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Articles | Self-awareness

Being Self-aware Makes You Confident

Have you ever felt completely at odds with your job or your organization?

Have you felt unsure of your abilities and place in the office? Maybe your personality, values, or likes and dislikes don't really fit with what your job demands? However, most of us are not able to articulate what the problem is or even that there is a problem!

That is because

a) most of us expect to be uncomfortable at work (after all, why would someone pay you if it was easy!) and

b) we don’t really have a clear enough understanding of ourselves to pinpoint the misalignment or put the finger on the root cause of our discomfort.

What is self-awareness?

Simply defined, it means having a deep understanding of your inner norms, drivers, motivations, beliefs, and preferences, or intuitions. You understand what is happening in your mind in each situation. You can analyze, monitor, or control your reaction to situations and external stimuli.

Ultimately, being more self-aware will give you the ability to express yourself in the best possible manner during any situation. You will act consciously, instead of reacting uncontrollably.

It will also help you make the most of your abilities. When you know who you are, you will use that knowledge to place yourself in situations that align with your innermost being and remove yourself from circumstances that don’t.

At Soaring Eagles, we firmly believe that EVERY single change (no matter how small or insignificant) must be authored by you yourself! And that is only possible when you know who you are to start with. Only when you know your starting point can you then fix a goal for transformation.

Can being self-aware help you grab the right opportunities and steer your career in the right direction?

Clarity

Imagine knowing exactly what type of work, professional environment, or process suits your personality! All that time spent bouncing from one unsatisfactory job to another can be completely cut down. With an awareness of your nature, beliefs, and key drivers, you can tailor your job search – and your entire career – to maximize your core strengths.

Confidence

Knowing your self allows you to bring a heightened sense of confidence to your career. It will enable you to make career choices with complete confidence. No more second-guessing your abilities or your interest in a particular area; being self-aware will help you analyse your professional options and make decisions based on knowledge rather than gut feel.

Emotional Intelligence

Self-awareness leads to developing emotional intelligence. When you have the ability to be in touch with your emotions, it will automatically make you more aware of and empathetic towards the feelings of others. This amplified EQ will help you achieve success in all phases of your career – from your first internship to your last leadership role.

Longevity

When you work at what you like, or in an atmosphere that aligns with your core beliefs  - you are already on the way to long-term success. Understanding yourself allows you to find work that you enjoy and are good at – this, in turn, ensures you do well at it! 

It’s clear ...

That you could land a job that is the envy of your peers or get nominated for a role that puts you in the big league, but if it doesn’t match your core temperament or your belief system then you will not be able to sustain yourself in it in the long-run and more importantly, you will not be happy in it.

Are you looking to jumpstart your plateauing career? Or maybe you are looking to bring some clarity into your career plans? Then do consider one of SoaringEagles’ training sessions. We have several that focus on building skills useful for different stages of your career. Do call us to find out what fits your needs.

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Articles | Insight

3 Major Stress Drivers At Work And Tips On How To Manage Them

That sinking feeling in your stomach; that unwillingness to get out of bed; dragging yourself at work; increased heartbeat, sleepless nights, sweaty palms, hair turning grey, and stomach problems – this is all STRESS!

Sadly we don’t know anyone who hasn’t suffered from it all! In fact, it would be safe to say that stress is on the rise, especially in workplaces. We can blame it on the faster pace of work and life or more competition or the corporate rat race or even our personal relationships – whatever may the reasons be, the bottom line is that STRESS seems to be GROWING!

Here in this article, we will focus on some of the main stress-inducing situations in an office scenario AND some tips to help you reduce it (or at the very least manage it better) –

Interpersonal Conflict

One of the most significant sources of stress is the BOSS (a US-based study reported that over a third of surveyed workers cited their boss as the primary source of their work-related stress). As your boss or senior management has the most control or say in what you do at work, how well you are treated, and your long-term career prospects, it is not surprising that difficult bosses can become a major source of worry.

Apart from team leads and HoDs, conflict with colleagues can also lead to a toxic work atmosphere, which will undoubtedly increase the stress in your daily work life.

What can you do?

First off, keeping quite and bottling it all up is NOT going to help. The stress will only keep increasing, and it is better to be upfront about your problems when they are small and manageable rather than when they get out of hand.

