4 Ways in which Music Improves State of Mind and Performance At Work

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

 Music and rhythm find their secret way into our soul. ~Plato

We all listen to music, often being oblivious of the mysterious way in which it affects our mind. So profound is the effect of music on human emotions that it can energize you, recharge you, freeze you in the moment, make you nostalgic or boost your mood on a day when you are feeling low.

Here are 4 ways in which music helps us to improve our state of mind and performance at work.

  1. Music energizes 

How music improves performance at work

Life seems to go on without efforts when i am filled with music. ~ George Eliot

The effect of listening to good music is the same as the effect of seeing a beautiful painting or work of art. It releases endorphins in the brain and recharges us. Mental stimulation can improve brain function and enhance work performance.

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8 Powerful Ways To Build Resilience

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

At an altitude of 5,000 metres in the Siachen Glacier, the levels of oxygen in the blood of a healthy solider is similar to that of a patient with severe lung disorder at sea level. Prolonged stay at these high altitudes presents a completely different set of medical challenges.

In addition to the constant threat of enemy action, life in the glacier is all about combating long periods of isolation, making do with tinned food, struggling for clean drinking water, living in cramped temporary shelters without electricity and the absence of a host of things taken for granted by civilized society.

—Beyond NJ 9842: The Siachen Saga |The book captures stories of stories of courage and resilience of Indian soldiers posted at Siachen Glacier, the Highest Battlefield on Earth

 

Resilience is not a one off event

Resilience in Adversity

Resilience is your ability to sustain under difficult circumstances for prolonged periods of time, while maintaining your resolute, energy, hope and self belief.

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Decoding the Power of Emotions on Decisions

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Emotions exert an alluring power over us!

More often than not, our emotions drive our thoughts and behavior, and come into play when we make decisions. While most of us love to believe that we work on reason and deliberation, the truth is that our behavior is highly influenced by sentiments, intuitions and emotions.

A person who is inspired or motivated by a purpose can do things beyond the ordinary. On the other hand, a person who finds himself in a hopeless situation, may dive into the depths of despair.

Recognizing the power of emotions is of paramount importance for perceiving the implications of emotions on your behavior and for developing the ability to make Emotionally Intelligent decisions.

‘When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.’ – Dale Carnegie

Power of Emotions
Image source : gettyimages.com

 

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Why People Criticize Others and the Downsides

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

‘The purpose of opposition is to oppose everything and propose nothing’,  tweeted Dr Debroy.

Indeed, I thought, how easy it is to notice the frailties, foibles, and follies of others while ignoring those of your own!

We all indulge in criticizing others sometime or the other. It comes almost as easily as breathing to most of us. There have been times when I have felt the urge to criticize surging in my heart and given a piece of mind to someone or expressed my displeasure of a person behind his back.

An odd question popped up in my mind.

Why do we like to criticize others?

I tossed this question to my buddies, sought their views, organized my thoughts around it, and jotted them down. Here is what it shaped up like.

It is a matter of fact that to be critical of others is built into the human nature. All human beings are prone to form their judgment and opinion about what is ‘desirable’ or ‘undesirable’, ‘good’ or ‘bad’, ‘proper’ or ‘improper’ behavior. Any action of others’ that does not match the expectations, values or judgment of another becomes a potent subject for criticism.

Someone rightly said

Criticism is the disapproval of people not for having faults, but for having faults different from your own.

 Criticize

 

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7 Steps to develop Creative Leadership skills

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

Creativity is a Leadership trait

 

‘Creative people are difficult to deal with!’
More often than not, this is the general perception about people with a creative bend of mind. They are seen as complicated people, as non conformists who prefer to remain in their world of imagination, who tend to avoid normal routine, and are hence perceived as difficult to deal with. Eccentricity, ego and unconventional behavior are the traits that are often associated with creative people.

Yet, today when leaders are expected to initiate and affect changes across non hierarchical, geographically distributed teams, creativity is increasingly being considered as an essential leadership trait. The concept of blending creativity with leadership is gaining relevance as new technologies are emerging swiftly, markets are growing at a dynamic pace and the customer needs are evolving continuously.

Organizations need to watch out for white space and innovate continuously to remain competitive and survive in the long run. If you are working in a technology based organization, chances are that you would probably be looking at ways to redesign a product in order to bring out a new version every 6 months.

Creative Thinking

Creativity is the catalyst for Innovation

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Why it helps to write your own Eulogy

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

The year is 2060. Occasion is your funeral. Your friend is preparing an eulogy for you. What would you want him/ her to say?

 

As odd or morbid as the question may sound, you’ll be surprised to know that this is one of the assignments given in the Leadership program at the London Business School.

Not as easy as it seems, it takes a lot of introspection to come up with the eulogy, in the process making one reflect on different aspects of life ranging from career, to family, friends and society in general.

Life must be lived forward, but can only be understood backwards.  [Tweet this]

Going ahead in time, and planning life backwards can help us to understand what really matter to us, how we would want people to remember us.

Steve Jobs

Several thoughts had crossed my mind as I sat to attempt the assignment.

Life is a finite resource

First, it served as a strong reminder that our life has an expiry date, post which we live through the memory of our family and friends.

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How comfortable are you to have an uncomfortable discussion?

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

Politics, pay and religion make interesting topics for starting a discussion; but such discussions, if not steered properly, can be polarizing and may become awkward after some time.

However, that is not what this post is about.

Uncomfortable DiscussionThis post is specifically about discussions that you might have hesitated to have when you were particularly displeased with some annoying behavior of your colleague, but delayed or avoided telling them as you were not quite sure how they would react to it.

Or perhaps you were caught off guard, when someone told you that you have not been performing up to the mark for a while, so you became defensive downright and started offering a barrage of explanations to justify your actions.

Uncomfortable discussion on issues remains an area that many of us dread to tread, particular when seeking discussion with the person who we believe is causing the issue.

Giving honest feedback falls under the purview of uncomfortable discussions. We often hesitate to give a candid feedback due to fear of being misunderstood or spoiling our equation with the person, particularly if the relationship is an important or a fragile one.

Nonetheless, as one grows in life and profession, one has to get comfortable about having uncomfortable discussions and put across their views in the best possible manner.

Here are some ways to go about it. Read more

5 Things you want to be sure of to make an effective presentation

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 By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

So you have been working hard on collating your data and here is your chance to present it to your boss. You have an hour’s slot. Of course you want to present to the best of your abilities and you want to showcase the amount of efforts you have expended on the exercise. This is your opportunity to make an impression! You are diligently putting all the data in your slides and have come up with this killer presentation. Fifty slides with a number of charts and graphs should be good enough to impress your boss. Or is it?

Hold on. A good idea is to step back, rethink and make sure that you have covered all these aspects.

 

1. Getting the perspective right

The first step is to make sure that you have clearly identified the message you want to communicate and its relevance to business. For example you may want to show a comparison of the change in sales volumes in different regions after a particular campaign or you may want to convince the management about a reduction in Turnaround Time (TAT) that can be achieved by optimizing the production process. Any information you present and how you present it is successful only as long as it communicates the relevant message effectively to your target audience.

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