Your work must be Priority. Devotion to Duty Enhances Productivity; adds Significance to Your Life!

What you do as your profession is something which gives significance to your life. Often you have to start some new project even though you are working in the same job. A new project could mean an altogether new situation. At the same time it may mean developing a new client or creating a new product.
Your professional work also gives a social significance to your life. It is difficult to imagine living life alone. You need people around. And so also they need you. Society gives you a lot and rightfully expects that you must also contribute in return. It must work both ways. Whenever you start something new, it is necessary to thoughtfully consider all the necessary details. Besides, you must generate enough enthusiasm to ensure a good beginning:


Beginning of a new project
so that it may aptly reflect
the strength of earnest desire
Keenness of what you aspire
Well-begun will always inspire
Focused approach; friends will admire.
Without proper planning, you may expect
flaws in the project, in time, you detect.
Necessary details may not neglect
And, capable personnel you may select
Doubt, suspicion you may dispel
your faith in project may always dwell
your mind remains searching better ways
improving your efforts for the goal you chase.
Clarity of vision replacing your haze
making your attitude worthy of praise.
All above tasks you may achieve
Anxiety and tension, it will relieve
with honest prayer to God, you believe
His blessings for success, you will surely receive.

As a manager you must, first of all keep yourself motivated and then motivate your team members involved in your work.

.
Modern manager’s main tool
is motivation made to rule.
An organization may be big or small
Motivation always stands a tall.
The objective of getting the best,
from everyone you lead, is your test.
You let their confidence build strong
Tolerate their dissent, but never prolong.
Discussion with juniors must conclude
with welcome decisions or success will
Elude, your core objectives;
will give you a tough time,
Force you to review your own paradigm.


Having motivated yourself and your team, you are equipped to achieve your objective. However, for greater ease and joy while doing your work you must apply mind to improve processes.
Applying mind to develop
new better processes
to achieve your defined objective
is the development of technology
Just as technology is upgraded
you hope to achieve
Greater objectives, higher goals
the winner, indeed is technology
Technology gives you
Confidence to accept
Greater challenges
History of human development
Stands witness to the
Victory of technology
And let application of mind for improvement become your habit.
Habit, practice, use of mind
Winning tools; develop and find
nature helps, and remains kind
Baser tendencies you’ll rout and grind
Clarity in thinking you must school
In a competitive world there is no better tool!
In the pursuit to improve and gain more, it is necessary to maintain your perspective at all times. Technology and improvement tools should always be regarded as means to an end your final mission
Your mission in mind
Desire working strong
once loose your perspective
many matters may go wrong.
Meeting many-many people
Friends and hidden foes;
always keep your perspective,
Caution comes
you remain alert, on your toes
just the best way to grow.
In a competitive world, you have to do your very best remembering always that the best is ever yet to come. So
Belittle your own intelligence, never!
Let fear of opponent’s intellect fade
the best in battle achieved ever
is own with courage and mind’s aid
Think of your strength
Weaknesses underplay
Improve your attitude
your mind, never allow it, to dismay.
Age is no bar for projects great
let intelligence work at length
Go right ahead rather than wait
Purge and, define your latent strength

Whatever be Your Business, You must be a Good Listener

In today’s fast paced world, communication is extremely important. In fact, in business it is critical. However, communication is equally important at home when interacting with your own near and dear ones. It is also important during social interactions, when you meet people. There is no doubt that your speech should be very articulate. The speech will communicate the ideas that you want to convey. However it is even more important to be an active listener!
Communication is always is a two way process. Your articulate speech will go in vain if you are not listening to the person you are speaking to. You can even listen to the person with your eyes. Body language tells all. Facial expressions clearly denote whether the opposite person is listening to you or not. This means that the best vocal capabilities will not be effective until these are matched with equally attentive listening abilities.

Now let us examine how to be a good listener. Some of the qualities of a good listener are as under:

1. You should listen as a friend. Often your opinion will be different from the person who is speaking. We are all individuals and therefore no two persons think alike. Listening as a friend enables reconciliation of contradicting opinions.

2. Furthermore, it is necessary for the listener to make the speaker appreciate that you are an attentive listener. When somebody is speaking try not to fidget with anything on your table. You should not gaze at the news paper / magazine on your table. Even looking at the speaker with a lost expression, will convey an impression that you are brooding over something else and not listening to what is being said. Thus you should not only listen actively but you should also show to speaker that you’re listening actively.

3. Encourage the speaker to join you in the comfort zone. When you have removed all distractions and you make the speaker aware that you are listening to them, you must encourage him to open up by your friendly nodding of the head smile wherever desirable and maintain a comfortable eye contact. While speaking on telephone you can use words and expressions like – ‘yes’, ‘go ahead’, ‘hmmm’… etc. These are the voice symbols which tell the other person that you are actively listening during the phone conversation.

4. Act but never react. Whenever the discussion is held around heavy states one as to be extra careful. If the speaker raises the voice it is necessary for you to maintain calm. However you must never give an impression that anybody can take you for granted. This can be achieved by not reacting to any unsavory remarks by the speaker. Instead you should use such words and expressions which will make it explicit to the intruder that you are unshakable. It is this state of calmness which will unnerve your opponent. The expression with ‘Act never react’ simply means to use your mind and reply appropriately, firmly but without raising your voice if the opponent has raised his.

5. You need to comprehend whatever you have listened. It is always a good idea to summarize and repeat briefly the points you have just heard. It will help you to understand all the points clearly; and in case there is any confusion the same will be clarified there and them.

6. As a good listener you have a right to ask questions to the speaker. The speaker will never object to relevant questions which are briefly asked.

To conclude, good listening skills is not a rocket science. It just requires an empathetic attitude and an attentive mind, and forms that basis for long lasting relationships. And allows you to attain greater success in your 

Meetings constitute a part of your work. You hold meetings almost every day or you attend these. Therefore, it is very important that the meetings are conducted or attended to the best of your ability.  Your conduct in the meetings should be such that meetings give you the maximum dividend.

Making Meeting Work

Lots of meetings are conducted by each organization every week. Often the participants are senior/middle level executives. The cost of the time spent by the participants is very high. Besides, if a meeting is a not successful in achieving the objectives, the frustration and interpersonal conflict add to the cost.
However, if meetings can be held effectively, these are invaluable techniques of taking strong decisions after thorough discussion. It’s necessary to understand for the coordinators and even the CEO’s to have adequate knowledge of how to make meetings effective and productive. The chairman of the meeting plays a very important role for the efficacy of the meeting. Besides, meetings must give a satisfaction of openly discussing the ideas which you may have but you may not find an opportunity to express. Thus while on the one side we find that the poor meetings can be waste of expensive time of the executives, on the other these can be very helpful. If the meetings are organized effectively, they can be tools for resolving many managerial issues. These can thus be very helpful for the Management. The first important question, therefore, is the real need for the meeting. The coordinator has to clearly workout the objectives of the meeting. He or she has also to clarify how best the objectives can be achieved.
In order that we make the meetings productive and helpful we should attend to the following points which are often ignored:
1)  Planning and preparation: we should define the objectives of the meeting.
2)  We should select the participants and prepare a list of the proposed attendees. We may also invite their suggestions on the proposed agenda.
3)  The organizer needs to set the ground rules off the meetings in consultation with the chairman. In his brief introduction before the meetings starts the chairman can explain these ground rules. These could be summarized as :–
a)  Participants should speak precisely and avoid verbosity.
b)  Only one person should speak at time.
c)  The point which is already made by one participant should not be repeated by the other and
d)  No one should take the discussion on a personal level.
4)  The organizer must contemplate on what could be the problems. Necessary steps to avoid these problems should be taken.
5)  Getting results and action: minutes of the meeting should be written sooner than later, these should be circulated among the participants with or without a note by the chairman.
6)  There should be follow up action plan and the action need to be monitored.

 Thanks for reading. 

Four Primary Pillars of Success

Success and Happiness form the core significance of an individual’s life. The two are intertwined in a strange relationship. Happiness contributes to the success of an individual. A person who is happy has better chances of success as he/she enjoys better cognitive ability, positive attitude, lives in the present and concentrates on what they are doing at any particular moment. No wonder they do it better to bring about appreciable results. However, unbridled success when it wears the shoes of greed can demolish one’s happiness. Therefore it’s necessary that one should pursue one’s purpose and never be motivated with any kind of Greed.

