Monthly Archives

October 2018

How not to give memorized answers about your strength and weakness !

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An interview is just not a question and answer session. It is an opportunity for the candidate to connect and engage with the interviewer or the panel. There is no way a memorized scripted answer will help you establish that connection.

Let’s look at this response for Tell me about your weakness.

OR

 

 

What do you think of the Responses given for Weakness?

  • Did it sound like a cliched response?
  • Was the interviewer being honest?
  • Was he/she trying to portray his strength of being perfect as a weakness. After all ensuring things are correctly done is a positive trait

Let’s listen to answer for “What is your Strength” question

 

 

                           OR

What do you think of the Responses given for Strength?

  • Did it sound like a memorized response
  • Was there any genuinity in the response?
  • How is the answer different from the responses of other candidates

While you think about it, let us also hear from the Hiring Manager on what goes on in their minds while interviewing.

Straight from the Horse’s…Hiring Managers Mouth !!

 

                                               

                                                           

The Rookie Mistakes

So what went wrong with the responses. Let us look back the questions we asked.

  • As much hard the interviewer was trying to sound honest, the answers are far from it.
  • The responses are not ideally the ones that will differentiate you from the rest.
  • There is lack evidence supporting the statements that are made. You are a self -starter. How does the interviewer know that? You could have just picked an adjective from the internet and used it.

Looking up to Google or Quora for the ideal response will not work. They may sound fancy.

But is the response a true representation of who you are and what you can bring to the table?

Because that is the most important aspect an interviewer is looking for. With every response you give, they are judging how you think, how you react, whether you will be a good addition to their team.

Sound Authentic & Original – Because your experiences are unique , so are your answers  !!

A memorized response is not tailored to the job profile /job description or the company needs

  1. Understand the role you are applying for , read about the company. Do not miss out on reading the latest news and updates
  2. Go a step further and research about the interviewer. That will give an edge over others. You will have a better chance of connecting and sparking a meaningful conversation. And  you never know, you could have something in common – same interest or probably part of the same professional network.
  3. If you are going through a referral, talk to the current employee to get the internal scoop of what is happening. For ex – There may be a high stake project that the company has signed up for which needs specialized skill.
  4. Incorporate what you learnt, in your responses. It is imperative that your response should articulate how your skills and knowledge match those of the organization
  5. This also means that with every job interview you go for, you need to tailor your response according to the position and company in question.

Here are a few examples

“ I understand you are looking for someone skilled in SAP for your future projects that are in the pipeline. I do not have extensive experience but I am lucky enough to be work for around 6 months in my last project.”

OR

Hiring managers LinkedIn profile shows that he has a passion for trekking. And you happen to love trekking too. Use this to your advantage while answering –

“ I do not give up easily. Recently, I had to take on this very difficult trail and the weather was harsh too.. “

Important point to note here is that : If you are really not a trekker, you should not fabricate a response that is completely untrue.

A Strength lacking in supporting evidence is just a claim

Your strengths should not be just a pack of adjectives picked from the dictionary. The best way to answer this question is to follow a structure. Decide on a structure that suits you. However you may choose to answer , remember that your answer should have these 3 elements

  • The opening line which conveys your main message and builds context
  • A Proof which is in support of your main message. The substantiating statement should talk about the situation you were in , the action you took and the outcome of the action with measurable metrics.
  • Draw a connection with what you can offer is in line with the needs of the company

Typical answers to the Weakness Questions is not the right answer.

If you try to disguise your weakness by showcasing it as a strength, it shows the employer that lack self reflection. Try not to take the easy route of researching the answers from the internet. Instead look into your own life – your experiences, your failures, your achievements.

List of Don’ts while answering this question

  1. Your weakness should not be your true weakness. You are by nature lazy. Just because we need to sound honest, we cannot acknowledge that we are lazy.
  2. Be aware of the difference between “Shortcoming and Weakness” while drafting a response to this question. You are diabetic. You cannot say that being diabetic is a weakness. It is an ailment that you suffer from, unfortunately !
  3. Do not try to mask your weakness as a strength. As per a study, 90% of the responses to this question is Weakness that is put across as a strength. For ex “ I am not comfortable if I don’t finish my work on time. I get very worked up if I don’t meet deadlines, I am trying to work on it ”. No your interviewer need not know of this even if you are trying to improve on this aspect.

Here is how you can draft an honest response –

  1. Take some time out to introspect. Make a note of all your past experiences. Try to look for a pattern. Now see whether you lack in any area
  2. Find out a way to improve in that particular area. And start immediately !!!
  3. These areas of weakness should not be personality traits. It should be related to your skills and knowledge.
  4. Start associating aspirations against your weakness. You may lack in a particular skill. Take a certification for it. You feel that you have not got the experience of managing a sizeable number of team in your current project, look for volunteering opportunities outside of work which gives you chance to lead a team.
  5. Look up to your role models, your idols – may be your current manager or may be a well known personality. What do you like about them? What would it take for you to be like them?

