INNATE SKILLS OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

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Having spent many years in the Corporate world, I know for a fact that there are a dozen of qualities that women innately have in order to excel in their profession. Gone are the days when women hesitated to venture into the jobs, times are changing and so is the mindset of this society. We are now more accepting of women who decide to work and earn a living for themselves but business is a different ball game altogether. The business landscape is changing albeit slowly.The willingness to take risk and start entrepreneurship is rare and even rarer with women but being a woman entrepreneur myself, this post is about how women are born with some of the most needed leadership skills which they just need to hone and use in their stride to be successful entrepreneurs.

  1. Networking: Most of us are born with good social skills. It is termed negotiating in the business world but in simple language, it is about getting to know people and interact with them so that more opportunities open up. Networking can happen anywhere, even when you are travelling in the bus, so keep yourself open to opportunities.To structure the process, participate in business workshops and get your friends and other like minded people to introduce you to more well connected and influential people.
  2. Aptitude for learning : It is a given fact that to survive in today’s competitive world, one should be ever ready to learn new things. Every day, there is a new technology evolving and new tools come replacing old ones, creating a need to learn new skills. Research also proves that not only do girls have flair for learning but they also learn faster.
  3. Market research: Collecting information is every woman’s forte and as an entrepreneur, one needs to be able to conduct market research that will provide the key information to develop a concrete business plan. Identifying trends and competition in order to know the demographics and profiles is extremely important . It not only helps to understand the industry better but also helps meet the customer needs proactively.
  4. Delegating:  The art of delegation in our daily lives comes pretty naturally on most occasions and interestingly it is one of the most sought after skills in business. Women in general are good at convincing people to believe in them and in the business world, you need to get people to believe in your vision and share the same as yours.
  5. Sense of Ownership : Every successful business owner has taken the complete ownership of his/her business and guess what, women are blessed with supreme sense of ownership. A woman’s brain is developed in a way that she takes complete responsibility of people she loves.
  6. Human Resource Management:Women have a knack for human resource management because they always understand the emotive aspect of the business better. Conflict management and higher emotional intelligence helps mitigate issues within the team better resulting in a harmonious and more productive environment.
  7. Having talked about the skills where women need minimum effort to leverage on, there is one skill that women in general might need to doubly work on and that is ‘Taking due credit of one’s effort and success’.We often fail to pat our backs for the incredible effort we put in and pass on the credit to someone else. Remember girls, no one will invest in you if you do not believe in yourself and that has to be showcased to the world.

P.S – There is no way I mean to say women are better or worse than men. This article is all about what we already have and can leverage in order to be successful.

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.

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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.

 

DOES BEING A MOMMY MAKE YOU MORE EMPLOYABLE?

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We have heard enough of how motherhood is a big hindrance to the quintessential career woman. Well, to think of it, it is undoubtedly a very big challenge to manage a flourishing career with a baby yet being a mother actually necessitates a whole barrage of highly employable skills and competencies which can only benefit a career woman.

While we may not consciously acknowledge or recognize the ways we have up skilled ourselves, I think it is very important that the same should be broadcasted to the world. Who knows our potential future employers might be able to identify with our skill set better after reading this!  I am going to write on 7 most important skills that we develop as mothers that actually give us an edge over our colleagues at the workplace.

