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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

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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

Turn Adversities into Opportunities…

Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.
William A. Ward

Achievement… Winning… Success… Goals…
Almost each time these words come to our mind, so do other words…
Adversities… Obstacles… Problems…

Adversity is a fact of life. It can’t be controlled. What we can control is how we react to it. And how we can succeed in spite of it!
When faced with adversity we can give up and adopt the poor me attitude. Or we can look at adversity as an opportunity to find ways to do
things… We can be determined, persistent and persevere. It all comes down to your choice – and it is a matter of choosing to achieve; to win
over the adversities; and to succeed!

We may not be able to do anything about the adversities that life brings us… What we can control and manage however – is the courage and
determination with which we perceive our goals to win over challenges…
and to achieve our successes…

Achieve the Meta Mind way… Turn every adversity into an opportunity today!! 🙂

Also see http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=2e229dc2-9c45-4f63-b249-ad276d61b520 

Revathi Turaga
International Meta Mind Management and Certified Edward de Bono trainer
www.revathionline.com

January 11, 2009 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Meta Mind Elements of Excellence…

A professional today has to breathe and live his/her dream 24×7, and have the ability to put up with tremendous stress… which does not come easy

As we venture into our journeys, armed with our passion, knowledge and skills, there is a comprehensive list of 54 elements of Meta Mind Management™, a researched one stop technique and framework that helps us increase our speed, target the right audience, and achieve results, to practice and use to achieve the same…

Meta Mind Management™ is a behavioral science that provides a model, framework, methodology and philosophy for personal and professional excellence using international concepts for managing mindsets and sharpening skill sets, to achieve success and happiness.

To simplify this, 🙂 over our research of successful and high achievers, amongst others, in this world, it has been found that, there are certain common factors amongst them. They share certain –

1. Values – These are our desired results, and motivators – What we value, aspire for and are precious to us in life. These are our goals. Research provides 9 values that peak performers share to achieve success in life. These include goals like peace of mind, financial freedom, health, relationships, professional goals amongst others.

2. Beliefs – These are feelings of certainty. Based on experiences, we develop belief systems that determine what we do and what we don’t in life. Research provides 9 beliefs that peak performers share to achieve success in life. These include believing in oneself, in hard work, in being in charge of one’s life amongst others.

3. Attitudes – These are our thought patterns & perspectives. This has also to do with the fact that we get what we expect from life, and how we look at life. Research provides 9 attitudes that peak performers share to achieve success in life. These include an attitude of learning, positivity, humility, and gratitude amongst others.

4. Skills – These are our abilities exhibited as behaviors. This is about knowing how to do anything and to practice and perfect that. Ultimately, al skills narrow down to communication at different levels. Research provides 9 skills that peak performers share to achieve success in life. These include communication, creativity, goal setting, assertiveness, and leadership amongst others

5. Qualities – These are our habits which over a period of time, become attributes. Actions when repeated over a period of time become habits; and habits which when become ingrained in ones personality becomes one’s attributes which are exhibited or described as qualities. This is when others define us by these qualities, for example – that we are disciplined. Research provides 9 qualities that peak performers share to achieve success in life. These include discipline, passion, confidence, responsibility, and empathy amongst others

6. Knowledge – This is to have awareness of the laws of excellence in this world. Knowing the laws of human behavior, which are as true as the law of gravity  and science, gives us insights that can help us to create change. Research provides 9 laws of human behaviors that peak performers accept and work with to achieve success in life. These include the law of control, of change, of focus, and of honesty, amongst others.

Revathi Turaga
+91-92915-39560

December 9, 2008 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Concept of Forgiveness

Let me ask you this question – Should we easily forgive those who have caused us grief and anguish??????

Would you have been honestly able to say yes???

There is a well known story about how a kindergarten teacher helped the children learn the importance of letting go of hatred and to forgive. She gave each child the number of potatoes as the number of children they hate, and asked them to walk around with these in their bag for a week. By the end of the week, the potatoes rot and the children with more number of them start complaining. The teacher then explains that this is what happens when we carry negative feelings or hatred against others and that it will only harm us so we might as well let it go by forgiving.

