How successful leaders handle a “no”

Successful leadership is often about getting stuff done. Which means convincing, requesting, delegating, directing and mentoring people to take on work that you need to get done. As the saying goes, good leaders make people want to work for them. And one of the traits of such leaders is the finesse with which they handle a “No”. Some leaders start taking it for granted that, when they ask someone to do something, the other person will obey. Infact, research suggests that of all the people who struggle to say no, 78% claim they find it most difficult to refuse their boss’s request, even if the request makes excessive demands on their time, energy or work-life balance. There is enough literature available on the internet and books on how to learn to say no. But rarely do organisations work on teaching their leaders to handle a no. Why is it so difficult for most people to hear someone say “no”? When people hear a no it may trigger certain beliefs and feelings which are often based on past experiences rather than the present situation. We all have an intrinsic need to be accepted. Hearing a “no”  can mean that we are not and this can……

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Newton’s first law of motion and how it applies to your career

Recently Prashant came to me seeking support in his career. We discussed the goals for the coaching engagement which were primarily about reviving his focus on his career.  Prashant told me that his career had been going great till a couple of years back. Then a new manager who was both demanding and dominating took over. Prashant found it difficult to adjust to the new boss’s working style. His performance dipped and he lost interest in the job that he used to love earlier. He needed the paycheck so he stuck with the job. Two years later the boss moved on but Prashant continued to experience a lack of interest in his job. Something like this is a very common with career professionals. They are doing great when something triggers a dip in performance, interest, and motivation. In this case, we were able to identify the source of when and where Prashant lost interest but for most people, it is not always so simple. They just know that something has shifted and they no longer get any pleasure from the work they do. They define the time when they liked the job as” I use to feel charged up”, “I was excited……

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3 steps to start breaking free when you are feeling stuck in a rut

We all go through phases in life when we feel stuck. Getting stuck  generally happens when: You are emotionally part of the situation and are not able to look at it objectively. There are negative emotions attached like anger, frustration, boredom. You feel you have no power/control on what’s happening. It could be in your career or business or in your personal life but the feeling is pretty much the same. Of being caught in a situation where you feel you have limited control in breaking out. Below are some powerful ways to break out if you are feeling stuck   1.Take back your power and the responsibility: When we start feeling stuck it is easy to fall into a victim mindset or accept the feeling of no control. It then becomes a vicious cycle of getting further pulled into the situation and feeling an even lower level of control. The first step is to connect back to the most powerful version of yourself. Ask yourself, “When I am feeling powerful, who am I?” We all have moments of strength and weakness. Taking on a more powerful mindset puts you in a more resourceful state where you find it easier to find solutions. Understand that the situation is not you. Like everything……

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What is the little voice in your head and what does it want?

Imagine this; you are outside an interview room waiting to be called in. The interview is for a job you really desire. You know you possess the right skills and experience. You are well prepared and dressed right. In spite of all that you are feeling a wee bit nervous. A close friend is accompanying you. As you look through the glass door of the interview room, your friend spots the interviewer and says, “That guy looks mean. He probably won’t like you. He may give you a hard time” Hearing this, your nervousness jumps up a notch. As you step into the interview room and come face to face with the interviewer you find that he does look intimidating. You somehow fumble through the meeting. As you walk out of the room you know that you’ve blown it. And your friend says, ” You are a stupid oaf. You couldn’t even get the simplest of answers right. Even if you did get the job you would probably have screwed it up.” By now you are probably thinking that this is not a great friend to hang out. But would you be surprised if I told you that this friend……

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Procrastination is NOT about laziness

Last week I had to prepare for an important presentation. I was pitching for a deal, which, if it went through, would increase my top line by a possible 30%. The presentation was on Monday and until the Friday before that, I was nowhere near getting started on it. I had known about the meeting a good 10 days in advance. I was completely aware of what the presentation could do for my business. To be on the safe side, I had even kept my Friday relatively free to ensure that I would be able to give time to the presentation. But when Friday came I couldn’t seem to get round to it. There were the constant emails to check. My desk had to be organized. Then I had to check my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to make sure I knew what was happening in the world. And then I got hungry and had to take a break. Then somebody sent me a funny video on WhatsApp that I had to watch. If any of this sounds familiar, these are the typical symptoms of most procrastinators There is an important task with a deadline. You know you need to spend……

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7 Leadership Lessons I learnt from Game of Thrones

  Game of Thrones is a hot favourite right now for all TV buffs. Many claim that its popularity is because of the high drama, violence and sex depicted in the series. The serial does indeed have a high dose of fantasy (with dragons, warlords and wights thrown in for good measure).  But I believe that the one big reason many of us are quite addicted to the show is because of the strong characters that most of us can identify with. There is the noble bastard, Jon Snow, who rises to a high position inspite of his background or the witty dwarf Tyrion Lannister who is one of the strongest characters in the show inspite of his looks or the lack of support of his family. Then there is Jamie the King Slayer, who shows two sides of his character, first by pushing an 8 year old child off a high tower and in another scene returns to rescue his friend Breine of Tarth. And then there is the strong Danarys Stromborm, Mother of dragons, who grew from a  timid girl to a queen on-screen, who rules savages and believes in non-violence. Perhaps we feel a strong connect with Game of Thrones because we see bits……

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Internal networking is not optional. Embrace it!

  Rajesh is a very successful sales manager. He is known as a people’s person and is highly spoken of by both his team and his customers. His biggest strength is managing relationships and building trust with his team and customers. This has got him ample success in the market space he operates in. At the same time Rajesh struggles to use this strength of building relationships within the organisation. Apart from his immediate team and manager not too many people know him well. More importantly not too many career influencers in the organisation know him. Rajesh sometimes feels that he may be missing out on opportunities because of this. He knows he needs to spend more time and effort on internal networking as but at the same time he felt unsure of whether he really wants to do it. Why internal networking is important Helps open up opportunities: Internal networking helps an individual make the most of the opportunities available in an organisation. People prefer to hire people they know. Connecting well with people across the organisation and outside your immediate team will also help you get your work done faster.  When you take on a new or higher role knowing the people you……

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3 Steps to take control when change happens

take control

Change is difficult!
Occasionally its manageable. More often than not it is tough to deal with.

Some changes in life happen voluntarily for most of us. A lot of them are a result of circumstances. Whether we like it or nor change is part of us; professionally, personally, physically, financially and in all aspects of life.
All of us have heard the saying “Change is the only constant”. But, knowing that we must go through change repeatedly in life does not make it easier.

Perhaps what makes change so difficult for us is the fear of the unknown. We feel threatened by losing what we are comfortable with and stepping into unknown territory. We fear that the safety of what we know will get replaced with the insecurity of undefined terrain. Sometimes this fear is so big that we continue to hold on to things we are unhappy with because we fear that the “new” could be worse.  This is often a reason why people continue in abusive relationships or unfulfilling jobs. What if the next relationship is worse or what if I don’t find anyone? What if a new job is more demanding or does not offer the same financial security as this one?
Belief systems also sometimes hamper our need to change. If I walk out of this relationship that I feel trapped in am I being selfish? If I let go of a secure job to follow my dream am I being impulsive and rash?

And behind this fear and belief systems lurks the discomfort of letting go of control

Sometimes we willingly take on a change and then find that we can’t deal with it and going back to the old and familiar seems like an easy choice.  We may have started with wanting this change but when we get into the new situation it becomes extremely difficult to deal with.

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