Tag Archives: communication

How to be awesome at work! And in life too!

The crux of life is to learn something new, everyday! – Khalid Raza

I started the blog with the statement above but if you see the comments, you will see a buzzing conversation. Through his comments, Narayanan shared with us a better version of the quote, which I am pasting below. I am amazed, how all of us can make all of us more intelligent, smarter and better. Thank you Narayanan!

‘The crux of life is to learn something new, everyday and share it with others!!! – Khalid Raza and Narayanan

2014 zipped past like a bullet train. Is it the effect of super-addictive learning, or the fast paced world we live in? Nonetheless, it was a great year for me, personally and professionally. I made some new friends, traveled to awesome new places including Mauritius, bought a house, got promoted at work, worked with one the finest leaders in IBM – Tim Collins; learnt a lot from my mentors and #SocialHRSuccess revolutionized social learning at IBM,.Ohh I forget, I started liking coffee – thank you New York!

#SociaGlamor #BEAwesome #Leadership #Learning Khalid Raza khalidraza9

But above all, I discovered that working with other bright individuals, is an opportunity to become a better person. We get these opportunities all the time, but mostly squander them as we fail to see them as opportunities. Some of us stay blind. So much to learn, so much to do and so many ways to shine! To some it all up there may be much to achieve in this world but the biggest achievement will always be love and appreciation from people around you. How much of that do you get? How do you get more?

I am going to share a small activity which I started in 2014 and works for me. I want you to take a pen and a paper and write down the name of the person, you ‘do not’ wish to work with again. Don’t fret, I’d not ask you to share that with me.

Think of the reasons, why you would not like to work with them. Anything which makes you cringe about them. Write the top three reasons below the name. This is where this activity becomes the toughest – you have to be honest with yourself. For, you are in the process of becoming your better self.

Now list down the times where you demonstrated any of those three traits at work. It does not matter if you were chasing a deadline, of you were upset or if your CEO had turned red. If you can relate to any of the qualities that you wrote down, it means there are people at work, who do not wish to work with you!

Did you ever think of it? I did not, till I did this exercise. I felt really bad about myself and heart heavy. But this is where we pick up the gauntlet and take steps towards becoming our better selves.

Now do the next step in the process. Take one said trait at a time and give yourself two weeks to improve. Here is what I did:

  1. Made impact statements for each trait. The impact statement should guide you towards eradicating the same. For example if the trait is, “He/She speaks rudely,” the impact statement can be, “I will be polite at all times.”
  2. Wrote my impact statement on a paper and stuck it at my desk. It read, “I will not interrupt.”
  3. Identify a partner – anyone who can observe your behavior and provide feedback to you. Seek feedback at all times. The person should know the activity and the results you are expecting.
  4. Observe yourself at all times. No one can improve you unless you give it your 100%.

be-better-600x338That’s it – you will see results, in the form of compliments, better relations and best one – the confidence and happiness that comes with being a better person. You can do this for anything you do not like in others. If you do not appreciate people rushing in when the elevator door opens, you stop rushing in. If you do not like people honking on the road, you stop honking. If you do not like getting rude emails, you must stop writing them. We know that leaders are never born, they become. But before becoming a leader, we must become better human beings and professionals.

Thank you for being part of my leadership journey. 2014 was amazing and 2015 looks bright already. Will you stay blind or get better? Share your thoughts with me.

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Arroyos in Barranquilla are real and dangerous and very very beautiful!

It was a hot but lovely afternoon yesterday as we headed out to have lunch at the Crepes and Waffles. I loved the pita bread dish they served! After eating our lavish lunch and sumptuous dessert, we headed back to our client’s office. As we walked out of the restaurant, skies got a little murky but there wasn’t any warning of imminent downpour.

The moment we sat inside the taxi, it poured like crazy, which was cooling and a welcome respite from the hot sun. But, a cooling moment or two aside, we realized that the legendary arroyos weren’t the fiction of anyone’s imagination but a real and present danger. In fact you have to see it to believe it!

As we crossed lanes and roads, it was evident that we were going to witness something elemental. While we still could see the funny side of it (see the video below), everything escalated really fast.

It was water water everywhere and reminded me of the movie Waterworld. We managed to continue towards our office and at one point the rain stopped and so did all the cars. Pretty anxious to get back to dry land now, I checked with the driver, who was a cool one. He quipped, “The arroyo won’t let us pass!”

I got out of the taxi and made a video to capture how strong the current was and how dangerous it all really is. And I learned my lesson – while in Barranquilla when it rains, stay high, stay dry and stay inside!

Everyone around me is stupid!

Everyone is stupidAah it’s Monday and the first day of the week – the most loved one by all office goers and people like me who work from home – thank you IBM (I miss going to office sometimes…not always but sometimes. Also read how working from home can work against you). Going to office is fun, especially when you have a good crowd around you (now this is subjective). The definition of good is debatable, so let’s not focus on that.

