Over a month down since ATD 2017: let’s check-in?

I have two questions for you: After conferences, how do you bring back the energy, connections, and projects to life? Do you follow through? At some point, we’ve all been through the “not following-through” formula. We have all met brilliant folks, gathered great insights but then when it comes to ACTION, what happens? It’s all gone to the drain.

Everyone talks about pre-conferences, and then post-conference experiences, and insights (almost immediately after they’ve attended one). Of course, it is for obvious reasons: the knowledge is fresh in people’s minds, we recall faces and people better, and we aim to market ourselves well, to literally put ourselves out there, right? But no onw talks about what do we do with all the knowledge and contacts. How do we effectively channelize information? Indeed, ATD ICE, May 2017 was a blast for me! It was a mix of fun learning, engagement, meeting friends, making friends (

Indeed, ATD-ICE May, 2017, was a blast for me! It was a mix of fun learning, engagement, meeting friends, making friends (I wouldn’t want to use the term “networking” 😉) and of course doing business.  This year, instead of writing ‘what I did each day,’ I decided to FOLLOW THROUGH, the new concepts I’d learned, check-in with people I met, complete the projects I received.

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I was planning to write a post almost immediately after the conference, however, things didn’t quite turn out the way I’d imagined. I came back to the sad and disheartening news of my mother-in-law’s demise. I immediately rushed to Mumbai. I was heartbroken, I dearly loved her like my own mom. The impermanence of life hit me hard. It took me a while to get back to work. However, while I was at it, I decided that this year, instead of writing ‘what I did each day,‘ I am going check-in if I FOLLOWED THROUGH.

What I mean by the above is Continue reading “Over a month down since ATD 2017: let’s check-in?”

Working more effectively: How do “millennials” respond to hierarchies and why.

It’s that time of the year when I am headed to the ATD international conference and exposition in Atlanta. Yayie… time to meet all the awesome training, learning and development folks, from around the globe. It’s a lot of fun. I am quite excited for it. ATD calls people like me “young professionals” and I fall under the category of millennials. I love that word.

Having a positive attitude is rewardingNo matter what the size of our companies today, more and more millennials are joining it. In the immediate future, millennials will occupy more be in every aspect of work, micro, small, medium or large. This has been my informal focus area of study, for a while now.

This article is important for all of us because no matter which sphere of life we’re in.. we will be interacting with millennials… So, it is important Continue reading “Working more effectively: How do “millennials” respond to hierarchies and why.”

Simple techniques: How journaling helps my productivity and focus.

Recently, I was asked a question by a “potential client” of mine, “what do I do to keep myself on track with my schedule and maintain my focus.” I know she was struggling with time management and productivity (her version of it). She felt that she could approach me with her concern. I know her, so I do know that what she has been doing it great. I wanted to let her know and specify that I try really hard to stay on track. In the sense that staying on track and being productive hasn’t come easily to me.  The first thing that I politely told her was that it is not always that I can stay focused. I have my weak moments too, but yeah, 90% of the times, I’ve trained my brain to stay focused on my set goals. The one thing that really helps me juggle all my tasks and stay focused is, journaling. Let me tell you how.

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Journaling helps us rewire or retrain our brain in multiple ways, and there is a lot of research to prove that now. I’ll share my juggling story with you: When I was in the second year of college (undergrad program) studying mass media, I applied for part-time work and thankfully got two opportunities in journalism. I was staying in the hostel and wanted to make some extra buck.It has been quite a few years since then that I’ve been juggling education, work, and personal life. I continued this pattern even in my post-graduate course. I took it upon myself to make money on the side and do the course, no matter how demanding it was. It almost became a pattern that I would sleep late, get up early and just roll. To think of it now, I really don’t know how I did it all. I had extremely limited social life, for sure. However, I was focused on my goal. I moved on to a full-time and then got married as well. Nevertheless, I didn’t leave myself at that now, did I. I went ahead to pursue my master’s degree while I was working full time, and now I am doing my doctorate in human performance improvement and alongside I even got myself certified in nutrition, all this while I am running a business, taking of myself and my family. Crazy, right? But this is what keeps me going. I love to juggle.

