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Articles | Time Management

Time Management Tips And Tricks For Working Professionals

We all have the same 24 hours, 1440 minutes, and 86400 seconds every day. Then why is it that some people get more done! 

While personal skills – such as education and experience – and metal abilities – such as intelligence – play a role in how you perform a task, managing your time efficiently is also a major factor for professional success. 

Being able to eke out every drop of efficiency from your work time is an art that everyone must learn and practice to climb the corporate ladder.

Here are some well-tested tips and tricks from SoaringEagles’ training sessions and research –

Assess your current state of time management 

Before you start downloading a bunch of apps and start making to-do lists, you need to find out what needs to change! Track your workweek to find out how you are spending your office time. Seeing it in black and white will enable you to understand blocks of time-wasting activities you could do away with – like checking email, for example! 

Plan, Plan, and Plan

When it comes to active time management, you can’t expect things to just flow! Activities must be channelled – continuously – for them to start and end at a certain time. You have to take charge and plan; in detail. The best way is to start your day with a complete schedule of daily activities – which means that the last thing on your day’s agenda should be planning the next day’s schedule. 

We recommend you put pen to paper (or at least type) your plan for completing a task. Write down every step, along with information on what it would take to complete it. This gives you a well thought out list of actions to follow 

Delegate

As you go up the seniority chain, you will find that time remains the same, but work becomes more – more demanding, more urgent, and more complex. For you to use your expertise in the best possible way, you have to decide what you want to spend your time on – you can’t possibly do everything yourself, so something MUST be delegated. However, don’t delegate blindly, you have to factor in the time to teach your subordinates to do the job correctly. Delegation saves enormous amounts of time, but only if you invest some of your precious time first.

The 80-20 rule meets ‘eat the frog’ approach 

The 80-20 rule states that 80% of our results come from 20% of our effort. So focusing on finishing tasks that offer the most value is an excellent way to go. Naturally, whatever task is most important/valuable will not be simple or quick. The eat the frog approach tells us that we should get the most difficult, time-consuming, and painful tasks over with first. The human mind likes to shy away from things it doesn’t like, and we have to bring it back to doing what it is putting off. 

Start small but start

Planning is great, but you have to start somewhere. Take a look at your plan and pick a starting spot and just GET ON WITH IT. Even if you don’t complete that step, it’s OK. Just the fact that you started will give you enough mental momentum to see it through. 

An excellent way to make progress in large projects is to break it into small bits and then pick each tiny task and finish it. Not only do you make progress, but you also break down the mental resistance that comes from starting big projects. 

Say NO

Often we start a week with a nice enough plan, and by Wednesday, the whole thing has changed, expanded, and leaked onto our weekend! While some things are important and must be attended to, the fact is we get stuck in a lot of extra, last-minute activities due to our inability to refuse. Whether it’s a boss you can’t refuse or a colleague you want to help out or a fantastic opportunity you don’t want to lose – new projects get added, and old ones still stay where they were. 

You have to understand that time is finite, and you can only do so much – so you must learn to prioritize and REFUSE some work.  

Conclusion

“Until we manage time, we can manage nothing else.” – Peter Drucker

Truer words have never been spoken. 

Believe us – whatever you are doing today will ONLY get better when you gain control of your time. Just try it!

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Articles | Insight

How did you get your personality? 4 factors that make you who you are!

If you Google the term ‘personality development’ you will come across pages and pages of websites offering personality development courses. While we would presume that you are looking for this information because you want to bring some positive change in your life, it is natural to be a little doubtful and wonder whether is it possible to change something so intrinsic as one’s personality. A clear cut Yes or No answer is not correct in this case – you can’t change a person’s entire way of functioning and thinking through a training programme, BUT you CAN undoubtedly set them on the path to bring about vital transformation in some key areas. With CBT-backed (cognitive behavioural therapy) sessions, you can also introduce a new manner of thinking, analysing, and processing information and interacting with the world.

At SoaringEagles, we have conducted personality development sessions with thousands of youngsters and professionals, and we ALWAYS begin with an in-depth module to create SELF AWARENESS. Because we believe – and we have seen this approach work wonders – that you can only bring change to your life and personality when you KNOW yourself. What motivates you, what scares you, what you like, and how you think – once you know who you are, then you can use that knowledge to change.

A vital aspect of this approach is to understand the factors that make us who we are –

Biological

This is the first and the most fixed determinant of an individual’s personality. It includes factors such as heredity, physique, physical appearance, brain functioning, nervous system, and intelligence. All these can affect how we develop and behave since our childhood. For example, a child who matures ahead of his peers and grows taller will be treated differently than his peers who are more immature looking. He will be respected on the playground, expected to behave more maturely by adults and might be left alone by bullies due to his size. All these experiences will shape his personality. 

