Essential advice for solving communication & writing problems

The decision to become a better team member and leader is a personal one. If you often find yourself feeling not ready for a presentation,a job interview, or even a date, have a look at some important life skills below.

Communication Skills


Giving a presentation. Talking to clients.Explaining a concept in simple terms.

It is all about communication. Looking for improvement in these areas? Watch more videos of great public speakers like Arianna Huffington or Steve Jobs. TED talks are a good place to start. Learn from how the best share their knowledge. Once inspired, practice how you express your own thoughts more clearly in speech and in writing.

Writing skills

Writing is not only important for journalists and marketers. All professionals have to send clear and effective emails every day, whether they are simple instructions , or an idea to their boss.

Like all forms of communication, keeping your target audience in mind is key. Apart from that, the first step to writing better is through reading more quality material. Read more newspaper articles about industry-related topics.

Read more fiction and non-fiction in the language you will need to communicate in. You can never read enough.

Learning during lockdown

Hey folks! Hope that you all are safe and doing fine!

Learning is an important part of our lives and if we wish to sustain our professional lives it is imperative to keep on learning throughout our lives.
As far I am concerned,I am learning quite a few new topics that otherwise I did not get the time to learn earlier.

Web designing
Digital marketing
Google Analytics

I am learning practically by investing in creating a website from scratch as well as getting the certifications done from Google and TBO Academy.

What about you all? Leave a comment.

Till then stay home and stay safe

My daily schedule during lockdown

Many people have asked me what do I do while staying at home.It is upto us how to spend this time effectively as we all know that “Time & tide waits for none”

Let’s look at my normal schedule while I follow the lockdown guidelines.

Wake up at 6AM
Have a cup of piping hot black tea
Go through daily newspapers to keep myself updated
Freshen up
Visit the nearest marketplace if I need to buy anything for my household
Spend around 15 minutes doing free-hand exercises
Have breakfast
Start logging to my official tasks
Take breaks at regular intervals.Keep your tummy full as well!
Spend around 45-60 minutes daily in self learning on topics that I find interesting
Learn new hobbies e.g.recently I have started blogging from scratch
Watch evening news or any interesting content via OTT platforms viz. Disney+Hotstar,Amazon Prime Video,Hoichoi,Netflix without disturbing the daily schedule too much (no binge watching for me!)
Complete dinner by 10PM
Go off to sleep by 11PM & feel fresh the next day

One of the key things to keep yourself motivated is to be active,stay away from negativity and spend quality time with all your family members and help them to stay positive as well.

One must remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel and after the night day will always come.So let’s stay positive and be optimistic.We will surely tide over these trying times and emerge victorious.

Best of luck ! Share your views as well…

Keep sharpening the saw

Farmers and Rain

Once, Lord Indra got upset with Farmers, he announced there will be no rain for 12 years & you won’t be able to produce crops.

Farmers begged for clemency from Lord Indra , who then said , Rain will be possible only if Lord Shiva plays his Damru. But he secretly requested Lord Shiva not to agree to these Farmers & when Farmers reached Lord Shiva he repeated the same thing that he will play Damru after 12 years.

Disappointed Farmers decided to wait till 12 years.

But one Farmer regularly was digging, treating & putting manure in the soil & sowing the seeds even with no crop emerging.

Other Farmers were making fun of that Farmer . After 3 years all Farmers asked that Farmer why are you wasting your time n energy when you know that rains will not come before 12 years.

He replied “I know that crop won’t come out but I’m doing it as a matter of “practice”. After 12 years I will forget the process of growing crops and working in the field so I must keep it doing so that I’m fit to produce the crop the moment there is rain after 12 years.”

Hearing his argument Goddess Parvati praised his version before Lord Shiva & said “You may also forget playing the Damru after 12 years!”

The innocent Lord Shiva in his anxiety just tried to play the Damru, to check if he could….and hearing the sound of Damru immediately there was rain and the farmer who was regularly working in the field got his crop emerged immediately while others were disappointed.

It is the practice which keeps on making you perfect.

You become even diseased or old just because you don’t practice.

Practice is the essence of quality survival.

So, let lockdown lift after 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years. Whatever trade or profession you are in, keep sharpening your skills, practice with what you have, upgrade your knowledge.

Teamwork

What is teamwork?

Teamwork is the collaborative effort of a group to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way. This concept is seen within the greater framework of a team, which is a group of interdependent individuals who work together towards a common goal.

