Personal Effectiveness

Attitude and approach to effectively deal with different situations in work and personal life

Personal Effectiveness

Why People Criticize Others and the Downsides

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,…

Personal Effectiveness

7 Steps to develop Creative Leadership skills

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. Creativity is the catalyst for Innovation

Personal Effectiveness

Why it helps to write your own Eulogy

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. 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.

Personal Effectiveness

How comfortable are you to have an uncomfortable discussion?

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. This 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…

Personal Effectiveness

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

 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…

Personal Effectiveness

Is Corporate Culture Impeding Gender Diversity At Your Workplace?

‘The importance of Gender Diversity at workplace’ is one of those issues that are often spoken about in conferences, reiterated in survey findings, and yet seldom are a priority unless there is a mandatory obligation for companies to comply with.

With the exception of a handful of countries such as Norway, New Zealand, Iceland, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, Philippines, women are generally under-represented in the corporate sector in a large number of countries all over the world.

Read on to find out how corporate culture impacts gender diversity at workplace and can something be done about it?

Personal Effectiveness

8 Skills That Will Make You An Effective Leader

By Somali K Chakrabarti ‘Mostly leaders are born. Some inherit leadership. Some come by default.’ These statements coming from an acquaintance on social media induced me to write this post. When we think of leadership, traits such as charisma, authority, courage, oratory skills easily and instinctively come to our mind. These qualities are associated with great leaders or inspirational figures such as Margaret Thatcher, M. K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr.or Churchill and most these seem to be inborn qualities. It goes without saying that not all of us can have the style, presence or oratory skills of these great historical figures. Just like some people are gifted singers, while many others struggle to strike the right notes, some people are naturally bestowed with a charismatic persona, while others are not. Does it mean that in absence of inborn leadership traits, one cannot be a leader? Let us dig into it a bit more. Here I list down 8 key traits of leaders, in an attempt to identify which of these leadership skills can be developed. . .  1. Clarity of Purpose   A purpose can change a life from ordinary to extraordinary. Only an individual with clarity of purpose can inspire, motivate…

Personal Effectiveness

How to learn from your bad decisions

 By Somali K Chakrabarti     Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. If you can improve your decisions by observing the bad decisions made by others, you are gifted beyond doubt! However, the fact remains that out of all the decisions that we make at each and every stage of our life and in our career, only some are good choices. We are all likely to make bad decisions at some point or the other. Well, it is more definitely more comforting to know that you can put your bad decisions to good use by learning from them. Enhancing your ability to make better decisions should go a long way in improving your personal life as well as your efficiency and productivity at work. Let’s have a go at how to learn from the bad choices that you may have made in the past. The first step towards learning from your past decisions is to realize  Not all your bad decisions are mistakes.   Differentiating between a bad decision and a mistake . At times, you are faced with situations where you do not have a clue what the best choice might be. You may have to respond very quickly and may not have enough time to gather…

Personal Effectiveness

How companies can effectively engage employees

Continuing the discussion from my last post on how Employee Engagement can create business value, here  I will write about how organizations can implement a range of workplace strategies to increase the levels of engagement. In this post we look at some best practices relevant to all types of organizations, though the nuances and implementation will vary from setting to setting.   Meaningful work and clarity of objectives Having a meaningful job is the most important factor that affects levels of engagement for all employee groups. Employees, who are able to relate their tasks to a broader context and feel that they can make a difference have positive perceptions about their work. Where employees can see the impact of their work on the organization or on the customers or on society in general, the level of motivation and engagement are higher. Work can be made meaningful by Assigning jobs to individuals based on their ability and attitude. Communicating to the employee how the job adds value to the organization and fits into the overall objective of the organization. . Senior management communication style and vision Senior Management can achieve higher levels of engagement by linking the desired organization outcomes to measurable performance drivers….

Personal Effectiveness

Why Employee Engagement creates value for your business.

  What prompted me to write this post was a discussion on a Linked In group about the role of  ‘Chief Inspiration Officer’ in an organization in inspiring employees and creating an engaged workforce.  The fancy title caught my attention and I followed through the discussion. As always, the discussion had people with different viewpoints. While some thought that this is absolutely the ‘wave’ of the future, others were not very optimistic about the prospect for such a title. However the objective of writing this post is not to elaborate on the role of ‘Chief Inspiration Officer’.  I will instead talk about the need for employee engagement at work. It is a well accepted and often reiterated statement that  for any business to be successful, it should be able to successfully execute  its business strategy, not only once, but over and over again. To be competitive in the long run, every business needs to repeatedly do something that appeals to its customers. It also needs to possess some unique resources that continue to give the business an edge over its competitors. Such competencies and resources that are valuable, rare and inimitable render a  sustained competitive advantage to an organization. Though most organizations claim…

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