  1. Time Management: Yes, this is the primary skill which makes us superwomen. None of us feel we have enough time to complete all the tasks in a day but as moms, we have mastered the art of meeting deadlines and magically completing all the tasks despite the uncertain circumstances. Like many other moms, I too mentally scan the whole day in advance every morning and divide activities in neat slots nearly perfecting the ambition of task completion by end of the day.
  2. Planning and Priority Setting: Yes, even without a scheduler, we manage to feed, wash, clean and complete all the important tasks with no qualms. And when we’re able to mentally plan and juggle these tasks throughout the day, we’re adeptly sorting out which ones are priority to us and which ones can be postponed for later. As a trainer myself, I have done multiple sessions on planning and prioritization for the employees in my organization but lately I realized that post motherhood, I have found new effective tricks to manage gaps, assemble activities and schedule tasks.
  3. Crisis Management: How you deal with crises is a big deal in Corporate life. As a mother, we already are experts in being on top of situational awareness, adaptability and conflict management. These are the most important skills required to deal with any kind of crisis at work and having developed these can actually put us in a pedestal at the workplace.
  4. Negotiation: Any parent who has survived the baby is definitely a pro at convincing an unreasonable person to do what they want. While we get to develop this skill absolutely for free, there is no denying to the fact that it has been developed during the toughest of times. So, negotiating with stubborn people would be a cakewalk for us now.
  5. Change Management: With a baby, every day is a new experience. We cannot predict what is coming our way next but dealing with these uncertain requirements every single day makes us a stone wall ready to take any kind of hit. This is a huge plus for the Corporate employees and in the current scenario, something that should go right on the top of our CV.
  6. Problem Solving : If you have more than one child, you probably practise this every single day. Babies and children always present an endless list of problems that need solving and with multiple children, you possibly got an added flavor of conflict management as well. Starting with sleep training to fixing broken toys, our minds are programmed in such a way that we literally figure out a solution for every problem that crops up.
  7. Communication : The other day during a fun Friday at work, we were playing a game of Dumb Charades. Bam, I was a pro at it. Thanks to all the non-verbal cues I pick up every single day from my darling daughter. Dealing with a baby helps us realize that language is not a barrier. It makes us more positive, empathetic and effective in both verbal and non-verbal communication. It also brings out a great listener in us, after all listening to the endless blabbering and answering repetitive questions is a test of patience that we can pass only with experience.

Personally, I think I learnt better in my motherhood journey than all the management lessons put together during my Business school days.:D

I hope you mommies find this useful as well!

KEEPING PRIVATE LIFE PRIVATE!

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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!

Extroverted Introvert’s Guide

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Source :Inpathybulletin

Like every other corporate employee, the thought of Friday evening delights me. This Friday is no exception. The only difference is I am torn between wanting to go party and staying home spending some “lone time”. Although after Little Miss V arrived in our lives, there is no such lone time that exists in the schedule yet the thought of curling up inside the blanket in my pajamas, reading a book , staring at the ceiling and doing nothing(after she sleeps) kind of comforts me. Well, I cannot say that I am an outright introvert person because I might lose my job if I say that. After all, I am a Human Resources Professional and it’s my responsibility to socialize with human beings and manage them professionally. So, I found a term for myself which justifies the imbalance between being gregarious and unusually quiet – extroverted introvert. Now, let me explain this with 7 typical characteristics of an extroverted introverts –

  1. They are not the most talkative in the group but can be great conversationalists if interested in the conversation.
  2. Love to be alone yet feel lonely.
  3. Seek attention yet want to go hide in a shell when they get it.
  4. Operate on “ON/OFF” mode – Appear very sociable when out in groups yet rush home to recharge in solitude.
  5. They have 1112 friends on social media yet 2 they can actually depend on. They can make friends easily but find it difficult to maintain friendships.
  6. They crave meaningful conversations and are not interested in small talk.
  7. Others perceive them as extroverts while they are constantly conversing in their head like introverts.

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Source : boredpanda

No, we are not schizophrenic !!!We are just people constantly chasing the company of solitude in the midst of crowd. If you identify yourself with these characteristics, feel free to subscribe on my blog and follow on Instagram @missvogueviolet to view more such posts.

 

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.

