Monthly Archives: October 2020

OVERCOMING BLIND SPOTS FOR BETTER LEADERSHIP

When the 75 members of Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Advisory Council were asked to recommend the most important capability for leaders to develop, their answer was nearly unanimous: #Selfawareness.

The mind is the instrument through which we view the world. Paradoxically, it also stops us from viewing ourselves objectively & discovering our #blindspots.

I came across this #interestinganecdote about David Pottruck, ex-CEO of Charles Schwab. Always a high achiever, David completing his MBA at Wharton, worked with the Citi group & joined Charles Schwab as head of marketing.

An extremely hard worker, David couldn’t understand why his new colleagues resented the long hours he put in & his aggressiveness in pushing for results. It never occurred to him that his level of energy would intimidate &offend other people. In his mind he was trying to help the company.

David was shocked when his boss told him, that his colleagues didn’t #trust him.The#feedback hit him hard. He didn’t see himself as others saw him, as self-serving. On reflection, the feedback resonated as true.

David realized that he couldn’t succeed unless he identified & overcame his blind spots.

It takes tremendous courage&constant effort to increase #selfawareness. It is however the hallmark of a #leader!!!

Fortune 500 CEO’S survey

Some results of the survey conducted by #Fortune surveying 500 CEO’s are shown on this infographic. It throws up some #interestingconclusions and #possibleinsights.

1. Just over 50% felt that #economicactivity will be restored only by Q1 2022

2. Around 50% felt that #businesstravel will never come back to pre-pandemic levels

3. 75% feel the pandemic will accelerate #technologicaltransformation

4. A quarter of CEO’s felt that 90% of the workforce will never come back to their #originalplaceofwork

5. Slightly less than 50% had no #layoffs

6. 50% have agreed to a cut in #compensation

7. One-third felt that #capitalspending would return to 2019 levels by 2021

Our world is currently experiencing unprecedented turmoil, which looks set to continue for the next couple of years.

We often can’t control the external environment, what we can control is the way we respond to the environment, internally.

My personal experiences have shown me, whenever I approach a situation with #hope and #optimism, the external environment mirrors the same!!!!!!!

#shradhahrd #learningandevelopment #softskillstraining

 

ARE WE LOSING THE PATIENCE TO LISTEN AND RESPOND?

Are we losing the #empathy and #patience to listen and respond? A recent incident which plays out regularly at the workplace got me thinking.

An elderly uncle who is nearing 80 was on a call with the customer care of his bank to change his net banking password. He works on the computer but takes longer than most of us would to perform routine functions.

The process to change the password was a complicated one. The executive online was constantly proddingmy uncle to work faster. He was very politely telling him to be patient. Seeing my uncle getting upset, my daughter took over the operation and completed it.

This incident set me thinking. We see similar situations all around us. How can we #makeit easier?

My learnings from the interaction

1.Recognize there is another perspective beyond your own: The executive had an SLA and wanted to finish the call quickly. It stopped him from viewing the situation objectively

2. Seek to understand, then be understood: If the executive had enquiredabout why the process was slow, he would have been able to deal with the situation better

3.Think about your actions: Our systems are often highly competitive and leave little room for the disadvantaged. We often blindly follow

HOW TO MANAGE TIME, STRESS AND PRODUCTIVITY IF YOU’ RE ON MULTIPLE TEAMS?

4 strategies to #StayFocused If You’re Assigned to Multiple Projects Simultaneously

Most of us are juggling multiple projects with different teams at the same time. Switching attention between tasks takes time and saps focus and energy. Moving between teams, mostly requires you to adjust to different roles — you might be the boss on one but a junior member of another; each team has its own unique cultures which requires energy to handle.

How can you #managetime, stress & productivity if you’re on multiple teams?

1. Get the big picture. This will help#prioritize instead of using an ad-hoc approach. Most of us approach our work 1 day at a time instead of taking stock of the multiple projects that require our attention.

2. Sequence strategically:Pick one task and focus on it intensely, rather than juggling. Start with the task that requires the greatest concentration and give it your undivided attention.#Discipline here is critical.

 3. Protect yourself:When you’re focused on a high-priority task, block off unnecessary intrusions. You should only be disturbed if there is an emergency

4. Document &communicate progress: Keep #stakeholders informed of progress & #conflictinpriorities, if any. This builds trust & confidence

Are people that have a better vocabulary more emotionally intelligent?

Last month, at Shradha HRD, we were designing a learning intervention for managers. One component of the module was the skills and behaviors that emotionally intelligent people display. We came across this question during our research.

There is an external vocabulary that can help you describe “the world well”. Then there is an vocabulary that can describe your emotions well. The difference is striking, even though we are speaking about vocabulary in both cases.

While interacting with teenagers, most experiences are “awesome”. A McDonalds burgers, a Professor, a movie and even a trip to the moon would all be categorized as “simply awesome”. The challenge here lies in our inability to correctly label our emotions while going through different life experiences. Emotional intelligence above all is the ability to be in touch with your own emotions. Are you happy, overjoyed or ecstatic. Moved, profoundly impacted or going through a life changing experience.

Building awareness around our own emotions helps us deal with our emotions better. Including anger, pain, depression and despondency !!!!

There is a little bagful of words that we carry around all the time, the one we often refer to as our Vocabulary. We replenish our wardrobes often, throwing out old shirts and dresses that no longer fit and add fresher ones that define us better with each growing year. But that little bag of words remains unchanged.  Years go by and we often hear ourselves saying the same words… “Oh that makes me so mad” “I feel bad” “I am so angry”… especially with our feelings, we tend to use very few and generic words to express how we feel.

While all of us experience a wide array of emotions, only a select few can accurately identify them and use the right words to express them. This capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them is what is known as emotional Intelligence. Research shows that only 36 % of people have the words to do this.  Without the insights into exactly what we are feeling and without the right words to express them, we are binging on many problems. Unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

While many might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “disappointed” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it.Like the anecdotal angry career women profiled in the #shradhahrdblog#, Recognizing and identifying emotions is a prerequisite for developing emotional intelligence.

So growing our kitty of words, with feeling words and self awareness is just one of the five things we can do to be more emotionally Intelligent at the workplace. According to David Goleman there are 4 more- self regulation, intrinsic motivation,Empathy and Social Skills.  Developing these skills improves our Emotional quotient which plays a vital role in many everyday decisions we make at the work place, such as how  we deal with pressure,  decisions on promoting, hiring and firing employees and dealing with conflict and change.

Pack then a bag of feeling words and get on the long but rewarding journey of emotional intelligence.  It is a journey with 5 flagship places (as listed by David Goleman ) to visit. Strew with events and eventualities,you may find yourself trudging slowing, one word or thought at a time, but a journey that rewards with  better mental health, well being and career success.