Well rehearsed response Vs A Memorized one.

You cannot stop preparing for an interview just because you do not want to sound memorized. There is a subtle difference between a well rehearsed response and a memorized response.

  1. Write down your responses. Writing helps you refine your answers, correct your mistakes
  2. Give mock interviews
  3. Record your answers
  4. Ask for feedback on your answers to people you trust
  5. Anticipate additional questions that come up based on your responses.

 

 

What is wrong with your English? It’s certainly not grammar!

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Let’s pay close attention to an email here from Mr Khanna.

[table id=25 /]

What do you think is so wrong with the above written piece. Is it grammar?  Seems like that. But the problem here is not Grammar. It has too many words – some irrelevant, some redundant !

What goes wrong when writing is not to the point

  1. It is unnecessary long
  2. Overused adverbs and adjectives
  3. Wrong Choice of words  

Was there really a Grammar Issue?

The writer may be aware of Grammar issue and the writing may be grammar free, yet the writing is far from being error free.

The problem is, the more it gets verbose, the more the sentences are filled with unnecessary words, higher are the chances of mistakes.

What is concise writing ?

Concise writing is when you writing is brief, using the fewest words possible to clearly convey your idea . Clear and concise writing is effective because it is easily comprehensible.

The perils of not writing concise are many..

  1. Unforced Grammatical Errors
  2. The reader’s attention is lost
  3. The writing is not effective
  4. The meaning is not conveyed
  5. Not easily scannable in various devices , phone or iPad
  6. Difficult to consume
  7. Not engaging enough

How to write concisely ?

 

Choose your words deliberately & thoughtfully

Words are powerful.  For ex – “He improved over time” sounds better than “He got better with time”

Replace a phrase with a word

 

                                  

 

Use a Positive Tone

 

                                   

Eliminate redundant pairs

 

Words like – Return back, Each and Every, Add and Combine.

 

                              

 

Use simple words wherever possible.

 

For ex – Instead of fabricate- build . Instead of transmit-send.

 

Replace vague words with specific ones – vague sentences with specific statements

 

For ex – the ball fell 10 or 12 feet away from me is vague. The ball fell 10 feet away from me.

Or

All the stuff in his speech about Labor Rights did not make sense..

 

Eliminate unnecessary words.

 

Which sentence do you think sounds better?

I received and read the email you sent yesterday about the report you’re writing for the project. I agree it needs a thorough, close edit from someone who has an understanding of the audience and their expectations.

OR

I received your email about the project report and agree it needs an expert edit.

Pay attention to sentence length

 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote the first sentence below

We are endeavoring to construct a more inclusive society.

He then Revised it to this sentence.

We’re going to make a country in which no one is left out.

Some more techniques for crisp writing

  1. Have a deep understanding of the subject
  2. Have Strong Arguments
  3. Know your audience
  4. Imitate writers you admire.

Here are the explanations for mistakes from the example given at the beginning.

[table id=26 /]

 

Let us take a re-write the letter  “Concisely” and see for ourselves the impact the sentence has on the reader.

[table id=27 /]

 

How to work on the Vocabulary that matters – Active Vocabulary !!

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The right choice of words make a world of difference to what you intend to communicate. . And that is where most communications fail. Most of the people who find it challenging to communicate are –

  • at a loss words,
  • have a hard time saying precisely what they mean
  • repeat words
  • use wrong words

If you have not paid close attention to why you chose certain words over others, there is a reason for it. And it has to do with how your brain selectively retains certain words . You end up having a mental dictionary of a  set of “comfort” words that you choose to use while writing or speaking, repeatedly – over and over again.

Active & Passive Vocabulary

Your Go-To words that you use frequently, are the words in your Active Vocabulary

The words that you are aware of but hardly use , are the words in your Passive Vocabulary.

                                                            

Let us further explain it using these examples. In most of these sentences you would know the meaning of the word that is being used. But you may actually not use it on a regular basis.

These are the words that are Passive and that are hardly used.

 

If you have a strong and growing set of words in your Active Vocabulary, it is an indication that you are a good Communicator.

Size of Active Vocabulary small – What can go wrong?

  1. Speaking will not be fluent, writing will not be smooth  
  2. Message will not be conveyed
  3. Higher chances of misunderstanding
  4. Limited vocabulary is associated with limited comprehension ability

What does it mean to use appropriate vocabulary in English ?

  1. The use of right word in right context
  2. The spontaneous recall of words.
  3. Grammatical accuracy
  4. Fluency

Strong Vocabulary – Strong Communicator

The key to being to effective in your communication skills is to build on your Active Vocabulary. This is the vocabulary that has a direct impact on how you speak and write.

