Sunday, 7 January 2018

Success in partnership, relations, team building....Co-creativity is the essence !

Co-creation is the essence !
How do you & your team member / partner support each other in getting what each of you really want? "Foster a relation where the sum total of what is achieved together, is higher than what any one could have done alone on their own.." Let's look at both the sides.. If you are a 'leader' and genuinely wish to help your team achieve their goals , you must first help them align their individual goals to that of the team... ! Begin by finding the commons.. If you are a 'part of a team' and genuinely wish to be supported in achieving your individual aspirations as much as contribute to the team, you first need to be clear on your own goals! Begin by stating that explicitly.. There is a Coach in every Leader and Manager who can engage a team constructively , through such communication... It needs a bit of learning and conscious practice.. Holds true for all successful relationships , be it personal or professional..

Thursday, 14 December 2017

To 'meet' or not to 'meet' !



 “Office meetings” seem to be the latest to have come under the scanner in the name of productivity hacks and energy saves... I am talking in context of regular staff meetings in workplace proceedings ... There seem to be more naysayers these days who portray ‘Meetings’ as one big dent when it comes to time and energy well spent. Some say there is no clear agenda, some say the discussions are never followed up with action, while others feel its sheer waste of time and of expensive resources like meeting room space, infrastructure, and many are of the view that it never wins all round participation and hence a useless exercise!
And hence, we see advice coming in from all corners to counter these or altogether do away with them, with an End of Story stamp!
So then, where does meaningful group communication begin!!

   

I ,for one, am a strong supporter of communication at all levels– I believe communication alone helps thrive relationships – personal or at work, and hence Meetings must never stop, perhaps should happen as often as possible! But one can’t totally ignore all the above symptoms which truly highlight the shortfalls too …

There are many ways in which leaders and managers who often conduct or preside over meetings can make it more fruitful. The fact that there is increasing awareness to make it one, will in itself initiate relevant measures, I hope!

Recent posts from colleagues about conducting meetings in informal and casual environment or even off sites to facilitate change and positivity are indeed good boosters; as much as the need for preparation, planning and participation of all in the agenda beforehand; keeping the discussion relevant and to-the-point with tools to monitor follow-up and progress during and later; and the use of technology in conducting virtual meets at times, thus reducing costs - all can be considered. And should be!

My intention of putting this post as a summary is also to remind one and all that meetings do serve important purpose and should indeed be given their due especially in the modern world of technology and messaging through WhatsApp etc.., where as I had recently shared –  “in-person interactions and even telephone- conversations catch us feeling scared and alarmed as to what could be the emergency and why couldn’t we be alerted through a ‘zero-cost typed-message ‘…..instead ! “

The personal touch and the authentic connection is dying a slow death.., we mask the original emotions and intentions with the convenient emojis and crisp acronyms..

Assuming that with all good intent and planning, meetings do take off – in such a case, they can in fact be the most potent tool for any organisation to foster desired culture and alignment of employees with the organisation’s goals.  Throughout my corporate stint leading sales and customer service teams, I can’t imagine how we could ever have navigated our way through challenges had we as a team, not been meeting often. How could I have known my colleagues and their challenges as much as their strengths and talents, had I not been interacting with them ..., how could they have known me beyond my daily instructions and emails, but for the get– togethers! Even now, though I work more with virtual teams, free lancers and collaborate online, frequent meetups through whatever medium possible, is what keeps us connected and totally clued in.
In fact, I have known, many managers, leaders and few of my own supervisors giving new shades to the team meeting exercise by inviting collective ideas on deciding agenda, inviting guest speakers or members from other departments sometimes to share knowledge, encouraging discussions on diverse topics, conducting quizzes, group activities and as such making the daily meets the most sought after event of the day!
Some of the key areas where I believe meetings contribute significantly apart from discussing the main business agenda are –

1)A good platform for organisation culture to be in action, grow and thrive.

         2)The best way to gauge the barometer in terms of where exactly the team is heading        and if everyone’s on the right course.

