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Leader Vs Manager, Who are you ?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“ where manager relies on persuasion, leader relies on inspiration.” 

 

Often what we see,observe or come across terms such as Leaders and Managers. To come to think of it they become hard to describe or usually would find overlapping descriptions. No doubt in both leaders and managers there are overlapping areas, but, there are points of distinction too.  

 

As per my knowledge this is a popular question asked in the interviews for jobs and getting into top MBA colleges. Also, it would be better to know which suits you the best, are you a leader or a manager?

 

Leaders and Managers are both important in their respective fields. There is a grey area where many qualities of a leader match with that of a manager and vice versa.

 

There are people who might be good managers but would not be good leaders. Also there would be good leaders who would not be as good a manager.

 

The article focuses on distinctions between the two. 

Leaders are simply understood as those who will lead the way. You can understand Gandhiji as a leader who essentially had led Indian freedom struggle against Colonialism in India. 

In military this distinction deepens, example, A company commander is leader of company of about 100 men in the battlefield. He is as much as participant in battlefield as any other soldier. He gives order regarding formations, tactics, and other important maneuvers in battlefield. As a manager a company commander manages his company’s civil and military supplies and grievance redressal of his men.

 

Leaders have qualities such as

  • Builds better cohesion among his teammates. Promotes goodwill among team.

  • Motivates and Inspires his team members.

  • Builds good connection with all team members.

  • Trains and teaches.

  • Orients team according to long-term and short-term goals which have to be accomplished.

  • A leader is a visionary, meaning he sees a long-term goal for organisation.

  • Leaders are sometimes people who challenge status quo.

  • They bring creativity and change to an organisation.

  • Leaders focus on bringing positive value to organisation.

  • They bring in both tangible and intangible changes which are good for an organisation. 

Read also 11 signs you are leader

Managers are people who provide efficiency to an organisation. They manage work and provide efficacy in an organisation.

If you watch football you would know Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson are elite managers. As said earlier goal is defined and managers promote efficiency like oversight of team performance, trading of players, best combination on field and most importantly winning UEFA champions league or EPL . They usually have authority which helps them override and take decisions at crucial time as and when required.

 

Managers have qualities such as

  • Usually work with authority.

  • Designate duties to members.

  • Monitor performances of team members.

  • Provides directions and advice when required.

  • Are usually those who execute plan and do the work.

  • Draws out a detailed plan with forecasting.

  • Managers are people who implement and produce tangible gains for an organisation.

  • Managers are usually task masters, members are the ones who work under the authority of Manager.

  • A manager is good at time management and effective communicator. 

Read also Leadership at workplace

Leaders and Manager both have their importance in an organisation. To put it in a laconic way, one outlines and leads to the goal/vision and other does the work required to achieve the goal/vision.

 

Hope it sheds light on the distinction between the two.

 

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Use Ebbinghaus forgetting curve to memorize better

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Believe it or not forgetting is natural part of learning anything.

 

Hermann Ebbinghaus, German Psychologist, is credited with research on forgetting when learning. Ebbinghaus had discovered that much of what we read/learn is forgotten during the first hour of learning itself.

 

Memory works in a way, that it remembers meaningful information more easily and it stays longer than meaningless information. Meaningless information is simply any information which is not in use for brain or has run out it utility. Example, it could be that information which you read for an exam and post examination have problem recalling it. Mind has an intriguing way or remembering and rejecting information. 

 

Ebbinghaus had conducted experiment for both meaningful and meaningless retention. However, Meaningless information is important for us to study because by knowing why we forget our course material we would be able to understand and find solutions for it.

 

Below is retention (y-axis) vs time lapsed (x-axis) graph

 fig. 1

In figure 1, Notice the retention drops substantially in the first hour itself. Much of what we learnt (around 80 percent) is forgotten after 2 days only. This is found to be natural and universal, meaning all exhibit this phenomenon with little variations.

However, Good news is that you can change it by disrupting the pattern exhibited in Curve.

 

READ also SQ3R method of studying

Key essence is to minimise forgetting is periodic revisions of course/lectures/study material

Figure 2 Image from www.salesactivator.com/resources/blog/impactful-curve-forgetting/

 

The point is to revise periodically whatever you have  studied or read. The periodic revisions will help you retain better with least amount of mental effort.

