We have received feedback, filtered through it and determined it is appropriate and given by someone competent with a good understanding. What next?
Take a deep breath
Critical feedback is hard to accept for anyone, not just you. It hurts to know that you are not perfect, the world is not love in with the way you are. And unlike many cliches, they are probably right and it is up to you to make changes in your life for the better. For all its obviousness, it is still not an easy thing to do. So if you are sitting in front of the one who has given the feedback, thank them and tell them you will seriously consider the feedback given to you.
Try not to feel enraged and get defensive. Don’t get apologetic without understanding thoroughly. Don’t try to pass on the blame or call it a misunderstanding by the other person. Just breathe and let the feedback sink in your head.
Continue reading How to work on feedback?
Priya and I read several non-fiction books every year. Usually our yearly tally is 20 books each. We also summarise most of the books we read. You can read them in the Book Summaries section.
In this post, we have picked 5 books that are our favourites. Reading these books have replaced some cliched and flawed thoughts about talent, personal finance, productivity, psychology and concentration. Continue reading 5 thought-changing books you should read this year
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We often work hard to get noticed. Dress up well to get attention. But many times we are uncomfortable when finally the hard work pays off and attention is showered on us. We deny, deflect and feel uncomfortable with the attention and praise. It is surprising yet true, that compliment more than insults unnerve us and take us by surprise.
Lets look at what are the appropriate ways to take a compliment
Accept and say ‘thank you’
Often ‘Thankyou’ with a smile is the most sincere way to accept a compliment. You may elaborate on the thanks but never negate the acceptance.
Compliment: “That’s an excellent presentation. You really owned the crowd.”
Bad response: “Thanks. But i forgot a few points in between. I think I could have done a lot better.”
Good response: “Thank you.”
Better response: “Thank you. I am glad you liked it”
“Thank you. I really worked hard on it and am very happy to know I got through to the audience”
Continue reading How to take a compliment?
You have heard productivity gurus often say that in order to go to the gym the next morning, you have to lay out the clothes near your bed at night, or perhaps even sleep in them. This sounds like excellent advice. But despite that friction-busting move, here’s what happens in the morning.
Alarm clock: RRRRiiiinngggg!
You: Okay, let’s go to the gym.
Your brain: Whiiiiiiiiine…. I want to sleep. The bed is comfortable. I am not getting up.
Continue reading Treat your brain like a two-year old child to beat procrastination
We saw how to give praise and Feedback the last few weeks. In the next couple of weeks, lets look at how to receive them and what to do with it. When and what to consider and what not to ?
We seek advice and feedback often when we are unsure of our future course of action. Sometimes people add relevant perspectives that we had never considered. They challenge the way we look at our world and bring clarity. Sometimes they leave us even more confused and are best ignored. But how do we know when to do what? Am I ignoring an advice because it makes me uncomfortable or if it is not relevant to me?
Continue reading Advice and Feedback – When to ignore?
Let’s say you have a dinner date night with your spouse this weekend. Will you pick the same restaurant where you have been before and enjoyed your meal or will you try something new? Your regular restaurant will surely guarantee a great experience. That’s why you often go there. But it takes away the feeling of serendipity. A feeling of discovering something somewhere which is better than any experience you have ever had. For that you should seek a restaurant you have never been to. What if you stumble upon something that becomes your new favourite? But contrarily, what if the experience there is so bad that it ruins your weekend?
You’ll never know the answer. You’ll never know if you are stuck in a rut, not willing to try something better. You’ll never know if a new trial will be a worthwhile experience. That is what we try to answer with the explore / exploit intention. Sometimes you have to EXPLORE new experiences, hoping that one of them becomes a new favourite. But more often, you have to exploit, using your existing knowledge to lock in a good experience.
Continue reading Explore and exploit: The intentions that determine our choices
Providing feedback the right way is a critical part of the job of a parent, teacher, manager, friend, customer etc. Feedback provided the right way can help one to deepen relationships and become better at tasks at hand. A botched up feedback can turn a reluctant person into a rebel, beginner struggles into permanent disinterest and wasted talent. Last time we looked at ways to keep people motivated through right praise, let us know look at a even more vital aspect of sharing feedback the right way.
When to give Feedback:
Only when appropriate:
When your spouse is asking you about her new haircut, she is looking for validation and not feedback. It’s not much different from when your 5 year old artist shows his new painting. Distinguish between validation seeking and feedback seeking and act accordingly.
Continue reading How to give feedback the right way?
Hindu religion and several other cultures talk about the concept of trinity. In the trinity principles, three types of activities are spoken about. There is a creator who creates and a destructor who destroys. In the middle sits the concept of security, the one who protects. As with anything in Hinduism, these principles are deified. They are Brahma (creation), Vishnu (protection) and Shiva (destruction). Our occupations today can be classified into these three categories. Along with them, I would also like to add another category to make it a quartet, i.e. maintenance. I call these the four pillars of occupations. Continue reading The four pillars of occupations
To share our sincere praise to someone is the best way to make them like us and listen and adhere to our requests. But delivering the praise has multiple aspects to it, that we are not normally taught. While it is of no need to mention a list of benefits of praising someone, delivering it incorrectly, can backfire badly. So let us look at various aspect of delivering praise.
How to Praise?
Like a fake smile, a fake praise is often easily deciphered by the person who it is addressed to. Even if it works in the short term and you derive benefits, in the long term, you are bound to be caught someday and it may really badly backfire.
Continue reading How to Praise the Right Way?
Since 2015, I have been a software freelancer. I have been frequently asked about where I work, to which I respond that I work from home. I am asked if I have my own business and company. My reply is that I work alone on contract with companies and that I don’t own a company and do not have employees. I explain that opportunities of such nature are abundant in fields like photography, carpentry and weaving, and thankfully in software.
To my own surprise, I have often caught myself replying, “Not a business, I’d rather say I have my own practice*.” I have heard several individual professionals, mainly doctors, lawyers and chartered accountants who use the term ‘practice’ to describe their occupation. It is a wonderful term in my opinion, something that perfectly describes almost everyone’s occupation, whether working alone or with a company, whether a sweeper or the prime minister.
Continue reading Why doctors and lawyers ‘practise’