Thursday, July 31, 2008

How to handle criticism?

We often face criticism. In our personal life as well as professional. In fact, where-ever we interact with other persons, there are chances we might face criticism. Now don't confuse criticism with harassment. Harassment is NOT even superlative degree of criticism. Lets start with understanding it.


What is criticism?


Criticism is others showing disagreement or disapproval of our ideas or actions. It usually consist of pointing out of our mistakes and shortcomings (of our actions/ideas). Though there are various direct and indirect forms of criticisms, we generally get the idea when it is and what. So instead of trying more on defining it, lets jump straight to handling it. That's what I think would be more relevant to you too.


How to handle it?


Whenever you face criticism, you should first realize that others have as much right to express their opinion as you have. So you should respect it. Because criticisms are generally negative comments, you need to be sure of what is getting criticized. In most cases, its our ideas or our actions that are criticized. Realizing this only is the first step. Because then you know that you are not being criticized but its the idea or action that is getting criticized. This way you alienate yourself from all negative comments.


I understand that you might be feeling very passionate about your idea. Or you would have taken some action in rightful spirit. But this does not mean when they are criticized you take it to your ego or worse, make a prestige issue.


You should start by calmly explaining your thoughts and reasons. The facts and the circumstances. The logic and the rationale behind it. Most of our actions are function of our knowledge and the circumstance. Under similar conditions, quite probable that others will do the same. So try to get them to empathize with your situation.


Sometimes, we our-self start feeling guilty because its a genuine mistake. Instead of having that add to the negative comments, you can use it to counter it. This technique is also called fogging. So when someone criticizes, you accept the mistake right away and mention that it was due to so and so reasons and perhaps next time you won't repeat your mistake. You can also make others indulgent by asking what they would have done. This shifts the focus from what you did to what they would have done. Thus, fogging creates a maze where the negative comments simply gets lost and never reaches you.


Anticipating criticism also helps. It takes away it surprise value. So, if you are prepared, you are not shocked by it. You have you thoughts and your plan of action already in place.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Habit 9: Agents of Change

If The Joker be an agent of chaos, the innovative people are Agents of Change. They don't fear change. They bring change. They adapt and evolve with change.


Why is it so important to change? No, I don't say that you would perish if you do not adapt. Otherwise old wouldn't be gold. I have different thoughts about it. I feel it is important to change if you want to innovate. Let me explain it further. We are used to working in a routine fashion. With time, we slowly become expert in that routine. So far things remains in that well accustomed domain, we are good. We grow so used-to of the situations that we stop thinking about improvements and improvisations. And slowly mediocrity starts sinking into us. We start getting habitual of sub-standard stuff. Now you are intelligent enough to know its ramifications.


My focus today is not why you should learn to change. It is up-to you, you want to or not. But if you want to be a successful innovator, you will have learn to create change and to adapt with change. That is the point am trying to highlight.


Innovation demands change. The demand itself is the problem. And that problem, if solved, will lead to a better solution. An innovative solution. So you should not wait for circumstances to change. And then follow the wind and adapt with change. This is what you do to survive. not to innovate.


Innovators do it other way. They innovate and thus, cause change.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fear of change

Life goes on. So lets move on. And talk about the most common yet least admitted fear - Kainotophobia - the fear of change.


We, the humans, have a high tendency to ignore change. Not only deny it, we resist it too. If we look around in nature, we find that animals are far more adaptive and flexible towards change. They always look ready to move to new pastures. Some migrate as if a routine. But we. We wait. for new grass to come up. We sometime wait so much that we sometimes even perish in wait. I really can't figure out how we evolved as most deveoped species despite having these traits. May be these traits are recently acquired ones. Whatever!!


Crux is that most of us fear change. We are scared of getting out-dated. If not extinct. But I have seen more reasons. Some of us are just too lazy to change. No attitude. No will.  Worse, some are just too dumb to get it. But until forced, no one wants to change. This one point I want to highlight today. We really don't change unless something forces it upon us - sometimes its professional. Sometimes its personal obligation. Seldom we change because we want to.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Madness is like gravity. All it needs is a little push.

Sorry folks. Google made this post number one search result (which off course I didn't expected). You probably were looking for The Dark Knight quotes. You may find them at


My blog


IMDB


The Dark Knight Trivia


Official Website


Wikipedia





Original Post


It was a dark weekend. I couldn't bring myself to write anything new or something useful. And more i follow news; I see Two-Face all around. We are all mad. With our minds poisoned. To such extent that we are standing on the edge and all we need a push. And the saddening thought is - that push will come. Sooner and not later.