Having said that I detail below the four primary Pillars of Success are as follows

1. Ambition

First pillar of success is Ambition. Unless one has a strong desire to succeed, it’s not only difficult but nearly impossible that anyone can achieve anything significant. Ambition drives you to find ways and means to forge ahead. Ambition when schooled will show you how and make you define your goals. You definitely need to know your destination before embarking on a tough journey of success.

First of all a very important action that everyone must take is to describe their Goals. What you want to do in life. It is a kind of destination for your journey of life. And if you don’t specify goals, it is like not having any specific destination in mind. This in any case will not lead you anywhere. Besides, you may start wondering at the futility of life itself. You will never develop focus. Productivity of a person without focus is very low. And so is the self-esteem.


Goals must be SMART. What does it mean? S stands for specific. So goals must be specific and clear. Instead of saying you want to be rich, you might say that you must acquire wealth equal to $ 10 million. Since the goals are to be achieved in a certain period of time, it is necessary that these should be measurable. It means that one must fix certain milestones which need to be covered during a slice of the entire period. For example, in one month what must be achieved needs to be defined.
Further the goals must be achievable. If the goals are such that despite applying any kind of effort a person will not reach the goal, it is not achievable. It is a flawed goal.


Next letter on the acronym is R. This stands for realistic. What is the difference between the realistic goals and achievable goals needs to be clearly understood. And without exception the goals must be realistic.
Lastly we come to the letter T stands for time bound. If the goals do not define timeline, these have an inherent flaw. In fact, the time line should be carefully crafted. Just as we study with stop watch, how much time the goal is likely to take. At the time of planning it must be kept in view that in order to improve our productivity and to remain enthusiastic about our efforts, we do need to stretch ourselves. If we don’t do that, productivity will come down.

Now that we have defined how goals need to be articulated, and goals need to worked out in various aspects of life.
Goals should to be written preferably in the following sequence for different aspects of life:
a. Health Goals
b. Career Goals
c. Financial Goals
d. Family Goals
e. Social Goals
f.  Hobby Goals
g. Spiritual Goals.

These are often interdependent. In any case these must be written down, and each of them must be SMART.

Just writing down is not enough. Daily in the morning go through them. It will renew your commitment to pursue these goals. Then, you must note down in your ‘to do list’ for the day, what specific actions need to be taken to forward the cause of each of the above goals. Then you must note down in your ‘to do list’ for the day what specific actions need to be taken to forward the cause of each of these goals. You may not be taking action in all these areas each and every day. Yet these must be contemplated.

2. Negotiation Skills

In life, everyone has to negotiate for something or the other all the time. Negotiation and ability to negotiate effectively form the basis of getting help from others to achieve your goals. It’s also essential for you to ensure to protect your rights in anything including your possessions. Thus an excellent skill to negotiate anything with anyone forms the second pillar of your success.

What is negotiation? How does it work? What is the need? I will try to answer all these and other related questions in a simple manner.
Whenever two or more parties sit together to resolve certain issues concerning them, negotiation come into play. Discussion could be about resolving some dispute, concluding a sale or even influencing some people or a group to get some ideas accepted.
Now, let’s see the possibility of success of negotiation. Success depends primarily on three aspects. These are:

  1. Issue should be negotiable. We can negotiate buying or selling a car, or a piece of land or house. But no negotiation is possible on for your example child, or for that matter any other object with which either party is emotionally attached.
  2. Second factor is the willingness of the parties to accommodate and compromise. Extremely rigid attitude cannot bring about any success is negotiation.
  3. Next, third factor for successful negotiation is that the parties must have some respect, some trust among them. This, acts like a bridge and negotiation can achieve some success. It can resolve some problems.

Having described the factors for success of negotiation, I should now talk about the basic ingredients. What are the requirements of negotiation? These are:

  1. Knowledge of human behaviour. Negotiating parties need to conversant with normal human behaviour. How do they react to the conflicting views?
  2. Secondly, the negotiators must prepare themselves for discussions. They must collect all the relevant information regarding the issues. Preparation is a must.
  3. Third requirement and lastly is that negotiators must understand the role of assumptions. We all harbour certain due to experience of life and society. The negotiators must reflect to clearly understand these assumptions. Undoubtedly, they play an important role during negotiation.

Then, we come to the next aspect of negotiation. The techniques which are:

  1. Strategy: the negotiating parties work out their strategy. It’s like an army general working out plan with his lieutenants. Each step is defined keeping in view the strategy of the opponents.
  2. Tactics: the negotiators must be adept in devising required tactics. Tactics are maneuvers, which the negotiators adopt during discussions. This is particularly important as at time the strategy may not work. Tactics require the negotiators to be adept, alert and creative in modifying the steps on the spot when needed.

Above all a good negotiator must be an excellent listener. They say, “Listen twice as much as you speak”. That speaks a lot about how important is.

What are listening skills? How you go about developing these? And what for? What is the difference between hearing and listening?
All these questions are simply answered with the definition of communication. We communicate to exchange ideas and views. We communicate to influence people, to negotiate deals. So, it’s necessary not just to hear but to listen, understand and assimilate information contained in the speech. Then only we can respond. But if we don’t listen but just hear, and if we are only anxious to say what we want to say, the objectives of communication is lost. Listening becomes very easy with some modification of our habits. These are:

  1. We must focus on the speaker. All other thoughts should not be allowed to tax the mind or to divert it. Normally as many as 50,000 thoughts come to mind each day. But with efforts, we can reduce their number. When we focus on the speaker we can surely assimilate the information the speaker is trying to convey.
  2. While listening in one on one conversation, we must not interrupt. Even when we don’t agree with what the speaker’s opinion is. We must be patient enabling them to complete their statements.
  3. Your objective of communication will be served better if you make the speaker comfortable. How do you do that? By nodding your head, other body language, gestures, or just say yes, please go ahead etc. The speaker must be sure that you are listening. Your listening makes the speaker comfortable.
  4. Look at the views of the speaker from their perspective. Try to examine to issue while wearing speaker’s shoes.
  5. You must practice patience. You must never try to complete speaker’s sentences even if you are confirming or appreciating their thoughts.
  6. All speakers may not be very articulate. They may have some speech blemishes. Faults like using filler words, inaccurate pronunciation, breathing at wrong place in a sentence etc. You must ignore these and focus on the idea the speaker is presenting.
  7. Survey reveals that 60% of the communication happens with the body language. So closely watch the body language of the speaker to understand speaker’s intent.
  8. Last but not the least, identify the idea by putting together the pieces of information the speaker has vocalised. All speakers are not experts in speaking skills. So help them. It also serves you.
  • Focus:

Focus is very important because it is like a gateway to all your thinking; perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem solving and decision making. We can work efficiently in all these aspects only if we are focused. Without focus, we cannot resolve any of the problems that we might face while conducting ourselves from day to day. Focus also helps us to keep away from distractions which cause a lot of setbacks to our thinking and therefore our activities. If we cannot move according to our plan of action set for each of our goals, obviously we would be losing time and it will be difficult to achieve what we have decided. The following are some of the quotations by eminent thinkers and successful people.

1. Zig Ziglar – (on the importance of direction):

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”

The key to living a focused life is direction. When you have a clear goal, you can steer all your actions in one direction. But if you are unsure where to go, you will mindlessly wander around. At the same time, it is often not so important how long we work, but how effectively we use our working hours. If we pay the closest attention to maintaining a high level of focus, we can use the available hours of the day more effectively. However, if we allow distractions to draw away our attention, we are less likely to accomplish much in the time available.

2. Paolo Coelho – (on knowing what you want):

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”

Whatever you do in life, make sure you have a clear goal. Otherwise, you might be wasting valuable time by spending your time in an undirected and unfocused manner. Knowing precisely what you want to achieve will help you to maintain a higher level of focus and motivation. It will also encourage you to do whatever it takes until your goal is accomplished. But if there’s no dream or vision that fuels all your actions, you are more likely to simply give up when the going gets tough.

