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Leadership: Deception / Candour

Recently, I read an article online about how leaders can effectively use deception to get employees to succeed, on how sometimes telling a lie that they are very good can be an effective strategy to elicit good performance from them. A friend and me got to discussing this and he happened to say, “Even armies are coached to deceive their enemies so what is wrong to use it if I can get things done?”

This got me thinking… and here are a few thoughts on that theme…
Staying in the context of  leaders in an organization being deceptive to employees or managers being deceptive to their team members for better performance, and not venturing into aspects of getting one’s way or having a subterfuge personal agenda or war etc. ..  purely keeping this application in mind:

I believe that the word deception can be replaced with either motivation or perception. Instead of really intending to mean deception, one can look at it as choosing to positively motivate by looking at what can be rather than feel pulled down by what cannot be n in helping people see the plus side.

Deception therefore, can be construed as misleading, as overall the point seems to be as an essence – if you can make people believe they can do well, then they will! – and that what we believe is what we achieve – now this, we have been agreeing from eons..

Deception as a strategy, does not help long term in forming allies… or bonding relationships. It helps when you are on opposite sides or it helps when it is a one timer. Otherwise integrity always is the more successful long term option especially when it is leadership.

For example, for a while, going in line with the article, a fantastic example (I do not know of the truth of this example, just that it is quoted in many a places so using it here) of using deception positively: there is this very popular story of how Napoleon got his very disheartened n defeated soldiers to fight back by tossing a coin and saying that if it falls heads then they are destined to win n if tails then to lose – saying which he tossed the coin, it came up heads and the soldiers, motivated beyond themselves, fight and win! Later when his commander calls it luck that the coin flipped heads, Napoleon is said to have smiled and showed him that it was a double headed coin, there was no chance for a tails at all.

Now correlate this powerful example to today’s organizations. Four major differences

1. today’ organizations are flat in hierarchy and nowhere like an army; today’ leaders cannot get away with making such an independent decision

2. the possibility of information staying outside of a grapevine is less likely, thus the probability of more pepole getting to know about the double headed coin is high

3. anyone can walk up and demand information (unless it is strictly confidential) or ask questions to even the leader, thus having the leader to sometimes even answer for and validate his/her strategies sometimes

All the above 3 ways where today’s organizations work differently from the situatuon that Napoleon faced.

Now this deception still would work one time and maybe a second time but what would happen if by chance someone realized that it really wasn’t the truth, that it was deception? That may break the bonds of trust and demotivate even further, leading to disastrous results.  Better way is to go the Kung fu Panda way – that the secret ingredient is yourself – and create and nurture that belief in people that they can achieve a lot more if only they believed to be able to do so.

I mentioned 4 differences in Napoleon’ and current organization’ situation. The 4th is that there it was a crisis and he said what need to be said. One may argue, today also that, maybe in crisis, leaders  can choose to create that deception. Maybe true that sometimes in crisis, leaders have to withhold information and make that choice. But one thing that leaders today can do that Napoleon couldn’t/wouldn’t is that post facto crisis they can sit the team down, tell the facts, and explain to them why it was essential to do what they did and how the strategy to make them believe worked for the best thus causing them to increase their belief in themselves…

All in all, it is the bonds of trust, the transperancy on communication and the positive integrity of the leader that ultimately works long term, both in organizations as well as in relationships.

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June 4, 2016 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning, Training and Learning, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Performance Coaching – The STAR Way

From the era of Ramayana and the Mahabharata in the times of Rama, Krishna, and Drone, performance coaching is an age old tradition in India. In today’s modern world of Shiba Maggon and Gary Kistern still follows the very same principles of the yester years coaching.

In the corporate scenario today, coaching works wonders in helping individual performers and teams achieve excellent results by introspecting within and working together. This not only contributes to the entire persona of the individual, but also and helps organizations move towards sustainable growth.

Coaching as a practice is not about telling one what to do. It is more about understanding the situation by asking questions and aiding the individual to arrive at the right solutions.

