Disclaimer : This post is borderline philosophical – or senti as termed by people who think talking about life,future,goals,emotions,relations etc is stereotypical of uncool people!
This week, Monday to be exact, I attended a workshop titled ‘7 habits of highly effective people’. Not just effective but highly effective. Initially, my reasons to attend it were – a day off from work without loss of leave because it was a company sponsored program and great food and snacks at the HICC/Novotel. I went in with my priorities set – eat as much as possible,sleep as much as possible and listen as little. I have never had a fondness for self-help books or trainings. They put me to sleep. Also, I find them difficult to implement in real world scenarios as most of them offer solutions that are not really solutions. They are just sentences with a generous dose of words like ‘determination’,’love’,’self-control’ etc thrown in. This course was different though and I realized that ten minutes into the session.
The habits are divided into 3 parts:
1. Be proactive
Its important to take ownership of things – not only when they are going good but also when they are not. Its important to make the first move, the first impression,the one to give out their hand first for a shake.
2. Have the end goal in mind when you start
Just before lunch, we were shown a video that featured people reading their mission statements. Now, a mission statement is a statement of purpose. It is a collection of your goals, ambitions,dreams and is something that should guide your actions. I have always maintained a to-do list but have never really sat down and written about my expectations from myself. What’s great about writing something down is that it makes you think. I did a bit of thinking as well and came up with my mission statement. Its the first draft and I hope to review it every two weeks. Will share it soon on my blog – once its all sorted. I am hoping to track it down via my blog as well wherein I mention the things I have achieved and how I went about it. It is something that has got me really excited and I hope I do a good job of maintaining this tempo :).
3. Prioritize ( Do first things first)
Somethings are important and some are urgent. Its necessary to plan things in such a way that the important and urgent things get done first and the important but non-urgent things are thought about and executed with perfection because they have time to be done.
A mastery over these three qualities leads to ‘private victory’ and makes one independent. But, in today’s world being independent is not enough. One has to learn to work in tandem with others as well. Here is where the next three qualities come in:
4. Think win/win
In today’s competitive world, one person’s gain is considered another person’s loss. We do not have to crush someone else’s ambition for our progress. Try to find a way so that the better person wins fair and square. With increase in competition, the size of the pie is also increasing. There is enough opportunity for everyone to succeed.
5. Mutual Understanding
Hearing is an inherent ability. Listening is an acquired skill. Before stating opinions, listen to the other person’s views and respect the difference in perspective. Do not formulate your reply while the other person is still talking. I have this habit of mentally preparing an answer even when I am half-listening to the other person. Its an attempt to probably impress the other person or maybe give a witty reply. But, giving a sensible reply is more important is what I learned through this habit.
Try to collaborate all your qualities,ideas,the ones you have imbibed from others,your resources etc and utilize them to the fullest. Unless everything comes together, one cannot be highly effective.
If one adopts these three qualities, it will lead to a ‘public victory’ and
make one ‘interdependent’. I wondered, how being dependent in any way was better than being independent. The instructor gave a great example
The redwood trees in California are one of the longest surviving trees in America. They have stood there for centuries and have endured storms,rains and even earthquakes. Their success is not just limited to the fact that they have strong roots because repeated force can weaken those. Their survival technique is based on a symbiotic relation. The roots of various trees in the surrounding area intertwine and share nutrients and food. This mutual give and take has made their survival so remarkable that a mini-truck can actually drive through one such tree without causing any harm to it. Amazing!
This made me realize how important it is to have good relations,an open mind to learn and an inclination to discuss things.
Coming back, the last habit , in my opinion, is something most of us take for granted
7. Sharpening the axe.
Its important to take time out and rejuvenate oneself. Mundane worries are part of everyone’s life and I truly believe that one should not take work to home and bring home to work. I have not reached that stage yet where either is happening but I am resolved not to let that happen in the future.
It was an extremely enlightening experience for me and I am certain there are many people who despised JV like me and found it too abstract. Having said that, this course is not one of such type and is truly worth taking. You won’t hear the word I,body,my head, your head etc. I recommend all ya folks to at least give the book a shot in case a training program is not available. It will truly make you more effective than you are right now if not highly :P. Will blog back with my mission statement but before signing off here are a few interesting mission statements.
Anonymous: ‘I aim to become the person my dog thinks I am’
Yahoo! : To connect people to their passions, communities, and the world’s knowledge.
Google : To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
(can’t help but notice the difference and the similarity in the statements of the two companies !!)
Walt Disney: To make people happy. (and didn’t he succeed)