One of the better decisions that I have taken is to make my business trips to other cities be worth it. Usually, I fly in the morning, finish my meeting or my talk and fly out that night. It’s very….err..umm…businesslike and banal. So, I made two resolutions that added the much needed mojo into my travel.
1) I decided that I will meet up with interesting people in each city I visit. This is where my Podcasts, Kiruba.TV (Podcast with Achievers) , Digital PowWow (Social Media Podcast) and First Book (Podcast with Authors) comes in handy. I always have someone interesting people to reach out to.
2) I decided to add at-least an extra day to my itinerary to visit interesting and offbeat places in the city.
Here’s to more travel, visiting more interesting people and places!
I was very surprised to find a 50% discount on the Classic Levi’s 501 jeans. It was an amazing deal and picked up four of them. Decided to try one at the ‘Trial Room’ and quickly realized why they put these jeans on distress sale. I could not even button up two of those buttons. After struggling with it for 10 minutes, I gave up. As I placed the four jeans back in the counter, the store dude gave me a ‘I knew it’ smile.
I have recently started using Scrivener as my writing tool. I have found this useful over MS Word especially for organizing my thoughts. However, am a newbie and just started to scratch around. Does someone here use Scrivener extensively? Would love to get some tips.
Great insights into how to conduct a great workshop. Very useful tips if you are an organizer. http://t.co/LMRUBvHeIE
Original Article: Workshops are hopeful things. They’re sold on so much promise, but that promise is often dashed as students discover their instructor has little idea how to teach anything.
For years I was a workshop guy. I taught them, I studied them, I even hired people to do them for other companies. I watched many instructors run them and I know the common mistakes. Here’s my best advice on how run a workshop people will love.
RULE #1: A 3 HOUR LECTURE IS NOT A WORKSHOP
The word workshop implies that work will be done in a shop like atmosphere. This means the center of attention should be on the students doing work, not on the expert gloating in their own ego.
Most experts suck at workshops because they are used to lecturing. A lecture has the spotlight on the speaker, but a workshop has the spotlight on each of the students.
The skills involved in designing workshops are very different for this reason. Instead of crafting a message for people to listen to, a good workshop is crafted to give students the opportunity for guided instruction in doing things. Many workshops are born from lectures, which explains why those workshops are so boring.
RULE #2: THE MORE STUDENTS YOU HAVE, THE LESS OF A WORKSHOP IT IS
Better workshop instructors make larger groups feel more interactive, but beyond 20 or 25 people the instructor is spread thin. The common approach for large groups is to have people work in teams, as they at least get to be interactive with each other while the instructor is helping other students. In bad cases group work is a copout: the exercises aren’t interesting enough, or students struggle to work with annoying strangers who are too pushy or too passive. Working in groups of 2 to 4 people in a challenging exercise ensures everyone works, but larger than that invites more time spent co-ordinating than working. Continue Reading…
Four excellent tips on Personal Branding for Introverts. Actually, these work for everyone.
Original Link: http://t.co/NDTgcfvU80
I had just finished a talk at a leading technology company when an engineer approached me. “I liked your ideas about personal branding, and I can see how they’d work,” he told me. “But most of them aren’t for me — I’m an introvert. Is there anything I can do?” What he didn’t realize is that (like an estimated one-third to one-half of the population) I’m one, too.
Despite the common misperception that all introverts are shy, and vice versa, they’re two very different phenomena. (Author and introversion expert Susan Cain defines shyness as “the fear of negative judgment,” while introversion is “a preference for quiet, minimally stimulating environments.”) I actually like giving talks to large groups (that day, there were 180 people in the room and another 325 watching online). I’m happy to mingle and answer questions afterward. But at a certain point, I’ve learned through experience, I have to get away and go somewhere by myself.
Conference organizers and attendees will often ask you to join them for dinner the evening before, or cocktails afterward. Rationally, it’s a win-win: they perceive more value because they get to interact with you personally, and you can make interesting business connections and learn tidbits about attendees that allow you to personalize your talk. For those good reasons, I’ll often say yes, but I’ve had to learn my limits: if I’ve been traveling too much, or had a frenzied schedule that day, or my social chops are hampered by lack of sleep, it’s far better to refuse. Like a car that requires periodic oil changes, I have to recharge with quiet, alone time.
It’s true that many of the best ways to establish your brand in the professional world are still weighted toward extroverts: taking leadership positions in professional associations, starting your own conference or networking group, or — indeed — embracing public speaking (all of which frequently entail extended social contact).
Over time, I’ve learned “when to say when” and graciously call it an evening. But for many introverts, it’s a tough balance. One executive at a large consulting firm once asked me how she could be truly authentic in her dealings with others, given how uncomfortable she was when it came to networking; she worried she’d have to put on a smiley, hypersocial façade. Yet I’m convinced it’s possible to be real about building connections and developing our personal brands, while still respecting our natural tendencies.
First, social media may actually be an area where introverts, who thrive on quiet contemplation, have an advantage. With a blog — one of the best techniques for demonstrating thought leadership — you can take your time, formulate your thoughts, and engage in real dialogue with others. Indeed, while extroverts desperate for their next fix are trading business cards at cocktail parties, you can build a global brand on the strength of your ideas.
Next, with a little strategy and effort, you can become a connector one person at a time. A friend of mine used to work at a large research hospital; it was a sprawling institution with countless divisions and initiatives. She made a simple commitment: each week, she’d ask a person from a different office or department to lunch. Often, she’d meet them initially at company meetings or through project work; if the suggestion to have lunch together didn’t arise naturally, she’d tell them about her project, and they were almost always intrigued enough to join her.
Within a few months, she had begun to build a robust network inside her organization — on her own, quiet terms (Susan Cain herself told HBR that we ought to “be figuring out ways where people can kind of pick and choose their environments, and then be at their best.”) My friend’s “lunch initiative” exemplifies the research of Ronald Burt at the University of Chicago, who urges workers to “bridge structural gaps” in their organizations. In other words, you can make yourself professionally indispensable if you develop connections that enable you to break through silos, and identify and surmount knowledge gaps.
Introverts can also use subtle cues to establish their personal brand. As well-known psychologist Robert Cialdini told me during an interview for my book Reinventing You, simply placing diplomas or awards on your office walls can help reinforce your expertise to others. (Cialdini saw this powerful effect in action at an Arizona hospital he advised; exercise compliance increased 32% almost immediately after the physical therapy unit started displaying their staff’s credentials.)
Finally, use your downtime strategically. You’re likely to need more “thinking time,” as introvert and former Campbell Soup Company CEO Doug Conant advised in an HBR post. So while the extroverts may be schmoozing with colleagues after work, you can ensure you’re being productive while you recharge by reading industry journals or thinking creatively about your company and your career. (Introverts often do their best thinking on their own, as Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino suggests, rather than amidst the scrum of an office brainstorming session.)
In popular imagination, personal branding is often equated with high-octane, flesh-pressing showmanship. But there are other, sometimes better, ways you can define yourself and your reputation. Taking the time to reflect and be thoughtful about how you’d like to be seen and then living that out through your writing and your interpersonal relationships (and even your décor) is a powerful way to ensure you’re seen as the leader you are.