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Articles | Insight

The Secret Sauce for Success

That day I learned something. And that is a learning I decided to apply to my life.

It was the new years’ eve and the entire family had gathered together to ring in the New Year. I decided to whip up something new, something different that evening. I began with confidence but each time I tasted the dish, I had the sense that the dish was lacking in something. Some 3 tastings later, I decided that there was an inherent weakness in the recipe. I kept trying to correct that weakness and in the process ruined what could have become a perfect Master Chef worthy experimental dish.

A couple of hours later, just as the clock was about to strike twelve, I reflected over what went wrong with the dish. I had looked at the cooking process all wrong. I was so obsessed with correcting the weaknesses in the dish that never once did I try to work on the strengths of the recipe. I could have done so much to enhance the taste, some of the flavours were so spot- on and the colour did look perfect.

That night I realized that we tend to focus on our weaknesses way too often when instead we should focus on our strengths, the actual secret sauce for success. I realized that if I want to excel in whatever I do, I need to focus on my strengths and draw out the best from myself.

According to Gallup Database of Strengths- based Interventions, employees who learn to use their strengths are 7.8% more productive on the job and have 14.9% lower turnover.

In fact, during the 1950s, Nebraska School Study Council carried out a state- wide research to identify which teaching method could help improve rapid reading speed. While the statistical results to identify the teaching methods did remain insignificant, two interesting results came to light. The data revealed that performance increased 1.6 times for average performers and performance increased by 8 times for students who were naturally able to read fast.

So what are the ingredients for this secret sauce?

Identify your Capabilities

Think about all your life experiences (the good and the bad) and ask yourself these five questions.

  1. What was so exciting about that experience?
  2. How did I handle that experience?
  3. What did I learn from that experience?
  4. What was unique about my experience?
  5. What exciting words can describe how I handled that situation?

Seek Feedback

Ask any five people you trust what they think are your strengths. Ask them to answer these three questions.

  1. When do you think I was at my best?
  2. What did I do well?
  3. What was unique about the way I handled myself/ the situation?

Invest Time in Developing the Capability

Once you have identified your strengths, invest time in honing them. Practice consistently so that you can perform better.

According to studies conducted by Gallup, an Employee who regularly applies her strengths at work is 5.1 times as likely to strongly agree that she knows what is expected of her at work and 6.2 times as likely to strongly agree that she has the opportunity to do what she does best every day.

Leverage your Strengths

Restructure your roles in such a way that you take on tasks which capitalize on your strengths. Are you excellent at creating presentations? Why not share a presentation with colleagues highlighting processes followed in the department? This will let the concerned people identify your strengths and the same time will highlight how you take initiatives.

So go out there and shine the light on your strengths and expertise and see success follow you around. If you want help in figuring out your strengths, you can explore the coaching programs offered by SoaringEagles. Click on the Request Consultation button above.

Resources
Articles | Entrepreneurship

It’s Your Turn to be the Intrapreneur

Yes! I am talking to you...enough of blaming others for limited career growth, poor management, etc. It’s high time to be that 'irreplaceable' employee. It’s your turn to develop Intrapreneurship in you.

Ken Kutaragi was working in the sound labs at Sony Corporation (1975) when he bought his young daughter a Nintendo game console. When he saw his daughter playing with the new Nintendo game, he was not at all impressed with the quality of the sound. Ken believed that a digital chip, dedicated solely to sound, would significantly improve the quality of the Nintendo gaming system.

Ken successfully developed a CD-ROM-based system for Nintendo. Ken Kutaragi visualised the business opportunity of computer gaming systems for Sony. With his Intrapreneurial spirit, Ken pushed hard to convince the Sony Corporation to enter the electronic gaming business. His persistence paid off and he went on to lead the effort to help Sony develop its own gaming system. This went on to become a blockbuster product success we all know as ‘PlayStation’.

Sony backed Ken’s Intrapreneurial venture by investing $2.5 billion into the PlayStation start-up, and has gone on to build over 70% market share in the global home video game console market. Ken’s Intrapreneurial success has been called one of the greatest new business creations and launches in business history.