We all whine that everyone around us is stupid and how impossible it is for us to work  productively. We tend to forget that these stupid people are the ones we have to work and live with. I always laugh at the perception and more so when I came across this fascinating article by Suzanne Lucas – 5 Signs That You’re the Problem.  It made me realize that people are never stupid, our perceptions are. We always try and measure people against our capabilities and our expectations.

We always brush a speaker aside if he/she makes a mistake while reading out news, but we wet our pants if are ever asked to speak in public. 🙂 The bigger problem here is that this unwilling and unwitting ‘perception-rollercoaster’ makes the work environment unhealthy. We start judging our colleagues and eventually feel that we need to move out/away, not realizing that we will be encountering the same species, everywhere!

People will always be stupid and “I” will always be smarter, Tweet: People will always be stupid and but we need to work in teams and we need compassion and understanding to deal with others. Think beyond your ego and see how good everyone is. Otherwise we get stuck in a vicious ‘everyone is stupid’ spiral.

The question that comes up here is of course is what can organizations do to create an engaged workforce who is productively active at all the times. I feel ‘social’ has the answer. The differences or perception of friction appears when people stop communicating. Social platforms like communities and forums allow people to communicate constantly while harnessing mutual knowledge and promoting collaboration at all times. Whiners are always shunned away!

But the answer to the question lies within each of us – how we treat others when they are not watching us. Are there people around you who you think are stupid? Are they really stupid? What impression do they have of you? I will be interested in knowing more about your stupid bunch – do share through comments.

Edited by: Vanitha Poojary

5 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People

Yeah yeah.. we have heard it a lot! Haven’t we? but we still make the same mistakes. Oh I hear you, we are humans!

And yes, I have made mistakes too. As the technology advances and brings people closer to make a digital village, the use of tools to connect has risen rapidly. With this rise, we, as users, have evolved, and have become more savvy and pro. But one tool, which makes others yawn, is presentations. We need them (most of the time we do not) and we kill people with them.

We make heavy presentations to drive a simple point. Once I saw a 13 page deck on, “planning a team outing!” I was appalled and was laughing and here is the best part – the Executive appreciated it! For god’s sake, we wasted so much time and spare a thought for the person who had to make it!

However there is a bigger problem out there. Especially when the presentations are made, they are made keeping in mind the concept, idea, problem etc. No-one, no-one thinks about the audience. Surprised?!

Watch this six minutes video that talks about five things you need to know about people.

5 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People from Dr. Susan Weinschenk

For a presentation that informs, inspires and motivates your audience, you need to think from their end while preparing your thought, making the charts and while delivering the talk.

This is no rocket-science, may be you knew it. Do let me know your thoughts or views on this topic.

Community Management – 5 tips to make your newsletter a success

Community Management sometimes is confused with power and Community Managers behave like kings and queens – insurmountable by anything or anyone. These communities do have a future – a doomed one. Members start leaving, the relations get bitter and the traffic goes down. But why are we talking about this in the context of a community newsletter?

Don't be a Monkey

Don’t be a Monkey CM

Don’t be a monkey – who snatches everything. Although monkeys have a great sense of community but when it comes to being a Community Manager, ‘don’t be a monkey’.

A community newsletter reflects the tone with which a community is managed and how community members are treated. A community newsletter is like an invitation and reflects the emotion of the sender towards the receiver – an invitation to the learning party by the learning party host (thanks Sarah Siegel for this term, I love it). Let’s look at how to make your community newsletter a success: Continue reading

How do you make a community more active?

So you got new members and the community is big in number! Great – Congratulations. Mr CM, your work starts now! Your only (ideally) task should be to make the community active.

“How do I do that?”

This is one question I am almost certain to be asked whenever I speak with people regarding community and community management. And when I tell how I do it – people say they knew it but never paid attention to it. The trickiest part with community management is to understand the ‘WHY’ and the most often ignored aspect too.

Here are 6 questions that I ask myself almost every day and if I get all Yes, I know I am on the right track.

Read the complete blog on socialmediatoday.com

Community Management: Welcome them! Win them!

How would you feel when you walk into a party where everyone is busy doing something: singing, dancing, eating, vomiting (yuck!)… ? You move around and see small and big groups busy in their small games and chit-chats. There is food and drink but no one is offering it to you! How long will you stay alone?

I am sure most of us will walk out!

Are you treating your community members like this? Are you there when they join the community? How do you welcome them? or lemme ask, do you welcome them? image

When someone joins a community, you need to get them to participate in an interaction immediately. If you get this right, your ratio of newcomers to regulars will skyrocket. How to get them to join the party? Here are few tips but I am sure there are many. Do feel free to comment and share if you have any other brilliant idea. Continue reading

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