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The 3rd Alternative

“The 3rd Alternative” is a management technique used for resolving conflicting situations. This is derived from understanding to use the age old American proverb, “There are three sides to every story — your side, my side, and the right side!”

Exactly who said the above is not very clear in the texts of history. History shows that way back from 1802, John Adams, the 2nd President of the United States of America popularized the use of this adage. The concept however, is sound even to today’s individual and organizational conflict situations and scenarios.

The most common reason why conflicts occur anywhere is ‘individual differences’. This could mean a difference of opinion between two people on how to perform a certain task, or a difference in the understanding or desire of goals to achieve, or in differences due to different cultural habits, or a difference in common interests, etc.

‘The 3rd Alternative’ is a powerful technique to use when there are individual differences that lead to a conflict. The process is as follows:

1. Find an individual, a 3rd person other than the 2 individuals involved in the conflict. Ensure that this person has the capacity and the intent to remain neutral and unbiased towards both the parties involved. This person serves as a mediator.
2. The 1st party submits their case to the mediator, from his/her perspective, with facts and emotions, with no interruptions, except from the mediator in case of an clarifications
3. The 2nd party submits their case to the mediator, from his/her perspective, with facts and emotions, with no interruptions, except from the mediator in case of an clarifications
4. The mediator steps away from the 2 parties and ponders over the situation at hand considering both the facts and feelings from both perspectives.
5. The mediator then comes up with a neutral and unbiased solution which would be as fair as it can be, and presents the solution to the 2 parties
6. The thoughts of the 2 parties on the proposed solution are listened to by the mediator
7. The mediator rethinks on his/her solution, alters it if need be, and presents it back to the 2 parties.

Though, this technique can also be done with one of the two individuals involved in the conflict taking on the role of the 3rd party, it is however not suggested so because it could later lead to assumptions of bias on part of the individual.

One of the examples of the ‘The 3rd Alternative’ can be found in the story of 2 brothers in a village who were left with a large plot of land and no will after their father’s untimely demise. They are at a loss as to how to divide the land equally between them such that it would not result in any unpleasant situations either then or later. So, under the assumption that he would be the best person to approach the situation from a neutral unbiased perspective, they go to the village head and ask for his help. “We love each other a lot”, they said to the village head, “and do not wish to fight now nor ever. We are confused how to resolve this situation without creating any unpleasantness. Please help us!” The village head comes up with a solution which, on first instance seems utterly ridiculous to the brothers. He says, “Toss a coin. Decide who says ‘heads’ and who ‘tails’. The winner of the coin toss would get the opportunity to divide the land into 2 parts, in whichever way he wishes to do so.” The brothers were aghast! How could the village head say this, they wondered? Wouldn’t it be awfully unfair to the other brother, they questioned? The village head smiled and then gave the remaining part of his solution. “The brother who wins the toss would get the opportunity to divide the land into 2 parts in whichever way he wishes to do so, but, the other brother would have the privilege of choosing which of the 2 parts he wishes to own!” The brothers walked away, happy, and marvelling the wisdom of the village head to look for the 3rd alternative!

Attempt to perceive the 3rd alternative! Resolve your conflicts…
You have the power!

Published in ‘The Hans India’ on 8th Sept 2011

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September 20, 2011 Posted by | The Hans India Newspaper | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breaking Paradigms

A paradigm can be described as a certain mode of thinking bounded by particular parameters and criteria. During any situation or problem, while looking for a solution, an individual has certain assumptions that they make, certain preset notions and rules that they believe in which guide them to think of possible solutions to that situation. These rules and beliefs are within the stipulated paradigm or thinking of the individual or of the society or the field in which the individual is working. These paradigms, though very useful in resolving situations, many a time also limit one’s thinking and perception. Today, we are going to explore the world of breaking these paradigms, i.e. the world of ‘paradigm shifts’!

One of the most popular notations of ‘paradigm shifts’ is as given by Stephen Covey in his bestselling book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’. In this book, Covey talks of paradigms with 2 perspectives. One, of how the passengers in a train, initially irritated by the ruckus created by 3 kids, taunt the absent-minded father for not disciplining them. Later, after learning that the 4 of them were returning from the kids’ mother’s funeral, the passengers understood the uneasiness in the children’s minds and thereafter, started to encourage them to make more noise and jump about, thus attempting to take the kids’ minds off their mother’s departure. One additional piece of information, Covey says, can change the entire way of looking at a situation. He refers to this as a paradigm shift in thinking! Information may also create paradigms, says Covey, through the famous example of the same picture having both an old woman and a young beautiful damsel’s pictures. People would only see the side of the picture that they have been fed information on earlier. Thus, paradigms always exist, and it is possible to also break them and look beyond them.