Let us consider a few more definitions about teams:

It is a group of two or more people who engage in interactions regarding each other’s membership and members who are aware of the positive interdependence when trying to reach mutual goals
(Johnson and Johnson 1987)

A team is a group of people from a certain social class, with a permanent interrelationship of duty among each other. A team is a collection of people with a definite and a common convention regarding attitudes, emotions, aspirations, and goals based on important factors that affect each member who has an express or implied assessment.-(Hog and Abrahams 2001)

The Development Stages of a Team

Stage One: Forming

The stage where team members get together and get to know each other

Stage Two: Storming

This stage discusses and argues about individual roles while creating a competition for the role of leader.

Stage Three: Norming

The team members discuss, decide, and establish habits and activity.

Stage Four: Performing

This is the stage where the team perform their duties and shows stability

Stage Five: Adjourning

This stage sees the conflict between the members who wish to drift apart and the members who try to maintain the team.

Features of an Efficient Group

  1. Fulfills the targets and duties
  2. Maintaining the goal of achieving common targets
  3. Developmental change so as to increase the efficiency

An efficient team,

a. Has collectively identified and understood the final target and objectives. These objectives must be bound and interdependent on the objectives of the team members while being able to achieve a high level of commitment.
b. There should be effective communication between the team members.
c. The leader or the members should not have any hidden agenda or motives.
d. All members should handle responsibility. The duties and responsibilities should be performed in due time in a due manner. Participation and Leadership should be equally distributed among members. The members should be content about their membership.
e. Should have common agreements that are protected by all members. Should make appropriate measures and decisions when the need arises.
f. Power and influence should be equal
g. Opposing views and ideas should be encouraged. That nurtures qualitative decision making
h. Members should have cooperation, mutual trust, unity, acceptance, pleasantness, and respect for each other.
i. High competence in problem-solving
j. A mechanism should be established to assess and evaluate the efficiency and performance of the team as well as individual contributions and commitment

Team building

Team building is a collective term for various types of activities used to enhance social relations and define roles within teams, often involving collaborative tasks.

Workplace etiquette

Workplace etiquette means the socially acceptable ways that we interact with one another and behave in our workplace.

Acceptable standards of communication and interaction in our workplace may vary from one workplace to another, however, I believe there are some behaviors which are universally acceptable or not.

A lot of workplace etiquette has to do with common courtesy, making our workplace a comfortable place that is conducive to productivity & success

  1. Non-negotiable
  2. Company policy
  3. Anything that makes another person uncomfortable, uneasy, or afraid

What behaviors does workplace etiquette include?

  1. The way you relate to your co-workers
  2. The way you relate to customers
  3. Your behaviors while at work
  4. What you wear
  5. How you speak/communicate to/with people
  6. What else?

Telephone etiquette…do’s

1.Be pleasant & smile when you answer the phone
2.Never transfer someone without letting them know what you are doing
3.Don‘t sound rushed or annoyed at the caller, even if you are busy!
4.Do what you can to help the person on the line before hanging up or transferring
5.When making a call, identify yourself by first and last name, and where you are calling from
6.Leave complete messages
7.Your name, company name, why you are calling, and what you want the other person to do –be specific (call me back by 3pm please, email me the report, stop in and see me before tomorrow)
8.Be short and to the point

Telephone etiquette…don’ts’

  1. Taking cell phone calls or texting while in meetings or involved in a conversation with customers or co-workers
  2. Even if it‘s a business call, it‘s rude. If you must take a call or respond, apologize, and excuse yourself from the conversation.
  3. Turn your personal cell phone off or to vibrate during work hours
  4. Set aside a time to check email, voicemail, and text messages-consider disconnecting except during those times

Email etiquette

1.Do not send an email when a phone call or personal conversation is more appropriate
2.Business emails should be treated like business correspondence—–not text messaging
3.Include a greeting and closing
4.Address people with the appropriate formality
5.Spell and grammar check
6.Read aloud to make sure your message is clear
7.Include all necessary details and information
8.Go easy on the ―reply to all and cc: feature—ask
9.Yourself who it is necessary to include
10.Include a relevant subject
11.Don‘t use all caps
12.Don‘t use distracting backgrounds
13.Don‘t use distracting fonts or font colors
14.Don‘t send inappropriate emails to co-workers
15.Chain emails, jokes, political or religious content

Workplace ― don’ts

What are some of the most annoying, bothersome, and time-wasting ―don‘ts?

