One who values own words, is valued by others!

I had two bosses – first one always stick to his words, second one used to lie to walk away from his own words as per his convenience. Let’s call them A and B, respectively.

There was this incident, ‘A’ told team to plan for the upcoming planned holidays but later organization changed the policy and suspended planned holidays. ‘A’ could have easily backed off from his words or could have lied citing policy change. But! this guy did something else. He worked with his bosses to make sure people who have already planned holidays should be allowed to go ahead with leave. He transparently updated the team on the changes.He asked others to also plan their holidays, but to go on vacation turn by turn.

In other incident, ‘B’ promised to one of the teammate ‘T’ that for a matter he will check with higher management. My teammate ‘T’ followed up on this, but looks like ‘B’ forgot to work on the action item. ‘B’ could have easily accepted it and said “He could not work on this”. But! this guy choose something else. He told ‘T’ that “you were supposed to do this first, then only, I will check with the higher management” which was actually false. I can testify this as I was present on both the occasions.

‘A’ choose to stick to his words when he could easily walk off  and ‘B’ choose a white lie for petty thing when he could easily stick to his words.

I observed that ‘A’ was more relaxed at work, widely respected by the team, even by the people who were not very happy for some reason. Whatever he said, people believed him immediately, he was a trusted leader. He wore a genuine smile through out the day at work.

‘B’ was seen tense frequently. The kind of respect he was getting from the team, was same as any ‘boss’ will get. Whatever he will say to them,people will take it with a pinch of salt, clearly, he was not a ‘trusted’ ‘leader’. He wore fake smiles during conversations. He was desperate to be seen as a trusted leader. In fact, in a few conversations, he mentioned that how we need to have more trust within team and all. He was living a life full of anxiety and insecurity.

“Tell a lie once and all your truths become questionable”

‘Importance of sticking to words’ is something that many of leaders forget over the time. This works as an adversary to them. A person who does not value own words is seldom valued by others genuinely. Respect and trust are something that can not be asked for. These things are need to be built by our actions. ‘Sticking to words’ is one of these actions.

“Trust starts with truth and ends with truth”

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore mentioned in his drama ‘The King of Dark Chamber’ –  One can’t cross a river by merely standing and staring. This quote is applicable to every goal that each one of us set for ourselves.  At a high level, recipe to success is

“set goal —> plan —> execute —> success”

To meet the success, plan & execution goes hand in hand. Many times, one get stuck in ‘plan’ with day dreaming about success, imagining time after success. It is like ‘standing and staring at the water’ hoping to cross the sea. ‘Execution’ is must on the path to success but unfortunately, this is the one that most often goes wrong.

A mechanism to keep track if execution is aligned to the ‘plan’ can help avoiding this. Break bigger goal in smaller milestones with well defined  deliverables for each of the milestone. Review the execution progress for each milestone, take immediate action to fix things, if needed. This works well for professional and personel goals.

Thanks for reading!

“The more you talk about them, the more important they will feel. The more you listen to them, the more important you will make them feel” – Roy T. Bennett

“Respect” and “Recognition” continues  to top the chart  of employees expectations at work. Both are related to each other. People feel respected when they are positively recognized. Many organisations understand this. They try their best to recognise people with rolling out lots of recognition programs in form of awards and citations etc. which is good but not enough. People expect “culture”of “respect” & “recognition”, a continued sense of being respected and recognized. Organisations can not just rely on traditional way of recognition to fulfil these expectations. Listening is a great way of making people feel recognized and respected hence Leaders need to create a culture of listening.

One of the most sincere forms of respect is – actually listening to what another has to say. 

Bryant H. McGill

A culture of Listening has other bonuses  as well, like – avoiding conflicts, getting pulse of people who form organization, making people feel valued, persuading them etc. 

Not listening is the reason for so many misunderstandings and conflicts. 

-Johnny Flynn

The best way to persuade people is with your ears – by listening to them. 

-Dean Rusk

Listening is  not just “hearing”, it’s much more than that. People can easily identify if you are actually listening or just hearing. Listening is a skill that helps progressing one towards personal and professional leadership. I seldom find a “leader” without good listening skills. 

A good listener takes care of below four key attributes (BCCC) of good listening skills:-

B – Body language – Any conversation is much more than exchange of content. Tone, emotions, eye contact, posture, facial expressions etc. conveys more things than the words of speakers.  Body language help understand the mood of speaker better than anything.

Tone is often the most important part of a conversation – and listening is so much more important than what you say. 

