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Interact, In Person.

November 21, 2011 2 comments

Social Media. Big Data Analytics. Marketing. Word of Mouth. SEO. In-Person Interaction.

Out of all above, what is it that would have decisive impact on what you choose at anything like:

– school your kids would go to

– that charismatic site for your first (or any number in fact) house/shop/workshop/factory

– Term or Medical Insurance for your life

– Marriage Material ! ;-D

Today’s world is full of noises when it comes to finding inputs when you want to reach a decision. Information is money, that’s rightly said. But what does it lead to in end. SEO are a paid services. Social Media is sponsored. Big Data Analytics and inferences are based upon funding by big-players. Word of mouth can be a good starter, but rest all (except in-person interaction) are inputs that you may consider, but cant rely. In the end, for key decisions, which matter to your or your loved one’s happiness – are based on In-Person Interaction.

Word Of Mouth indeed makes a difference. BUT, why should I purchase an house from a builder where Sehwag (an Indian Cricketer) is saying its wonderful and reliable. No, I cant, I wont.

Now, it may not be required for each and every thing (e.g. you wouldn’t want to meet chef who originated Chip’s recipe), but you definitely would like to have a word with chef who is going to cook for your beloved in the evening when you are going to propose! For things that are important, remember to interact, in person. Spent some time with your clients, peers, friends, family, so they can make a decision which supports you – financially and otherwise. And trying doing it in person. When congratulating, give them a call. When celebrating, inviting them or join them. When in grief, be around (even if speechless). Even in today’s virtual world, its important to – Interact, In Person.

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Colours of Life

March 19, 2011 2 comments

Would you paint the World in one colour to make it look anonymous, to make it one! Imagine a world without colours. Imagine a life without colours, and without people of different colours (i.e. behaviours and natures). And then you say what you feel. What I feel?

Black. We use Black as a symbol for something bad, to express agony. Yet fashion hasnt been more crazy for anything else but black! Black weather (rains) is celebrated most in one part of world (especially Indian Subcontinent) and other part see it as a curse (especially EU region). Whole world economy and politics is circumventing around this crude “black” liquid. And it continue to show its best colours (provided another tsunami doesnt come playing the world before we all die naturally).

White. What a soothing effect it has. I think its the second best after golden yellow that’s most close to the glittery and shiny world. But yet it gets dirty at earliest – we know it from recent world wide proceedings. I really dont know what our self-made “country leaders” had in their heads that they decided to ruin rapport of this colour by wearing it head-to-toe. More recently our Land Mafia too have started experimenting with it. But its good in one way – its becoming a sign of whom to be scared from. No wonder they ride in white cars, and with a red light on top of their vehicles to underline the threat!

Green. Such a good picture – in your mind! But how long do you think you can sustain it. Unfortunately and in reality, colour of money is taking over green patches. Dont know how many people know, but green is denoted with being laid back, with being satisfied. No wonder nature doesnt fight back till it has lost almost everything. More recently, there are groups rising up against “so-called” green companies – for they cause more damage then native one’s. Think why developed nations not going for CNG, while India is going after it big time. Just like anything else which is good, this “natural good” colour is scarce too and continuing to diminish.

Red. Aggression is the first word that comes to mind. Think again. Japan has it at centre of its National Flag. That isn’t so by chance. Most revolutions were caused by and lead to this colour. Use it in your advertisement and your intents are wide open. I wont hesitate in saying its the most preserved colour for politics and business – its fierce, and it ought to be it ! No wonder that a rising day starts with red sun..

Yellow. It can close your mind and eyes! Definitely closes mind if a metal bearing it shines hard ! And be ready to laugh hard if you see someone wearing it below waist ! Such an irony that most precious colour wore by ladies, is most infamous colour for the opposite gender. Yet, I really want to ask god one day on why he chose this colour to denote the most shitty thing in this world (at least for human beings). But still, it also denotes sunshine, it brings peace and war, and it brings smile.

Blue. Business and its people presents themselves as being cool and calm and professional by painting self in blue. Its associated to Irish for a good reason, its self assuring. Even god wanted to present himself as cool, no wonder he wrapped us with blue skies. And then us, humans, derived Monday Blues! I always wondered if its because some sadist was really sad about their professional counterparts being in blue.. Generally Hospitals use it, but dont know if its more good for hospital, or if its more bad for us that we have to see the hospital – irrespective of the colour they are wearing.

