November 2012
Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.


"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it."
Jim Goodwin
"For fast-acting relief, try slowing down."
Lily Tomlin
Stress sucks. It sucks joy and the life out of you.
So today I'll share 10 of my favourite tips that I use to minimize stress and live a more relaxed but at the same time productive life. I hope you find something helpful here, even if it's just a few reminders of things you had forgotten about.
1. Accept the situation.
Stress is often to a large part resistance to what already is. You may be in a stressful situation and think to yourself that this situation shouldn't be, that you shouldn't be here. But the situation has already arisen, is here, and so are you.
So to decrease the stress and resistance you accept the situation. With your resistance gone or lowered you can now direct your mental energy and focus to finding a solution in a level-headed manner instead of trying to do it while panicked or confused.
2. Take everything less seriously.
Taking things or yourself overly serious adds a lot of unnecessary negativity and stress to your life. A minor situation may be blown up to a major one in your mind. If you just learn to lighten up a bit, life becomes more fun and you realize that you get great results even if you aren't super-serious about everything.
3. Decrease or put a stop to negative relationships.
If someone is always making you more stressed or creates a lot of negativity in your life you may want to consider decreasing the amount of time you spend with that person. Some people almost seem to like to dwell in negativity. That is their choice. It's your choice if you want to participate.
Or you can choose to hang out more with relaxed and non-stressed people. Both in real life and by watching/listening to CDs and DVDs. Two guys that tend to calm me down when I listen/watch them are Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer.
4. Just move slower.
You emotions work backwards too. If you slow down how you walk or how you move your body you can often start to feel less stressed.
This allows you to think more clearly too. A stressed mind tends to run in circles a lot of the time. And slowing down to decrease stress goes for other forms of movement too, like riding your bicycle or driving the car.
5. Exercise.
A simple and time-tested way to decrease inner tension. Regular exercise can do wonders for both your mind and body. This is one of the solutions that work most consistently for me.
6. Find five things you can be grateful for right now.
Being grateful and appreciating your life and surroundings is one of the most effective ways to turn a negative emotional state to a more positive one. So find a few things you are grateful for right now.
Perhaps it's the sunny weather, that you feel healthy and energetic today, that you have just eaten a delicious after-noon snack, that the guy/gal that just walked by had a great looking jacket on and that tonight there is a new episode of your favourite TV-show to enjoy.
7. Look for solutions.
When faced with a challenge that can cause stress, try to direct your focus to solutions rather than to dwelling on the problem for too long. Dwelling only causes more stress and makes your mind less open to finding a solution.
8. Be early.
Just be 10 or 5 minutes early for meetings etc. This very simple tip can cut down on stress quite a bit.
9. Do just one thing at a time.
Single tasking and focusing on doing just one thing at a time not only decreases stress but from my experience gets things done a whole lot quicker than if you multitask.
10. Talk to people around you about it.
Perhaps they can offer you advice that has worked for them or just an ear and some support. Just telling someone about something, just getting it out can often help to relieve some of the stress.
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M Junaid Tahir

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Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.

Can you imagine yourself working on a project all alone in the office and no one to support and assist you? The first reaction would always be, definitely not! This is because we are all bound to be a part of a cooperative group to accomplish our daily tasks at the workplace, and this is what we call 'teamwork'. Teamwork is defined as an activity or a set of inter-related activities undertaken by a number of people, in order to achieve a common objective. Whether it is a cricket ground, a movie production or the corporate world, working in teams is inevitable because the productivity ratio of multiple people, working on the same task, is always greater than one person, and the ROI is always higher.

A widely understood and interesting concept in the management jargon, extended form of the word TEAM, is:

T – Together
E – Everyone
A – Achieves
M – More

The concept of Together Everyone Achieves More itself conveys the importance of teamwork at the workplace and other places. For years now, organizational leaders have recognized the added value that comes from having employees work in formal or informal teams. However, over the last two decades, even greater emphasis has been placed on working together in a team. Team-building and team-work skills are essential in the workplace and highly desirable skills to possess when seeking a new job or promotion. Teams working at their potential generate more productivity and offer better solutions than if all of them work independently.

Significance Of Teamwork At The Workplace

Teamwork in a company or organization has great importance for more than one reasons. Companies, who have adopted this concept, have reported increased performance in work production. This group project approach has improved employee morale and increased input when managed correctly. The benefits of teamwork can make a positive effect on the company that incorporates this type of teamwork approach. Let us discuss the significance of teamwork in the workplace, which can benefit the employees in a number of different ways:

Sharing Workload

Working in a team has the biggest advantage of the workload getting shared amongst all the team members involved in a certain project. With work properly distributed among the employees, all dealing with their own particular task, no member of the team can feel over-burdened or extra pressurized in the overall project. A fair work distribution ensures that every person or every working unit executes the task at hand, with the best possible efficiency. The division of work, also, ensures that the work is done on time and deadlines are not extended.

