Communication

communication

Let’s examine four possible combinations of speaking & listening. This will enable us to understand what communication can do to our lives and to our organizations.

Possibility 1. Effective speaking but poor listening. If this is the leader’s characteristics the results could be as under:

It will increase your focus. You may have generated good followers & good soldiers. But the potential leaders will leave. There will be practically no innovation. Stress level will increase.

Possibility 2. Effective speaking and active listening. That is the perfect combination for the leader. The focus of the leader and of the organization will remain in the forefront. Things will happen fast. Loyalty of employees will increase. Appreciation of mind and ability to enjoy the work will bring in more breakthroughs, more innovations. People will collaborate with each other and also compete with each other. The best will blossom with the leader’s effective speech and active listening. An atmosphere of sustainable leadership will prevail.

Possibility 3: Poor speaking but active listening. It will amount to lack of focus. Also, waste of time & money. There will be thrust on management by committees. People might get an impression that anything goes.

Meanwhile active listening will also result in the positives. The employees will become more self-expressed. Application of mind by them will increase. There would be greater innovation.

Possibility 4: Poor speaking and poor listening. It will be nothing but a slow death of the enterprise. The death of textile mills in Mumbai & Ahmadabad can be attributed to this syndrome. Misunderstanding and conflicts will rule. Opportunities will be missed. There would be high rate of attrition. Isolation will result in fragmentation, and finally extinction.

Just perusing the above possibilities would shake our slumber. Importance of communication will then be fully realized. So, I will deal with both aspect of communication- good speaking and good listening.

Effective Speaking:

First of all it is necessary to have strong content. Content is the king. Effective communications take this into account more than any other aspect of management or even life. Content means domain knowledge. You can’t fool people with shallow thoughts. Much less you can impress them. Lot of hard work goes into acquiring knowledge. The biggest problem is seen when you have worthwhile knowledge but you can’t use into your advantage due to lack of effective speech. Your expression remains impaired. People would barely know that you are a storehouse of useful information.

Then what should you do? Become a good speaker. Practice the art and science of speaking clearly, confidently and convincingly.

How do you speak clearly? You must understand that speech in the result of decision to communicate. First thinking clarifies the idea you want to project to the listener or a group of listeners. Then brain sends a signal to the lungs and some breath is released. Breath strikes the vocal cord to produce sound. But the words are created by the speech organs. So in order to speak clearly, think clearly. Cultivate habit of deep breathing. It enables to have sufficient breath to support strength of your voice. This will also enable you to speak longer sentence without breathing in between. The flow of speech will enable ideas to flow smoothly.

Active listening:

listening

Communication does not mean only effective speaking. In fact, it is the beginning point. But even more important is active listening. Active listening will bring about the results that you are looking for. You communicate with someone or a group of listeners with an objective. How can you influence others? By listening to them actively or with your speech. How do you find whether you are a good listener or not? I give below a checklist which is self- expletory.

Checklist:

  1. Don’t think of what you are going to say next when another person is speaking. Just focus on understanding and assimilating what he/she has to say.
  2. You must listen with an open mind. Don’t try to relate with your own experience, similar experience. When someone is relating a story in support of his argument, your tendency to evaluate should be given a pause. Never be judgmental, as they say.
  3. When you are listening, try to recreate mentally what the other person is saying objectively.
  4. Try to see things from the speaker’s point of view. Empathize and be compassionate while listening.
  5. Try to uncover the intent of the speaker. All speakers may not be terse. Their verbosity may require a little extra effort on your part to understand the intent. Make this extra effort.
  6. Think what results you can produce through listening rather than speaking. If you want to influence people, you will be amazed to observe how listening comes in handy and helpful.
  7. Listen a minute longer than it is comfortable. That extra minute will give you extra input. In any case, you are having a dialogue for understanding the other’s point of view.
  8. Last but not the least; you must remember that your words of advice will be seen as unwanted noise. Never give an advice unless asked for. If you are not convinced and the solution demands that you must express your views, do that and say we agree to disagree!

Thanks for reading.

Personality- Physical Aspects

When you meet an individual, the first few things you observe are:

How does he/she look? How is the posture? The facial expression? The clothes? How the clothes are carried by the person? Is he/she overdressed? Or underdressed? Befitting the occasion? Or not?

All the above attributes are important to create the first impression. Though this is not the last impression as some people may believe. Yet it’s very important. So be discrete in choice of fit, colors, fall, finish and all these characteristics which contribute to make you look good.

More important than these is, your posture. Posture is indicative of your health as well as your confidence. How you sit is as important as how you stand and vice versa.

The facial expression on your face need to match your posture. This expression tells a lot on what is going on in your mind. On an average an individual receives fifty thousand thoughts in one day. It is necessary for the individual to control their number and keep the number as low as possible. The lesser the number the more focused a person becomes. And this shows on your facial expression. A smile is the best companion which will not allow the turbulence of your mind to show on your face. Besides, smile helps reduce the worries.

And then it is your body language! What is body language? How you walk? How you hold your head over your shoulders? How do you place your lips? These are all important features of body language? The art and science of image management concerns more on dress, choice of colors, how the dress is fashioned etc.

It’s an art to be mastered: the strategic use of body language for best results.

Adopt a relaxed, upright posture. This will speak of your genial confidence. If you have sagging and slumping shoulders, these will suggest that you are tired and bored of life. In public life such a posture is suicidal.