-Hoda Kotb

C – Connect – connect to speaker by actively engaging in conversation – Ask question to clarify & understand the content. Be attentive and open-minded while listening. Provide regular feedback and appreciation without jumping to conclusion. Take care not to interrupt and impose your solutions, let the speaker put their thoughts across. Please note that faking to connect can be counter productive. This is the mistake many listener commit. Being able to connect to speakers is the most important among all the four points. ‘Connecting’ has the power to make speakers feel valued, respected and recognized.

There is difference between listening & waiting for turn to speak

Simon sinek

“Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.” 

– Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

C – Content  – understand speaker’s content

C – Context  – understand the context of conversation

Listening is a skill. Skills can be developed with practice.  A simple exercise can help one in getting habit of listening. Each one of us has multiple conversations on daily basis; personal & professional. A person should set a goal of practicing BCCC in any three conversations daily for two weeks, I personally recommend to start with personal conversations. One should daily analyse her progress on application of BCCC before going to bed; taking short personal notes can be of immense help here if you find difficult to do it in mind. Extend the exercise for two more weeks with a goal of five BCCC conversations daily. 

All the best!!

Listening is a master skill for personal and professional greatness. 

-Robin S. Sharma

 

Harnessing power of comparison to stay positive!

Life is full of emotions and emotions are like a wave, it has crests & troughs. Sometime, we are filled with lots of positive energy, this is crests of life wave. Other time, we experience troughs, lows in life. Brain generates these feelings (waves) based on the continuous comparisons it is performing. Good or bad are subjective, most of the time based upon societal and cultural acceptance. Our brain has inbuilt capability of doing comparisons. It takes these acceptances as parameters and do comparisons to bring out the objective results of good and bad. As a result, we tend to benchmark our performance based on the comparison with others around us. This is absolutely normal, everyone goes through this on daily basis without noticing.

Crests are fine but troughs need more attention to lead a balanced happy life. Troughs are time when we are filled with negative energy. These can have chaining effects, leading to irreversible damage in extreme conditions. Un-handled troughs can make one vulnerable to severe depression. And, depression has been cited as one of the main reasons of – why people commit suicide. This is extreme but in normal cases too, troughs eat up valuable and fixed time of our lives. Handling troughs effectively is of utmost importance.

One need to accept that trough phase is temporary, one need to be “Hopeful” through out this phase. Most of us do this automatically and fight through the trough. Intense troughs need special attention though. We know that “comparisons” are reason behind troughs and “hope” during these times, is the way out. Comparisons by brain are unavoidable in normal cases, but can be used for one’s advantage by keeping “hope” intact using a simple exercise.

Any comparisons will have at least two parties. Generally, one is person and other is her surrounding. This is done by brain automatically. Let us have an intentional comparison when feeling low, have two parties as – your past and your present. Actually, both the parties are ‘you’ in this comparison but from different times. Take a sheet, make two partitions – present and past. Under present section, write down all the achievements (as many as possible) that you had in past 5 years/months/days, including the smallest ones. Write down what you are able to do now that you were not able to do 5 years/months /days before. These achievements could be as small as learning to pronounce a word that you were not able to do earlier. Repeat the same for past section, write down that you were able to do before 5 years/months/days. I am sure, list under present section is longer than the one under past section.

Look closely, you have been under troughs before as well and you were successfully out of these. Tell yourself that you did it before and you will be able to do this again. But, this time, it could be really tough. There might be ‘not so good’ things that might have happened, like – lost money in business, lost a job, lost someone etc. Let’s look at few of these. One can lose money in businesses for n number of reasons, may be overall market is down. Some business decision went wrong etc. In former case, you just need little more patience and probably you are not alone. In later case, you learned what did not work for you. You can avoid this in future. There are many examples who started from zero in business at varied age and phases of life, you can also do the same. Losing a job, is ok too. Get relevant or enhance existing skills, if needed and start apply to new jobs. Do not put all eggs in single basket, have back ups. You can always start over in such situations. Losing someone is irreversible, one has to accept such things and move on. All of these are just incidents, each one of us have these in life. Most of these have easy ways out. We just need to relax a bit and take a re-look on these. These are just part of life, these are not your failures really, rather tests on how you look at life.

Always have a list of positive people around, these can be family or friends. Talk to these people more often. Positive people are good at appreciation. They help seeing brighter side of things and helps keeping one “hopeful” during trough times.

All the best!!

Look in the mirror, that’s your competition.

                — Mick Kremling

Getting in the habit of Appreciation

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.