Now, why there are colours on my mind tonight? Because I was thinking about them. Because I was wondering why our ancestors decided to dedicate an important festival to celebrate colours, i.e. Holi – festival of Colours. I think they wanted us to pause and have a think about colours – those hated and loved one’s, and realize that the world we are in is made of nothing but colours. Same colours are likable and disliked in different context and situations. But its sad that the bad expressions or denominations remain in our minds and good one’s we forget right the next moment. As Bhullar (a dear friend) said recently – human mind is wired to retain bad, and forget good’s. Well, here is the festival to confuse ourselves – to remind the beauty of each colour – and to forget each one’s bad for a change.

I wish you be with your loved one’s, and start enjoying – the colours of life !

How about being Intelligent, Emotionally :-)

January 4, 2011 1 comment

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a full fledged stream of study and considered as part for Psychological Studies.

EI is about deciphering emotions, using emotions (knowing and motives) correctly, understanding others emotions, and above all managing emotions. It has great applications, though what interests me most is that it can help in understanding self, your goals, intentions, sensing other’s unsaid words & intuitions, responses and behavior towards a situation. And more importantly that it lets you understand it for others too, about their feelings and driver (knowing is winning, as its said in Management). There is a common interpretation which is hugely wrong, EI is not about manipulating things / people in your advantage, its about understanding all aspects so as to be better aware and reaching right decisions.

There are some great resources which can be referenced, specifically:

Wikipedia

EI: What it is and why it matters

How EI can help in:

Management: Imagine all your team members and clients seeing you as a tough yet empathetic leader. All knowing that they can do everything and will go out of their ways to resolve issues at hand, and also knowing that they can approach you if they are failing, and you have some way or other to find the answers (doesn’t matter if you know that mostly you find answers from their own used words when explaining the problem). There is a thin line of difference being a manager and a leader, and I think that difference is indeed brought in by EI.

Decision Making: Not only for yourself, but for others as well. How about interpreting facial expressions of your parents and deciding that you actually have to take some time off and spend quality time with them, or with your wife and kids. How about realizing yourself, proactively, when your team is exhausted from all those mundane tasks, and need a refresher or breather. How about you realizing when your team is already swamped, and that though they are delivering alongside all constraints, but taking up anything new is not going to work. How about deciding that team structure of that critical project, putting right and driven people in right spots. Yes, EI can and does help with all of it.

Relationships: People don’t care for people who can speak a lot, they wish for people who are hearing them. Being a manager, and hearing someone’s (client, peer, family) concern – is something that anyone can do. It’s the steps you take after this stage which decides what rapport you will build with that person and whether the other person will be all game for anything you expect from them in future. Its about being good listener and being a cautious observer, to know scale of the concern and reciprocating at the levels so best resolution is reached, and being honest throughout the process (and if you are the one having the concern, you can ensure that you are honest and same time decide whether your manager is going to do something about it at all, and take your relationship to the fate it deserves).

Tasks Management: A closely knit team gives out best results. It’s a popular saying from my college group, “We will succeed as a group or we will fail as a group”. We used to say that just to convey out strength to each other, and weren’t much aware what truth it holds, till date. Imagine being able to build a team which stands with each other, who learn alongside, and deliver without a fail, who understands client requirements (explicit, and more importantly, implicit) and delivers on the same – no more, no less. No finger is same size in your hand, same goes for your team, all attain different heights – some needing help, and some extending help. Its all about understanding what gets them ticking, and delivering.

Career Growth: Well, what do you expect when you are able to achieve all four points above. I leave it to you to ponder upon and conclude… 🙂

“ Would you be a Glass Washer for me! “

November 8, 2010 Leave a comment

A friend and peer asked me a strange question today. “Look at the guy on front building, washing the glasses. Would you do something similar if I have to drive your carriage from top?” It was indeed a strange question. But a moment of silence and introspection made me realize all he is trying to find is, would you trust me if its to do with your life or mission critical systems.

