Keep in touch

We are ever so consumed with communicating through technology that a simple meeting is rather an inconvenient option. There exists an invisible barrier between all of us. This phenomenon has a direct relation to your Organization’s culture.

In the corporate environment, we rely to interact with our colleagues via emails, with our clients and suppliers via telephones and text messages. Creating groups on chat platforms are more prevalent than regular team meetings. Imagine living in an environment, where our listening and speaking skills are not being utilized. This in fact is not a mere imagination; this is a reality to most of us.

Communicating has become a common verb signifying sending emails, speaking on the phones or text messaging. We assume our messages are delivered and seen.

However we are missing the essence of effective communication.

Effective communication means to fully understand the content and the meaning of the message through verbal and nonverbal cues.

Since people are connected like never before, working with various personalities and different cultures are common. It is essential for Organizations to have a good communication strategy to understand individual differences and cultural diversity within and outside the Organization. Building and maintaining relations is crucial to a successful communication approach. Networking and “being in touch” has become a norm.

Let’s bring back the most authentic form of communication i.e. having a one to one conversation. Where one can express feelings and ideas more accurately, causing less misunderstanding. Where, gestures, facial expressions and body language can provide reliable feedback.

We can in-sync ‘smart’ internal and external communication by implementing a well-crafted training strategy. Communication channels drive organizations, societies and institutes. – The question remains how should we sign out of our social network platform and log in to come together to rebuild our network.

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Embracing our forgotten reality

We humans are blessed with a gift of choice. And we chose to design our personal and professional journeys around technology. No doubt, this choice is a ‘smart’ one, making our lives convenient, faster and smarter.
Nevertheless what if we chose a simple cycle of experiencing our world in another fashion? Reality in its authentic form. This reality includes all five senses and embraces the feeling of touch. A simple guide to reach this forgotten reality, in a few steps is as follows.
1. The practice of being in the present is a beautiful process. It is similar to meditation; however we can exercise this method while we perform our regular tasks as well. It is all about being aware of our thoughts and behaviour at a given moment. Complete focus and concentration on an action. The act of being present can become an oasis that could lead to drawing positivity in our lives.
2. 5 am is a period where the birds and bees rise. Perfect time to be one with nature, waking up along with the other creations. As the sunlight spreads and brightens our planet, we can embrace the opportunity of this period to inspire our mind and soul. A new day to fill ourselves with pure and progressive energy.
3. Notice, the quantity of information every being absorbs through social media, advertisements, news and many other sources. It is natural for our body and mind to attract stress and anxiety. Thus the necessity to take a step back and pause becomes essential. Taking a 5 minute break, 4 times a day revives our spirit. Meditation, a prayer or simply sitting back relaxing, invites strength, peace and gratitude to overpower our thought-processes.
We can enhance the quality of our lives by adding these simple and practical practices in our daily routine. This leads to an assured increase in emotional intelligence. As the process trains our mind to acquire skills to smoothly carry out activities in our personal endeavours and work environment. Guiding our behaviour to plan our tasks efficiently, to make better decisions and develop ourselves.

Success is after all a child’s play

Back to the Basics

What traits can we acquire from children that adults have forgotten? Would you believe that the basic building blocks of success are present naturally in us as children? Children seem more content, innovative, curious and confident.  Let’s examine fewskills that we can re-learn from our younger days.

Children are naturally inquisitive about people and things around them. They like to grab on to the closet object. They practice a perfect example of the experimental approach that is observation, analyse through touch and feel, finally they indicate the results whether it is positive by holding on to or leaving the object if it’s a negative one.

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” – Walt Disney

Children understand every day as a new beginning. Past mistakes and grudges are forgotten quickly. They forgive easily and live life fully in the present moment.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”- Mahatma Gandhi

There exists a beautiful inbuilt quality in children. Children have a capacity to discover happiness all around them.  They have the ability to make the simple things interesting.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa

Children are fond of creative projects. They spend hours producing something they love. Passionately working, using their imagination to craft unusual inventions.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

Scars symbolize strength and survival.  Back in school, when a child had a fall, he got all the attention. He was thought to be brave and adventurous.  The child felt delighted and proud.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ― Rumi

Capture an opportunity to observe children and notice them demonstrate these magical qualities. Let us go back to our roots and decode what we have forgotten. Introspect our thoughts and re-examine our behaviour. Re-learn the basic skills that we used every stage in the beginning of our developmental years. By breaking from the ordinary, let’s discover the child in us.After all a skilled person gives rise to a successful individual.