3. Aristotle Onassis – (on focus in times of difficulty)

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

We all suffer and we all experience misery from time to time. During these challenging situations, it’s incredibly difficult to maintain a positive attitude. When confronted with pain and suffering, we often see nothing but the negative aspects of what’s happened to us. We struggle greatly and wish that it had never happened. Especially during our darkest hours, it’s incredibly difficult to see the light. It is therefore all the more important to trust in our ability that we will one day be able to draw important lessons from what happened. At the same time, it is important not to lose faith and to give up during these challenging times. Instead, it’s important that we use all the power we have left to endure the suffering.

4. Alexander Bell – (on focusing on the task at hand)

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

True greatness can only be accomplished when we are able to focus all our attention on what we’re doing at the moment. If we allow distractions to interrupt the workflow, it is likely that the output of our work will suffer from it. However, if you’re able to focus intensively on the work at hand, you’ll be able to unlock greater parts of your potential. Just as the sun’s rays ignite paper when focused, so will the results of your work improve dramatically if performed with the greatest level of concentration.

6. Bruce Lee – (on laser-like focus)

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

According to Bruce Lee, mental focus can make the difference between being average and extraordinary. He highlights the tremendous benefits of being able to reach the highest level of focus and concentration. But he also points out that if we are able to perfect our concentration skills, we can be so much more than just average.

  • Perseverance:

Perseverance is the fourth but critical pillar for success. Life does not allow you to secure all things easily. Even when you are working hard to achieve something, there will be lots of difficulties and obstacles coming your way. Unless you are able to preserve it is likely that you will give up. It is said that the difference between failure and success is almost a hairline distance. Failure is almost achieving your goal but giving it up thinking that it is not possible for you. Whereas, perseverance enables you to continue and does not allow you to give up your efforts and that is how you achieve your success. There are many success stories of people who have made it big only because they could persevere in their efforts to achieve what they really believed in. Some of the examples are as under:

1. McDonald’s – Ray Croc

Ray Croc is another one of the coolest perseverance stories that show you can succeed at any time in your life.

The golden arches are also synonymous with one of the oldest, biggest, and most successful businesses in the world.

But without Ray Croc, Mcdonalds would have been a one location burger chain in San Bernardino.

Ray was a 50 plus-year-old struggling milkshake machine salesman who lived a comfortable life but craved more. He met the brothers behind McDonald’s and eventually convinced them of a franchise model to grow the brand. This led him to massive expansion, buying the land where all locations operate and grown into the Mcdonald’s we know today.

A quick synopsis of McDonald’s history (via Biz Insider):

  • Started in 19 as a one location burger chain
  • Burgers were originally 15 cents
  • They hire around 1 million workers in the US every year
  • Mcdonald’s $27 billion in revenue makes it the 90th-largest economy in the world

2. Alibaba – Jack Ma

Jack Ma is the richest man in Asia (worth about $39 Billion) and runs one of the largest company in China — Alibaba.

But he wasn’t a genius who instantly created this amazing company. He faced rejection for his whole life.

He applied for 30 different jobs (including the police and KFC) and was rejected. In addition, he applied and got denied 10 different times from Harvard.

But, after discovering the internet in the mid 90’s he understood the possibilities that existed. He went on to create several companies despite all the rejection he had previously faced.

3. WhatsApp – Jan Koum

Jan Koum is the founder of WhatsApp which sold to Facebook for 19 billion dollars. He grew up very poor in Ukraine and didn’t even have running water.

After finding his skills in Silicon Valley he was almost hired at Facebook but got passed over in the last interview. Instead of sulking, Jan went on to found WhatsApp. Jan is the epitome of hard work and never giving up.

4. Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison is the definition of perseverance. Considered unteachable at a young age the inventor went on to eventually create the electric light bulb. While most thought he “failed” he simply said he found over 1,000 ways to not build a light bulb.

Thus, we find that if we understand and devotedly work on all these four pillars to achieve whatever we want, the success is bound to come. There are so many stories of rags to riches. These men are only driven by their ambition and they substantiate and realize their ambition with the other three pillars of success that is – negotiation skills, focus and perseverance.

Thanks for reading.

24 Tips to Improve Interpersonal Skills and Build Better Relations

Our interpersonal relations with others depend upon various factors. Two most important factors are one – our behavior towards the concerned persons; two- how we speak to the concerned persons.

The contents of what we convey to our peers and friends will primarily depend upon our behavior. When our conduct to certain persons has been consistently good, it shows our regard towards them. But how we speak to them, is equally important if not more. The efficacy of our speech can be improved by making our speech articulate. Besides, we also need to become good listeners. People want that when they speak, total attention of the listener/listeners should be focused on their speech. Their ego is hurt if they find listeners inattentive.Since leaders have to foster and maintain good relations with a large number of followers, references have been made to leadership qualities as well.

Best Practices for Interpersonal Skills

Tip No. 1. In a way our life depends on our interpersonal skills. If we are good at it, people help us. At home to we have peaceful life. However, if we are lacking in this highly desirable skill we are the losers both at home and at our work place.
The first of the five ‘Best Practices’ may be termed as – At Never React. What does it mean? it means never react to a person nor to any situation, However gloomy or happy. It also mean that even if a person has said something which he/she should not have said; you just do not react and try to give back to him. But it does not mean that you keep quite and except these doing nothing. In fact you should use your mind and carry out those actions which your mind will certainly guide you. But it will guide you only if you remain cool. When you act, you use your mind. But if you react you loose your mind.

Tip No 2. Listen twice as much as you talk. We have two ears to listen but only one voice box which enable us to speak. Therefore, we should always listen more and speak less. Besides, people feel happy if you make them speak. But you must listen. This is observed by the speakers from your body language which you can not fake.


Tip No. 3.  Never try to appease. You must realize that it is not possible to please to everyone at all the time. You should play your role at home, at your work place or even in society just as your mind guides you. Listen to your heart and you will never try to appease any one. When you go out of your way to please you are not a gainer. In fact you are a looser in the long run.

Tip No.4. Don’t ever be judgmental. Each person is an individual an has his/her space. Passing judgment comprises intrusion on personal spaces which is best avoided. Furthermore you should not give any unsolicited advice. You may offer your opinion during discussion without any effort to impose.


Tip No.5. Maintain cordiality in the ‘tone’ of your voice. Often times, how you say something assumes greater importance then what you say. Normally, we do not use offensive language, but the tone of our voice sometimes offends the listeners. Tone in the voice represents your emotions. These must always be controls per requirement of the situation.


Following above practices will ensure that you are able to maintain good relations with everyone. This also requires a number of attributes imbibed in the personality. Some of these are listed below. 

Tip No. 6. Confidence
You must have confidence in yourself. You must respect yourself and value your opinions. You can only achieve this if you are not judgmental. It can be achieved if you have an open mind. Once you realise that like any other human being you can also make mistakes, you become confident. Again you become confident because you have nothing to hide and nothing to fear!


Tip No. 7. Overcoming Hesitation


Public Speaking dates back to the origin of history. Likewise stage fright has been felt by the Public Speakers from the time immemorial. There is no short cut for overcoming stage fright. We must realize that when we speak to audience it is not stage fright but it is heightened feeling. This is also a feeling we get whenever we are about to do something important. The more we find opportunities to address the audience, the faster we will overcome stage fright.


Tip No. 8. Developing a Positive Body Language


This refers to the way you stand; the way you walk – it refers to your posture while speaking and your dress must also be cool! People love to meet other with elegance and high self-esteem.


Tip No.9. Eye Contact


While speaking it is necessary that you make eye contact with you audience. It should appear that you are talking to the people. Each person of the audience should feel that you are talking to him or her. This can be achieved by practice along.


Tip No. 10.  Articulation


Articulation for Public Speaking refers to the clarity of ideas, and the clarity of each and every word that he/she speaks. This is science as well an art. It can only be achieved by understanding the principles and with lots of practice under expert guidance.


Tip No. 11. Ability to hold the attention of the audience
You have to develop modulation in your speech. This can be practiced by memorizing and repeating dramatic monologues of Shakespeare and others. A lot of hard work has to get into building talent to modulate.


