Monthly Archives: June 2013

Love your irritations by Robin Sharma

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People or circumstances that take you out of your power have extraordinary value. They reveal your limiting beliefs, fears and false assumptions. The celebrated psychologist Carl Jung once said- Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

How much would you pay someone who promised that they could pinpoint exactly what is holding you back from your greatest life. The things that irritate, annoy and anger you are the entry points into your evolution and elevation as a human being.  They are the signposts for what you need to work on and the fears you need to face. You can blame the people who trigger you and make it all about them. Or you can do the wise thing and look deeply into yourself to discover the reasons for your negative reaction. Because how can you overcome a fear you are not aware of? And how can you transcend an insecurity you don’t even know you have.?

Kahil Gibran wrote- I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind, yet strange, I am grateful to those teachers.

From- The greatness guide by Robin Sharma

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Working overtime

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Yesterday happy friend (one of my team members, I have written about in earlier posts) was communicating proof-reading changes to the agency over phone. The office time was over, and she was rushing to complete the job. While going out, I asked her if she needed any help and reminded her that she should not miss the bus.

Today she was telling somebody, and I overheard that how she was facing a lot of problem in communicating the proof-reading changes because of loud noise resulting from ongoing renovation in our office. She had to almost shout at full volume to be heard on the other side. Then she took the balance matter to chartered bus and communicated the changes in the bus.

I was suitably impressed, though I am pretty sure she was not saying it so I could hear. What I like was how she understood and acted upon the urgency, we wanted to bring out the mag in June itself. Inspite of problems, she never complained and managed on her own. She talked to the agency guy on her own and convinced him to make extra efforts for completing the magazine in time. She took the trouble of doing work on the way home. And to top it all, she never made a tall story out of it. It was like part and parcel of the job for her.

The last point made me think of occasions when I had also done similar late evening and late night jobs. But I took it in my stride and never grudged or tom-tommed about it. I do it now also many a times. I don’t have this habit of bragging or cribbing about such overtime jobs. It felt good to see her do that.

But what made me wonder was the effectiveness of this behaviour. Should not she or me tell our seniors about such overtime working, like others do. Or should we continue behaving in the same way.

In her case, since now I am not the reporting boss, it’s okay. Though I am dead sure she won’t tell her boss also about this. So should we keep doing the same assuming that boss will notice or know, and what is more important is timely completion of job.

Any advice?

 

Liar

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There are many people for whom lying is second nature and so is bluffing.

Today only, a marketing executive came to office and was telling how his boss had been sidelined in the organisation and was almost on his way out. Actually we had discussed in the past how his boss had this irritating habit of bluffing and lying. He would commit something and later backed away. He could speak for hours about his wins and travels and all that. He knew everything and everyone. He thought that he is the only smart person in the world, and no one is able to notice is over-smartness. At times, he would call and start speaking with you in a very informal almost disrespecting tone. I could gather from his tone and words that this smart-ass had put me on speaker phone and is trying to impress someone by showing how close and intimate he was with me. Idiot. He would many a time call up after office hours and expect help. But when you tried to reach him, he would not respond or call back always.

This executive told me how the limits were crossed when he took a work order from a client for some small value. This client was not giving this business to them for last 3 years. He was very happy and so were the other team members. But this boss of him told-Why have you begged for such a small amount.  On earlier occasions also he also used to grab credit and pass on the mistake to juniors. This executive felt like slapping him. He did the next best thing and conveyed all shit to their big boss. It seems that he was getting complaints from other companies also. So this person was put on notice. Lying takes you that far.

Even on earlier occasions I have seen many guys telling lies like anything. But in the long run, everybody knows their character and no one trusts them. I am yet to see an eternal liar reaching high positions.

Some people lie shamelessly to your face. I have seen marriages on the verge of break-up because of this. But I don’t know why they don’t realise this.

Maybe they are made of some other stuff. Good luck to all liars.

