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 behavior.
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 realize that we are all different in the way we perceive. 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 goes “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 as the crystal which needs lot of practice.
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.
Whenever you’re preparing a speech, it is necessary to know your audience thoroughly. After all, you deliver the speech to help your audience in one way or the other. It could be a speech to inform. It could be a speech to convince or influence your listeners. It could also be to entertain the audience. You cannot succeed unless you study the audience beforehand. We have chosen six most important parameters which will enable you to know your audience well enough. These are as follows:
How many people will attend?
You need to know approximately how many people you’re going to address. A speech which is meant to be delivered to a small group of 10 people may not be valid, for example, for 40 people. When the no. is small, you have to be personal. This is not possible or feasible if you are speaking to a large crowd. Even the language you may use will have to be different for different groups.
What is the gender composition of your audience?
It’s also necessary to know the gender composition of the audience. Treatment of your speech should be different for a group of male or female or both mixed males and females. Your message should crafted according the majority of the people you are going to address. The way you handle ladies only group may not be suitable if you’re addressing an all male crowd. Women and men react differently to various topics at most of the time.
What is the purpose of the speech? Why you have been invited to speak?
The general attitude of your listeners should be known to you. This is particularly so when your objective of speech is to convince or persuade. Application of mind on the issue will provide you sufficient information about the reaction of audience. For example if you are addressing an uninformed group, you will have to be more detailed and rather basic in expression. Further, if you expect your audience to be more apathetic or against the subject, you will have to modify your speech accordingly. Such knowledge beforehand will also help you to determine the language and the method of delivery of your speech.
What is the age group of the audience?
It’s equally necessary to know to which age group your audience belongs. Younger people will react in a certain way to a topic. It may be totally different from the response of elderly audience. If the crowd does not represent a particular age group and has both young and old, you have to write your speech accordingly.
What is the educational qualifications in general of your audience?
It may also be required to know the formal education of your audience, generally speaking. When the audience is highly educated, they will look for a trainer to speak in their language. Undoubtedly, this will be quite different from the language you will use to address a group of people who may be doing well in life but whose qualifications are much lower. The objective of the speech will not be served if the listeners don’t understand the implications of the message involved.
Is the audience composed of a specialised group? What is your qualification to address such specific group?
Whenever you are speaking to a group of people who specialize in one subject or the other you have to be sure of many things. Superficial knowledge of the subject will not work. Your definition of the topic should connect with the level of the specialized knowledge that this group may process. More of professional jargon may be expected from you, lest you appear to them too elementary. The language of the specialized group is best used as their own. All the parameters detailed above will come in handy for formulating an approach which would be most suitable for the audience you are going address.
1. Appreciation of others is a part of human relationship. It’s therefore necessary to understand and discuss about the art of appreciation. That will help to develop the art of appreciating others. You might ask- Art of Appreciation! Where is the need?
To this I say, the need was never as important as it is today. The need to build good relations with people who are concerned, who are connected with you, is critical. In the very competitive world, your progress, even your survival needs help of others. The art of appreciation is the sharpest tool that will be very handy in building good relations. So better acquire this art sooner than later.
2. Next question that might confuse you is: what to appreciate? Well, any accomplishment, a victory, big or small, completion of an important project, qualifying an exam are- all occasions where you require to appreciation. More than that, if you have received any help that deserves appreciation. It deserves recognition and saying ‘thank you’. Thank you is also an appreciation. The person concerned will be happy. And, of course, happiness given always returns often manifold. 3. When to appreciate? As soon as you get the good news, the sooner the better. The achiever will admire your speed. Be the first one. If you get the news late don’t think “now it’s too late’. Remember better late than never! Your reward will be warmer reciprocation. More importantly, you come closer, make a greater stronger bond. 4. Where to appreciate? Anywhere you meet your friend first time after the achievement. If it is your colleagues, you may do it in the office. If you want bigger celebration say it, and do it! Share the joy. 5. How to appreciate? Well, there is the rub. Say it with most appropriate words. Never overdo it. And you need not underplay. Identify the achievement; recognize the effort that would have gone in it. And talk about it. And when you get help, it’s your greater duty to thank the person. Say thank you, warmly. Send ‘Thanks’ message. When occasion deserves, Extend an invite. Achievements may also be congratulated with flowers. Keep on fine tuning your art as the fine notes of music, and keep on enjoying the results. Thanks
Interpersonal relationships that you form at work serve a critical role in both your work success and career progress. Positive interpersonal relationships will allow effective communication and understanding among employees.