Using Rich Vocabulary can magically transform a sentence…

Without grammar, very little can be conveyed, Without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed– David A. Wilkins (1972)

Active Vocabulary is just not restricted to using different kind of words. It is using different combination of words based on the context in a distinctive manner.

Which sounds better???

I am happy                                                                                                                OR                          I am on the moon

He gave a big smile                                                                                                  OR                         He was grinning from ear to ear

Her eyes sparkled                                                                                                     OR                         Her eyes sparkled like diamonds

It was pouring. I could see a lot of umbrellas                                                     OR                          I saw a sea of umbrellas

 

Using figurative language , Phrases, Expressions, Metaphors , Similes

  1. Give an element of excitement
  2. Takes away the monotony by adding sentence variety
  3. Lends clarity to the message

Basic Mechanism for expanding Active Vocabulary : Read, Read, Read  !!

Here is how Reading helps in a multiple number of ways .

People have a tendency to remember words that they see. Take a quick glance at this list of words .

[table id=23 /]

Close your eyes and try to recollect at least 3 words that was unknown to you. If you succeed at that, try using it in a sentence.

Was that easy?

  Now Picture this 

[table id=24 /]

Here is a scene from a railway station. It is but natural for our minds to visualize the text as we read. If you are new to the word “Commuters”- the minute you read it you understand that people who travel in train are referred to as “Commuters”.

If a person reads extensively, there is a high chance that they will encounter same words over and over again.

Our brains absorption rate is higher if we are exposed to same words, texts, expressions over a period of time. Read these sentences –

“ He gave her a strange look and secured the door”

“ As a child, I felt very secure when mother was around”

                                                 Remember when we saw the word secure the last time. It was in the example given above.

“ to secure a seat..”

The same word used in different situations give a whole new meaning to the sentence. The process of Recalling words that you have seen before , a multiple number of times  in various contexts is easier.

Reading other people’s opinion helps us express ourselves better.

Editorials, Opinion sections in newspapers, blogs are all interesting ways to get an idea on other’s perspective on various subjects. By reading and understanding other’s point of view, you are broadening your own perspective.

5 Techniques for expanding your Active Vocabulary

 

Technique # 1:  Fit reading into your schedule

Allot some time half an hour before bedtime, reading while travelling – however best it fits in your daily schedule. The idea is to bring a discipline around reading.

Technique # 2 :  Increase your Reading Pool

Read books of different genres. It goes a long way in building your vocabulary. Think of the words and the sentence structure used in a Sci-Fi novel and how they will differ significantly from a non-fiction book. Your choice of book and author have a deep impact on your language as well.

Technique # 3 : Start Paying attention to Contextual Vocabulary

As you read more from a wider pool of content, you deliberately put in more effort to de-code the meaning of the word based on the Context. And when you do so, the word or the sentence has a higher chance of absorption. It is more likely that you recall these words and use it in appropriate situations while talking or writing. If you read an article on Finance, it will be heavily loaded with words such as

Asset, Equity,  or Phrases like “Investors should re-balance their portfolios”

A news item on cars will have a repertoire of words  such as

reliable, fuel efficient , Features.

  • Reader also tries to understand the meaning of the word based on the context. Context not only helps you guess the meaning of the word but also gives a good sense of how it is used.
  • You will notice that once you understand what a word means without taking external help – like looking into a dictionary or asking a person, you can easily transfer this knowledge of words into your speech or writing

Technique # 4 : Practice “Active” Reading

Vocabulary knowledge and comprehension skills are highly correlated. Comprehension is a complex process. Readers need to recognize individual words, understand their meaning within the context of the text and derive inferences and come to a conclusion. It is an easy process if you know the language well. But if English is not your native language, each of these steps can become challenging.

So how do you read to understand?

  1. As you read, pay attention to the Central message, the key idea, meaning of every paragraph.
  2. If needed highlight certain words and phrases that are difficult to understand.
  3. Refer to a dictionary. Understand the meaning.
  4. Look for synonyms.
  5. Re-read the sentence and see whether you understand the meaning.

 Don’t you think it will be easier for you to remember this word and using it at the right  instance having done such an elaborate exercise.       

Technique # 5 :  Speaking & Writing is as important as Reading

  • Application of Words- Only when you give yourself a chance to apply these words in your everyday routine, will they be a part of your active vocabulary kit. When you talk to your friend about an article that you read, you actively look for descriptive words to express your opinion. When you sit down to write, your effort is channelized towards creating variety in paragraphs and sentences with a variety of vocabulary words.
  • Learning from  mistakes – When you are processing information, facts ,memories and emotions, that’s when you can tell you know a language. You may fumble the first time, but the next time you speak you exactly know which words to use.
  • Helps thinking more clearly and logically- More tools you have in your “box of words,” the better you can communicate your ideas

 

 

Why Fluent Life???