Corporate executive coaching requires working with an individual on a particular goal or result area in their professional development. It is usually a creative and thought provoking process by which the coach enables the coachee to think and maximize his/her potential and performance in the goal or result area under consideration. The various goal of coaching can be in areas of career management, performance enhancement, managing personal, professional and organizational changes, enhancing problem solving and creativity, effective conflict resolution, amongst many others.

A trained professional uses many techniques and methods of coaching, one of them also being the STAR model i.e. (a) Situation (b) Task (c) Action and (d) Result model.

The STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) format, an avid interviewer’s powerful tool can also be used as a coaching technique that can be used by executive coaches to help individual and teams enhance performance and productivity in specific areas or situations.
The STAR model can be used when the coach needs to help the coachee to re-visit an experience, learn from the same, and implement in the future.

For example, when there are conflicts occurring in a team, or certain organizational changes like mergers etc, this model works effectively. This is construed by making the coach and the coachee/team to sit together, explore the various facets and avenues of the existing situation through a series of questions, thus gather all the relevant information and there after arrive at a most applicable and sustainable possible solution.

• Situation: Take an example of a situation that can either work as a positive situation or a challenge. Explain and elaborate the situation with all specific details of all the tasks and individuals involved in the situation. Example: the recent disagreement of the employee and their supervisor over a client presentation.

• Task: The various tasks that led to this situation and can lead away from the situation are explored. By asking the appropriate questions such as: Why has this situation occurred in the first place? What has the individual done so as to be in this circumstance? What learning can we take away from the present situation, for the future? What can be done to arrive at a solution in this present scenario? Various options of possible further steps are enlisted.

• Action: What did you do? The earlier actions are re-visited, examined, and evaluated. The coach helps the coachee to identify the aspects in self that created the current situation, understand why it happened, and analyze on what action can be taken to (a) overcome the challenge now, as well as (b) learn to avoid repeating similar scenarios in the future. The various alternative action plans are drawn up and evaluated.

• Results: How was the current situation the outcome of the individual’s past actions? How did the past actions work against the objective the individual had? Once the individual is aware and has eliminated these same aspects in the current possibilities of action, further exploration into the possible outcomes or results of the action to be taken are analyzed. What will be the outcome of the current set of actions? What can the individual achieve through these actions to meet his/her objectives. How can the individual implement the learning from this experience?

The important aspect for a coach to remember while using the STAR model is the ability to ask the right questions and wait patiently for the coachee to explore the situation for possible answers. As a coach, one must always note to remember Winston Churchill saying “Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like to be taught.” Helping one learn themselves from their experience is the core of any coaching process.

Follow the STAR process, and coach away!
You have the power!

Published in ‘The Hans India’ newspaper on 4th Aug 2011

August 5, 2011 Posted by | The Hans India Newspaper, Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time Management: ROI of Seconds

Time Management: ROI of Seconds

ROI… Return on Investment! A term so common and popular in terms of money! Every one of us is usually so careful with where we invest what we earn, with what we can get in return of investing our hard earned money. Here is a question I would like you to ponder upon:

What if a genie were to appear in front of you and offer you an amount of Rs 15,77,66,400/- tax free! Yes, that is right. An amount of Rupees Fifteen Crore Seventy Six Lakhs Eighty Thousand! The only catch is, before you take this money, you got to tell the genie for sure, what you are going to do with it and how you are going to spend it, and you have to then do exactly the same! Here are other points to consider:
(a) the areas in which you spend/invest the money much be specific, i.e. you can’t just say invest and spend – you have to say where and in what
(b) the entire money can be used up in only 3 things – not 2 and not 4, just 3!
(c) you have to say exactly how much of the money you are going to spend for each of the 3 things – either in percentages or in actual amounts

What will you do with the money? Pause here before continuing to read, think for a minute, or more, and write the same down! Be honest with yourself.
What did you write??? Are you sure that is how

Now, let us re-look at the situation. Do you need a genie to come and give you this money? Doesn’t each and every one of us already have it??? How so, you may ask? I don’t see that amount anywhere in my bank accounts, you may ask? Sure, you do not see it in any bank, because it is not yet in form of the money we are used to dealing with in day to day life.