Tip No. 12. The Structure of the Speech
Every Speech must have a clear cut beginning. The various points that you want to communicate to the audience form the body. You need to be clear about these points which should not be more than three or four. In conclusion you must summarize what you have talked about and your speech on a happy note.

Leadership Qualities

In my last presentation, I had defined Leadership. I had also explained what it takes to be a good leader. How must a leader go about performing his/her duty that would justify leadership.  Today, I shall talk to you about the characteristic elements of personality which are necessary for a good leader:

Tip No.13. The first on the list is to respect oneself. This means that the Leader must be his/her own self all the time. At no time the Leader should try to copy anyone or say something which he/she does not believe. The leader must believe in an honest, ethical behavior as a key value. All the actions will foster among the team members the same value. Once accepted the value can be a strong bond among members of the team, a group, or an organization. 

Tip No.14. The second quality which a leader must have is the ability to delegate. This requires the leader’s trust in the members of the team. Besides, the leader should have the ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the members. This will help in assigning appropriate tasks to individual members. Such a delegation will be meaningful and the results will be more productive.

Tip No.15. Excellent communication represents the third important quality of a good leader. The leader should be in a position to communicate in a language which is understood by all – be it an uneducated skilled worker on the floor or the CEO who is a member of the board. Further, the leader must ensure that whatever has been communicated is not only understood, but assimilated by all concerned. This will be possible only if the leader has an open mind and encourages rather than discourages feedback.                                                                                                                           

Tip No.16. A strong sense of commitment is the next aspect of positive leadership. Committed leaders often have a hands on approach and are able to do it themselves especially in times of a crisis. This approach ensures the commitment of the team, which feels secure under such decisive leadership.

Tip No.17. A positive attitude is also a very important aspect of leadership. Positive Attitude of the Leader ensures high energy levels of the team members. It also ensures that the Leader looks at every challenge as an opportunity rather than a roadblock.

Tip.No.18. The leader’s quality of Institution refers to his gut feeling about the course of action he is to take. The quality of Intuition enables a leader to take calculated risks in decision making when facing an unforeseen situation.                                                        

Steps to pursue leadership excellence

What is leadership excellence? What are the important features? How is it supposed to be pursued? These are the questions that we will consider. There are 6 steps, which I think, that a leader needs to take in order to pursue excellence. These are:
The leader’s attitude is very important. Self-awareness too is very significant. But more importantly, proper implementation of any idea in great detail is critical. Other 3 important aspects  are- accepting responsibility, realizing that pursuing  excellence is your own choice and determination, and finally the leader must be  must ensure that the team members are in a position to live up to the leader’s expectations. Having said that, let us now deal with each of these 6 steps one by one.

Tip No.19.  Any idea or plan must be executed with great precision. In fact the quality of implementation of an idea is even more important than the idea itself. Leading management Gurus advocate that ‘A’ quality implementation of     ‘B’ quality plan is more productive then ‘B’ quality implementation of ‘A’ quality plan. When we look through the finer details of any task, we are able to follow its original objectives. But it doesn’t happen if we overlook the details. Excellence is a continuous process. It is not just an event. It is not just an accident. But it is your choice which you follow step by step, always. This becomes easier if you love every moment of your life and therefore if you love everything that your do from moment to moment.


Tip No.20. Your attitude is extremely important. Excellence is not just a skill like those skills you require for doing anything correctly and nicely. Excellence is your attitude to do every job with at most care and while enjoy at the same time. Precision and enjoyment may appear to be incompatible but they are not. There is no doubt  that you have to follow this practice of using eye for detail and getting satisfaction for following the finer details at the same time.


Tip No.21. The good news is that there is no preparation required to pursue excellence for the leader. It depends entirely on their choice- decision and determination to follow the decision. One may decide just now that henceforth from the next moment onwards he/she will do everything while pursuing excellence. Sometimes there may be time constraints and other such difficulties. But the pursuit of excellence teaches you make best use of the available resources. Some people talk of discipline. Excellence is not discipline. It does not ensure quality of work which can be classified in the required category. Discipline is defined as that you must do something at a time when it needs to be done even when you don’t like to do. In a way it cages you while the ‘excellence’ knows no such restrictions. It emerges from the application of your mind and the joy that your draw out of doing something that you like to do.

Tip No.22. The next important step that leader must take is to accept responsibility for excellence in a group life. The leader does not teach his follower to achieve perfection. Perfection is unattainable. But when you chase perfection you catch up with excellence. The leader ensures that his/her followers understand it very well. Such leaders have the ability to motivate the followers to such an extent that the commitment of the followers becomes as strong as that of their leader. This is particularly true in respect of the political leaders. Dr. Martin Luther King is one such example. But for him Barak Obama would not have become the President of USA.


Tip No.23. Self-awareness is something that the leader must practice. It trains him/her to observe their actions from moment to moment. They develop the ability to change their action as per the requirement of changed circumstances. Their decision making process does not suffer a jolt even if most unexpected event take place. In our sacred book, ‘The Bhagvad Gita’ such a person is known as ‘StithPragyaPurush’. It depicts not only the alertness of the mind but also the coordination between the mind and the reaction which leads to suitable speech and or action.


Tip No.24. Last but not the least the leader has to be realistic. They can pursue excellence only if their expectations are reasonable. Any unachievable task if set before the team is bound to de-motivate them.  This does not mean that the team member can take things easy. Life is such that for achieving any significant result you have to stretch yourself. It’s the leaders job that he practices not only himself but also ensures that the team member follow suit.
When the leader undertakes their journey as per the steps enumerated above, it is then that the leadership excellence is pursued.

Thanking for reading,

Communication is a double edged sword; which is your edge?

What is communication? How can we define it? First of all let’s understand it’s origin and it’s meaning. Communication is derived from the Latin word “communis” meaning to share something or hold in common. Communication can be defined in following ways:

Communication is the process of exchanging information, ideas, thoughts, speech, signals, writing or behaviour.  First, let’s try to answer the most pertinent management question. What is important in motivating people, forming a successful team, getting all your work done? Answer is simple. Successful communication skills! It demands efforts, it needs motivation.  Motivational speaker, Tony Robin stated that for effective communication we must realise that we are all different in the way we perceiveg. So we must respect each other’s perspective, then only we would lead to a successful communication.

Arguing is not communication. It is noise. But responding without understanding is also not communication. We all have our own choice to say yes or no. That choice is the medium of communication. If you express that answer politely then only you can have an effective communication. “You should know how to present your point in front of others. There should be no chance of confusion with you.”

Winston Churchill said “it is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip”. If you qualify telling even rude words in such a way that they turn to as good words for the listener than you are the master of communication. This is how communication impacts the world.

In today’s fast going world one needs to understand the importance of connecting with others and the ways to do so. Most of us take the meaning of word communication as verbal conversation. Does it mean only verbal communication?  No, it’s half the statement. Communication can be verbal, nonverbal or the body language. It simply states that in today’s world what is said is important but what is not said is equally important, Even the hidden objective is taken into consideration.  Communication skills are of more importance than anything else, as it holds the personality of a person.  As the old saying says that there is a large difference in the word ‘having something to say and having to say something’. They look similar but meaning of both is different.

Content, being the king in communication, plays a major role in changing the whole personality. Here again who takes the hold of audience or the listeners? More patient the audience more is your benefit. But understanding audience is critical. They can understand even what you have not spoken. You might be thinking what is the difference? Difference is as clear. The one who understands what you have not spoken is living in the present. He is there with his mind and soul in what you are doing. Your communication skills including verbal, nonverbal and your body language play a vital role here. So if the listener is impressed by your communication skills then only he will be active in the process and further interaction or communication is possible.

It’s not one way process. It is open and two way path. It can be either the speaker affects the listeners by asking questions, seeing to his body language or understanding him/her, can be the other way round also. Again a question arises on the lifestyle which you are living. Are you satisfied with it? Is your concentration level upto the mark to meet the present day requirement? Or you are still in some dreams while a lecture or another topic has started?

