Tag Archives: Hype

Hints to identify your hidden talent and core competencies!

Making match of talent and opportunity! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

If you wish to excel in what you choose to do, than it is critical to identify your built-in talent, trait or core competencies early on in your life. However, it is no less important to know that it is never too late to discover same at any stage of your life or make corrections in the ones identified and pursued earlier!

Normally, people don’t make conscious efforts or there is lack awareness on how to identify their hidden taste, tendencies and competencies, in which they could shine. There are also cases, where some people are capable of finding out what their hidden talent is; but, they are unable to map or match it correctly to the career path. Therefore, often they end up following advice of friends, father or fraternity in selecting their career or brain, Beauty, profession. Some may still develop well; but most fail to do a good job. There are wiser ones, who rather than living a frustrated life, change their pursuit mid-stream and come out then with flying colors in the new profession.

Lot of school going students tend to follow hype created by their friend circle. They are cut to be artists or architects, but go for engineering and then struggle for success. Children of business families are inherently pushed by their parents to pursue family business, regardless of their capabilities or choices. I have come across host of employees, who were doing very well in their career as engineers but opted to pursue MBAs only because that would give them better career opportunities and salaries, even though they hardly had any flair for managing businesses! There is a kind of fear in minds of most young professionals to follow their hidden talent, lest they should fail and miss the bus of opportunities that their peers are enjoying by following text book rules.

Look at hidden talent of some well-known personalities – Hedy Lamarr, “Bombshell” beautiful actress of 1940s used to experiment at home for automated control of musical instruments and also received a patent for invention in this field. She wanted to be better known for her innovative brain than her skin beauty. Famed suspense movie director Alfred Hitchcock was a graduate from London County Council School of Engineering and Navigation. An engineer’s mind often gave his movies a cutting edge! Former US President Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer and engineer, before he catapulted to become top political leader. Super and successful model Cindy Crawford was nearing her graduation in chemical engineering when she firmed up her mind to fire into entirely unrelated field of modelling!

Where does your talent and tendencies hide?

What we can’t identify, we declare it invisible (hidden)!” As a matter of fact, core talent and tendencies of anyone are never hidden. These are visible through one’s behavior and responses all the time. Real challenge for most is lack of adequate knowledge on how to co-relate and collate these in a structured manner, as same surface in a random manner and moreover, these can undergo some variation over a period of time depending upon experience made by the person and his/her beliefs having undergone a change.

There are 3 aspects, through which hidden talent or tendencies come out –

  1. Type of original or primary thoughts
  2. What you do with those thoughts
  3. How you respond to a given situation

What you consistently or repetitively do nearly 80% of time in above 3 aspects is your talent or tendency.

Type of your primary thoughts is the seed for your talent!

Most important thing to know is that primary thoughts are the ones, which come on their own and come effortlessly. Please ignore thoughts, which are secondary, provoked or induced.

Categorize your primary thoughts as follows:

  1. Conventional or unconventional
  2. Positive or negative
  3. Old (repeat) or new
  4. Abstract, object, people or transaction related

What you do with your primary thoughts is how you nurture your talent!

This is a key to build your core competency. Watch out how you handle your primary thoughts:

  1. Ignore or discard
    This does not help in building any competency! 
  2. Investigate (analyze) and implement
  3. Implement straightaway 
  4. Improve and implement
  5. Innovate new ideas based on primary thoughts

How you respond to a situation determines your trait or characteristic!

It shows what kind of person you are or you would become:

  1. React
    This would take your talent in wrong direction.
  2. Accept but no further action
  3. Accept and offer help
  4. Define or understand it, decide on path forward or seek a solution
  5. Develop it further
  6. Dissect and debate

These 3 aspects can help you unleash your true potential

Understanding these 3 aspects in you can indeed boost your decision making power at any stage of life, since these clearly guide you to shoot it right – be it decision to plan a new career or change the existing one.