– Mother Teresa

We, humans, do not just enjoy appreciation; we crave for it. It’s a human trait. Probably, each one of us has felt need to be appreciated and witnessed power of appreciation sometime. In a poll of around 60,000 employees, conducted by Sirota Survey Intelligence, showed that appreciation is a powerful way to deliver on people’s key expectations – Treatment with respect, dealt with equitably and gaining sense of connection with organisation on work and personal level. A simple thanks, noticing the good in others help us noticing the good in ourselves. It makes a lot of difference in relationships.

Many organisations have core values revolving around – Respect, Equitably, honesty, integrity etc. Giving appreciation is necessary to deliver on these values. At first, giving appreciation can be awkward to a leader. This gets easier with practice. Keep some time aside for appreciation during key meetings and interactions. But! Do it when you actually mean it. People are smart enough to identify if you are faking it and this can do damage instead of good.

Rules of effective appreciation:

Sincere – Do not fake. Say it if you mean it.

Immediate – Do not wait for doing something special, that may take time. Seize the moment, do it right away.

Often – Do it often and appropriately. Do not assume it’s part of regular job and expected.

Specific – Make it specific. Saying “Thanks for making project plan ready with all the details needed. I know, this takes lot of time and efforts.” is more effective than saying “Thanks for good job on the project”.

“Sincere” is most critical among all the rules and one has to get in habit of appreciation to do it right. This not only helps in organisations but also of great help in personal relationships. Start working on the habit with people more closer to you personally. They can be spouse, parents, kids and friends. Set a goal for your self to appreciate three people daily for two weeks. Make sure to strike a balance between rule of “Often” and “Sincere with keeping in mind “Immediate” and “Specific”. Keeping track of goals in form of some personal notes comes very handy.

Now, you are comfortable balancing the four rules, extent the exercise to work place. Set a goal of appreciating five people daily for a month, needless to say, keeping the rules in mind.

All the best!!

10 cool Vim editor tips users should know

1. Opened a file with vim but does not have permission to write, forgot to do sudo? No worries, you can still write to the file if user has sudo rights.

:w !sudo tee %

2. Revert document to 5min back. Opposite of “:earlier” is “:later”.

:earlier 5m

3. Execute external command and dump output in current window.

:.! [command]

Add current date in the fileopened.

:.! date

4. Delete commands

diw to delete the current word.

di( to delete within the current parenthesis.

di” to delete the text between the quotes.

More can be found at

:help text-objects

5. Turn vim into hex editor. Open file with “-b” to avoid any damage.

:%!xxd

Revert:

:%!xxd -r

6. Searching

/pattern       - search forward for pattern
?pattern       - search backward
n              - repeat forward search
N              - repeat backward
*              - search for word currently under cursor
g*             - search for partial word under curso

Some variables available to set:

:set ignorecase - case insensitive
:set smartcase  - use case if any caps used 
:set incsearch  - show match as search proceeds
:set hlsearch   - search highlighting

7. Variables

:set            - shows vars different from defaults
:set all        - shows all values
:set foo?       - shows the value of foo
:set foo+=opt   - add opt to the value w/o changing others
:set foo-=opt   - remove opt from value
:set foo&       - reset foo to default value
:setlocal foo   - only the current buffer

:verbose set foo?   - tells you where it was last set

8. Replace

Replace occurrences of 'foo' with 'bar' in the whole file

:%s/foo/bar/g

Replace occurrences of ‘foo’ with ‘bar’ in the current line

:s/foo/bar/g

Replace everything with confirmation first, note the ‘c’ below

:%s/foo/bar/gc

Replace words exactly matching ‘foo’ with confirmation first

:%s/\<foo\>/bar/gc

Replace everything with case insensitive and confirmation first, note the ‘c’ and ‘I’ below

:%s/foo/bar/gic

9. Create horizontal and vertical windows. ‘-o’ for horizontal and ‘-O’ for vertical windows.

vim -o file1 file2

vim -O file1 file2

10. Get help

:help ‘incsearch’

:help :substitute

18 Essential Python tricks

  1. Get file path of imported modules

>> import os
>>> print os
<module ‘os’ from ‘/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/os.pyc’>
>>>

