Powerful tool on client leadership!

Empowering Women

I don’t know how many of you got a chance to go to corporate training. Usually, corporate training is supposed to be fun. Relaxing on the beach, boozing and partying are common in most training. Training is one of the perks that bigger organisations use as a bait to retain their top-performing employees. I was totally hooked on to it and attended several training sessions. Our training used to be gruesome but fun.

Most of the training that I attended was based on Time Management skills, Client servicing, Pitching process, Financials etc. One of the most interesting training was Client Leadership . It felt as if I got a tool for life. It is very powerful and can be applied anywhere in corporate life. There was a two-day training in phuket. I am not sure if I can detail out the entire learning but I will share as much I could –

So, name of…

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5 Reasons why you shouldn’t cancel appointments

The reason I felt the need to write this post is because I have noticed that people generally tend to cancel their appointment at last minute. And that is not good. Not only for a business meeting but even for a casual meeting, in case you have an appointment fixed, make sure you honor that.

For example – You have a fixed appointment for a deal. But just before the meeting you got to know that there are chances of getting a better deal. One generally tend to cancel this appointment to secure the other one. In business, this is justified because one goes for a better deal. But what I am trying to say– don’t cancel your scheduled appointment. Meet the person and let her know that you have a better offer and you would like to consider that. This way you would set their expectations. They may be disappointed but they will respect you for the gesture.

Similarly, you have fixed an appointment with a friend. You don’t want to go as you don’t feel like stepping out. That is not acceptable. And below are reasons why you shouldn’t just cancel your fixed meeting.

5 reasons you shouldn’t cancel an appointment:

1) Expectations from both sides:

Hard to predict what the other person is expecting out of this meeting. She could be excited to talk about her new project or any new thoughts. She could be going through a bad time and needs a friend. Or she has a proposal for you to consider. If you cancel the meeting last minute, you are losing an opportunity to hear her side of the story.

2) Disappointing & Hurtful:

If an appointment is fixed means the time has been booked in advance. Both sides are looking forward to it. Last minute, you hear about cancellations. This is disappointing. You have to weigh options, the urgent matter is more important than the meeting. In case it is unavoidable, make sure you call and apologize.

3) Time is wasted:

When an appointment is booked means that someone has allocated time for you. It is hard to rejig the calendar if the meeting gets canceled last minute. You will end up wasting someone else’s time. Time is important for everyone.

4) Mutual Respect:

Cancelling an appointment is a big blow to the mutual respect. Even though the other person says ‘ok’ for the reschedule, she is disappointed. She doesn’t look at you in same way as it was before. It gets worse if you don’t call to apologize and request for rescheduling. Canceling appointment should be last option.

5) Speaks a volume about you as “human being”:

Honouring appointments speak a lot about the kind of person you are. Your sensitivity and respect (for others) will earn you similar sensitivity and respect. People would like to be associated and you may end up benefitting in the long run.

I have had people who cancelled dinner appointments on the same day. We had started the preparations and last minute the person called to inform that he had prior engagements and he double-booked himself. Of course, the apology was accepted but the reason for cancelling the appointment did anger me. He is still not being invited for dinner.

Similarly, a friend requested for a lunch appointment. And on the same day, she canceled it. The time was being booked for about a week. Though I understand that she may have something important to attend but how many times it happens that we end up canceling appointments for no good reason.

I want people to realize that how bad it is to cancel appointments! Don’t do that unless it is necessary.

Do share with us if you had similar experiences.

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Wait for your ship to come in!

Ship
Wait for your ship to come

At a young age, I read somewhere “Don’t wait for your ship to come in, Row out to meet it”. Since then it lingered in my mind. It perfectly matched with my personality. I am always filled with energy and ready to act. That means that if I want something, I would always take an initiative to get that. One of the reasons why I traveled several miles away from my hometown to a big city was because I was searching for a new and different life. Since then, there is no stopping. Whatever I desired in life, I always jump on to find ways to get it. Most of the time I was successful. So, this teaching did work for me.

After gaining many years of experience, I realized that it is not always good to take that first step. One needs to assess whether it is worth going to the ship or wait for the ship at the shore. At times, virtues like patience and endurance bear sweeter fruits. In the end, if it doesn’t work out then probably, something better is waiting for you.

For example – If you want to go to good school, you would give your best to get in. Let’s change a situation – If you are keen to join a company, you would wait for the best offer.
Another example – If you want to make good friends, you would reach out to people. But if you are in a romantic relationship, you would wait for another person to respond your interest.

All I am saying is to evaluate a situation and strategise on how would you approach. Always being a go-getter doesn’t help. People may view you as an aggressor or an opportunist. The aggressor is not necessarily a terrible thing. There are situations that need you to have an aggressive attitude. Aggressors have better survival instincts too.

But it is not necessarily that aggressors will always get the best deal. If that would be the case, then the only people who are ever successful in life would be go-getters. And that’s not true. People, who are less aggressive but successful, give credit to luck/fate. According to them, they never thought or worked towards achieving the success. It happened along the way. They were only focussing on their work. And enjoyed what they were doing.