Unspoken Words

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Today happy friend was coming towards my seat to keep something in the fridge kept near my table. And greedy, glutton me, I was so obvious in staring at her tiffin-box, half-hoping that she had brought something for me to eat, as she many a time brings. My eyes salivated it seems and she guessed. With the smart presence of mind she has, she promptly said that she had brought home-made sweet and my share was also in the same box, I was almost crest-fallen for my shamelessness.

And this happens at other times too. And it is all involuntary and unintentional, though there must be some subconscious need or latent feeling. At times, when I am having meals at home, suddenly I start comparing the portion sizes with me and wife. I would love her to have more and more food as she is almost half my weight. But such stupid momentous comparison confuses me. Hope she does not catch me doing this, or maybe she does.

Females have this uncanny power of sensing when they are being stared at from behind or sideways. I have seen it happen with so many men when they get darting quick glances from women they were staring. So I am doubly careful in not doing that,  I mean not staring at the assets most of the time. But one thing which confuses me here also is when some women start covering their cleavage/bosoms by buttoning, hand-gesture or stoles in front of me, even when I am not looking in that direction at all. I convince myself that it is their natural habit and they are not doing it as a reaction to me. But at times it is so embarrassing when even cousins do it. I feel like shit, even though I am 500 % sure that I was not even thinking that way, leave aside looking. Any clues? BTW a related question, what is the motive of women wearing deep cut clothes, low-waist clothes, revealing clothes or skin-hugging clothes. I am not advocating that this should arouse dirty desires in the minds of men. But harmlessly (pure or pious, if you may) admiring glances are okay, and do they want that . I won’t know, will keep guessing.

Other unspoken words are the facial expressions. I have seen people change like chameleon within seconds. But I don’t seem to have that skill. When boss asks something, and I am not in favour of it, my facial expression changes. And he notes it. One day he asked me point-blank, why you don’t like it. Can anybody teach me how to hide emotions or not have them, but that will be too much to ask.

Second problem is the irritation and frustration that enters my tone, when a person talks bullshit in person or over phone. This is specially difficult, when my  seniors do it and then they sense the change in my tone or roughness of my tone. At 42, I need to learn a lot and change a lot.

Yesterday only my boss was trying to act smart, and calling me big-boss in a satirical way. I snapped and replied back in the same tone. Other colleagues also noticed the sudden change in my tone and told me so later. What to do.

There is this junior who predicts what boss will say in the event of a likely happening, and when it does happen and we are in front of the boss, the smile/laughter that erupts is always difficult to explain to boss.

Another peculiar thing I have noticed about myself is that when a junior does something which I don’t like very much, and he asks my permission for it, like say leaving early after coming late, my tone again changes and I always reply in a curt and sharp way, with my eyes lowered and not meeting his eyes. Is that my way of suppressing anger, or controlling my emotions, or giving okay under pressure. Can’t say.

Such is the world of unspoken words.

My teaching hobby

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When I was a kid, all relatives had nick-named me ‘Baba’, and of course the nickname had no positive interpretations. What it meant was that from childhood, I was pedantic, talked big, behaved liked an adult or tried to, and pretended to be know-all.

That habit of mine got transformed into teaching hobby as I grew older.

We had a big joint family and when in summer vacations, cousins from other towns also joined in, we used to play family-family, a role-play, where there was papa, mom, kids, teachers and all that. And there again I always played the role of papa who is a school teacher.

Luckily I was good at studies and among the elder cousins. So I was asked to teach my younger cousins. I loved that part as I could role-play my favourite part. And of course there were perks like being offered drinks, snacks, knick-knacks as small rewards for taking the trouble of teaching. My mom being a teacher might have added to my inclination.

We grew up and joint family disintegrated to nuclear families. But job of yours truly was no affected. As I was now called to homes of uncles in different towns for teaching the kids during vacations. My parents did not mind being a teacher and getting so-called respect as a learned kid. As for me who does not like special treatment, and being away for fun. There were perks too as mom’s friends and neighbours used to send their daughters to our home so that they could learn from me, bah. Lucky me.