Relating to your “boss” is one of the most important relationships you will establish as you begin your career, and with each new position you take in the future. Be sure what you do and how you perform supports the direction of your management team. Remember, you cannot become a good leader until you learn how to become a good assistant. Show your managers/co-workers that you are a “team player.”
Real interpersonal skills are about connection. This includes actions like smiling, a handshake, an outgoing personality in addition to a good mindset. Working in a team is important in today’s workplace and communication skills are essential. The Center for Public Resources did a national survey and discovered 90% of the time individuals are terminated for poor attitudes, inappropriate behavior and poor interpersonal skills rather than deficient job skills
Below are some important interpersonal skills that will help you at work and in your personal life:
Listening. Make sure you understand other people’s perspectives before trying to just emphasize your own. Paraphrase to clarify understanding. If you make an effort to hear what someone else is saying, they will be much more likely to hear your ideas. Be an empathic and engaged listener. Listening is a key interpersonal skill for building connection with others.
Look for the best in others. When you expect people to do the right thing and have worthwhile motives, your relationships improve. You will naturally treat others with respect and they will most likely respond in kind. One of the strongest ways to build a connection is to let someone know what you sincerely appreciate about them.
Adapt your style to the needs of others. When you know your behavioral style and can recognize the styles of others, you can approach other people in a way that builds rapport, strengthens relationships and reduces conflict.
Interpersonal skills are critical for keeping your team motivated and getting them to do their best work. With good use of interpersonal skills, you can increase your team’s happiness and engagement in what they’re doing, and improve your organization’s productivity.
So lets break down the different styles to see what the strengths and weaknesses are for each, here are the styles:
D – Dominant
I – Influencing
S – Steadiness
C – Conscientious
Dominant (D) Style Characteristics
The dominant style or (D Style) their goal is to get results, they tend to be fast paced. You can see a lot of progress around them. They get frustrated if there are a lot of obstacles in their way. They tend to go over, around and through to accomplish their goal.
Their de-motivator is loss of control or lack of control. For example, bureaucracy to get things done, micromanaging, anything that is an obstacle in their path that slows them down.
It is good to have “D’s” on a team because they will challenge the status quo. They are good at bringing progress and moving things along.
Working with the “D” Style
When working with a D Style they want you to be like them, no matter what your style is. The best analogy I can give is going to another country – speak their language. We will not be effective if we don’t speak their language (never lose your native tongue or style), but you adapt to their style and needs. It is one of the best ways to honor and respect them.>
To be like the D style – don’t waste time, ask their input, they are good problem solvers. Let them have some control and insight. Don’t micromanage or set up obstacles.
Influencing (I) Style Characteristics
The influencing style or (I Style) their goal is to have a positive interaction with people. They are very people oriented. The energy they create tends to make them persuasive. They are your best talker.
Their de-motivator is to be rejected or to not be liked, if people are negative. So if you know that there is an I style on your team they may be looking for that affirmation.
It is good to have “I’s” on a team because they bring positive enthusiasm and energy to a team. They use levity and humor to get their point across.
Working with the “I” Style
When working with the “I” style use humor, levity and enthusiasm. Mirror their enthusiasm and optimism. Let them know you like them and value the relationship, even if you disagree.
Steadiness (S) Style Characteristics
The steadiness style or (S Style) their goal is to have harmony. They are also people oriented like the I style, but they are more slower paced. If the I style is your best talker, the S style is your best listener. They truly want to be thoughtful and helpful
Their de-motivator is chaos, direct conflict and confusion.
The S style is the glue of the team, they are good at keeping the harmony amongst the group.
Working with the “S” Style
When working with the “S” style be consistent and reliable, they are people oriented. Sincere praise and compliments. They are motivated on how to be helpful and want to depend on you as well. They are demotivated by conflict.
Conscientious (C) Style Characteristics
The conscientious style or (C Style) their goal is accurate work. They focus on accuracy and quality, very analytical, focus on the details others would miss. They are more moderate paced. The standards they set for themselves are even higher than the organization has for them.
Their de-motivator is criticism, more specifically of their work. So broad sweeping, unfounded generalizations criticizing their work, making errors, or others not paying attention to the details, not giving them the information they need to do a quality job. Also, giving them enough time to analyze things.
A challenge they have is that they are critical thinkers and in general can be more critical of an idea. They pick up the finer details others miss. They are the detail people that keep the non-detailed people out of trouble….they can help avoid lawsuits for example.