Family

While a person’s initial personality owns a lot to his/her mother, studies cite that a father’s love contributes as much to a child’s development. 

Ronald Rohner of the University of Connecticut and his colleague Abdul Khaleque examined 36 studies (with over 10,000 participants) from around the world. They found children feel more anxious and insecure, or act more hostile and aggressive toward others, in response to rejection by their parents. And findings from 500+ studies that oftentimes the impact of a father’s rejection can be much greater than the mother’s.

Child-rearing practices and approach also play an important part as the child grows older. For example, an authoritative upbringing tends to inculcate a quite and socially unassertive personality, whereas parents who are less restrictive have children who are more spontaneous and confident.

Of course, with time, peers, friends, and other social factors also seep into the mix and contribute to the formation of an individual’s personality. 

Cultural

Your background, your social environment, even your socio-economic background have a significant impact on your personality. Every culture has a specific mindset, norms, expectation, and patterns of parenting that is unique. It is so deeply imbibed in our everyday life that unknowingly it controls almost every aspect of our lives and influences our personality.

Situational

And lastly, your experiences and situations also impact how you approach problems and react to situations. Living in a certain environment or repeatedly dealing with a particular scenario, changes personality traits subtly. 

So what does this mean to an individual looking for a change?

Personality is intrinsic and deep-rooted; you cannot really change your personality type or the core of your thought process. It is almost like your default setting. Every time you do something that is not natural to your personality, chances are you will snap back to your default setting as soon as you get the chance. 

But this doesn’t mean that everything is written in stone! Far from it. If there are certain parts of your personality that you are unhappy with, then you should certainly take steps to change them. The process is almost like rewiring your brain to think or react differently, AND with constant practice, it is possible. 

At Soaring Eagles, we routinely help people become better communicators; think, react, and act positively; understand the negative beliefs they are holding on to and cut them lose and so much more. Some changes are easier to achieve (such as improving body language and communication), some require more long term effort (such as becoming assertive) – but change is always attainable.

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Articles | Insight

Life Coaching offers Real Benefits – Our Experience at Soaring Eagles

Life Coaching has gained a massive new following from a new demographic – the age group of 18-22-year-olds. In fact, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) found that 35% of Generation Z respondents (those born after 1995) already had a coach – but that is in the US. What about India?

A 2017 India-focused survey conducted by PwC research reported that 89% of the people surveyed were aware of life coaching, and 59% have partnered with a life coach. However, life coaching has mostly been the domain of corporate middle management. But as the trend abroad signals, the benefits can extend (and are, in fact, more far-reaching) to youngsters as well.

What is Life Coaching and What do Life Coaches do?

The coaching process addresses specific personal, professional, business successes, general conditions and transitions in the client’s personal life, relationships or profession by examining what is going on right now, discovering what your obstacles or challenges might be, and choosing a course of action to make your life be what you want it to be.

It addresses specific personal, professional, general conditions and transitions in the client’s personal life, relationships or profession by examining what is going on right now, discovering what your obstacles or challenges might be, and choosing a course of action to make their life be what they want it to be. The sessions are mostly done one-on-one.  

Many of us look for guidance in our immediate circle of friends and family when we are going through a difficult time or are confused. But they might not be equipped to give us the guidance we need. Often they have no experience, or are too involved in our decision to be objective or might even have their own agenda.

In simple terms, a life coach is like a wise friend who can help you reach your own decisions through a series of coaching sessions. They use a range of psychological approaches to help their clients.

Life Coaching For Youngsters In India

At SoaringEagles, clients generally approach us for different types of skill enhancement and training needs. While we work on personality development, confidence building, etc., a lot of individual issues arise during the training sessions and we address those as one does in Life Coaching.

Just to give an example here, one of our popular programmes – Rising Star Personality Development – starts with an intensive module on Self-Awareness. Here we conduct a whole battery of self-reflection exercises and assessments along with in-depth discussions with the participants to help them uncover their true selves.

Self-awareness is one of the key components of emotional intelligence and the foundation on which Life Coaching is based. It is made up of emotional awareness, accurate self-assessment, and self-confidence. Having self-awareness means that you have a sharp realization of your personality, including your strengths and weaknesses, your thoughts and beliefs, your emotions, and your motivations.

The assessments as well as the discussion based on the results of the assessment gives us an idea about where each participant stands when it comes to being self-aware.

Some of these tests are Emotional Intelligence Self-assessment, Life Values Inventory, Core Beliefs Activity, Personal SWOT Analysisand many more.

How Does Self-Reflection Help People On Their Life Journeys?

All these exercises and assessments peel back the layers of consciousness one by one. With each assessment and self-reflection, the participant is made more and more aware of his/her personality, limitations, strengths, and more.

