USE YOUR EARNED LEAVES!

Despite a fixed holiday entitlement  as per company policies stipulated by organisations, most of the employees in India often refrain from taking leave mainly due to stereotypes attached to it.A survey conducted by British Airways says “2 per cent are often concerned with the mounting load of the work while the other 26 per cent are unable to find the time to disengage from the official responsibilities. Close to 30 per cent are unable summon the courage to ask for leave, as a large share believe that two-week holidays are frowned upon or discouraged by their workplace”

Here I shall address the last reason which is traumatizing 30 % of the employee population and their families(since work life balance of the individual directly impacts the family).

Here are seven reasons why you must muster courage to take leaves at work –

  1. One must take a break from the drudgery of work. Be it a holiday or a relaxed day off at home, the rest truly makes a difference to the productivity of an employee.
  2. Some of us actually believe in accumulating holidays so that we could avail leave encashment at the time of exit. Guys, let me tell you most leaves accumulated lapse beyond a certain period of time and unless you exit in the same year before they lapse, you won’t get much benefit out of it. Additionally, a paid holiday is a day where you earn the whole amount where as in case of leave encashment, you get only basic and DA(if applicable).
  3. Often employees believe that not taking leaves will ensure the employee stays in the good books of the boss. This is the biggest myth – leaves are employees’ right and exercising a right should not depend on anyone’s perception on you.
  4. Employees burn out at a very early stage these days. This is primarily due to outrageous workloads and no worklife balance. This leaves the employee not feeling valued for all the hard work they do.
  5. Personal health and relationships is priority. It is above everything else. While most of us realize it only with age, it is better if the realization dawns sooner in our lives.
  6. Focused attention is directly proportional to higher efficiency.Dedicated hours at work ensure complete attention to the job , similarly focused attention to home and family ensure strengthening of the family bonding and personal relationships.
  7. Fewer health problems – Stress can cause a variety of issues, personal health topping the list.From the overall health and well being to serious respiratory and digestive issues, it could pose a serious threat to one’s life.

holiday

SPEECH FEAR IS NO FEAR!

Recently I came across this word called ‘Glossophobia’ meaning speech anxiety or fear of public speaking. Honestly I did not even know such a word existed to describe the anxiety which each one of us have experienced for years. Most of us as children have faced challenges in becoming socially comfortable.This is what turns into social anxiety and speech anxiety when exposed to a large crowd. While being a fearless speaker is very rare, your fear can definitely lessen with time if the following points are kept in mind.

     1.You are the winner

Preparing mentally minutes before speaking works really well for me, may not work great for you but what is for sure is a good audience engagement.Visualizing yourself at the venue and  looking your best through the eyes of the audience contributes greatly to your confidence.Believe that you are delivering your best, you are giving in your 100 percent and you are winning the show.

  1. Breathe

Nerve control comes from the breathing pattern. Deep breathing helps calm the nerves and gives more power to your communication . It gives a major boost to your confidence and credibility in the concerned forum.

  1. Rehearse , rehearse and rehearse

Rehearsing for a performance acclimatizes you to the environment of pressure. Research says it has a neurological impact which helps convert your thoughts to words and actions more clearly.

  1. Skill can be developed

Public speaking is a skill and like all other skills, it can be developed with practice. To be successful in developing a skill, it is important to not just devote time but constantly seek feedback from people around oneself. So, pick up topics and start engaging in group conversations with friends and colleagues.

     5.Focus

It is one of the primary tools as a speaker who knows how to engage audiences. It is natural for irrelevant thoughts to intrude into your mind, just let it float and move away. The more consciously you try to dissuade it on the stage, the more evident it becomes to the audience. Just let it be, that is the way to speak effortlessly.

  1. Body Language

If you stand still at one point, the pressure automatically builds. The stress hormones are dealt with movement. It is important to use your body movements to express your thoughts with animation.It helps you fight the pressure and makes you appear more confident.

  1. Be yourself

The last point but the most important one. Being natural gets you brownie points everywhere. You may choose to act but your audience can sense personalities. Hence, it is best and easiest to be just yourself.

Image result for public speaking image

Image Source – Business-Superstar.com

COMPETITION AT WORK!