Absorb & Radiate : Add Value

Absorb & Radiate : Add Value

When was the last time you were kind to someone? When was the last time you smiled at a stranger? When was the last time you approached to help someone in need? When was the last time you came up with an idea and spoke about it? When was the last time you improved something about your self?

Have any of these questions ever crossed your mind at any point in time? NO? Either you have achieved whatever you wanted in life or you are stagnant in life! YOU are stagnant in life if you don’t wish to learn something new or the bug of curiosity hasn’t bitten you.

“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears and never regrets”

– Leonardo Da Vinci

Learning helps you evolve as a person. Knowledge can never go waste. Pick up your newspaper and read each article, I am sure you will come across something new everyday be it a new word or a new place,etc. Even in your everyday routine try a new way of doing things…. While walking on the road look around, you might just see something that makes your thought process running … be it just an advertisement on a billboard or a street play. If you come across something that your friend is doing and has put up that picture on Instagram or put up a status about it on Facebook try searching about it, you never know it might just interest you too!..Look around and capture your environment something will catch your attention and make you inquisitive.  .

If you see an old man climbing down the stairs in a movie theatre would you give a hand for support? Try doing that today and see the reaction….Try doing something nice…try acquiring a new skill….try being new somebody…BE THE NEW YOU.

Add value to yourself!!

What they don’t teach you in college

The stress of getting a job or passing the entrance test for a higher education program is paramount in the mind of the student in their graduation year. However, if they start early and start planning for their career or higher education  in the 1st year of their graduation then the stress in the final years would be much less.

As per 2013 report issued by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), there are more than 3524 diploma and post-diploma offering institutions in the country with an annual intake capacity of over 1.2 million.

They also reported 3495 degree-granting engineering colleges in India with an annual student intake capacity of over 1.76 million with actual enrollment crossing 1.2 million. Total annual intake capacity for technical diplomas and degrees exceeded 3.4 million in 2012.

The report, titled ‘Aspiring Minds’ National Employability Report’, is a national audit of employability of three-year Bachelor’s Degree graduates. The survey included 60,000 students from colleges across India, slated to graduate this year.

According to the report, the employability of graduates varies from as low as 2.2 per cent in roles such as corporate communications/ content development and 2.59 per cent in accounting to 15.88 per cent in sales-related jobs and 21.37 per cent for roles in the business process outsourcing (BPO/ITeS) sector.

Most of the graduates (35.95 per cent) were found suitable for clerical/secretarial roles.For an analyst’s role, close to 84 per cent graduates were found to lack the right levels in cognitive ability. Ninety per cent graduates did not have required proficiency in English communication.

Another area of concern is that many graduates from accounting and information technology backgrounds remain ‘invisible’ to potential recruiters since they do not belong to the top colleges usually preferred by companies. Forty-one per cent of graduates employable in accounting roles hail from colleges beyond the top 30 per cent colleges, whereas for the IT services sector this percentage is 36 per cent.

This system, apart from creating economic inefficiency, also breeds unfairness for the students. An effective means to tackle it, the report says, is to employ a scale able certification to ‘discover’ the employability of students across the nation.

India has the highest student population of over 300 Mio as per the last census. With Millions graduating every year from colleges in India, how many of them really are able to build a promising career? Planning Commission says that only 17.5 per cent of graduates are employable? Nasscom says that only a fifth of the graduates of engineering colleges are employable? 

Final year is very crucial year for any student. This is the time the student needs to spend time planning what next?  They have to decide how to manage the transition to either the corporate world or to move to a Masters degree.

If students plan carefully, supplement their efforts and work hard with dedication, they will definitely achieve their career goals.

Our company Infinite Myriaads, has conducted seminars with over a few thousand students from engineering, commerce, science stream across large, small, rural towns in India and we realised there is a huge gap between what the students think they have as skills and what the corporate wants from them as employees.

No wonder both the planning commission and Nasscom say majority of the graduates are unemployable. Many say that instead of increasing the enrollments in colleges and adding more universities and colleges the government should focus on providing quality education and the right inputs so that graduates end up with jobs that contribute to the economy.

Our student seminar tries to share with the students the realities of the outside world. It is a reality check for them to reflect on and realise that all the time they spent learning and gaining knowledge to get their graduation is only part of the task to get a job

In the seminar we impress upon them how the hard skills they achieved with their college degree needs to be equally supplemented with soft skills for a holistic development of themselves and to be wanted by the corporate as an employee

What is soft skills?

Soft skills is a term often associated with a person’s “EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills complement hard skills which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

They are related to feelings, emotions, insights and (some would say) an ‘inner knowing’: i.e. they provide an important complement to ‘hard skills’ and IQ.