Don’t believe that your talent is hidden only in your DNA and that it can’t be changed. DNA only determines basic tendencies; but by practice, same can be altered. 

Once you know your current hidden talent, it empowers you to alter if you discover that better opportunities lie elsewhere. But, before you embark upon any opportunity, you must make sure that your core talent is aligned to it.

Hiring manager can take advantage from knowledge of these 3 aspects how to frame their questions and understand the talent of candidates being interviewed from answers given by them.

Examples of matrix for areas, you would score the best

Remember you need to pick only what you tend to repeat most of times, ideally 80% of instances:

Matrix to identify areas where you can excel!

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Why majority fails at finishing lines!

Frustration of failing! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Higher the stakes, higher are the possibilities of failing to strike! Increase the expectations, increased would be the probabilities of exceptions and errors!!

World Cup 2014 for football is over; but regrets for missed chances of Lionel Messi, one of the top most rated players in the world, to strike against Germany in the final match are not over. Imagine the burden of extremely high expectations not only of his own country Argentina but whole of Latin America Messi was carrying on his shoulders, when the final was kicked off! Look at the hype and high pitch, which are raised for players and their preparations in the preceding stages of any important sport’s event!! But, when the D-day  or D-line comes, dreams of many don’t come through!!!

I have witnessed several projects and initiatives in corporate world, where team manager and members make a great beginning; but bugger it up towards the end. My observation is that errors which are found in any work normally are introduced during last 10 to 20% part of such work! “Finale fatigue syndrome” seems to bug nearly whole world.

So, despite best of intentions and implementation, it is usually difficult for most to cross finishing lines free from faults! However, let us not forget there is always one winner among many losers!

Faults at the finishing lines

Phrase that “Way you start would also be the way you would finish” does not seem to be true at least in present age. Both phases of start and end are crucial to emerge winner.

Here below is what seems to happen to most during finishing stages:

  1. Complacency
    When the end is in sight, we think relaxing a bit is right! We start to take things as granted. Some become over-confident that it is now bound to pass through successfully. This is when most mistakes are committed.
  2. Cold feet
    Many projects, initiatives or competitions are accorded high priority, top importance and are closely monitored. Performers and new faces are generally more under pressure to perform.
    Often, people develop nervousness or cold feet during concluding stage either thinking about consequences of failure or missing the deadline or day-dreaming of rewards from their success.
  3. Hypocrisy from hype
    What is hyped invariably invites hypocrisy!
    There are programs or events, which are highly publicized and hyped by media. It has been seen that such attention and coverage swing minds of participants or performers towards either under confidence or over confidence and even arrogance. This does result in accidental but fatal flaws.
  4. Loss of focus
    When the work is arduous, repetitive, long or high profile, people develop fatigue especially towards final stages and hence lose focus. Their performance deteriorates and is nowhere near how they began.
  5. Lack of awareness
    It has been observed that lot of people don’t appreciate the importance of finishing or concluding well. There are many, who plan execution well but are casual or callous on testing, checking, documentation or finesse in finishing!
  6. An element of quantum theory, strangely though, at work!
    There is one of the elements of quantum theory and its remarkable Copenhagen Interpretation advanced by famous scientist Neil Bohr and 2 others, which states that any process or event gets disturbed from its original state, when it is under observation.
    So, if there are many eyes watching an event or work at the finishing lines (it can also be other stage of event or work; but we are normally more excited about finishing lines), the ability of participants or players would get impacted and results would alter compared to what it would have been, in case it were not be observed or watched by those many minds! This may sound weird; but it is very subtle, solid and sacrosanct!! Nature indeed works that way.

Overcoming stigma of finishing

As mentioned before, there is always one winner among many losers. It is best to emulate what he/she does. A winner obviously does it differently; that is why he/she wins.

