June 2013
Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.


Problems, problems… be it home or workplace, life is full of them. Whenever there is a problem, the most common thing people tend to do is

 

1.           Get afraid or uncomfortable and wish it would go away

2.           Feeling that they have to come up with an answer and it has to be the right answer so they end up getting confused and disturbed.

3.           Looking for someone to blame. Being faced with a problem becomes a problem. And that's a problem because, in fact, there are always going to be problems!

 

The reason we don't feel comfortable dealing with conflict is because a feeling of something-bad going to happen plagues us. Little do we know that the goal of a good problem-solving process is to make us competent enough to tackle problems.

 

There are two important things to remember about problems and conflicts: they happen all the time. Any relationship, be it personal or professional is bound to have problems. Problems are nothing but opportunities to improve the system and the relationships. If you look at problems under this light, then you will not get worried about dealing with a problem.

 

The most common mistake in problem solving is trying to find a solution right away. That's a mistake because it tries to put the solution at the beginning of the process, when what we need is a solution at the end of the process.

 

The 1…2…3s

 

1. Identify The Issues.

Be clear about what the problem is. Remember that different people might have different views of what the issues are. Everybody is entitled to hold his or her opinion.

 

2. Understand Everyone's Interests.

This is a critical step that is usually missing. Interests are the needs that you want satisfied by any given solution. We often ignore our true interests as we become attached to one particular solution. The best solution is the one that satisfies everyone's interests. This is the time for active listening. Put down your differences for a while and listen to each other with the intention to understand. Separate the naming of interests from the listing of solutions.

 

3. List The Possible Solutions (Options)

This is the time to do some brainstorming. There may be lots of room for creativity. Separate the listing of options from the evaluation of the options.

 

4. Evaluate The Options.

What are the pluses and minuses? Honestly! Separate the evaluation of options from the selection of options.

 

5. Select An Option Or Options.

What's the best option, in the balance? Is there a way to combine a number of options together for a more satisfactory solution?

 

6. Document The Agreement(S).

Don't rely on memory. Writing it down will help you think through all the details and implications.

 

7. Agree On Contingencies, Monitoring, And Evaluation.

Conditions may change. Make contingency agreements about foreseeable future circumstances. How will you monitor compliance and follow-through? Create opportunities to evaluate the agreements and their implementation.Like you could say, "Let's try it this way for three months and then look at it."

 

Tips

 

  • Firstly analyse the problem. What is this that triggered of this problem? Situation, people or something else? When you have identified the problem, think of how you can deal with it.
  • Define the problem. Think of how you can deal with the opposite party and settle the problem amicably.
  • Decide whether you want to confront the person/ party who isbothering you (It is usually better to air grievances in the open than to let them aggravate). It also will ensure a healthy working relationship…till the next conflict, of course.
  • Speak to the other person calmly, politely and rationally. Focus on the situation and facts, avoiding gossip and personal attacks.
  • Be careful not to express hostility in your posture, facial expression or tone. Be assertive without being aggressive.
  • Listen to the other person carefully: What is she trying to say? Be sure you understand her position. Think what you would have done and how you have reacted if you were in her shoes.
  • Express interest in what the other person is saying. You can acknowledge her ideas without necessarily agreeing or submitting.
  • Communicate clearly what you want, offering positive suggestions and recommendations.
  • Speak to your supervisor if a problem with a difficult co-worker seriously threatens your work, but avoid whining.
  • When you are dealing with problematic personalities, try to understand what motivates their behaviour and then tailor your actions to work with that personality type. Once you grasp why people behave as they do, you will be able to interact with them more effectively.
  • Be firm with bullies at work – don't allow them to pressure you into doing anything unwanted. Be forceful in your opinions, but act with a bit of caution.
  • Keep away from office politics. Getting into them is easy but getting out is very difficult.

 

Effective problem solving does take some time and attention more of the latter than the former. Take it right and you'll find yourself in good shape for the straightaway that follows. Take it too fast and you may not be in as good shape. Working through this process is not always a strictly linear exercise. You may have to cycle back to an earlier step. For example, if you're having trouble selecting an option, you may have to go back to thinking about the interests.