It is however, with each one of yes in yet another form, “time”. Yes, Rs 15,77,66,400/- is right here with us in the form of “time”. Take the next 5 years of your life: that amounts to 1826 days (taking into account one leap year of 366 days): this is 1826*24*60*60 = 157766400 seconds. Thus Rs 15,77,66,400/- is the next 157766400 seconds of your life, i.e. the next 5 years of your life!

Now, revisit the 3 choices that you made. Ask yourself, “If at the end of the next 5 years of my life, the above are the only 3 accomplishments that I would achieve, would I be happy and satisfied?” If your answer is YES, then Congratulations! According to various researches conducted, you come under that lucky 3% of individuals who work on tasks that are in tandem to their goals!

If your answer is NO, then consider this, “Why is it, that when it comes to money, we choose to acquire things with it that we would not value over time?” The reason is very simple. We value time and money in different ways! It is time that we started to value time as money, in fact in today’s scenario, much more than money.

We invest money. We also invest time! We get returns on our money investments. We also get returns on our time investments? The very same ROI (Return on Investment) matrix that applies to money, also applies to time (refer matrix below)!

You can do tasks that need high investment of time with low returns – example, watch hours of television endlessly, surf the internet aimlessly, gossip, and so on. These tasks are time wasters and in order to lead a successful life, we ought to learn to reduce the time we spend on these.

You can do tasks that need high investment of time with high returns – example, register and study a part time course related to career, training programs, reading books, taking vacations with family, and so on. These tasks take time, however, can offer fantastic benefits in our goals and relationships in life, we ought to learn to make time to work on these consistently.

You can do tasks that need low investment of time with low returns – example, having a quick cup of coffee in the midst of work, checking email or facebook, etc every hour, and so on. These tasks do not have much benefit, however, also, do not create any loss.

You can do tasks that need low investment of time and high returns – example, exercising for 15 minutes every day, spending quality 30 minutes with family daily, and so on. These tasks take little time, however the benefits can be profound and long lasting, we ought to learn to find more of these to do every day.

Know your low investment high return tasks, and work on them!
You have the power!

—————————————-
Revathi Turaga is an International Trainer & Inspirational Speaker
http://www.revathionline.com

Published in ‘The Hans India’ newspaper on 22nd July 2011

July 25, 2011 Posted by | The Hans India Newspaper, Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Time Management: Breaking Down Tasks

From business leaders who run billion dollar organizations, to executives who operate an enormous number of projects, to housewives who are involved in a multitude of daily activities, to students who have lots of studious and recreational goals – for every one of the above, there is one factor that helps accomplish more and more. That factor is ‘managing time’!

Has it ever happened that you know you have to finish a task that loomed so large in front you that starting it seemed your worst nightmare?
Has it ever happened that while working on a task after hours, you step back, look at it and feel de-motivated by it being nowhere near completion?
Has it ever happened that you were seriously working on just the one thing the whole day and at the end of the day feels like nothing’s accomplished?

For learning to handle ourselves better those times when we encounter more of the above situations, today we shall look into the aspects of effectively accomplishing huge tasks in the time available.

Completing a huge task is like eating a watermelon. The most time consuming activity is before even beginning to eat it, i.e. to cut it into sizeable pieces. Similarly, to successfully complete a huge task, we need to be able to break it down to more manageable small sub-tasks and systematically plan to accomplish the same.

Given below are 8 steps that will help you to achieve the same:
1. Give yourself time to plan sub-tasks
Many presume that when a task at hand is huge, it has to be started immediately without wasting any time. This is however not true. Research shows that, giving yourself a little silent time to virtually run the task in your mind step by step helps in increasing the overall speed while performing the task.

