• LifeSkills - Newsletter

Vol 14, Issue No. 05 – May 2014

Life is all about choices we make

All us human beings with our similarities would perhaps lead the very same life except for the choices we make. In our childhood, the choices of inculcating good habits have a spillover affect in our adult life. Did I adopt the habit of reading which would in my later years lead me towards self-development. Did I have a defeatist attitude over the critique of my teachers, leading to resentment of authority in my professional life. The choices of adulthood bear fruits or thorns within half a decade of our adult life. The choice of career, the choice of a spouse, the choice of attitude at my workplace can either ensure my progress up the corporate ladder or be the reason of stagnation. But do I blame myself for all the failures of my life? When I can so conveniently blame my manager, or my organization or the lack of opportunities had life and last but no he least I can always blame my destiny to my (bad luck) How many times have I taken responsibility of my choices. The choices I am making Right Now are creating the ripples leading to my future. Not having any dream is also a choice. I have set my goals without devising a course so the winds can take me anywhere. But when I reach that place, will I truly blame myself or blame the environment for being so harsh on my destiny? Life’s greatest gift to us is “the will to choose” Choice is the ability to select one course of action from a set of alternatives to achieve a goal. What is so great about choice? It transforms us from dumb animals into artists. Each of us becomes another Michelangelo, for choice is nothing other than the chisel we use to sculpt our life. The chisel doesn’t come free, however, for the price of choice is responsibility. But when we accept and carry out our responsibility, the reward is great. The reward is happiness. Life is not static, it is a flow. Every choice we make leads us closer to or further from our goals. We constantly need to monitor where we are on our journey. We need to ask questions: Am I moving closer to my goals? If not, what corrective measures can I take? What action will I take now to realign myself with my goals? Choice is power. Choice is at the heart of life; it is the creative power of life.

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Featured Articles
Organizing Yourself From the Inside Out

Keys to Increased Productivity and Creativity Have you heard this before: “I’m going to get organized this time and stick to it”? Maybe you have said it yourself. Staying organized is like trying to keep weight off; we do it for a while and then fall back into old habits. Most of us have learned many organization techniques over the years: get a day planner, make to-do lists, develop an organizing system so we can find and store things easily, touch paper only one time, “do, delegate, delay or dump,” and have a method of handling phone calls and e-mails. All too often, however, we end up still getting bogged down, and the planners and the to-do lists fall by the wayside. We end up right where we were before, maybe a little improved but still struggling with overload, over commitment, and overly tired. Why can’t we stay focused and organized? Much like in dieting, something or someone comes along and interrupts the plan. Your manager asks you to do a special assignment; your mother is suddenly in the hospital and you have to help take care of her; you find yourself spending a lot of time being social during work hours; or you are inundated with phone calls and e-mails. In providing personal coaching services, I find individuals have tremendous difficulty remaining free from distractions. In general, I have found that people do not stay organized when 1) stress is not managed, 2) the people in our lives are not managed, or 3) our emotional or psychological problems are not corrected. If any of these three factors exist, it is difficult to stay focused on an organizational plan. When we have control over these three life circumstances, then we are organized on the “inside.” “Inside” refers to our emotions, our mental state, and our psychological make-up. Being organized on the inside frees up energy that is then used on organizing the “outside.” “Outside” refers to the environment and the situations we find ourselves in. We only have so much mental stamina. If it’s all used up solving or trying to manage personal “inside” issues, then little is left over for managing our work, home, friends, hobbies, family of origin, etc. People stay organized in their work and home environments (the outside) only when their personal life is organized (the inside).

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Build a Mentoring Culture

Leaders Build a Mentoring Culture in Organizations The people in your organizations train for years and go into debt for college. People work late nights and weekends. People spend the entire day taking phone calls when they’re supposed to be on vacation. And people generate ideas and create the solutions that your organizations need.  People do these things. The people you have working for you today and the people you may hire tomorrow. And, the people who may resign because no one has recognized their abilities. Yet, clearly, organizations do not do a good enough job developing and promoting their most important resource – their people. What does it take to develop your people? It takes more than writing “equal opportunity” into your organization’s mission statement. It takes more than sending someone to a training class. It takes more than hard work on the part of your employees. What development takes is people – from the CEO’s office to the mailroom – people who are willing to listen and to help their colleagues. Development takes coaches; it takes guide; it takes advocates. Development depends on mentors. Time after time, successful people I talk to say that one of the most important keys to their success is having a mentor. It is hard to make it without a mentor and it takes too much time without a mentor.

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Editor’s Choice Book of the Month / Previous Workshop / Psyche’s Realm
Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

by: Simon Sinek


Why do only a few people get to say “I love my job”? It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong. Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things. In his travels around the world since the publication of his bestseller Start with Why, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams were able to trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives were offered, were doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why? The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. “Officers eat last,” he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What’s symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: great leaders sacrifice their own comfort—even their own survival—for the good of those in their care.

