Sail Seven Streams to Enjoy the LinkedIn Jaunt!

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  1. Be Very Selective

LinkedIn is a professional platform. So, be sure to carve out your Professional Objectives. Evidently, you need to be very selective in building your connections. Your efforts should be focused on quality and not quantity. It is necessary to find commonality while inviting people to connect. The proposed connections should be beneficial to both. For example if you are selling a service or a product all those who are decision makers to buy your products would be the most appropriate connections.

  1. Personalize Connection Requests

Send a polite email for the invite after going through the profile of the person. Describe briefly how the connection will be beneficial to both of you. If you have met the invitee at a social event, you may refer it. However, brevity is extremely important. Nobody likes to receive a verbose mail or any kind of message. The words chosen and the sentences constructed should delight the receiver of the message. It can happen only if you speak from heart. It means you need to be your natural self while communicating. Write to express but not to impress.

  1. Group participation

There are many groups formed on the LinkedIn. Some of these are active, others not so. Identify the group which is most suitable to your professional needs. In the beginning it will be easier to participate in a group where most members are from the place around. Unless you are a high profile professional, joining a group with participants from different countries may not be very effective. We must understand that the cultural background plays an important role in people coming together.

  1. Publish Posts

Create content of your niche expertise and publish in LinkedIn. Your post will be seen not only by your connections but by everyone on the LinkedIn. You have to be very careful about the ease of reading and comprehending by the people who view your post. It must add value. While content is the king, simple language which is easy to understand, will be appreciated. A long sentence with many clauses may not be appropriate for your story on the LinkedIn. Further, sentences of different lengths when put together in a paragraph make reading very interesting.

  1. LOINs

Loin means LinkedIn open networkers. They are the people who want to network with as many people as possible. One can search by using the group search feature. There are open networkers who will welcome you. Some groups cater to specific locations. There are other groups serving various industries and services. You have to select the group which is most suitable to your professional interest. In the search features if you specify the criteria you will be able to find out the group of your choice.

  1. Post status update daily

You need to establish that you are active on LinkedIn. It is therefore expected that you post something of interest to your connections and people at large every day. You may spend only 15 minutes daily. But use these 15 minutes with great discretion. As said above every post that you publish should be found interesting at least to some of your connections. It is understandable that you can’t please all. Therefore don’t even try to do that. Your focused approach on subjects of general needs or special interest to your connections will be highly appreciated.

  1. Your Profile

What you write on your profile is particularly important. It should give a clear message about your background and your profession. Instead of writing in a traditional chronological fashion you can be more innovative. Consider you are speaking to a large group of people. While you are addressing all to inform about yourself, it should clearly indicate your intention and interest. Take special care to choose a nice photograph. Give information and links to your website/websites, blog sites etc so that people can easily view. Recent events that you may have created or participated in would also be newsy and of interest to your friends.

 

I am sure that you will find that your sailings in the above seven streams will bring you a lot of joy with success on your ‘LinkedIn Jaunt’.

Thanks for reading.

Eight Points to Improve your Listening Skills to be more Successful!

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In the December 2015, I had written a blog on communication which was reasonably appreciated. Recently, I came across something really revealing about the importance of communications.

A study by Harvard University revealed that, once you pick up a job, only 15 % of your success depends on your academic degree and/or knowledge. But 85% of your success is driven by your communication skills- your spoken words and the way you speak. Equally important is your active listening. So, I am repeating the text of earlier blog.

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      

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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.

Twelve Ways to Stay Cool under Pressure

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No one can claim that they are never under pressure. Some situations or people cause pressure to others.

The pressure is often aggravated by your personal frustrations. If you wanted to complete a task but due to whatever reasons you don’t do it, it causes frustration. Often times you may try to ignore it. But it cannot be erased. Such frustrations which cause pressure can be avoided by following:

  1. Don’t expect to do more than a human being is capable of within 24 hours.
  2. If you are made to do something which you don’t like, it will cause pressure. You will not be able to do it well. It is not abnormal.
  3. It will cause frustrations which can be avoided if you put your mind and soul in what you are doing.
  4. By following above, enjoy the collateral benefit of starting to be happy with your work.
  5. Watch your body language. Keep a smile on your face. You may find it difficult in the beginning. But as you consistently try, you will find it very rewarding.
  6. Take a pen and paper and write down the cause of your pressure. You will find that the cause is ill conceived. That realization will by itself bring down the pressure.
  7. Listen to some calm and soothing music of your liking. Music can do wonders.
  8. Practice – ‘Act, but never React’. When you act, you use your mind. But if you react you lose your mind. Evidently using mind is far better than losing it.
  9. We need to realize that within control anger is harmless. In fact anger enables us to fight for our rights. But when anger goes out of control, it causes blood pressure and various other health hazards. So, always keep anger within your control.
  10. Practice deep breathing. It gives more oxygen to our system. This, in turn, helps us to keep our mind cool. Deep breathing also makes it easy for us to express our selves articulately. You may ask how it will help. More breath in your lungs will enable you to speak longer sentences in one breath. Thus, improper pauses can be avoided.
  11. Increasing your self- awareness will also help. You become aware that you are doing your best. This awareness gives you a satisfaction which blows out your pressure.
  12. Develop a positive attitude. Concentrate on the positive aspects of life. Consider that life is a great boon and it is your duty to get the best out of every minute of your life. After all, time is the only resource which has been equally distributed by God, the almighty.