I replied, “I will do it, if I trust your capabilities, and know that you are good at the job”. Being a good friend might help, but it bottoms out to whether you are good at what you do. He might be a very good friend, very humble and good-to-talk-to, but would one risk his life (read, systems) for relations? It might be too restrictive and avoiding new less experienced people, but its all about trust. If I trust a person for doing excellent jobs even in new unseen situations then I might risk it; but still not if my system is hugely mission critical – talent and proven.

 

Vikas Rajput (https://vikasrajput.wordpress.com)

Work Life Balance

October 14, 2010 Leave a comment

What’s more important? Your Work or Your Life?

To further that, what’s more important?  Your Work or Your most Dear one’s Life?

We had to face a sad and tough time in these past days. One of my blood Uncle lost his wife (my Aunt). She was dear to me, quite a lot. And she wasn’t keeping too well. A small piece of work was prioritized over her Medical attention requirements –which led to delay in Medical procedures by a day. That delay turned crucial and critical, leaving her unconscious all of sudden. It all happened in quick succession and allied travel to Medical facilities proved an overkill.

I hate the idea of offloading my emotions in open. But it was one of those shear moments which a sensible human shall control – but our illusioned preferences overrides, leaving us with nothing but sorrow. What work can be more important than one’s life (provided you are not amongst a noble Doctor or Defence Personnel). What work can be so more important for taking away rightful time of our’s, from none other than our loved one’s. And if one of them leave this abode all of sudden, we regret if we could have spent more time with them. There is no “more time”, there is no “could have”. Moment is now or never.

If you think you are not around or below poverty lines of your country, think again on why you are over working. One might have financial targets – but whom will you benefit with those achieved targets? Imagine for a second you achieving your targets – and loosing your Beneficiary – your most loved one – one who should be getting everything after you have left this world. Open your eyes. Be diligent on reasons whenever you run into a stretch. At every single instance. Challenge yourself and your authorities on what’s the priority. Over work is unavoidable at times, but it cant be every now and then. If it is happening regularly, tell yourself that you are standing with unskilled Managers and people. If you are Manager yourself, go and take some Time Management and Expectations Management courses. If you cant stand your timelines, you are missing something basic.

Every hour more you spend in office is an hour less you spend with one you value most in this world. There are numerous parents and spouses who know nothing more than your nature of work only – they care for none – but they care for you all along, one who was a child, then started working and is too workaholic to ignore health as well. They care for your health, for your well being, for your balance in life. And for heaven’s sake, be with the person when you are at home, and not with the Newspaper or the TV ! If you are among those living afar from your most loved one’s, call them, message them, tell them “You care for them and you miss them” – no fancy words, no fancy hesitations – say that in plain simple mother tongue of your’s. I still regret I never said it all when I was in UK for an year, away from family – only I can do is try best to overcome that while am here – in person. And if there is just one person reading this, so moved to be immediately speaking to his / her loved one’s – then I would think I have achieved another balanced Life!

How about being Happy!

1) Rejoice the relations. Meet up with a friend that you haven’t seen for a while. In person please!
2) Exercise for about thirty minutes three times a week. I know it sounds alot, but realize this – Your mom is getting older, you better start taking care of yourself (for her sake too).
3) Watch a funny television programme or film.
4) Cut your television viewing by max you can afford (half is good counter to start with).
5) Stop buying goods & gadgets. Buy Experiences. Go to a concert, movie, White water rafting, Trekking, walking or cycling tour to unusual place or strange restaurant. Catch a blind ticket and board the train. Go!
6) Create novel challenges by starting a new hobby, joining an organisation, or learning a new skill – how about swimming !
7) Go for a 20 minute walk in the sun. Without Umbrella ! And, DARE it in June in India ;-D
8 ) Spend ten minutes listening to relaxing or uplifting music. DJ Tiesto! AR Rehman!
9) Spend some time with a pet. Adore a dog!
10) Stop watching and reading the news. I love this! (PLEASE skip this if you have a flight to catch and a volcano has erupted next two blocks)

And if you notice, it doesnt take you out of your busy regime and schedule. You can still be that successful and lovable (or curt) Professional in Office, and yet do them all. I bet you can, I bet I can.

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