ISBN-10: 1591845327 ISBN-13: 978-1591845324

A Glimpse of Intek’s Previous Workshops

Psyche’s Realm: The Benefits of Quiet for Body, Mind and Spirit

7 ways to slow down, unplug and really tune in Ironically, in an age when you can watch a movie, download music, talk to friends in Japan or order groceries with just a few mouse clicks, the one commodity you can’t dial up is quiet, and the inner stillness that lies beneath it. And yet it’s more important for our mental, physical and spiritual health than almost anything. Doctors, preachers and teachers of most spiritual traditions agree that regular retreats from both outer and inner noise is essential for human health and happiness. Why? It all comes to the s word: stress, believed to be a factor in every modern disease and malady. Stress comes not just from too much work and not enough control, but also from the constant onslaught of daily stimulation: emails, phones and all manner of entertainment and distraction. The best antidote is the cheapest—and the hardest to come by. Yet the benefits of just sitting and breathing and ignoring your thoughts and worries for even a few minutes a day can boost your immune system and cause enough attitude adjustment to jumpstart a whole lifestyle change. Quiet isn’t just the absence of sound. The stillness one finds in green parks or along quaint country roads streets is enough to calm the mind and lift the spirit. Says Michael Hunter, M.D., of the University of Sheffield´s Department of Neuroscience, “Tranquility is a state of calmness and reflection, which is restorative compared with the stressful effects of sustained attention in day-to-day life.” Studies done at the Franklin Institute, a Philadelphia-based science research center, on stress and the adrenal glands show that even low-level chronic noise increases aggression and decreases cooperation and is associated with increased risk for such serious physiological problems as peptic ulcers, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, stroke and even suicide.

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Cross Cultural Awareness Global Non-Verbal Signals – Switzerland & Turkey
  • Switzerland hosts a combination of French, Italian and German nationalities, thus, the cultural mores and gestures of each of these countries influence Swiss society. However, you should offer a firm handshake to whomever you are introduced to, including children. 
  • Good posture is important in Switzerland. Do not slouch in your chair or stretch your legs out while sitting in public.
  • Do not litter in Switzerland. The Swiss take great pride in the tidiness of their environs, thus to litter is considered greatly rude.
  • Never smoke while dining with the Swiss.
  • The elderly are greatly respected in Switzerland, so be considerate by giving up your seat on a bus or train to an older person or help them with their luggage or parcels.
  • The fondue is a popular Swiss dish. While dining, a chaffing dished is put in the middle of a table and it contains melted cheese or gravy and meat. The guests use long forks to dip pieces of bread into the cheese or gravy. Tradition says that if you drop your bread in the community fondue pot, then you must buy wine for everyone at the table. Another version of the tradition is that you must kiss all members of the opposite sex at the table.
  • Shake hands with everyone present — men, women, and children — at business or social meetings. Shake hands again when leaving.
  • Handshakes are firm with eye contact.
  • Allow the hosts to introduce you at parties.
  • Use last names and appropriate titles until specifically invited by your Swiss hosts or colleagues to use their first names.
  • Academic and professional titles are used frequently.
  • Generally, English is spoken in business with foreigners. Inquire beforehand to determine if an interpreter is needed.
  • Business climate is very conservative. Meetings are generally impersonal, brisk, orderly, planned and task oriented.
  • The Swiss tend to get right down to business after a few minutes of general discussion.
  • It is extremely offensive to show the sole of your shoe to someone, or use your shoe to point at someone or something. This is due to the fact that the shoe sole is the lowest part of the body and something which is usually dirty and soiled.
  • If you must smoke, please ask permission first. You should not either smoke or eat while on a public street.
  • To signal NO, raise your head slightly, tip it backward, and close your eyes.
  • A unique Turkish gesture to signal that something is good, is done by holding your hand up, palm outward, and slow bring the fingers into the thumb, in a grasping motion.
  • Before you take a photograph in Turkey, ask permission first. This is especially applicable to mosques and to individuals.
  • The fig gesture is considered very rude in Turkey. This is done by clenching your hand into a fist and having your thumb protrude between the first two fingers.
  • Shake hands with everyone present–men, women and children–at a business or social meeting. Shake hands with elders first. Shake hands again when leaving.
  • It is common for Turkish men and women to cheek-kiss one another when meeting and parting.
  • “Yes” is a slight downward nod of the head. “No” is a slight upward nod of the head while making a quick, sucking sound through your two front teeth (like “tsk”)
  • Turks generally have a small area of personal space and may stand closer than most foreigners are used to.
  • Never point the sole of your foot toward a person.
  • For business, men should wear conservative suits or a sports coat and tie. In very hot weather, men may go without a jacket, but they still wear a tie.
  • Women should wear suits, dresses and heels. Avoid short skirts, low-cut blouses or shorts.
  • Turks, most of whom are devout Muslims, may avoid looking into your eyes in a display of humble behavior.
  • Foreign women are very welcome and accepted in Turkey.
  • In general, conservative attitudes toward women exist in Turkey, but Turkish men tend to be very respectful.
  • It is acceptable for a foreign businesswoman to invite a Turkish businessman to dinner, and it is easy for her to pay.



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Editor-in-Chief: Zaufyshan Haseeb


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