Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy New Year with 12 themes for 2014 !

We have come close to another year. And In early January, almost everyone is minted up by the desire to plan a wonderful New Year! We eagerly make New Year's Resolutions and set our biggest goals ever! It's a perfect time to reflect on the changes we want to or need to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

Resolutions if carried out successfully not only act as short-term goals to success but also help in improving life and overcoming those habits, which we ourselves do not like. New Year's Resolutions offer the first of many important tools for remaking ourselves.When we review last year, We focus on what worked and what didn't. We spend time applauding ourselves for accomplishments achieved and looking for ways to improve the stuff that didn't work. In addition to setting our goals for the year, let me suggest you with "12 Themes for 2014".

12 themes for the year 2014

1) Make a difference : I want to make a difference in the lives of others this year both with my work and in my personal life. 
2) Integrity : I ask myself the question, "Will this keep me awake in the middle of the night?" 
3) Give : The more I am willing to give of myself - the more fully I experience life. 
4) Encourage : When I listen and pay attention, I find opportunities to encourage others every day! 
5) Laugh : I need to lighten up and make an effort to laugh more this year. 
6) Smile : when I am smiling, I can't be angry, stressed or negative. This year I will smile more! 
7) Learn : This year I am making an extra effort to learn a few new skills. 
8) Be authentic : Authenticity means I am comfortable being myself no matter where I am or who I am with. 
9) Dream : I want to continue to dream big dreams and take the risk of acting on them. 
10) Believe : I want to believe in my dreams, in others and in the good that exists in the world. Being negative and doubtful wastes time and energy. 
11) Health : I want to get a good fit this year and will focus on my health. 
12) Grow : I never want to quit growing. I want to continually improve who I am and the impact I make in the world.

Sounds interesting? Why not give it a try? Let 2014 be your best year yet!

Happy New Year!

With best wishes
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gossip - The Relationship Killer Grenade!

It's a Saturday night party and it starts out innocently enough with some in the corner saying, "Did you hear about Sam? Clueless, you reply, "What happened to Sam?" "Don't you know about his business?" When you answer in the negative, your friend seizes the moment to fill you in on all the gory details of Sam's business and how bad it is doing.
The situation sounds familiar ? Yes you got it right - Gossip ! We live in a gossip oriented society so naturally almost everyone loves to gossip. Many of us do it and do not even realize the implications of it. When gossip is being spread through the grapevine, people's reputations, careers, and lives can get destroyed very rapidly.
The other day I was reading a magazine which carried the much controversial Nira Radia - Ratan Tata tape conversations in which we have a classic example of how a Gossip can start and get activated. I am not getting into the phone tapping & right to privacy controversy but a lighter but important aspect in their conversation. Nira Radia asks Mr.Tata "innocently", " the latest rumor is that 'Raja and Kanimozhi' are having an affair to which Mr.Tata responds "It's spread by whom" ? She takes off from there- The beginning of a gossip session!
This conversation reminded me of a fantastic story I have come across about Chanakya, the famous Indian Politician, Strategist & Writer who lived between 350 BC to 75 BC during Chandragupta Mourrya's period. The story goes like this : One day a known person approached Chanakya and enthusiastically started saying, “Do you know, just a while ago, I heard few things from your friend about you?”

Chanakya was famous for his wisdom, knowledge and good behavior. He said to his known person, “Before I listen to what you have to say, I would like to test it through my three step testing.”

“What is this three step test?”, the person asked.

Chanakya made him understand, “ Before you tell me about what my friend has said, let us test it. I call this testing – a three step test. The first test is of truthfulness. Is it sure that whatever you are going to say is a truth?”
“No”, the person said, “ I have heard it from somewhere.”

“Okay”, Chanakya analyzed. “If you don't know whether this is truth or not, we will do another test. The second test is for goodness. Are you going to tell me some good thing about my friend?”

“No, it’s opposite to it…..”

“Then”, Chanakya asked further. “Whatever you are going to say, is not the truth, is not positive about my friend then lets do the third test. The third test is of usefulness. Whatever you are going to tell me, is that useful to me?”

“No, it’s not like that.”

Chanakya then said the last thing.