 

The more difficult and important the problem, the more helpful and necessary it is to use a disciplined process. If you're just trying to decide where to go out for lunch, you probably don't need to go through these seven steps! Don't worry if it feels a bit unfamiliar and uncomfortable at first. You'll have lots of opportunities to practice because life never ceases to have problems! 

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



By Junaid Tahir
A friend of mine is CEO of a medium size company, he says that in order to have deep understanding of the work at all levels of the company he tries to work in all domains in the company. This gives him insight of the tasks being done, associated complications, challenges and wisdom to resolve issues and optimize processes. He was telling that the job of their receptionist is tough as it involves a lot of patience. Some weeks back he sat at the reception and received the calls from their clients. Assuming that their call is being attended by the receptionist the customers talked as if they were talking to their servant. They were using harsh, rude or indecent words because of the faults related to the company products. However as soon as he introduced that he is the CEO of the company, the tone of the caller changed immediately.

While I listened to this story, I pondered that we all do the same thing in life. Our speaking tone is based on the social, professional or economical status of the person we are talking to. Which simply means that we don't treat people fairly and equally. We have a different way of communication for different people. 
This reminds me of another story: Once a protocol officer asked a lady on how she would greet the Queen of Holland when the Queen visits their city; she said that she has only one set of manner and she uses it all the time and does not want to learn a special protocol to meet and greet the Queen.  

So the bottom line is that we should have one set of ethical manners for all. We should be kind, humble and loving equally regardless of the social and educational background, regardless of the current economical and professional post. Humanity deserves equality and all of us should endeavor for the same.  

I wrote a similar article earlier about judging people fairly. I believe that if we avoid being judgmental, we will start behaving fairly with all people. Remember, Judging people is the theoretical thing and won't make an external effect until you start showing this to others by treating them unfairly. That means Judging is more of an observatory and thought process stuff whereas treating people is the behavioral and practical thing. Judging wrongly pollutes your brain and treating wrongly pollutes the society hence both should be avoided.

So treat the rich and the poor, the attractive and the unattractive, educated, non-educated and less educated all the same, because each one is the creation of God Himself. Each soul requires fairness. How you treat them, is a reflection of what kind of a person you are !

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Junaid Tahir, Project Manager and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management at his personal blog. His personal Google Group can be joined here. He is reachable at mjunaidtahir @ -gmail -. com for any kind of suggestions and comments.
Self Improvement, Wisdom, Professionalism, Inspirational Stories, Positivity, Leadership, Management, Stress, Optimism and Peace, Productivity.


It's quite some time I have been pondering on what exactly is the meaning of True Leadership; How to define it and how to achieve it? In my curiosity to understand this concept in detail, I subscribed to several professional groups on LinkedIn / Facebook and read so many books and articles at different forums. As a result I have learnt that Leadership is to possess some unique and exclusive qualities in your character plus the consistent demonstration of such traits.

In this Leadership assessment guide I have tried to compile such qualities along with their basic elaboration so as to give you the bird eye view of each trait. The intention is to ease out the process of self-audit and eventually improve and/or acquire the skills which you do not have or which you lack in.


