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Vol 12, Issue No. 11 – November 2013


“There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so” Shakespeare said it centuries ago and has been debated on, over and over again without significant conclusions. History  has shown us how ‘ironclad’ beliefs have been shaken from their foundations and even mocked in the future. I sometimes wonder, what will happen to all the ‘convictions’ about life I have today; will these convictions be disdained by the generations of tomorrow? I emphatically argue about them, as I have come to believe them as truths, but are they actually ‘facts’ or my ‘mindsets’?My tunnel vision of today is refusing to look beyond its centricity, making me a close-minded person, dogmatic in approach that has resulted in the demise of the innate creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. How long will I survive with this outlook in this ever-changing world? The speed at which life is evolving around me, reminds me of an anecdote by Einstein.His student came to him and said, “By mistake, you have given us last year’s question paper in the exam,” “Don’t worry”, replied Einstein, “The answers have changed!”Every few years’ contradictory statements assail my mind through newspapers/Facebook etc. and now I am confused as to what I should believe or follow. History is full of such contradictory beliefs/mindsets that once prevailed as ‘universal facts’. Here are some examples:

  • The earth is flat vs. Earth is round 
  • The earth is the center of the universe vs. the sun is the center of the Solar system
  • Aristotelian theory of gravity vs. Newton’s Law of Gravity
  • Nostradamus prophecies vs. Y2K vs. Mayan’s calendar ending 2012
  • The use of bleeding the patients to cure any ailment (continued for 2500 years) vs. personalized diagnostics (cause of George Washington’s death)
  • Leprosy is contagious vs. leprosy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves
  • Chemotherapy cures cancer vs. holistic therapies


Some dilema’s that constantly fluctuate with ongoing research and cause confusion in today’s world are:

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Featured Articles
The Coffee Cup As a Management Tool


One of your best management tools may be a coffee cup.  The simple act of taking someone to coffee gives you an opportunity to sit with them, listen, and learn. That kind of a conversation can be powerful employee motivation. It can head off conflict and violence. Just sharing a cup of coffee gives you a great chance to learn important information about yourself, your employees, your company, and even your competitors.

Coffee with Your Employees

Do you have regular meetings with each of your key employees, your direct reports? Are these weekly meeting frequently interrupted because both of you are so busy and someone always has a “crisis” that needs one or the other of you to deal with it? Do you ever feel you could get more done if you just had a half hour without interruptions? Get out of your office and take the other person out for a cup of coffee.

One place I worked had a coffee shop in the ground floor of the building and another across the street. There was also a breakfast restaurant half a block away where you could get coffee. One supervisor I know, however, would just sneak off to the employee lunch room. He would “buy” a cup of coffee for the person he was meeting with and they would sit at one of the tables and talk. No phones, no cell phones, and they ignored the pagers.

Coffee Isn’t Always Coffee

“Grabbing a cup off coffee together” doesn’t have to only mean coffee. If you or the person with whom you are meeting doesn’t care for coffee, or just wants a break from it, there are plenty of alternatives. Tea and cocoa are a couple of other alternatives that come to mind. In fact, in many countries, tea may be the preferred alternative. However, it doesn’t have to stop there. The whole point is to get away from the distractions for a little while, so the beverage really doesn’t matter. Bottled water may suit. Sports drinks, fruit juices, and sodas are all acceptable. It only needs to be something relatively inexpensive that is readily available, can be served quickly, and that you can linger over while you talk.

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The 5 Biggest Customer Service Blunders of All Time


While howls of protest over poor customer service continue to fill the air, there remain some businesses that manage to consistently deliver superior customer service year in and year out. These are the places where turbo-charged employees pursue customer delight with a passion, places that ignite a flashpoint of contagious enthusiasm in employees and customers alike. Foremost among the lessons to be learned from such flashpoint businesses are the blunders to avoid—those fatal mistakes that trip up just about everybody else.

First Blunder: making customer service a training issue.

Businesses of all kinds invest huge amounts in training programs that do not—and simply cannot—work. The function of such training is to identify the behaviors workers are supposed to engage in, and then coax, bully, or legislate these behaviors into the workplace. At best, this is almost always a recipe for conduct that feels mechanized and insincere; at worst, it intensifies worker resentment and cynicism.

Instead of dictating what workers should be doing to delight customers, the better approach is to give workers opportunities to brainstorm their own ideas for delivering delight. Management’s role then becomes to help employees implement these ideas, and to allow workers to savor the motivational effect of the positive feedback that ensues from delighted customers. This level of employee ownership and involvement is a key cultural characteristic of virtually all flashpoint businesses.

Second Blunder: blaming poor service on employee demotivation.

Businesses looking for ways to motivate their workers are almost always looking in the wrong places. Employee cynicism is the direct product of an organization’s visible preoccupation with self-interest above all else—a purely internal focus. The focus in flashpoint businesses is directed outward, toward the interests of customers and the community at large. This shift in cultural focus changes the way the business operates at all levels.