The challenge with go-getters is they don’t handle their disappointments very well. If they don’t achieve their goal, they get disheartened. They invest all their energy and focus on getting to the ship. At times their estimation of the time/effort isn’t correct. That leads them to the feeling of failure. Again failing is not a bad thing. People should learn from their failures and do better in life. Obsessing over a goal is not good.

Go-getters tend to overlook many good things in life including relationships due to their obsession towards goal.

To all young people out there, be more calculative on your life goals and decide on which strategy works best. So, you will not be just successful but satisfied at the same time. Success and satisfaction should go hand in hand for a happy life.

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NUGGET 2

First Nugget was appreciated a lot. This initiative acts as a reminder. Lessons we learned in the past are still valid. But we tend to forget due to the daily distractions.

In case you didn’t catch the first Nugget, you can always read here – Nugget 1

 

             Today’s Nugget: The world is not black and White. But GREY!

 

 

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Life is grey!

 

From childhood days, we are always taught what is right and wrong. This sense of judgment is based on what our parents/teachers/elders were taught by their elders. This sense is deeply engraved in our minds through teachings and education system. We use this to make all kinds of decisions in life. As we grow old, we develop our own sense of judgment, and realize that one cannot decide to an extreme. For example, you had a fight with a neighbor, and you vowed to never speak to her. During an emergency, as a human being, she lends her hand for help. In this case, you cannot definitely say that the person is bad.

If your experience in an incident has been bad, you cannot term it “bad” forever. One has to look with different perspectives. Even after your evaluation, you shouldn’t reach to a conclusion immediately. The conclusion is THE END. If you have already decided, then you are not open for a dialogue/negotiation.

When it comes to people, you must remember that there is nothing black or white. Everyone has their own perspective. To get a better view, one should think herself in other person’s shoes. This will help you to stay away from taking biased decisions. This would also improve your communication skills and have a better relationship with people around.

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How to get an interview call?

Keep trying
Looking for a job

If you are frustrated by spending hours, filling up the application forms and still didn’t get interview calls. Then, it’s time to evaluate the job application process. The job market is tough. The competition is higher. One has to go an extra mile to get noticed.

The biggest challenge is that there are too many applicants for limited job vacancies. Chances are that you may end up under piles of other resumes. Therefore, it is highly recommended that every day the first thing a job seeker should do is to mark all the jobs that he would apply. That’s how he can be under top ten applications.

5 key steps you should take to stand out from the crowd:

1) Read the job description carefully:

So, basic, right?! Trust me more than 50%, apply by seeing the title of the job. They don’t get into the details of roles. To stay ahead, it is important to read the description in detail.You will be in better position to present yourself.

2) Attach Cover Letter:

No matter how lame you feel about writing cover letters. If you are serious about getting an interview call, then do little extra. From the first point, if you know the details, you would know how to position yourself to the company. It is not necessary that your profile matches 80% of the requirements. The most important is the attitude and wilingness to take up the job.

3) Resume/CV:

This is the first representation of you. It has to be sleek and concise. Someone who deals with hundreds of CVs would be quick in filtering them. The headline and keywords in the CV should be in line with the job description. Maybe you don’t change the content everytime but changing the headline is important.

4) Complete the details in Application form:

It can very frustrating when “taleo” (online application system) doesn’t respond fast enough. Worse is when you have filled the application form and at the last stage, it doesn’t let you submit. You need to refresh the page and fill in the details again. One can’t escape dealing with taleo but can bring it down. Write all particular on a separate sheet. Use the sheet to fill in taleo. Most of the recruiters use this form for screening. So, it is important that they have all details handy.

5) Follow up on your application:

90% of the applicants wait for the employers to get back. But these CVs are being vetted by a human being and he may have missed your CV. After the application is submitted, one can track the progress in the system. If not, reach out to company’s HR on your application.

6) Apply through an internal candidate:

Application through internal candidates is given more weight compared to direct applications. Most companies have employee referral program and they tend to trust internal recommendations. If you have any professional connection with an employee, don’t hesitate to reach out. They would be happy to help because it is in their interest too.

If we are not doing above steps then it’s like shooting arrows in the dark. These steps don’t guarantee a call but improve your chances for sure.

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How to Survive & Thrive During Job Loss!

 

Job loss

15 years ago, my father lost his government job. He was not alone. The central govt. of India decided to shut down the factory. Thousands of workers lost their jobs. It was a national news for many weeks. Till date, there are talks of reviving the Sindri fertilizer factory. Before shutting down, the govt. had given notice to all employees. But labor union played politics and stuck to their demands. The factory was running in losses. That lead to a decision to shut down the factory. The people were in awe. Losing a govt. job was unheard of. Nobody would have thought, not even in their dreams that govt. would take such a drastic step.