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There are so many classes out there for improving communication skills. Then why choose Fluent Life?

Here are some reasons why Fluent Life will transform your Communication skills and your life. 

Our Pedagogy

The overall objective of our curriculum is for students to communicate effectively confidently in every given situation. At fluent life we thrive to create a culture of “Thinking and Learning” which allows students to deepen their understanding of the English Language. Fluent Life is not a regular Spoken English Class where students are taught grammar, sentence structure , conjunction or punctuation.

Our innovative approach to teaching English communication skill focuses on these important building blocks which will equip students to become lifelong confident communicators.

 

Personal Mentorship

Every student at Fluent Life is attached to a Personal Mentor. A Communication coach does for the rest of your life what your fitness trainer does for your health.

Experiential Learning

Communication, a very vital skill is more effective if there is an intervention at the right time.Experiential learning through interaction, perception, discussion, argument makes the learning more effective. 

Not many realize that a mentor or a coach can make a difference not only in the way you express yourself but also to the whole approach on communication as a soft skill.

Customized Study Plan

Planning is the basic requirement for success in Learning anything. Many students fail because of not being able to plan for their Learning Outcome/Goal. Your Personal Mentor will be responsible for developing a detailed study plan based on your needs. It is continuously customized iteratively by the mentor to ensure that the student covers all important topics during the course.

Active Discussion

It is natural to have doubts while learning anything new, this is where Personal Mentorship comes in. Each student is paired with a Personal Mentor/Trainer who provides doubt solving support as well as ensures adherence to the study plan so the student can complete the curriculum well within time.

Frequency of classes : Fits in your everyday schedule

We realize how challenging it can get if you have to attend college, work and also these classes regularly.

Frequency and timing of our classes are designed to seamlessly fall in your everyday schedule. Our expert language trainers schedule  classes everyday for just 30 mins. These classes will have small, measurable goals that helps the student stay disciplined. These small goals for each class also helps then get back on track if they happen to miss any of the classes.

Weekly assessments to help improve your English

Application of Knowledge  is the ultimate test of learning. Carefully and meticulously created Assessment and Evaluation tests, conducted at predefined intervals of the study plan accomplish this. If any gaps in Knowledge/Learning are found the concept/strategy needs to be given more attention and practice.Students receive constructive feedback from their personal communication coach in every stage of the learning process.

Value Based Pricing

Rs 160 per day , 10,000 for 10 weeks

And that is all it takes to communicate confidently in English. Let us compare this to other English Communication classes. And this is how it looks –

Rs 3500 for 1 month (one class per week)

1 hour class costing Rs 100 for every class 

Rs 5000 for 15 classes

If you do the math, none of these fees will fall under Rs 160 per day, which is what we offer.

With the help of a Communication Coach , students will work on identifying their specific goals, strengths and areas for development, thus ensuring that students reach their maximum potential.

At Fluent Life, we are committed to ensuring that you achieve your vision for success !!!

 

 

 

 

 

How to talk about a weekend trek to an office colleague who has just moved in the city and loves trekking

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Is it real enough?

Joining a new company, shifting cities, meeting new colleagues, exploring new your new city on weekend. What is not familiar about this story? Well, nothing. We all have shifted cities or seen new people coming to our cities. This is commonly occurring scenario in our lives and you can expect to be on either side of this conversation sooner or later.

Here is a detailed analysis of one such situation, where a newly shifted colleague seeks your advice.

“Your colleague is new in town. He loves trekking and so do you. You want to share your experience of trekking in and around the city.”

Read on to find the overall flow, specific vocabulary ,phrases , expressions that can be used for an effective and fluent conversation on this topic.

Your guide to having an engaging conversation!!!

A conversation has specific phases that it goes through.Here is a quick look on what we are going to cover to stir up  a smooth conversation

 

Content : What is it you are going to talk about?

Use the wh questions along with the key words to help you put together the content.

  1. Where did you go ? – Kalsubai Peak, Sinhagad Fort, Vikatghad
  2. How was the experience? – Memorable, Adventurous, Tiring.
  3. Who did you go with?- Friends, Colleagues, Group
  4. Where did you stay?- Camp, Hotel
  5. How did you go?- Drive, Took a flight

Contextual Vocabulary

Choosing Vocabulary to suit the particular context or scenario. In this case, it is a weekend trip.  This is where you weave in the content using the right vocabulary, Phrases, Metaphors and Similes and frame into well-structured sentences.