2. Hierarchy of essential sub-tasks
Every task can be divided into a lot of sub-tasks, some big in themselves and some small. The bigger sub-tasks can further be divided into sub-sub-tasks! It is important to keep the number of sub-tasks at any level to at most 4.

3. Know how much close each sub-tasks takes you to the end goal
Simply knowing that completing the sub-task is essential for accomplishing the huge tasks is not enough. It is important to identify the importance each sub-task has in relation to the main task, so that you can feel the satisfaction of accomplishing something at each step.

4. Identify timelines for each sub-task
Deadlines are set by external factors, and timelines are set by the individual. Set your timelines a little longer than what you believe the sub-task would take, yet within the limits of your deadline. This helps in working methodically towards completion.

5. Understanding connections between sub-tasks
The sequencing of the sub-tasks is of utmost importance. Not doing this, causes one to jump back and forth their plan thus ultimately rendering the planning useless. Noting the connections between different sub-tasks helps not only in placing them in the order they ought to be done, but also in putting the most related sub-tasks together.

6. Delegate certain sub-tasks
Not every minute thing has to be done only by you! If there are any sub-tasks that someone else can do, then please delegate them! Let people help! It helps!

7. Use available titbits of time to finish the smaller sub-tasks
Sometimes, an unplanned time gap pops up in the day. Instead of just letting it go by, find a sub-task that can fit into it and get done with it. This will reduce the pressure later.

8. Focus all your energies in the active sub-task at that moment
How many times do you keep thinking about the list of next things to do while working on one thing? That stops now! Once you have planned out the task properly, focus all your energies only onto the sub –task that you working on at that moment, knowing that the rest of the sub-tasks and other tasks are in their own right time.

Breaking down a huge task into smaller, easily accomplishable sub-tasks not only makes it easier to complete them, but also helps in reducing anxiety and in staying motivated to continue working.

Once you are done with the list, just pick up the first one, and get started!
You have the power!

—————————————-
Revathi Turaga
http://www.revathionline.com

Published in ‘The Hans India’ on 18th July 2011

July 22, 2011 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning, The Hans India Newspaper, Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happiness@Work™

Aristotle once said “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

‘Happiness’, as we know, has been defined by an innumerable many, right from Mahatma Gandhi to the Dalai Lama in their own way. In this article the I define ‘happiness’ as ‘that state of mind that one wishes to come to instantly, so as to respond the way one needs to respond in any given situation or time towards any individual.

In this inspirational and motivational article, ‘Happiness’ is treated, not just as an abstract concept, but also as a few practical and implementable techniques that can be applied at any point in time so as to get one back to a state of positive energy!

The techniques are as follows:

1) Positive Attitude
As Herm Albright said, “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

Positive attitude is about being able to look at situations with a positive outlook, being able to think positive, being able to take purposeful action towards one’s goals, no matter what the situation.

Research suggests that having the inner confidence that success shall come our way and that I can achieve what I want, helps us take on challenging tasks and goals at work.

2) Respond, don’t react
As Charles R. Swindoll puts it, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

Behavioral pychology defines a human beings actions as ‘Response to Stimuli’ from the environemnt. Every time something happens, instead of reacting instantaneously, learn to pause and think of possible cause and effect, i.e., possible reasons and consequences. An attitude of responding is most important today because that is the one choice we have in life!

Research shows that as we learn to think and respond at work, conflicts reduce and more mature and composed discussions are possible, thus leading to effective teamwork and productivity.

3) Appreciation
As Voltaire said, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

Human beings desire appreciation. They are extremely happy when their efforts and talents are appreciated. Telling another that they are apprecited also increases an attitude of gratitude and humility within us.

Appreciating oneself for our accomplishments can be a powerful concept that helps us to constantly stay motivated, especially when no one else does so.

Research shows that in organizations, those constantly appreciated for their good work, tend to feel more motivated to accomplish their tasks successfully.

4) Imagine
Imagine here means to dare to dream.. to dare to think BIG!

