Category Archives: answers

Why villains are important

A villain is generally accepted to be the antagonist in any story or scenario.

Can one define light without darkness? or Good without evil?

I know this is not a new argument and neither am I trying to invent one at this stage.

However, we evaluate most things around us聽in relative terms. And such aspects as goodness and greatness are no exception.

(Before I go any further, do note that I expect exceptions in all and every category, however I am only focusing on a general and common trend) 馃檪

Is a Hero really a hero without an adversary? Would we really accept political messages from one party if they were not opposed to another? “Comparison” ?

Absolute’s are relative. Debatable indeed, however go along with this thought.

I will not get in to the religious sentiment and rather on purpose stick to HR.

While we used to interview a batch of candidates, we would mostly end up hiring the best out of the batch, who may often not be out first choice if the person was placed in a different batch.

Overall the quality of our heroes enhances or deteriorates in direct proportion to the adversary 馃檪

Enough for now. Would love to read your thoughts.

 

One step at a time – How to be Happy Part 1

We are surrounded by people. People we perceive as friends. There are varying categories of this, however at one level or another our friends include our buddies from childhood, partners in crime from the college days and so on …

One significant “friend” category includes our colleagues that we spend a major amount of time every day with at work. One cannot simply discount this category.Good_Bad

As with all relations in life, a key to being happy is to remove selfish friends from your circle as soon as possible.

Now, I am no one to lecture you. Your call… If you love torture – please retain all your selfish friends…Why not even go out now and make a few new ones 馃槈 – To everyone his/her own poison 馃檪

Here are a few signs to identify “friends” to let go of :

  1. 聽They believe they deserve special treatment.
  2. You are not a priority for them.
  3. They make shady plans or cancel with you for no real reason.
  4. You never met his/her friends!
  5. He/She is not able to sustain long term friends and is usually making new friends as they don’t really know him/her.
  6. They act like polite / cordial people.
  7. They try to confuse you – as if their failing is YOUR fault !
  8. They don’t care enough to stay in touch with YOU – even thou they can with their NEW “Friends” 馃槈
  9. They are not willing to change for you at all.

Life is all about learning and applying. No one can survive without changing and even less so without a few true friends.

My parting words – Take care of your true friends before they start to feel you are taking them for granted and immediately get rid of the selfish ones around you.

Result : You will be happier and probably live longer 馃檪

Part 2 coming next week !

Remember-you-do-not-need-a-certain-number-of-friends-just-a-number-of-friends-you-can-be-certain-of.

 

 

Time

There was a time when I was very binary with my relations. As time passed I came to realize that I am missing out by ignoring the grey areas. Initially either someone was IN or OUT and no second opinion about it.

Then I “matured” in to realizing that we are merely humans and as humans we make mistakes and we learn. We evolve ( hopefully) in to a better person. So everyone deserves a chance.

However, I saw myself making excuses for people. Justifying my perception by interpreting their actions incorrectly. You can see that may not have gone too well.

It is only when you realize that there is a limited amount of time left for you that you really begin to iron out the issues and concerns which have lingered on for so long. Procrastination is punishment in itself.

Lets just assume, I had a two year deadline. What would I do?

I have prepared a list of things that I would do by using this opportunity of limiting my time and not imagining any world beyond this deadline.

  1. Catharsis
  2. Express the truth
  3. Take care of my IN people
  4. Make amends with the OUT crowd
  5. Try to live and enjoy the time I have
  6. Improve my productivity聽in life and at work
  7. Learn as much as I can
  8. Read and write.

There is also a lot I have simply summarized within the ambit of the above and I leave it open for anyone to theorize or improvise 馃檪

One thing I keep stumbling on, and I may be absolutely wrong, however it is my take – Money is a very vital element in general well being. It is easy to make counter arguments. However nothing erases the necessity of money 馃槈

Till later.

The life of a probationer

In the midst of many permanent workers the lone probationer along with many other singular probationers walk the pace.聽Being a probationer聽is like being an understudy for an actor in a play who has no lines.

You move around the stage and perform the actions required, but you never get to take center stage, and you hardly ever get to speak more than a few lines. ( Some dramatic exaggeration)聽

The probationer needs to be on time, oops early I mean as being late is like not coming or showing up to a 90’s theme costume party in a space suit.

The probationer needs to be updated, perfect and beyond doubt to survive and be placed almost at the side of the privileged permanent folks 馃檪

Brings alot of songs to mind about love lost and experience gained. A probationer has a dream…

One day he / she too will be a part of the permanent staff. Have actual authority be taken serious..Perhaps.