Best way to do it is

  1. Revise after learning it once, or after attending a lecture.
  2. Again, Revise a day after your have learnt it.
  3. Again, Revise a week later.
  4. And Again, Revise a 28 days/month after learning.

In figure 2, notice that at approximately 75 percent on the y-scale (retentivity) there is an acute fall in remembering/retention. So after every learning session you should revise/review the course/notes/study material.

 

Hermann Ebbinghaus, has provided a gainful insight on how are memory works and how forgetting happens. The stressing viewpoint here is that this forgetting can be subject to change and you can maximize your learning.

Goodluck!!!

 

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How to Motivate Your Employees

How to Motivate Your EmployeesReading Time: 3 minutes

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or running a small local business around you then this post is for you. Every manager wants productivity and the thumb rule to increase productivity is that your employees have to work hard for the growth of the company.

As they say, there is no substitution for hard work which is not a deniable fact. We have to work in the area to increase motivation, commitment, satisfaction, and productivity of each person in the organization so that they will work hard. So, in this post, I’ll mention some factors through which you can motivate your employees and increase yield.

 

How to Motivate Your Employees

 

 

Welcoming Environment

The most important thing in is work environment. By providing them with a welcoming working environment you are able to eradicate clumsiness, hesitation, and stress due to a new environment in their life.

From a welcoming environment, I mean well-lit cabins, good temperature, a fragrance according to them is an additional add-on. Make it more habitable by making a warm environment with little humor and less formal so that they can open up and speak.

Coffee or tea with some snacks gives them a little break from continuous stress of 3-4 hours. According to research in an organization, two third of the conflicts happen that happens is due to emotional conflicts rather than technical. And they arise because of the lack of breaks in between.

Moreover, if you want to keep staff on track, you’ll need to provide a space where they can relax and bounce back from stressful work demands. So, a happy jolly warm environment is a must.

 

Trust and value them

Trust is a big factor in every kind of relationship – especially in an employer-employee relationship. Having your trust in them gives them a sense of worth and make them feel responsible. This intrinsic motivation will, in the end, work in your favor and motivated them to work harder.

It’s not a deniable fact that people work harder when they know that they are appreciated for the work they did. To keep your staff inspired, it’s very important to make them feel like they are an integral part of your company, not just an employee picking up salary on every first week of the month

 

Safer work environment

 

After creating a welcoming environment, the next step is developing a safer work environment. According to researchers a safer work environment gives employees the feeling of satisfaction and give them the freedom to work without stress.

Most of the manufacturing sectors that are working with heavy machinery, any accident at a work site can injure or even take the life of your valuable employees. This is highly recommended to create a safer work environment for them as they are an asset to you and moreover to their families.

 

 

Enhance leadership in them

 

Motivating employees is not just about giving them a long vacation time-it’s also about showing them they can make a difference by their own unique skill set and ideas that are cooking in their heads. Every time you have a meeting with them, whether large or small, let a different team member lead the conversation or the topics to be discussed.

Not only will they share their opinions and be heard this way, but they are motivated to make their words and ideas happen. This feeling, in the end, motivated him or her to work in the betterment of the organization as now he or she is the person on which people are counting upon.

 

Transparency

 

Being more transparent to your employees will increase your credibility among them. This credibility will lead to trust and belief in the organization. This environment of trust and believe will lead a healthy corporate environment and in the end, result in productivity.

Moreover, if you keep your employees behind the screen about the operations of your business, they’ll start to feel excluded and under-valued in their eyes. In order to build a reliable, stable team that want to work for you, maintaining open communication is an important and most crucial thing.

 

To Conclude

 

By following motivational tips like these, you stand to boost morale, achieve a higher staff retention rate and improve performance – all of which is good news for your bottom line. So, keep these tips in your mind while trying to improve the productivity of the workforce. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits.

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10 Easy Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking

10 Tips to Improve Your Public SpeakingReading Time: 4 minutes

We all have anxieties when it comes to Public speaking. It can scare the best of us. In this post, we will share some tips on how to improve your public speaking. Read on.

 

We have all been there, feeling nervous and tongue-tied when put on a stage to speak in front of an audience. While some people are natural orators but most of us shiver at the very thought of talking in front of a large gathering.