Working with the “C” Style
When working with the “C” style have details prepared, reserve emotion, and focus on the facts. Don’t rush them if not necessary, but let them know the deadline.
Identifying the styles of other people doesn’t have to be hard. You can basically ask yourself these two questions:
Think of Accepting/Warm as basically People Oriented and Questioning/Skeptical as basically Task Oriented.
You can quickly identify the style of a team member by asking two simple questions. Is he/she more fast-paced and task focused or is he/she more deliberate/slower-paced and people oriented.
You’ll remember that:
D Style: Fast-paced and Questioning. Key goal is to get results. Interested in the bottom line.
I Style: Fast-paced, Accepting and Warm. Key goal is to have positive interactions with people.
S Style: More reflective but also Accepting and Warm. Key goal is to have things run smoothly in a harmonious way.
C Style: Reflective and also Questioning. Key goal is that their work is accurate.
“It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past”- Carl von Clausewitz”
The fear of facing a lot of consequences can lead to hesitation and uneasiness. When you are expecting something, nervousness and anxiety can occur due to over analyzing of the situations. This way, it can make you go into depression, get angry, develop an eating disorder and whatnot. Over thinking a situation is bad for the mind and health alike.
Here are a few pointers to keep hesitation and uneasiness at bay:
1. Remaining relaxed is a boon
It may sound clichéd, but relaxation has its own value. You can keep your mind extremely busy so that the current uncertainty of events does not bother you. Having a hobby, reading a book, taking brisk evening walks, exercising, or watching TV can help you relax in a positive way. Being nervous about something will not lead to anything positive, so it will be better if you make use of the free time that you have until you get busy.
2. Ask yourself a few questions
One of them is, ‘What is the worst that can happen?’ By analyzing the consequences of the situation, it can help you relax and quit being nervous altogether. You can even ask yourself, ‘why am I over thinking this?’ Once you ask such a question, you will realize that it will lead to nothing but sadness and depression. So, quit being hesitant and challenge you own mind for the better.
3. Create a schedule and stick to it
Hesitation and uneasiness occurs due to not making any actual contributions when there was time. Hence, being nervous at the last moment will only make you erratic and dysfunctional. By sticking to a schedule, you can avoid the last minute jitters and overcome uneasiness.
4. Fear or discomfort; both must be faced forthright
When you ask yourself whether it is fear of the consequences or just that you are uncomfortable about the situation that is happening will help you analyze your behavior pattern. Do you get nervous very easily? Or is this something you face rarely? Hence, this will make your mind clearer about the ideas in your head. This way, you will be able to build your thoughts rationally and avoid becoming anxious or stressed over the issue.
5. Remember, it can either be success or a learning, never a failure
Humans are bound to fear from failures, but in real life scenarios, a term called failure does not exist. It is either success or learning, nothing besides that. So, if the term failure is out of your dictionary, the feeling of fear will not come into your mind. Start a project with a clear prospect of learning, then 99 out of 100 chances you will experience a success as the end result. Remember a wise man said, “I have not failed 100 times, I discovered 100 ways which cannot take me to the goal.” The motive of this statement is clear that in case you are not able to achieve success, at the least you will know that there are a few alterations needed in the way you followed to fulfil a particular goal.
6. There is a remedy for every ill
Remember, you will never hesitate if you have a backup plan in place. An example for this can be taken from our school period. When we are used to attending the school parents’ meeting, then most of us are hesitant to meet the subject teacher which we never studied, though we knew our parents must have a backup plan for us so that we can excel in that subject. That is why we took them to the subject teacher to discover our mistake and help us with a solution. In a similar way, there should always be a Plan B ready, whenever you sense failure can be an outcome, so that in case you fail, you can go ahead with the Plan B straight away.
7. Have a Plan to implement and define it’s roadmap
Goals are never achieved overnight, they are always achieved with a particular plan. An unplanned lead has more of a chance of failure, then a well-planned and organized way of doing something. The biggest advantage of planning is that it gives you an idea of the time, money and other aspects related to the goal, hence the uneasiness is eradicated completely.
Keep on enhancing your knowledge, behaviour and conduct.