Some words you can choose from related to trekking

  1. Trekking club
  2. Trekking Equipment
  3. Trails
  4. Endurance
  5. Adventure
  6. Nature
  7. Altitude
  8. Meadows
  9. Adventure
  10. Backpacking
  11. Elevation
  12. Campsites
  13. Bulky Gear
  14. Mountain

Expressions for describing a trek

  • Outstanding cliff-top view of the hills and lakes
  • Trail starts climbing, moderating and dropping at points
  • Hills are ablaze in color
  • Scenic and wild
  • Sections of trail that is challenging
  • Descended the trail
  • Barrier of bushes and trees on either sides
  • Easy to navigate
  • Intersecting roads
  • Serene natural beauty, lush green forests, crystal clear springs and stars twinkling through the night

Some examples of phrases if you talk about a trekking equipment

  • Insulated, waterproof Gloves
  • Durable backpack
  • Fit is excellent and highly adjustable backpack
  • Insulated water bottle holders
  • Hiking shoes that has a toothy lugged sole that provides excellent traction
  • Roomy forefoot to keep your toes comfortable.
  • Ultralight tents
  • These tents Provides privacy and protection from wind

Organizing the Content : Putting it all together for a smooth flow in conversation

Now that we have the know what to talk and the words to choose, let us put it in a logical order

Initiate the conversation by talking about where you went.

“ I went to ….. For a trek this weekend”

Explain how you reached the place.

“ It is best accessible by road. Or you could fly down to … airport which is the nearest to …. And from there you can take a taxi. It takes around 3 hours by road.

Describe 5 things you really liked about the place. This can include some facts as well.

  • What is good about this trek is that unlike other treks in and around the state, we Pass through the remote villages. The local villages offer homestay to trekkers for a minimal cost.
  • <name of point> where most people get back. The trek from here onwards is tough but I would not say its impossible if you have the right gear and lots of energy bars stashed in your backpack. It is worth it because from top you can see the splendid view of the <name> ranges.
  • What is nice about this trek is that it offers a variety of trekking trails making it perfect for beginners and expert trekkers.
  • If you are into photography, do not miss capturing photos at these points…. <name of the places>
  • Stop by at this little shop on the way back. Perfect place to buy…

You have visited the place, you have first hand experience of trekking there. It is imperative that you give some tips based on your experience.

“ As much as you are tempted to stop at the trail on the way from the airport, avoid doing it. The trail gets extremely dangerous after 5 pm. Come again the next day. Will take hardly 30 min from the city.”

“ I would not recommend…  restaurant . Not worth the money”

“Don’t forget to pack your trekking pole. There are many steep ascends and descends on the trek.”

“ It is a plastic free zone. Don’t carry plastic bottles or any other plastic wrapped packaged item. You aren’t allowed to throw them once used and that ultimately adds on to the baggage weight”

Give information on necessary resources – like shop where to buy trekking gear from, clubs to join, whatsapp groups that post regular updates

 

The Model Answer

So I went to this beautiful trekking spot last weekend. It is around 130km from pune. Driving till there was pretty smooth – took the pune expressway all the way to Pali village. . The attraction here is Sarasgad Fort. Went with my trekking group. Remind me to add you in that group.

We went to Balleshwar Pali temple. parked our car there and started our trek. So, there are two ways which leads to the top of the fort – North and from south. Since we had a lot of beginners  in our group, we took the north route. It is a little easy because it gradually inclines. But yes towards the end of the climb there are huge rocks that we need to climb and they are pretty steep and it needs some basic rock climbing skills. This was the most interesting part of the climb as per me… hopping from one boulder to the other. Got pretty hot up there.. no trees at all. It was all worth it. View from up there was beautiful. You can see these neighboring  lush green hills around you and the tiny village down from there. The fort it itself has a huge history attached to it. Read about it before you head there. It was given a new look apparently during Shivaji’s rule. If you talk to the villagers they can tell you a lot about it. And yes they refer to it as Pagadicha Killa – Pagadi meaning turban.

I know you love camping but this one is not ideal to camp. Planning a camping trip next weekend. I will tell you how that goes or better still  – Join us !

 

 

CORE SKILLS THAT MAKES FRESHERS EMPLOYABLE

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A fresher does not have a lot of experience backing him up. Around 80% of your resume is the same as your peers, be it work experience or domain knowledge. What is it that will separate you from the rest? What are the set of skills that will help you stand out  from the rest of the crowd. The only way to know it for sure is to understand from the recruiter’s perspective.

Here are a list of Core skills that hiring managers are  looking for in fresh graduates .

Skill # 1 : Thinking & Reasoning Ability

Recruiters want problem solvers. Recruiters value employees who can think critically and reason objectively. These are the employees who bring creative solutions to the table and help businesses to innovate and remain competitive.

WHAT IS THINKING AND REASONING ABILITY?

Thinking and Reasoning ability involves viewing things objectively to come to  logical conclusions. It shows how individuals unique problem-solving capabilities are dependent on understanding the concept, asking right questions, connecting the dots ,manipulating the given information and making the right judgement

WHERE DO WE USE IT?

Financial Investment A will be more beneficial that B?

Image result for clip art where to invest                                                                                    Email Advertisement – Fake or Real??