2. Get memory usage of an object

>> import sys
>>> var = 10
>>> print sys.getsizeof(var)
24
>>>

3. Print string n times

>> sample=”Python”
>>> n=4
>>> print sample*n
PythonPythonPythonPython
>>>

4. swapping of two numbers

>> a=10
>>> b=20
>>> a
10
>>> b
20
>>> a,b = b,a
>>> a
20
>>> b
10
>>>

5.Reverse a string

>> sample = “Python”
>>> sample[::-1]
‘nohtyP’
>>>

6. Return multiple values from function

>> def foo():
… return 10, 20

>>> x, y = foo()
>>> x
10
>>> y
20
>>>

7. Create string from list

>> list_str = [“Python”, “is”, “awesome”]
>>> ” “.join(list_str)
‘Python is awesome’
>>>

8. Transpose a matrix

>> mtx = [ [1,2,3], [4,5,6], [7,8,9] ]
>>> zip(*mtx)
[(1, 4, 7), (2, 5, 8), (3, 6, 9)]
>>>

9. Assign list elements to multiple variables

>> x, y, z = [10,20,30]
>>> x
10
>>> y
20
>>> z
30
>>>

10. Zipping two lists

>> x = [1, 2, 3]
>>> y = [‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’]
>>> for i in zip(x,y): print i

(1, ‘a’)
(2, ‘b’)
(3, ‘c’)
>>> z=zip(x,y)
>>> z
[(1, ‘a’), (2, ‘b’), (3, ‘c’)]
>>>

11. Create single list out of list of lists

>> x = [[1, 2], [3, 4], [5, 6]]
>>> import itertools
>>> list(itertools.chain.from_iterable(x))
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
>>>

12. check if two strings are anagrams

>> from collections import Counter
>>> def is_anagram(string1, string2):
… return Counter(string1) == Counter(string2)

>>> is_anagram(“xyzw”, “zywx”)
True
>>> is_anagram(“xyzw”, “zyx”)
False
>>>

13. Taking stdin as list of int

>> x = map(int, raw_input().split())
1 2 3 4 5 6
>>> x
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
>>>

14. Ternary operator for conditional assignment

>> a = 2
>>> is_even = True if a % 2 == 0 else False
>>> is_even
True
>>> a=3
>>> is_even = True if a % 2 == 0 else False
>>> is_even
False
>>>

>> [ x**3 if x%2 != 0 else 0 for x in range(9)]
[0, 1, 0, 27, 0, 125, 0, 343, 0]
>>>

15. “_” operator : references last executed operations

>> a = 10
>>> b= 20
>>> _
[0, 1, 0, 27, 0, 125, 0, 343, 0]
>>>
>>> a+b
30
>>> a-b
-10
>>> _
-10
>>>

16. Run simple http server

Hindons-MacBook-Air:~ hindon$ python -m SimpleHTTPServer
Serving HTTP on 0.0.0.0 port 8000 …

17. Inspect an object

>> x=10
>>> dir(x)
[‘__abs__’, ‘__add__’, ‘__and__’, ‘__class__’, ‘__cmp__’, ‘__coerce__’, ‘__delattr__’, ‘__div__’, ‘__divmod__’, ‘__doc__’, ‘__float__’, ‘__floordiv__’, ‘__format__’, ‘__getattribute__’, ‘__getnewargs__’, ‘__hash__’, ‘__hex__’, ‘__index__’, ‘__init__’, ‘__int__’, ‘__invert__’, ‘__long__’, ‘__lshift__’, ‘__mod__’, ‘__mul__’, ‘__neg__’, ‘__new__’, ‘__nonzero__’, ‘__oct__’, ‘__or__’, ‘__pos__’, ‘__pow__’, ‘__radd__’, ‘__rand__’, ‘__rdiv__’, ‘__rdivmod__’, ‘__reduce__’, ‘__reduce_ex__’, ‘__repr__’, ‘__rfloordiv__’, ‘__rlshift__’, ‘__rmod__’, ‘__rmul__’, ‘__ror__’, ‘__rpow__’, ‘__rrshift__’, ‘__rshift__’, ‘__rsub__’, ‘__rtruediv__’, ‘__rxor__’, ‘__setattr__’, ‘__sizeof__’, ‘__str__’, ‘__sub__’, ‘__subclasshook__’, ‘__truediv__’, ‘__trunc__’, ‘__xor__’, ‘bit_length’, ‘conjugate’, ‘denominator’, ‘imag’, ‘numerator’, ‘real’]
>>>

18. Create dictionary from two lists

>> x = [1,2,3]
>>> y=[‘a1′,’b1′,’c1’]
>>> dict(zip(x,y))
{1: ‘a1’, 2: ‘b1’, 3: ‘c1’}
>>>