Like all evaluations , the probation period is exactly that. A timeframe for mutual evaluation. What most probationers miss out is that they feel only they are being evaluated. It helps in the long run to understand that while the company is evaluating you.. you too should be evaluating the company.

In the ultimate performance / probation review it is to me a deadly SIN to say that you have nothing to say about the company or a simple ” it was a good experience here” to your seniors.

Coming back to the probationer and his/her dream. Most probationers I have met have felt that the moment their status will be converted to “permanent” somehow magically everything will change. Their peers will look at them differently, they will suddenly have greater respect and an elated position in the corporate food chain.

Reality check: No this does not happen.

A word of advise to my probationer colleagues who have yet to experience the brutal reality of the corporate world : Your position and status is only a name card. Your performance and your delivery is what will define how your colleagues look at you.

Work well done, is exactly work well done and there is no second opinion to it. 聽The only performance indicator that one needs to be concerned about are the KPI’s. And if the work is done well and a flare of pro activeness and innovation added to the mix it more often then not translated in to a very tasty solution ( pun intended).

So all my friends who are fresh and on probation and have not realized this yet.. buck up and smell the fresh air of new resolves and work smart and work hard.

K

Wait

While I waited to evaluate risks, some real some perceived …. time moved on and the world passed me by. In the thousands of years of documented and available history most elements of human behavior have survived the tribulations of time and standards. Now, while I lay in bed typing on my laptop while simultaneously dodging attacks from my little daughter on my laptop I am reading up on alot of material on blogging and content writing. I have been interested in this recently and I feel a strong urge to take this up formally albeit part time. Anyone reading my previous posts can easily tell how lazy I get when it comes to putting something up 馃檪 But I will now do my best to put up more and more productive posts soon. Take care and Happy waiting!

5 simple clues to spot a liar

A part of my job involves interviewing candidates for various positions and at different levels. The other day while writing some stuff on body language I started to think about the many aspects of a candidate that we tend to evaluate during the interview process. One aspect that we look at, or at least try to determine to the best of our ability is whether the candidate is being honest or not.
Here are 5 simple clues that you too can watch for in your daily lives and learn how to spot a liar:
<![if !supportLists]>1-      <![endif]>Observe the body language
Does the body language match what the person is telling you? Very often we communicate more from our physical gestures than our words. It is the gap between what is being said and what the body is trying to portray which will give a liar away. You do need to watch for it thou as many expressions can be as slight as an eye blink.
<![if !supportLists]>2-      <![endif]>Watch the smile
A smile can convey many things. However a true smile will always incorporate the lips and the eyes. If you watch carefully you may be able to detect any hidden emotion that a liar is trying to hide such as anger, fear or even disgust.
<![if !supportLists]>3-      <![endif]>Not what but how it is spoken
Experts believe and to some extent I have personally observed that whenever a person is lying their speech rate (words per minute) and breathing pattern changes. It may either increase or decrease, but it does change. Noting this may also help you identify if someone is hiding something from you.
<![if !supportLists]>4-      <![endif]>Against usual behavior
In case the person is reasonably known to you, one indication of lying can be uncharacteristic behavior. The above points need to be weighed in along with the observation of a different behavior pattern to make sense and / or pass any judgment.
<![if !supportLists]>5-      <![endif]>Type of query and its response
Ask simple question and get a simple reply. When you note that someone turns their eyes or starts to show uneasy body language when asked a simple question it means there is something they are hiding. Of course in case a tricky or hard / uncomfortable question is asked it is natural for the other person鈥檚 body language to reflect the uneasiness or prolonged processing time.
I hope this is some help and do feel free to add any observations that you have made during the course of your interviews etc.

Life is simple

Life is really worth living, if one decides to live it. The choice is yours and yours alone.

We choose to allow others to decide for us. When we allow others to choose for us – we become our very own victims.

Now this does not mean that no one is worth listening to. Intelligence is to listen to the experience of others and then decide on what suits you. So in management terms you would choose the best-fit.

I believe that we choose to complicate life. Here are a few things I have learnt so far that I feel are good guidelines to maneuver decisions in life:

        Live and Let Live
        Put yourself in the others shoes
        Be sympathetic to others
        Listen then analyze and then react
        You will live this life and everyone else is an accessory with their own unique value
        Either don鈥檛 do it, and if you do : then live up to it
        Stop complaining and do something about it
        Think of the worst that can impossibly happen and then whatever happens will be better
        Be Objective
        Equitable standards

I invite you to share your feelings and experiences on this and encourage a healthy open discussion.