  1. Though every stage of work or event is important and should be well thought and planned, put maximum emphasis on finishing. You need to detail out what all you would do during finishing, visualize possible surprises at that stage and your strategy to tackle. Don’t ignore your weaknesses or limitations while at crucial stages and resolve to overcome the same.
    Once you have done planning on finishing, simply focus on same.
  2. Though you should be motivated at all stages of work or play, save your extra energy, euphoria and enthusiasm especially towards end.
  3. Regardless of publicity, prestige or price at stake, it should be life as usual for you! Never flow with the pitch of external sources. Focus on your job to deliver a fault free performance.
  4. Very important to remember is – “work is worth doing, only if you are able to deliver satisfactorily and you can do that only if you conclude or close it right”.
  5. Believe that winning is not an end; but a stepping stone for subsequent wins! Make winning as an obvious and not an option for you!!

So, what do you think? Would above not make you to always finish first, without fault but with flavor?

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Pleasant way to give unpleasant feedback!


“Giving feedback” is a great tool or means to communicate your views about other’s performance. But most in every walk of life, especially corporates, mess up with it, rather than making it pleasant and purposeful! Let us look at how feedback from a supervisor to subordinate can be conducted to make it congenial for both; particularly if it happens to be adverse.

Take a pause and ponder over the purpose

Most mistakes happen for lack of understanding and sticking to the purpose for doing a thing! Hence, it is of utmost importance that you remind yourself of following tenets of a feedback.

If you are a supervisor

  1. You have a responsibility to understand and evaluate performance of your sub-ordinate fairly.
  2. Set goals for each employee, which are measurable as far as possible and lay down your expectations in writing.
    Maintain concise record of +/- deviations in performance of your team members on a regular basis.
    This is very important; so never dilute it!
  3. Go beyond biases and emotions against subordinate.
    It is not easy; but keep doing it.
  4. Remind yourself that you are sitting on destiny of someone, who has a family to support. You can make or mar it!
  5. Feedback is essentially meant to articulate your assessment in the manner that recipient can relate and register it and help him/her to improve; under no case it is meant for reprimanding or retribution!

If you correctly comprehend the above, you would realize that it is something, which would also help you immensely to develop your leadership skills!

If you are a subordinate

  1. Your endeavors should be to align what you do to meet the goals set and expectations of your supervisor.
    Don’t ignore or undermine importance of above.
  2. You are an examinee, who should be interested in knowing result of your performance. You should definitely make your self-assessment; but be clear that you are not entitled to give actual marks to self. That is the job of examiner i.e. your supervisor.
  3. Treat feedback as extremely valuable tool to learn direction of your efforts.
    If it is good, then your direction is right. If it is not, you have to know what is right and change your track and gears accordingly.

Be offbeat and break off from traditional methods

Research shows that conventional methods of giving feedback don’t bring great results and trigger a change. These actually bring lot of maladies. Here below is what you can:

  1. Feedback should be as frequent as you feel the need to help improve performance of your team; but any case not less than twice a year.
    Avoid blunder of timing it with annual wage increases and promotions.
  2. Take away the hype around feedback. It should be life as usual.
  3. Before calling a team member for feedback session, ask him/her (now onward, he/his has been used without any gender bias) to do self-assessment.
  4. As supervisor:
    1. Don’t jump straight into feedback discussion; ask subordinate how he is doing and make him comfortable.
    2. Ask employee to tell you about his self-assessment and listen to him carefully and take down your notes.
    3. Then tell employee you now want to share your thoughts, however adverse or good these may be, and help him to improve.
    4. In self-assessment, if employee has presented a picture that everything is hunky-dory with his performance contrary to your assessment, then advise him:
      1. What are the gaps you see and cite some examples.
      2. Do not be critical; but be candid.
      3. If employee goes offensive or defensive, give him patient hearing.
        Normal tendency of an employee in such a case is to pass buck to anything else; except self.
      4. If employee’s arguments make sense, be prompt to accept (but then you need to focus on quality of your own assessment or flaw in system which is feeding information to you).
      5. But, usually when one is offensive or defensive, there exist deficiencies!
        So, you have an opportunity to coach him that how attitude to lay blame elsewhere by itself is crux of problem and prevents him to perform well. Now, give direction how he can improve.
      6. If employee agrees with your assessment effortlessly, compliment him handsomely. Such employees have best possibility to change.
    5. Include your views on employee’s sincerity, focus, dedication, diligence and other personal qualities with advice how to improve or strengthen same.
    6. Demonstrate your commitment to reward employees commensurate with results they show.

