Don’t panic to panic once in a while

Panic is good. It is a survival mechanism that kept the human race safe for millions of years. Panic is NOT good always. But sometimes, it is a wonderful survival mechanism which elicits the best out of us and spurs us into action. It warns us of an unfriendly environment around. Think about the last time you felt a prick in the back of your neck OR the anxiety in the pit of your stomach. Your unconscious mind was telling you something. When there is a graver situation in hand which requires urgent attention, panic kicks in(fight-or-flight mode).

Human being also experiences panic when something unusual happens. What if this unusual thing is for your good. What if the anxiety you experience is about an opportunity that can do you tremendous good. Next time you feel anxious, stop for a moment and think if it is something good/unusual that is making you feel anxious. Never again miss an opportunity.

Think about a mother who could stop a moving bus because of the panic she felt when her child was about to come under the bus. In such situations, I don’t advise you to think through before taking action though.

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Improve Performance or Elicit Performance

Every individual has potential beyond what he/she realizes at the moment. Realizing this potential and turning it into performance is key in improving/enhancing the performance of an individual.

Tim Gallwey put it as

Performance = Potential – Interferences

Interferences are normally emotional interferences like fear, guilt, worry. Coaching is a powerful intervention in helping people clear the interferences and achieve maximum potential.

I would go as far to say there is nothing like Improving performance. We can only Elicit performance from the potential that is already lying dormant inside the person.

High-performance coaching conversations usually start with finding out people’s “starting points” – their visions or life ambitions. Then, it moves on to explore the directions in which people need to move to achieve those visions, and the steps they need to take now to do so.

Coaching not only impacts productivity, it also positively impacts:

  1. Confidence and motivation
  2. Behavior change
  3. Culture
  4. Leadership

Benefits

  1. Improved individual performance
  2. Improved productivity
  3. Confident Self-driven individuals
  4. Develop individuals who see opportunity in all current situations
  5. Individuals learn to make the best use of the current situation.

Show that you are upto the higher job

So One Job Isn’t Enough For You?
Tara Weiss, 01.08.08, 3:00 PM ET

Sometimes you’ve got to show the higher-ups you can do the job before they give it to you.

Forward-thinking employees know that and are taking on additional responsibility to prove they should get promoted or switch departments altogether. Yes, it takes additional planning–and lots of extra hours at the office–but the effort can pay off.

“It’s like having a business plan for yourself,” says Janet G. Lenz, an assistant professor and career counselor in Florida State University’s career center.

Take Greg Topalian. He started working at Reed Exhibitions 10 years ago as a salesman, and now he’s a senior vice president at the Norwalk, Conn., trade-show operator. His steady climb up the corporate ladder is a direct result of asking himself what it takes to get to the next level.

“This wasn’t about how I could steal my boss’ job,” says Topalian. “It was more, ‘What skills does he have that I don’t?’ When I started as a salesman I realized my sales director does things I don’t, so I’d offer to help. I’d say, ‘How can I make your life easier? Can you show me?'”

Prior to getting his current job, he served as group vice president at Reed. Once he had that job under control, he analyzed what it meant to be a senior vice president. One of the job’s main aspects is thinking globally. Topalian demonstrated that mode of thinking by creating a training model for all exhibitors on how to get the most out of their trade shows.

“It made our most senior management feel that I clearly grasp the nature of the senior vice president role,” says Topalian.

And that’s what all hiring managers want. As Karen Rohce, vice president of human resources at Sun Microsystems, puts it: “Experience is the best classroom.”

To get it, employees need to set up a supportive structure. First, explain to your boss that you greatly enjoy your job, but you want to take on new responsibilities. (It helps if you scout new projects or find a mentor to give you added tasks.) Employees should assure their supervisor that their current work won’t suffer and that these new responsibilities will make them a “value-added staffer.”

Once you find a mentor or supervisor to work with, set up the parameters of the additional projects, including its length of time, along with ways to measure success. Also, get feedback from your “part-time” boss. Was he or she happy with your work and are there skill sets you need to strengthen? It also helps to have your two managers communicate. Ask your part-time boss to send your regular manager periodic updates on your work. This is a great way to remind your supervisor that you’re working two jobs.

The biggest challenge is getting burnt out by the additional hours spent at the office. Avoid that by taking on small projects until you feel comfortable with the new workload and unfamiliar skills. But the bottom line is, if you want to make it to the next level, you’ll need to work more. “There are times when you’ll be doing a 10-plus hour day to get to the next level,” says Topalian. “That’s a reality.”

You can alleviate some of the workload by encouraging your subordinates to do the same thing. “They’re able to take on your lower-end work, which is high-end to them,” says Topalian “There’s a synergy there that’s very important.”

Rational thinkers will be Assertive communicators

Assertive communication is becoming very important in today’s world. We need to recognize how we respond to any situation, analyse if that is how we want to respond. Is our response in line with the goals we have for our future. When I think back after 10 years, would I feel proud of my today’s response?

There are three types of communication

1. Passive

2. Aggressive

3. Assertive

There is a fourth – “Passive Aggressive”

An example:

The boss requests an employee to do some extra work over the weekend. The employee has already planned a family trip on the weekend. How does the employee  communicate his concern to the boss.

1. Passive – “Yes, Sir. Sure Sir. No problem.”

                     Accepts whatever is told. The problems he might face at home he thinks he will deal with later.

2. Aggressive – “No. I have other plans. I just cannot work on the weekend”

                      There is no room for discussion left. Employee is angry. Boss is angry.

3. Assertive – “If it is urgent, I would definitely do it. I have a family trip planned for the weekend. If it can wait till monday, I shall do that first thing on monday.”

                      There is room for discussion. The boss might as well accept for his request. Or might consider an other person to do the work.