Building Mutual Associations

Continuous interaction among the team members, and working in a group for the whole day, helps in building a mutual association or bond of friendship and unity among the employees. In some employees, this bond of friendship lasts for a life time. The effects of mutual associations make the work easier and goals more attainable.

Increased Work Pace

It is a fact that when people or professionals work in teams with mutual cooperation, the tasks get accomplished at a faster pace. Teamwork is one of the best ways to ensure the timely completion of any work, with the maximum possible efficiency. With many people handling a single project and doing the assigned work properly, the overall work speed increases, and the team is able to complete the project well, within the given time frame.

Learning Opportunities

While working in a team, the employees tend to learn things at a faster pace. The exposure to a team of diverse members and the knowledge of the older team members help you to grasp the new concepts quickly. At the same time, being working in a team enables the team-members to avoid mistakes and proves to be a bonus for the overall image of the team.

Lessening Risks

One of the best advantages of team-work at workplace is that the burden of responsibility is borne by all the members of the team, and it does not fall on the shoulders of just one person.
When a certain project is executed with the maximum possible efficiency of a number of professionals working together, there is a reduction in risk or committing a mistake.

First-rate Output

Most of the time, team-work ensures high quality output of an assignment or a project. The tasks carried out by a group of employees produce far greater and high quality results as opposed to the efforts of a single professional. No matter how efficient and competent an employee is, the results of his efforts are no match for the performance given out by a variety of professionals, working with similar efficiency.

A Healthy Competition

While working in teams, professionals compete with each other and try to excel in every way. At the same time, they help and assist each other in work-related as well as personal difficulties and problems. The signs of great productivity and maximum efficiency are achieved only through team-work and mutual work practices.

Mutual Creativity

While working in a team, you will never be alone while coming up with an idea; you will always have some other professionals thinking on the same lines, who might suggest  a better idea. Suggestions, advices and mutual brainstorming can help employees in generating novel ideas and bringing out the creativity in their projects.

Job Satisfaction

Team-work can be an important source of job satisfaction and professional fulfillment for employees. The reason behind it is that working in a team improves employee performance as well as makes the work enjoyable for them. This is also favorable for employee motivation and workplace enthusiasm.

Mutual Organizational Interests

When employees work in team, they automatically work for mutual organizational interests; their personal interest is subordinate to the organizational interests. This ensures that all the team members put in the maximum possible efforts, focusing on the same goal, thereby ensuring a high quality and timely output.

Overall Reputation Of The Organization

Teamwork also increases the goodwill and reputation of a company or an organization. The goodwill created by mutual cooperation of professionals in an organization, in fact, plays a highly instrumental role in bringing in more business and public trust.

Concluding Ideas

You must have noticed that the list of advantages points out to two basic facts that work, when distributed, reduces workload, and a reduced amount of work ensures optimization and efficiency. Effective teamwork in the workplace benefits the organization by increasing the individual productivity, which is important in order to achieve the targets and fulfill commitments. Also, teamwork decreases the non-productive hours, which therefore increases productivity and ensures maximum utilization of manpower. This is the reason why companies are promoting teamwork at workplaces.

For some professionals, it might be a bit difficult to adjust to a group environment, but I am sure, they will gradually start loving to work as a team as they will see themselves developing as productive employees as well as better human beings!

M Junaid Tahir
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Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.

Ideally speaking, Criticism is the act of analyzing someone or something (such as an article, video, book, product  service etc) with the intention of improving personnel, product or services. However in the day to day life, you will meet so many people criticizing with the negative intentions. For example they do this to defame, discourage and de-motivate others. So it is usually used in negative sense although criticizing does not necessarily means to find fault. In this article I shall give my comments in two categories. First, when you are being criticized and second when you are criticizing:

1-  When you are being criticized:
a)    Take it positive. There is  a chance that your well wisher has rightly drawn your attention to something for which there is a dire need for improvement. If this is the case, be grateful to the person who helped you identified the aspect of improvement and move towards the corrective actions.
b)   There is a chance that the criticism is being done just to depress you. Analyze is carefully. If required, seek advice from some friend or colleague about this negative feedback. If feedback meant to be good, see point-1 else shun it right way not allowing you to disturb your peace of mind.

2-  When you are criticizing someone/something:
a)    Always remember that negative criticism results in generation of negative energies so try to criticize in a positive and encouraging manager. Do not become the 'full-stop' for someone's creativity.
b)   Whenever you are about to criticize; ask yourself whether your intention is to help assist the person or you are just going to spread negativity which will consequently result in corrosion on someone's creative skills.
c)    If you really want to criticize someone, do it in an encouraging way. Try to give your comments in multiple groups so that the person understands your feedback and segregate it easily so that he can transform your suggestions in to corrective actions.
d)   Remember the fact that the act of complaining is taking criticism to the next level which is even more damaging and dangerous. So try to remain inside the limits of criticism instead of complaints.

Having said that, there are bad mouthed people who are in habit of constant criticism, regardless of their mental comprehension of things. Be aware of them. They are polluting not only themselves but the environment as well and ultimately impacting you, your product, your skills and/or your services. They are spreading negativity.
Closing my article with the famous quote that says "Instead of criticizing others, become the change you wish to see in the world"

M Junaid Tahir

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Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.