Self Development is a very important aspect of the human being. In today’s life the modern man finds himself trapped in a concrete jungle, living a rat race. This is a life full of stress, tensions and anxieties to be the star performer at the workplace, and to be perceived as an ideal son, husband and father at home. In this continuing run, one tends to loose one’s sense of self. He finds himself loosing control over his live, powerless as he is to take corrective and remedial action. Such inability to do what is right and bring things back on track is largely caused by the lack of realization of what is wrong and what needs to be done. The answer to this problem is Self Development. But what is self development? As the term suggested it is bringing about all round improvement in one’s own self. A plain dictionary meaning of the term by itself would bring cold comfort to someone who really needs self development. We therefore need to understand what self-development is by understanding what it implies. Self development can be best understood by examining its components. These are enumerated one by one:
Health – physical and psychological
1. Self awareness: What is self awareness?
Self awareness is the understanding of where one finds himself. What does he considers as his duty every moment of the day? How is he supposed to utilize each waking moment of his time? What should he say? How and to whom? A high sense of self awareness is seen in person who is proactive in thought, alert in mind and body and energetic in action. Such is person stays ahead in every situation.
2. Self knowledge:
Self knowledge flows from self awareness. Self knowledge enables a person to truly understand himself – his role and contribution to society. Self knowledge is also a self appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the personality and character on an ongoing basis. Self knowledge is also the knowledge of the inner universe of an individual – the knowledge of which is vital to successfully navigate the outer universe.
Communication is the vehicle for building social relations. This was true in the days when technology and internet did not exist; but is has become even more true today when we are living in a deeply interconnected world. Communication has various aspects these are:
a). Thoughts and Ideas:Communication originates in the mind in the form of a thought which is translated into an idea to be expressed. A creative mind is fertile ground for positive expression, whereas a negative mind is minefield of hate filled negative communication.
b).Voice & Speech:The voice represents the emotion and the level of self confidence of the individual. The speech represents the spoken words manifested by the eloquence or lack of it in expressing the ideas of the mind.
4. Morale, Self-confidence & Self Esteem:
What is morale? A high morale refers to a very positive state of mind of a person which is ever challenged into seeking increasing difficult tasks to achieve. Low morale represents the opposite where all round pessimism pervades; and where procrastination and dreariness are the norm. An individual’s morale depends upon his self-confidence. The self-confidence in turn depends upon the self-esteem of the individual. A person with low sense of self esteem has little self-confidence to do the simplest of tasks, while claiming both ownership and responsibility for the same. On the other hand a person with a high sense of self esteem always lunges forward, taking bold and calculated risks. Such a person always stretches himself in a quest to continuously improve his productivity, and sense of self fulfillment in his life and in his work.
Gone are the days when a person could take up a secure career in a government job and work until his retirement doing pretty much the same work. Today, career development has become very important in today’s very fast changing and dynamic world. This implies staying relevant with the changing times by adapting one’s skills and abilities to meet the changing requirements of society and the work place.
Each one of us has a latent, immense and untapped potential which sadly few of us achieve. The main reason for remaining underachievers is equally to lack of self belief in our potential as also the knowledge that such a potential even exists. Self development really starts where we become aware of our immense potential and start taking positive steps to tap it and creatively utilize it.
Health has two aspects – physical and psychological. Good health commonly is commonly understood only as a state where the body remain free from ailments. There is general ignorance about the impact of an healthy mind (free of negative thoughts and emotions) on the physical health of an individual. It is often said a fit mind in a fit body. However, the reverse is equally true – a fit mind ensures that the body remains fit and free from many ‘lifestyle’ diseases.
8. Social Status:
Development of the social status refers to the upward move of individual on the social ladder. The craving for a high social status is considered the highest of the famous Manslow’s personal self actualization hierarchy. A high social status represents his desire for self actualization. Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be.
9. Social Relations:
Social relations determine the social status of a person. At the same time the person’s social status also determines his social relations. Development of the ability to develop social relations gives an individual the power to increase his ever widening circle of social contacts. This in turn enhances his power, his prestige, sense of self worth and most importantly his social status. Personality : Personality Development seems to be the buzz word these days. While everyone likes to talk about it, few seem to truly understand. Development of one’s personality is more than adherence to a mere set of guidelines to be followed in terms of dos and don’ts. Personality has several important components that need to be understood and developed. These include:Posture: An erect posture signifies confidence, a positive forthright attitude, and a fit body that consciously receives large amount s of life giving oxygen into the lungs.
a). Body Language: This represents the non verbal communication that translates and conveys more than 80% of the message and is often more important than the spoken words.
b). Thoughts and self belief: Each individual creates his own universe through self-belief about himself and thoughts about others. Such thoughts and self beliefs either fashion a mind full of prejudice, hate and envy at the negative level or love, empathy and positivity on the other.
c).Attitude: It is said our attitude determines our altitude. Development of the attitude involves moving away from being negative about persons, and events and seeing some good in everything perceived as bad.