It has been quite a few years since then that I’ve been juggling education, work, and personal life. I continued this pattern even in my post-graduate course. I took it upon myself to make money on the side and do the course, no matter how demanding it was. It almost became a pattern that Continue reading “Simple techniques: How journaling helps my productivity and focus.”

Keep the eye on the prize: How to never lose focus at work or in life.

I am what a lot of people would commonly call, “jack of all trades.” But the term I coined and prefer is, multi-aspirational. Honestly, when it comes to being passionate about work, hobbies, and professions, there are several multi-aspirational or should we say, multi-passionate folks like us, in all walks of life. Largely, most successful entrepreneurs and geniuses of the world have been multi-aspirational. They’ve loved doing not just one thing but dirtying their hands with multiple things. The best example is that of this kind has been my favorite, Leonardo Da Vinci. He is referred to as the polymath, someone who has knowledge for multiple areas of life.

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Leon B. Alberti a multi-aspirational guy, but largely referred to as a famous  Italian architect, once said, “a human can do all things if (s)he wills“. And I completely agree. However, it is the thought of disruption that scares us. We are capable of doing many things and maybe many of them even better. There is no harm in pursuing multiple aspirations, however, Continue reading “Keep the eye on the prize: How to never lose focus at work or in life.”

Break through the clutter: Be your most genuine self, at work, and in life.

Hey! Are you questioning yourself already: “What? Now, am I not being genuine?” If you’re asking yourselves that, then I am glad. We need to do that self check-in often in our relationships, whether personal or professional, to see if something doesn’t feel right. Are we alienating our true nature to present ourselves as something or someone that we aren’t? Whether it is through our self-expression via clothes or conversations or what we decide to share or like or post on social media? Yes, we’ve all been there, however, the point is, to NOT get stuck in that unauthentic zone, indefinitely, right? Yeah, because, when we really aren’t our true selves, not only is it mentally exhausting, but it also makes us less likable, kills our creativity, damages our communications skills, and makes less productive too.

We’ve all had a fair share of inauthentic behaviors. We’ve been there, however, the point is, to NOT get stuck in that unauthentic zone, indefinitely, right? Because, when we really aren’t our true selves, not only is it mentally exhausting, but it also makes us less likable, kills our creativity, damages our communications skills, and makes less productive too. Not to mention, when we try to act, what we truly really aren’t people can feel it. And we know how that feels, right?

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I’ve been doing a bit of research in this context, lately and found through my literature that 90% of people try to act as someone else: perhaps acting as though they know it all and don’t need any further education; or perhaps they are so over productive when they are actually not; or act as though they are in a space where they are far ahead or way up the ladder, when it actually may not be the case. These unauthentic self-expressions occur in various walks of life and because of multiple social and psychological baggages.

Imagine this situation at work Continue reading “Break through the clutter: Be your most genuine self, at work, and in life.”

Build your support system without being a PITA.

Men and women are wired differently and by know it! We not only admit it but also understand how to work our ways around it. Men and women form connections differently, whether at work or in social life. While men have a more “Oh! Bro!” kinds approach, women [let me put this: largely] have, “Oh! No” kinda approach. The nexus of men is more supportive with each other, whether or not they can truly provide any helps, when needed. Whereas, the nexus of women, either rarely exists (especially at the workplace), or is a PITA (pain in the ass) in social settings.

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Well, thankfully, I do have a strong nexus of women, consisting of supportive family members, close friends and even colleagues who are always there, either to lend a shoulder or an ear or simply just be there. Building a support system is crucial to one’s success, whether at work or in life. I am not an expert on this topic though but I am definitely a keen observer and have been a researcher. I had to write about this. You’ll read why. When a client of mine approached me with a critical question, I knew I had to write about it.

This lady wanted to improve her performance through coaching in communications skills. She felt that she needed to hone her personal and professional negotiation to ensure that she was “heard,” that she was understood, ” so that she stood out with her leadership & domain skills. She felt that she was unsupported in a male dominated environment. She also felt that her female colleagues were either too consumed to competitive to climb the ladder or were extremely “negative (or should I use the B-word) to other women.”

Building and staying connected to Continue reading “Build your support system without being a PITA.”

Ladies: Lead like a girl. Just as your heart desires!