A very profound concept to which one response from anyone could be that his/her experiences have shown that hating the other person helps him/her to raise and succeed more in life and so s/he would not believe in just forgiving. Seems logical enough and there may be many others who may feel so too… so, does this story reveals a practicable moral? Here are a few thoughts that I penned down as I mulled over this…

This discussion reminds me of the popular statement that most behavioural trainers rely on, “different things work with different people. Pick what works for you and use that.” Not always true. There are always principles and laws in this world that when practiced the way they are professed, will definitely help an individual succeed. Problem is, we do not always follow them as professed, but do so as we like… coz of which the outcome is not the same as it is supposed to be.

The same is true in the case of forgiving also. We so easily say “forgive and move on – that is the way to success” that we do not ask the one important question – “how? How does forgiving and letting go of hatred help clear up the path to success? How should I work on forgiving such that it will clear that path?” Even in today’s age of techniques and concepts such as NLP’s modelling and Meta Mind Management, we do not ask the vital “”why?”

Many people also say – “I am not like the Mahatma. I will not show my other cheek if one is slapped. In today’s world I will do what it takes for me to go forward and those who purposefully come in my way with negative intentions towards me are wrong and I do not need to forgive them.”

Very true, you do not need to… In the article, potatoes are taken as an analogy for hatred. Let us think about this for a minute: it is true that potatoes over a period of time do get rotten! However, it is but human to usually carry these potatoes (feelings) with us for some time. What is important is what do we do with these potatoes for the time that we carry them (while they are not yet affecting us)? Do we achieve what we have to and then get rid of them before they become a problem for us? Or do we just let them be and let them rot and keep holding onto them until they become unbearable (in life this can be stress and frustration caused by our feelings).

Meta Mind Management in forgiveness happens when we accept the negative feelings that arise in us (instead of trying to be saintly – of course, assuming we encounter these once in a while as humans), and know what to do with them such that they help us towards our goals, and then discard them aside before they start to harm us…

Also see http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=2819edc7-9825-44f2-b677-862c22bf8eff

Revathi Turaga
International Meta Mind Management and Certified Edward de Bono trainer
http://www.revathionline.com

December 9, 2008 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Plan your evening… using Six Thinking Hats

What do I get her? Where do I take her? Will she enjoy the movies? What cuisine would be her favourite choice for the day? Should I get her flowers or a brooch or buy her jewellery?

Uff!! The umpteen thoughts that go behind planning this your evening out with your loved one! Some of us finally go with our intuition, and if we’re lucky, the evening is fantastic… and for those of us inexplicably in love, it is a breeze…
Still, for those of us who’re unsure, or yet battling out choices, here’s a method that can help… taking into consideration logic and emotions – Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats! It is a simple, effective, globally accepted parallel thinking process that helps us to be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved in making decisions – even in matters of the heart!!

Planning your evening out with your loved one, usually is a swirl of emotions, which may lead to a state of helplessness and confusion. We finally decide and cross our fingers for the best! What are these emotions doing where there ought to be only one. Love…
Now, here’s a real gift… a technique that helps make the best choice within 30 minutes! Just 30 minutes…. All you got to do is to use the Six Hats and follow the steps below:

Blue Hat – 2 minutes
Wear your blue hat for 2 minutes and manage your thought process the next 30 minutes by playing the role of a facilitator. Answer:
Focus: Decide how to make this the most cherished and fantastic evening for us.
Sequence of hats and time for each: Blue (already started – 2 minutes), Red – 30 seconds, White – 4 minutes, Green – 4 minutes, Blue – 2 minutes, Yellow – 4 minutes, Black – 4 minutes, Red – 30 seconds, Blue – 4 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Remember, the time you are wearing a hat, stay focused only on the questions under that hat, without wandering off to others!

Imagine! An effective decision on the best way to spend your evening, in the next 23 minutes!!!!

Red Hat – 30 seconds – feelings, emotions and intuitions. Answer:
Is there any place you just know is right?
Is there any gift you just know is right?
No reasons, no logic, no explanation as to why – just note it down. Nothing on the top of your head – don’t worry – leave blank.