     3)An opportunity to invite ideas and opinions from one and all thus fostering collective action, creativity, innovation and feedback.

  4)  An opportunity to further team spirit with greater focus on diversity and inclusion.   

5)    An opportunity for a leader to know and observe his team in a setting different from regular work and likewise for the team members as well, in getting to know their leader. 

6)    An opportunity for juniors and subordinates to voice their ideas and add on to their     leader’s vision.

7)    An opportunity for one and all to interact and know better their team mates.

8)    An opportunity to become aware of and further develop skills like assertiveness, communication, speaking and presentation, etc. The kind of presence one brings with himself / herself in meetings very often speaks about his / her character, values and further gives ample chance to develop on collaboration, quick thinking and interpersonal skills.

9)    An opportunity to keep oneself in touch with the long term vision and values of the organisation.  

10) Meetings offer a great platform for introverts and the not so well-networked employees to find a safe place to share their voice and showcase their skills, ideas and abilities. 
11)    An opportunity to do effective analysis, consider multiple angles of any task as also the possible impacts of outside environment etc. thus gearing better towards change management.

12)   An opportunity to spot and identify talent among participating team members as also possibility for better delegation and distribution of work for future.

13)Team meetings offer a great forum for inviting ideas towards hygiene factors, employee welfare, socialising and initiatives to further cost-cutting. These are areas where, in the normal course, people generally shy away from sharing ideas but when invited to brainstorm in a group – setting, they love to pool in.
New champions and heroes normally get to see the light and emerge during such moments!

14)    One also gets to see what could be potential causes of conflict within the group, and hence to be taken up with caution.

15) Likewise, one also gets a chance to delve beneath the surface and gauge the emotional health and morale of team members, sometimes through expressions, verbal and body language, level of positivity etc. that is witnessed in group meetings and discussions.

16)  Employees who meet often and consistently take part in decision-making feel greater sense of ownership, responsibility and accountability towards action !


All in all, there can be so much more that can be achieved through well planned and executed meetings, not to be missed out the main business agenda! Meetings are in fact the torch bearers for nurturing open communication, and trust amongst team members!
So even if you don’t have a solid to-do list for which to call a meeting  right now, there’s enough discussed already that should tempt you to organise one sooner J

We have all heard of the famous quote,
A family who eats togetherstays together.

High performing and emotionally viable teams are also very often the ones who have special ties akin to a family, and hence team meetings some of them in casual setups over coffee and snacks maybe, go a long way in nurturing healthy relations and long term bonds! So don’t wait and I shall be glad to hear more about ideas on what and how to derive the best from office meetings!


 Thankyou for reading my post and I look forward to your comments !
Feel free to download an ebook that I have written to help you see the endless possibilities that Life has to offer , The Ultimate Guide to Living a life of Endless Possibilities
About the Author :
Namita is an Internationally Certified Success Coach, Career Strategist and Life Coach with ICF credentials .(International Coach Federation). She is also a Corporate Trainer, Writer and Speaker on a mission to help everyone unlock their infinite potential and build an extraordinary purposeful life.Her detailed professional profile can be viewed at https://in.linkedin.com/in/namita-sinha-success-coach-a0526749 Coaching and Training requests can also be routed through http://coachgrab.com/namita-sinha; https://twelveweek.com/namita ; http://www.happcoach.com/coaches/mentors/namita-sinha ; https://www.facebook.com/rainbowhues2211; https://www.tlrnow.com/mrs-namita-sinha ;


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Dose of Inspiration ...Passion is overrated unless backed by incessant toil !

What really Matters !

While passion and knowing what you love to do is a good position to start from , anytime and everytime , it shall remain overrated unless backed by incessant action, toil, hunger to learn,  picking up on new skills , readiness to explore, to evolve and transform , being resilient of the pitfalls and so much more .. It’s about  being  excited about the daily commute and the bumpy ride as much as the ultimate destination !