Image result for email advertisement spam

Which Career option to choose from ?

 

All these scenarios involves

  1. Taking in information and making inferences
  2. Understanding ideas and concepts
  3. Ability to  differentiate good from  bad, what works for you , what does not
  4. Arriving at logical conclusions.
HOW DO WE DEVELOP IT?

There are many active ways through which thinking skills can be enhanced, nurtured and strengthened. These are skills are not something that students can learn just by hearing about them.

Skills needed to assimilate information, manipulate  them, evaluate and justify comes into play when students are involved in activities such as reading materials rich in content , analyzing an opinion piece, forming own opinion, writing essays, participating in debates etc.

Deliberately and consciously surrounding yourself in an intellectual environment will definitely go a long way in increasing the quality of analytical mind.

Skill # 2 : Social Reliability

Being able to relate, understand and respond appropriately  to people from diverse backgrounds, diverse culture and most importantly diverse point of view is the measure of how “Socially Relatable” an individual is .

WHY ARE COMPANIES LOOKING FOR SOCIALLY RELIABLE EMPLOYEES?

Employees are  always required  to understand human nature and personality differences.  The new requirement for employees in today’s’ age is to understand a wider, richer array of perspectives than ever before . How relatable and how acceptable you are in your society has a direct link with personal and professional success.

HOW DO WE DEVELOP IT?

The world is becoming increasingly diverse and includes people of many religions, languages, economic groups, and other cultural groups.People are also getting increasingly sensitive to many issues trivial or otherwise. These factors can become barriers to communication that prevents you from talking to and building relationships with people.

  1. A guided approach will help you understand various cultures and subcultures.
  2. A planned curriculum will help you learn how to tactfully handle different social situations, and effectively modify your communication.
  3. Social Relatability skills are best learnt if they are integrated in your daily activities like reading about various cultures, understanding history and customs of various regions, listening to people tell their stories and most importantly examining your  biases about people from other cultures.

Skill # 3 : Communicating Persuasively

Persuasive communication is the art of convincing others and to effectively change the minds and  behavior of those with whom you disagree.

WHY ARE COMPANIES LOOKING FOR PERSUASIVE COMMUNICATORS?

Persuasive Communication is part of 90% of high impact communication we do in our professional life. They are of utmost important since only through persuasion can you sell ideas,  product or services.Employers seek employees who are able to synthesize ideas ,and convincingly and effectively convey it.

HOW DO WE DEVELOP IT?

Persuasion is a skill that can be learnt and that can be mastered only if put to use.

To persuasively communicate , you will need to use the right tools and techniques that will help you understand audience, know what they want,  build arguments that will strengthen the case, use tactics that can emotionally and logically appeal to the audience. These strategies will dramatically boost your ability to influence.

Skill # 4 : Learnability

WHAT IS LEARNABILITY?

Learnability is becoming a key determinant for hiring. Corporates are moving towards a learning centered work culture  where they want employees to

  1. Direct their own learning,
  2. Learn fast and
  3. Learn in depth in order to apply their learning on the job front.
HOW DO WE DEVELOP IT?

Self-learning involves deciding on a goal, a plan to study and knowing the right resources to access. You may have the inclination to learn more but there may be many roadblocks to be effective at it

– Language Gap : Language gap affect learn ability levels. If understanding ability is low, it will definitely have an impact on how fast or how effective the learning process is.

– Challenge in asking right questions and knowing what resources to refer to

–  Challenges in creating an action plan – Setting a goal, Making a plan , evaluating the outcomes – all these may seem a daunting task

The program is designed to address these challenges
  • Improving listening ,reading and comprehension skills by way of exposure to rich and complex content, by reading and analyzing complex thoughts on various topics will give you a firm grasp on the language.
  • Improving your reading and comprehension skills will reduce unnecessary reading time and enable you to read in a more focused and selective manner. You will also be able to increase your levels of understanding.
  • Activities such as validating a written piece, understanding a text and arriving at a conclusion will help build an agile mind which is much needed for improving your learnability skill.
  • Being able to formulate, set, and make progress toward goals is complex.  A mentor will help recognize and manage any challenges that you face.

Skill # 5 : Individuality

Individuality is what makes you – YOU. These are the elements that form are an integral part of you –

  1. Your opinion and  beliefs
  2. Your upbringing
  3. Your preferences,
  4. Your Strength and Weakness
  5. Your Talents
  6. Your Achievements
  7. Your emotions  
WHY ARE COMPANIES LOOKING FOR  HIGHLY INDIVIDUALISTIC PERFORMERS?

Companies are looking for employees who are ambitious, high achievers, have a drive to improve , and who focus on growth and performance.

HOW DO WE DEVELOP IT?

Understanding your individuality may be one of the biggest challenges. How do we define a person who has high individuality?