For clarity, let’s examine one of the most effective activities we conduct at SoaringEagles – Core Beliefs Activity. This is where the major part of self-discovery happens for most participants.

Our core beliefs basically influence the way we interpret our experiences. Each one of us has a different world view. It is likely that two people who experience the same situation may interpret it quite differently. Each one of us takes on a different perspective of experiences based on our core values. Holding on to negative core beliefs can do greater harm than good. However, in order to challenge the negative core beliefs, we have to first identify them.

They need to ask themselves what their limiting belief is stopping them from doing. If I had a new belief or could change a limiting belief, would this help me move forward? Would I be happier? Would I feel I have more choices?

Naturally, this process doesn’t happen in isolation. We continuously engage with the participants in great detail and basically help them figure out their core beliefs by continually giving all the power back to the client. We believe that they know the answers to every question or challenge they may have in their life, even if those answers appear to be concealed or hidden inside. We help them by making their vision clearer.

This is what Life Coaching is all about!

It is not therapy; we are not here to tell you what to do or to prescribe medication. A life coach is a catalyst for you to find your best self. You know what you need; you are the best judge of what works for you – we just guide you to the solution.

If you continuously feel at odds with yourself and the world around you; if you feel lost and unable to find clarity of thought, then maybe a life coaching session is something you should consider.

Give us a call. Let’s chat a bit more about how Life Coaching can change your life forever.

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Articles | Communication

4 Quick Tips To Improve Your Communication Skills To Get Instant Career Growth

Growth in your career depends on a lot of things besides your technical skills. You need to work well in a team; you need to get along with your boss, and you need to have a well-cultivated reputation outside of your department or team. In the larger scheme of things, networking within your industry or niche is also valuable.

Here are some quick communication tips that will help you achieve all of the above –

1. Thoughtful communication

Almost all problems, miscommunications, or conflicts could be avoided if the people involved had spent some time thinking things through before communicating. Let's look at two situations –

  1. An unclear or poorly worded email or an email not copied to the right set of people can set off a chain of events that ends in a mess. If only the person sending it had reread what he/she had written or taken the time to give all instructions/information clearly it would save enormous amounts of time and effort.

(As someone who sends these confusing emails you could become known as unreliable or absentminded)

  1. Speaking out of anger or exchanging angry messages or emails can escalate an already stressful situation. Counting to 10 might sound like a cliché, but it always works. If you think through your arguments before you make them, they will carry more weight.

(Speaking sensibly will give you a reputation of an even-tempered and relaxed team member – someone everyone wants in a team)

2. Listen carefully

You have to practice active listening if you want to grow in any sphere of your life! No one likes people who zone out during a conversation. But listening actively is more than just appearing attentive – it means you are making a conscious effort to understand what the other person is saying –  this includes not only listening but also asking questions to clarify your understanding.

(This is critical if you want to be in sync with your boss – being someone who gets instructions right in the first conversation, or someone who never forgets a thing, is a surefire way to stand out from the crowd)

3. Pay attention to Body Language – yours and everyone else's

So much of our communication happens without words, and it is crucial to train yourself to be extremely aware of other people's body language and nonverbal cues. It is equally essential to be conscious of your own body language so that you can project the right message or image.

(With the correct posture and gestures you can come across as someone supremely confident. Using the right mix of assertiveness and empathy can make you seem in command but not too overbearing. With practice and time, you can easily project whatever image you most desire – confident, relaxed, tough, sweet, or anything in between.)

4. Tailor communication to people and situations

Who you are talking to matters a great deal because you need to tailor your message to how that person thinks and what appeals to him/her most. Whether you are talking to your junior, your colleague, the CEO of your company, a client, or a room or hall full of people – each situation demands a different tone, language and even different parts of the same messages.  For example – discussing sales target with your junior team member will require you to pass on clear instructions assertively; the same conversation will flow very differently when you are the one getting your sales target from the CEO.

(When you customise your communication to the person or the situation, then it will be sure to be clear and effective; ultimately this will help you do your work better)

We end with one last piece of advice – always be polite. No matter who you are speaking to or in what context – being polite and pleasant can never go wrong! You will be surprised to know how many people do business based on whether they like the other person or not.

Communication is not something you can't polish up on your own; but why not learn it from the experts. At SoaringEagles, we provide high impact communication skills training that is immersive and actionable.

To know more click on the Request Consultation button above.

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Articles | Leadership

Importance of Leadership in the Workplace

Companies and businesses across the globe are obsessed with leadership! And rightly so – over and over we see organisations soar or fail based solely on the person leading it! Even in large global organisations where thousands of employees work in separate departments with strong department heads – the CEO can be the deciding factor for success.

We know good leadership is key for success, but it still remains so elusive! One of the most common reasons for employees quitting an organisation is to escape a bad manager! Add to this the sad state of leadership development and it seems that good leadership will continue to be hard to come by. Despite increasing amounts of money being spent on leadership development, 71% of the companies don't think that their leaders can be useful in the future!

