Browse Month by September 2017

Pause – Don’t just do it!

“Go for it”, “just do it”, “do before you think”

Heard of the above phrases? Did you follow?

I am here to tell you, request you, and urge you – to pause! And not always fall for such phrases.

Why do I say that? Am I demoralising you? Don’t I want you to move ahead? Let’s see!

This world is filled with so many social media pages, news channels, entertainment channels, etc, bombarding you with numerous statements, incidents and stories every minute. So many books, videos, images, etc. is pouncing on all of us every moment asking us to forget thinking and just react to an incident. Or time and again change the way we think.

This age of Twitter and Whatsapp where anything one sees or hears anywhere in the world, within a few minutes, reaches every corner of the globe; along with their personal interpretation of those events. It’s so easy to be moved by such overwhelming number of talks around us.

But think about it. If you start acting on every word people say or everything you see you would probably waste your enormous energy in so many futile activities. Firstly, there are huge chances that such news would not be true. And secondly, many such news or incidents might not be something you would like to even think about, let go take action on it. Thus, if you give your focus to those you might waste enormous personal resources, and probably get distracted from what you really want to do.

Therefore, to be able to best use your potential you must pause and choose – Where will your focus go!

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.

If you don’t pause to think and choose it’s easy to fall for anything. This would make it difficult – almost impossible – to move ahead and do or think about other things that really matter to you. Every individual is different and we all might not be interested in everything happening around us – not because we are insensitive – but probably because we have other graver concerns driving us. And where we can be far more productive.

I recently watched a video clip of the world-famous, award winning American singer, songwriter and philanthropist Lady Gaga that made perfect sense. She was talking about herself and how she had to actually start making choices and turn down offers she didn’t really want to go for. She had become a money making machine, and, although she was earning millions she had been unable to enjoy any of those. She had started to feel pressurised to take up every assignment and in fact, psychologically became very weak. Later, she realised that she doesn’t want to do everything and so began to make choices. This made her more focused on important tasks and therefore brought more fulfilling results.

Oftentimes we seek external validation to ‘feel good’. And so don’t act as per our own wishes and desires but that of the outside world. This, in turn, sure enables others to accept us, and might even give momentary happiness to us. However, it might also handicap our ability to accept ourselves.

So if you are trying to make others happy at your own cost how many people’s happiness is in your control? One? A score? A few thousands? Speaker and author, Dr. Sean Stephenson, in one of his talks, says that we all need love – not from anyone else – but from our own selves. And that we got to love ourselves even when the whole world doesn’t.

As shared in one of my previous articles too, there will always be people unhappy with you or putting forward negative comments about your action. However, you can be strong only when you stand, act and speak for your personal satisfaction and joy. And for that you must sometimes – pause!


Courage to be hated – It’s essential!

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Being liked and loved is great for all of us! We all crave for affection and really like to be liked. However, in life, sometime, somewhere, someone is going to hate you. And not just someone, but many someones will hate you. Doesn’t matter who you are! If it hasn’t happened until now, just watch out! couragetobedifferent

Is it wrong that people hate you? Not always, as I think. Just because people have not liked what you have said or done doesn’t mean you are wrong. Or you have to change who you are or what you believe in.

Imagine what the world would be like if we all walked all the time to be liked and live by our society’s predefined standards. Nobody would be trying anything new but just walking in a manner that the society doesn’t hate them and accepts him or her. Had this been the right way there would have been neither Galileo, nor Wright Brothers; neither Jesus nor Buddha; neither Steve Jobs nor Jack Ma – nobody – absolutely nobody – and hence, NOTHING!
We all are humans and need connection and affection to grow and do well in life. However, does that mean one should stop offering his or her own judgement? Does that mean one should always follow the crowd? Or never do anything just because society looks down at it?