  1. Loudness-
    a. Loud telephone conversations (even more annoying when they are personal conversations
    b. Loud talking in general, on the phone, in person nearby where people are trying to work, on intercoms, etc.
    c. Loud complaining (we‘ll talk about this more)
    d. Loud music

More about loudness

  1. Ask co-workers if your music volume is acceptable
  2. Don‘t listen to offensive music (subjective anything with profanity, violence)
  3. Turn your music down when someone comes in to speak with you, whether it is a customer or coworker keep personal conversations to a minimum while
  4. At work – close your door or go outside on a break turn your cell phone ringer to vibrate or low volume

Working from home

Whether you like it or not, working from home is the new norm these days and it looks that it’s here to stay!

So what is working from home?

Employees who work remotely and carry out their professional duties without being available in a physical office is also known as working from home.

We need to few basic guidelines to ensure that working from home is productive for us.

Stick to schedule

When working from home, you’ll have a more flexible structure to your day than if you were positioned in a traditional office setting
You’ll have the option to set your own timetable; actually, you’ll essentially need to.

Figure out a routine

We will, in general, think about a routine as a constraint at best, and a creativity killer at the worst

Nevertheless, for a remote worker, adhering to a routine can be very positive. Without one, it will be increasingly difficult to remain motivated and productive

A consistent morning schedule will help you to separate the professional part of your day from the personal

Even if your work area is just a couple of feet from your bed, just get dressed, and be ready to work will surely help you to stay motivated.

These apparently unremarkable tasks will give you an opportunity to intellectually get ready for the workday and will make you progressively alert and keen.

Plan your schedule

Without the structure of a traditional workplace, you’ll experience the two-edged sword of setting your own schedule. You’ll have more flexibility, yet in addition greater responsibility

Many studies exhibit the superiority of a shorter, high-intensity workday with regards to productivity. In this manner, your working from home day doesn’t need to be a conventional 9-to-5

It’s dependent upon you to figure out the time of day when you’re most awake, productive, and on your toes.

This will allow you to get the most out of the hours in a day, by totally killing it when your mind is generally productive and resting when you need to

This schedule will be flexible, naturally, should an unforeseen obligation come up. But adhering to a schedule suited to your personal needs and strengths will help you with being increasingly productive and keep steady over your deadlines

Set priorities

Without the hierarchical framework of a traditional office, it tends to be difficult to prioritize tasks and organize your work process

Develop self discipline

With regards to organization skills, no one hack will suit everyone,so discover what works for you. Some helpful tricks include making a plan for the day i.e., to-do lists, to-don’t lists, agendas, so on

Keep in contact with your team or your manager, then manage your day around your goals

Just as significant as realizing how to proceed, is realizing when to stop. Working from home, you’ll never run out of things to do.It’s hazardously simple to take work home with you when you work from inside your very living room

When your designated work hours are finished, and once you’ve made headway on your to-do list, stop

Obviously, we all need to give an extra push to complete a task,however, if you don’t monitor your fuel gauge, you run the risk of obscuring the line among home and work, and burning out

Avoid distractions

If you don’t need your phone for work, put it on silent. Put your phone on silent, not vibrate. When your phone is in silent mode, you won’t go to get it each time it makes a sound.

Having it on vibrate is fundamentally equivalent to having the ringer on and the temptation to look at is still there. Only pick up your phone if you need it for a work-related task.

Also, you can disable the app notifications so that they don’t disturb you while you’re working. This serves the same purpose as putting your phone on silent. With fewer notifications, you’ll be able to put your phone down when you’re not using it, instead of getting sucked into a loop of ‘just a quick check’.

Select proper tools

Working from home doesn’t have to mean balancing your PC on the edge of your coffee table. You can increase your working from home productivity by having the right tools on your side.

Invest in comfortable equipment

Since your work station is the place you’ll have to both spend a lot of time and make that time count, it’s worth investing in the resources into the right equipment. A  comfortable ergonomic chair will let you focus on your work rather than on your back pain

Your screen ought to be eye-level, your back straight and upheld,and your feet level on the ground

If you don’t enjoy sitting down for extended periods of time, a standing desk might be more your speed. Switching between standing and sitting will be useful for your back and keep you alert.

Your workstation should be comfortable, streamlined, and effective. Try not to store more than what’s carefully important.