My reading hobby helped me a lot in this. I can recall now how my class-teachers used to encourage me to tell stories in free periods. They used to call me chini (Hindi word for Chinese) because of my small eyes and always treated me with love and affection.

Well, I carried on, and when I started working, my first and only love, not attraction (which resulted in marriage) also had contribution of this teaching hobby of mine. Why teaching, before marriage itself, she started dictating terms to me, and poor me ended up writing all her assignments. But really those are sweet memories now as it was a pleasure doing the assignment then.

In our initial days, there was a financial crunch as we got separated from parents, so this teaching hobby came in handy and we made do with additional income I earned through home tutoring in the morning and evening, apart from 9 to 5 job.

 

Shifted to a different company and a different town. There also I used to take classes of supervisors in the company. And I also sunday classes for an open university. There I made good relationships and those people are FB friends now.

Waiting for a sabbatical to be allowed in our company so that I can try out teaching as a full-time job, or else there is always post-retirement option.

Interested anybody!!!

Media Cloverleaf by Edelman

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cloverleaf1

Our greatest challenge today is deciding where to begin telling a story.

There are four distinct, but related, types of media today:

  • mainstream
  • hybrid
  • social, and
  • owned

Imagine them as a four-leaf clover.

  • In the first leaf, mainstream, we have the traditional delivery vehicles of print or broadcast.
  • In the second leaf, hybrid, are the dot.com versions of traditional media and media that is born digital like the Huffington Post.
  • The third leaf, social, includes Facebook, Twitter feeds and YouTube channels.
  • The fourth leaf, owned, includes a brand or company’s websites and apps—vitally important because every company should be a media company.

Sitting in the middle of the clover is search, the new on-ramp to all forms of media, as well as content which fuels “search rank.”

And there are also new influencers, such as the 25,000 people who provide half the world’s tweets. They’re passionate, fast and prolific, which makes their expertise and personal experience resonate globally.

We must work to stimulate storytelling that creates motion across all of the different types of media. We must ensure that personal stories and ideas are part of our output and that high-quality content – infographics and short-form video – can be easily found and shared to enhance search results.

The mandate for the communicator by Edelman

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The philosopher Confucius was asked by his disciple, Tzu Kung, what is most essential for a government to survive. The master answered, “Enough food, enough weapons and the confidence of the people.” The disciple pressed further. “But suppose that you had to do without one of these; which would you give up first?” “Weapons,” said Confucius. Then the acolyte probed, “Which of the remaining two is most important; what would you give up next?” The sage answered, “All men must die but a state cannot survive without the confidence of its people.”

This exact series of events has played out the past few weeks in regions around the world including Turkey, where the flash point was the government’s decision to convert a beloved public park, one of the few open spaces in Istanbul, into a real estate development. As columnist Thomas Friedman recently wrote in The New York Times, this was government exerting its functional power, ignoring its need to cultivate moral support by explaining how and why these changes were desirable and necessary.

The new role of the communicator is to lead in policy formulation and only then on implementation of outreach. There are several examples of chief communicators who are driving their companies into important issues that fall between public and private spheres. Humana* is building play parks for adults to encourage physical fitness at all ages. GE* is leading a coalition to employ veterans returning from Afghanistan as part of its GE Works manufacturing campaign. PepsiCo* provides higher value seed to farmers in Mexico so that they can have a sustainable business of providing more nutritious corn to Frito-Lay factories. From supply chain to human resources, we can have a major impact in getting our clients engaged in solving societal problems while generating a better bottom line for shareholders.

The communications challenge is also profoundly different. The dispersion of authority in media means that communicators must be facile in all four leaves of the media cloverleaf, from mainstream to blog/hybrid to social and owned. The work in media now demands show and tell, with visual elements such as six-second Vine videos or 15-second pieces on Instagram. It is not enough to rely solely on instinct, the idea born in the late evening shower; there is need for insight by following social commentary and community sentiment. There is a much higher expectation of reporting on results, which I call radical transparency, beyond the financials to purchasing or emissions. The people of the institution must be able to express themselves about their work, how they feel about their brands and management, as they are twice as credible as a CEO. We will also need to be able to form social communities, for insights on brands and to create content for the media cloverleaf.