No doubt, it is difficult to control your temper and remain cool in difficult situations. But we all agree that if the can remain cool the results that we desire, will be achieved. Our efforts to follow the aforesaid points, therefore, are well deserved.

Thanks for Reading.

Eminent Leaders Great Lessons!

My Subject today comprises 3 aspects of human personality – temper, skills and productivity. I am not writing an essay based on information obtained and assimilated from various sources. Instead, I have collected a number of images & quotes on each of the above aspects. These quotes, I consider, best elucidate my thoughts on these aspects of personality. And, add much more of which I don’t consider myself capable of. I have placed these quotes in a particular order. But, you can change the order according to your priorities.

First of all, a couple of pictures and then I have listed great masters’ views on temper, skills and productivity, in the same order.

  1. Temper

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  1. Skills

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3. Productivity

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There never was a time in this world when knowledge could be obtained.

Thanks for Reading!

All the quotes and their sources, wherever recognized, are respectfully acknowledged!

Cyber World

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Helping hand to humanity
with the soul of a saint
depicting all the subjects
without any restraint.

The great new assistance
must be used
To forward movement of mankind
Without being abused.

Countries far and wide
Must enforce their own laws
Serve their society
Impending all flaws

Now it is a new world order;
The equal-opportunity ‘Cyber World’.
Transparent and clear without a blur
Its safety and sanctity; cyber citizens may gird.

Seven Steps to Productivity And Happiness

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Enhancing personal productivity is very important, today. How do we go about enhancing personal productivity?  What is the definition of personal productivity? We will deal with these and the related questions.

Time has been equally distributed to everyone. Two brothers, both born in the same family do not share the same success.  Both of them start there independent enterprises at same time. Let us assume that the prospects in both the fields that they enter are the same. They have received same amount of capital from their father. Ten years down the line one of them become a business tycoon while the other struggles for survival. How does this drastic difference take place? The prime answer among others is difference in productivity.

So, productivity is extremely important.

Now, let us try to define happiness. Simply said, if you have work to do and someone to love, and clear conscience, you will be happier than those who lack. Abraham Lincoln once said that you are as happy as you decide. That means happiness is a choice. Happiness is not a goal but a bye product. In spite of this being so, in today’s competitive environment you cannot be happy by your choice alone. You have to be productive. You have to show that you’re contributing to the society. If you are working efficiently for a company, you are contributed to its growth. Your feeling that you are an important part of the organization which is growing brings you happiness.

How to improve your personal productivity? Given below are some of the suggestions which will go a long way to make you more productive.

  1. Have a strong desire to succeed in what you are doing. If you are doing something you love and are passionate about, strong desire will emerge by itself. But if you don’t like your job and you have no other choice, start liking it. It is possible. But it requires consistent repetitive affirmations. Certainly, it will happen
  2. Better productivity requires better management of time. Often, too much time is wasted in thinking what will happen ‘if I don’t succeed’. Surely, havens will not fall. Mistakes and failures are a part of life and we must gracefully accept these. Then, you have to identify what are your other time wasters. A time log and review will enable you to make a list of many items who are enemies of your time. Kill them one by one.
  3. Set your own time limits. Work has is strange habit of extending itself to the available time. Don’t allow this to happen. Decide and keep a tab on the time you spend on your routine matters. Consistent efforts to improve your efficiency will result in substantial saving of time.
  4. Don’t ever pursue perfection. Perfection is never achieved. Only nature can be perfect but no human being. Nor any of the projects, big or small can boast of perfection. There will always be room for improvement. If you have achieved jumping a particular height, raise the bar. This process in turn will improve productivity.
  5. Study your optimal span of attention. If you are working on a project which is stupendous and difficult, allot a particular duration of time which is the span of your concentration. And then, have a break. Remember the economic law of diminishing returns. There is no use to fight against yourself. It never helps.
  6. Try to be proactive but you should never be reactive. Thus if you have received unpalatable massages by email or verbally don’t react. Further, never enter into an argument and take it personally.  We must remember, “If you win an argument, you lose a friend”. More importantly, it consumes your limited resource- your time.
  7. Last but not the least, minimize interruptions. If you are working on a project which requires an undivided attention, cut yourself off from all distractions. Provide a particular time to reply to all your messages. Instead of receiving calls, most of the time, keep your mobile on a message mode. You can always respond immediately, if the message was of a very important nature.

The above seven steps will improve your personal productivity substantially. You will be happy because you are performing better. It will enhance your confidence and your self-esteem, which in turn will bring you greater happiness.

Thank you for reading.