And when we tip off that edge, what will we do? This reminds me of a quote from the epic Mahabharata.


Who survive the jungle fire? Only those who live down in holes!!


Should we start digging our holes already? But where? And The Joker wasn't wrong.


You’ll see, I’ll show you, that when the ships are down, these uh… civilized people, they’ll eat each other.


And no one can deny that. When things will start getting bad, morals will be the first causality. What difference will it then make that we belong to so-called civilized world or not. We all be worse than animals. Is that really how we will meet our doom. God help. And God save us. Am all down and out. Losing My Religion.


[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=M7vs21ZKrKM]


Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dark Knight Quotes

Oh I am so impressed by these. Nolan has done an amazing job in writing them.



Y'see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little...push.


You thought we could be decent men in an indecent time. But you were wrong; the world is cruel, and the only morality in a cruel world....is chance.


Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. We're tonight's entertainment. I only have one question. Where is Harvey Dent?


That man in Burma, did you ever catch him? Oh yes. How? We burned the forest.


The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules!


See, I'm not a monster...I'm just ahead of the curve.


You'll see, I'll show you, that when the ships are down, these uh... civilized people, they'll eat each other.


You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain.


Let me get this straight. You think that your employer, one of the richest men in the world, is spending his nights running around the city beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands? And your plan is to blackmail him? Good luck.


Introduce a little anarchy, you upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I am an agent of chaos. And you know the thing about chaos, Harvey? It's fair.

We are decent people living in indecent times.

No movie intrigued me this much. And see the circumstances. We watched the movie. Come out thinking. Reach home. Only to find out there has been around 8 blasts in the city. These are really dangerous times. And it has only started getting darker. So the dawn must be far away.


Human mind is so easily corruptible. It amazes me that it the same mind that also invents and innovates so much. Yet it falls pray to emotional traps. May be that's why we were given a heart as well. But we choose one over another. Instead of marking a balance, we move to one extreme and then call is human nature. Nature never made humans like what we are today. Nature evolved us. True. But now slowly we are deteriorating. Corrupting ourselves. Racing towards our own extinction.


Y'see, madness, as you know, is like gravity. All it takes is a little...push. And Mad Mad World it is. The more we are innovating to connect and collobrate. We are slowly trapping ourselves in a vicious loop. We create something. And then we see it correupting our minds. Then we innovate something else. Same story. Over and over. Yet the minds, capable enough to solve quantum mechanics yet so stupid to not even see its own doom. May be because we have created so many ways to end ourself, that now we only can say for sure.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Habit 8: Passion to succeed

Nothing tastes sweeter than success. And once you taste it, you want to taste it more. Till you get addicted to it. Let's not focus on the vices. But lets talk about the passion behind it. That positive energy which you can derive from it to achieve. Goals. Success. Happiness. The passion to succeed leads you to achievements.


Initially it looks difficult. And we easily tend to get complacent. But the innovative people drive themselves from the desire to succeed. And this desire slowly turns into passion which makes winning a habit.


How you develop this passion? You have to first free your mind. And think. What is that you REALLY want to achieve. Don't be vague like "I want to successful." Be precise. "I want to be successful in my job by achieving so-and-so position in this much time". Be realistic with your goals. You need to be really really sure about it. No Ifs or Buts. No compromises. We all want to be rich. But that's not a goal. Define how rich in how much time.


Most importantly you should be clear why you want to achieve that goal. When you have cleared your doubts. And you have clear vision of your goal. Then only can you focus on it. And then only the desire to achieve that goal starts driving you. What will happen next? You will succeed. You succeed and you like it. You savor the feeling. Then you set a new goal. And achieve it. Then next. And next. You won't even notice when the desire to achieve goals turns into passion to succeed.


And when this happens, you will see how WILL MAKES ITS WAY.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Success and Happiness

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
Dale Carnegie

How to be both? Successful and happy. What's the key to it?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Targon

Recently while reading SlashDot, I came across this nice set of Technical Jargon aka Targon.



We need to deliver world-class e-tailers, aggregate bleeding-edge channels while growing our virtual bandwidth and benchmarking one-to-one deliverables. That is not to say that we redefine dot-com experiences and maximize B2C web services all the while revolutionizing end-to-end mindshare and monetize front-end deliverables.

But this is not just for humor's sake. I have seen people actually talking like this. Blabbering endless list of targons. Without bothering to pause and check if their audience is still awake. This is one of the most common mistake that we notice in Technical Presentations. Even the simplest things starts sounding like Greek and Latin.