If you are one of them then don’t worry as we will help you get better in facing this problem and help you in public speaking. Here are some key tips in handling stage fright – the other name of fear of public speaking.

 

10 Easy Tips to Improve Your Public Speaking.

 

 

1 – Embracing Nervousness

 

via GIPHY

 

Now, you may get nervous while you’re about to give a lecture or address an audience. Don’t worry as we all get nervous, even the best public speakers. But you need to know it’s not bad but it’s a good sign as with nervousness comes an adrenaline rush with which you can, if channel it correctly, perform your best.

You need to practice and prepare to overcome anxiety. If you’re not feeling nervous then that means you are not taking it seriously. Once you learn to embrace your nervousness you will start enjoying the nerves.

 

2 – Organizing Your Lecture Effectively

 

via GIPHY

 

For you to get the best out of your lecture or talk is to organize it effectively. You need to create a proper framework for your speech, talk or lecture. Make bullet points and write them down in the form of an outline.

You should write down your central arguments or ideas, along with your supporting ideas, examples and other relevant points. Another thing what you should do is capture your audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds with an opening hook. It could be a quote or personal story or a staggering statistic.

 

3 – Knowing Your Audience

 

via GIPHY

 

Speaking of audience, you also need to know your audience type. It’s always better to know who is about to listen to your speech. Try to Learn as much possible about the listeners in order to help you choose effective words, and also the overall pattern of talk. Once you can do that then you can effectively engage the audience.

 

 

4 – Using a Personal Touch

 

via GIPHY

 

We all remember the talks or lectures that had funny anecdotes and forget the ones who just read through pages. I’m sure you must have had class lectures like these.

So, it’s always better to inject some humorous stories or anecdotes within your talk to keep the audience entertained and involved. You can also tell personal stories within your talk, as audiences feel more involved when there’s a personal touch.

 

 

5 – Rehearsing in Front of Your Friends

 

via GIPHY

 

You should also rehearse the talk in front of your friends. This not only helps with your delivery but you also get valuable feedback from them, which helps you improve your overall talk.

Rehearsing is a very good technique of learning the overall flow of your talk or lecture as well. It also helps you memorize your talk, which is necessary as you don’t want to forget what you want to say there.

 

 

6 – Getting your Personality Out

 

via GIPHY

 

It’s always best to be yourself in any form of communication but especially when addressing an audience. Nobody wants to see a talking head. You need to be confident in your body movement, your hand gestures while you are addressing the audience.

This will make you feel more comfortable and your audience will trust you and your words. The audience will also feel being a part of the lecture.

 

 

7 – Don’t Read from a Script

 

via GIPHY

 

Reading from a script or slides can harm that interpersonal connection with the audience. Instead, you can have an outline or have bullet points with you in the form of cue cards to jog your memory in case you forget. It is necessary you maintain eye-contact with the audience to keep them engaged.

 

 

8 – Confidence in the Topic

 

via GIPHY

 

The most important thing to know for you is that you know your topic the best and the audience is there to listen to you. You are there to talk about a topic that you love and are passionate about, so that should bring confidence in you.

 

 

9 – Using Audio-Visual Aids Wisely

 

via GIPHY

 

There are also audio-visual aids to help you in your talks but use them cautiously. Too much use can break the connection to the audience with you, and less usage can also mean that enough information is not being given accurately.

Key is to find balance and use them effectively in your talks. They are a part of your talk and not the talk itself.

 

 

10 – A Dynamic End

Well, we have mentioned grabbing the audience’s attention at the start but it is also important to have a very dynamic end. The best way to end is to sum-up the central idea of your talk in one strong statement that the audience cannot forget.

 

Bonus Tip – Use the Internet 

 

via GIPHY

 

In the bonus tip, using Youtube can be beneficial for you. There are thousands of help videos about public speaking and body language. I personally like Ted Talks, they are inspiring and insightful. You can watch the Ted Talks get a better idea on how to present yourself, body language, the way of talking and how to keep the pace going. 

Additionally, you can also watch keynote presentations of various product launches. These guys are interacting with an audience and it can give you some good ideas. 

 

To Conclude

So, there you go! Key essential tips for you to follow in order to improve your public speaking skills. If you follow them I’m sure you will ease up your anxiety towards public speaking. Do let us know in the comments below if you have used any of the techniques or use any other. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!

