Thursday, 26 November 2009

Personal Effectiveness Program at The Grand Solitaire, Secunderabad...

Did you know that average age at which corporate Indians are facing heart problems? Someone told me its 28 and a half years. I thought it must be a confusion and the reference, may be, was to the minimum rather than average. But then, I got a clarification that it is the average. Also a clarification that young people in the age 22-25 are already experiencing heartaches (not the ones caused by love, bonding, etc but the original heart problems). We all get our bikes and vehicles serviced every 3rd month. A bike costing merely Rs 50000 gets so much attention in our lives. Whats the value of this human life? Did you ever service your body? Perhaps, you never thought of it. Even in the worst of cases when the body coughs, shows high temperature and tells us, "Come on, take me to a doc", we tell it, "Take a tab and sleep well, you will be fine by tomorrow". The human body is a machine that runs by itself. But an effort by us to contribute to its running will increase its efficiency tremendously

The moment your corporate life began, you forgot taking care of yourself. All you live for is your company. You have forgotten the fact that the company has hired you for 8 hours a day for 5 days a week. You have 16 hours a day on weekdays and 24 hours a day on weekends for you. But then, you never did utilize it for your life. This time was either spent to ease tiredness or doing some extra work or some other commitment. Have you ever sat and introspected about you? Though the most important element of my life is me, I never thought of me

Exercising is a very important activity. I would not waste time in explaining its importance as everyone knows it. But, no one does it. Did you ever try to find out how your heart is? Whats its condition? Go and get a Lipid Profile Test done. You will get all the motivation to join a gym now

With this brief introduction, I welcome you to the narration of my experience at a Personal Effectiveness Program. Of course, the program was sponsored by ICICI Bank and I was supposed to attend with another 19 of my colleagues. It was scheduled on 20 & 21 Nov 09 at The Grand Solitaire Hotel, Secunderabad. I was supposed to reach there by 9 am and I did. The sessions were taken by Ms. Aisshwarya. She is a resident of Chennai and runs her own company by name Worksenses. She has a PG from Symbiosis in HR and various international certifications. She has been into IT training for 8 years and HR training for 6 years, a massive total of 14 years of dealing with new human beings each day. The concepts that we shall be going through would be Effective, Time Management, Process and Assertiveness

For every product, there is a need for a production capacity. The product is the end result while the production capacity is the reason for this end result to be achieved. We all dream. Dreams may come true. It saddens us when they dont. But what must actually sadden is that we do not have the ability to make the dream come true. And the focus must be on this ability and not the dream. Dream is merely the result. Job is the focus and money is the end result. One must make efforts to improve his production capacity. Any effort to only see the product will make us lose. Remember the story of The Goose that laid Golden Eggs. While the eggs symbolically represent the product, the goose represents the production capacity. The hasty farmer, expecting to get all the eggs in a single go, tears the goose into 2 parts only to see it dead. Rather, he must have concentrated on improving his production capacity and do something by which the goose could lay 2 or more golden eggs a day. He could have tried to clone it. He could have tried to cross breed. But, he foolishly lost the production capacity concentrating on the product. Had he focused on the Production Capacity, he would be a winner. These days, there are 3 major spheres that we need to deal with- Physical, Mental & Relationships. All these three have certain value and need to be dealt with a lot of care

A study of the circle of influence and circle of concern was done describing how we affect other people and vice versa. We can either pass on our influences to them or our concerns as well. So, its more important for us to develop influences for better results

A video titled "Even Eagles Need A Push" by David Mcnally was shown. It was a learning experience. We were told about the 5 qualities of a Confident Empowered person
  • Self Appreciation
  • Vision
  • Purpose
  • Commitment
  • Contribution
An example of Terry Fox was shown who suffered from cancer and had lost his one leg. He ran across for thousands of miles across US to raise funds for cancer research. He could have easily given an ad in the newspaper or TV to raise funds. But he ran to show that you can run even with one leg. He could have used funds to cure cancer but his aim was to remove cancer from the roots and the funds were aimed at cancer research. With such a vision, he wanted to raise USD 1 million while for his big surprise, he ended up with USD 14 million

The basic management concept of time management deals with the concept of urgency and importance quadrants. There are four quadrants: Urgent & Important- DO, Urgent & Not Important- DEVELOP, Not Urgent but Important- AVOID, Neither Urgent nor Important- DROP. One must try to follow this principle to make effective utilization of time

A learning about process was done through various role plays. A boat making exercise laid emphasis on how processes are important for an organization. Organizations must always be process dependent and not person dependent. Else, they will cease to exist in the long term as persons do not live forever

Assertiveness- The art of saying NO was learnt. However, from the practical perspective, saying no to the manager has huge concerns. Many a times, we need these 5 minute breaks to take an urgent call, some concern when you are not keeping well, you might get a minute late, you might need approval for some cost incurred, etc. All this is in the manager's hand. A no to him would mean a no to you as well. And with the kind of managers who have gone to that position just because there was availability at some point of time and luck picked them irrespective of their qualification or knowledge or experience, it becomes impossible to say no. Yet, we learnt certain principles that help in being assertive
  • Be honest about what is relevant
  • Stick to your bottomline
  • Make sure you are negotiating in equal terms
The entire program was full of many role plays and group activities that made it a fun learning experience. Such breaks away from work add a lot of value to the employees. It acts as a huge motivation for them to perform well. Someone asking you to take care of your health and life and concentrate on family, etc is something that we never hear at work. A feel good element inspires people to take initiatives in life to move ahead. There was a lot of learning and a good value addition. My sincere thanks to everyone who made this possible. I have decided to go to a gym soon (I have been planning ever since 2003) and a lipid profile test done too. I have even planned to take my body for regular servicing. When will you?

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