Initially, this will keep the area uncluttered; second, it will encourage you to take breaks and clear your head.

Define boundaries

As expressed earlier, it’s easy to get lost in your work when you work from home, and run the risk of burning yourself out. To overcome this possibility, it’s important to separate work from play

Regarding workspace

If you work from your loved seat or your bed, it’ll be a lot harder to get in work-mode, since these are areas committed to relaxing. Not every person can enjoy a home office, however key to set aside a corner of your home to be your workspace

This will assist to set with clearing limits between work mode and home mode

Being able to leave your work-station when you need a break or when the day ends will let you symbolically and mentally leave work behind, and refocus the next morning

Allot your time

When you take a break or complete your day, you have to truly leave work behind. Set up processes to show up as “do not disturb” on your communication devices

Always remember to set up a clocking-out routine, to perfectly wrap up your day. Much like your morning routine, this will tenderly yet firmly compartmentalize the two zones of your schedule

Try not to let interruptions creep up on you, but don’t let work take up your life. If the line between them blurs, you’ll see it harder to unwind and harder to complete work too.

Caring for self

And last, it is of prime significance to deal with yourself when you work from home and to stay in tune with your energy levels. For sure, according to a survey, remote workers will, in general, take less sick leaves. While this is positive for employers, and a testament to the dedication of certain remote workers, working in a “free space” can make you ignore the signs from your own body. That is a slippery slope to burning out. Self-care is an increasingly indirect way, just as significant as some other remote productivity tips.

Regular physical activity is necessary for everyone, not merely remote workers. But, remote workers can squeeze in exercise more easily than office workers

When you need a break, don’t hesitate to do a few stretches, some yoga postures, and so on. This is much harder to pull off in an office without getting looks.

A mid-day rest can be massively advantageous to your productivity and energy levels. If you can find that nap makes you feel revived instead of drowsy

If you work from home, you may not leave the house for days at a time, which is nothing more than trouble. Not just the daylight and fresh air are vital to your wellbeing, yet they’ll also clear your head and motivate you
Staying stuck in front of a screen all day, particularly in case you’re handling a difficult task, is really hindering your productivity

If you can’t get away with going outside too often, keep a few plants in your home. It might sound senseless, but a little greenery can improve both your mindset and your efficiency

Just a thought

The other day I was pondering while I was going through the morning newspaper that as we are passing through these turbulent times, I have realized that life is a great leveler. We should all focus on being human rather than chasing status, power, and money.

Though money is important for survival, it should not lead us to a stage where we forget everything and run ONLY after material pleasures of life.

I am sure that we will tide over this crisis as well. But life has actually hit the RESET button so that the entire humanity can start afresh.

The Supreme Force / Mother Nature was watching us all this time while we were recklessly plundering natural resources and running after wealth & power.

Finally I guess it was their turn to put a pause to this nonsense and then the reset our lives once and forever.

Given that we are all under lockdown, we should introspect and start living our lives in a simple way. The people of our earlier generations used to say “Simple living & high thinking”.

Even though today’s generation might not agree with the thought, I firmly believe that we should all practice the same.We should be content with what we have and take care of our family,our mind,our health.It might be difficult to adapt to the new thought,however if one tries then everything is possible.

We should consume things that we actually need rather than impulsive buying.This will help us to to survive in these uncertain times when it seems that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

We do not have a choice.It’s high time that we corrected ourselves and move on for a better and sustainable future not only for us but for our future generations as well.

Most importantly we should take care of our environment and ensure that we are too small to make changes in the plans laid out by The Supreme Force / Mother Nature.

Let us all hope for the best. Till that time as the cliche goes “Stay home,stay safe”.

Why should we sharpen our soft skills and be a better professional?

In this competitive world, both hard skills and soft skills are required. Everyone can have hard skills like a degree; proficiency in computer programming etc. but the success comes with the combination of hard skills and soft skills. At present, we can see that people are very interested in learning soft skills because every company or every firm wants its employees to be the best at soft skills.

Now, let us discuss a few of them in detail and this will help the people in improving their soft skills and will improve the performance in interviews. They are as follows:

       1. Body language:

  • It is a natural representation which is inbuilt within each and every living organism in this world. It is also known as the first language of the world. It is also called as a nonverbal communication.
  • This language delivers its meaning with the help of the physical movements of our body parts which comprise of face expression, body posture, gestures, signs, eye contact, hand, and feet movement.
  • It aids us when the verbal communication is difficult. It also determines the attitude of a person during a conversation.
  • It is easy to express short notes or messages. A positive and an effective body language are always necessary to succeed in any part of the life.
  • Researchers have shown that the effectiveness of communication depends up to 60% on the body language.

