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Anger Management

Anger – It can help boost your career

Anger Management
If you are wondering how anger can boost your career, then you are at the right place. Read on to know how.

Negative emotions such as fear and anger are inborn and are of tremendous importance. Negative emotions are often crucial for survival: careful experiments such as ours have documented that negative emotions narrow and focus attention so we can concentrate on the trees instead of the forest.

This is what Professor George Vaillant, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School had to say.

Anger can be both constructive and destructive. It is anybody’s guess as to which type of anger can help you boost your career – It indeed is constructive anger.

In a previous post we discussed about the importance of controlled aggression. In contrast to it, one does not need to suppress or, control his anger. Instead  what is required is to channelize it properly.

What is anger?

Anger is a reaction to the feeling of helplessness, when you realize that you want to do something, but you are not able to do it.

Professor George Valliant, further has to say that,

“People think of anger as a terribly dangerous emotion and are encouraged to practice ‘positive thinking’, but we find that approach is self-defeating and ultimately a damaging denial of dreadful reality. Negative emotions such as fear and anger are inborn and are of tremendous importance. Negative emotions are often crucial for survival: negative emotions narrow and focus attention so we can concentrate on the trees instead of the forest.”

So what is required is controlled and constructive anger. But how will you ensure that your anger is constructive?

Ways of channelizing anger into constructive forms:-

  • Whenever you feel angry, try not to exhibit that in public. The best way to control the exhibition of anger is to tell yourself, “Relax, relax”. Keep saying it to yourself until you start to feel that your temper is lowering down.
  • Sit down and think, as to whose fault was it, that gave rise to the situation. Think logically for about 5-10 minutes and you will start to realize that your too were partially at fault.
  • We described anger as an emotion against in-capability to do something. The solution hence lies in the statement. Find what capability is it that you are found wanting for. Work towards attaining that capability – if you cannot gain it yourselves, network with people who have power and capability.

How can anger help you at work?

Most often, you get angry at work because of increasing dissatisfaction. Other reasons could be strained relationships with your superiors, excessive work pressure, inability to control certain decisions etc.

Each of these reasons can trun out to work in your favor if you learn the art of channelizing your anger in a constructive way. You will learn to network better and would be able to build stronger realtionships with your superiors, peers and subordinates. You will also learn to better manage your time and delegate work. You will start to find reasons of being satisfied, or you will look for better opportunities that provide you satisfaction. You will also be in a better situation to bifurcate professional and personal things and will learn not to bring work to home, thus bringing harmony and peace to your home.

What is your thoughts on constructive anger? What are your choices of channelizing anger in a constructive way?

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Aggression – Its Importance in your career


Is aggression good for your career?

Many a times I have seen people in the top management being a bit too much aggressive. I have also come across quite a few employees in the lower management levels also who have exhibited excessive aggression. How good is aggression and what level of management does it benefit?

It is good to be aggressive, especially if you are into sales and marketing. It is said that the most aggressive of salesman are the ones who are the most successful. Aggression helps a salesman in pitching for his product with full confidence. In a way he overwhelms the customer’s thought process and induces him to think the way he wants him to think, thus creating an urge for the product that he is selling. And because the customer does not have too much time to think, the salesman is able to sell his product.

Does the story end there?

It would have ended there if the customer (consumer or, market) in question was that of the 1950s. The markets have changed now to become a buyers’ market and so the story does not end there. Customers have options these days and every company knows that if they do not keep their customers happy, they will loose then to their competitors. In such a situation, aggressive selling only helps meet the goal for the moment. When the customer finally gets time to think, he will realize that it was a forced sale and he will return the product or, decide not to buy from the company anymore.

Let’s ask the question again. Is aggression good for sales? The answer would be – Controlled aggression is good for sales.

Aggression in Management -

I was attending a workshop being conducted by one the top management personnel in my organization, when suddenly a participant stood up and questioned a logic that the speaker gave. The question was valid and would have made any speaker think. The speaker in question here, got irritated, probably because the questioner was a lower level manager and was a new entrant into the organization. His response did not provide a rebuttal to the questioner, but he indirectly meant to tell the participant that he should not be questioning somebody in the top management. He, in a way wanted to make the participant realize that he was in command.

The workshop turned out to be a flop with not too much of attention from any of the participant and even a few quitting the workshop in between. Later we got to know that the feedback that the participants gave the speaker was very poor. It is worthy of mention here that the speaker was an extremely intelligent person, with immense experience in the field that he was in and was the subject of the workshop, had good knowledge about the subject, was an extremely good orator and a public speaker.

Aggression can be extremely harmful, irrespective of what position you are in, or what level of management you belong to.

“No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.

Control your aggression. Think of a situation in your organization where both parties take to aggression. There would be no solution. Logical thinking and a logical explanation is what can help you succeed.

People Managers, especially should bear in mind that you cannot lead your people by being aggressive with them. You need to understand them, their needs and their thoughts and evaluate things logically instead of taking to aggression. A composed discussion can provide you a resolution or, a solution rather than an aggressive discussion.

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Success as a Team

Team-workHow can you enhance performance within a team? Businesses in BPOs and Call-centers are more of team-work and less of individual efforts. So when it comes to the success of the business, the focus is more on TEAM BUILDING. Why is team-building important?