The above stated aspects of self development are by no means an exhaustive list of what one must do for oneself. At the same, these are not water tight compartments that need to be looked in isolation. Often development of a single area can have greater than proportionate effect in other areas. So what one essentially needs to do it to focus and try to better understand each and consciously inculcate the habit to bring about self improvements howsoever small for the overall objective of self development.
Implementing your goals
Why do you set your goals? Let’s consider this basic question. The simple answer is that you are not happy with your present status and you want to improve. Now let’s consider who is responsible for your present status? Your circumstances, influence of your parents, teachers, friends, relatives, neighbor and all those who have been interacting with you. They have influenced you mind which in turn has influenced your actions and behavior. Over the years you have formed some habits. Triggered by your habits, you continue to do the same things over and over again. Your relationships with others remain the same. Nothing changes. Therefore you don’t own what you want; you don’t garner respect from others. Life is drudgery. Nothing to look forward to. You accept that this reality and you have to live with it. And then, you write down your goals. These could be about health, career, finance, family, hobby and even spirituality.
Once we understand that you background and habits have brought you to a situation which you are not happy with, you need to do whatever it takes to change these influences and most importantly change your habits. You may not be able to change company of everyone around you, but you can choose to divide your time according to your choice.
To be connected with earlier chapter. In life it is necessary to have some beliefs. That does not mean that you need to follow any dogma or belief forced on you. You can pick your own beliefs with discretion. First, let us understand what is self-belief. What are the qualities that it inherits? Self belief is an invaluable virtue which brings great possibilities in your life. Its indications are that you:
Stop making any excuses for any reason what-so-ever.
Do not indulge in any negative thought.
Stop thinking that difficulties surround you alone. You do not jump to conclusion and take hasty actions. You express your fears to others without any hesitation, because you keep in mind that everyone has some fears.
You stop procrastinating because that is indicative of your lack of confidence.
Stop pursing perfection. Perfection is never achieved. It only stops you from moving ahead.
Once you develop self belief and you observe that you confirm to all what has been said above, you will find the following eight advantages coming to you smoothly and seamlessly.
a). Self-belief enables you to hold strong conviction. All things do not happen the way you have planned or the way you expect. But strong conviction will help you to move ahead without fear of failure.
b). Self belief also helps you develop optimistic attitude which is necessary today in the wake of fast changing world. Life is becoming extremely competitive. Any opportunity missed once may never come back again. But if you have a negative attitude you will not be able to catch the fleeting possibilities.
c). Your self-belief also makes you more reliable to others.Thus you tend to build up better relations with others. Your credibility is not question. Since people can trust you they vie for good relations with you. Needless to say that for any significant project you need help from others.
d). Self-belief also helps you to be focused and self motivated. You no longer take life as it comes. You don’t depend on unknown sources to bring you luck. You carve your own destiny. Self motivation helps you to maintain enthusiasm and interest in life.
e). Your risk taking ability improves if you start relying on yourself. It is said that there are no gains if there are no risks. Your conviction helps you to take calculated risks in meeting the challenges of life. The tendency to avoid and escape facing challenging situation reduces substantially. You start realizing that difficulties form a necessary part of life.
f). Further, self-belief enables you to give and receive constructive criticism with an open mind. In the current scenario exchange of ideas and views are extremely important. The autocratic leader is not acceptable any more. So if you want to progress you have to collaborate with others from your own organization or outside outfits.
g). Self-belief helps you to be more assertive. You start caring for yourself more than pleasing others. Someone said that he doesn’t know any formula of how to succeed. The sure short formula for success has never been discovered. But there is a firm unbeatable formula for failure and that is trying to please everyone. Your self-belief will not allow you to embark on the journey of securing approvals where these are not mandatory.
h). Last but not the least, you start working on improving your self respect.You realize that if you do not respect yourself, others will follow suit. When you’re in need to raise self esteem, you become more effective and you become more productive. Now, you start managing your time very effectively as any improper or inadequate use of your time will hurt your self-esteem.