In the Indian society, the concept of peer pressure is seeded in our minds since a very early age. Whether you blame it on our education system or the fact that we Indians are born competitive by nature; more often than not, it does more bad than good. So, dealing with it is tough at times. Here are 7 ways how you can deal with such anxiety and juice out the positivism from it.

Image result for competition at work

Source Google

  1. Competition is ubiquitous – It is important to accept the fact that competition is inevitable. One must make peace with it and utilize it as a reason to strive to work harder and perform better.
  1. Channelize it into self-improvement – This is a great opportunity to polish and fine tune one’s skills. Taking a competitive colleague as a challenge is a good chance to leverage the strength areas and plan support and training to improve one’s development areas.
  2. Showcase the best: In the process of meeting targets and deadlines, we often forget the fact that selling skills are very important irrespective of the role one handles. Showcasing the best in you to the world is a mandatory skill that every professional needs. Hence, when one sees a competition flaunting his/her work, we must step up and exhibit our talent as well.
  3. Choosing a mentor: Mentor ship and professional guidance programs are extremely critical as one grows up the career ladder. When one feels down due to an aggressive competition at workplace, it is always good to take additional support from an experienced hand who can help pave the way forward for the individual. I have seen several mentor ship programs turning around the game for critical resources in the organisations I have worked for.
  4. High on Integrity – It is often noticed that when two employees at the same level have similar competencies and skill sets, integrity is a differentiation factor. So, one who maintains integrity is bound to score better than the one who does not. No wonder, most organisations have a very strict Code of conduct and compliance policy.
  5. Befriend the competitor: It is not easy to turn competitors into allies. It requires a deep level of empathy and a determined effort to build a new bridge. If it works out, you can really get to learn and appreciate some of the good aspects of his/her challenging behavior.
  6. Identification of critical influencers: Sometimes how you gauge your career has a lot to do with whom you measure yourself against. If one closely observes the competitor, one can choose individuals who motivate and possess skills that one wishes to emulate. This is the right opportunity to identify roles models and people who critically influence one personally and professionally.

 

Competition is largely positive if one looks through the right glasses. I have personally evolved quite a lot owing to the tough competition in the corporate world. I would also love to know more about my readers’ experiences.

 

KEEPING PRIVATE LIFE PRIVATE!

masquerade

Keeping our personal lives private is such a difficult task. With the social media bang, it’s so flattering that people genuinely love to follow and comment on the lives we are living, the work we are doing, who we are sharing our lives with, what are our relationship moves and how we are getting to our life’s goals. We add fuel to the fire ourselves by the information we share on social media platforms and then have to face the repercussions. If you’re possibly looking for some ways to get off the grid , the next few lines might help.

Let’s talk about few points on why private life must be kept private –

  1. Low key profile – We live in a constant struggle to make our presence felt by people around us and to do the same, we try to share as much as we can. Well, I feel giving too much of yourself away in a way allows others to feel like they can define your personality and once they do, it’s hard to feel like you can ever deviate from not what you project but how they have defined you.
  1. Peer pressure – Social media has done this to us. We see the happiest of faces of people around us – a projection of life they DO NOT lead and guess what? Our brain compels us to share similar projection of ourselves to the world. We perceive it as a need to tell the world that we are happy because everybody else seems to be happy. We must not give in to such pressure because after all, it is just a part of someone’s life, not the all of it.
  2. Work life balance– Don’t let your professional life drive all over your personal life. Respect your personal relationships and schedule your personal activities so that you can dedicate specific time for personal activities. This way, you can ensure there is a clear demarcation between what the people at work can expect and what your family and friends can expect from you.
  3. Element of mystery – There is a theory around this. People who do not open up about themselves frequently are found to be more attractive. So, basically there is a constant curiosity in the minds of people to know more about the individual. So , next time you want to draw attention to yourself , do not just give away the whole of you 😀
  4. Move On – When you share your intimate details with everyone around you, it gets more difficult to move on. The other day, I heard someone share a story about how he got terminated at multiple workplaces due to unethical practices. The next I knew, the interviewer of the next job opportunity was someone who already knew of this history because he had made it public. This not just killed his confidence but also got him caught in his own trap.
  5. Opinionated world – Yes, the world will judge you, always. If you give people more opportunities to peek into your life, they will get more reasons to point their fingers at you. So, build your core group and value opinions of people who matter to you and trust me, they are the ones who will be a phone call away, not people who would be checking your social media accounts.
  6. Profession – As bloggers, we feel it is a self-imposed duty to share useful information from our personal experiences with the world. I agree, the best content comes from our own personal perspective and point of view but personally, I always draw a line. You will never see me dish out the nitty gritty details of my everyday life but just as much as required for people to understand and resonate with me.