We see things in a certain way, under certain defined rules. Many a time that helps us to find solutions as well as common notations of interpreting situations. However, some times, stepping out of these rules and boundaries is what gives rise to innovation. For example, from the perspective of mathematics, the answer for ‘what is half of 13’ would always be 6.5! However, assume this from a linguistic perspective, and it may be as 13 i.e. 13 divided with a horizontal line midway. Or it can also be 1I3 i.e. a vertical line between 1 and 3. Once one starts to look beyond the defined rules of mathematics and starts to accept other perspectives, it is possible to find alternate solutions, alternate methods, and alternate paradigms. When solving a mathematical problem, it is important to stay within the realm of mathematics, however, other times, once in a while it can be creative and also a little fun to step beyond the obviously accepted norms.

All great inventions are children of this fantastic phenomenon of ‘breaking paradigms’. From a Galelio who thought beyond the accepted norm that the earth is the centre of the Universe, to an Edison who kept thinking beyond what is known in electricity, to the Wright Brothers who chose to look beyond what human beings can do while inventing the technology of aerodynamics, from the challenge of putting a man on the moon to the experiments conducted on the atom by Rutherford, looking beyond paradigms has always been difficult, revolutionary, and has resulted in extremely successful and useful inventions!

The most powerful example of breaking paradigms that comes to my mind is that of Roger Bannister, who in 1954 decided to break the paradigm that existed in human minds – a paradigm that was considered reality and a medical truth – that the physical human body cannot run a mile in 4 minutes! It was medically proven to be not possible for the physical body. No athlete across the world could accomplish this impossible feat! Roger Banister, a medical student, decided that this was a paradigm in the mind, and on 4th May 1954, for the first time in the history of sports, an individual ran a mile in 4 minutes! Something considered literally impossible!! The most interesting outcome of this paradigm breaking, is that just within the next one year to that event, many more athletes could run a mile in 4 minutes. Today, almost every athlete can run a mile in 4 minutes. Did the human body change??? Or, did the paradigm change???

So, let us understand that, for all of us, paradigms exist! They are in our minds! They are useful! They help in resolving situations and problems with known tried and tested formulae! Sometimes, paradigms can limit. We need to learn the ability to work with the existing paradigms whilst also striving to look beyond them for creative alternatives…

Embrace other paradigms n work with them! Resolve problems creatively…
You have the power!

Published in ‘The Hans India’ on 28th July 2011

September 19, 2011 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning, The Hans India Newspaper | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

be SILENT to LISTEN!

Sshhh!!! Silence please!!! Keep quiet!!! Stop talking!!!

Words which, I am sure, will take many of us back to our childhood and Kindergarten classes, right??!!! Right back to our teachers shouting and trying their best to get us to listen to their lessons and to their instructions! That we have to maintain silence in order to be able to listen is an age old formula that we have always been taught and will continue to teach for generations to come… and rightly so too!

In today’s corporate scenario, it is neither just technical competency nor just the hardworking ability that take priority whilst employing individuals. Communication is one of the vital aspects taken into consideration too, and a core aspect of communication is the ability to listen. In today’s fast moving world, maintaining personal relationships has sometimes become a challenge, especially when both partners are busy with their respective jobs and have lesser and lesser time to give each other and their family. In both the above cases, taking time out and truly listening to the other person can be an effective solution.

It cannot be just a coincidence that the words LISTEN and SILENT are anagrams i.e. are made out of the same alphabets! It is therefore, but natural that for us to learn how to LISTEN, one must learn to be SILENT first! Let us now understand what being SILENT means:

• S: Sincere – Do you remember the times when the person in front of you was smiling with a sombre look on their face, with all the right signs of listening, and yet you just know that they are not interested at that time, that they are not sincerely listening to you but just so for the heck of it??? Well remember this, so can everyone else make out too!!! Yes, so here is the first step to being SILENT to LISTEN: be sincerely interested in what you are supposedly listening to…

• I: Inquisitive – Be curious. When one is intently listening to something, one’s brain automatically keeps working on the same too. This raises questions in the listener’s mind which they would want clarified. This also helps the speaker to understand that the other individual is truly listening and attempting to understand what is being said. It is thus a good idea to ask relevant and non-threatening questions to customize the conversations.

• L: Like person – Make sure that you like who are listening to… Their communication ability, their competency in the subject, their handling of the audience and the content, etc… Many a time I have seen listening of an amazing topic go flat just because according to the listener, the speaker’s behaviour and value system did not resonate with what was being said. Not just the content of what is being said, but also the person saying it has a lot of impact on how well it is listened to. Ensure that you talk to and are hearing from the right person.