Just because my headline calls out to the ladies, it doesn’t mean this isn’t a good read for the men. 🙂 In fact, men, you play a huge role in our lives, whether as a spouse, a friend or a colleague may be. It is not only important to be there, say encouraging your women to be their best possible versions, just as how women have been doing for many years. It is all about creating a balance of good emotions, attitude and positive outcomes.

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In our day to day lives, women tend to direct, lead and drive results at home, largely. They are the ones taking care of the family, multi-tasking (listening to kids while cooking or watching TV while completing household chores), running errands, and in some cases, all this happens while they are managing work. However, I wouldn’t deny, there are some who we’d be wondering, ‘if they do anything besides breathing out carbon dioxide.’ Don’t take me wrong, I am not judging! Rather, I’d say, ‘good for them. Maybe they know what they’re doing! It’s a good life.’  They have my respects… but personally, I would still prefer it another way. And BOTH ARE OK!

It is true and there is tons of research out there, which suggests that no matter how much or how little a woman does, we are constantly Continue reading “Ladies: Lead like a girl. Just as your heart desires!”

Habits that help us organize and structure our work & life.

A friend of mine asked me if I can help declutter her life and I was this is a post I want to write. So, I have a few questions for you. Does your life seem like a blur to you? Or perhaps you say, “My life is such a blur that I don’t know where the days went by, and I did nothing.” In the sense that you question yourself, “what did I do yesterday? And now, what am I going to do tomorrow?” Or you say, “I don’t know what am I doing.

Well, if any of the above resonate with you now or could have resonated with you in the past, then this post is for you. And if you’re the lucky one who doesn’t ever feel this way, still read on… you never know what you might gain out of this, to declutter your life and get some structure. About two years back, when I was working in my full-time job, I felt that my environment was cluttered, disorganized, unstructured, and lacked clarity. While that was true, it wasn’t really because of the environment as such but because of my reflection of the environment.

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Let me explain. About two years back, when I was working in my full-time job, I headed the media department for an educational group, which was then a new thing for many institutions. The employees of the group at that time didn’t really comprehend what I did, my role wasn’t clear to me either, and like any other place, crab mentality was at its peak. To make things crazy for myself, I got admission into an esteemed doctoral program, which was quite exhaustive.

I felt that my environment was Continue reading “Habits that help us organize and structure our work & life.”

Smart advice for managing “difficult” people.

A friend of mine recently asked me “how do you deal with difficult people?” I simply said, “I don’t.” I revisited my response immediately and added, “well, I choose to ignore them, wherever possible, and I also have simple tactics to help me surpass people who make situations difficult.”

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Before I begin with the tactics, I would really want to define what I mean by the term difficult: “someone who needs a lot of effort to deal with, or understand, perhaps may cause intentional hardships (yes, some do) or aren’t easy to satisfy.

There are tons of difficult folks that we encounter in our lives, sometimes we’re the difficult ones too. Yes! It is true. When we do meet such a person, it can be chaotic, scary, and even nerve-wracking. However, when we do encounter the different kinds of difficult, hard timers, we Continue reading “Smart advice for managing “difficult” people.”

Are you motivating yourself enough with changing times?

Motivation is key to any kind of personal and professional success. Especially in today’s day and age, we need form better habits in a jiffy, we’re expected to adapt to newer skills at work and learn new things continuously. All of the above is possible when we’re motivated from within to do it. Wouldn’t you agree? So how is that happen?

When we’re intrinsically motivated it drives us to make positive changes in our lives, develop skills & strengthen our habits.

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I’ve been on a personal assignment to understand and verify how motivation works for all of us, in different spheres of life. I analyzed four different cases, one of my grandmom’s health, one of my own, one of a friend’s professional conduct in a large corporation and another in a personal relationship. They all led me to conclude that any kind of change, physical, mental or emotional, comes from an internal drive or motivation. Of course, I’m not undermining the effect of external motivation or any backing from people/favorable situations. However, I am commenting on the fact that, the drive to change comes from within. Whether we’re looking at any change of personal habits… or changes in skills for a promotion… or be successful in our business through our consistent discipline… or have successful personal relationships… the idea is Continue reading “Are you motivating yourself enough with changing times?”