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Leadership in the Workplace

leadership-in-the-workplceReading Time: 4 minutes

What comes to your mind when you hear someone say ‘leadership? What kind of image this word depicts in your mind? A political leader? your own manager? or simply your team leader?

In this post, I am going to talk and discuss some aspects about leaders, leadership, how it’s effectiveness inside a workplace and finally, we’ll dive into the section where you will get to know about how you can improve your leadership in the workplace.

They help themselves and others so that they can do the right things. They set direction, build an inspiring vision, a directive path and create something new. While Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to “win” as a team or an organization; and it is dynamic, exciting, and inspiring. Leadership basically allow a person to take a strongly driven charge and lead its team, co-workers or colleagues in the right direction. But what is a leader?

Leader

You may have heard this phrase a lot of times “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”. It is a famous quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, which defines a gives a definition of the leader. Famous personalities also come to your mind when you think about leaders. For instance, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, or other world-famous leaders in history. Or perhaps there are leaders in your own life that have had a positive impact on you. What skills did all of these people have that made them effective leaders? Here are a few of them

A Leader is:

  • Committed to a Vision or Mission
  • Understands His or Her Role
  • Demonstrates Integrity
  • Sets an Example
  • Understands How to Motivate the Behavior of Others
  • Communicates Effectively
  • Willing to Take Risks
  • Is Adept at Problem-Solving

 

Leadership and workplace

Leadership generally involves these four prospects when applied to the workplace: –

  • Establishing a clear vision,
  • Sharing that motivating and inspiring vision with others so that they will follow willingly.
  • Providing information, knowledge, and methods to realize that vision.
  • Coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders.

 

Establishing a clear vision

In business, a vision is a realistic, convincing and attractive picture of where you want to take your organization or team in the future. Vision provides direction, sets priorities, and provides a trail to your projects so that you can tell that you’ve achieved what you wanted to achieve. So, a vision strongly defines your leadership and its outcome. It combines the analytical side, in terms of vision creation with the passion of shared values, and simultaneously creating something meaningful for the people involved.

 

 

Motivating and Inspiring

A compelling vision provides the foundation for leadership. But it’s leaders’ ability to motivate and inspire people with that vision which helps them deliver that vision. For example, at the start of any project, one needs to instill inspiration for the teammates to follow in order to realize the vision.

 

 

Delivering and managing that vision

A compelling vision and an enthusiastic team are not enough, maybe they are the foundation stones to get done the projector to solve a problem, but real leadership skills lies in managing and delivering the vision that you created. A good leader must ensure that the work required to deliver the vision is managed and also need to ensure that the vision is realized successfully.

 

 

Team Building

After thinking about how to manage and deliver the vision the next ladder is to provide proper and precise coaching to achieve that task. Individual and team development are important activities carried out leaders to achieve the desired task and get the work done in the required team frame. Here the real tedious work of leaders come into play, to assess the strong and weak aspects of colleagues around him or her and then collect them into a team. Leaders must know about team dynamics in order to run a smooth ship.

 

How you can improve your leadership skills to become a better leader.

Here I am going to mention three traits by adding them to your life you can easily improve your leadership skills. These traits I am going to mention is a must have in any leader whether it could relate to community leadership, religious leadership, political leadership, and leadership of campaigning groups.

 

Three Essential Traits

Without any doubt, there are three traits that every leader must have in order to be successful and achieve a milestone in leadership. These are essential traits without which you will not be an effective leader. So, what are these three required traits?

 

 First is the desire to lead. In absence of it, you will never be comfortable and looks fit in the leader role. You will struggle with things on a daily basis, and your team members will sense thing in your overall outlook. So the desire is to lead is essential otherwise you might feel burnt out and your team members will not feel motivated to do any work. This might lead them to leave the office or force you to quit.

 

The second trait of successful leaders is a commitment to the mission and vision of the organization where they work. First, imagine how hard it could be trying to convince people to follow a mission that you yourself do not commit to. It would be a difficult task. So, first, in order to inspire other people to follow your mission, you need to fully commit to the mission and the vision and manifest it in your personality.