Personal Productivity and its review constitute are essential ingriedients in the implementation and achievement of personal goals. But what is personal productivity? Does it mean how we manage our time? The answer is yes and no. Yes, time is an important aspect of personal productivity. Rather, it could be so provided your activities are aligned with your goals. And yet it is a lot more. Does it mean one’s achievement towards realization of personal goals? Not just that! Personal goals may change. Personal vision may change. And if one may say so personal mission statement if one ever cares to establish that – that also may change. When we talk of mission statement or vision or an organization, that hardly ever changes. But when we are talking of an individual, the factors that affect a person’s likes and dislikes, desires, drastically change with changing circumstances, or even without these. The most important factor for a person’s success is his/her personal productivity. As we growwe realize that it is not just money, not just health, not just family, or your social status, hobbies etc., that bring you happiness, but it is a combination of all these in varying proportions. So what we need to do is to align all our activities to achieve whatever we want in the aforesaid different fields. Therefore a daily review of what you do becomes very important. In the highly competitive world we have today, the targets that the organizations set for you are hard ones. These sap your energy and rob you of the power and ability to think what you must do. You only start following sometimes even unachievable targets. In the process, you totally destroy you concept of personal productivity. Hence, what is really needed is to have the right balance and proper perspective towards life. It is only such a healthy attitude that strikes a right balance between family and friends, home and work, health and money that will lead to a truly happy and successful life.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca quotes “ Shun no toil to make yourself remarkable by some talent or other”!
Talent is an innate ability which one is gifted with. Everyone, indeed, has been bestowed upon with some talent. But some people can identify it and some people take it unidentified to the grave. In short, identification of your talent is what makes the whole difference.
Mere identifying is not enough. It should be further developed by consistent efforts. Sometimes your talent may be of immense use in your career and if you develop it proactively, then success is just a cakewalk for you.
Sydney Smith has convincingly brought forward the fact by saying,” Whatever you are by nature, keep to it; never desert your line of talent. Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed.”
So this is the simplest way to achieve success!! Then why many can’t make it up to that success? Because the problem lies in identifying: what is your talent! The task of identifying talent becomes difficult given the number of influences one has from one’s childhood. The parents wish their children to achieve something without knowing what the child is good at. The teachers also imprint the minds of the pupils by their perception of good & bad. Peer pressure, further, adds to the influence which a person is exposed to in an impressionable age.
Thus, talent gets hidden somewhere in the routine life and one tends to be ugly duckling. But once you know what you are good at and polish the same, life takes you to places. One can transform oneself and understand one’s true self only when one has the ability to ward off these influences.
You need a mentor who helps you out. A mentor is the one who can assist you identify your flair. If you do not have one, then it is essential to find one who can guide you to find your competence and further to enhance the same. A mentor is a consultant who may not be related to you though he will be interested to see your growth. Mentor could be a friend, a teacher or your parent.It is not only the individuals who get benefited by the mentors but many progressive companies are seen to hire mentors in order to help them grow.
Strong conviction in your ability makes you shine out in the crowd. You should eye million opportunities which you come across; given your inclination. Once you focus all your energies on your talent, you can make the best of any smallest opportunity you encounter. You should not let go any opportunity rather turn it into the golden one.
It is often said” When opportunity knocks, don’t let the fear hold you back.Open the door and embrace the opportunity which has come forth”! Once you identify your talent, it is even more important to master it. In this fast growing competitive world you can’t relax with mere inherent talent. You should master the art to fortify it further with all the necessary efforts. You should have an action plan to exploit your talent and have to follow up the plan, diligently. A close monitoring of your action plan with the help of a written record is also a must while mastering your talent. Once a master of your talent, you can master success.
Keep yourself updated with the field of your inclination. Keep yourself equipped with the technological advancement in the field of your choice else you will be left behind. Identify the people who have made it great in the world, with the talent same as yours. Reading their life stories and experiences will also make you understand what it took them to reach their and how best you can have an edge. Get inspired from their stories. Written reports of your journey at taming your talent helps in a long way, too. Always have a journal which helps you understand where you stand. Monitoring day to day progress towards mastering your talent is a continuous process. Create milestones and verify yourself against those. If your lag behind, push harder to eradicate the hurdles. Never tolerate those.
No wonder, with your continuous efforts you would transform the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. And without doubt you will reach the pinnacle of your propensities, your talent. That is when you will sail smoothly to realise your dream.
I come across a small story on the net though I could not find the name of the author for acknowledgement, I am sharing it with friends on my blog. It gives a number of lessons which all of us must not only learn but imbibe in our lives. Some of the lessons which I have learnt are:
Maintain poise in all circumstances. Ups and downs are quite normal in our lives. Losing our calm in challenging situations can only make matters worse, but it will never help.