We all have dreams and ambitions, and when one is in those phases of life where multiple choices and availability of options, -  quite a fad ;  endless advice – both asked for and many unsolicited, being showered from various corners, ;building and shattering of idols - an everyday phenomenon .., it could get a bit draining and chaos to pick up on focus  !
Yes, I am writing from a recent experience of having interacted with a bunch of talented college students enthusiastically chalking out a career plan…, !

And somewhere I felt, that as  Coaches  and Mentors,we need to redo certain basics for them - the positioning of  true passion and love for what you do needs to be amply supported with the need for respecting the journey and the efforts that need to go in managing  the mundane and the not so exciting …


-SUCCESS COACH – NAMITA SINHA

Friday, 24 November 2017

Choose to Eliminate !

A few days back, I was helping my seven year old daughter , studying in second standard, with her preparation for Olympiad Exams- there were more of multiple choice questions , and what I noticed was , in cases where she wasn't sure of the answer, she quickly mastered the method of first eliminating the 2 or 3 wrong options and then focusing on the remaining probables to arrive at the best answer ! And when my curiosity took over, she gladly calmed me by letting me know she had picked this up from the ever so popular TV show, "Kaun Banega Crorepati" (adapted from 'Who wants to be a Millionaire'), hosted by none other than Big B , - where Mr. Bachchan has indeed been gracious enough to let participants strike off the wrong options before locking in the correct answer, in some cases .. Amusing , isn't it !
It kind of pushed me down the memory lane of my own student days and I recalled that techniques as these were learnt by us when we were close to appearing in professional competitive exams and were as grown up as having cleared our 12th standard ! And there again, I remember Multiple choice questions could make or break your test scores if you didn’t know how to approach them.
The adoption of such methodologies for exams and of such tricks at such a young age as that of my daughter may not be the best thing to happen , and this I shall leave for the time being, to be discussed for later.. 
However, interestingly what I want to take up right now is the fact that things do get simplified and decision making becomes easier with - "smart elimination before selection " as one of the initial steps !!  
Again going back to the lot of competitive exams - citing the case of paucity in the number of seats available in Medical and Engineering Colleges in our country, for example, "elimination again remains the guiding criteria for declaring final results"- it doesn't matter whether one scored 90% or 80% or 70 %, if there are say 300 seats, then the top 300 scorers get through - and therefore what really matters is how well you faired the elimination criteria , simple !! 
All these examples have used "rejection" based on certain "constraints" as a successful method of narrowing down on options and making quick decisions ! So how does that work for us in all areas of our life ?
As a Success Coach and as an Optimist, I have always stood for the power of making choices and the existence of endless possibilities in one's life !! 
Come to think of it, we end up making choices both big and small throughout every single day of our life. What do we want to have for breakfast? What time should we meet a friend for dinner? What college should one go to? How many children do you want to have?
When faced with some decisions, we might be tempted to just flip a coin and let chance take over, however in most cases, we follow a certain strategy in order to arrive at a decision.
For some of the complex and important ones, we are more likely to invest a lot of time, research, effort, and mental energy into coming to the right conclusion. At initial stages of decision making then , when one is confronted with too wide a choice and uncertainty beyond someone's grasp - be it career, marriage, business or any other context- it is indeed a great way to refer to the elimination method - first establish the criteria of what's really important to us - and when an item fails to meet the criteria - cross the item off our list of options. Our list of possible choices gets smaller until we eventually circle down to a few options .., - tremendous energy saved and good riddance from ambiguity ..! Talking of Coaching , I have seen this type of sequential elimination proving useful to some of my clients especially those in the process of making career decisions. 
Needless to say, what plays a crucial role is to be clear enough of our own values and what really matters to us when establishing the yardstick of elimination , and at what stage ! The temptation to surrender to negative beliefs or remaining stuck in our comfort zone can sometimes take a toll, and therefore one needs to understand the big picture with an open mind !
Another interesting implication of this could very well be put to use by businesses, marketers and salespersons - who need to be extremely close to the decisionmaking biases of their potential customers.By knowing in advance what elimination criteria is being widely used to filter the umpteen choices available to a consumer, before finally zeroing in on a certain set of options - they could benefit immensely in redefining their product / service / marketing campaigns !
Great artists do this too, and the quote by Pablo Picasso talks of his personal philosophy , “Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.”
I had read somewhere that when it came to his design philosophy , Steve Jobs too, was always obsessed with eliminating the unnecessary — eliminating buttons, confusing additions in user-interface, and removing complexity.
The Zen and Taoist masters have also been attributed with sayings such as — to become a master is to eliminate one superfluous thing everyday, rather than adding one thing a day.
I would love to hear from my readers, where all do you see such elimination at play while making decisions in your own life and how does it serve a purpose !
______________________________________________________________________
Thankyou for reading my post and I look forward to your comments !
Feel free to download an ebook that I have written to help you see the endless possibilities that Life has to offer , The Ultimate Guide to Living a life of Endless Possibilities
About the Author :
Namita is an Internationally Certified Success Coach, Career Stategist and Life Coach with ICF credentials .(International Coach Federation). She is also a Corporate Trainer, Writer and Speaker on a mission to help everyone unlock their infinite potential and build an extraordinary purposeful life.Her detailed professional profile can be viewed at https://in.linkedin.com/in/namita-sinha-success-coach-a0526749 Coaching and Training requests can also be routed through http://coachgrab.com/namita-sinha; https://twelveweek.com/namita ; http://www.happcoach.com/coaches/mentors/namita-sinha ; https://www.facebook.com/rainbowhues2211; https://www.tlrnow.com/mrs-namita-sinha ;