Soft skills are personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance and career prospects. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person’s skill set and ability to perform a certain type of task or activity, soft skills relate to a person’s ability to interact effectively with co-workers and customers and are broadly applicable both in and outside the workplace.

Our formal education is now looking at integrating the soft skills into the curriculum but what we realise it the subjects are taught like any other theory paper with no experiential learning. Does it really impact the students soft skills side of development, from the various seminars we have conducted it does not look like at all

 When we talk about soft skills we are talking about a whole host of topics such as :

–  Language proficiency

–  Personal grooming & Hygiene

–  Career planning & goal setting

–  Communication & Listening skills

–  First impressions

–  Corporate dressing

–  Customer service

–  Business communication

–  Workplace etiquette

–  Interpersonal skills

–  Team building

–  Leadership

–  Time management

–  Goal setting

–  Negotiation skills

–  Selling skills

In addition to soft skills the student has to be fully prepared with how to write their resume, how to conduct themselves in group discussion and personal interviews and how to manage their own social media profile. The transition to the corporate starts with the interview process and they need to be trained to be ready to face it

Is anything going right for the graduating students, probably not! As they do not think about how to transition to the corporate world.

The basics of grooming, communication, presentation, working in teams etc is not taught at colleges. The college curriculum is so demanding especially in the engineering side that the students have limited time to think of anything beyond academics, projects, exams. The academic inputs are limited to just test books with no or limited contact with what the industry wants, latest trends/developments. For a holistic understanding students must be encouraged to read economic papers to stay abreast of what’s happening in their field, understand the functioning of the biggest employers in their segment and how they are performing etc.

And on the other side what do employers look for from employees, they are looking at grooming and communication skills, as you know it only takes 30 seconds to make a lasting impression. Corporates look for strong work ethics, Integrity, ability to take on responsibility, working in teams, Interpersonal skills. Corporates are looking for well rounded individuals who know not just their technical skills but have good communications skills, good personality etc

What student feels they are achieving is a mismatch to what the corporates are looking for hence it is not surprising when we read about what Planning commission and Nasscom have to say

What next?

To make the graduates employable the hard skills imparted have to be relevant to industry, hence the syllabus creating bodies need to have interactions with industry and keep reviewing the curriculum on an ongoing basis so that it is what the industry wants as technical skills. If the curriculum is not up to date the students should invest their time and money in gaining additional specific certifications that are relevant like SAP, Six Sigma etc

The element of soft skills is missing from most curriculum’s in the education sector and to get that integration many colleges appoint external agencies to assist in bridging the gap

                             HARD SKILLS  + SOFT SKILLS = Employability

So the combination of hard skills and soft skills will make the student more employable. The challenge for all institutes is to get the student employed post his/her qualification. In order to address this statistical measurement which defines the success of the institute the institutions have started engaging with professional agencies to impart soft skills training so as to provide ready to employ students who hit the ground running.

To make a successful individual the hard skills at colleges need to be supplemented with industry specific certifications and soft skills, this could well be the success mantra for the student and the college

By

Raj Mahadev, Jt Managing Director, Infinite Myriaads Pvt Ltd 

www.infinitemyriaads.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chartered Family Office Specialist (CFOS) – The 1st family Office certification in India

The family office concept has its roots back in the 6th century. Then a major-domo was a person who would speak, make arrangements or take charge for the affairs of the royal family and its wealth. Later in the 6th century, the upper nobility started to use these services of the major-domo as well. Hence, the concept of administrator ship was invented and has prevailed until today.

The modern concept and understanding of family offices was developed in the 19th century. In 1838, the family of J.P. Morgan founded the House of Morgan, which managed the families’ assets and in 1882, the Rockefellers founded their family office, which prevailed until today.

Many single family offices instead of covering the entire operative costs decided to offer its services to other families as well. This concept is called multi-family office or multi-client family office.

Now, more than any other time in recent history, people of significant wealth are searching for more than only investment advice. They want a trusted adviser who will consider their families’ values and integrate those values into recommendations for their families that achieved wealth accumulations and preservation goals, while managing investment risk and maintaining professional integrity. They also want to appreciate and enjoy life to the fullest.

In India we have seen the establishment of independent multi-family offices in addition to the traditional family office structures

Soft side of the Family Office is now as much a core ingredient as the Investment Strategies that are built for the family. The family office personnel need to be conversant with the softer issues like Need for family office, Best Practices, Family Dynamics and Trends
Providing Value as Family Office Advisor etc.

