Vol 12, Issue No. 9 – September 2013

Dear Friend

As the year progresses towards its last quarter, people worldwide, are preparing for the changes ahead. Students are heading back to their universities after a frolicking summer in the water. Mangers are slowly getting back to their work mode after a relaxing holiday. Every seasonal change is a reminder that there is nothing constant in the world. Life is in a perpetual ebb and flow. The more we resist any changes, the more pain it gives us.  Its strange, that, though we feel we haven’t changed but every little experience in our life is altering our consciousness.

Some of us expedite our seemingly slow evolution, by embracing new adventures and experiences, while some of us inch through it within our usual comfort zones. One easy way to broaden our horizons is through travelling and exploring unchartered territories. Most of us plan our holidays ‘home from home’ which means going to places which are known to us like visiting our hometown or our usual holiday destinations. No apparent new learning is experienced from this. Why are we so scared of venturing into unexplored areas? What are we afraid of?

Travelling is a great way to force ourselves out of our comfort zones. It is in this stretch zone that our progress happens. For a  few minutes, lets embark on an  imaginative journey. Imagine yourself going to a holiday destination, which is not a commercial resort, so you have no idea where to find accommodation. Imagine a place where very few people speak the languages you know. Perhaps the public transport has a lot to be desired off. Imagine a place where there is no wi-fi and cell phone reception! Imagine eating the local food from the market stalls.

Are these scenarios scary?  Wouldn’t it be an adventure? Why have you succumbed to a cautious life, devoid of even the smallest risk.? Why are you letting your innate resiliency rust? Why do you not pay heed to this inner restlessness that is bored of this repetitive rut?  Why do you go around in these invisible chains that have no escape? Where is that inner child who wants to seek out life in amazement and wonder? Why do you keep making excuses to procrastinate the quest for life? Why do you not take the road less travelled?

Continue Reading →

Featured Articles
Creative Problem Solving

Got problems? Learn to love them.
Solving problems can be fun and rewarding.

Creative problem solving is the skill most needed for individuals and business to survive and grow. It’s the gateway to new markets, products and methods. Creative problem solving is more skill then talent. Skills can be learned, enhanced and transferred. Follow these five steps to transform problems into opportunities.

1. Fact Finding

Search for problems. Big problems reach up and smack us in the face. They are easy to find. It takes more skill to uncover the problems before they get so horrific. Find these problems when they are small. Then they are easier to solve and there are more options. Lotus did not think that Microsoft Excel was a problem until it was too late. In fact Lotus 123 enjoyed its best year just before sales plummeted. They did not appreciate the little problem of working with more than one software application. Everyone claims to be a problem solver but you also need problem finders.

Search for facts. “Just the facts – nothing but the facts.” Make no judgment at this point. You may think you know the problem. The urge to jump to a quick solution is overwhelming – but don’t be fooled by a quick and easy solution just to make it go away. Ask questions to collect facts without prejudging. Remember Lieutenant Colombo in the old TV series. He could ask the dumbest questions with perfect innocence. That’s how you need to ask questions. Ask, What? Who? When? Where? Why? and How? Through my radio interviews with many CEOs of large corporations I discovered that one skill they share is asking good questions – then listening. CEOs discovered that they don’t know the answers – but they must know the questions.

2. Problem Definition

How many times have you seen an eager beaver attack a problem only to discover that they did not understand the problem and hence wasted time and energy – and caused bad feelings? I painfully remember one manager whose reign of terror caused endless waste of time, money and people by intimidating subordinates into continual motion without directed action. He never wanted to fix the problem – just to be seen in constant motion and to be perceived as fixing problems while only addressing symptoms.

Continue Reading →

Top 10 Meeting Ice Breakers

Getting people comfortable in a group setting before a team meeting can be the best investment of ten to 15 minutes of time that you can make. Ice breakers get creative juices flowing, can increase the exchange of ideas, establish team identity, and create a sense of community. All of these items are important in forging top productive teams. But how do you get people to participate and not feel uncomfortable with an ice breaker?

For meetings in a business setting in which participants are professionals, ice breakers that require actions not normally associated with day-to-day behaviors in the office generally make people uncomfortable. Successful ice breakers for these type of groups generally consist of having attendees share memorable information with each other, create innovative ways to get people to introduce themselves to each other, or have group members collectively work on a problem where everyone has to contribute.

We’ve selected our top ten team meeting ice breakers that are sure to get your meeting participants relaxed and ready to focus on your agenda as well as to connect with others in the group.

1. Brainstorm!:

Break the meeting into teams of four or five. Give each team a topic. Pick topics that are fun and simple like, “What would you take on a trip to the desert?” or “List things that are purple”. Give your teams two minutes, no more, and tell them “This is a contest and the team with the most items on their list wins.” Encourage the teams to write down as many things as they can and not to discuss anything, just list things as quickly as possible. At the end of two minutes, the team with the most items on their list wins! This helps people to share ideas without fearing what other people will think.