Today’s requirement demands near 100% accuracy and concentration for a wonderful and beneficial communication. The famous Management Consultant, Peter Drucker has stated that most important thing in communication does, understand what is not said. Observing this way, you can understand the full concept of what is being spoken. Hence communication is not defined by its effectiveness but   the response of effectiveness. Audience plays a major role no matter it is one or many. Until and unless communication serves the purpose of the listeners, it is of no use. A well said quote will completely set your minds to it. “Communication is dream more – compare less, listen more – talk less, love more – argue less, hope more – fear less, relax more – worry less, believe more – complain less, play more – work less.”

These quotes can be taken as the steps to a successful communication. Author of the book ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, Stephen Covey has well said that often people have character strength but they lack communication skills. And that affects the quality of relationships. Generation gap is the best example to support the above statement.

Communication must not be complicated. It may not use very extensive vocabulary, it may be as simple but as clear as possible. If ideas are not drawn into action, they just turn to be simple paper work. Only with the help of communication skills ideas can turn the dreams to a reality.

4 Intriguing Possibilities of Communications 

Let’s examine four possible combinations of speaking & listening. This will enable us to understand what communication can do to our lives and to our organisations.

Possibility 1.Effective speaking but poor listening. If this is the leader’s characteristics the results could be as under:

It will increase your focus. You may have generated good followers & good soldiers. But the potential leaders will leave. There will be practically no innovation. Stress level will increase.

Possibility 2.Effective speaking and active listening. That is the perfect combination for the leader. The focus of the leader and of the organisation will remain in the forefront. Things will happen fast. Loyalty of employees will increase. Appreciation of mind and ability to enjoy the work will bring in more breakthroughs, more innovations. People will collaborate with each other and also compete with each other. The best will blossom with the leader’s effective speech and active listening. An atmosphere of sustainable leadership will prevail.

Possibility 3: Poor speaking but active listening. It will amount to lack of focus. Also, waste of time & money. There will be thrust on management by committees. People might get an impression that anything goes.

Meanwhile active listening will also result in the positives. The employees will become more self-expressed. Application of mind by them will increase. There would be greater innovation.

Possibility 4: Poor speaking and poor listening. It will be nothing but a slow death of the enterprise. The death of textile mills in Mumbai & Ahmadabad can be attributed to this syndrome. Misunderstanding and conflicts will rule. Opportunities will be missed. There would be high rate of attrition. Isolation will result in fragmentation, and finally extinction.

Just perusing the above possibilities would shake our slumber. Importance of communication will then be fully realised. So, I will deal with both aspect of communication- good speaking and good listening.

What should one do to become an excellent Communicator?

First of all it is necessary to have strong content. Content is the king. Effective communications take this into account more than any other aspect of management or even life. Content means domain knowledge. You can’t fool people with shallow thoughts. Much less you can impress them. Lot of hard work goes into acquiring knowledge. The biggest problem is seen when you have worthwhile knowledge but you can’t use into your advantage due to lack of effective speech. Your expression remains impaired. People would barely know that you are a storehouse of useful information.

Then what should you do? Become a good speaker. Practice the art and science of speaking clearly, confidently and convincingly.

How do you speak clearly? You must understand that speech in the result of decision to communicate. You must also understand what goes into making voice and the speech. The process in simple words is as follows. First of all ‘thinking’ clarifies the idea you want to project to the listener or a group of listeners. Then brain sends a signal to the lungs and some breath is released. Breath strikes the vocal cord to produce sound. But the words are created by the speech organs. So in order to speak clearly, think clearly. Cultivate habit of deep breathing. It enables to have sufficient breath to support strength of your voice. This will also enable you to speak longer sentence without breathing in between. The flow of speech will enable ideas to flow smoothly.

Listening intently is equally important for good communication 

Communication does not mean only effective speaking. In fact, it is the beginning point. But even more important is active listening. Active listening will bring about the results that you are looking for. You communicate with someone or a group of listeners with an objective. How can you influence others? By listening to them actively or with your speech. How do you find whether you are a good listener or not? I give below a checklist which is self- explanatory.

You must always use this checklist to prepare for any important meeting particularly when you have to speak to an audience!

1. Don’t think of what you are going to say next when another person is speaking. Just focus on understanding and assimilating what he/she has to say.

2. You must listen with an open mind. Don’t try to relate with your own experience, similar experience. When someone is relating a story in support of his argument, your tendency to evaluate should be given a pause. Never be judgmental, as they say.

3. When you are listening, try to recreate mentally what the other person is saying objectively.

4. Try to see things from the speaker’s point of view. Empathise and be compassionate while listening.

5. Try to uncover the intent of the speaker. All speakers may not be terse. Their verbosity may require a little extra effort on your part to understand the intent. Make this extra effort.

6. Think what results you can produce through listening rather than speaking. If you want to influence people, you will be amazed to observe how listening comes in handy and helpful.

7. Listen a minute longer than it is comfortable. That extra minute will give you extra input. In any case, you are having a dialogue for understanding the other’s point of view.

8. Last but not the least; you must remember that your words of advice will be seen as unwanted noise. Never give an advice unless asked for. If you are not convinced and the solution demands that you must express your views, do that and say we agree to disagree!

Communications pervade our lives in more ways than we know.

Right from the time we get up in the morning, we start communicating. We speak to our people at home. Each word that we speak has some kind of signification. Either we request for help or we do something for others at home.

We receive telephonic calls. Our talk on telephone is either verbose or we are to the point. We efficacy of our words determine to what extent we can influence the people we speak to.

If we word to list all the jobs that we have to do during the day, our productivity will be reflected in the complication of our tasks. Normally one would not relate productivity with our speech or with our communication.

If you are a team leader, you’re expected to motivate your team members to perform certain tasks. Your success as a leader depends on how successful your team members are in their performance.

If you are working for someone, your performance will depend on how best you can assimilate the instruction. Evidently you may need some clarification on the job assign to you this will also require you to communicate.

Effective communication has certain prerequisites. These are:

1. Language: you must have adequate knowledge of the language. These include grammar a reasonable vocabulary and ability to make perfect sentences to express exactly what you want to convey.

2. Body language: If you are talking in person your body language plays an important role in your interaction.

3. If you are talking on the telephone the clarity of your speech and be efficacy of expression will determine your effectiveness.

4.  I f you are sending a written communication making some request, again the result will depend on the effectiveness of your letter or Email.

5. If you’re communicating with a group of friends through social media, the success of your task will depend on the words that you use while communicating.

6. If you are making a presentation to a group of people, your objective will be archive partially or holy depending on your performance during the communication.

7. If you are a teacher and teach the students. The knowledge that your students may acquire depending on how effective you are in your expression.

8. If you are an advocate you will be able to convince the judge about you clients in a since provided you use the language effectively. Otherwise even your solid evidence can sometimes be our looked.

9. As a journalist you are supposed to report the news as it may happen. You are not expected to include your opinion in your report. But if you don’t have adequate control over your written or spoken language, you will not be able to remain objective.

10. There is no scope for any letup or fault by the General or the officer who is leading an operation.

What has been said above, when assimilated, will empower you to always use the ‘Double Edged Sword’ of Communications to make you a winner.

Thanking for reading,

FOUR Secret Qualities Which Act as Arsenal for People to Become Exceptional Leaders

One. Persistent pursuit of knowledge

Simply said, any person must assess himself/herself on the 3 important aspects of personality: i) Acquiring knowledge ii) Developing an ability to explain what you know iii) Using your knowledge for your work and activities.

1. Acquiring Knowledge: One acquires knowledge with formal educations. More importantly practical knowledge is acquired once you entered your business or profession. Every day can give us some lesson provided we sit down and contemplate to review the day. So knowledge is a continuous, never ending process. Even when we have learnt something in our formal education, we may have to supplement the same with additional information during life.

2. Ability to transfer knowledge: Anything that we do is a collaborative effort, today. Thus, you have to communicate your ideas, your views and so on. Unless you are adept in this aspect of personality, your growth will have some kind of limitation. So ability to transfer knowledge and make others do what you want to them to do is crucial to the success of your project. If there is any deficiency in this ability to communicate, the same will show in the progress of the project.