Victor Frankl, who spent a few years in “Auschwitz”, said in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, that is it not the problem-free today that keeps one happy n motivated! A problem-free today is virtually not possible. It is, the things that one can look forward to in the future tomorrow, the things that one is yet to achieve, wants to reach n looks forward to doing, that help one be happy today!

Follow the following steps to Achieve Dreams!

4A) Dream Big

4B) Believe in Possibiliies

4C) Power of Visualization

4D) Tell your Network

4E) Planning n Prioritizing

4F) Hardwork n Passion

4G) Write n Review Goals

4H) Celebrate Success

Thus, to be able to get through anything today, and to stay accepting and happy, it is nice to remember where our career is heading, the reason why we are working, and our future plans with this finances and the learning.

5) Smile
As Phyllis Diller rightly said, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

By saying Smile@Work it does not mean to make work a place of humor. The seriousness of tasks that we do, their importance are not to be misjudged in any way. All we need to do is to constantly find something to feel good about at work, or even elsewhere. A smile on your face will brighten up not only your day, but also maybe another’s!

6) Excellence
Excellence for me is defined by Martin Luther King’s powerful “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Striving to perform the best that we can, living up to the standards set in the industry, working towards excellence in whatever we do, while also constantly learning to get better, gives us the motivtion to continue on the journey of our life.

When we strive to excel, we have something challenging to focus on, that uplifts our spirits and helps us re-enter the realm of happiness.

The above are a few simple practical techniques on being constantly happy at work!

Revathi Turaga
http://www.revathionline.com

July 5, 2011 Posted by | Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Myths about Training and Learning

interesting article I found… do not know whether the article is possibly true or the myths are… another question for discussion here is: does a MYTH become TRUE when most people start BELIEVE in it?

Myths about Training and Learning

Myths have a way of perpetuating themselves. There are quite a few related to training and learning too. Everyone seems to believe in them. So much so that they have become sacrosanct and no one even bothers to question them.

 

When I heard some for the first time, it was in the context of a training program that I was myself going through. My first reaction was: ‘Wow! That sounds incredible.’ In the enthusiasm of the collective wows that were generated, I accepted the myths as truth.

But I soon realized I was not comfortable believing in them. Intuitively, I knew they could not be true.

 

Now all these myths seemed to be backed up by solid research though. So I wondered if I was being my usual arrogant self by questioning these supposed universal ‘truths’.

But I started my probe anyway and what I found really warmed my heart! These were myths for sure, very similar to urban legends that get popularized without any sound basis. Read on and join me in smashing them.

 

Myth 1: You remember 10% of what you read, 20% of what you hear, 30% of what you see and 90% of what you do.

 

This is a widely repeated statement by trainers all over the world. Maybe you’ve been subjected to this statement at some time as well. I hope you have  The round figures are easily remembered but completelyJnot made it though. wrong.

 

The findings can be traced to one D.G. Treichler, an employee of Mobil Oil Company, who put forth these figures in 1967.

 

However, the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science has laid claim to the figures, saying they are based on research in the early sixties and bizarrely adding that ‘we no longer have – nor can we find – the original research that supports the numbers’.

Though, there are many arguments against these figures, one that is most obvious is that all the percentages are perfectly round. What research into human behaviour ever resulted in four different round numbers?

 

Myth 2: In communication, only 7% of the meaning is conveyed through the speaker’s words, 55% through his facial expressions and the rest 38% through tone of voice.

 

I am sure you have come across this lulu too, especially if you have attended communication or NLP programs. In one sweeping statement, words are reduced to an insignificant role in the great game of communication.

 

Yet, when we think about this deeply, the fallacies start becoming obvious. Is it really possible that if I get lost in Shanghai and ask a passer-by for directions, I’ll have to work out the correct route mostly from their facial expressions and tone of voice, and not from the words they use?