 

The final trait that leadership requires is integrity. It means doing what you say you will do and behaving the way that you expect your team to behave. At first glance, that may sound simple enough. But if you can truly master integrity, you will find that it changes whole teams and even whole organizations for the better.

 

To Conclude

So overall leadership may be something that one is born with but that doesn’t mean you cannot learn and acquire skills to become one. You can start by taking one of our tests to know yourself better, which can help you develop your skills. Till then cheers and be awesome!

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The Growth Mindset Approach

the-growth-mindset-approach-by-Dr-carol-dwyek-Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Growth Mindset Approach

(How it can help you cope up with daily struggles and challenges in life?)

Growth Mindset book

What is the mindset?

 

Mindset can be described as a belief or set of beliefs to which a person ascribes, determining how one handles a problem/challenge/task/situation. It differs from person to person.

 

Doctor Carol S. Dweck (Ph.D.) is one of world’s leading researcher in the field of personality, social psychology and developmental psychology. She has coined the term Growth Mindset. Her research has contributed immensely to developmental psychology which in simpler sense indicates the approach to tackle problem/struggles/challenges in our lives.

Growth mindset vs Fixed mindset: She has proposed that people at best can be categorized into two growth mindset and a fixed mindset. Growth mindset individuals are those who believe that abilities can be developed and improved upon. Fixed mindset individuals see abilities and talent as fixed traits of oneself. She presents a contrasting image between the two.

                                                    Diagram by Nigel Holmes

Two Approaches

 

Risk and Effort: Growth mindset individual relies both on risk as well as the effort to gain from such a mindset. A belief should be drawn on suggesting that one’s abilities can be improved with effort. One should allow themselves to take the risk to gain experience, should view it as a stepping stone/hurdle.

 

Alfred Binet, a Frenchman, inventor of IQ test, had created IQ test not to summarize children’s unchangeable intelligence but designed it to identify children who were not profiting from Paris public school. This test should have worked as an identification tool to establish who were benefiting from the current education system and that those who were lagging in it be identified and catered to by reforming education.

 

 

 

How this approach can help you in your daily struggles?

Growth mindset approach simply allows for an open mindset over problem areas/events/situations. Most essentially you should tell yourself that whatever problem has arisen, can be resolved through effort (can be physical/ mental). Your traits/talent/skills are not fixed but can be developed through the right amount of effort and time.

For eg. Supposedly, you are concerned to see that going to the gym regularly has not resulted in much loss in weight. Now you can apply Growth Mindset approach to telling yourself that this challenge/goal has not resulted into failure but that your effort is not producing effective results and more grinding or change in exercise regime is what is needed.

This allows you to see it not as the failure but merely as an event which is taking more time/effort. This will allow you to stretch and persevere for longer. Both these traits are seen in Growth Mindset individuals. You also don’t see it as the task but a process to gain from. Hence you are not failing but working on a project which is taking little longer.

 

Using Growth mindset to overcome the challenges of life:

 

To overcome challenges in life, one should not view them as success and failures. These labels usually signify positive and negative emotions in one’s mind. This makes one see themselves as persons who constantly seek to validate that they are good at somethings and bad at others. Think about it this way since you know you are good at something you will only choose those and avoid others. This makes your approach limited to the area or field of expertise. Most great leaders, champions, CEO’s who were of growth mindset saw the challenge as an opportunity, learn to grow and develop intellectual capacities and not as the window to validate themselves.

Michael Jordan embraced his failures. He was not selected in his high school basketball team. He saw this merely as a setback not as a failure.

Michael Jordan in two mindsets:

 

growth mindset

 

 

Three important pointers to view a challenge in growth mindset frame:

1.    See a challenge as an opportunity to learn and grow.

2.    There are only setbacks no failures. These setbacks are like a wake-up call.

3.    Keep up with the pace. Do not pause. Michael Jordan maintained his best game throughout his career meaning he reoriented, reformed, improved and practiced more after winning championships.

 

Growth Mindset provides an opportunity to change our beliefs about ourselves. More importantly, it provides us with a positive outlook towards life and its challenges, giving an affirmative approach by giving a hopeful and a meaningful way of dealing with problem, task, challenges, and issues. It certainly improves the way we think about our problems and changes us for the better.

 

Do check out series of free tests to know yourself better.