3. Putting knowledge to work: One may have acquired great knowledge but unless they put it to use its value will never be discovered. So, thoughts are not enough. Thoughts must be converted in to action. It is the action which can bring about any result. The more efforts you put in, the better results are rewarded. But one should never have the expectation that all efforts will bring in results. Some time you work very hard but the result are not commensurate with the amount of efforts made. That is the way life works. No one should ever expect the poetic justice in life. It is observed that those who excel in the first aspect of personality may become philosophers and the kind. They are generally good advisors but not so good in performance. They need to develop a perspective so that they are not lost in the ocean of knowledge. Knowledge is unending, indeed. They have to limit themselves to what is needed by them.


Other people, who are quiet, apply their mind and rely more on action. They are often the risk takers. They are the mostly likely people to become business leaders. They hire people for various functions which they feel that they are not able to perform. But because of their rich and sometime checkered experience, they have a lot to talk about. But they tend to become self centred.


People who develop excellent ability to transfer knowledge become teachers, lecturers, public speakers, trainers and performers. The nucleolus of their progress always remains communication skills. The world today, is heading toward the situation where communication skills have assumed a great importance. We spend more time on conference calls, on social media, on organising/conducting/participating in meetings and so on. The human communication skills have only brought about all the progress that we see around us. During the last century world has seen maximum material progress which has been achieved with maximum communicative collaboration.

Two. Accept Failures Without any Grudge

Most people suffer fear in certain situations or at some point of life. Often times it is fear of failure. But some people may say that they never experience fear. They are the ones who don’t speak the truth. Fear is a normal human response to very challenging tasks. However, it becomes a bane if a person suffers fear without any reason. If they suffer from unfounded fears. The funny thing is, we meet such people in abundance. This is funny as well as unfortunate.


According to Bertrand Russell, many a time the source of fear is superstition. Cruelty of one kind or the other also causes fear. The management professionals are often attacked by this malady if they are perfectionists. There is nothing perfect in life. One may say only nature is perfect. All human beings have only to work towards achieving perfection which happens to be mirage.


One American once said that his life had been full of misfortunes which never took place. Fear of death is worse than the death itself. Left to itself, fear grows from bad to worse. Fear follows the most important of the Murphy’s laws – ‘left to themselves things go from bad to worse’


 If this is the case and what should one do? Fear is a question. First of all you have to answer it yourself. What are you afraid of, and why? Just as the doctor goes in to the history of the disease to find a cure, you have to bring to light all the reasons which had been the cause of your fears. And then you have to use fear as your friend. Tell yourself, ‘fear is here with its gift of energy and heightened awareness’. In this situation you can learn the best lessons of your life and act most efficiently. In fact heightened feelings enhance your productivity. You achieve greater heights. Since we know that fear robs our mind of power of reason and action, we should fight it out by doing things we fear the most. You must try to start or take action in a project which you have been procrastinating for a long time. That you can do by invoking your courage. And what is courage? ‘Courage is fear that has said its prayers’, as wittily explained by Dorothy Bertrand.


Remember fear is a dark room where negatives are developed. So don’t get in to this dark room. Fortune helps the brave!


Three. Planning Projects and other Important Activities in Details

Planning your activities in each day is important. Here I don’t talk about time management but I am talking about life management. If you want to hear a work life balance it’s necessary that you contemplate about it every day. Most successful people get up early in the morning and spend a few minutes On working out what they need to do in the forthcoming days. They know that it’s necessary to include all such activities which will bring about work life balance. None of your goals can be achieved without a plan of action. No business can be started without it detailed business plan. Plan defines your path. You know where you are heading and where you need to go.

But everything is changing so fast that oftentimes you have to modify your plan. A plan can be modified but basic structure remains the same.

It is said that if you plan your day every day, your activities will work out your plan and contribute to your plan for any particular objective. Just as any daunting task needs to be decided into smaller bits in order to make it workable, your plan for the year needs to be subdivided into monthly plans which can be put to action in your daily activities. In fact planning each step persistently is critical to realise your overall plan. Besides, you must review the progress each day .

Four.Managing the best Human Resource with Utmost Discretion

I had written a poem on time some time back. I repeat some of the lines of the poems to my students to find the message deserving careful consideration. The same lines are repeated:

‘Value of time is often little known

For time’s inherent wealth scanty respect is shown. Any other possession if you happen to lose

you can hope to get it back If you choose.

Wealth of time will never return

Simple lesson though many of us don’t ever learn. Every moment of time you must use

to achieve anything, you may choose.’

In the changing environment I think Time and its proper use have become critical. Fat salaries for corporate CEO’s require harsher targets for the team to achieve. Undoubtedly, this creates great pressure on him. He tends to lose the simple joys of life like quiet reflection in the morning besides yoga or exercise, spending quality time with his family and pursuing at least one hobby seriously that he loves the most.

The good thing for the CEO is that today he/she cannot be fooled by just sweet words or clever flattery. Performance appraisal is based on the real time strategic figures which are computed instantly.

Therefore it is necessary for each one of us to do the following:

Prepare the time log

Work out our priorities each day

Use time planners

Think positively and always put our plan into action.

Each day the tasks can be categorised as under:

Group 1: Routine tasks

Group 2: Ongoing projects

Group 3: Planning and development

Ideally, the maximum time of about 50-60% should be allocated to Group 3 activities. Group 2 activities deserve 25% and Group 1 just 15 %. However in practice we find there we consume 60% of our time in routine jobs, 25% on ongoing projects and just 15% on group 3 i.e. planning and development.

Just give it a serious thought and try to make best use of your time which never comes back. You must spend some quality time with your family.

Thanks for reading.

10 Ways to Boost Your Personality for Living a Prosperous & Happy Life

Personality comprises understanding self, fixing one’s goals, physical and mental health and various other facets of the person as seen by himself/herself and as seen by others. Indeed, understanding personality is not easy. But it is extremely important. It is important for your success. More importantly it helps you to achieve happiness.

1.Understanding Self

Our first step should be that we sit down and contemplate about life’s significance in case we haven’t done so. It’s a kind of vision statement with which one must clarify to himself/herself what they want to do. The act of contemplation on significance your life will always help you to adopt and maintain a proper prospective.

2. Specifying Your Goals
By and large everyone has wishes. But these are not specific desires. Wishes become desire only when you specify your goals. Wishes do not allow you to focus and take actions needed for achievements. These wishes often times remain wishes. Further, unrealized wishes erode self-esteem. It is imperative, therefore, to write down clearly each of your goals in respect of various aspects of life. Goals would state the time frame.These should also clarify how you plan to achieve. Its only when you make a practical plan that you can pursue your goals effectively.
3. Physical and Mental Health
First on the list of your goals should be good health. One can achieve physically good health by taking care of food, exercise and sleep. Human body is made to last for about 100 years. So we need to use all the faculties with discretion. We must not over use, under-use, but strike a good balance and keep on becoming more effective. Mental health is even more important. It refers to your thoughts, your behavior and your attitude towards others. It also refers to your attitude towards life.

4. Application of Mind
Application of mind enables you to analyze any situation. It enables you to review your performance even in challenges. In fact, human sufferings impart great life’s lessons. One should be willing to learn these lessons. Knowledge acquired through reading books, attending training programs and interacting others play an important role. One should never be judgmental. However it’s necessary to apply mind and to form opinions about anything that concerns us. This process helps us to become more decisive to pursue our goals.

5. Courage & Kindness

I remember the story of the movie ‘Cinderella’. It’s a movie made about 50 years ago. Yet I find it fresh and captivating. An oft repeated children fairy tale enthralls everyone, the little children as well as the senior citizens. Cinderella’s inherent kindness with courage to withstand adversity brought for her fortunes.
Kindness indeed is a virtue which however small in action never goes waste. It enhances self-esteem, but more importantly, kindness brings happiness. In our morning walkers’ club, often the subject of how to improve the morals in the society is discussed. Though India is known for its tolerance & kindness, yet today it is felt that citizens show scant respect for others.

Everyone complains about the conduct of our people. Undoubtedly with the uncanny behavior no one has anything to gain but a lot to lose.
Courage is another aspect of personality which helps you to have a positive attitude. Someone wrote, ‘life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage’. How true! A person who lacks courage can hardly live life. They just exist, like other living beings. Life comprises a series of events. Some are to our liking. Others are not so good and certain others very disturbing. The Bhagvad Gita teaches us that all such events good or bad have to be borne by each individual with a calm mind. If you have courage, you may face these without fear. But if you lack courage there could be some horrifying experiences even though the events remain the same.