Control your anger particularly when you are in problem. It is normal to find someone to blame. But almost always we have to regret our behavior later on.
A person who is dedicated to his duty has the ability to maintain his/her cool. So always understand the duty clearly and carry it out happily.
Now the story: A doctor entered the hospital in hurry after being called in for an urgent surgery. He answered the call as soon as possible, changed his clothes & went directly to the surgery block. He found the boy’s father pacing in the hall waiting for the doctor. On seeing him, the dad yelled:“Why did you take all this time to come? Don’t you know that my son’s life is in danger? Don’t you have any sense of responsibility?” The doctor smiled & said:“I am sorry, I wasn’t in the hospital & I came as fast as I could after receiving the call…… And now, I wish you’d calm down so that I can do my work” “Calm down?! What if your son was in this room right now, would U calm down? If your own son dies now what will U do??” said the father angrily The doctor smiled again & replied: “I will say what Job said in the Holy Book “From dust we came & to dust we return, blessed be the name of God”. Doctors cannot prolong lives. Go & intercede for your son, we will do our best by God’s grace” “Giving advises when we’re not concerned is so easy” murmured the father. The surgery took some hours after which the doctor went out happy, “thank goodness!, your son is saved!” And without waiting for the father’s reply he carried on his way running. “If you have any question, ask the nurse!!” “Why is he so arrogant? He couldn’t wait some minutes so that I ask about my son’s state” commented the father when seeing the nurse minutes after the doctor left. The nurse answered, tears coming down her face: “His son died yesterday in a road accident, he was in the burial when we called him for your son’s surgery. And now that he saved your son’s life, he left running to finish his son’s burial.” Moral-Never judge anyone….. Because you never know how their life is & what they’re going through” hit ”share” if this story touched your heart… Thanks for reading.
Time management is the process of planning how to segregate your time between specific activities to accomplish your goals effectively. Time is always limited, so ensure that you spend right amount of time on the right activity. Skills involved in managing your time efficiently include planning, setting clear-cut goals, prioritizing tasks, and monitoring where your time actually goes. Setting priorities is a vital tool in the time management toolbox. Put important things first i.e., complete the most difficult tasks first and then, identify your top priorities as well as the amount of time you need to invest in them. Good time management facilitates you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more done in less time, even when pressures are high. Once, a lecturer walks into a classroom with a bag of sand, pebbles, some big rocks and a bucket. He calls out one of the student to put all three grades of stone into the bucket. The student duly comes forward to carry out the task, starting with the sand, then the pebbles, and then the rocks, which do not fit in the bucket. This is an analogy of poor time management. If the student would have put the rocks first, then pebbles and then the sand, all three would have perfectly fit as the sand slides between the pebbles and rocks easily. This is much like time management, by completing the biggest task first, you leave room to complete your medium tasks, then the small or easy ones. If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are significant to you. Therefore, take care of the big rocks first i.e., the things that really matter. Set priorities. The rest is just sand. Time flows in the same way for all human beings – be it rich or poor. It seems like there is never sufficient time in a day. But, since we all get the same 24 hours, why is it that some achieve so much more with their time than others. Time management helps you decide on what to prioritize in life. Rank daily tasks based on its importance and make a priority list. There is no one busy in this world, it just depends on priorities. One will always find time for the things that he/she feels important. It’s not about ‘having’ enough time. It’s all about making time. People with no definite goals will find it difficult to prioritize time. Set your goals as high as possible and strive hard to accomplish it. People often miss time unknowingly. For example, most people listen with the intent to reply, not with the intent to understand. You must probably seek first to be understood. The whole purpose of time management is to enable you to have enough time to spend with your loved ones, doing the things you enjoy. Pay attention to the stuffs that are critical to your happiness. In fact, if your mind is cool, you will start enjoying life. There are many principles of time management that would make a great difference to the way you manage each day. Mastering the principles of time management is important to achieving your goals. Now let’s have a look at the principles of time management:
Planning The key principle to effective time management is planning. Planning involves thinking in advance how to manage your time to achieve the desired goals or results. With an effective plan, you will never sit around and wonder as you will have a schedule with priorities that need to be achieved. This will enable you to finish one task completely and then move on to the next quickly.
Creating deadlines Self-imposed deadlines are one of the most effectual techniques of assuring productive effort by monitoring progress. Having unrealistic deadlines that are not going to work will definitely affect your effectiveness and causes stress. Therefore, get rid of the backlog and set goals for yourself.
