Time to start a NEW HABIT is NOW

In our bid to find the best time to start something new , to start it perfectly we end up never starting on things we wish to do. For me that this has been beginning an exercise program. My excuses – early office timings , long work hours , tired , gyms are too far away from home , no motivation to work out at home , its boring , medical reasons etc etc .

And then i spoke to friend and colleague who has similar life style , location and other constraints but who works out on alternate days and finds time for her hobbies too. Something inside me clicked, and i decided to start working out with a personal trainer in my society gym .

So what was it  that was holding me back till now  –  I realised I have been a yo-yo dieter since ages, but beginning a work out program ( except playing on my wii – fitness ) has never excited me. For me to stick to a thing , I need excitement , I want fun or super fast results , which was not happening.

Having a personal trainer coming home , cuts down on my excuses of not having time or travelling etc. The personal trainer takes into account my current stamina and fitness level. My exercise routine can be as varied as I want it to be – the guy is martial arts specialist , certified in personal training , kick boing etc. , creating The regularity of working out will hopefully make me an addict , creating a healthy life long habit.

Things I learnt

1 – Stop procrastinating

Time for making a change is now , there is no perfect day to start. Just start there will be plenty of time for adjustments and optimization later.

2 – Analyse your excuses

Try to figure out what is holding you back , the root cause behind the excuses and work on that and not on excuses.

3 – Figure out a solution

Be creative with solution. Think of what will help you achieve your target and not solutions for how to manage your excuses

4 – Stick to it

Stick to the solution atleast for 21 days , its difficult for our minds and bodies to adjust to any new thing. Allow it to happen. Stick to your resolve.

5 – Let people know to ensure you have a support system , if you try to wriggle out or break the habit.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HATE YOUR JOB?

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There are loads of people who hate their job; the job is just a chore. Waking up and going to office makes they feel sick. They are just looking forward for the day to end the week to pass. And you may currently one of them.

Even before we start discussing what to do when you hate your job, it’s important to understand why you hate your job. I suggest that you make a list of all the things that you do not like about your job. They could be work related reasons like a difficult manager , less salary, long work hours or personal reasons like you do not like the work you do or don’t like the way company works. Some of these reasons can be managed by having a discussion with you manager / HR, but here are few things that you can do on your own to make you feel more productive and less disengaged.

  • LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE: Sometimes the easiest thing to do when you are feeling disengaged at work is to focus on the positive aspects of work and how your current job is contributing to help you build the career you want. (If this does not help and you are still feeling struck, read on)
  • CHALLENGE YOURSELF: Set weekly / monthly challenges for yourself. The high of achievement will help you get rid of the boredom and will also help you to add to your resume in case you have to take the ultimate decision of changing the company.
  • DO SOMETHING NEW: Take on new tasks/ projects. Ask for additional responsibility at work. Be part of cross functional teams. The connection with people and the motivation that comes from doing a new thing will help you get engaged.
  • DEVELOP NEW SKILLS: Instead of just looking at your current job, look at the next step in your career path. Identify the skills that are required to do that and work on developing them while working on your current job. Always remember that by developing new skills you are making yourself more valuable in your current role and improving your opportunities for your future career growth and success.
  • IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UPTO ME: In the end, remember that if you are disengaged at work only YOU can do something about it. Take initiative, talk to people about your concerns, don’t just complain but work on an action plan. Time to take action is NOW.

Have you been through such a situation or are going through such a situation. Feel free to share your concerns and tips.

EASY TIPS TO MAKE YOUR MENTOR RUNAWAY

8 EASY TIPS TO MAKE YOUR MENTOR RUNAWAY

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  1. Lack clarity about your own goals and expectations: If you don’t where you are going or what you want to get out of the relationship. How can your mentor help you?
  2. Expect to be spoon fed: As a corollary to above allow your mentor to define the goals, the road map & outcome of relationship. Make him give you guidelines and deadlines for every assignment. Ensure you never take initiative for anything.
  3. Prove to be unworthy of trust: Do not keep any confidentiality. Badmouth your mentor in case of things going wrong.  Fail to follow through on meeting commitments.
  4. Be too aggressive: Act as if you have birth right claim on mentor’s time. Do not accept any constructive feedback. Do things your way even if mentor suggests some new ideas and approaches. After all how can mentor know more about your situation than you?
  5. Disrespect Mentors time & efforts: Do not respect mentors time, reschedule / cancel your meetings without prior intimation.  Or call on him to ask for advice at any time.
  6. Do not learn from mistakes: Make mistakes over and over again without showing any signs of progress will have a negative impact on your mentor and will be very discouraging. Do not close the learning loop.
  7. Always bring problems: Always bring problems (even if they are similar to what you have faced in past) without thinking about solutions. If you mentor asks you about your perspective – stay blank. If your mentor gives you various tools that you can use to find solutions, forget about them as soon as the next problem comes.
  8. Steal credit: Never share credit with you mentor for things that go well. Do not even inform the mentor that you got appreciated for a task you completed with your mentors help. If possible publicize the ideas as your own.
 (photo courtesy : stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net)

3 Step to Team Alignment

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How often have you worked with a team that just isn’t on the same page? This common work situation of being misaligned is not the team’s fault but the responsibility of the leader/manager.