“Whatever you are supposed to tell me, it is not true, its not positive and its not useful also, then why you want to tell me?”
What a fabulous way to stop gossip. Even though both men and women gossip, women tend to get the brunt of the blame. I think contrary to this opinion, women have no exclusive franchise on gossip! Every day men, too, live in a partially-poisoned environment. Conversation is a big part of our psychological environment. Some conversation is healthy. It encourages you. It makes you feel like you're taking a walk in the warm sunshine of a spring day. Some conversation makes you feel like a winner.
But other conversation is more like walking through a poisonous cloud. It chokes you. It makes you feel ill. It turns you into a loser. Gossip is just negative conversation about people, and the victim of thought-poison begins to think he enjoys it. He seems to get a form of poisoned joy from talking negatively about others, not knowing that to successful people he is becoming increasingly unlikable, and unreliable.
Let's make one point clear: all conversation is not gossip. You can test purpose when they are constructive. You can test your proneness to be a gossiper by taking this test :
1. Do I spread rumors about other people?
2. Do I always have good things to say about others?
3. Do I judge others only on the basis of facts?
4. Do I encourage others to bring their rumors to me?
5. Do I Predict my conversations with "Don't tell anybody"?
6. Do I keep confidential information confidential?
7. Do I feel guilty about what I say concerning other people?
The right answers are obvious. Meditate on this thought for just a moment: Taking an axe and chopping our neighbor's furniture to pieces won't make our furniture look one bit better; and using verbal axes and grenades on another person doesn't do one thing to make you a better you or me a better me ! Don't you feel, its really not benefiting anyone, and is likely causing harm somewhere along the line--a friendship will end, someone will get their feelings hurt, or it will just create drama.
I am sure you will agree with me, if we stop gossiping and tighten our lips, we will find that our life will run a lot more smoothly. The question is can we get rid of gossiping - the relationship spoiling grenade? The answer is simple- YES, provided, like Chanakya, if we can check our conversations with the three test parameters - TRUTHFULNESS, GOODNESS AND USEFULNESS!
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Care Your People - "Achieve Amazing Results"!

Another year has passed by. While looking back, I am glad that I could deliver lot of lectures and do training for several corporates, small businesses, nonprofit institutions, social organizations, service clubs, schools & colleges.

When I reflect these experiences, one of the things that strikes me is the amount of confusion that surrounds the act of caring about others. While most people quickly admit that caring about others is a good thing to do, they fail to appreciate two very important aspects of caring : how huge the return is that comes back to us from caring and how quickly our personal and professional lives can change for the better once we start.

I believe our success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between us and what we want to be is the support of others. A person is not pulled up to a higher level job. Rather he or she is lifted up. We are lifted to higher levels by those who know us as likeable, personable individuals.

If caring can energize us and our work place, let me share with you some simple steps that will show us how to maximize the return that comes back to us from caring.

1) Master your Emotions : Even the best leaders have personal problems at one time or another. In those situations, the most effective leaders reach down inside themselves to find the strength to keep their emotions in check, especially at work.
2) Listen to your Inner Voice : When you share your dreams and goals with those close to you- a change of career, starting a new business, going back to school- you're very likely to hear a negative response. Don't let others rain on your parade- instead, go for it!
3) Engage with Attitude : Have you ever heard the phrase, “Attitude is everything”? Take it to heart, for there’s no such thing as an effective leader with a bad attitude. The best way to engage people is with your attitude, enthusiasm, and excitement.
4) The Power of Positive Action : Don't be nice to people just because you want something from them. Be positive just to be positive, and watch how your life changes for better.
5) Sincere Appreciation gets Results : One of the deepest needs of our human existence is the need to be appreciated. Each and every one of us absolutely loves to be appreciated for who we are and what we do.
6) Get others to go Extra Mile : To really energize those around you, you need to not only take a sincere interest in them and what they do, but also blow them away by doing something incredible and unexpected
7) Excitement is Contagious : So is passion. If you're fired up about what you do, chances are that those around you will be, too!
8) Engage People by Involving Everyone : The key is making sure that everyone has a voice in making suggestions on how things can be improved.
9) Leave a Trail of Gratitude : When people really hit one out of the part for you, or even if they do something simple but well –meaning, find a sincere way to express your appreciation.
10) Give Credit to Others : The best leaders are confident enough to give credit to others when things go right-and to take the blame when things go wrong.
11) Turn Enemies into Allies : The workplace is too small a place for you to have enemies. They can only sidetrack you from important things. If someone seems to have an axe to grind, find a way to engage that individual informally to find out the problem.
12) Celebrate your Success : When you achieve something that is important to you, make sure you don't let the moment pass without celebrating. It recharges your batteries!

Caring energizes everyone around us. When we open up and really care about people, we make them feel really good about themselves. This releases the reservoir of positive energy that resides in all of us. Let me assure you, if we can put the above universal principles into practice, our success at work will immediately begin to skyrocket and our personal life will thrive as never before.

Ready to energize every one ? Let me warn you, it may cause extreme enthusiasm and lead to real result in the workplace !!!

Ref : "Revved" by Harry Paul & Ross Reck