Saturday, 11 November 2017

How to Avoid getting into an Argument!


How to Avoid getting into an Argument!

Whether it be confrontations between work colleagues, spouses, parents and children, or friends; we have all witnessed those uncomfortable moments when a seemingly well meant conversation unknowingly sparks into an argument …, and we all wish we could somehow know our  way around how to never let such communication breakdowns occur.
There is good news, knowing few basic skills of expressing ourselves, can indeed lead to safer, closer bonds and avoid conflicting behaviors.
Let us first get  apprised  with three fundamental ideas around our basic tendencies and needs during communication and this shall help us understand better ,why sometimes  some dialogues can break down and turn into arguments.
In any conversation,
*We usually talk because we think whatever we have to say is important enough to be conveyed.
*It is impossible to not communicate. Communication is the most fundamental behaviour for social existence and human relationship. Hence we all communicate, all the time.., though some forms of communication are more harmonious, easily understood and successful than others.
*Through communication, people try to fulfil an inherent emotional need of being understood by others, and this need of being understood is more valued by every person when compared to the need of being agreed with. If we feel misunderstood we will likely continue the conversation in an attempt to clarify our intent…

Concentration camp survivor Victor Frankl had said,
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Let’s have a look at few ways of how we can build on this power of choosing our response well while communicating , and do keep in  mind the above three underlying principles of communication that often hold the clue to why sometimes there is a conflict like situation !
How to avoid arguments and communicate without being defensive or offensive:
1)Feel secure in who you Are - Being secure in yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself because you won't need to be validated by anyone else besides yourself. You're less likely to get defensive or hurt over something critical about yourself, when you know for sure that it's not true.You shall then have the ability to talk calmly without feeling like you have to defend yourself every minute.
2) Listen instead of retaliating: Genuinely listen to all of the points being talked of and see where they are coming from. 
Watch out for any tendency towards strategizing or thinking about your next attack to defend yourself or offend the other person, because the less you try to protect your identity, the better you may feel.
3) Think Long-Term Instead Of Short-Term : Strategize your thinking so you can see the big picture and focus on long-term goals instead of trying to win the battle. Being impulsive with your emotions means you're only thinking about how you feel at the moment. Before arriving at any quick judgments, take a pause or a deep breath and try to pay close attention to the end-result of your actions.  