CFOS program offered by Infinite Myriaads in India devotes a full session on Soft side with video session conducted by Joel Dicicco, Co-founder at Family Office Institute Florida,USA

Registrations open for the 1st batch starting in October, Interested to pursue the course then call Vikas Singh at 9004962907 or email him at vikassingh@infinitemyriaads.com

Life Skills Education

Living in exponential times our children have multiple challenges to face in today’s world. Not only is success measured by the scores they get in school but also by the various other achievements in the multiple fields that they have enrolled themselves for

In our eagerness to support children’s achievement, we sometimes forget that potential is not a lofty end goal but the capacity to grow, learn and adapt to change throughout life. It is about discovering a fulfilling and meaningful life, one that cannot be measured by numbers.

In order to help the child grow and develop into a well-rounded personality one needs to focus on overall development beyond the academic curricula. We need to look at enhancing life skills such as self awareness, empathy, interpersonal skills, communication etc. These skills give the child the ability for adaptive and positive behavior that enables them to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

The overall development of the child is not gained by learning by rote the capital of the world, the formulas and equation and definitions. Those piece of knowledge are only getting the child to gain knowledge, , which needs to be supplemented with life skills.

Tony Wagner, the Harvard education specialist, in his book “Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World” is that our K-12 and college tracks are not consistently “adding the value and teaching the skills that matter most in the marketplace.” Which is why the goal of education today, as per Wagner, should not be to make every child “college ready” but “innovation ready” – ready to add value to whatever they do.

In India what it seems we’re lacking is that element in education process of character, alongside  all the other academic pieces which are equally important. We are hearing a lot of debate on the education system, and we have seen some changes but we still have a long way to go. Our education system still has a colonial hangover not geared to support innovators and creative people.

We can make a small beginning by getting our children to undergo some of the life skills as part of the school currcula. These programs are intensive, fully assessed and designed to equip students to go through the turbulence of adolescence ,help him steer clear of irresponsible decisions throughout his life. Good life skills enable your child to manage money responsibly, make realistic choices, stand up to  peer pressure  and be a good parent in the long term.

The life skills which we feel should be addressed are

1. Self-awareness –Self awareness is a way to explore our individual personality

2. Empathy –to  understand and accepting the feelings thoughts and attitudes of others

3. Interpersonal relationship skills contributes to the ability to initiate relationship, sustenance of relationships, ability of negotiations and compromise and most importantly the art of terminating a relationship amicably and constructively .

4. Effective communication combines a set of skills including non- verbal communication ,attentive listening the ability to manage stress in the moment and the capacity to recognize and understand your own .

5. Critical thinking enables one to analyze,  evaluate , explain and restructure their thinking about  information and experiences in an objective manner

6.Creative thinking –aims at sharpening reasoning skills and sparks a child own creative solution to conflict . 

7.Decision making a skill which encompasses the thought process of selecting a logical choice from the available options .

8. Problem solving means the flair    to  understand  a situation and then form a workable solution . These skills are important for REAL life!!!  .The ability to approach a problem with the I can attitude

9  Coping with stress- All children experience stress. Coping with stress  is about identifying the sources of stress in our lives, recognizing how this affects us, and acting in ways that help to control our levels of stress

10.Coping with emotions involves recognizing a child’s ability to deal with manage control emotions in themselves and others, being aware of how emotions influence behaviour, and being able to respond to emotions appropriately.

As per Wagner in the article written by Thomas Friedman titled Middle-class jobs are becoming obsolete faster than ever – “Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know. The capacity to innovate – the ability to solve problems creatively or bring new possibilities to life – and skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration which are vital to be  parallel with academic knowledge.

So what one needs to teach the children to today is not only teach content how to think and ask the right questions and to take initiative.

As per Thomas Friedman the most  innovating education system is Finland “and it is the only country where students leave high school ‘innovation-ready.’ They learn concepts and creativity more than facts, and have a choice of many electives – all with a shorter school day, little homework and almost no testing. In the U.S., 500 K-12 schools affiliated with Hewlett Foundation’s Deeper Learning Initiative and a consortium of 100 school districts called EdLeader21 are developing new approaches to teaching 21st-century skills.

These are islands of excellence, such drastic new models cannot be expected in our country in a hurry but I am sure we can evolve our own unique and effective education system. After all we have a legacy of the guru shishya model of education.

So let’s start with teaching our kids life skills in schools and build a well-rounded personality who can take on the challenges of the world and contribute innovatively

Reference

  • Thomas Friedman titled Middle-class jobs are becoming obsolete faster than ever