If your boss is inadvertently causing stress but is intrinsically a nice, reasonable person, then it might be useful to sit down and have a simple chat. It would also be helpful to chat about your problems with some close colleagues and enlist their help when things start getting stressful – for example, with late-night shifts or deadlines. It might seem a bit aggressive, but setting some boundaries can be helpful in the long run – for example, if you have to get back home at a certain time, but long meetings or last-minute work always creates difficulties, then talking about your time constraints openly is best. Try to find a flexible way to manage work such as coming in early, taking on a different role, or working from home. 

If, on the other hand, your boss's personality is difficult to deal with, then there isn't much you can do to change him/her or your situation. The short term solution is to learn to deal with moods, predict personality traits, and keep yourself calm. In the long-run, moving to another department or a different company altogether is the only permanent solution.

Unrealistic work expectations

Too much work, impossible deadlines, long work hours, and working with too few resources or staff are all unreasonable situations at work that induce stress.

While you might be able to manage working beyond your capacity or abilities for a while, it is bound to create a problematic situation when it becomes a long term expectation.

What can you do?

Setting expectations and time limits are the only ways ahead. Every job has situations where you will be asked to extend yourself to do more – peak season in retail or a new project or client with a tight deadline. All employees understand this and are generally OK with it too. The problem only starts when you go from one stressful project to another and from one deadline to another; when the team size remains small, but the workload keeps increasing. In these situations, you have to speak to the senior management and present your problem along with solutions. 

Work-life imbalance

In the current work culture where working long hours is a badge of indispensability and almost a status symbol signaling one's importance in a company, personal life usually suffers. This competition to work extra-long starts when most people are young and can sustain this lifestyle, but when families come into the picture, it becomes challenging to maintain a balance.

What can one do?

First and foremost, get a sound support system in place to manage whatever home related work you can outsource. Spend extra to get better and more reliable help. With external help in place, set your limits. This could be how many days a month you will travel or sacrosanct family times such as weekends or late evenings.

Career-wise you might have to re-evaluate how you can cut down or accommodate your family's needs with your work schedule. Ultimately every person must decide their priorities themselves. But it's important to sit down and plan what you want to do, what are your life's must-haves, and what you are willing to let go off. Once you have that clearly defined, the next step is to go about finding the smoothest path to achieve the best work-life balance.

The Bottom Line

Stress will always be there! Whether you are the CEO or the new intern – everyone has some problems they are dealing with and some tensions they are living under. No one is exempt, but some do manage to seem less stressed and happier. This is only because they have the mindset and the drive to change their situations. Stress is a symptom of loss of control; when you feel that you can’t change a bad situation and are stuck in it. Always know that YOU have the reins of your life; YOU are in the driver's seat, and the choice to change is YOURS.

Approach your problems with a positive attitude and look for solutions – they will seem less stressful.

If things seem overwhelming and you need to reduce stress immediately, then learning ways to de-stress from a professionally trained coach is the best way forward. Request a complimentary consultation by clicking the button above.

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Articles | Self-awareness

How To Craft The Perfect Personal Branding Message

“I have been hearing and reading a lot about the importance of building my personal brand .. it all seems to be tied with using LinkedIn and blogging and networking at events. Which is why I started writing posts a few months ago, but it all sort of fizzled out.”

“I want to blog, but am not sure how to go about it AND what if I do it all wrong and everyone makes fun of me! Also, I really don't have the time! ”

“I think personal branding is for celebrities or C suite managers who can hire professionals. My career is doing fine as it is, what can I really gain from it?”

These are the TOP THREE reasons we hear from professionals about why they are not trying to establish their personal brand.

These are all valid thoughts and reasons. But they can all be easily taken care of!  

You don’t need a lot of time to stay active on LinkedIn; you can get professional help to get your blogs up and running; you can hire a ghost-writer to pen down your insights in a palatable form, AND personal branding is not just a fancy trend – it will pay rich dividends in all aspects of your career.

It is all eminently doable, and there is professional guidance available to get you started. BUT there is one critical bit that YOU have to do yourself – decide on what your brand stands for!

