At times, I used to get into arguments which lead me nowhere. These arguments lead to conflict and cost me time and relationships. Noticing this behavior of mine, my colleague narrated the story of “The Donkey and the Tiger“.
The donkey told the tiger: ′′The grass is blue”.
The tiger replied: ′′No, the grass is green”.
The discussion became heated, and the two decided to submit the issue to the lion, King of the Jungle.
Before reaching the clearing in the forest where the lion was sitting on his throne, the donkey started braying: ′′Your Highness, is it true that grass is blue?”.
The lion replied: “True, the grass is blue”.
The donkey rushed forward and continued: ′′The tiger disagrees with me and contradicts me and annoys me please punish him”.
The king then declared: ′′The tiger will be punished with 5 years of silence”.
The donkey jumped for joy and went on his way, content and repeating: ′′The grass is blue”…
The tiger accepted his punishment, but he asked the lion: ′′Your Majesty, why have you punished me, after all, the grass is green?”
The lion replied: ′′In fact, the grass is green”.
The tiger asked: ′′So why do you punish me?”
The lion replied: ′′The punishment has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is blue or green. The punishment is because you, a brave, intelligent creature, waste time arguing with a donkey, and then come and bother me with a silly question”.
From that point onwards, I try to avoid getting into conflict. And even when I get caught in one, I agree with the other person and will walk out politely.
It doesn’t mean that I have succumbed to a defeat. It is just that my/your time is more valuable than getting into unwanted arguments.
The other day, I was watching “The adventures of Sherlock Holmes(BBC)” and I came across this scene in one of the episodes. What a way to introduce yourself?
That was simple, powerful and impressive. Right?
And, this made me think why Self-Introduction is important and the reason to switch from boring to one that simply stands out.
We introduce ourselves to many people in our life. But, we don’t make an impact with our introduction. As a result, not many remember you or have difficulty to recollect your name or work.
Job-seekers or Sales executives or Sales engineer knows the importance of a powerful introduction. So, why is it important? Because the first impression you create sets the tone for the rest of your meeting.
It’s your credential
A good first introduction can be the difference between your name and credentials being remembered or forgotten. So, give a proper self-introduction that’s engaging and remarkable in a way that the other party remembers who you are the next time you come across. It helps in making the right impression.
Your introduction should be like an elevator pitch. But, consider to include the suggestion below while perfecting your introduction.
Talk about who you are and what you do.
Go beyond your title
Make it relevant
Explain your achievements
Don’t be boring.
A few example
I have shared a couple of sample introductions.
Before a presentation
“Good Morning. I’m Ramesh from DoyenThoughts heading the Sales Engineering division. I am a Customer Enthusiast person always looking for opportunities to delight my customers with the best experience by aligning technology and product with their business operations. Today, I am here to present a new, AI-Based helpdesk system that will help cut costs, save time and improve operational efficiency. Based on our recent survey with our existing customer base, I’m happy to say that the customer satisfaction rate increased by 10% and cut by 15%. Are you ready to know more?“
In an interview
“Thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity and considering my profile for the Customer Support Executive Role in DoyenThoughts.
I am a proactive, enthusiastic Customer Service agent with 3 years of experience never hesitant to take up challenges from handling a dissatisfied client to irate customers. I have developed and utilized skills necessary for handling customers with different personas. I have won several awards because of my exceptional performance in handling customer problems and was responsible for a 25% increase in retention sales YoY.
Though I love my current company, I believe it is time for me to take a more challenging role that focuses on customer experience. And, this position at DoyenThought looks like an exact match. So, here I am.“
Perfect your introduction
If you look carefully the example comprises the name, the title, achievements. It shows what the person is passionate about and why they should be motivated to listen to you.
You know who you are and what you have achieved so far. So, you are the best person to introduce yourself.
To summarize a sound introduction goes a long way in ensuring that you will be considered solidly and can help you succeed. If you don’t have any solid introduction, get prepared for one. Be it professional or networking or for a job interview.
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And, please feel free to add corrections to the sample or share your best by dropping the details in the comment section.
2020 has been a hard year for us all. The pandemic changed our lives in countless ways and disrupted the status quo. It would go down as one of the worst for many.