Animator John Lasseter was fired from Disney after suggesting the company get into computer animations. After all, he was just an artist. He went on to work for a division that later became Pixar. Here his interest in CGI was not only appreciated, but led to several hits like Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. Eventually, Pixar was sold to Disney. Lasseter went on to become Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios.

There are many examples of employees who has shown Intrapreneurship. Cheryl Pohlman (Kodak), Jeri Yoshizu (Toyota). If they can...then what is stopping you?

Entrepreneurial employees don’t always make it at large old-world companies. But, as the ability to innovate has now become a competitive advantage, even a requirement for survival, such large legacy companies need ways to retain people who can pull off innovative ideas. These employees recognize opportunities, and have the drive and persistence to make them happen.

If you want to be the ‘Irreplaceable Employee’, adapt the following 3 traits of ‘Intrapreneurs’

Driven To Come Up With New Ideas:

They are not satisfied with a job where they show up every day, follow orders, and go home. They want to do more, to achieve more ultimately, to have some degree of control over what they are doing. You will find these employees willing to follow through on their ideas with passion, taking ownership of some small part of the organization.

Willing To Take Risk:

Every business that exists represents a risk that someone was willing to take, and it’s similar for Intrapreneurial employees. They are not paralyzed in situations where the outcome is unclear and potential failure presents risks. If anything, they are energized by that sense of desperation and driven to come up with the best solution. Intrapreneurs aren’t afraid to change course, nor do they fear failure. They have an inner confidence and courage to believe that every step takes them closer to their ultimate goal.

Focused On Results:

They want to know how they are doing, what they are doing well, and where they can improve. That thirst for information spreads to the rest of the business, too, and they are always looking for ways to do things better. An entrepreneur “gets it” and does their work in a way that shows the organization they are someone it can’t afford to lose. The money and advancement finds them.

Konosuke Matsushita, one of the business titans of the 20th century, said: “Think like an entrepreneur, not a hired hand.

Apple, Motorola, Mitsubishi, 3M, and Johnson and Johnson are all well known examples of large organizations that practice and develop intrapreneurship today.

If you want to become that irreplaceable ‘Intrapreneurial Employee’, check out the coaching programs offered by Soaring Eagles. This program helps you develop into a highly productive, creative thinking leader who can communicate their ideas with confidence and influence people. Those who have stayed the course and followed the strategies, have risen from a sea of mediocrity in the workplace and emerged as Intrapreneurs!

Resources
Articles | Time Management

Interruptions, Interrupted

It is Monday morning and Marcia starts her week all committed and determined to deliver on all projects before deadline. She reaches work with a spring in her step and a song in her heart (Marcia loves her job and can’t wait for Mondays) and starts her laptop with gumption and alacrity. And lo behold, her colleague pops in and says, “Do you want to grab a cup of coffee before you get started?” And although there is a voice inside her head which is squeaking and pleading with her not to go, a huge monstrous desire to have that coffee and the amazing sandwich to go takes charge, thus quelling that squeak to a non- existent silence. And so, the day goes by with a phone call here, an email there and questions popping in from everywhere. And before she knows it, a whole week has flown by and the deadlines have all been again revised because they couldn’t be met. Does this sound familiar?

Basex research conducted in the US reveals that interruptions can impact an individual’s productivity, energy and work satisfaction and the estimated cost of this impact is close to $588 billion a year. The results of this study are startling given that a large part of our day just gets spent getting interrupted. This estimated figure does not include the rise in error rates and the resulting costs from these errors. 

According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, error rates doubled following a 2.8-second interruption and tripled after a 4 and a half-second distraction. So, you can imagine the cost implications of interruptions.

So, who creates these interruptions? Others or do we create them? Dr. Gloria Mark, Associate Professor at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California conducted a survey of employees at Microsoft and found that 44% of the time employees ended up interrupting themselves.

So how do we deal with this huge problem of interruptions? You can use the ICAP strategy to deal with interruptions.