You have to fix your message and before you do anything else. You have to decide how you want to present yourself. For this, deep introspection and critical feedback are needed. Here's what you need to do to get this right. 

Find your strengths

The best place to start is to identify what you are good at.

For this look at your best projects, your most commended team role or job, ask yourself what is the one thing that you do better than anyone else in your team? Are you the go-to person for a certain job?

Along with strengths, you must also identify your weaknesses or problem areas. With all this information, create a top-5 list. Now its time to get some outside perspective on your list, we recommend you ask some close friends and colleagues about your top 5 strengths and include their feedback to distill your list.

Passions

Another great way to find out what makes you tick is to examine your passions. We all have some huge interests that ignite us – they might lie dormant under work and life pressures, but when unwrapped they give us immense pleasure.

Let your subconscious take over; think about what you genuinely enjoy doing. What would you do if money was not at stake? What type of people or activities do you like to engage with? What topics are you most knowledgeable about, and what are you always reading or searching for online?

Answering these questions will undoubtedly bring you clarity on what you enjoy. Dig a bit deeper to find out WHY you like doing these things. Look for the underlying common denominator that might pop up and jot down what comes up in your master list.

Values

We are driven to make choices according to our values and belief systems. They have a profound impact on our behaviour and actions. Your brand message must be aligned with your values. Hence, it is essential to define your value system clearly. 

Think of situations at work and at home that makes you angry or sad or satisfied. Identify what triggered these feelings. What are some things you would never do, no matter how much money or recognition you were offered? Thinking of what your NO-GO zones are would help you narrow down your deeply held values.

Add 5 to your list.

Purpose

Find out how your career connects to your life beyond the office. Why are you doing this job? What do you hope to achieve from it? Apart from work, what do you see as the larger purpose of your existence?

Identify your dreams and hopes, and you will be able to narrow down your life goals. Add some points by writing out sentences such as “I am...” “I have...” “I enjoy...” “I will...”

Bring it all together

Use the information you have gathered above to distill your message. Craft an elevator pitch that showcases your strengths, and talks about your values. Make sure that you are guided by your purpose and passion in pursuing the larger personal branding exercise. Your message should align with your interests and propel you towards achieving your purpose.

The key is authenticity.  Your personal brand is all about projecting who you are, not about manufacturing a false narrative of what might be most useful for a job search. Remember, your brand will outlive your current or even your next job.

Treat your personal brand message like your calling card. It’s about bringing who you are to what you do and how you do it. Communicating this clearly and consistently will build your reputation and leave an impression on all who encounter you across the virtual or physical world.

There is absolutely no doubt that everyone in the corporate world must start working on building their personal brand. If you are unsure about how to go about it, then don’t let that stop you. Join our personal branding training to create a clear roadmap and start today.

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Articles | Self-awareness

How Interview Skills Learnt At Soaring Eagles Help In Real-World Situations

From the first internship to the last C-suite position, every milestone of your professional journey will begin with an interview. And whether the interview takes the form of a standard grilling by an HR executive or an informal chat with the CEO – it all boils down to how you position yourself as THE ideal candidate for that particular job. It is all about marketing yourself effectively. 

At Soaring Eagles, we conduct Interview Skills Training as standalone workshops and also as a critical part of our professional career guidance training programs. Typically, an interview skills training at SoaringEagles comprises –

1. Tips and tricks to present yourself with confidence and make the right impression

The interview starts before even one word is uttered, and many of the decisions at the end of the process are based on the personality and behaviour of the person rather than their qualifications.

We share several time-tested tips that help in making candidates understand basics like - How to greet recruiters, present themselves at their best, how to overcome nervousness and appear relaxed and confident, as well as physical behaviour such as how to shake hands, how to sit, how to move, where to look, and more.

2. Fine-tuning physical appearance and body language

Apart from the psychological and professional strategies, the Soaring Eagles workshop also teaches candidates the finer points of getting their physical appearance and body language on-point.

Whether subconsciously or overtly, what they wear, how they carry themselves, and their non-verbal behaviour leaves an impact. We give participants the insider’s perspective on what works and what should certainly be avoided.  

3. Information on various types of interviewing styles

We acquaint our participants with the details of different interviewing styles, such as case-based, strengths-based, or behavioral-based interviewing methodology. They are then encouraged to use this information to tailor their interactions and put their best foot forward.