One may belong to any religion, they usually pray before any dire encounter. Prayer has a certain power. In fact courage is not the absence of fear. Human beings when faced with an unexpected untoward situation are bound to face fear. When you decide to embark upon a challenging situation, you are fully aware of the danger involved. You may be struck with fear but you still go ahead. It only means that you have conquered that fear. Courage is not absence of fear. Courage is nothing but conquering the fear.

Great success can be achieved by someone who adds perseverance to courage and kindness. When you do that even the most difficult tasks can be completed with ease. In fact lives of all great men clearly illustrate that they had courage, were always kind, and they allpersevered.

6. Good Communication Skills are Critical
We all communicate verbally right from the time we are able to speak. In fact babies start communicating immediately after birth. As we grow the social considerations keep on shaping our communication skills. Besides, the influence of people around, parents, teachers, friends and others we meet also create an impact. We can develop and maintain good communication skills only with regular review of our ability regarding communications

7. Effective Speaking:
First of all it is necessary to have strong content. Content is the king. Effective communications take this into account more than any other aspect of life. Content means domain knowledge. You can’t fool people with shallow thoughts. Much less you can impress them. Lot of hard work goes into acquiring knowledge. The biggest problem is seen when you have worthwhile knowledge but you can’t use into your advantage due to lack of effective speech. Your expression remains impaired. People would barely know that you are a storehouse of useful information.
Then what should you do? Become a good speaker. Practice the art and science of speaking clearly, confidently and convincingly.
How do you speak clearly? You must understand that speech in the result of decision to communicate. First thinking clarifies the idea you want to project to the listener or a group of listeners. Then brain sends a signal to the lungs and some breath is released. Breath strikes the vocal cord to produce sound. But the words are created by the speech organs. So in order to speak clearly, think clearly. Cultivate habit of deep breathing. It enables to have sufficient breath to support strength of your voice. This will also enable you to speak longer sentence without breathing in between. The flow of speech will enable ideas to flow smoothly.

8. Active listening:

Communication does not mean only effective speaking. In fact, it is the beginning point.

But even more important is active listening. Active listening will bring about the results that you are looking for. You communicate with someone or a group of listeners with an objective. How can you influence others? You can do so by listening to them actively and with your speech. How do you find whether you are a good listener or not? I give below a checklist which is self- expletory.
Checklist:

i) Don’t think of what you are going to say next when another person is speaking. Just focus on understanding and assimilating what he/she has to say.

ii) You must listen with an open mind. Don’t try to relate with your own experience, similar experience. When someone is relating a story in support of his argument, your tendency to evaluate should be given a pause. Never be judgmental, as they say.

iii) When you are listening, try to recreate mentally what the other person is saying objectively.

iv) Try to see things from the speaker’s point of view. Empathize and be compassionate while listening.

v) Try to uncover the intent of the speaker. All speakers may not be terse. Their verbosity may require a little extra effort on your part to understand the intent. Make this extra effort.

vi) Think what results you can produce through listening rather than speaking. If you want to influence people, you will be amazed to observe how listening comes in handy and helpful.

vii) Listen a minute longer than it is comfortable. That extra minute will give you extra input. In any case, you are having a dialogue for understanding the other’s point of view.

viii) Last but not the least; you must remember that your words of advice will be seen as unwanted noise. Never give an advice unless asked for. If you are not convinced and the solution demands that you must express your views, do that and say we agree to disagree!

9. Poise:

The Dictionary meaning of Poise is composure or self-possession or equilibrium.
Thus a poised person is self-assured and carries himself/herself gracefully and with dignity. For human beings the difficulty arises due to our emotions. If anything is not happening as per the expectation, the individual is likely to react in a way which is often irrational. It’s difficult to maintain poise. But with continuous practice, you can surely achieve. However, the benefits are immense. A poised person is able to deal with all kinds of people calmly and elegantly.

How to maintain poise? Psychologists after research have come to certain conclusions, which I would like to reproduce below:
The biggest enemy of poise is anger. Everyone would agree that anger is not beneficial to the individual under any circumstances. A person gets angry due to uncomfortable situations due to uncomfortable situations or due to his/her own inadequacies to meet the situations. One may also get angry if someone insults or speaks in a manner which is unworthy. But with practice one can meet all challenges. They can remain cool in all circumstances but this will happen with consistent efforts and self-awareness.

You should laugh with others even if joke is on you. Any sarcastic remarks can easily be laughed away. Apply mind to come out with the solution. This will happen if you take things in their stride.
Life is mixture of highs and lows. Good things are followed by challenges just like night falls after day the life does not offer a regular cycle like night and day. But both difficulties and happy moments are a part of everybody’s’ life. We need to be appreciated. Keep your spirit up even when things go wrong.

Ego is another enemy of poise. Unfortunately this malady is wide spread. It is found in most well-to-do people. Realizing that ego does not serve any purpose we should throw it out from our life.

10.Happiness:
In the dictionary, there is no proper definition for happiness. One has to find out his own definition which works for him/her. In simple words, it is a constant and continuous feeling of joy and contentment. It should not be momentary. Pleasures are momentary.
Whatever a person does, they ultimately do to find happiness. It is not a destination, but can be found in the journey of life. It is one’s choice to be happy. Whether one has everything or not, it is completely his choice to make himself happy with what he has. It is not a possession to be prized, but the quality of thoughts and state of mind. It is a sort of action. When one is wise, he makes others happy.
Some of the authors and other wise people say that today, the biggest problem in the world is that we are more interested in making others believe that we are happy than actually trying to be happy by the same resources.
It is just a belief that money and success can buy happiness. But on their own, these are deficient. Your decision to be happy plays the top role. Money, success, your decision, etc. are just few of the constituents of happiness, which are to be placed on their proper positions.
Happiness can’t be bought, but just created, felt, expressed or experienced. If it could have been bought, all would have paid a price for it. The best method to create happiness is to do the things which you love. It contributes a lot. And if that is not possible, then love the things which you

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6 Crucial Aspects of Thoughts & Communications

Your personality, conduct, activities and results depend on your thoughts and communications. Thoughts are important but communication is critical. Thought is a process of using your mind to consider something. Thought can also be a product of that process which may be known as idea. Such a thought or an idea is conscious deliberation but we get many thoughts without our conscious effort. Thus, we may be thinking of certain things at most inopportune times. For example during our prayer, if we are not able to concentrate, certain unhappy, weird or even obscene thoughts may just crop in. At times, it is difficult to control thoughts. It requires constant efforts on the part of our consciousness to meditate on certain topics. When we are totally involved in the process only then unnecessary unrelated thoughts can be kept at bay.

1. Positive Thoughts
We must have only positive thoughts. These positive thoughts will encourage us to take action on the decisions that we make. Wandering thoughts are a waste. Haphazard thinking on a subject or a problem will not lead us anywhere. So the important point is that we must have an objective before starting to meditate on any subject. Solutions to problems can be found or worked out only after deep thinking, focusing or meditating on the subject.
How to secure positive thoughts? Positive environment will surely help breed positive thoughts. When you see only good things, listen and read good material, it will help generating positive thoughts. Thus, we should expose ourselves to decent and encouraging media. It’s also good to have role model/models that would influence our thoughts. Since thoughts also depends on our interaction with others, so good progressive people as our contacts will be helpful.
2. Our Wishes and Desires
Our wishes and desires also influence our thoughts. Therefore it is best to fix goals: short term goals, medium term goals and long term goals. After crystallizing the goals it’s necessary to devise action points and to act on these. At the same time, reviewing them regularly is necessary. Such a course of action will surely carve out the course of our thoughts. Since we can always school our desires or wishes which should be positive we will be able to generate positive thoughts.

3. Goals, Thoughts and Action
Once we have fixed our goals and our action points, if we keep on thinking about these, we will be encourage to take action. When we action our plan it gives satisfaction. This in turn enhances our self esteem and believe in ourselves. On the one side we moved towards achievement of our goals, on the other we are creating an environment for nurturing positive thoughts

It may also be worth to think of our major achievements of the past. We may have had identify the pillars of our success but recollecting this is also helpful. At the same time lessons that we have learnt from our failures during the past should also not be ignored.
On an average an individual has around 50000 thoughts during 24 hours. The above process will control our thoughts during the period that we are awake. However thought process continuous during our sleep. These cause various dreams good or bad. Our day to day positive thoughts and believe in ourselves is bound to have positive impact on our thoughts during the sleeping hours.