White Hat – 4 minutes – data and information. Answer these (no speculation – based on past experiences, or ask her or her friends and relatives you know):
her likes? – in clothes (western/Indian/etc), in cuisines (Mexican/Indian/Italian/Mediterranean/etc.), in gifts (jewellery/clothes/perfume/etc), and flowers and card?
her dislikes? – what should you be sure to avoid in the above?
Where did you go out the last 3 to 5 times to eat – how did she react to the place?
What were the last 3 to 5 gifts you bought her – how did she react to each of them?
What did she talk about movies – which ones did she like more – romantic/ motivational/ art/ comedy/ action/ etc?
What does she love spending her time doing more – movies, eat out, shopping, time in a park in conversation, party, or a combo?
her favourite colours, flowers, etc?
any other data or information that can be relevant and you know is accurate?
special options open in the city for this week? the latest fashion? What’s happening and what are the “in” parties and places to be in the city?
Pause here and do the research in the city paper and on the net and the bill boards for what’s on.
No evaluation of any data, just make the entire list.

Green Hat – 4 minutes – think of ideas and alternatives. Use the above white hat information and answer:
choices for the evening – movie, dinner, gift, flowers, shopping – or a combination of any of the above
choices for movies – theatre, movie, seats, show?
choices for dinner – restaurant, time, table, book in advance?
choices for gift – from likes and dislikes – gift wrapper colour to the gift – buy with her by taking her shopping or buy earlier – where to buy?
choices for flowers n card – place to buy, when and how to send / give her, mix of flowers for bouquet – you can give her more than just roses!
choices if to go shopping – your budget, which mall(s), shopping for what?
any other ideas you have on how to spend the evening?
Again, no evaluation of any of the above choices, just make the entire list.

Blue Hat – 2 minutes
Consolidate the points from the above green hat ideas and the 1st red hat intuition points to form a cohesive list of activities for the evening.

Yellow Hat – 4 minutes – benefits. For each of the above consolidated points under the blue hat:
Why should we do this that evening?
How will it work out for the good?
How will it help us have a good time?
How will it express my love and affection towards her?
How will it make her and me happy?
Are there any other benefits and plus points in any of the above points?

Black Hat – 4 minutes –weaknesses or the areas of potential problems or points of caution in various ideas. For each of the above consolidated points under the blue hat:
Why may this not work out that evening?
What possible problems we may face if we take up this activity?
What possibilities that something here may be unpleasant for me or for her?
What may cause problems at home, or for work the next day?
What are a few unexpected situations that you may need to be prepared for?
It may be tough to get yourself to look at potential problems in the activities you want to do on this day, still, focus your mind on them, as they are important in a decision making process. Then, since you’ve thought about them already, you’re prepared for them!!

Red Hat – 30 seconds
The Red Hat deals with feelings, emotions and intuitions. For a quick 30 seconds, take a look at all the points you have listed down, and pick the option/options that appeal most to you. Choose the combination from what your intuition says – take minimal time..

Blue Hat – 4 minutes
Wear your blue hat for 4 minutes and manage your thought process by playing the role of a facilitator. Consolidate and answer with a yes or no and if yes, specify:
Flowers and Card:
Gift:
Dinner:
Party:
Shopping:
Movies:
Potential problems to be prepared for that might crop up:

All said and done, spending time with your loved one is only about love and friendship and happiness and enjoyment… So, relax… and have a fantabulous time!!!
The Six Thinking Hats model is also a useful tool for ensuring comprehensive analysis of problems, creating a framework for conversations and preventing conflicts.

Also refer http://content.msn.co.in/MSNContribute/Story.aspx?PageID=e28cf452-09be-4dd5-a6c0-c998d81bf851

Revathi Turaga
Certified Edward de Bono trainer and Meta Mind Management trainer
http://www.revathionline.com

December 9, 2008 Posted by | Edward de Bono | , , , , , , , , , | 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

The Marketing of President Obama

Barack Obama`s run for the White House was a model of marketing excellence. Here`s why it worked so well.