But, I see a lot of positives that came out of 2020.
I believe last year taught a great lesson to humankind.
Though technology brought people across the world closer, we were miles apart from our friends and families who were closer to us. It made us spend more time and be connected with them.
Our lifestyle was pathetic in recent years. It revealed to us how weak we are when the virus attacked us. We were forced to embrace a healthy lifestyle and people have realized the importance of it.
The majority of people stayed indoors to stay safe from the pandemic. It caused a decrease in pollution across the globe. People living in north India claimed that they were able to see the Himalayas from Jalandhar( not sure whether it was real) but I heard sparrow chirping near my home after many years. Nature breathed.
Best minds across the globe connected to find a solution for this pandemic. We have started hearing news of vaccines for this Covid-19 in a short time frame. It wouldn’t have been possible without people lending their hands.
2020 taught us humanity. It has taught us the meaning of life and its purpose; reminded us what we are. It brought the best character out of us.
So, why blame 2020. It did its job. To reset and start fresh. So, be grateful to 2020
And, I am moving forward to 2021 with more optimism. Are you?
Why culture code is important for any company? If you’re asking yourself that question, I’m sure you’re not alone.
You may hear these words thrown around a lot, but what do they really mean? And why does company need them?
Truth to be told, I strongly believe company culture has a significant impact on the success of any business. It creates a bonding with your employees and ensures that they travel along with company until the vision is achieved. And, job seekers should look at their culture code more than anything else before they decide to join the company.
What is company culture?
It is the sum of an organization’s ethics, attitudes, vision, mission and core values. Although it isn’t a tangible asset, it’s one of the most important things about your business. Every business has a unique culture and it helps to shape your company.
Think culture code like a employee handbook that explains your company’s culture. It could be in any form like e-copy, hard handbook or video. But, it should be well documented and clearly pass on the values across the company.
Why is it important?
Your employees should look forward to going to their job. It shouldn’t be a dreaded place. Your culture should help your employees to unburden any work related stress. Basically, it should infuse enthusiasm.
What are its benefits?
Without going into too much detail, here are a few benefits of culture code
It attracts talent. Though the code is important, the employees in your organization will talk about it outside the workplace. And, this itself will attract the applicants to work for you when they feel it is the match for them.
It sets the tone for your employees. By understanding core value, vision and mission the employees will know the direction of the company and what is expected out of them. They become brand ambassadors of your company while interacting with your customer.
Happy employees mean happy environment and more productivity. When company culture facilities happy environment there is improved collaboration, satisfied employee, increase in retention and growth in business.
A culture code ensure that companies stays on course to achieve their vision. It creates a bonding with your employees and that means loyalty to an organization.
Although we understand the importance of strong company culture, many business struggled to implement an effective culture within a workplace even before COVID-19.
So, how is your organization able to implement and maintain company culture when most of us are working from home during this COVID situation? Share your thoughts in the comments section
Stories that have morals and messages behind them are always powerful. If that story was related to business, the impact it creates is long-lasting. It helps you connect with your audience quickly and you are one step closer to the business opportunity.
In a world where information is bountiful, it becomes essential to get the right message to the audience. Stories are a good way to keep your audience hooked onto your core message.
In my two decades of experience, I have seen how relevant stories have helped me to easily mentor aspiring students, young entrepreneurs, active job seekers, acquaintances, and much more.
Well, pat yourself on the back, if you guessed that I am going to tell a short story now. Read on.
Two Frogs in a bowl of milk
To convey the message of never give up and persevere, let me share the story of two frogs which fell in a bowl of milk.
Two frogs, let me name them Bru and Tru, accidentally fell into a bowl of milk. Having swum all around the bowl, Bru and Tru realized that the edge of the bowl was too high and steep for them to get out unaided. Bru realized that it was useless to waste his energy by continuing to jump and swim since that would not get him out of the bowl, he gave up swimming and drowned. Tru persevered, refused to give in, and gradually the milk turned into solid butter, by constant churning, until he was able to use it as a foothold to jump out of the bowl.
Does that pass on a message to you?