4) Learn How To Receive Criticism: Without taking things too personally or getting hurt with negative thoughts, it’s important to listen and also remember the benefits of getting genuine feedback . You can always turn it around into a positive experience by picking up the learning and letting the negative feeling go.

5) Its okay to be wrong: There are those instances when you may realize that the other person just might be correct about what they are saying. Give yourself permission to be wrong, and also give that permission to others. Hopefully you will not feel the need to defend yourself over and over again, or hurl unfair accusations at others.

6) Don’t assume  : Don’t assume that what you know is obvious to others. It wasn’t always obvious to you. Give everyone the benefit of doubt.  
"As  much  effort  as  we  put  in  wanting  others to understand us, so  much if not more should go in us trying to  understand others , too !" 

7.) Focus on indicators at the level of your own “feelings and emotions”. Try to understand the repeat patterns of your feelings to figure out when and why you behave argumentative.

Try to uncover the particular unfulfilled need at emotional level that you try to deal with by getting into an argument, and this awareness shall help you contemplate better, how you want your emotions to come across.

A regular reference to all these points and a conscious incorporating of these into regular communication can help you keep a watch before any conversation starts taking a turn towards the conflict mode. Remember, effective communication with others depends on successful communication within you… In your desire to be transparent to others, you must first be clear within yourself.

Thankyou for reading my post and I look forward to your comments !
Feel free to download an ebook that I have written to help you see the endless possibilities that Life has to offer , The Ultimate Guide to Living a life of Endless Possibilities
About the Author :
Namita is an Internationally Certified Success Coach, Career Stategist and Life Coach with ICF credentials .(International Coach Federation). She is also a Corporate Trainer, Writer and Speaker on a mission to help everyone unlock their infinite potential and build an extraordinary purposeful life.Her detailed professional profile can be viewed at https://in.linkedin.com/in/namita-sinha-success-coach-a0526749

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Is Your Work Your Worth !