ICAP Strategy for Dealing with Interruptions

Identify

We all have To- do lists which help us identify what needs to be done. But we seldom create the Not- to- do lists. Identify all the things that you should not be doing such as peeking into your phone, randomly checking social network updates, compulsively refreshing to check for emails. Interruption could also be in the form of a person reaching out to you with requests. Identify all the elements that are interrupting your work.

According to a study conducted by The Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, when you spend your time constantly on emails, text messages and calls, your IQ drops by 10 points. This loss is the same as the loss you would experience when you miss a night’s sleep. (Yoga Journal, p. 22, 12/2005).

Control

Take control of the situation. Tell people when you will be available to talk to them. Show that you respect time and treat it as a valuable resource. You can do this by valuing others’ time. You can take efforts to show people that you value time by requesting for time on their calendar or being time- bound and not exceeding time allotted to you. Set up a time to check emails. And I know this may sound very drastic but keep your phone switched off during office hours. That way you won’t feel compelled to check for updates.

Assert

Learn to say no. Most often we allow ourselves to be interrupted because it is more difficult to say no or because we feel guilty when we say no. Learn to be Assertive. Remember that you are saying no to the request and are not rejecting the person. It is important to understand that when you are saying yes to this person, you are saying no to your work and the cost implications of saying no to your work are a lot higher that saying no to this person.

Plan

Sometimes, interruptions are unavoidable. You can however plan for these interruptions in your calendar. Most people get overwhelmed due to the ad- hoc tasks that come in and which don’t allow for planned tasks to get done. This is why planning is so critical. When you have your day planned and prioritized, little else can deter it. If the interruption at hand does not lead you closer towards your long-term strategy, it means you must not let interruption get hold of you. If the interruption leads you towards that long-term goal, go ahead and welcome the interruption. Plans can be more fruitful when you have clear understanding of your goals.

This ICAP strategy can help you manage interruptions much better and can help you be more productive. If you don’t have a long-term strategy sketched out yet, now is a good time to work on it. Like Mahatma Gandhi said, “The future depends on what you do today.”

Are you struggling with finding time to do strategic things? Do you find yourself mostly caught up with day-to-day execution challenges and firefighting? How is this impacting your performance and movement towards your goals? Do you want to get a hold over your time and focus on strategic initiatives? A coach can help you with this goal. Feel free to schedule a free consultation with us. 

Resources
Articles | Training

SoaringEagles Named A Top 25 Most Promising Learning & Development Consultant 2017

We are thrilled to share that SoaringEagles has been named as one of the top 25 Most Promising Learning & Development Consultants 2017 in the Consultants Review Magazine.

Consultants Review is the one of the leading business magazines that features information, trends, developments and insights on the consultancy scene in India. The magazine provides a platform for distinguished Industry leaders like CEO, COO, CFO, VP- Marketing & HR heads to share their views, experiences, successes, best practices and industry trends.

To quote Consultants Review -

"In this edition of Consultants Review, we have listed ‘25 Most Promising Learning & Development’ Consultants that are assured to bring the most value to the organization by maximizing the profitability of the business and attain sustainable growth in the long run."

We are elated to be recognized as one of the most promising Learning & Development Consultants of 2017 as this is a recognition of the quality and effectiveness of our customized corporate training programmes which deliver results for our clients.

Here is an excerpt from the article -

"SoaringEagles has a strong learner-centric approach and arouses intrinsic motivation to learn in their trainees. The company believes in delivering quality content consistently. The company has seized every opportunity that has presented itself in the talent development space. Explaining the importance of their services for companies, Sonali avers, “Disengaged employees and high turnover rate impact the productivity of the business, its level of innovation, and ultimately the bottom line. One of the key reasons for attrition is a lack of opportunity for self-development of employees. Bringing on board an innovative and agile talent development partner like SoaringEagles can dramatically improve performance over a few months of engagement.”

To access the full article click here.

To know more about our programs, visit https://soaringeagles.co/coaching

To contact us click on the Request Consultation or WhatsApp button above.