  1. Aware of strengths and weakness beyond what is mentioned in your resume
  2. Will Clearly know his/her standing
  3. Will have an opinion which he/she believes in
  4. Has high self esteem and self confidence

With proper guidance and concerted effort between the mentor and student, finding your individuality and expressing it is a skill that can be developed & nurtured.

Skill # 6 : Work Ethics

A work ethic is a set of moral principles , values that  you believe in and practice as a part of your life’s philosophy . When it comes to work, your ethics also encompass your overall attitude about work

WHY ARE COMPANIES LOOKING FOR EMPLOYEES WITH HIGH WORK ETHICS ?

Honesty, Integrity, Accountability – these are some very important traits that employers look for in an employees. Employees with high work ethic come with a positive attitude, A positive attitude within a workplace will help boost employee morale and productivity. On the contrary, a sense of negativity around an office can often suspend momentum and compromise with the entire work culture.

HOW DO WE DEVELOP IT?

Developing work ethics can be a challenging . You can set your own standard of excellence, take on a lot of projects and work endlessly. But does it mean you have good work ethics?

The key to developing good work ethics and values is – By seeking feedback. Why do you think feedback mechanism is important to developing a strong work ethic? 

Poor Work ethics is something that happens subconsciously. It is easy to get into the rut of not being responsible for things around you, being undisciplined or respecting yours or others time.   

The solution is to involve yourself in a project that has a Strong Feedback mechanism.

Take a task which will make you pause and think about the repercussion of your action or lack of action.

A formal feedback structure is essential because it helps you

  1. cultivate self -discipline,
  2. practice punctuality ,
  3. prompt you to be professional.

Working under strict timelines will help you prioritize  and manage your time wisely.

Actively participate in projects that are not just limited to your school or college . For instance , if you Organizing a cultural event in your society, you are answerable to the many people around you and that will automatically instill a sense of accountability in you.

These Core Skills can be developed and honed on an on-going basis through personalized training sessions , insightful reading and observation.. It takes conscious effort, ongoing practice, and a long term commitment to self-development.

 

6 Ways To Speaking Fluent English in the less than 3 months

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Who doesn’t want to speak fluent English , sound and look confident. How to speak fluent English is probably the most searched query on google. And of course internet is rife with self help articles, videos and suggestions.

Ask yourself these questions-

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A “No” to most of these questions indicate that you are not on the right track.

So what is missing? You have put in a lot of effort and there is a desire to learn and improve.

The missing link here is –  ” HAVING A PERSONAL COACH”

Who is a Personal Communication Coach?
He is –
a) Someone who can has a clear understanding of what is lacking and can guide accordingly.
b) Someone who can give an aerial view on how things look from a different & fresh perspective.

Communication is a subject that cannot be self learnt. The ability to communicate effectively is harder than solving a math problem and is a skill that many lack in.

Breakdown in the communication process can hinder your progress in ways that you can’t imagine. Let us look at various scenarios here

Collaboration & Team-Work
Kiran was brought into the company at a lead level. Along with managing a team of 5 members , she had to interact with several departments within her company as well as with global clients. Moving from a completely technical and domain specific role to a role where she had to balance , manage and develop relationship was proving challenging to her. She knew her subject well and could guide her team in every technical aspect that they came across. She realized that being a subject knowledge expert is not enough. She was failing when it came to communicating with different stakeholders. During the performance review time, her manager gave her the feedback that she was expecting. She needs to improve her communication skills.
Self-Esteem & Confidence
Rahul’s parents have been noticing a change in behavior ever since he started with college. They assumed that business school’s hectic schedule is the reason behind his mood swings. It took some time for them to get to know the truth. Rahul felt left behind in college. He was not able to relate to any of his group of friends Sometimes, he was even subjected to bullying. His low self-esteem and low confidence levels did not help improve the situation.

What do you think is common between Kiran & Rahul. Why, Yes !! Failure to communicate effectively.

Communication Skills Are Teachable
The good news is that communications skills are not something that you necessarily are born with. The elements that make up a sound set of communication skills are definitely teachable.

Personalized Learning Environment with a Communication Coach
Learning to speak English is best learnt in a highly personalized one on one environment where the coach actively engages with the student in a customized manner.

Read on to understand how important it is to invest in a communication coach who can partner with you to enhance your English communication skills and ensure you communicate fluently in less than 3 months.

These are the ways a coach can make all the difference –

1. Reflection–Observation-Application Model of Coaching

Your communication coach will be your external eyes and ears- a guiding force who will help you reflect and observe critically on aspects that you need work on.

He will partner with you to apply what you have learnt in your real life. He plays an important role in helping you understand who you are and helps you face any kind of situation by :

Focusing on “You”
A coach will have meaningful conversations with you and give you an opportunity to focus on yourself and your areas of improvement. Amidst the chaos of the busy life, most of us forget to focus on “US”. A coach will force us to pause, think and move along the right direction before a flaw turns fatal.