We recently acknowledged the World Mental Health Day, and the theme this year set by the World Federation for Mental Health is mental health in the workplace.
A huge number of the working population today puts on a smiling mask to hide their pain as they head to work each day...
Is this truly the kind of life that we dream for ourselves or for our children who are constantly reminded to brace themselves for the grind ahead.. ?
Needless to say, there exists the need for much greater awareness and sensitivity around this; it’s imperative to acknowledge and deal with the problem head on, and prevent any stress like situation to arise. However the big picture draws our attention to the grim side - that of a recurring pattern of discontent and stress that is leading to mental health problems, depression and related diseases.
Are we then becoming the slaves of this situation and letting our job related struggles become our identity through our entire life?
Many consider work related stress as a norm and a natural byproduct of an ambitious life, they choose to bury the issues or resort to temporary quick fixes not realizing that our subconscious mind that operates 90-95% of our behaviors ,rarely forgets !
As we are becoming increasingly aware of an epidemic like situation, we better pause for a moment and question ourselves - what are the real reasons within us or in our environment that is leading to all the struggle and pain; and what’s the impact on our lives in the long term…
As a Success Coach , I am approached more often by clients who wish to seek support in meeting their career goals .., however through the coaching process, it never begins or ends there.., it’s always more about self discovery, awareness and empowerment towards finding one’s unique purpose and unique solutions !
As responsible human beings, it’s our onus to discover the root cause of every challenge and paint the canvas of our life with the colors that make it most beautiful...
I remember one of my clients - a well to do entrepreneur, proud of her transition journey from full time job of 15 years to having set up her flourishing boutique for some years now, and a settled married life with two kids, - seemingly happy! She approached me to help her take better control of her business and take it to new heights. As we began our conversation, she discovered that at the core, she was not completely in charge. Her procrastination, lack of enthusiasm and fears in accepting new assignments were troubling her, slowly spilling on to her personal and family life as well .Through few coaching sessions- now comfortable and willing to narrate her own story in a safe and trusting space, she came face to face with her sadness – all coming from those last years of her job where she had witnessed dwindling performance, lack of recognition and trust from her seniors in giving her independent assignments - from there she had unconsciously planted seeds of believing herself as ‘not being good enough “ for taking up anything big - be it in her personal or professional life. It took us sometime, to help her figure out further, but once cleaned of the blocks and fears, it turned out to be extremely liberating, setting her free with new wings!
The big realization here was that her entire identity up until that point in her life had been formed around that particular negative experience at work, and this may happen with many who lose jobs, suffer layoffs or unmet expectations from careers ..
When your work defines you and becomes your identity, everything that happens at work seems personal..
Many people have either defined themselves—or been defined by others—from day one, thanks to the strong messages that society keeps broadcasting ever since we are children”, that the title on your business card is directly connected to your worth as a human being,” and further reinforces it regularly with unfair feelings of envy and comparison ..
Reminds me of my own post I had written a year back in the context of children and how early we start asking them about what they wish to become when they grow up, http://mydovecorner.blogspot.in/2016/02/somethings-that-matter-guilty-or-not.html
By defining yourself by what you do and the success you have achieved at your job, rather than by who you are, you can put yourself in emotional jeopardy. You lose touch with your faculties, gifts and higher powers, - and coping with life transitions, such as job loss or downfall in business, can become even more difficult.
Our work and our careers no doubt form an important component in our life. We all feel happiest when we realise to the best- our potential to create and to use our gifts; and beyond just working to pay bills, we often feel more fulfilled when we are doing the type of work we love.
But if you have few interests outside of work; you feel restless when you're not working; you can't carry on a conversation without referring to something at work; you make yourself available to people at work round the clock; and when you're at home with family, your mind is back at work – then you've allowed yourself to be defined too much by your job.
If that describes you, then keep in mind the intangible price that you may end up paying for the success you are chasing without first establishing the awareness and clarity of what you as an individual stand for, and the story that you keep telling to yourself and to the world!
Some people live their entire lives this way, without ever feeling the desire or a reason to change. But we all have the power to choose, to make good a chance to start creating a version of our best life.
Our self-identity is more about our potential, our values and qualities as a human being, and who we are as individuals. What we do for work is a piece of our lives..
We all need to have a solid identity apart from our job title. We need to redefine our sense of achievement and accomplishment- and to truly live a life – a life which has a meaningful purpose that excites us to get out of bed every morning, looking forward to activities and pursuits that are as important as work. This essentially means a healthy work-life, where we are not emotionally tied to work ,every second of our existence.
It is imperative that we start looking at developing strong and healthy emotional connections with people outside of work that can help provide meaning in life, and provide the support if and when we have a sudden career change or challenges at work.
Where there is sadness, heal it. Set yourself free...
I invite each of you to study your life, go through the process of understanding and defining who you are, not just what you do... This self-examination alone, will give you the strength to survive the ups and downs of a career and work -life...!
And it all begins with the process of self-discovery. This may call for outside support and consulting  a coach or a professional who has the training to help you unpack…, in the most trusted and non judgmental space, ..
Whatever it may take, don’t wait for a jolt before you ask yourself the crucial question, “Why are you here. . .” towards finding your authentic self.
It’s never too late to be who you were meant to Be! - George Eliot

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About the Author :
Namita is an Internationally Certified Success Coach, Career Stategist and Life Coach with ICF credentials .(International Coach Federation). She is also a Corporate Trainer, Writer and Speaker on a mission to help everyone unlock their infinite potential and build an extraordinary purposeful life.Her detailed professional profile can be viewed at https://in.linkedin.com/in/namita-sinha-success-coach-a0526749 Coaching and Training requests can also be routed through http://coachgrab.com/namita-sinha; https://twelveweek.com/namita ; http://www.happcoach.com/coaches/mentors/namita-sinha ; https://www.facebook.com/rainbowhues2211