Do one thing at a time Multi-tasking is a myth. In reality, you are actually switching back and forth between tasks. While switching, you tend to lose the depth of your engagement, absorption thus makes you less efficient. Therefore, concentrate on doing and finishing one task at a time as far as possible.
Eliminate or Minimize Distractions Distractions like phone calls, internet, emails, etc., may lead to compromise of performance and incompletion of tasks promptly. Therefore, make the necessary arrangements to keep these distractions to a minimum. Also, you should be an expert in avoiding distractions and maintaining focus on your task.
Give yourself a break Never forget to include time to relax in your schedule. Use your free time to do things you really enjoy! Spend time with your family, do exercise, go shopping or hang out with friends. And definitely you will start enjoying life!! Thanks for reading.
It is necessary to identify the negativity in your attitude. What is negative attitude? Negative attitude is when you start focusing on the problems that you might face during your efforts to achieve your goals. It is the lack of hope that things will happen to help you out in your mission. It is the feeling that people will not help you because on earlier occasions you met with rejections. Negative attitude is the lack of your conviction that you can overcome the hurdles that you might face during your journey. In a sense, negative attitude is also a lack of belief in you. Some more symptoms of negative attitude are enumerated below:
1. Laziness: When you think you don’t have the energy to get up and do the work. Sometimes you don’t even think and realize that laziness is simply whiling away the time. It is not even procrastination which will be described separately.
2. Low self esteem: It is an extremely harmful attribute in your personality. You start thinking that you are good for nothing. You accept the situations in which you are because your self esteem is so low that you think you can do nothing better.
3. Low productivity: Work has a strange tendency of expanding as per the time available. Even worse is when no time is allotted for the completion of a task. This gives you a feeling of solving certain important problems whereas in fact you are just being satisfied in remaining busy. This approach will never allow you to increase your productivity. For doing more in a given time, you have to stretch yourself. Therefore is it necessary that you allot specific time duration for a task. In the beginning, the allocation may seem difficult, but once you form a habit it will become much easier. Difficult or easy, it is necessary.
4. Lack of initiative: For any significant progress, initiative is necessary. What is initiative? Initiative is your first step for going ahead with a task. When it is something new, you have to creatively think and courageously take the first step, even if there is some risk. No risk is the biggest risk in life. Any significant initiative cannot be taken to move forward without accepting this reality. So don’t be afraid to take initiative.
5. Not listening to understand: In the course of conversations, sometimes we tend to focus so much on what we have to say, that we stop listening to the other person. This is particularly so when the speaker has said something for which we have a ready argument to negate what he has said. Unfortunately, such a habit does not allow us to listen and assimilate what the speaker says after that. Evidently it leads to miscommunication and problems. The solution is first understand and then be understood.
6.Faking: We feel envious of some people who are more successful in the material sense than we think that they deserve. Such a feeling leads us to a myth that it is their style which makes them successful and we try to imitate their conduct. This is a extremely bad situation. We lose belief in ourselves, and how can we expect that others will believe us.
7. Not trying to express: When we have certain ideas, but either we do not want to express, or we are afraid to express, is also indicative of our negative attitude. It is necessary to develop an ability to express without hesitation. The fear of rejection which takes away your ability to act is one of the serious handicaps.
8. Not learning lessons from mistakes: There is no one who does not commit mistakes. Whenever we undertake something new, mistakes may happen. This is normal. However, repeating the same mistake again and again, is neither normal, nor should be acceptable. Thus we must learn lessons from our past mistakes and use these lessons to direct our future efforts.
9. Ego: Ego happens to be another aspect of personality which does not allow us to grow. Ego comes in the way of our approaching people to help us. It makes us believe that it is below our dignity to seek help. A success Guru had said that there are eleven principles of achieving success. And what are these eleven principles? These are, ask, ask, ask….(eleven times).
10. Jealousy: Jealousy is a negative emotion which keeps sapping our creative energies. We gain nothing in the process. It makes us feel as victims of fate or poor destiny. Jealousy may even take away our sound sleep. The worst part is that sometimes it cannot be contained, it goes on swelling. Jealousy must be thwarted out of the personality.
11. Avoiding Hard Work: There is only one way to success, and that is the hard way. If we habitually seek short cuts it will be very difficult for us to work hard. What is working hard? When you are fully devoted to completing the job and you forget even your surroundings, you continue to work even when you are tired because you want to complete. That aspect of work may be termed as hard work. Initially it may be very difficult, but then one can form a habit. For any significant progress, hard work is necessary.