By Junaid Tahir

Employee Feedback has become a highly effective tool for consistent enhancement of departments and companies no matter what kind of business they are running. While there are Gallup® and Six Sigma® systems in place for several companies in the world, still a lot of SOHOs and SMEs can use free templates to get employee's feedback which can give them an insight to the general and specific issues and the opportunity to improve them.  

Thinking on the same lines, I have made this below generic Employee Feedback Template which may be used by mangers, supervisors, team leads and leadership for their staff in order to evaluate at department or company level with regards to professional working, learning & Exposure, Growth and overall environment of the organization. Considering the secrecy/privacy of employees  Online Survey Services such as can be used where below questions can be copied to receive feedback from your audience. Read their terms and conditions for details.
If you would like to receive MS Excel version of this template which contains dropdown menu and remarks column, please drop me an email at mjunaidtahir @- Gmail and I shall be glad to assist with. Feel Free to provide feedback for improvements

Working Environment
 Sample Answer
I feel I am contributing to my department's overall mission
Partially Agree
I have the materials and equipment I need to do my job well
Fully Agree
If I do good work I can count on being appreciated
Partially Disagree
I feel I am valued at my department.
I feel part of a team working toward a shared goal. (Team members fully in sync for a specific goal)
Partially Agree
"Politics" in our company are kept to a minimum
Fully Agree
Partially Agree
My physical working conditions are good (Laptop, desk, phone etc)
Fully Agree
Fully Agree
my department can improve the overall "Working Environment" if we do these things

Learning & Exposure
 Sample Answer
Our Company provides me adequate opportunities to learn and work on new technologies
Fully Agree
Partially Agree
The Company provides me adequate training to perform my job.
Fully Agree
My department can improve the overall "Learning & Exposure" for all team members if these steps are taken


Management (Direct or Indirect reporting)
 Sample Answer
Fully Agree
My manager thinks in terms of big picture and how the pieces fit together
Partially Disagree
My manager makes bold moves and takes risk
Partially Disagree
My manager Creates positive working relations within the team members
Fully Agree
My manager encourages open discussions and ideas
My manager conducts regular meaningful dialogues
Fully Agree
My manager develops talent by coaching and providing challenging works
Fully Agree
My manager clearly communicates the actions to do in order to achieve goals
Fully Agree
My manager endeavors building strong cohesive team
My manager shows enthusiasm
Partially Disagree
My manager easily makes tough decisions
Partially Disagree
My manger takes responsibilities for the problems that occur in his team.
Partially Disagree
My manager quickly understands the complex problems
Partially Disagree
My manager considers employees weakness and strengths while assigning tasks.
Fully Agree
Partially Disagree
My manager treats me with respect
Fully Agree
My manager handles my work-related issues satisfactorily
Partially Disagree
I like these things about my manager
I think, my manager might consider these angles to improve.

 Sample Answer
Timing of the Industry and timing of the company are inline
Fully Agree
My salary is fair for my responsibilities
Partially Disagree
My last performance appraisal accurately reflected my performance
Partially Agree
I'm satisfied with the benefits package (salary, leaves, medical )
Partially Agree
I believe my job is secure
Partially Disagree
Overall, I am satisfied with the company as an employer
Partially Agree
The Company should do the following in order to increase my job satisfaction level.
Not Applicable
How long I plan to stay with the company
More than 1 year

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About Author: Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management. His articles can be read Here

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Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.
There was a farmer who had a horse and a goat..One day, the horse became ill and he called the doctor,
who said: - Well, your horse has a virus.
He must take this medicine for three days.
I'll come back on the 3rd day and if he's not better,
we're going to have to put him down.
Nearby, the goat listened closely to their conversation. 

 The next day, they gave him the medicine and left. The goat approached the horse and said:
- Be strong, my friend.Get up or else they're going to put you to sleep!

On the second day, they gave him the medicine and left.
The goat came back and said:
- Come on buddy, get up or else you're going to die!
Come on, I'll help you get up.
Let's go! One, two, three....

On the third day, they came to give him the medicine
and the vet said:
- Unfortunately, we're going to have to put him down tomorrow.
Otherwise, the virus might spread and infect the other horses.
After they left, the goat approached the horse and said:
- Listen pal, it's now or never!
Get up, come on! Have courage!
Come on! Get up! Get up!
That's it, slowly! Great!
Come on, one, two, three... Good, good.
Now faster, come on...... Fantastic! Run, run more!
Yes! Yay! Yes! You did it, you're a champion!!!
All of a sudden, the owner came back,
saw the horse running in the field and began shouting:

- It's a miracle! My horse is cured.
We must have a grand party.
Let's kill the goat and serve the meet to all.
The Lesson: 
This often happens in the workplace.
Nobody truly knows which employee actually deserves the merit of success, or who's actually contributing the necessary support to make things happen.