This way, you would be free from conflicts during feedback session, establish your credibility, enhance employee’s values and upgrade your own leadership skills!

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Truth of the Moment – what Masses follow is mostly a Mistake!

This could come as a surprise to you; but research reveals that caption statement is not a mistake! This is not a rule, which applies 100% of time; but does apply most of the time. Action of masses being on wrong side is a high tendency and perennial probability.

Look at the examples, which prove the Truth of the Moment.

What masses tend to do

  1. Triangular love n hate
    1. If you are not happy with your boss, you would start loving his bête noire.
    2. If you get hurt by someone (even when you are at fault), you lean towards one who gives you healing, even if he/she fakes or falsifies.
    3. If you see flaw, right or wrong does not matter, in the party in power, you would flirt with another sitting in opposition.
  2. Masses getting swayed by superstitions.
  3. Person with power, position, popularity and/or prosperity gains prominence among public and press, even if his persona is poor!
  4. Fiery and flamboyant communicators are always construed by companies and communities as leaders!
  5. Everyone loves those companies giving handsome salary hikes, shops giving hefty discounts, governments giving tax exemptions, even if it means these establishments going bankrupt and everyone paying a higher and heavier price later!
  6. Majority does not like to prevent or pre-empt, since it wants to experience pain before it could recognize problems!
  7. Facing a setback; find a scapegoat first.
  8. In grip of surprise and suspense? Hold the breath to become breathless!
    Why not exhale the breath to enjoy much more?
  9. Hopes and happiness are matters of external forces. So, hopes of most are on God and happiness on spouse or bosses!
  10. One, who could touch your pain point/s and suppressed sentiments, becomes your role model, even when he has no model solution or charismatic character.
  11. One (gentle) man from a crowd start throwing stone or bottles at public property, rest would follow suit, with no clue or qualm why they should do that!
  12. “Number of tweets admiring a Beauty” can only be outnumbered by “a wave of tweets unleashed by complains of a twitter friendly netizen (net citizen) on defects in a (beauty) product”.

There are many more examples on what masses do across the globe!

Why mind of masses tends to go wrong?

Mind is not always right, especially when it comes to collective effect of minds of masses. The paradox is it is the masses, at the same time, which has power to make or break countries, communities and companies.

  • In 90% of cases, first reaction of mind is never right, since it just a reaction, without rationale, to an action, which mind experiences. It is analogous to Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion! Masses tend to act of 1st i.e. spontaneous reaction of mind!!
  • Majority of individuals has insecure feeling, as it lacks inherent strength of character and intellect. This makes most individuals to look at neighborhood i.e. they are overwhelmed by Neighbor’s Syndrome.
  • When emotions get evoked, it is very easy for our mind to get engaged and polarization of opinion happens at fast pace.
    These emotions + polarization of opinion thereby lead to what is known as “Mass Mentality”. It also, now, makes it clear that what masses follow is not based upon any logic or rationale!

How to keep your mind on right course?