Continue Reading →


Editor’s Choice

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

And the Mountains Echoed

by: Khaled Hosseini


An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.

Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

ISBN-10: 159463176X
ISBN-13: 978-1594631764

A Glimpse of Intek’s Previous Workshops

Attention to Sales Program
Customised for Nehmeh Corp
Doha – Qatar

Psyche’s Realm: Free Yourself From the Stigma of Depression

Free Yourself From the Stigma of Depression, Bipolar Disorder or Other Mental Illnesses

Depression and bipolar disorder do not have to rule your life. You should be sure not to let your mental illness define who you are as a person, no matter how serious your symptoms may be. Mental illness may seem like a stigmatizing and isolating condition, but you cannot let it take over your life. Thankfully perspectives of mental illness are changing, and the stigma surrounding depression, bipolar disorder, and other conditions is no longer as strong as it used to be.

Realize You Are Not Alone

Mental illness can make you feel completely isolated, like no one else in the world can possibly know what is going on with you. Simply taking a step back to get a new perspective can help make your symptoms seem less overpowering and stigmatizing. Knowing that there are millions of other people who are going through and have gone through many of the same emotions that you are feeling right now can be a source of comfort. Knowing that you are not alone can help you overcome much of the shame or stigma you hold regarding your disorder or illness.

Don’t Let Illness Hold You Back

There are many people who live highly successful lives, despite suffering from temporary or chronic forms of mental illness. Many famous artists, scientists, and even political figures have all been suspected of suffering from mental illness. Historians suggest that Vincent van Gogh and Ludwig Beethoven may have suffered from bipolar disorder, based on reports of the symptoms that they experienced during their lives. Similarly, historians have speculated that Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill both could have suffered from depression. Churchill is famously quoted as saying he was plagued by a “black dog of depression.” Both Lincoln and Churchill were prolific political figures of their times, despite having symptoms of a highly stigmatizing illness. Even if you suffer from mental illness, you shouldn’t let the stigma hold you back. It is certainly possible to lead a successful and happy life while managing the symptoms of your illness, though you might have to work harder to get there.

Continue Reading →


Cross Cultural Awareness

Global Non-Verbal Signals – Nicaragua & Panama


  • Pointing is done with the lips – pucker the lips and raise the chin briefly in the direction of the thing you’re pointing to.
  • A finger wag is very common (especially to taxis or passing buses wanting to know if you want a ride). Done just like an adult would do to a child in the USA.
  • Rubbing two index fingers together usually indicates that you want to pay for something.
  • Nose Crinkle: to indicate, ‘I don’t get it’ or ‘what are you saying?’ – crinkle your nose, kind of like Samantha on Bewitched, only with one swift movement and not the wiggle.
  • The typical warm, friendly Latin handshake prevails here. Men who are close friends will embrace (the abrazo), and women friends will engage in a brief hug and cheek-kissing motion.
  • Smiles are important when meeting others, and North Americans and Europeans may find that Nicaraguans stand closer together during gatherings and conversations. This merely reflects the Latin attitude toward personal space.
  • Most Nicaraguans are very polite and they rarely say anything that would be offensive to anyone present.
  • It is best to show up on time for an initial meeting although typically they will start ½-1 hour late.
  • There is usually some form of small talk before getting down to business. It is best to allow your host to begin the business discussion.
  • Conversation topics to avoid include: politics, class issues, and religion.
  • Eye contact is important at all times.


  • A nod, a handshake, and the abrazo are all used in Panama for daily greetings. A nod and mildly firm handshake is the most common, while the abrazo, or embrace is frequently exchanged among good male friends. Women friends will embrace lightly, and make a kissing-like motion to one cheek.
  • Women should avoid wearing clothing that is revealing.
  • When dining the host usually sits at one end of the table with the guest of honor at the other end.
  • Arriving on time for a meeting is important even though you may be kept waiting?
  • Titles are important and it is best to address people directly by using their professional title or Don for men and Dona for women, followed by the surname. Use Licensiado (if they have a college degree).
  • There is usually some form of small talk before getting down to business. It is best to allow your host to begin the business discussion.
  • Suitable topics include: local culture, family, sports.
  • Panamanians tend to place more emphasis on people and relationships than to the strict adherence of set schedules in social situations.
  • While the bus, train, and plane schedules will be adhered to for the most part, showing up late to a party or function is quite common.
  • Panamanians tend to favor direct eye contact over indirect.
  • During conversations sustained eye contact is commonplace rather than sporadic.
  • Because of the long North American presence in Panama, most American gestures will be known and understood.



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


Sign Up!

Please Subscribe to receive complimentary monthly LifeSkills newsletter to help you grow personally & professionally. Intek Solutions has an anti-spam policy. Easily unsubscribe anytime.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.