With our training, participants will be able to identify the purpose of an interview, use the psychological techniques we teach to leave the best impression, and understand the motives of the interviewer (what they are looking for and what they are trying to avoid).

We also teach them how to structure their conversation, how to show they are interested in the job, make themselves agreeable, and more.

4. Best practices for phone and Skype interviews

Face-to-face conversations flow quite differently from the ones on the phone or video calls. As more and more interviews happen remotely, it is important to be prepared for this situation. We share some applicable tips on how to create a fantastic impression on calls or video chats.

5. Mock interviews

All your learnings culminate in a series of mock interviews that give you a chance to put to practice all the tips and strategies we explained before. We cover critical bits such as introductions, and how to prepare and answer stock questions such as - tell me about yourself? We also cover the best methods to deal with difficult questions or recruiters, improve listening skills, and handle sticky conversations such as salary. Another critical part we cover is how to leave an interview with a good impression, how to follow up, and more.

So many of us dream of landing that perfect job, but when we eventually get a foot in the door, we sometimes lose out – not because we are not capable, but because we are not able to show our capabilities in the right manner.

The unfortunate part is that showcasing abilities can easily be learnt. There are several simple ways to prepare for interviews that can drastically increase your chances of winning through. So much so that it can all be learnt in one day!

Imagine increasing your interview success rate to 80% (FOREVER) by investing one day in learning interview skills! Who wouldn’t want to do that!

Do you want to know more about what you will learn and how it can help you? Call us or email us to find out the details.

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Articles | Leadership

We Think Leadership Training Should Be For Everyone. Here’s Why.

Often leadership training is seen as a select program offered to a few, bright members of the team. There is a tendency to turn it into a reward for good performance or a filter for future leaders – maybe it’s the cost of the training session or perhaps over the years it has become an instrument for facilitating promotions.

Whatever be the case, we are here to put forth the idea that EVERYONE in the organization can benefit from leadership training and that it should be open to all – even to employees not on a managerial level.

To understand this idea, let us first look at what leadership training teaches. 

  • It helps you understand your motivational drivers, emotional intelligence so that you can use this knowledge to control and guide your thoughts, actions, and behaviours. 
  • It teaches you advanced communication skills so that you can influence and work well with your peers or team members.
  • Leadership training teaches you to apply or adapt your leadership style to meet specific challenges. You will be taught how to manage stressful and demanding situations to drive team performance.
  • You will also help people who work under you to learn and grow by coaching them or by sharing positive feedback.
  • You will learn how to think logically, analyze information quickly, and come up with solutions on-the-fly. 
  • And finally, you will learn to take charge of your own professional development to keep growing. 

If you take the word leadership out of the equation, it becomes evident that EVERYONE would benefit from having these skills. So, why just limit it to a select few? 

Here are some ways in which you will see the business benefit of this training

1. Enhance Productivity 

According to Gallup polls – employee investment leads to 10-19 % increase in sales and 9-15 % more self-reported engagement from employees. Giving new skills such as independent thinking, communication, and teamwork can have long term benefits across teams. When everyone in the company is communicating well and is self-driven, it will automatically drive productivity through the roof.  

2. Show employees that they are worth investing in

In a recent survey, companies with engaged employees outperformed those without by up to 202%. When you invest in training employees, they see career growth and opportunity within the organisation; this translates into making them work harder and be more engaged with the company.

3. Expanded leadership pool

Opening up leadership training develops hidden talent early on. Ultimately this will give you a larger crop of talented professionals who can step into leadership roles quickly and effectively. 

4. High retention rates and low HR costs

It’s no surprise that engaged and loyal employees tend to stay longer with their organisations – not only is this great for productivity it also makes the work of HR managers much easier and saves the cost of onboarding and training new employees.

Offering advanced leadership training also positions your organisation as an employee-centric company making it an attractive place for future employees – this naturally makes it easier to attract top talent during recruitment drives.  

Conclusion

You want your C-suite managers and team leaders to have a certain set of skills and maturity; when employees from all levels of the organisation are offered the SAME skills, it will grow the benefits exponentially and have a cascading effect on the company culture. Imagine an organisation full of self-motivated, forward-thinking individuals – how can anything stop that company from growing?