Further, where you find your place to sit is also important. Do you select a place where you avoid the eyes of others? Or do you prefer a prominent place where you are sure to be noticed?

In this age of social media and networking, developing and maintain a positive body language is critical. What you say is important but how you say it often more important. A recent survey revealed that 65% of communication depends on your gestures, expression and body language. This is an area where not only attention is needed but also a consistent desire to hone the skills. It should be matched with adequate real time practice. That alone will help you to bring in the required change in the body language that you portray.

Good health is needed to enable you to be in control. Physical health will make your good posture easy to maintain. Good mental health will take care of your facial expression. Mature effective voice requires both physical and mental health should be in good shape. This then, is another reason that you must be health conscious and consistently maintain good health.

Thanks for reading.

Fade out Ego Fade in Innovation

innovation

Hi, today I will talk about how Ego impedes the characteristic qualities of a leader. Ego must not inflict anyone but when we talk about a leader, Ego is suicidal. I will also talk about the importance of innovation, so far as a leader is concerned. A vibrant leader looking ahead must be a hungry innovator.

First of all we must define innovation. What is innovation? Why it is necessary? Why innovation is critical for a leader? What are challenges which trigger innovation? Can a person be innovative and still harbor ego in his personality? Not at all. Ego is not self-esteem as it may be misunderstood at times. It is the way of thinking about you. Your behavior reflects the same. You don’t compromise and ask for help because it hurts your ego.

Anyone who wants to innovate cannot do all by himself. He may need help from many individuals connected with the subject. Their inputs often plays a vital role in any innovative project.

But the leader has to be a people’s man. A British Prime Minister was asked why do you follow your followers. To this he said “I am their leader, they have made me. I have to earn the leadership.” A leader has to be a follower first and then alone he/she can be a great leader. So the ego or the false pride does not have any place in the way leader lives.

Having talked about how the innovation and ego or false pride cannot exist. I will now talk about what is innovation? How does it come about? And what the leader must look for while handling an innovative project.

First, what is innovation? How does it happen? An idea comes to the mind of the leader. The idea has to be concerned with some burning problems which cry for situation. Then the idea is brainstormed by the leader and the team. Various possibilities are worked out. The role of the team is as important as of the leader who is the chief motivator. They all work together to formulate a plan. The plan is then put to action under supervision of the leader.

I may say here that it is not necessary that the original idea must come from leader. It may come from any team member. But the leader ensures that the innovative project moves as per leader’s design. He/she is the project manager.

Having defined ego and having explained how ego or false pride and innovation cannot co-exit. I will now try to explain what the leader looks for before embarking upon any innovation or innovative project. He must examine the following 3 aspects of the innovative product/ project or solution:

  1. It must be desirable by the users. There must be a need and it should fulfill the same.
  2. Secondly it must be economically viable. Anything which does not make business sense has no place in business
  3. It should be possible with the available technology as on date. It should not depend on technology which has not been tried and tested or which is not in use successfully.

Lastly I must speak about the benefits of innovation. There are immense benefits as follows:

  1. It improves productivity.
  2. It reduces cost.
  • It brings about better quality.
  1. It helps building a product range.

Thanks for reading.

PowerPacked Leadership

team-leadership-quote-2015

Friends, Hi!

Today I will talk to you about leadership. PowerPacked Leadership. We all know that in this fast paced competitive world, Leadership has assumed paramount importance, paramount for our progress & growth.

I consider that all of us are leaders in our own rights. But it is possible that the leader is latent. Through various activities, we will not only discover but we will activate the leader who may he hiding. Some of you may be functioning as full fledged leaders at your work, place, not at home, for at home you may have a more powerful leader. At home, your better half becomes more powerful. In such cases you will be able to hone your leadership skills and further develop leadership qualities.

Let me tell you about various aspects of leadership. Five aspects of leadership are critical. What are these 5 factors?

  1. Understanding what is leadership. What are the traits of a strong leader? Which are the various leadership styles? What is your leadership style? Understanding these questions will help make our activities more focused and useful.
  1. Second in line is delegation. Again what is delegation? Why and when it is necessary? How to delegate effectively? And finally how to develop trust and empower those whom you delegate. Without trust and without empowerment, delegations are meaningless.
  1. Third vital aspect of leadership is team building. Here again we will have to define i) what are characteristics of a good team? ii) How can the leader play an effective role as the main motivator? And, most importantly how to get the best of out of your team members. Achieving best possible results & productivity is like the soul of leadership.
  1. Fourth aspect of leadership, which we will study, is: how leaders are different from the manager. No doubt manager is also a leader. But his fundamental responsibility is to follow the company’s mission, to ensure that work goes on as per the standards set by the organization. But the leader is an innovator.
  1. Last but not the list we will check and work out how a leader must manage his/her time. We all have to manage our time. But for the leader, it is the cardinal point. Leader is responsible for his time as well as, how time at the workplace is used, by team members. It should be optimal utilization. For this study we must assess it.

We have special questionnaires which will guide us. Working out priorities is of practical importance.

In all these above qualities of the leader the focal point is communication. No doubt written communication is important. But today the verbal communication has come to forefront. What you say? The language you use? But more importantly, how you say it. Clarity of speech is principal factor when we talk of influencing people. And then we must be able to hold attention of listener/ listeners. This we can do only by modulating our speech. With the voice culture techniques that we have developed, we’ll try to experience the effect of modulation.

That brings us to the leader’s core quality.

Speech & speaking skills! These I will deal in my next talk.