  • Watch out for mass hype, hysteria or heroism. Most of these would be hypocrisies and lure you, because of illusion; these are able to create in your mind. Wise thing would be to shun these.
  • Roads most traveled look tempting; but these would not be free from rough patches and erosion! Your fear that you would miss something by not following those roads is false.
    So, be bold to follow routes, less traveled. You would discover new experience and confidence.
  • The world that you see starts from you and would end with you. So, why should others drive and impact you and your world? You need to drive them. You must observe, listen or hear and learn from others; but develop your own conscience and consciousness.
  • There is one aspect, which you need to tread carefully –
    The faith you follow would always have elements of masses and mythology, dogmas and doctrines. But at the core, all faiths favor “Help everyone; but hurt no one!” Disregard its adulterated version, if you come across. If you keep this simple principle at the apex level of all of your responses, you would do very well.

With above, you can master the Mind and Masses; not the other way round!!

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Monumental Mistake many make by not quitting at correct time!

Humans are infested by inertia and love to do what they have been doing. One fine day, they start facing issues, crises, stagnancy and decay. Often, the cause their troubles is that they had stuck around the place way too long and ignored the signals their surroundings were giving to quit and seek change! It is true that majority misses the boat for bolstering their career and craving for a crest!

One caveat for quitting – do that only when you have another appropriate alternative in hand.

Judging right time to quit

By quitting, I not only mean current employment; but also present position in your profession or pursuits. You should quit, when:

  1. You don’t feel happy with what you are doing, despite your sincere efforts and you don’t see a chance of a change.
  2. Despite 3 nos. of candid conversations over a period of time, there is no comfort level between you and your boss, even though top management had intervened. Remember the rule 1-2-3 & Go; it applies to everyone every time!
  3. Despite being well meaning, you are often mired or pulled into conflicts or controversies over a year.
  4. Your company is not changing and growing, and hence your management is able to offer you only stability and promotion; but not growth in real terms.
  5. Your senior managers and management are not interested in addressing your genuine concerns and issues. Be sure about genuineness of your concerns!
  6. You are excelling and reaching climax. It the best time to quit!
  7. When you start to enjoy comfort of your job and don’t want it to be compromised.
  8. When your management makes promises and fails to deliver at least 3 times.
  9. When your management does not hold moral and ethical grounds.

Hype and Hypocrisy on Employee Retention

Ludicrous is the style of that management and its HR, whose focus is to retain employees by hook or hammer; rather than encouraging and stimulating employees to see and shape their future with the company!

Most management reward for retention, create comfort zones for employees and show love for loyalty more than performance! Seldom they realize that by creating comfort zones, they are killing creativity and initiatives in employees.

Real leaders and managers are those, who tirelessly create opportunities, develop and grow their employees and if they can’t, then would graciously come forward to offer deserving ones a choice to relocate to another company or give honorable exit.

What we need are Constraint Zones, not Comfort Zones

Do not mistake Constraint by controlled and freedom limiting zones. Constraint zone aims at encouraging employees to give more for less – again don’t confuse less means less salary; it means less time, less energy, better efficiency, innovative ways to accomplish more and so on.

Banes of Comfort Zones

  • Inactiveness and inefficiency
  • No drive to learn and change
  • Hatching covers for comforts
  • Taking things for granted
  • Taking time to manipulate and justify inactions

Only blessing that comfort zones offer is stability, uneventful and peaceful time, before degeneration takes control.

Blessings of Constraint Zones

  • Auto drive for value system
  • Self-motivation to learn and change; employees don’t do it otherwise
  • Promotes productivity, creativity and value creation
  • Realization for value of time, energy and cost/money
  • Gunning for greater growth

How quitting at correct time can unleash new order and opulence

Normally, people do not understand how sometimes a single decision can have amazing power to become game changer in your life. The game of quitting under duress or distress is radically different than to quit by design, which can leave irrevocable imprints on your career and character!

  • When you quit plan fully, it makes you confident and courageous decision maker – very rare qualities to progress and excel.
  • State of your mind when you quit and quest for Change would shape your future successes.
  • It can open flood gates of opportunities.
  • It empowers you to shape your destiny.
  • Its best impact is to inspire you to drive events, rather than those driving you!
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