Resources
Articles | Communication

How to Communicate Well With Others: Top 5 Tips

Communication is at the core of our existence. Whether we know it or not, we are all communicating with others all the time – be it through words or through our body language. As a social animal, we cannot survive without communicating with other. Why do you think solitary confinement is one of the most stringent punishments in prison? So the first thing to acknowledge is that you can communicate. Don’t ever say or think that you cannot communicate, you will only pull yourself down.

The quality of your communication determines whether you get what you want or not. If you find yourself in situations where people just don’t get what you are saying, it is time to reflect and understand where the communication is not going right –

  • is it that your idea is not clear; or
  • is it that your words are not appropriate; or
  • is it that you are not able to get the attention of the listener; or
  • is it that you are not able to get the listener interested in what you have to say; or
  • is it that you know what to say but just don’t have the confidence to say it well?

It is important to know where you may be getting stuck so that you can improve the quality of your communication and achieve your objectives. The top 5 tips to enhance the quality of your communication with others are as follows:

Enhance Your Active Vocabulary Vocabulary tree

It is important to use the appropriate words in our sentences to get our ideas across. If we do not have a strong vocabulary, we will struggle to express our ideas clearly and succinctly. If we have to use a lot of simple words to get across one idea which could have been expressed better with one appropriate word, we run the risk of the listener losing interest in what we have to say or worse our ideas get buried under a bunch of random words. So it is important to have a large active vocabulary, i.e., words that we can actually use while speaking and writing.

Everyone has a much larger passive vocabulary than an active one, and that is perfectly alright. However, if you make efforts to listen to how more advanced or difficult words are used by others and try to use it in your communication, you will develop your active vocabulary and then not be at loss of words. Focus on the type of words you will actually use or that are used actively in your industry.

Be Clear about what you want to say and what you want to get out of it

People have very short attention spans and they don’t like to listen to someone who rambles on without any clear purpose. So before you can engage anyone in a conversation, it is important that you are clear about your own thoughts and ideas. When you have that clarity of thought, you will be able to structure your message better.

Einstein on Explaining Simply

It is important to be clear on what is it that you are trying to achieve while talking to someone so that you can guide the discussion towards getting that end objective. This does not mean that you show no interest in the person you are talking to. You objective could very well be to get to know the person better and understand what their challenges are so that you can then see how you can help them. At times we make the assumption that the listener knows what we want and will do the needful without us actually specifically asking for it. This approach may not get you the desired outcome. The better approach is to have a clear ‘call to action’ so that the listener knows what you expect or want them to do.

Grab the attention of the listener

Has this happened to you – you are sitting with a group of people and when you try to say something, you realize that no one is listening and then you just stop talking. Believe me, it happens to almost everybody. The important thing is to not give up and start believing that no one wants to listen to me. You have to make an effort to grab the attention of the listeners and say what you have to say. There are many ways of doing it. You can interject when there is a slight pause in the conversation or when one topic that was being discussed has reached its logical conclusion. You can use phrases like – “I want to add to that” or “I had a similar experience” or “Do you want to hear another perspective” or “I agree and ….” or something on these lines.

Phubbing

Another scenario very common these days is when you are trying to say something and the listener starts looking at their phone or doing something else. Before you can get your message across, you need to grab their attention.

Make it interesting for the listener

If you want to engage with someone and have them listen to your ideas, you need to make sure it is interesting for the listener. You need to look at things from their perspective and present your ideas in a way that makes it meaningful for them. If the listener does not see anything of interest to them in what you have to say, they will eventually switch off and your efforts would be wasted. So it is better to understand your audience and tailor your content so as to make it about your audience and not about you. This simple strategy will see your quality of communication improve dramatically.

Work on building your confidence

When you have confidence in yourself, it shows and it attracts others to you like a magnet. People want to get to know you and your self-confident attitude shows that you are worth their time and effort. A self-confident person also makes others feel better about themselves. People who lack confidence tend to avoid connecting with others, they avoid eye contact and project disinterest. This turns people off. For good conversation to take place, people need to make eye contact and need to show interest in each other. So to become a good conversationalist, work on building your self-confidence. When you feel good about yourself, you will be able to make others feel good about themselves.

