LEAP OF FAITH

The other day I was looking at a picture of me and V taken a few months back. It made me wonder how fast she is growing, adapting to the environment around her so effortlessly and learning new things every single day. Learning seems so easy to her now and little does she know that unlearning all of these things will get difficult with age. Today ,when I look at myself , I wonder when was the last time I accepted a change without questioning or started something new,embracing a new beginning whole heartedly. Sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith to experience the magic of a new beginning.

Here are 7 reasons why you must take the “Leap of faith “ –

  • Listen to your inner voice : Sometimes, we just need to sense our gut instinct and follow it because often it is the inner voice which leads you to the right path instead of the external advice that you have been seeking all along.
  • Regret and no regret : If you take up this lifetime opportunity, you will not regret it later. At the same time, for all the practical reasons you might realize later that you have made a wrong choice. Take a leap of faith for the choice that you truly want, so you will not feel the pinch of regret later. Sometimes the safer route is not always the best because once a decision is set in motion, it is likely to gain more momentum. I have seen infeasible dreams turning into reality merely through grit and determination.
  • Overcome the fear of unknown: There’s always an element of fear for what you can’t see and there’s always an element of excitement and a sense of desire to chase the unknown, to follow your passion. So, make your choice, let the passion overshadow the fear!
  • Celebrate the past and present: The pursuit to your passion will never be lucid until you pave your way yourself. Be grateful for your past , present and utilize it to carve your future. Gather your experience and pick the universe’s clues to take that leap.
  • Draw inspiration :Look around for people who follow the same passion. Do you want to move to a bigger city leaving behind your settled household for a dream job? How many people in your circle have done anything close to that, how many have been successful with it?
  • Money is not an excuse : I don’t want to sound like those zillion reminders you get on your social media on how you should drop everything and go travel the world. Money is very very important but don’t let money be your excuse. Plan your savings, take time to do it and if you really want to move and take advantage of this new experience, you’ll find a way to make it work.
  • It doesn’t work out : Come back and start again. You might lose time, but the gain is immense in terms of the experience. You learn new things from new people, new challenges, new places and most importantly the new ‘you’. The risk is well worth the reward.

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The inner voice!

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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.

Being an effective interviewer

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While most of us have always been dreading interviews and the anxiety associated with the possibility of rejection, believe it or not there are many occasions when it gets equally uncomfortable for the person on the other side of the table. Yes, we often assume that the interviewer is an extremely knowledgeable person who is just going to grill us through the interaction despite our best efforts to appear confident. Trust me, an interview is just like any other conversation and even the most extrovert person is not necessarily a good conversationalist.Being an HR professional myself, I know it comes with a lot of practice and the skills developed actually help in various other aspects of life as well. Here are 7 points to be considered by inexperienced hiring managers for conducting successful interviews –

  1. Know your audience: It is always wiser to go through the profiles of the candidates beforehand to understand their background. This create a sense of familiarity at your end and helps fill the awkward silence in the conversations.
  2. Create a conducive environment: One can create a comfortable environment only by matching the level of the interviewee in terms of the tone, energy, style and to a certain extent, the mood e.g a fresher from college is likely to be more innovative, energised and more aware of the latest updates while an experienced person might have more knowledge about his work but not about the latest trends . Bringing the subject to ease always leads to a successful interview. 
  1. Start with open ended questions: Start with the background of the person and let him/her explore the areas that he/she wants to elaborate on. This creates a sense of confidence in the subject which leads to a more fruitful conversation. It is rude to ask direct questions on marital status, religious preferences etc , hence it should be limited to the topics which have relevance to the job profile. 
  1. Be a good listener : Being a good listener helps you decide when and how to probe further. It also helps to decide when to move to the next topic without wasting any more time. 
  1. The technique of behavioral event interview : I have used this technique for years and find it very effective. It is about how you must focus on the “How” and not just the “What”. When you talk about particular events and how the task was handled, you don’t merely look at the output and evaluate the person. It gives you an overall idea about the behavioral competencies of the individual. 
  1. Appear curious : Engaging rightly in the conversation is very important. Appearing genuinely eager to understand the perspective of the interviewee establishes a sense of belonging.
  2. Take notes,always: Please do not rely on your memory, written notes are a must. They come really handy when you are evaluating multiple candidates. You can easily do a comparison and it is a more objective approach to the evaluation. Also, when the interviewer takes notes, the interviewee feels satisfied that his points are noted.

Hope these tips help you. Enjoy being on the other side of the table!

DO NOT CRACK THAT INTERVIEW!

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The other day I was reading an article on how your body is actively involved in feeling rejection as much as the mind does – to the extent that you can numb the feeling of rejection with pain medication the very same way as you can suppress a physical pain. I cannot comment much about the science behind it but I found it very interesting because I strongly believe that experiencing rejection is important in life. Hence, I want to share  7 reasons why rejection is a must –

  1. Source of mental power and courage : I know it is the most obvious reason which you would have already guessed but trust me, it is the primary reason why you must accept rejection with pride. Dealing with rejection creates an illusion in your mind that you have seen the worst(which makes the rest of the problems in your life seem very trivial) and overcoming the same gives you an incredible sense of victory and strength.
  2. Psychological Resilience : It increases your ability to successfully adapt to life in the face of social disadvantage or other highly adverse conditions. Embracing such difficult situations will only embolden your mental and social spirit. As they say – “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”.
  3. Have more realistic expectations: Sometimes, we dream and chase infeasible goals. While a rejection acts as a blow, it also helps us manage expectations and aspirations better and have a more realistic approach towards life.
  4. The taste of success is sweeter : Trust me, if you haven’t had failures in life, you cannot appreciate success as much as it deserves. This keeps a check on the complacency in future and also is a reminder for you to work harder towards success every single day.
  5. Cognizance of your weakness : On most occasions, a rejection highlights a weakness that you possess. Always remember, weakness is just the other name of “area of improvement” and awareness of the same is clearly a “strength”. So, work on your area of improvement and convert it to your key strength area!
  6. Feedback : A rejection is a wonderful opportunity to get feedback and understand yourself better. Sometimes, we can’t see things from the perspective of a different person and this is an ideal platform to seek and receive feedback about yourself. It only helps you understand yourself better.
  7. God has other plans for you : No matter how philosophical it may sound, I strongly believe that every rejection leads to a door which opens to better avenues. A better job, a better partner, a better college, something/someone definitely better suited for you awaits you, go for it!

 So , next time you get rejected, do not brood over it! Thank your stars and move on!

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