Important facts about body language:

  • Always carry a pleasant smile in your face.
  • Maintain a proper eye contact.
  • When you have the chances of standing, stand up because people who stand always look powerful.
  • Always use your arm movements during any kind of explanation, which will make you look confident.
  • Always sit with your toes pointing out.
  • Avoid hand to face movements during any conversation.
  • Don’t cover or hide in a meeting or a group discussion.
  • Avoid folded arms and crossed legs during speaking and listening.
  • Avoid nail-biting, scratching head during any confused situation.
  • Avoid grooming gestures when you are in public.

Language:

  • It is an artificial representation which is not found common in this world. It is a tool which is used to communicate a message from one to one another of the same group.
  • It is also called as verbal communication.
  • Each language has its own set of rules in delivering the meaning from one to another.
  • The grammar of each and every language has to be properly understood to master it.
  • Researchers have estimated that there are up to 7000 different languages spoken around the world.

Important facts about language:

  • The grammar has to be properly used to during all the conversations.
  • Always think before you talk.
  • Use simple and short sentences to convey your messages.
  • Avoid using complex and long sentences.
  • Don’t use verbal and nonverbal fillers during the conversation.

     A modern example of body language or language:

  • A person walking in a computer only with the help of a keyboard is called a body language.
  • The same person working with the help of a mouse and a keyboard is called a language.
  • So it is very clear that proper usage of both body language and the language is essential to succeed in every body’s day to day life.
  1. Communication:
  • It is a process through which a message is exchanged from the sender to the receiver and vice versa.
  • The communication process will be complete once the receiver understands the message of the sender. If not, the communication process will remain incomplete.
  • The proper usage of grammar helps in building an effective communication.

2.Grammar:

  • It is a set of guidelines which tells us clearly how, when and where to use the words of any given language. Hence all these guidelines form into one shape called grammar,
  • In today’s modern world grammar is defined as the Mother Board of all languages.
  • It is a set of guidelines for any given language in the world.
  • The grammar controls and designs the output of all kinds of communication of an individual.
  • A language can be mastered only after mastering its grammar.
  1. Patience,teamwork and time management:
  • Teamwork, patience and time management is a very important quality because this helps in working with a group of people to achieve the goals of a firm or a company

Humour

Physics Teacher: Isaac Newton was sitting under a tree when an apple fell on his head and he discovered gravity. Isn’t that wonderful?
Student: Yes sir, if he had been sitting in class looking at books like us, he wouldn’t have discovered anything.

Corona Kotha

এতদিন ধরে খবরের কাগজ আর T.V. দেখে, সাথে Google করে আমি যা বুঝলাম, Corona – খুব খারাপ না ~
১. সুগার, প্রেসার এর মতো জীবন ভরের রোগ নয় |

২. কিডনী বা ক্যান্সারের মতো কিছু নয়, যাতে ঘটিবাটি বিক্রী করে চিকিৎসা করাতে হয় |

৩. স্ট্রোকও নয়, যে বাকী জীবন লেংচে চলতে হবে |

৪. পাড়া প্রতিবেশী বা আত্মীয়ের অযাচিত পরামর্শ নেই , যে হিল্লী/দিল্লী বা দহ্মিনে যাও, এখানে ভালো ডাক্তার নেই |

৫. প্রাইভেট নার্সিংহোম ভরতিই নেবেনা, পয়সা চোষারও জায়গা নেই |

৬. অগত্যা মধুসুদন সরকারী ডাক্তার, সরকারী হাসপাতাল | কোনো খরচা নেই |

৭. শ্রাদ্ধশান্তি করে লোক খাওয়ানোর ঝামেলা নেই | কেউ আসবে না ।

৮. সবচাইতে সেরা যা, তা হোলো, Corona বলছে, ‘এসো লড়ো, বাঁচো কিংবা মরো |(একদম Bull fight – যোদ্ধার মতো কথা), খুব বেশি হলে ১৪ দিনের খেলা | গেম ফিনিশ |

৯. তবে ভালো কথা, বেশীর ভাগ খেলাতে করোনা হেরে যাচ্ছে ।