Remember, a conversation is always a two–way street so both sides need to get to speak and should listen when the other person is talking. Being a good conversationalist is not only about speaking well but also about listening well. When you listen actively and understand the other person’s perspective, you will be able to present your ideas in a much more attractive manner.

SoaringEagles offers a range of courses on enhancing self-confidence and improving communication skills. There are also courses on public speaking and presentation skills. The courses help you to enhance your self-esteem and self-confidence, build better rapport, think more creatively and critically, and present your ideas with conviction and clarity. To find out more and benefit from our programs, click on the Request Consultation button above.

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Articles | Communication

How to Do Well in a Group Discussion

Whether you are looking to get into a good MBA college or get a job with some of the leading companies, you will have to encounter the much dreaded ‘Group Discussion’ selection process. While there are many articles around do’s & don’t for doing well in Group Discussions, the guidance tends to have a limited view on the whole process.

Given that SoaringEagles works extensively on helping people get placed by doing well in Group Discussions and Interviews, we are sharing details of strategies that will help you do very well in Group Discussions.

Understand the purpose of the Group Discussion from the recruiter’s perspective

The first step is to understand why colleges and companies use Group Discussions as part of their selection process. This will help you structure your approach to meet their requirements and hence stand out of the crowd. Colleges and companies that get a lot of applicants need to have a process to eliminate applications and reduce the number of applicants they interview. Personal interviews take a lot of time and effort and hence Group Discussions can help them shortlist some candidates.

Understand the key traits and skills recruiters look for during a Group Discussion

So you need to understand the traits recruiters look for while evaluating candidates during the Group Discussion. Some of the key traits they look for are as follows:

  • Communication Skills
    • Ability to express ideas clearly
    • Assertiveness
  • Interpersonal Skills
    • Leadership Skills
    • Team Work
  • Reasoning Ability and analytical skills
    • Logical thinking
    • Creative thinking
    • Ability to think on your feet
  • Personality traits
    • Initiative
    • Flexibility
    • Openness to others and new ideas

You need to keep all these in mind when preparing for and presenting yourself in a Group Discussion. If you focus on only getting a chance to speak and speaking loudly to be heard over the noise, you may miss out on demonstrating some of the other key skills that they are looking for. Later you may wonder what went wrong.

Confidence is at the core of the selection process

While the recruiters look for the above mentioned skills and traits, one of the key things that a person needs to demonstrate is confidence. Confidence is basically the belief in one’s ability to succeed. Even if you have all the skills they are looking for but don’t have confidence in your abilities, you will not get selected. You can build confidence by working on yourself. Invest in courses that help you develop these skills and give you an opportunity to practice them. SoaringEagles offers a comprehensive 40-hour course which not only helps you build confidence but also develops your interpersonal skills, creative and analytical thinking, and commercial awareness. (Check out how to build confidence here.)

Prepare for the likely topics

Walking in for a Group Discussion without preparing for topics that are currently making a lot of news could be a recipe for disaster. You may have very little understanding about the event and will struggle to come up with good points. This will be evident to the recruiter immediately. They will put you down as someone who is not up-to-date with the latest developments – not something you want.  So make sure you look up recent developments and have points from different perspectives. Having details about the event and being able to analyze it well will make you really shine in a Group Discussion.

Perform on the day of the Group Discussion

All your preparation will come to fruition only if you perform well on the day of the Group Discussion. So it is important to prime yourself for a good show. There are many strategies you can apply to pump up your confidence. One such strategy is visualization. Visualizing yourself as speaking confidently, taking on the role of a coordinator in the discussion and making logically sound arguments will all make you feel ready for excelling in the Group Discussion. Managing your emotions plays a very important role here.

If you want to really do well in a Group Discussion and subsequent Interview, check out the programs offered by SoaringEagles. These programs prepare you in a comprehensive manner and give you a lot of practice to be ready to crack the selection process. For more details request for a free consultation by clicking the button above.