Blog Archives

Its OK: be comfortable talking about difficult topics.

TIP: Become a child and look at the situation simply.

TRY TO- Rephrase: because there’s ALWAYS A BETTER WAY OF SAYING SOMETHING.
-TRY TO WRITE – Direct ways to communicate are better.
-People appreciate hearing the truth. Don’t you?
-Recognize that there is no need to embellish or distort.
-Resolve to be comfortable talking about difficult topics.

-less is more: use the simplest descriptions. More on this topic coming up…

Interpersonal Communication Quiz

Outcome of communication

Communication:Begin with the end in mind

As a trainer, self-awareness about ourselves; and each person in the audience can be the ideal. I cannot overemphasize the importance of building a rapport in the classroom ; or in any interpersonal context. For those who want to improve their communications, lets get down to the basics and check again to see that we don’t miss the following.

In my Communications trainings, I also  use this quiz to understand current communication styles and concerns: (a few questions in each post; with Best Answers and Tips in the next post):

A Few TIPS:

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_99.htm

Interpersonal skills: an overview

Interpersonal communication skills

Interpersonal communication skills

There are plenty of Models for Interpersonal Communication, which have value. I personally like to use the above model (refined through experience), where one decides how to communicate with colleagues, friends, family, children; based on the desired outcome.

If we want to motivate a child or team-member, there are several steps we can use before we deliver the message itself. There are other persuasive elements we can use to motivate a recent acquaintance to say, part with the phone number of his colleague. The idea is not to manipulate, but to truly engage him and his colleague in a win-win opportunity. Isn’t that how collaborative projects begin?

On the other hand, if we want to clarify study or work instructions, a feedback and clarification loop will be a better communication strategy. Listening skills have to improve too. Have you been in a situation where things got messed up because you thought the instruction was pretty simple; but not to the other person?

I surely have had several occasions like that. So I have learnt this communication model the hard way!

SWOT analysis helps us develop

Appmoms blog: Swot Analysis for self development

SWOT Analysis helps us Develop

Another tool that we have been using to develop ourselves, as individuals, and within organizations is SWOT analysis. There are several variations to this theme- NOISE Analysis, and so on.

However the basic method is to identify what we do well (STRENGTHS); areas we need to improve to meet our goals (WEAKNESSES); Explore possible options to add value proactively (OPPORTUNITIES) and what pitfalls we must watch out for (THREATS).

SWOT can be used as a planning technique of looking at what is working and identifying areas to improve. It gives us a format to explore opportunities that we may know about or can explore, often with inputs from our superiors, mentors, peers, clients and so on . While using NOISE (a variation of SWOT- considered a solution-focussed analysis) , we understand the NOISE conditions, and so, can create a roadmap or goal towards the future that allows us to blossom. This is true for individuals (children or adults); teams or organizations.

One precondition for using SWOT or NOISE analysis is that it should be judgement-free and free of pre-conceived notions. I did try to be as objective as possible.

I did a SWOT analysis of my blogging activities recently. There are several goals that I could derive from it. Most of it was towards networking with other leaders in Learning and Training.

For STRENGTHS, I asked myself:

Strengths

  • Which of my achievements am I most proud of?
  • What do other people (and my mentors and mentees, in particular) see as my strengths?
  • What advantages do I have that others don’t have (for example, skills, certifications, education, or connections)?
  • What do I do better than anyone else?
  • What personal resources can I access?
  • What values do I believe in that others may not value as highly?
  • Am I  part of a network that no one else is involved in? If so, what connections do I have with influential people?

Weaknesses:

  • In what areas do my peers outperform me, inspite of my extra efforts?
  • What tasks do I usually avoid because I don’t feel confident doing them?
  • What will the people around me see as my weaknesses?
  • Am I completely confident in my skills, inspite of my education and training ?
  • What are my negative work habits (for example, am I poor at handling stress)?
  • Do I have personality traits that hold me back in my field? For instance, if persuasion and influence are required,  a fear of confrontation would be a major weakness.

I am still working on the Opportunities and Threats part. I plan to use an enhanced SWOT template, which I can share with anyone interested (size is large).

I also realized that one of the weaknesses of SWOT was its limited value, if the analysis was done through self-reporting. SWOT analysis can be valuable when enhanced by multiple viewpoints. So I plan to include peers and mentors to add to my SWOT template. I am talking to some of my community in India. Any other Educational/ Training leaders that I may not have discovered yet is welcome to join me in my journey of self-awareness and improvement. May I request Walter McKinzie, Brian Paige, Brad Hock and others contribute to my template. Please test-mail me at prasannawrites@gmail.com when you can spare me some time. Calling from India is expensive…excuse me. Mail or Skype or Hangout may be better. Whats your preference? Thanks in advance, Prasanna

Goal setting – Social, interpersonal goals

Appmothers blog: Happy New Year e card

Happy New Year

I prefer to make my social goals as the calendar pages turn. Not my work goals or professional goals.

Year end or New Year reminds us about our other roles in life, especially as children, parents, brothers and sister, spouses, friends. Therefore, this a good time to set non-work goals.

Year end reminds me that we are all part of a larger picture. That there is a continuity in this generational journey and we are capable of unconditional love. We are enriched by unconditional love. Psychology tells us – we are who we are because of the unconditional love we have received.