And then there are the millennials who are openly questioning the need for leadership altogether! Highly self-regulated and motivated they seem to rebel against the hierarchical leadership structures currently in place.

In this crisis-like scenario, let us relook at the importance of leadership. How does it help in the workplace, and why is it important to keep trying to build good leadership?

Importance of Leadership 

Vision

A single unifying vision is critical to keep everyone heading in one direction. Confusion and chaos are fatal for profitability. While the organisation might be filled with talented people, they can’t all have an equal say in how things must be done. The biggest job of a leader is to take ownership of finding and defining the roadmap for the company.

Direction

Once the vision is fixed and communicated, the next critical step is to give employees an actionable roadmap to get there. This duty also falls to the leader – it is his/her job to make an idea or a dream achievable. 

Motivation and Morale

However, just telling people what they need to do is never enough – they must be encouraged to work hard and take ownership of the idea itself. This is where a good leader truly stands out; he must motivate his employees to work hard and work together to achieve the organisational goals. Conflict management also comes into the picture here, as with a room full of different people a strong voice is needed to keep everyone heading in the same direction.

Values

Values flow top down – to maintain a healthy and positive work environment, a leader must set the right tone. People under him will consciously pick up on his moral and ethical values, and with time, this becomes the value system of the entire organisation. A case in point is Uber – the negative public perception of the company was compounded by the personal reputation of its then CEO, Travis Kalanick, and he was ultimately removed from his position to stem the negative backlash the brand was facing.

The reality is that humans can’t work together without conflict – differing mindsets, personalities, and opinions are bound to clash. Regardless of how talented and capable people are, they do need one person to stem the chaos, give clarity, and make everyone work together – and that person is usually the CEO of the company.

How is your leadership pipeline looking? Do you have a clear strategy for identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders for your company? If not, then you need to start now!

For more information, click the Request Consultation button above.

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Articles | Leadership

6 Qualities of a Successful Team Leader

For most professionals in the corporate world, leading a team is their first brush with leadership. But the excitement of promotion usually comes tinged with caution – after all, managing a bunch of people is a daunting task.

Suddenly one remembers the things they disliked most about their various seniors or bosses and mentally vowed not to do the same. However, being nice while getting work out of your juniors requires a delicate balance and some specific skills. So, if you are wondering what you need to do to become an effective team leader, then we have some foundational qualities that can make your leadership stint smoother and more successful –

1. Communication is key

You need to seriously up your communication abilities. This involves not just basics like explaining yourself clearly and being respectful, but also listening actively to your team members and treating them with empathy.

Effective communication allows you to set clear expectations, delegate work without confusion, and also process feedback from your team members. The main job of a leader is to make sure everyone in the team works together to achieve the goal of the team. Making sure you are perceived as being approachable will ensure your team members come to you when they are unhappy, this will help you diffuse potentially explosive situations on time.

2. Being fair and benevolent

You need to be consistent in how you deal with the team. There can be no hint of favouritism or changing values. instead of leaving details vague, it’s important to set expectations and limits right in the beginning. This could be something as small as the timings of the work, expectations with leaves and overtime or even email etiquette, but ensuring everyone’s on the same page keeps things ticking along smoothly. 

3. Leading by example

Inculcating a sense of respect in your team members is critical to succeeding as a leader, and one way to do this is to lead by example. Get your hands dirty, show your commitment, become a role model – this is a foolproof way to make sure you are considered an active and strong leader.

4. Project confidence

People need direction, and the main task of a team leader is to provide it. As a leader, you should know the larger organisational goals as well as your team goals, and you should be able to confidently convey a roadmap for achieving these. You should project self-assurance and also be confident of your team’s abilities.

5. Learn to delegate

One of the most difficult things for most new leaders is to delegate. It often takes time and several tough situations for first-time leaders to start delegating responsibilities properly. It is not possible for one person to do a team’s job, hence work must be divided effectively; fair and logical delegation also makes the team members feel more involved in their team’s success.

6. Evolved administrative skills

When things become complex, and you have to manage not just your own time and workload but also keep track of what others in your team doing, you can’t afford to be disorganised. With so many balls in the air, strong organisational skills are something definitely worth learning.

Leadership is not rocket science, but it does need a combination of several skills and qualities that must be learnt and polished. Experience is, naturally, a great teacher. However, these days, it is not necessary to learn on the job by making costly mistakes. With a structured course, a young leader can get a deeper understanding of how to meet his new challenges and enter the job fully prepared.

We help leaders become more effective and influential. With enhanced abilities, you can approach new challenges and work environments fitted with the right knowledge. For more details, click on the Request Consultation button above.