I would love to get your comments on where do you draw the line!

Office Makeup Look: Brown and Burgundy!

Like every other makeup enthusiast, I too buy a lot of makeup products impulsively and then dump them away one fine day only to realize they have gone beyond their expiry dates. Lately, I have been consciously keeping a watch on what products I use more often and the findings are no surprises. They are the ones I use for my daily makeup to work. This is a challenge which many women face while selecting the right makeup for a corporate environment. You don’t want to overdo it yet want to flaunt a fresh natural face. There’s so much to learn about such kind of no makeup –  makeup that it can be overwhelming. My simple war cry is “Less is more”!Here’s a look which is very easy to recreate and perfect for the workplace –

20180115_120727Basic products used which are available in the same colors with almost all the brands.

I chose to keep the face clean – No blush, highlighter or contouring!

Products used

On the Face –

  1. Bobbi Brown BB Cream in Shade Fair
  2. MAC Mineralise Skin Finish in Light Plus

On the Lips –

MAC Taupe

On the Eyes –

1.MAC Burgundy Times Nine

PoppySeed on the Eyelid

HoneyLust in the inner corner

Sketch on the crease and outer corners

2.Eye Liner – MAC Fluidline in Rich Ground

3.Eye Lashes – Benefit ‘They’re Real’

4. Brows – Benefit KABrow

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SAY “YES” TO “NO”

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Picture Source: businessinsider

All my life, I have been constantly working on this area of “Saying NO tactfully” yet I have not mastered the same. As simple as it may sound, saying “NO” is probably one of the hardest things to say to people we deal with in our daily lives. When I started out in my HR career, I realized I am getting into a habit of saying “Yes”, often in haste which gives me absolutely no time to evaluate, align or calibrate the options I get. Slowly, I tried to work on it and a lot of introspection is what it took to arrive at the 7 reasons where I found a solution in “NO” as an answer.

  1. The clichéd reason: Be yourself – Yes, everyone on the internet and in your real world has already told this to you. It is the single most important reason why you should learn to say “NO” because nothing deserves more attention than your priorities and personal interests. Do not lose yourself in the battle to win hearts.
  2. Balance: The universe demands a balance, so does your mind and body. It is impossible to strike a balance if you have your hands full at all points of time. So, you must know what to accept and what to clearly reject in order to lead a less stressful life.
  3. Being assertive : It is a myth that saying “YES” to everything makes you a popular person, a team player or a go getter. Often, employees take all instructions from the manager in order to project themselves as superheroes who can “do it all”. Well, as Indira Nooyi said “you can’t have it all” and you should not strive to have it all as well. God forbid, you might even be perceived as a submissive person and this may lead to other free riders exploiting you for their own benefit.
  4. Command respect: Respect is a virtue which cannot be demanded. A strong personality is one who has the cognizance of his strengths and areas of development. He/she knows which task will help him leverage his strength and which one will help him overcome his weakness. The world respects such people and they are definitely not the ones who pick everything that comes their way.
  5. Set your boundaries: When you have your priorities right, you have fewer unwanted intrusions and even fewer distractions. Setting boundaries by saying “No” makes your intentions firmer and is one of the most important skills required for personal and professional growth. When you are saying “No” to things that do not interest you, you are creating a space for things to say “Yes” to.
  6. Deal with confrontation: Most people prefer not to say “No” to avoid an unnecessary conflict. They feel the relationship might stagger with a negative answer. Believe me, dealing with confrontation shapes you more as a person because a conflict helps you improve your resolution seeking skills. So, muster the courage and explore seeking solutions by confronting the people and issues you have been hiding from.
  7. The truth : Saying “no” shows that you won’t succumb to pressure and you abide by the truth. While it might make you feel vulnerable, once you make it a habit it actually helps you evolve into a more liberated and stronger personality.