Some lessons I picked along the way

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As I look back at 2014, I believe that it has been a good year, overall. The political situation is seemingly more stable, stock market is booming, fuel prices are falling and there is a lot of hope among the people I meet.

Personally, the last year was a whole lot of fun and there were few things that I picked up. Call them, lessons, best practices or just worldly wisdom and I would like to share these with you, in no particular order. Let me know what you think…

Commit and then deliver

I find that, whenever I want to achieve something, nothing motivates me more than the pressure of having to do it since I have already committed. For e.g.

If you want to run the marathon, or learn how to swim or do anything that would take some effort to achieve, let people close to you know. They will keep asking you, how things are progressing, patting you on the back and cheering you, constantly reminding you about your goal. This can work as a huge motivator as they share your pride and wish that you will pull it off.

In fact I read somewhere that when you want to quit smoking, it always helps to let your family & friends know and tell them that you need their support and encouragement to stop.Am sure it helps

Update your resume, even when you are not looking for a change

A lot of us update our resumes only when we are looking for a job. Updating the resume has to be an ongoing activity. Every time you have done well or accomplished something, make sure you include it in your list of achievements. Doing it when your memory is fresh helps you articulate it better too. Rushing through your resume since you have to send it to someone when you are looking for a job may result in you having to do it in a hurry and some of your key achievements could be forgotten.

Similarly I find a lot of employees unable to list their accomplishments at the time of the annual review. They know they have done some really nice things over the last year but just cant seem to recall it and now that several months have passed it may also seem less significant. Jotting your achievements as and when you do it helps and also motivates you to do better, as you want to keep adding to that list of accomplishments.

Give a box of chocolates to the people working behind the scenes

There are lots of people who work behind the scenes for our satisfaction or safety; it could be the Security staff at your apartment, the house keeping staff at work or the maintenance guys. They work day in and day out and have pretty much a thankless job. They only time they come into the limelight is when something goes wrong. While your personal staff i.e. your maid, cook driver etc. get their fair share of rewards the others most often don’t get enough appreciation.

Give them a box of chocolates during a festival, your birthday or even for absolutely no reason. It will make you feel really good and personally I feel they deserve that much from us, for all the hard work they put in for our sakes. Time to reciprocate with some love

Spend a good 15 minutes with your team members once every month in a heart to heart conversation

While you may be having random conversations with your team members all the time, it always helps to have a structured discussion with them at least once a quarter if not a month. It’s better if this discussion is calendarised and conducted in a structured manner. Make it sound important and not just a casual chat. Being prepared always helps. During this conversation discuss his/her general welfare; performance, and most importantly have a discussion on what you expect from them and find out what their expectations from you as a manager are. Knowledge of both are important and having a clear understanding of this brings a significant improvement in the relationship. One of the biggest factors for dissent in both Managers and employees is when they are taken by surprise. This more often than not happens when you don’t have a clear understanding of the expectations from either side

Stop ‘liking’ stuff on FB, post a comment instead

With the advent of technology in improving communication, somewhere I can’t help feel that it’s not that personal anymore. I still miss the days when I used to mail handwritten letters to my friends. Facebook is great to stay connected, to let people know what you are up to, to share your views etc. However, I somehow feel we can do more that just ‘liking’ a picture or a status. Do more, do better, go beyond that. If you genuinely like it, say it, in words. It helps you to be more expressive and is definitely a lot more personal. To me ‘liking’ something has become a mere formality and is losing its meaning.

Similarly call people on their birthday; it comes only once in a year. Sending messages, posting a wish on their Facebook walls etc. seems more like a convenient alternative. Pick up the phone and call this year. It will make you feel much better and will make your relationship stronger.

Do something for the first time, in 2015

Pick something interesting and new to do this year. It could range from solving the Rubik ‘s cube, doing a road trip to Ladakh, getting a tattoo, bungee jumping at Rishikesh, starting to blog. Anything that matters to you, there are a million things to do out there. Deciding on something and then doing what it takes to achieve that goal can be very rewarding and keeps you going. Its always so much fun when you have something to look forward to. Something exciting, something that makes you feel really good when you achieve it. On a professional level we do quite a few things, its time to add some personal goals too

If you haven’t commented on any of my earlier posts maybe you can start by doing that for the first time,now 🙂

Happy new year folks ….