What Elements Make Up Team Alignment?
1. Purpose
2. Culture
3. Values
When any of these three elements are out of alignment, the result is loss of efficiency, loss of productivity, loss of motivation and an unacceptable work product. Team alignment is a critical success factor found in high performing teams. If you find your team is out of alignment your “job one” is to realign.

Steps to Contextual Alignment
1. Diagnosis – before starting any corrective action, you’ve got to understand what is broken and where. Look at the team holistically and then in parts.
A. Is there evidence where a person or process is not aligned? Be careful, it is easy to blame a process…

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NO SCHMOOSING NETWORKING: WORKS FOR INTROVERTS AND CAN WORK FOR YOU

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I have no idea why people automatically associate networking with big conferences or events/ meeting with lots of people attending and giving out business cards.

These events are just one part of initially connecting with someone from your industry/interest area and you don’t have to attend these if a large group makes you uncomfortable.

Networking is the art of developing long term mutually beneficial relation; it does not depend on number of connections but dependability of the connection. Networking  does not happen in one day.

IDENTIFY YOUR NETWORKING NEED

Your need defines the network you create. Your network should be built to address your future aspirations while meeting your current goals.

CREATE A GOAL VERSUS CURRENT NETWORK MAP

Write down your goal and now make a list of all people in your current network. Any yes we all have a current network.

Write down the names of your family members, friends, neighbours, co-workers, colleagues, and even casual acquaintances.

Find relationship between your goals and network.

Say your goal is to find a job in “X” field – you can use your current network to a > know of an available job or b > connect you to someone who will know of one.

Remember each member in your network connects you to another network (e.g., your ex – colleague may know the HR of a company currently hiring)

SHARE YOUR GOALS WITH YOUR NETWORK

I think that the two most difficult things to do for an introvert are a> asking for feedback and b> asking for help for self. It feels uncomfortable asking for favours.

Here are a few tips to help you ask for help

1>     Articulate your goal: Define what you are looking for in a concise and clear manner.

Be it an introduction to a connection in the LinkedIn network, referral to a job or potential client references. Be clear about what you are looking for, why you are looking for it, how your network connection can help you and what is your offer.

2>     Send customized mailer with your goal, using the guideline above to your connections.

Example: “I carry 4+ years of experience in Talent Acquisition, HR MIS, Employee Shared services, Induction and Joining, Compensation & Benefit management related areas with XYZ Company in your industry. I noticed that currently there’s an open vacancy in your company for a similar position.  Would you mind helping me make a connection with a hiring manager or the recruiter? ”

Remember to send individual emails to people instead of a group email.  People are a lot more inclined to help when they feel you’re reaching out to them individually.

An email takes away the embarrassment that you feel in asking for a face to face favour.

3>     Follow-up, update and thank your connections

Always provide feedback to those who were kind of enough to offer their help. Thank them for their time. Update them on whether you got the interview or the job. Or use the opportunity to report on the lack of success or the need for additional help.

BUILDING & MAINTAINING THE NETWORK

Here are a few ways to ensure that you are able to build the relationship with your current network and enlarge your network without overwhelming yourself.

1>     Arrange for a 1 to 1 lunch / coffee meeting

For an introvert this is one of the best ways to have a face to face interaction, as the time duration is limited. The interaction is limited to one person and awkward silences can be covered by talking about food / coffee or actually eating.

2>     Volunteer for a cause you are passionate about or on a committee to connect with people who share similar interests.

The shared interest will give you something to talk about with the new members, while the work will ensure that you do not have to make unnecessary small talk.

3>     Blog

Read http://heidicohen.com/19-blog-tips-to-expand-your-reach/ to know how to use the blog for networking.

4>     Use you-tube / webinars

Hint: The advantages are same as blogging, but you talk / video record yourself. Making it easier for people to connect to you. People link webinars with experts.