The speech I will deliver tonight at the International Association of Business Communicators World Conference is a call to arms for the PR business. Don’t run away from our PR brand, which has as core values newsworthy, mutual benefit, immediacy and credibility. Don’t give in on creative leadership because we are story-tellers who have a unique ability to start movements that get results. The world is moving toward us. Note that in an April 2012 report, Nielsen* found that trust in advertising has dropped about 25 points, to under 50 percent, for both display digital and television spots. Meanwhile, earned media placements is around 85 percent trusted and peer-to-peer social communication is over 90 percent trusted.

There will be those in our field who claim they are reinventing their offer to become full-service communications advisors because clients want solutions. In my estimation, clients want the best advice, which will more often come from a PR firm working with partners in advertising and events, focused on its clients, doing what it knows how to do well in PR, research and digital.

My favorite U.S. President, Teddy Roosevelt, has a wonderful line. “The best thing is to make the right decision. The second best is to make the wrong decision. The worst is to make no decision at all.”

Managing Men

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Management itself is becoming increasingly complex. In addition to rapidly changing technology.. management today has to be able to handle many new relations problems-relations with the government, relations with suppliers and customers, relations with the employees or with labour unions- all of which require better managers.

 

For it is of the essence of an industrial society that it increasingly substitutes for manual skill theoretical knowledge, ability to organize and to lead-in short, managerial ability.

 

What is needed is the development of managers equal to the tasks of tomorrow, not the tasks of yesterday.

 

There are five basic operations in the work of a manager.

-He sets objectives.

-He organizes.

-He motivates and communicates.

-He measures.

-He develops people.

 

The good time users among managers spend many more hours on their communications up than on their communications down, but they seem to obtain these as an effortless by-product. They do not talk to their men about their own problems, but they know how to make the subordinate talk about theirs.

 

The manager who utilizes his time well also spends a great deal of time on considering his boss’s problems, and on thinking what he can do to contribute to the success of his boss, of the whole activity and of the business. He takes responsibility, in other words, for his boss’s job- considering this a part of his own job as a manager.

 

There is one quality that cannot be learned, one qualification that the manager cannot acquire but must bring with him. It is not genius, it is character.

 

(From The practice of management by Peter Drucker)

 

Stress management

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Live by what I call the Jennifer Aniston Rule. In an issue of Vanity Fair, Aniston said that she gives herself one day to play victim after experiencing a challenging event. After that day of feeling powerless and sorry for herself, she wakes up and takes ownership for the way her life looks. She takes personal responsibility for her part in the problem-even if that amounted to 1 %. That is personal leadership in action. It does not matter who you are, or where you come from. ‘The ability to triumph begins with you. Always.’ Offered Oprah Winfrey.

 

What don’t you like about your life or the organization you work for or the country you live in? Make a list. Write it down. Shout it out. And then do something to improve things. Anything. Start small or go big. Just do something. As you exercise your power to choose, guess what? Your power grows. And as you work within your sphere of influence to make things better, guess what? Your sphere of influence expands.

 

(From The greatness guide by Robin Sharma)

Stress Management Quotes-2

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People will treat you the way you let them.

Sometimes you have to stop worrying. Have faith that things will work out. Maybe not how you planned, but just how they’re supposed to be.

Calm down. Everything comes with an expiry date. You may not see it but it’s there.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

This too shall pass.

The darkest hour is just before dawn.

Consider those less fortunate than you.

Look at life in its entirety and understand the smallness of your present situation.

You can’t see you reflection in boiling water, similarly truth can’t be seen in a state of anger so always analyse before you finalize.

Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.

Just trust that everything is unfolding the way it is supposed to. Don’t resist. Surrender to what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. Great things are waiting for you round the corner.