Uncovering your Blind Spots
A communication coach will help you give an objective and accurate picture of where you need to improve. He will help uncover your weak spots which you never knew of.

Breaking the Bad Habit of Bad communication
Communicating ineffectively can be termed as a bad habit that is deeply rooted in you. A coach is instrumental in breaking this habit.  He teaches new improved ways of having conversations that will eventually form an Integral part of who you are.

2. Goal Setting and Action Steps – A coach will enable you to carve the space in your life for your communication goals. With the help of a coach you can break down goals into smaller, achievable & measurable goals

3. Goal Progress Vs Goal Commitment – Having a private coach helps you stay on track. A weekly status update “Goal Call” with your coach on the progress of your goals will ensure you are disciplined and committed.

4. Conflicting and Multiple goals – A complex process like communication will have conflicting goals, each having its own importance.
What do we mean by this? Let’s us take Rahul’s example :

Rahul was getting a lot of negativity from his friends. One of the feedback that the coach gave him was to ignore these comments. At the same time, to increase his effectiveness in communication, Rahul had to get feedback from people around him. These are obviously two conflicting tasks. With the help of his coach, Rahul learnt to filter out the comments based on what is constructive and will help him develop vis-à-vis those which will have a negative impact on him..

A coach will help in managing and controlling multiple goals and ensure that we give the same amount commitment to achieving these contradictory goals without giving priority to one and neglecting the rest.

5. Personal Responsibility– The basic reason that people opt for personal trainers in the gym is the very reason one should choose a personal communication coach. You worker harder with a coach than you would by yourself.. A communication coach will be of great support in this journey of learning and communicating in English.

6. Attitude towards English- Attitude is an important factor to be taken into account when attempting to learn and master a particular language. It’s natural to feel anxious or nervous when you are out of your comfort zone.
Having a communication coach will help you look at the language differently with a fresher perspective..

Fluent Life : Fluent English

At FluentLife, a communication coach works with the student to create a structured environment which fosters learning, growth and development .
Having a coach on your side can quite literally transform the state and quality of your communication abilities as well as enhance your personality . Through our customized sessions we ensure that the motivation that is given in class lasts beyond these classes.

6 Key Aspects To Developing A Confident Personality

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Self Confidence goes a long way in building your “Personal Brand”. A confident person is looked upon and trusted. A confident communicator has desirable qualities that paves the way for success.

Here are 6 key aspects to developing a confident personality

1.Prepare and Prepare well. If you have a good knowledge of the subject, it will help you speak with certainty and assertively. It is also important to –

  • Analyze your audience / People you are interacting with .
  • Tailor your message according to your audience for a better connect.When your audience agrees with you, you have this magical surge of confidence within you
  • Your body language reflects how you feel about yourself. Make a deliberate attempt to work on these nonverbal messages that you give away.

2. Believe in yourself and the message you want to deliver. The audience can sense it if your message lacks conviction.

This is the reason preparing and practicing is of utmost importance. Once you understand what the audience is looking for, you will be well rehearsed with your own set of argument, facts and evidences. To be convinced about the message you are delivering you need to –

  • Choose your Strategy, Content and Words wiselyWhat should be held back?  What can be shared? What should be shared so that it works in your favor.
  • Create a win-win Situation– No one likes to be at the losing end. Are you suggesting something that will help the other person?  By understanding & respecting their needs, you are creating a positive environment. Self Confidence thrives in an healthy atmosphere which is built on mutual trust.

3. Listen more than you speak- Good listening skills are as important as good communication skills. Being a careful and considerate listener helps you build stronger relationships.

4. Increase your Social Intelligence . There is a direct link between great social intelligence and high confidence level.

  • Break out of your Comfort zone : If you are socially awkward, then you need to put that extra effort to be social. It is natural to want to interact with people who you feel comfortable with. The more you interact with people with diverse cultures , different professional background, you are creating an opportunity for yourself to tap into fresh and new perspectives from people around you.
  • Different Personalities, Different Perspectives:Broaden your ThinkingYour thoughts will not be just limited to your opinion and your experiences. You will learn to understand and respect different point of views.Understanding other people’s emotions and predicting their actions and behavior makes you a better communicator and gives the necessary boost to your confidence levels.

5.Dress Appropriately- When you look good you feel good. Moreover, people judge you by the way you dress. Focus on making a good first impression.

6.Focus on Personal Growth & Development : Never be complacent. Try to think of ways of continually improving, not just in your professional field but also outside of work. Make a habit of reading .Everyday !!! Take up a new hobby, Take certifications that will help you advance in your career. When you learn something new, you will get a personal sense of satisfaction which will definitely boost your confidence.

 

“ Self Confidence is the most attractive quality you can have.How can anyone see how great you are, if you can’t see it yourself”- Unknown