do people find your feedback credible and believable? Do you practice what you preach? These are some of the key things that you need to ensure.

As long as there is Honesty, Benevolence and Capability in the picture – Trust will drive coaching and feedback in the system.

Coach your way to success: Coach or Roach?


A manager’s world has today moved from ‘control and captivate’ to the ‘care and coach‘. In business circles, no longer does the old fashioned ‘boss’ command his way and the subordinate listens.

Hard work has seen a paradigm shift and effort is no longer just staying back at work.

These are the changes that have pushed managers today to transform into a ‘coach’, from being a ‘roach’.

Let’s define some basics:

A.

Category : Roach

Characteristics: Insolent, Authoritative, Fatherly, Fear power, Inconsiderate, HARI SADU (pun intended!)

Creation : Good at driving mass hysteria, create efforts, hard work and push people to look busy and stressed, Gossip topics

Example :Hitler, Gaddafi

B.

Category : Coach

Characteristics: Considerate, Empathetic, Honest, Kind, People Power, Friendly and Progressive

Creation : Good at driving commitment, Get people to go the extra mile, Drive motivation and passion

Example : Mahindra Singh Dhoni, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs

Based on these profiles, it is only a matter of choice depending on what you want to be – Coach or Roach?

In the multi-dimensional businesses of ‘now’, it will help to rather have a bunch of people committed to a tough cause versus having a tough cause and bunch of tough people to deal with.The decision is finally yours.

To get our basics right lets understand Mentoring, Coaching and Feedback:

Mentoring: Looks at providing guidance to all aspects of life where the mentor works on a superficial level.

Coaching: Is the long term support for technical, behavioral and skills-related learning and growth where the coach plays a more hands on role in developing the protégé.

Feedback: Is performance related as well as behavior related and is used for short term gains where corrective or progressive action is sought.

Action Items:

Lead your team as a coach instead of being a boss to gain commitment and effort.

On Motivation


So there I was , in my bedroom , at 3 in the morning all alone – At my lazy best ; when out of nowhere I saw a  wasp in the room , after being bothered for a few seconds , I got back to viewing TV until…

…that bloody wasp was just an inch from my face, and then I ran , I screamed , I picked up my newspaper and tried to hit it , I picked up my slippers and jumped to reach it around the roof, all in vain but I did not give up. I got a broom with a long stick and galloped at it for 30 minutes before I could make it rest in peace. Huh… Man was I tired!

This is how life moves – Go deeper and you will find the secret of all motivation in this incident.

Humans are emotional beings , they are motivated by either pleasure or pain. We get late and then we panic because now we can loose things. We sit and watch ‘Facebook’ until there are stomach cramps due to hunger. We wait and wait and wait before we go to the doctor. We act only when we see some pain or some pleasure attached to doing or not dong that action.

It’s either high pain or a high pleasure that makes us move; when moderate it pushes us to the zone of complacency, laziness and ignorance.

Allow me to draw a couple of similarities between the way this story has worked and the way motivation happens:

Exhibit A : Commonwealth 2010 – We were sitting on the idea for 10 years flat , now that it is matter of national pride everyone is pushed to work at the brink of the event.

Exhibit B: Similarly, when the wasp was in my room I dint care until it came close to my face and I felt threatened.

Both these situations are high pain situations where the fear of loss was the motivator. As we know that pain is not the only motivator, we have a stint with pleasure too , let me share what I feel about it .

Exhibit A: On a personal note, whenever I have been out on a date, the amount of effort I put in to make that date a success was correlated to how beautiful the woman was. More beauty means more effort.

Exhibit B: There is a friend of mine, Renuka; she works with a renowned credit card company. They have an interesting office and since she is into sales the pressure is always on. She is an average performer.

Here is how she works – She closes on an average 2 credit card applications every day. However when there  is a scheme running for a 1000 INR shopping voucher for every 5 Credit Card Applications closed , she manages 10 of them and grabs the vouchers – Only she and the devil knows where those come from.

These are classic examples of the high pleasure principle. How great pleasure pushes people to act. The question that arises now is ‘How can you use this Pain and Pleasure Principle to motivate yourself?”

Here is what I do, I Question the possibilities with ‘What if?” questions and drive the issue to high pain or high pleasure.

Example: I need to lose weight but lack the motivation; I am not that heavy yet 😉

Q: What if I don’t lose it? A: I will be very obese.

Q: What if I become very obese? A: I will be less active and more prone to serious health issues like heart and orthopedic.

Q: How will all this make me feel? A: Embarrassed, as I won’t look good. Unhappy as I might get cranky and insecure. Heavy at heart as I will not be the one I used to be.

Conclusion:

A: To keep feeling better and live a healthy life I will lose it!( High Pleasure Perspective)

B: To live a normal life and not be bedridden by the time I am 40, I will lose it! (High Pain Perspective)

This is what we call WIIFM (Whats in it for me?)