5>     Host your own Networking event

Benefits: You decide who you will invite. You can define the format of event to make it easier for you to interact. You give people a reason to get to know you as a connector and strengthen your relationships.

Ideas: Speed networking, Bring a guest, Theme of the month event, Breakfast meeting etc.

6>     Follow on twitter / LinkedIn

Know what’s happening in your network by following your connect and those you plan to connect with. Reply to their tweets , comment on their posts, retweet , reblog and send them emails once in a while.

 

Remember a network is not about only taking, it’s more about “giving back”. The more you “give” to your network, the stronger it becomes. Making you stronger, making you successful.

MAKE YOUR EMPLOYEES HATE YOU: 14 EASY WAYS TO BE THE BOSS FROM HELL!!!

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1>              Be confused: Be indecisive and drive your employees crazy by continuous flip-flopping. You can do so  by ensuring

  • No big picture: Don’t have a clear vision of what your employees are supposed to accomplish & achieve in long term, if you yourself don’t know – how your team can know what and when to do.
  • Don’t make up your mind: When any employee comes to you with a problem, never give a clear answer. If they give you options, keep fluctuating between them.  Be confused and keep confusing them.

2>              Disrespect them:  Talk over them, belittle their ideas, ignore their input, criticize them unfairly, and shout at them in front of everyone. Take every opportunity to make them lose their face in front of others. You can also show disrespect for them by not valuing their time, ordering them about, de-valuing their work etc.

3>              Micromanage your team: Micromanage your team members every step of the way, instead of guiding them on how they can do better – keep the control with you. Ensure that you know every detail of what they’re working on and leave them no room to take decisions on their own. Dictate their every step. This will ensure that your employees never rise to their full potential and learn to hate you.

4>              Be Clueless: If you don’t like micro-managing, you can be clueless. Never discuss the project / assignment progress and the challenges if any being faced by employee. Ensure that you are not in loop in any of the communication or decision making. If anything goes wrong blame the employee.

5>              Over commit: Give commitments to your bosses / clients without checking the feasibility with your team.  Do it regularly and not as one – off case. Don’t prioritize and make them do everything, even if it means putting in longer hours at work or, working on weekends. Make them chase impossible deadlines, always.

6>              Act as if they have no life: Ask your employees to work late and assign them more work than they can do. Never approve any vacation or make them cancel their vacation plan. Feel free to email, text, and call them after hours, even if they don’t take your call or check the email, they will feel guilty for not working on weekends, when their boss is. Continuous guilt and stress will ensure that they hate you.

7>              Communication Barriers : Create blockades on the two communication street

  • Never share information: Don’t share any information you have with your team, keep them in dark. Let them hear things from grapevine, but don’t react. Do not provide any feedback to the team, while they are doing the task , you can always talk to them if things go wrong.
  • Don’t Listen: Never take any feedback or hear the concerns of your team members. If someone comes to you to discuss things ignore them, look at your screen or mobile phone or shout at them. Ensure that no clear communication happens.

8>               Don’t give them the resources they need to be successful: Don’t mentor your employees to grow in their careers. Don’t invest in the tools that they need to do their job well, be it in terms of technology or training. Let them try to achieve results in today’s world using yesterday’s processes / tools.

9>              Pass of your own work: Never do any work on your own, ask your team members to do anything and everything you don’t want to do. Take extra work from your boss and make your team do it. Earn the credit, without doing an extra days work.

10>         Be negative: Be overtly critical, share only negative news. Find ways to find faults in anything and everything. Berate all the efforts put in by the team. Never reward or appreciate your team members.

11>         Don’t stand up for your team: Be it the promotion or raise they deserve or deadlines they were not able to meet due to genuine reasons. Never stand up for them. Never lead from front. Sacrifice your employees to reach your goals.

12>          Never be a role model: Never “walk the talk”. There should be no relation between what you say and what you do. Lie about figures and facts or try to hide them. Never act as a team player. Don’t demonstrate any people management skill. Don’t follow rules and procedures but make your employees follow everything.

13>         Play favourites: Give interesting projects, increment, chances of promotion only to those who follow your every command. Those who snitch and act as your informers in the team.

14>         Don’t be professional: Be incompetent, feel free to gossip, and leave all your manners at home. Take credit for your employees’ ideas and achievements. Ensure you don’t prioritize. Call for unplanned meetings. Waste time in meeting by asking unnecessary questions, and circling back on points. Keep kissing up to your boss while kicking your subordinates.

 

The above tips will ensure that you are the most hated boss your team has ever had.

 

(PS: Don’t take everything written literally and reflect on the points above. The actions you take may make the life of your team members easier and reduce their daily stress)