• E: Empathize – Sometimes listening is not just about hearing what is being said, but it is also about communicating feeling what the other person is feeling. Especially when the other individual is sharing information connected with emotions, be they positive and negative, that of joy or sadness, one ought to be able to relate and express empathy on the same towards the other person. After all they are talking to a human being and not a wall!

• N: Non-verbal communication – Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear your words!” The impact of the right non-verbal communication whilst listening is vital for the other person to get the feeling and acceptance that listening is happening. So, nod once a while when appropriate, smile at the other person, lean forward, show facial expressions, and let the other individual know that yes, you are listening!

• T: Talk- Listening also involves talking… to a certain extent! One needs to paraphrase (repeat the speaker’s words in their own words) once in a while. One also needs to ask the right questions to continue and steer conversations while also summarizing points once in a while. Also important to talk during listening, is to once in a while also express thoughts about self to the listener as course of self-disclosure in order to continue conversations smoothly. So, talking to the right extent n in the right manner is vital to listen effectively!

From Robert Cialdini who said that listening to the other person helps you to convey your point more effectively, to Stephen Covey who emphasized listening as very important under his 5th habit ‘Seek first to understand than to be understood’ in his popular book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effectively People’, the importance of listening to one another is highlighted in many ways. We ought to learn and practice the above constantly!

Be SILENT so you can LISTEN…
You have the power!

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Published in ‘The Hans India’ on 25th Aug 2011

September 4, 2011 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning, The Hans India Newspaper | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wrong Handshakes

In today’s corporate as well as cultural scenarios, maintaining certain accepted etiquettes are important. Etiquette can be defined as the forms, manners and ceremonies established by convention as acceptable or required in social relations, in a profession or in official life. Etiquette gets formed right from the word go and the initial handshake to the sustenance of perceptions over time. Technically, a handshake is known as a short ritual in which two people grasp one of each other’s opposite hands, in most cases accompanied by a brief up and down movement of the grasped hands.

As per a display in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin and other places, right from the 5th century BC times of ancient Greece, shaking hands while meeting has been a tradition between two soldiers and represented a truce where neither side wielded a weapon. The handshake slowly moved into the western culture and into the area of corporate etiquette. It is important for one to know how to successfully wield the customary handshake in a corporate scenario. Thus it is important to also know how not to give the ‘wrong’ handshake!

A handshake can reflect and let the other person perceive a lot about your personality. There are so many wrong ways to give a handshake. Some of them are as follows:
The Dead Fish: Patricia Rossi, the author of ‘Everyday Etiquette Made Easy’, calls this “The worst handshake in the world,”. This is when the hand is floppy and flimsy and project insecurity and non-commitment.
The Politician: This is when one shakes with the right hand and cover the shaking hands with their left hand. According to author Matthew Rothenberg, this feels too personal and too early in the relationship.
The Wrestler: This is so vigorous a handshake that can almost rip the other person’s arm out. It may convey that one is too eager and pushy
The Queen or The Fingertip: This is when one extends just their fingertips to another person. It conveys the feeling that the individual does not want to touch the other person.
I’m stronger than you are: This is crushing the bones in the other person’s hand so much just like trying to wring all the juice from a lemon. It makes it look like one needs to prove themselves.
The Oww!: This depicts an overeager person who may catch the other person so much by surprise on the handshake, that it becomes awkward for the other person.
Oh ok, I’ll just pretend to care about meeting you: This handshake can be very limp and apathetic and very awkward for the other person, and gives the impression that one is disinterested
We’re now bonded together for eternity: This is when a handshake does not end and just feels like eternity. This happens when people are a little too happy to greet you or who are extremely nervous and forget to let go. You do a few hand pumps…and then some more…and some more…and finally, hopefully, your hand is let go!
Aha! Am sure you didn’t see that one coming: This happens when the individual does something different, mostly out of nervousness. For instance, this can be when one is putting the left hand out for a handshake when everyone usually uses their right hand. This can lead to fumbling and even embarrassing situations. In these scenarios, it is a good idea to follow the crowd and use the right hand.
A good proper hand shake is called a ‘winning handshake’. It consists of a firm but not bone crushing grip and lasts about 3 seconds while maintaining good eye contact. The person has to be approximately 3 feet away. The hand has to be angled towards the chest with thumb pointing upwards. The other person’s hand can be ‘pumped’ once or twice from the elbow and then released, even if the introduction of the person continues.

Learn to meet, greet, part, offer congratulations, express gratitude, or complete an agreement well. Master the ‘right’ handshake!
You have the power!

Published in ‘The Hans India’ on 11 Aug 2011

August 30, 2011 Posted by | RevathiOnline Learning, The Hans India Newspaper | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 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!

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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!

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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

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