When the book is written on this election, it should not be titled The Making of a President but The Marketing of a President. Barack Obama`s campaign is a case study in marketing excellence.

True, it was always going to be a Democratic year. An unpopular war, an incumbent Republican president with rock bottom approval ratings, and many Republican incumbents retiring from Congress as a result all meant that change was in the air. Add to that the economic meltdown that decimated millions of 401(k) retirement plans and undercut any Republican claim to be the better steward of the economy.
But, even so, for an inexperienced, single-term, African-American senator tagged with the most liberal voting record to defeat the heir apparent in his own party and then go on to hold off the much-vaunted Republican machine is a truly remarkable achievement. Much of it has to do with Obama`s instinct for marketing.

First, Obama`s personal charisma, his listening and public speaking skills, his consistently positive and unruffled demeanor, and his compelling biography attracted the attention and empathy of voters.

Second, Obama converted this empathy into tangible support. More citizens volunteered time and money to help the Obama campaign than any previous presidential candidate. Indeed, he attracted more donors than the entire Democratic or Republican party nationwide. Almost half of Obama`s unprecedented $639 million in funds raised from individuals came from small donors giving $300 or less.

Third, his fundraising prowess was aided by his appreciation and use of all communications media, notably the Internet, to engage voters. Obama picked up where Howard Dean left off. He leveraged his website, the blogosphere, and even user-generated content (remember Obama Girl) and video games to engage not just donors and volunteers but all citizens. From the imaginative campaign logo to the thirty-minute infomercial, Obama`s communications were professional without being slick, attention-getting without being in-your-face.

Fourth, Obama reached out to all citizens. He targeted his message beyond previous or likely voters. He built a coalition that energized young, first-time voters and registered thousands of previous non-voters. His organization encouraged early voting by Democrats to build well-publicized poll leads and to reduce the chances of supporters being discouraged from voting by long lines at polling places on election day. This policy of inclusion meant that voting records were set in the general election and the primaries.

Fifth, his advertising messages and his tone and demeanor throughout the campaign consistently communicated his upbeat themes of hope and “change you can believe in.” The emotional appeal was buttressed with solid and specific policy details. The ability to combine emotional with functional benefits and the discipline to be consistent in positioning and message delivery are core to all successful branding campaigns. Ads that dealt with specific policy issues, even ads criticizing McCain, all continued to communicate the core themes.

Sixth, he anticipated and outsmarted the competition. Throughout, he showed respect for Clinton and then McCain, even as he successfully tagged a McCain administration as Bush`s third term. But he and his advisers managed the political chess board brilliantly. Early on, he anticipated and defused negative criticisms by admitting to past indiscretions in his autobiography. His campaign rebutted the criticisms in a hostile biography point by point before they gained traction. Negative advertising by his opponents was countered quickly, not only in ads but on the Internet as well.

Seventh, he fought the ground war as brilliantly as the air war. Building on Howard Dean`s 50 state strategy, he built his primary delegate count by investing time in Democratic caucuses in red states; the organizations he built for the primaries in these states set him up to win several of them in the general. In the closing weeks, he put McCain on defense in multiple red states, making it tough for the Republican to focus his efforts. Having relied on public funding, McCain ended up having to make some tough trade-offs regarding where to go and where to spend his money. Obama did not.

Finally, Obama chose an excellent marketing and campaign team, and managed them well. From start to finish, there was no public dissension. He chose a non-controversial, experienced Senator as his running mate who complemented his lack of foreign policy skills. McCain only assembled a smooth-running campaign team late in the day. And the maverick made a surprise choice of an unknown running mate that, in the final analysis, undercut his ability to tag Obama as inexperienced, and called McCain`s judgment into question.

Like any great brand, Obama has built up a bond of trust with the American people. His election has also given the United States the opportunity to reestablish its moral leadership around the world. But like any brand, he has to deliver now on his promises, both actual and perceived. In the current economy, that will not be easy.

About the Author
Professor John Quelch is the senior associate dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School
Source: harvard working knowledge

November 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 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