Leadership Trait
Elaboration
Aggression
Aggression is to set the attitude to achieve the target as soon as it is brought into your notice or assigned to you. You must be consistently aggressive in doing that. This means to fuel the teams to produce extremely swift results. This means to set tough goals (BHAGs), stress on their importance and insist your teams in endeavoring to achieve them.
Adaptive
You must adapt yourself according to the situation by analyzing it fairly & Logically. Though you need to be tough when it comes to achieving goals, though flexible enough to tweak the strategies according to the market demands, circumstances, budget constraints etc.
Analytical
You must consider positive, negative, emotional, financial, social, private and empathical angles while making decisions. Analyzing a situation also means to break big project into small tasks. Use the tools such as WBS, Fishbone, SWAT, Cause-Effect diagram and Excel Pivots for empowering your analytical skills.
Brave
You should be brave enough to face the circumstances once you have made a decision based on logic and fair assessments of the situation. Brave enough to protect the mistakes of your team members; brave enough to avoid emotional break-down to avoid any further damage to yourself, the team members and the project.
Creative
You must think out of box. New ideas of making things happen more swiftly will give you the edge on your competitors. Innovation is the key to success now a days. Considering millions of businesses already established and successful, you must have a unique product or service which makes you stand tall in the market
Consistency
Unpredictable and unstable people don't fit in the class of true Leaders. You must be consistent in your habits and actions. Frequent Mood Swings are an indicative of your unstable personality which cuts your marks in your Leadership exams.
 Commitment
Once you decide something,  you have to make sure you complete it by all positive and logical and fair means. Committed people makes thing happen. A weak approach to any project means you are already half lost.
Competence
I am competent enough understand the role of each of my subordinates. Its your ability to complete the job with a set of behaviors which are positive, fair, logical and efficient.  Keep learning new things, keep observing other people, keep evaluating the market to become more and more competent.
Communication
Nearly all skills are closely linked with your communication skills. You can only make a convincing impact if you are a great communicator.  No matter how genius you are, you will only be successful if you communicate in effective way. Learn the art by watching relevant videos, reading forums and improving your vocabulary. Consider Barlos Model of Effective Communication
Deep Thinker
Deep thinking means considering the back-ground, stake holders impact, facts and figures and market study. Deep thinking will improve your analytical skills too.  Consider using Mind Mapping tools to enhance this ability
Emotionally Intelligenct
Winning people is highly important because they are your real wealth. Right skills without mental happiness of your team members will not generate fruitful results because of low efficiency although high availability of staff. You need to consistently judge the emotions of team mates to create an environment which promotes friendliness and high ethics and eventually ensures high potency success.
Focus
Focus means looking in the 'eyes of the target'. Running continuously in a direction without knowing the actual target will take you nowhere.
Honest
Shortcuts are short term gain but seriously long term pain. An honest approach will enhance your chances for long term success. If you are honest, I don't have to remember what you have said. Because you are transparent in what you say and what you speak.
Initiative
Taking initiatives indicate your confident personality. Being confident is the major trait of your leadership character. If you are a deep thinker and and innovator, you tend to take initiatives with more confidence and trust in your abilities.
Knowledge
Knowledge gives wisdom, improves the thoughts process, enhances your horizon and gives you vision. I must learn the knowledge about different aspects of my work to make better decisions. I must learn something on daily basis
Listening
If you are not a good listener, you are on the risk of losing great advices from your well wishers. Empathic listening is the key to understand someone's perspective. Develop this habit.
Organization
Being organized avoids any mishaps, speed breakers. I must be organized from personal level to office level to company level.
Proactiveness
Proactiveness gives you the luxury to plan things ahead of time. You must keep your eyes, ears and brain open so that you sense things well in advance in order to make appropriate decisions so as to avoid eleventh hour emergencies.
Passion
Passion is your deep desire to get something. Are you passionate about success? Do you strive for making things happen? Does your brain thinks about your target all the times?
Positive attitude
Thinking positive keeps you away from politics, helps you stay focused, avoids negativity hence encourages you to work on things which matter the most.
Problem Solving
Problem solving requires deep analytical skills. You must consider the associated stats of given situation, back ground, economical and humanity factors and WBS techniques to break down big problems into small problems and then address one by one.
Risk Taking
Successful leaders are risk takers. When I doubt, you can take next small step to determine if you are wrong or right. You can always undo if wrong else move ahead with your next task towards your destination.
Patience
While you are aggressive in nature being a great leader, you must have the patience to absorb, judge and fix any situation.  Being an explosive personality sometimes result in irreparable losses.
Responsibility
Responsibility means to understand your role and take it seriously. Your carefree attitude will generate a ripple effect of carelessness in your organization which will cause deficiency in the work and failure of the projects
Rewarding
Rewarding my team mates is like fueling them to go extra mile. I must have a fair approach to reward those who put their efforts in my cause.Employees are like batteries; Learn the techniques to charge and recharge them for maximum efficiency and throughput
Self Disciplined
Others will follow your legacy if you are self disciplined. Being organized and punctual are great traits of a true leader.
Teachibility
The quality of a good leader is to produce more leaders instead of more followers. This can be done with consistent teachability and spreading wisdom around yourself. You must be a knowledgeable person to develop this trait. For this you must learn a lot on daily basis. Dedicate some of your daily time to learn something.
Trust Worthy
Being trust worthy helps wining people. Winning people is more important than winning targets because people will ensure success in your next tournamnets not only the current one. Trust is developed by consistent honest, friendly, encouraging behaviors demonstration.
Team Player
At the end of the day, its not your success its 'ours' success. You have to make sure that each employee contribute to the cuase. You must have the ability to perform as a team member however when required, you should be able to work alone and still demonstrate excellence.
Unbiased
Judgment should be fair and not biased. Fair Judgment requires honest approach along with analytical skills covering all aspects of the situation. A lot of feedback, stats and background is required to be considered while making conclusions about projects or people.
Visionary
If you are a fast running horse, you must ensure that you are heading in the right direction since several other horses are following you. Your success is their success and your failure is theirs. Being visionary also means that you can see and sense the future and strategize things to gain maximum benefits and reduce the tragedies to the minimum.