Motivation is nothing but the result of a strong WIIFM.

How strong is yours? Go Find.

On Satisfaction


Satisfaction: I define it as ‘Getting what you expect from life which makes you feel complete as an individual’. I find that it is like salvation, easy to find but hard to keep.

For Example, I wanted to write more as I was not satisfied with what I had shared with you yet. As a matter of fact, the list of things that I am not satisfied with is pretty lengthy.

What about you , what are you not satisfied with – Too small a home? Too much of work load? Too much traffic? Too bad politics going around? Too little space for yourself? Too many responsibilities? Everything is excessively expensive? Too many questions?

So, why am I talking to you about all of this?

I am just going to share what I feel about satisfaction, how I manage to keep myself content and happy and leave the rest up for you to figure out.

My Perspective: Achievement = Expectation; and just like most mathematical calculations that gets difficult due to an ever changing variable. This one too, has a twist.The variable is your ‘expectation’. It changes and grows and doubles itself faster than any stock on the NSE!

Simply put , you want a better house, a better car and better group of people to socialize with. As all of this does not come cheap, so you want more money – to get which you either need a better job , a better salary or an all new business expansion.

Imagine if life was a see-saw (like the one you played on as a kid) you will be on one side and your expectations on the other. What could happe

Scenario 1: You are heavier than your expectations – How long can a monkey chase a car when he knows there isn’t anything that he will get from there?

Whenever my expectations, goals, targets or whatever you may call it, has been low or too easy to get, I have without fail lost the urge to do a great job at it.

If our expectations are lighter than us, our talent, our skills and our capabilities, they will not create enough thrust, pain or pleasure for us to act. We will be complacent as life will be easy. Thus, low satisfaction.

Scenario 2: Your expectations are heavier than you – For how long can a donkey live if he pulls more weight than his worth?

There is a Japanese term ‘Karoshi’ which means death by overwork. Too many expectations often lead to Karoshi. You must understand that death here is a relative term which could wither refers to the end of life or the end of a cause, a person who suffers a breakdown or gives up.

If Our expectations are heavier than we are , we could either be pulled down by it or be crushed under it. Thus, low satisfaction. In rare cases, they are met too.

The question that stays is – is it worth the risk to expect more and more?

Scenario 3: You and your expectations are balanced – The healthiest option while eating is to eat as much as the hunger is. Eat less and you will have to fight hunger, eat more and you will have to fight obesity!

Think about it, practically, was it ever easy to balance the see-saw? What did it take to balance? The answer is ‘ Constant effort’. If we are able to balance our skill sets with our expectations we have the right party mix that leads to bliss and satisfaction.

Back to mathematics: Achievement = Talent (Skills and Capability) + Effort (Hard Work) that meets expectations and gets tangible results.

We can infer that if we constantly make an effort to manage our expectations and keep them logical, satisfaction will come our way.

The resolve

Step 1: Set expectations – Make a list of things that you expect to happen in the next three months

Step 2: Validate Expectations – Make a list of skill sets and resources that you need to meet Your expectations

Step 3: Create a plan of action with the three things in it –

1. Defined tasks to be done one at a time in order to meet your expectation.

2. Time lines: Start and End date for each task.

3. Check points: Review your progress on the action plan every week.

Moreover, you can have as many actions plans running together as you like. I would suggest starting with one or two at a time.

Sounds Simple? Trust me that it is not easy because commitment is a rare commodity these days. I hope you apply this tool become satisfied. I use it and it works!

If you were looking for something quicker, easier and the ‘one time fix’ kind to manage your expectations, let me assert that there is no tool like that! Expecting too much again, huh?

The only solution to get satisfaction is to make constant effort towards keeping your expectations in check

Since I am expecting a large Cheeze burst pizza in the next 5 minutes, I will sign off.

On Procrastination


Writing this blog was a thing I wanted to do for the last two years. Yet, this is only my fourth post. So the question is – ‘How many times have you planned to do something and never done it?’ Can’t think of a number, right? Must be many times, huh?

That’s the story, almost everyone I know, has shared with me. Time is the fifth element of nature. It is what creates balance and change. It is the most nonrenewable resource and the most unforgiving partner. Timing is the key to success. The right timing leads to the right results.

A baby born a few days too early or to late can end a life. A company started at a wrong time with too many competitors does not break even.

The Indian Sunrise sectors reinforce this law of nature. The first companies to come are the last ones to go and the longest ones to live.

So what can you do NOW?

Make a list of things you wanted to do but never did. Put them on a piece of paper, big and paste it in front of you. Start with the ones that make the maximum difference to your life, thrust you towards your goals the most. Work on them as if the world ends next month. Act now, move and make a difference.

There is no shortcut to delete procrastination from your life but to start acting now. Or if you are looking to work on this later … that’s entirely up to you.