Perception is bigger than facts

Its not a fair world. And it turns out that its not logical too. Perception matters more. More than facts. Reason. Logic. And Rationale.


So what you does not matter as much as what I perceive that you do. Now what would you do? You can close yourself in your shell and keep doing what you feel like. Like hell you care. Good. Go ahead and do that. But what if I am a stakeholder in your work. Then you like it or not, you need to bother yourself with what I think about you and your work.


Dear friend, this is how this world goes. And if you don't fix the perception, you go down the drain. The whole politics (Poly - tics :)) thing runs on perception instead of facts. Who has time to find the facts. And if you have the facts, may be I am too busy to analyze them. May be I don't have patience enough to verify them. May be I am full of mental filters. So I am going to jump on conclusion. And with my Ego at stake, I will choose my perception over your reasoning.


Now this is some thing you can not fix about this world. Only option you have is to make your make your way through it. So start caring about what people think about you. You can't live in isolation. You will have to fall in line. Ah! your ego hurts doing it. How you will sleep now?


Look, you need to detach your ego from what you do. Be witness. You do it but don't invest your emotions and feelings in it. Easier said than done. But then realize this. What is that you want? What are your priorities? OK if can't keep your feelings away. Then you will have to make extra effort to reach to me and explain me your side of story. So the onus will now lie on you. You will have to go that extra mile. But if you want to do it your way and want others to understand it. You will have to make that extra effort. Without this you will not be satisfied. You can not be happy. Don't you want others to appreciate your work? So either do it their way or be patient and make them understand.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Self Presentation

Very much a vague term. I kept wondering for quite some time when I first encountered it. What is means? Presentation to self? Presenting self to others? I guess most will go with the later one. And, off course, you knows English will say so to. But leave it to self-help gurus to coin these terms. How else they will run their shop?


Anyway. Let's discuss it today. And see if it really makes any sense. To me both version makes sense. Presentation to self. As well as. Presenting yourself to others. But I feel a hint of Self-Representation too. See I can coin terms too. But we will discuss what really i had in my mind. And more than understanding what self-presentation means. I feel we should know the fundae. Then its just a matter of naming them. How does it matter?


Presentation to Self


Yet another double entendre. Is it like making a presentation to yourself while preparing for a presentation. Or is it how you are selling (presenting) some idea or something to yourself. Leave the literal meaning of words for now. Lets stick to fundae and theme. So how you sell something to yourself? You do sell. Don't you. Our mind plays so many tricks on us. And this one I love the most. Even when we know the good and the bad. Yet our mind will trap us. Will make us biased toward one side of it. Ask alcoholics. Don't they know the evil of drinking. Still their mind play the game and is able to sell them the idea of drinking. So its important to be self aware.


Presenting Self to others


Show Off? In a way. Yes. But its like how you carry yourself. Because that speaks volumes about your self confidence. That marks an impression on others. And if you are able to present yourself good, you will be able to present your ideas well too. Good presenters use it to empathize with the audience. And as we discussed yesterday about selling. We are always selling something. So it becomes more important how we present our self. Let's discuss it more in coming days.


Friday, July 18, 2008

She sells Sea shells on the Sea Shore

Yeah. yeah. You can speak it. May be fast enough too. But that not am talking about exactly. You know whats the tricky part in this tongue-twister? Sells. Shells. Sells. Shells. So its about selling. There. You got me now. So tell me one thing. Was I able to sell it to you? Hell yes. You are still reading me.


So that's the deal am talking about. It all about selling. Do YOU know how to sell? Shut up if you were about to say its MBA stuff. Because its not. And don't tell me its not something techies need to worry about. Because you know it very well. You wouldn't have forgotten your last appraisal so soon.


So dear. You need to know how to sell. If you don't want to take bath, you still need to sell that idea to your mom, to you wife....whoever shouts at you more. So next point is, we already know how to sell. Only we are able to sells somethings better than other things. And why is that?


Think. Think.


That is because the things you sell better are the things you really wish to sell. Are the things that you believe in. You really really want them to. And also happen to know about them. Off course. And that is what that gives you the motivation and the energy to convince others. Unless you believe in it, how can you sell it to others? You can't convince others juts like that. So if you want to sell something - you have to REALLY want to sell. Now hey, just your conviction in your idea won't do. You need hard facts too. And a good story as well. And then how to weave the two together, will decide how good you sell it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008