I strongly believe stories, such as these, motivate the reader and experience the message/information/data thus shared, as opposed to just consuming it.
What can storytelling do?
Stories grab the attention of the audience quickly and maintain a connection; they help to understand the situation or topic of discussion better. Stories, quite often, may touch emotions and help connect with your audience at a personal level. In my opinion, stories turn you into an efficient presenter/communicator.
Let us talk business now. Why is storytelling important in business?
In a business setting, when you tell a story, you are personalizing the facts and putting a human face to the details presented. Suddenly, your data is applicable to people in the real world. Your audience gets a glimpse of how you overcame the challenges.
Do not underestimate the power of storytelling
If done well, the power of a great story can have a massive impact on the audience and define you as an influencer. They remember the story and the storyteller for life. It can inspire, enliven, and create instant rapport. It can move the audience to take a quick decision and it may even change lives, who knows. Never underestimate the power of storytelling. Isn’t it creative to identify the right story for every business opportunity?
Why don’t you share a story or two which, in your opinion, has influenced people/customers to take a business decision quickly? Let us keep the discussion active. Share your stories and help others to influence the decision-making process.
Everyone loves to be heard at home and in the office. While I don’t wish to discuss on the home front for obvious reasons, the one at Office needs attention. To grow, you need to take an effort to make your voice heard.
Throughout my career, I had to struggle to make my voice heard. Did that flash anything for you? I am sure an instance or two where you were unheard would have flashed for a moment. I can affirm that I was not alone.
So, what is this “To make your voice heard” all about?
It means you share meaningful ideas that help the team or the organization as a whole, solve a problem or propose new ideas, thereby promoting self-growth and organizational growth.
In my career spanning over two decades, I have seen many members of my team were hesitant to share ideas or thoughts or pass feedback, fearing backlash. They seem as though they don’t want to be heard. I wasn’t surprised though, as I had been through this during the initial days of my career.
Have you ever introspected your hesitation to speak out?
While I go downlisting my thoughts, I would advise you to take a look at yours as well.
The first thought that comes to my mind is the family upbringing, where I was not allowed to speak up when elders were around. I was trained to nod and agree with them whenever an event was planned, or a new solution was introduced to solve a family issue. I was always with a constant fear of being ridiculed and shamed by more experienced elders who took all the decisions.
Secondly, being an introvert during my teens and early adulthood could be a possible reason too. People who know me well now, wouldn’t agree If I called myself an introvert.
What did I do to overcome this struggle?
Here are a few tips to make your voice heard to grow from my experiences.
1. Don’t cringe, speak out, and come up with a solution.
When I came across a hurdle or inconvenience in the workplace, I never cringed away from complaining about any issue with my teammates or in a team meeting.
When I was with CSS(formerly Slashsupport), my PM Mr.Satish, educated me that employers prefer staff who had a strong acumen to solve problems. He trained me to communicate my ideas with a simple motto:
“Identify problems, but don’t stop there, propose an idea to solve the problem you have identified”.
Better, if you have an implementable practical new working model.
Trust me, your voice will be heard, and you will also build trust and credibility. I gained rewards early in my career, having shown such problem-solving traits.
2. Validate the solution
Don’t propose the solution based on your guts (it may or may not work). Any recommendations you share should be based on research, data analysis, focus group findings, and other reliable sources. Talk with managers across departments to identify how things get done in an organization. Work along with your peers and manager to validate the solution before it is presented to a larger audience. These efforts will help build your credibility.
3. Meetings are opportunities.
Inevitably, everyone has to attend meetings at work. What you may not realize is that meetings are a good place to build your credibility. Meetings are opportunities to ask questions. When you drive the conversation from the problem towards a solution, you will emerge as a leader. There will be always people who will be a heckler. Just ignore them and make sure your voice is heard
If you have ideas about improving efficiency at work, speak up during meetings. Organizations appreciate employee suggestions that improve productivity.
Proposed ideas may sound really uncomfortable for some people in the room or maybe even yourself. But, remember one thing -Your goal is to deliver results. So, get into the habit of finding opportunities to share your perspective. Making your voice heard is a skill. If you master it, you are ready to take leadership.