The key to life

A bright day of August,  I would be around 14 or 15 years old at that time. I was vacating in Pakistan after having appeared in the O/Levels exams…The memory is clear thou saddened by the fact that the other person from the memory is now dead…My Dada jee.

He was in one of his lecture moods and well, I figure, he guessed right that I wasn’t 馃檪

So, he started telling me a story of Batala (India – Pre-partition)

The story goes….

Rana ( My Dada jee used to call me so)….. When I was a very young boy, I went with my father to attend a wedding in a different town ( he knew the name of that town..I don’t recall it now). My mother, sisters and mostly everyone else in the house had already left a few days ago ( as was traditional back then).

Lock with Key

While leaving, my father (your great grand father) did something different….Once he had locked the house he gave me the big lead (metal) key to me for safe keeping 馃檪 I was very happy at being given this responsibility. It was the first time that my father had given me the key to the home. Now the locks you kids have are different from the ones we used to use. He then proceeded to go to his cupboard and after a 2-3 minute ritual of locks, padlocks, etc etc etc… he recovered a lock (that looked quite like the picture here on the right).

He continued…

This key, your great grand father gave me and told me to keep it safely in my pocket. Once we started on our journey (via train)…soon i forget about the key in my pocket.

Jasmine

I still remember when we got to ( the city where the wedding was) there. While exiting the Railway station, my  father took a handful of Jasmine flowers and smelled them. He had me smell them too..it was very refreshing….He then gave me a few of the jasmine flowers and I placed them in my pocket so that I would smell fragrant…Artificial perfumes were not IN back then … (and we smiled at me.)

Then my Dada jee proceeded to tell me about the events at the wedding… girls … dances … food … and of course the all important family politics 馃檪

Eventually coming back…

My Dada jee continued his story….

So finally we all returned to our home in Batala, Gurdaspur and my father asked me to produce the key….. When I reached for the key …(contrary to what I was thinking…the key was still in his pocket…hehe … no thriller there)….. I took hold of the key and brought it out. Along with the key some of the old jasmine flowers , now dry and brownish color came in to my hand.
I blew the dry flowers away and proudly gave my father the key…

My father took the key and then opened the lock… he asked me to stay at the door while all family members walked in to the home.

Finally we were the only two remaining standing…. My father took the lead key and gave it to me and said….
“Putar Khurshaid” smell this 馃檪

Would you believe… The lead key was giving off the same fragrant jasmine smell. It was very amusing indeed.

My father simply said…. Son, you are getting older now and will soon enter more practical life where you have to choose friends and directions in life. Always remember just as the fragrant jasmine has penetrated the lead key , similarly no matter how strong we think we are…we always risk having habits from our company rub on us.
So instead of putting yourself on a silly test every other day to prove that you cannot be spoiled …. its better to avoid company of people that have negative behavior and be close to people who are good.

After that my Dada jee was silent for a bit and then he gave me that Key ….. and he said “I hope I do not need to say anything more now…..Do I?”

I was amazed and happily influenced at that time….I took the key…I still have it deep inside my own little ritual of locks and padlocks and such and I intend to share it with my daughter when she is old enough to understand this or when she needs to.

My Dada jee, passed away on 15 January 2005 ….. My daughter was born on 15th January 2010 ……. Ironic thou, I feel its just a way of nature telling me not to forget the important things in life.

Things rub off on us at all times… Try being influenced by the good.

Good Luck.

Why should anyone read my blog

So, why should anyone on the WWW read my blog?

They should not. I strongly take a stand on this. No one should be allowed to read my blog. I dont read what I have written, and no one else should be put thru this agony either 馃槈

Ok, I dont mean that 100% … people should have the free will to read what ever they wish to read. Well, its not my words that are going to make someone free, liberal or unrestricted…that has already been done by other far more competent and thought provoking than I am at the moment. I dont claim to be smart either. People should attest to that. My own words should not be my judge.

Read what you like, write what you like. Feel the freedom. My keyboard is creating alot of issues. Almost like the little red ant buggers 馃檪

Shall put up pictures of our beautiful locations today. wait for them.

Luck as a selection Criteria

Napoleon had an interesting final question for his Generals whenever a Chief of Staff was to be selected from amongst the Generals or Top brass.
He would ask them 鈥淗ow lucky are you?鈥.
He would choose the luckiest one in order to benefit from his luck 飦
What about us? How do we go about promoting our teams?
1. Performance Management?
2. Bribe ? 馃槈
3. Contact?
Think about it?