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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A FIT MOMMY

Did the subject offend you? I really hope not – this is not a fat shaming, judgmental article that is going to make you feel sick about your existing body. All I want to share is how and why I look forward to being a fit Mommy and when I say “fit” I mean maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not having a body that would grace the cover of a magazine(Anyway I am far from being anything like a model):D

Here are 7 reasons which motivate me to work harder towards a healthy lifestyle –

 

  1. Leading by example: I had never spent a minute working out before my pregnancy neither did I ever pay any attention to the calorie intake of my body. Today, when I look back I wonder what was I thinking all these years. I know making a healthy choice has created an impact on my friends and family members as well. I sincerely hope my little munchkin follows suit too.
  2. Physical and Mental Development: Raising a child is not an easy task and for a working woman, it is even more difficult. Your hormones go haywire and disrupts the balance between body and mind. Becoming a healthy, fit, and happy person first involves a mindset shift to see yourself as someone who lives that type of lifestyle which means looking hot is not what you should aim at – getting fitter physically and mentally is what you should aim for.
  3. Creating a new passion: Sometimes, in such times all you need is a change. A change that can be embedded in your present. And what better than being passionate about being fitter? Everything in your life would just automatically integrate as habits which shall help you evolve into a better person.
  4. Building stamina: As your child grows, you need to do more running around and you will always need higher energy levels. A good workout also helps sleep better (which most moms find very hard to do).
  5. Me” Time: Finally you get some time to release your stress and just be with yourself. Be it a workout session or Yoga/meditation, it will act as a tremendous booster for your inner senses.
  6. Bringing out a “Happy” You – A good workout helps you release endomorphins and that makes you “HAPPY”. A healthy lifestyle translates into a happy lifestyle in no time.
  7. Back in Shape: Get back in that little black dresses you hid away in the cupboard thinking you would never fit into them. Bring them out and work harder till you get there. Any form of motivation can work, I use my LBD as a milestone J

 

Posting few looks from my journey of getting fitter (or trying to get fitter)  – Timeline of months post pregnancy:

6 months    >>        8 months   >>          10 months    >>        12 months

HOW TO CRACK THE FIRST CONVERSATION

Context Awareness: A first conversation with a soon to be acquaintance at an office party is widely different from the one in a private party.

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You must be dressed for the occasion – No ripped jeans, graphic tees unless it is themed party. Subtle solid colors or light elegant dressing go well for such parties.So, a typical kick start in an office party would be –“Hi, I am June, the Acquisition Head for the Boston team” and then give some more depending on the interest of the listener. There are people who would start with “ Hi, I am John with 10 years of Marketing Experience and recently promoted as the Acquisition Head of the Boston Team. No wonder I got this because the achievements on the list go on ….”Hey, that is too much information at the borderline of being a show off! This goes well only in the typical “Tell me about yourself” questions at the HR interviews.

 

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For a private party, you must and must be dressed for the occasion (because hey, it is always fun to be with the ones you love right!). If it is an Indian wedding, pick your brightest Lehenga Choli, if it is a baby shower luncheon, pick a lovely floral dress. These are the parties where you can show your fun side, so please do not start with “Hi, I am June, a marketing professional at a leading Soap company and best friend of the bride” Instead say, “Hi I am June and I am the reason why people love to take shower”. That will sound intriguing and yes, a little humor doesn’t hurt (You can choose a better punchline)

Less is more:A conversation should always take its natural course. Start with just as much is required so that it creates an interest in the other person to know more. In this process, the conversation is more likely to get interesting and your confidence is more likely to be boosted. Yeah, you can thank me later!

Don’t just look for comfort, create comfort : No matter how nervous/confident you might be, it is very important to create a balance. While it is important to lead the conversation when the other person is submissive, it is just not cool to dominate. Make it warm and welcoming for the other person as well.

Be a good listener: Or at least pretend to. Who does not want to be heard, understood and accepted. You must make good eye contact, show interest in what is being communicated and not check the phone or tablet in the middle of a conversation(No matter how cool you think it might look) . A good first conversation most often leads to long lasting relationship.

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Declutter : Last but not the least, vacate your mind off all the prejudice and thoughts – “Oh does he feel am overdressed for the party? Does he feel I’m not intelligent enough to have this conversation with him?” Hell, it doesn’t matter. Just look for an honest connection, a genuine conversation.

A genuinely warm smile, a kind and assertive handshake, and a true, heartfelt interest in others is all that takes to win a conversation!