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Editor’s Choice

Book of the Month / Previous Workshop / Psyche’s Realm

Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)


by: Chade-Meng Tan

Description:

For the benefits of meditation to become widely accessible to humanity, it cannot just be the domain of bald people in funny robes living in mountains, or small groups of New Age folks in San Francisco. Meditation needs to become “real.” It needs to align with the lives and interests of real people.
—from Search Inside Yourself

Early Google engineer and personal growth pioneer Chade-Meng Tan first designed Search Inside Yourself as a popular course at Google intended to transform the work and lives of the best and brightest behind one of the most innovative, successful, and profitable businesses in the world . . . and now it can do the same for you. Meng has distilled emotional intelligence into a set of practical and proven tools and skills that anyone can learn and develop.

Created in collaboration with a Zen master, a CEO, a Stanford University scientist, and Daniel Goleman (the guy who literally wrote the book on emotional intelligence), this program is grounded in science and expressed in a way that even a skeptical, compulsively pragmatic, engineering-oriented brain like Meng’s can process.

ISBN-10: 9780062116925
ISBN-13: 978-0062116925
ASIN: 0062116924

A Glimpse of Intek’s Previous Workshops

Team Building Workshop
Customised for Barwa Bank
Doha – Qatar – October 2013

Psyche’s Realm: How to Cope with Anxiety with Anger Management Issues


When people talk about anxiety, they talk about the fight or flight system – a way that your body reacts to fearful stimuli. When you encounter a stressful situation, your adrenaline jumps, your body shakes, and your body prepares for action.

When you suffer from anxiety, you are essentially suffering from a broken fight or flight system. Your body is constantly in fight or flight mode, giving you that constant feeling of fear. Many people experience those symptoms and withdraw, but some people take the opposite route – their body goes more into “fight” mode than flight, and they experience unhealthy degrees of uncontrollable anger.

It’s anxiety that leads to things like road rage and bar fights, and for some people their anger may be even more difficult to control, putting them constantly on edge and making them very quick to anger. This type of anger leads to an anger management problem.

Controlling Anxiety to Control Anger

When anger problems are being caused by anxiety, relieving that anxiety is one of the most important methods of relieving some of the anger. Strong anger management programs are the first step, because these programs tend to include valuable coping strategies that can help those with anger control problems. In addition to anger management classes, there are lifestyle changes that can reduce daily anxiety and potentially lead to fewer anger outbursts. These include:

Leaving at the First Sign of Anxiety

Anxiety doesn’t always come at once. It often occurs gradually in different situations. Removing yourself from the situation can potentially remove yourself from anxiety and anger triggers that otherwise would create further anxiety. If you cannot control your anger, you can control the buildup that can lead to anger, and it may be a good idea to leave and relax on the first sign of anxiety.

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Cross Cultural Awareness

Global Non-Verbal Signals – Chile & Bulgaria


Chile

  • Men should note that when a woman enters the room, the polite gesture is to rise and be prepared to shake her hand if she offers it. A seated woman, however, need not rise nor is she obliged to offer her hand when a man enters.
  • Yawns should be stifled or covered with the hand.
  • If invited to a Chilean’s home, take sweets/chocolates or wine for the hostess.
  • Do not give purple or black flowers as they symbolize death.
  • Do not give scissors or knives as they indicate you want to sever the relationship.
  • Do not give yellow roses as they indicate contempt.
  • Holding the palm upward and then spreading the fingers signals that someone is “stupid”.
  • If you know of any titles always try to use them.
  • If no title exists then simply use “Senor” (male) or “Senora” (female) followed by the surname.
  • Some women may not shake hands with men, although this is becoming less common.
  • Pay attention to hand movements – gestures change in meaning across cultures.
  • It is common to interrupt someone while they are speaking.
  • Meetings are not always linear in their progression. Schedules are not very structured and issues can be tackled all at the same time.

Bulgaria


  • The handshake is the usual form of greeting people in Bulgaria

  • Bulgaria on the face of it is still a fairly formal society – initial greetings are therefore formal and reserved.
  • Greetings consist of a firm handshake, direct eye contact and the appropriate greeting for the time of day.
  • If giving a gift to a newborn only give an odd number of presents.
  • Gifts are generally opened when received.
  • Napkins should be left folded next to the plate. If others unfold them and place them on their laps, do the same – you will be at a more formal meal.
  • Wait for the hostess to give the green light before starting to eat.
  • Although you may be the guest of honour it is polite to insist the eldest person at the table starts proceedings.
  • When dining, keep both your wrists on the table.
  • To signal someone is crazy, take your forefinger and point it to your temple in a rotating motion.
  • The signal for victory, is to make a V sign with your two fingers. This also signals the number “two” in Bulgaria.
  • Address people with their titles (try and find out if people have one beforehand) – if not then use Mr “Gospodin” / Mrs “Gospozha” followed by the surname.
  • Business cards are exchanged on initial meetings.
  • There is little protocol to follow.

 

 

About this E-Zine

Every subscriber or recipient or visitor may copy, reprint, or forward this compilation of material by Intek Solutions to friends, colleagues, or customers, as long as any use is not for resale or profit.

Editor-in-Chief: Zaufyshan Haseeb

 

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