I was in college and my brother was in school, ready to go to college. It was a huge financial trouble in the family. Luckily, both my parents were working so our family survived. As my dad recalls, the first morning after voluntary retirement, he was sitting on the porch, angry and hurt. He was concerned about the future. He wasn’t prepared for the news.

The job loss is a big hit in a person’s psyche. He suddenly loses his self-worth. Relatives and friends came in to say sympathetic words. Some of my father’s friends/colleagues couldn’t survive the shock. They either went into depression or lost their lives (due to heart attack). The beautiful and peaceful sindri town turned into barren land.

15 years forward, I started working in corporate/MNCs. With the advent of globalization, anyone can open, any shop in any part of the world. A lot of people including us were benefitted because of private corporate jobs. The income level of lower middle-class rose. A happy and prosperous life was smiling. Children studied hard so that they could secure a high-paying corporate job. Climb the corporate ladder to become future leaders.
Then came, 2008 crisis. Many jobs were lost. Many dreams were shattered. A large chunk of banking and finance related jobs got cut. It had a ripple effect in other sectors too. Since then, corporate leaders learned a new method of running the business profitably and that is through “restructuring“.

When bottom lines are hit, they would cut a certain percentage of the workforce. That’s how they can continue to show profitability and raise company’s value. This is more prevalent is companies that are 10-15 years old.

Job losses are part of modern corporate life. It is inevitable. It has nothing to do with how hard you have worked for the company, how many years of experience you have, how many promotions you go that year or for that matter, even if you have been awarded “best employee” in that year. If your CTC (cost to company) is high and you are not aligned with company’s future, most likely you may have to say “goodbye”.

Parents and loved ones should understand that job loss is very common. Best is to lend support and help the person recover from the loss. Resilience is the only way to survive.
It’s necessary to have a solid financial plan laid out. One can continue to maintain a certain lifetsyle. Don’t associate self-worth with job and have a hobby that can be turned into business.

One of the biggest hurdle is the willingness to start afresh. Especially with age, ability to learn new skill diminishes. That must change. People should be ready to re-skill and start all over again. There is NO other choice. Every five years, job requirements change. In case you want to be relevant and continue to work for long, that is the way to go. Else news like 10,000 jobs would be lost due to AI would continue to haunt you.

Why can’t we make job loss a cool thing?! You never know from where and what kind of opportunity will knock on your door. Next time when you hear about anyone’s job loss, don’t JUDGE. Just lend a hand.

Job loss may also end up opening entrepreneurial doors for you. After few weeks of consideration, my dad joined my mom’s business and expanded it. And for last 15 years, they are successfully running the business and are proud of it.

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3 Grave Mistakes All Working Women are doing!

It’s been ten years in advertising, work has become a significant part of life. I decided to take a break, when I found out that work had overtaken my life. I eat, drink and sleep work. Initially, I decided to take a six-month break, but then cut it short to 3 months.
During my break, I am meeting many women who are spending long hours in offices. That’s when I realized that all working women are doing similar mistakes. One should fix it to lead a more fruitful life.

Self worth
working life

3 grave mistakes that all working women are doing today:

1) Associating “self-worth” with the office:

Working women know how important office is, in their life! Going to office and creating a value in the company is a huge motivation. They are proud of being financially independent, meeting people and doing something beyond household responsibilities.

Gradually, you start identifying yourselves as “whatever position” you are holding in the company. You start associating your self-worth with the position. You hold some value outside office. Your family/friends/loved ones don’t love you because of that position in office. They love you because of who you are. They are proud of your achievements but they don’t associate your life success with office success.
It’s important that women start considering a real life. Taking care of people who care for you. Work-life is fickle but life beyond work stays.

2) Not paying “enough” attention to the family:

Let’s all admit that as a working wife and mother, we tend to pass on the responsibilities to a helper. I won’t blame you because after a long day at work who wants to entertain kids or do the cooking! But again, from the first point, (if in your mind) office is more important then you tend to spend more time there. All I am saying is that it is important to balance life. Being a career oriented is good but being overly ambitious (with a family at home) is not good. There are many women who miss out on their baby’s first walk or their first smile. They regret later in life. Don’t spend time with the family physically but be involved mentally as well. It can be exhausting but then you will understand soon that’s it is all worth it. I am sure you are taking care of your family in the best possible way. All I am saying is that you can do better.

3) Paying “attention” to the health:

And this is not just about physical health. I am talking about mental and emotional health too. What do you do to keep your emotional health up? What do you do for yourself? The usual reaction is where is the time? And yes! working in an office could be tiring. But if it is tiring you and you are not enjoying, do you still want to do it? Most of the women would say “yes”. Because they want to keep holding their illusion (important) life. Putting a load on only one side of the vehicle is dangerous. If it bursts, your life is derailed. To maintain a balanced life, think about spending time in doing something you love (any hobby) or meeting new people, traveling, making friends outside of work, creating a beautiful life outside of work life. And that is long lasting.

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