Just yesterday I had an interaction with my dad where he was explaining to me the significance of society, and of following that society. But even he could not justify his words when I brought in to talk on the system of ‘sati’ or killing girl child systems that the society had once followed. Significantly, the moment you or anyone stands against it many haters would switch sides and stand against those systems. It is good to be a nice person and go by the existing doctrines. However, we are also individuals and have our own identities that might not match those of societies. So we have to draw the line. Everyone has to draw the line – when he would listen to others and when not; when he would permit himself to go after his desire to be liked and when not and when he would break the shackles of rules and when not.

Someone has aptly said, “Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgement that something is more important than fear.” So even if you have some fear about the world around you, courage means you can walk on in spite of any such fear.

Numerous teachers, philosophers, entrepreneurs, or whatever the profession have stood by their personal beliefs against everyone else’s to bring significant contribution towards the society, and the humanity as a whole. And this is the major element that when you draw in the courage to walk on your own path you are able to transform many people’s thoughts and drive a new way of thinking. It was only when they chose to walk out and go against the society that they were able to do whatever they did. They had the courage to be hated. They took the liberty to think and reflect. They stopped to do things society and everyone was doing just because everyone was doing it. They paused – to reason out with themselves, then with everyone – and so later did things everyone appreciates today.

Nevertheless, it all started back then when they had gathered the ‘courage to be hated’, and kept walking their path even when the world ridiculed them and hated them. Even their families distanced from most of these individuals and that must have been really tough. Therefore, if you, me or anybody wants to do anything, they have to first ask themselves if they have that courage – to be hated – or not. And still the final question to also ask is if not you – WHO?

What do you think? Do share your valuable thoughts in the comments section below!


Competency Mapping – The novel HR tool!

Human Resource Management works to bring the organisation and the employees together so that they both are able to achieve their goals and objectives. There was a time when there were less variety of job roles and very few types of skills were being used. It was mostly about skill based jobs. But, gradually we started using more variety of skills and various business processes demanded the use of specific higher order mental labour that were invisible to eyes and therefore difficult to manage.
Actually, David McLeland, a Psychologist, published a landmark article in the American Psychologist in the 1960 and stated that organisations must go for hiring based on competencies rather than test scores. And in 1973, he developed methods for predicting human performance for US Information Agency where the objective was to erase human biases of traditional intelligence and aptitude testing.
McLeland defined competency as “an underlying characteristic of an individual that is causally related to criterion referenced effective and superior performance in a job or a situation.”
Competencies usually have four characteristics that are:
Motives: Every action is based on what an individual thinks of most of the time. People with growth mindset like to set challenges and grow.
Self concept: A person understands about himself and how well does he take himself towards various challenges. A person with high self-concept would take failures as a challenge.
Skills: Developed ability to do certain activities, often with the help of existing knowledge.
Traits: Any individual’s frequent response to a situation. An individual who values strength is more likely to behave from the position of strength rather than feel demotivated and let outside events control him..
Knowledge: Memorised body of information that a person has. Eg Knowledge about the history of HR.
Competency Mapping: it is the process of finding out the competencies required for each job role within an organization, levels of these and finally using it for all different processes within the organisation.
A combination of all these together leads to what we call competencies or behaviours leading to effective performance of a task.
Why Competency mapping? The process gives the exact behavioural expectations for a position. Additionally, previous skill based models were not competencies but skills. This left great space for biases as there was no particular universal way to measure the skills. How do you know a person has good communication skill? Pronunciation or style or fluency or body language or something else?

But this new technique gave the HRs a better tool to hire, the line managers a better tool to measure performance, training managers a better way to find the gap and address it. Everyone has something to gain. Even the individuals themselves know exactly how to work and what behaviour to show.