It is time to nurture all the larger community. Thank you, parents. Thank you, brothers and sisters. Thank you, neighbours. This quarter, I took up voluntary teaching assignment with under-served children. This does bring me 4 days a week of happiness. What voluntary work gives you happiness?

More on Multiple Intelligences Quiz

I was struggling to demystify Multiple Intelligences in words, and checked how others have done it.

Thats when I found this video, thank you Mr. Thompson.

Once we have found out what are our strengths or strong Intelligences, we can use certain types of learning and working experiences to strengthen them. There is an insightful MI Immerson SURFAQUARIUM designed by Walter McKenzie:

AppMom MISurfarium

So a Linguistic Smart person like me can develop myself in multiple ways:

I can develop my poet intelligence writing Haiku

OR

As an interpreter or story reteller as in:

http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/childrn/cbhp.html

OR

Use GarageBand on an iPhone or MixCraft for PCs and audioblog.

OR

Engage with the voicethread community

OR

Use WizIQ or YouTube and Podcast

I cannot help sharing this video about someone who knows her strength:

Time for me to explore all of these. So many possibilities!!! To energize myself, Anthony Robbins’ video on Top Right Hand Corner is enough.

How about you? What type of Intelligences are you working on?

More on Multiple Intelligences Quiz

Multiple Intelligences Test that you can use.

Here is a video on MI or Multiple Intelligences for us mere mortals:) I took the MI test and watched this video before I used the MI Surfarium to set my goals and activities towards those goals. You can try the same strategy.

I was struggling to demystify Multiple Intelligences in words, and checked how others have done it.

Thats when I found this video, thank you Mr. Thompson.

Once we have found out what are our strengths or strong Intelligences, we can use certain types of learning and working experiences to strengthen them. There is an insightful MI Immerson SURFAQUARIUM designed by Walter McKenzie:

AppMom MISurfarium

So a Linguistic Smart person like me can develop myself in multiple ways:

I can develop my poet intelligence writing Haiku

OR

As an interpreter or story reteller as in:

http://utc.iath.virginia.edu/childrn/cbhp.html

OR

Use GarageBand on an iPhone or MixCraft for PCs and audioblog.

OR

Engage with the voicethread community

OR

Use WizIQ or YouTube and Podcast

I cannot help sharing this video about someone who knows her strength:

Time for me to explore all of these. So many possibilities!!! To energize myself, Anthony Robbins’ video on Top Right Hand Corner is enough.

How about you? What type of Intelligences are you working on?

Quiz for you Multiple Intelligences- Take the test

personality quiz

Discover your multiple intelligences

Another way to look at developing yourself, and growing is Multiple Intelligences. Each one of us has multiple strengths:

  • Verbal/Linguistic
    People with Linguistic intelligence are naturally good with writing or speaking and memorization.
  • Logical/Mathematical
    People with Logical intelligence are driven by logic and reasoning.
  • Visual/Spatial
    People with Visual intelligence are good at remembering images and are aware of surroundings.
  • Bodily/Kinesthetic
    People with Kinesthetic intelligence love movement, have good motor skills and are aware of their bodies.
  • Musical
    People with musical intelligence are musically gifted and have a “good ear” for rhythm and composition.
  • Intrapersonal
    People with intrapersonal intelligence are adept at looking inward.
  • Interpersonal
    People with Interpersonal intelligence are good with people and thrive in social interactions.
  • Naturalist
    People with Naturalist intelligence have a sensitivity to and appreciation for nature.

Read the rest of this entry

Quiz to help you discover your strengths- Personality type

personality quiz

Discover your strengths

http://similarminds.com/jung.html

December is a good time to look back, introspect and plan ahead. I like to discover my strengths and work on it. I would say, my strengths are writing, sharing, helping kids and others discover their dreams, their hidden plans and make them come true in a structured, step-by-step manner. I am a great believer in setting goals- both long-term and short-term. Thats how we can build focus and not get distracted.

I know many friends(esp. at- home mothers)  who feel that its no use planning, because it will never come true. Also it takes a lot of reflection, in-depth planning, syching with other family members and so on. No time for that. To them, I’ll say it will all be worth your while because slow and STEADY is the only way we can live our values and make our goals come true. I will not yet say DREAMS. We’ll come to that in a few months.

One way to begin this journey is to take a personality test. Lets take any one of these free tests (no need to take an expensive For Fee test):

http://www.truity.com/test/type-finder-research-edition

http://www.celebritytypes.com/test.php

https://www.123test.com/jung-personality-test/

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

http://similarminds.com/jung.html

http://personality-testing.info/tests/OEJTS/

Top TIPS:

Simplifying the Four dimensions of personality:

  • Extraversion/Introversion: this dimension describes our approach to managing our energy levels
  • Sensing/Intuition: this dimension describes our style of thinking about facts and ideas
  • Thinking/Feeling: this dimension describes our orientation to personal values, biases, beliefs and other subjective inclination.
  • Judging/Perceiving dimension describes our approach to goals and time management or how we make desicions or the big picture of life.

The goal of the personality test is to help us find our personality type, out of sixteen possibilities, which best reflects our attitudes and behavior.

Top questions in my mind:

1. Can a quiz give an objective view of our personality, when we are not consistent from day to day?

2. Can the results help us find ourselves and guide us to remain our authentic self or our true self?

3. Is this a valid way to set our goals? There are so many Personality Tests. Have you taken any?

What are your views? Do respond in the comments box ot write to me at prasannawrites@gmail.com

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