What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you think widening leadership training to include more employees will have observable benefits? Do leave your point of view in the comment section below. We would love to know your opinion.

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Articles | Training

Why Sales Training is Essential and What It Will Teach You?

The economic ecosystem is getting more and more competitive – gone are the days when one advertisement or a sales call could convince people to open their wallets. Digital marketplaces and the Internet have made things super tough for traditional sales teams; giving rise to a new type of customer who is extremely knowledgeable and well-researched – they already know what they want and turn to friends and people they know and trust (like influencers) to pick their products or services. 

While the B2C market must emphasise customer engagement as a sales methodology, the B2B sales processes still work largely on the traditional sales model of prospecting, convincing, and closing a deal. In this scenario, a strong sales team can greatly influence people’s decision-making. Hence, enhancing your team’s sales skills can have a direct result in your business’s profitability. 

Why Do You Need To Offer Sales Training To Your Employees?

Naturally, when you hire someone for a sales job, you consider their past experience and personality during the interview. But this doesn’t mean they will be able to sell to YOUR TARGET COMPANY or will get a deep understanding of YOUR INDUSTRY overnight. Their past experience might not translate to your job profile on day one. 

To make sure your sales team has the product/service or brand knowledge to represent your company convincingly to prospective clients, it is best to equip them with in-house training. This could be product knowledge, pricing, or a presentation as well as information on current clients, sales scenarios, and questions that generally come up during the sales process.  

A sales team is made up of people with different levels of skills – while one person might be great at negotiating and closing, another might be better at making presentations and pitching to new clients. Sales training is a good way to ensure everyone gets the chance to enhance their skills and learn new ones. 

What Does Sales Training Teach?

Here are some selling skills and tools that can help salespersons reinforce customer interactions and surpass their sales goals.

Communication

By far, the biggest and most important skill needed to succeed in the sales ecosystem is communication. A sales training programme concentrates on providing holistic communication skill enhancement, this includes –

Conversation – whether you are talking on the phone or speaking to a client face-to-face, communication skills can make or break your deal. From the introduction to sentence formation to listening actively to nonverbal communication – a conversation has many parts that must come together at the speed of thought to be convincing. 

Sales training tackles many of the Dos and Don’ts of usual sales scenarios and offers tips on how to improve verbal and nonverbal communication.

Business writing – apart from conversation, a salesperson also engages a lot through email and sometimes through phone text messages. Sales training usually covers the writing communication style, as well.

Presentations and pitching – no business meeting is complete without a presentation! In fact, they are usually the initial, go-to document for all sales pitching sessions and are widely circulated via email as well. Sales training also teaches the art of building a logical and good-looking presentation AND teaches salespersons how to present it confidently and clearly.  

Negotiation – not every sales situation requires a negotiation, but there are many that require some sort of compromise to close the deal. Most sales training programmes spend a fair bit of time on teaching participants how to communicate in a way that avoids conflict and ensure both parties feel they have got a fair deal.

Understanding and Managing the Sales Process 

Like everything else in the business world, sales also follows a process. It might seem like a lot of is based on personal rapport, but in reality, salespersons must adhere to a template or process to keep their sales effort moving in the right direction. 

Sales training acquaints participants with the various stages of a sales process in relation to their organisational product, target, or goal. 

For example – the usual 7 stage sales process includes research, prospecting, needs assessment, pitching, objection handling, closing the deal, and follow-up. A salesperson can learn best practices, new technology, and methodology from tailored sales training that might not be a part of his/her previous experience.

Developing the Sales Mindset

Salespersons hear NO a lot! They also regularly live in high-pressure work situations where meeting targets are put on a pedestal. Not everyone can function effectively in such an intense environment. 

A vital part of sales training is also helping participants develop a mindset that gives them stability in the long run. 

Conclusion

Your sales team is the final step of the entire sales process – they not only close the deal but also represent your company to potential clients. As competition heats up, their role becomes even more critical; for an organization, apart from hiring the best talent, the only way to meet growing sales targets is to enhance the skills of the existing team. Because no matter how evolved a person’s communication skills are; there is always room for improvement.