Competency mapping serves a variety of purposes like giving better role clarity, succession planning, and clarity with growth path of individual employees. A document on the web indicates that competency mapping methods How competency mapping.
Steps in competency mapping:
1. Clarify the purpose of competency mapping within the organization. And choose the position for which competencies needs to be mapped. Once that is clear you can go ahead with the actual process.
2. Then Job Analysis for the position is done to find out the activities performed by individuals. Asking the position holder and seniors questions related to the job, or observing them are few of the many methods for Job Analysis. They can be asked about the competencies required to perform the job.
3. Responses of participants is carefully analysed and the inputs is converted into standard competencies.
4. With the results of job analysis, competency based job description is formed.
5. There are certain generic competencies required by all employees working within the organisation. And there also are the specific competencies for specific positions that might not be applicable to other positions.
6. Once the competencies are identified, rating has to be done as to what level of particular each competency is required for the particular role. This can be on scale of 1-5 or 1-3 or certain words like beginner, experienced and expert can be used in place of a rating scale.
7. Then this is used for various HR functions within the organisation.

Where we today are in need of multi-skill development, competency mapping is the process that helps to identify exact competencies, or better say visible behaviours required in key positions and thus do all HR processes accordingly. So you are no more guessing about a person’s skills but are very sure about the visible behaviours or competencies.


Change your perspective – change your life!

If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change! – Wayne Dyer

Steven Covey, in his best-selling book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, has shared a story about a man who walked and sat near the seat Covey was sitting on. Along with this man were his children who were behaving extremely loud and unruly. And this man was sitting as if completely unaware of the situation. For long, Steven held his calm and wanted the man to take control of his kids. Everyone else around was also getting irritated and impatient. So, finally, although agitated, the author politely told the man, “Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn’t control them a little more.” To this the man calmly informed everyone that he has just lost his wife and the children didn’t know how to react to the loss of their mother.


Immediately the total atmosphere changed. Covey and everyone else there saw things differently and felt differently. Now the running around and shouting of children didn’t hurt anyone’s ears. All irritation got transformed into compassion and concern. In a moment they would even smile at the shouts of those little kids.

What had changed in the above story? Was it the way children were shouting? Or the environment people were sitting in? None of these! It was just the window or the glass through which the author and other people were looking at the situation that had changed – their perspective had changed!

Things are not what they are; they are what you think they are!

Have you ever used a kaleidoscope? Does the outside world changes while using the instrument? No! Use of a coloured glass makes the outside world, which remains the same, to appear colourful. Same is with perspective – choice of a different window – a different angle – to look at anything. However, it further does change how we feel and respond to the situation.

Also, we all have our own filters for the world. If you and I both were to walk along the same road in the same direction and at the same pace, we both will have a different experience. Because we individually filter the world differently, so notice different things and thus have different perspectives. And that is for almost every situation.

I used to consider Google and Facebook such great companies offering everything for free. I loved browsing the internet. However, a few days back I came across a trustworthy video revealing that these companies peek into our mails and anything we do, later passing on the information to other companies. Knowing this, I developed an intense loathing towards these companies and haven’t stopped but I suddenly minimised their usage. What changed? Just the perspective – the way I thought about, and felt about those companies. Everything else still remains the same.

A majority of situations in life have a similar story to tell. If somebody loses their job and becomes sad, it is just because of the glass they are using to see the situation and events. Change the glass and everything will change. Often when someone, a counsellor or a coach, takes a step to help such individuals, they only try to show a different way to look at the situation and hence the future. When the person who has lost the job or anything special reflects further, they are able to see it from different window – a different perspective. A person losing a job might see the opportunity to explore his own deeper interests, or a time to take care of his family, or something else. And the way he sees will make him think and feel in a certain manner that will in turn impact his behaviour, finally, his life!!

When there is a loss of life in family, it’s really difficult to move on knowing that somebody we loved is no more in this world. However, thinking of the illnesses he had been suffering here, the numerous tasks for which he needed help and how weak he might be feeling during those times, it appears better right? You might now be better able to accept the loss. Isn’t it about choosing a better perspective?

Almost every situation gives us this opportunity to change our glass and derive a more empowering perspective to move further. Getting or choosing a different perspective for anything is not something that can be done in a moment always, but it’s not impossible either.

Albert Einstein once said, “Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them”.