4. Passive-Aggressive – “Yes Sir, No problem”.

                      Employee then goes to the rest room or to the tea point and starts talking negative or shouting or crying or complain continuously with colleagues, based on the type of person he is.

So, we can see that if I think rationally, I talk assertively. Because, I understand the following:

1. The boss is also human.

2. I am human. And the boss knows that I have my personal obligations.

3. If I accept the work, and not able to do it. It would be a problem for the organization.

4. If I refuse the work, It might be damaging to the organization if it is really urgent.

5. Instead of assuming the work is urgent.  I can confirm with the boss if it is urgent and take the next step.

6. Moreover, my boss is my boss. So he might very well come up with an alternative if he knows that I have genuine reason.

We all are leaders irrespective of our job role. And an Effective Leader is Assertive.

Wikipedia definition for Assertiveness is   ” a form of behavior characterized by a confident declaration or affirmation of a statement without need of proof; this affirms the person’s rights or point of view without either aggressively threatening the rights of another (assuming a position of dominance) or submissively permitting another to ignore or deny one’s rights or point of view.”

It takes time to develop assertive behavior. Let us start it today.

We are all on Probation all the time

When someone says ‘I am on probation for 6 months in my new company’, my mind goes ‘what are you saying? we are all on probation all the  time in all the places’.

I did not think this way for a long time, I believed in permanent jobs. Be it good or bad, I realize now that we are all on probation all the time. Does completing probation period in an organization guarantee me a life-long job? No, absolutely not. Atleast not in this age of fast, ever changing, volatile world, where even the temperature of earth is going up fast.

Not long ago, this would have been bad news for me. Because I wanted Job security more than anything.

Now? It seems like a good news. Atleast my personal growth is guaranteed due to this probation phenomena. I am constantly challenged to look out for areas where I have to improve, where I can improve and how fast I can adapt to the new demands of the industry.

What can I do to make sure I am continually happy even in this scenario?

  1. Accept the fact that change is constant. And I need to continually evolve to adapt to these changes.
  2. Set aside some ‘me time’ everyday to analyze the direction in which my life is heading
  3. Identify any improvements or learnings that I would need, to move in the direction I want to
  4. Schedule improvement time everyday- Time to learn something new – something which would keep me competitive
  5. Not to missout on the time spent with family. It is the easiest and best way of rejuvenating myself on an everyday basis.
  6. Believe in myself and my abilities. But not to stop there. Take action to reach out to what I want.

 

WorkPlace challenges – 4 simple ways to success

There are hundreds of challenges at workplace. Each one of them unique based on the situation, person, or management. Few examples are:

New employee acclimatization

Acclimatization to a newer, challenging role

Waiting for that most sought after promotion

Workplace politics

Coping with the change in management

Wanting a salary hike

The micro-managing boss

or The Never available boss

The irritating colleague who seems to have no responsibility

The colleague who does not share information

Or the one who thinks he is superior based on the previous accomplishments, but has no intention of performing now

The list can go on and on… These issues pose different challenges to employees in different roles or levels in the organisation. However, I think there are 4 simple steps which can resolve these issues to a great extent:

1. Be clear on what you want.

                  – Having a list of goals based on the life that we really want. And breaking them down to everyday tasks is very helpful.

2. Get clarity on what is bothering you.

                 – Often times, we are frustrated simply because of confusion. We need to analyse the situation and understand what is really bothering us. Generally, it is more than one reason that is bothering us. Once we know the exact reason, we can have a strategy to resolve each of this issue.

3. Focus on performing at your best each day without fail.

                  – As discussed above, everyday tasks will help in focusing on the important tasks. And keeps you from falling into the Urgent tasks quadrant all the time. Get the required motivation to do your job. Your Lead or the Manager are the best people to talk to. If you have not so healthy relationship with them, its time you build it. After all, what they want is you performing at peak everyday. Time management is also an area to look into and improve as required.

4. Be committed to the Organisations’ goals.

If you need help in any of these areas, feel free to seek help. There are people out there who would love to help you.

Please leave a comment and feel free to share your ideas.

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Leadership is within all of us!

We all are leaders of our lives. We acknowledge it or not. It is there right inside us..

Many a times, we are afraid to acknowledge that we have it in us…

  • to make the difference in the world
  • to make the difference in our lives
  • to make the difference in our loved ones’ life
  • to go live in the change that gives us satisfaction. As humans, we are afraid of change…

we need to learn to embrace change. And the change is continuously changing. Hence, the need to continually learn the new change and move through it arises for human beings. This has been the basis of evolution of mankind.

  1. John Adair said it well when he said “We all have it (Leadership) within us when the situation calls and the time comes.”                                                                                                                                                                                     Think about that one situation of crisis in your life when you rose up to the situation. That is why, panic is good sometimes. It triggers the life saving system in us and makes us do things we wouldn’t do normally.                                                                                                                                                                          What if we learn to take decisions and implement them without saving our energy only for crisis situations. Enable the leadership switch in us to work everyday, every moment of our lives, and yes, we have the life we always wanted…
  2. Robin Sharma said “Be a Leader without title”                                                                                                               Isn’t it one more reason why we stand back and watch. Because we donot have the title, and so it is not time for us to demonstrate leadership. Why dont we demonstrate leadership without waiting for the title to come, our life, and so to say, our work-Life would be totally different.
  3. We are afraid we would also become materialistic like our bosses?                                                                                                                             Are our bosses materialistic? Really? I dont think so. They are only more committed to organisation’s goals. We are feeling bad deep down that we are not as clear as they are about what they want from life and work. It is time to seek clarity in our lives, about our vision, our dreams and about every moment that we spend everyday. Once we are clear, we are the happy children of the universe continuously moving towards improving our life