While I have made this guide, I truly understand that leadership is a huge sea full of knowledge, wisdom and experience; I being a young professional of 34 years of age cannot cover all aspects of leadership in true sense. Being a novice I have tried to make the foundation for learning the wisdom of leadership and improve the associated paradigms to become a great leader. I would highly appreciate your kind feedback on this guide so that I can improve myself and eventually the rest of the readers of my blog.

If you would like to receive the Microsoft Excel version of this guide which gives you the opportunity to evaluate yourself against all these traits and finally calculate the percentage of your Leadership index then drop me an email at mjunaidtahir – at – gmail – dot – com


Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management. His personal blog can be read at Here


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

By Junaid Tahir:


Nature has awarded us with such a great tool called conscience. 
It generates positive and negative signals for the actions you perform. 

When you buy food for the hungry with sincerity,
when you give some money to an orphan with love,
when you pay the education fee for a poor student, 
when you give some money to a free services hospital,
your conscience sends you a thank you signal and you feel good about yourself which gives birth to your 'inner' satisfaction.

It is said that you don't really achieve deep happiness by spending on yourself; you get it when you spend on others !!! And even you achieve greater degree of contentment when you spare your time from your busy life, visit any orphans or widows place, hospitals and other deserving people of society and then spend your money on them.


From religious perspective, I believe that almost all of the religions have defined the principle of spending on humanity in order to get tranquillity, serenity and prosperity. However, we the unfortunate people, the materialistic minds, keep calculating our money and assets several times a day which increases our greed level and eventually deprives us from peace of mind. It won't be wrong if I say that our extreme love for money and being materialistic is the real killer of our happiness.
To cope up with this, the wise people highly recommended to allocate a little portion (5% of your earnings) for the genuine causes. 

While the conscience claps for our good acts, it must generate red signals for our bad acts too. And if that is not happening then something is seriously wrong in our roots of faith. Considering the fact that a clean and active conscience is the best pillow, we must empower it by more positive acts as well as with daily self audits when our head is on the pillow at the end of each day.

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

By Junaid Tahir


Shielding yourself from negativity will help you in many ways such as strengthening your thought processfor better personality development, focusing on solutions instead of problems and attaining peace of mind in nearly all kind of tough circumstances.
The intention of staying away from negativity is not to ignore the tough realities, rather to change your focus on things which matter most so as to change these tough circumstances. For example, keep worrying about joblessness will not bring you a new job. Instead, Focusing on applying for jobs, developing interviewing skills, reading personality development articles, refreshing your knowledge will definitely improve your probability of getting new job.

Focus is very important tool to shield yourself from negativity. Remember the fact that what you focus on, increases. Which means if you focus on negative things, you will end up having negative personality. On the contrary, if you focus on finding solutions to the problems, you will be successful; sooner or later. Your focus decides the direction of your thoughts; your thoughts give birth to actions. These consistent actions become your habits and eventually make your overall personality.