 

The findings are attributed to research done by Mehrabian but, in reality, they are just a distorted version of what Mehrabian himself has to say on his website. He expresses the results of his research in the form of an equation:

 

Total liking = 7% verbal liking + 38% vocal liking + 55% facial liking

 

He explains that “this and other equations regarding relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages were derived from experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes (i.e. like-dislike). Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable.”

 

Myth 3: We use 10% of our brain (or anywhere from 1% to 15% depending upon where you have read it).

 

This one is so popular, even Albert Einstein is usually roped in as one of the endorsers! The media too has played a role in orchestrating this myth. Many of us therefore look at it as given.

 

Scientists have tried for years to change this misconception. They have clearly stated that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that we use only 10% of our brains. In fact it is very hard to say what using just 10% of your brain means.

It could mean that I could cut 90% of my brain and be just fine or that I just use only one out of every ten nerve cells at any one time. Let’s attack this one with common sense.

 

First of all, it is obvious that the brain, like all other organs, has been shaped by natural selection. Brain tissue is metabolically expensive both to grow and to run.

It strains credulity to think that evolution would have permitted squandering of resources on a scale necessary to build and maintain such a massively underutilized organ.

 

Secondly, losing far less than 90 percent of the brain to accident or disease has catastrophic consequences. Various medical tests reveal that there does not seem to be any area of the brain that can be destroyed without leaving the patient with some kind of functional deficit.

 

Likewise, electrical stimulation of points in the brain during neurosurgery has failed so far to uncover any dormant areas where no percept, emotion or movement is elicited by applying these tiny currents.

 

Having dug hard and deep, I find no evidence at all to support this myth.

The most powerful lure of the myth is probably the idea that we might develop psychic abilities, or at least gain a leg up on the competition by improving our memory or concentration.

 

All this is available for the asking, the ads say, if we just tapped into our most incredible of organs, the brain. It is past time to put this myth to rest, although if it has survived at least a century so far, it will surely live on into the new millennium.

 

The next time you are subjected to this one, just ask the speaker politely “Oh? What part don’t you use?”

 

Author: Shalu Wasu ;  Source: Tickled by Life

 

About Revathi Turaga

Revathi Turaga is an international Meta Mind Management trainer, inspirational speaker, and behavioral coach.

Based in Hyderabad and heading GAMMA’s business development corporate operations in South India, she holds certifications and trains in Edward de Bono ‘s Six Thinking Hats and lateral Thinking, NLP certified practitioner, Creativity, Positive Attitude and Excellence Workshops of Meta Mind Management, psychometric assessments and profiling tools such as DISC, MBTI, PAPI & 16PF, Dale Carnegie’s Presentation skills, etc. She can be reached at +91 98666 45870 or info@revathionline.com. Visit http://www.revathionline.com

November 19, 2008 Posted by | Training and Learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Training Necessary?

Why do I need to attend training programs on communication, personality development, teamwork, leadership, etc.? Isn’t it true that “The Universe is a University” and we can learn everything from our life itself? Then why classes?

 

On the other hand, even as children, we have been trained and preconditioned from day 1… to ask for food, to know how to get attention, how to walk… remember the effort, the falling, the constant encouragement from family and friends, the motivation, appreciation and ultimately results! When we are trained for something as simple as to walk, when we are trained on how to cook, on how to perform our jobs… then don’t we need training on how to live life?

 

I am a trainer… a certified Meta Mind Management expert, I’ve been, all my career, coaching students and executives alike, in groups and individually to achieve excellence in their personal and professional lives by managing their mindsets and sharpening their skill sets… The above is a constant question that I keep answering to know that my passion to pass on learning is my purpose of my life… and that the world and people benefit from it!

Today, I am writing this here… to hear from you… today’s youth…

 

Haven’t many of you asked yourself about this? Looked for answers and debated on reasons why training is or is not required to succeed in life…Now here’s a chance to share what you think… and feel…. to debate on this, to discuss on this, to share your views on this….

 

Write your mind…

 

Revathi

 

April 15, 2008 Posted by | Training and Learning | 6 Comments