It is said that TEAM means “Together Everyone Achieves More”. The most important word in this sentence is the word “Together” and this is the most difficult thing to do. Teams often fail in their objective just because the team members are busy working individually and the togetherness is nowhere to be seen.

I cannot forget the day when one of our colleagues got so angry with the term “together” being used in a forum discussing team-work that he stood up and said, “So do you mean that I should tie myself up to one of my team members who doesn’t know anything about me or, whom I don’t know, with the expectation that I would then be able to achieve my targets”.

The benefits that team-work can bring in is undefinable. One has to experience it to know it. The intimacy that comes with team-work helps each other in learning new things and finding new and better ways of doing things. It increases your efficiency and knowledge. There are different kind of people in a team – people with different skill sets, different expertise, different view points etc. When this varied knowledge and skills are exchanged within the team members in a team, each of the team members stand to gain thus improving your productivity and efficiency.

Bonding and engagement is an integral part of a team. The more the team members engage within the team, the more the bonding and the better the bonding, the better the results. Various team building activities can help improve the team bonding. There are a variety of team building games that can improve the bonding within the team members. In order to improve interaction and involvement of the team members in a team, it is important to plan these team buidling activities from time to time.

Modern day organizations know the importance of team building and hence corporates have set-aside specific budgets for various corporate events to be organized. I have seen a sea-change in the mentality of the team members after a corporate event. Team outings, treasure hunts, themed reviews etc. have proved to improve the inter-relations between team members. Hence, recession or, no-recession, organizations that are serious towards team-building and understand its importance do not touch finances set aside for such corporate events. Consequently they always stay ahead of the competition.

Photograph courtesy Budslife “busy” used under Creatives Common License

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Non-Verbal communication – the handshake

In this part of the interviewing tips series, we are going to touch upon the most important part in any interview. This aspect is what plays a major role in deciding your fate in an interview. This aspect is the “Non-verbal Communication” in an interview.Handshake

Many a times we ignore this part and focus so much on the other aspects of an interview that we feel so confident that we are going to make it, that we actually become over-confident. This over-confidence influences this aspect to an extent that the interviewer gets to know that we are over-confident and then the result is a rejection.

The first contact that a candidate has with the interviewer is when he enters the room and shakes hands with the interviewer. This is the beginning of the non-verbal communication that the interviewee will have with the interviewer. If your handshake is not appropriate then you have lost the first battle and the interviewer gets a chance to make an impression about you. Throughout the remaining part of the interview, the questions that are being put to you and the way your responses are being judged is decided primarily by this first impression.

What are the few things that you should keep in mind when you shake hands?

  • Ensure that you lock your palms with that of the other person and then shake your hands. This shows that you are confident and positive.
  • Do not just catch the other persons hands by your fingers and then leave it quickly as if in a hurry. This is the sign of an under-confident and pessimistic person.
  • Always lock your palms with the other person in a straight position., i.e. the inside of your palm should be facing your left side and should be in a 90° position to the ground. This posture is a sign of your attitude.

Follow these basic rules when you shake hands with the interviewer and you have set the tone for a smooth interview.

Photograph courtesy g-hat used under Creatives Common license.

I Cannot Sell!!

I have come across many people who would run for their life when they get to know that they have to sell something in a job. There are numerous others who come to me asking for tips to make money and when I say that they will have to sell something, they raise their hands and say, “I cannot sell”.
This is where a conversation becomes interesting. Once I was with a mentor of mine who was talking to a couple of people, telling them how easy it is to sell something on the internet and make money. He was explaining to them that how salemen were the highest paid people and how selling can help them make good money. As he ended his dialogue, an accountant amongst the them said, “But Mr.Dixit, I cannot sell. I am not good at selling and I do not possess selling skill. It requires convincing power”. Mr.Dixit said a sentence or, two in favor of selling and stopped with an open ended question prompting the accountant to speak on reasons why he felt he cannot sell. The accountant then started off on a “convince him” pitch, trying to convince my mentor of the fact that he cannot sell and the reasons why he cannot, including a detailed description of the skills required to sell something which he apparently did not possess.
After about 2 minutes when he stopped, Mr.Dixit asked him a question, “What is it that you did right now? My friend, what you did is selling. You just sold me an idea that you cannot sell. Wasn’t this selling?”
This is how easy selling is.
An interview is all about selling yourself to the interviewer. Your success will depend upon how well you sell yourself. Just keep a couple of things in mind and you would never face failure in interviews.

  • Be confident of what you are saying. But at the same time be cautious to not be overconfident. Maintain a normal pace and tone of speech.
  • Use examples and instances wherever required, to add value to your responses.
  • Don’t interrupt the interviewer because this shows you are either under-confident or, over-confident.
  • Don’t just start off immediately as the interviewer finishes his question. Take a few seconds to think and decide on your response. About 3 seconds is an ideal pause before you answer.
  • Never start your responses with “Okay”.
  • Be enthusiastic and maintain appropriate posture. If you are sitting in a chair with arms (which you would be) rest your hands on the arms of the chair.
  • Do not play with your fingers.
  • Do not tie your arms in front of you if you are sitting in a chair without arms.

Succeeding in an interview does not entirely depend upon the responses that you give. Though there would be questions where the response is of prime importance, I should say that your success has much more to do with the way you have responded to your questions.