You will focus on positive things only if you have a germs-free mind; the mind free from pessimism and free from negativity. So how to achieve this state of mind? Below are some tips:

1-     On your smart phones, download wisdom quotes and other personality enhancement applications from relevant app libraries / stores and read them often. Keep trying new applications every week.
2-    'Like' Facebook pages such as Positively Positive, Wisdom quotes, Positive thoughts etc to start receiving daily dose of wisdom.
3-    Stay away from negative souls. They are consistently polluting your brain. Check if you are surrounded by such people who criticize things all the times. If yes, change your company. 
4-    If you notice that a discussion is going negative more and more, try changing the topic towards something exciting, healthy and fruitful. 
5-    If your family members are negative and you do not have a choice to leave them, then you must program yourself to deal with such consistent negative situation. For example, upon a disheartening comment from your brother  you can say "OK brother, you have a great point" Say it then laugh inside your heart and shun the comment immediately. This skill requires some practice but once properly implemented, will generate a powerful impact on your personality.  
6-    Keep telling yourself that you can make things happen. Believe in yourself and you will see that your subconscious mind will find out a way to make things happen actually. 

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




By Junaid Tahir: 
When you were child you had a pure mind; the mind which was free from worries and anxieties. As the time passed, you were influenced by several social, personal, familial and official crises such as financial complications, broken relationship, lack of trust, joblessness, failure in business, loss of respect and so on. When the mind is stressful, the associated germs of negativity, jealousy and pessimism add fuel to fire and hence your pure mind becomes impure. These impurities if taken out can bring back the mental purity hence real spirit of joy of childhood can be attained up to an adequate level.  Off course you cannot fix all of your problem at once but you can train your mind to develop the skills which can help either bypass or overcome the depressed  and tragic situations so as to give you a big time relaxation while you focus on the solution to your problems. Below are some techniques which can be used to combat the peace stealing triggers:
  1. Mind your own business. Yes, please mind your own business. When you start being concerned about things which are not related to you, you lose your grip on your thought process which often results in negativity disturbing the mental peace. Basically, your mind starts wandering here and there. As you know that a non-focused mind is evil's workshop hence the germs of negativity and jealousy gain more strength. So next time an unnecessary thought comes to your mind, think whether this is really something you should be worrying for? If not, shun it right away and focus on something positive, practical and fruitful.  Article by Junaid.Tahir
  2. Surround yourself in positive people. Ignore negative comments and stay away from negative souls. When someone is negative, he spreads negativity and you get affected. Permanently staying with such people will have long term impact on your character so think about your company.
  3. Don't think about others too much. Remember the great quote: small minds discuss people; Average minds discuss events; Higher minds discuss ideas and Great minds act in silence. Don't allow your brain to compare yourself to others as this is an insult to yourself. Don't be Jealous; it's a heart killing disease, get rid of it as soon as possible. When you are jealous you focus on finding faultsin others even if they don't have. This poisons your soul and steals the mental peace.  Article by Junaid.Tahir
  4. You can't keep everyone happy. Don't be over sensitive. Be natural and genuine in what you do. Be positive, constructive and ethical in your deeds and then don't really care too much about others. Be aware, don't apply this formula to too closed relations. Develop trust to establish powerful relationships.
  5. Control your mood swings as it is an indication of unstable personality. Do it by not being over sensitive to others. Stop being reactive and implosive. Stay calm.
  6. Ignore your thoughts about being unlucky. Bad luck happens to everyone. It's not your fault at all. Time whether good or bad, passes quickly. Develop the power of not looking back into your past. Believe in the power of Now.  Believe in your skills. Work hard and have faith in God; you will get what you have been entitled for. Be patient and see what God has planned for you. Patience and consistency in your deeds is the key to success.
  7. Simplicity in your character and living style can overcome the stress and improve your happiness index. Don't be socially sensitive and start following every single trend your social circle is following.  
With these recommendations, I believe you can bring major changes in your life style hence attain back your mental peace. What are your recommendations in gaining mental peace?
Article written by Junaid Tahir



Junaid Tahir, a telecom engineer and a blogger, writes articles on wisdom, happiness and stress management at his personal blog. His personal Google Group can be joined here. He is reachable at mjunaidtahir@gmail.com for any kind of suggestions and comments.