Productivity of an organization is a collaborative effort of all the stack holders where:
There are no misunderstandings….managers communicate clearly the tasks to be performed by the employees….
Good listening skills empower the staff to correctly perceive and work in tandem… gathering the relevant data and presenting to the higher ups for policy decisions….
All above and many more productivity relating activities depend on communications. Therefore, good communication skills form the nucleus of a progressive organization. Clear effective communications at all level are necessary for an organization to prosper. The wastages are cutout and both the employees and customers find their satisfaction using this highly effective tool. Let’s look at the following:

4. Good Communication avoid Misunderstanding: Misunderstandings created by poor communications can be very expensive to the organization. The resulting confusion can cause heavy losses. Unclear instructions often make the juniors confused and afraid to clarify. The result is disastrous.

5. Good Communications Provide Direction: The team efforts have to be aligned with the company’s vision and goals. It’s only when all concerned contribute to the goals that both top line and bottom line rise. This is not possible without effective communication.


6. Good Communications Breed Healthy Culture: every organization carves out a culture of its own. When the staff members coming from different backgrounds effectively communicate with each other, corporate culture becomes healthy. Therefore good training in communications is critical towards promoting a healthy corporate culture.

Focused Articulate Communication Encourages Accountability .It’s only when an organization practices effective communications skills that the staff are empowered to keep one another accountable. Effective communication provides such instruction as enables each employee to know exactly what is expected of him/her. In the process a good level of accountability with one another is maintained. This in turn increases productivity.
In the competitive environment of today, business houses have to harness their resources to maintain an edge in the market place. This is possible only if at every level clear, lucid communications are practiced.
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Hare and The Tortoise – New and Improved!

The Hare and The Tortoise
Long ago when I was young and in school, I read a story, of the Hare and the Tortoise. They ran a race.

We all know that the Hare rightly thought that the he was fast. But he was wrong in thinking that he could take his victory for granted. He fell asleep during the race. The Tortoise overtook him and won.

Later on, the Management Gurus made some additions to the story.
Having lost the race, the Hare does some contemplation. He is unhappy that in spite of the fact that he is a fast runner, because of his casual behavior he lost the race. Now he decided that true to his speed, he must win the race and gain back the lost self-esteem.
So he went to the Tortoise. He said “Lets have another race”. The Tortoise agreed. And they had another race. This time the Hare, did not take it casually. He did not sleep on the way and won the race by a handsome margin.
The Tortoise was sad. At the same time he felt that since his speed is slow, it was just natural that the Hare won the race. But he decided that he must find a way to win back his lost glory. He applied his mind and thought of a plan. After clarifying the plan in mind he went to the Hare and invited him for another race.


The Hare readily agreed. He knew that he would never commit the mistake done in the first race. But then the Tortoise said that this time I will decide the route. The Hare agreed. The route was planned in such a fashion that there were two-three ponds on the way.  When the race began, the Tortoise slowly ran on the land but easily swam through the ponds. On the other hand, the hare had to run around the ponds and lost a lot of time for covering the distance. The result was that the Tortoise won the race this time. He was happy that with his clever plan he could win the race from the Hare who was obviously faster and smarter than him. He credited himself that it was the victory of his wisdom.
The Hare was very upset for some time. But then he thought, why not make friends with the Tortoise. He had some qualities and abilities, while the Tortoise had some others. If pooled together both could become a great force. So he went to the Tortoise, and suggested to him that they would one again follow the same route; but that occasion they would not race each other. He said, “We will try to cover the distance, in the shortest possible time”. The Tortoise thought for some time, brooded over, and asked the Hare to explain what he intended to do.

The Hare said I am smart and fast. You are slow, but wise. Let us pool our speed and wisdom. Let us try to cover the distance in the shortest possible time.  So they ran again – this time together.  At first the Hare carried Tortoise on his back, but when they came to the pond, it was the Tortoise who swam across, carrying the Hare on his back. In this manner they were actually make it to the finishing line, much sooner than before.

The moral of this story is that if we work together, we win together!
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How to be an Effective Leader:

In the competitive environment of today, it is essential for all Leaders (even if you lead one person) to be passionate and highly motivated. Leadership by hierarchy is no longer valid.
How to be an effective Leader? How to develop Leadership Qualities? What is the first step?
The first and foremost quality leaders must have is a passion for whatever they do? Doing anything half-heartedly does not work today. A passion for becoming an excellent public speaker could be the first step. A public speaker is like a performer, a stage actor – they eagerly desire to perform. Passion enables them to perform. They enjoy what they do, and their passion to do the same more and more wholeheartedly increases. Initial difficulties are eradicated and they become successful in their mission.
Furthermore, if a leader is passionate about a job, followers are likely to follow suit. Business becomes easier. Passion also helps to maintain enthusiasm which in turn is contagious. That should therefore be the foremost quality of an effective leader. Being a store house of energy. In fact, most of the time that people are away, they are at work. So if during the work you are enjoying and happy, life becomes very interesting and significant. One starts loving life. That is what Leaders do.

“Stay hungry; Stay foolish!” were the words of Steve Jobs which was the essence of his famous speech at the Stanford University. Hunger for knowledge can never be satiated. The more you learn, the more you desire to learn. Knowledge is endless. A good Leader’s hunger for knowledge should also be endless. That is what made Steve Jobs a most revered Leader in technology and business. Quest for knowledge makes you realize that you never know enough. Besides, this also helps in keeping your ego at bay. And growth comes as a by-product of your efforts to learn and to thwart ego.

The next important quality a Leader must have is discipline. If you are passionate and if you are hungry you will probably go on the right road of your destination. But the road is never smooth. It may have many hurdles which you have to overcome. Discipline teaches you to do something that needs to be done at a particular time. Sometimes you may like to do it, and sometimes you may not like to do it. But discipline motivates you to finish your task in both situations. As a Leader it is critical to have 100% commitment for your mission.
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Golden Rules to Build Your Confidence

Lack of Confidence
First of fall we need to understand the reason for lack of confidence. Lack of confidence is due to a fear of one kind or another (mostly unfounded). As an American wrote, “my life was full of misfortunes which never happened”.


Of course, one need not be reckless. Yet, harboring fear never helps. We need to think rationally and pen down what makes us afraid and why. This process helps remove some of the fear and begins the path of building confidence.

A famous Management Guru one said that there are four ‘C’s which form the foundation of an individual’s growth and a Company’s progress. These four virtues are – Curiosity, Confidence, Courage and Consistency. The most important of these happen to be Confidence. If absence of confidence the other virtues will simply disappear.
It is said that “they conquer who believe they can”. Self-belief is thus the second important factor in building up confidence. Confidence emerging out of self-belief is necessary for any significant achievement. New opportunities always carry some incidence of chance. For taking any initiative you must be prepared to take calculated risk. In fact not taking any risk is the biggest risk of life.


Further, Confidence enables you to trust yourself. And if you don’t trust yourself, nobody else will. No one will feel secure in placing any responsibility on you. That will be the dead end. There is no further growth.
Lost Opportunities
Often we do not see opportunities because we are not interested. On the face of it, lack of desire acts as a strong handicap in our progress and growth. But, Confidence trains our mind to desire what the situation demands. It makes us alert enough to recognize and seize emerging opportunities. With desire created by confidence we look ahead, strive hard and succeed

Confidence breeds courage 
For taking risk of any kind one needs to have courage. If we have confidence; we will be able to rise up to the demands of the situation. So we must go ahead and take calculated risk. Courage enables us to move ahead! Yet, if there is no confidence it will be very difficult to harness courage.

Smile
Most people lack self-confidence. You can help them! Smile. Your smile will reassure them. You will be doing a great job helping them to gain confidence. This is particularly true when somebody is meeting a new group of people. We must also remember that the more we are helping others to gain confidence, the more we enhance our own self-confidence! We help ourselves too!!!
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