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Are the 3 daily standup questions actually effective? 


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

I have been an Agile coach for more than nine years and have worked in various Indian, American & European companies that develop software locally and internationally using Scrum. The clients of these companies have adopted Scrum and participate in the Daily Scrum meeting, assuming the role of Product Owner.

The purpose of the Daily Scrum is to inspect progress toward the Sprint Goal and adapt the Sprint Backlog as necessary, adjusting the upcoming planned work. It’s not an opportunity to get a report on where the team is up to. It’s not an opportunity to ensure everyone is ‘busy’. Unfortunately, the three questions just tend to reinforce this perspective.

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What will you do today?
  3. What (if anything) is blocking your progress?

The purpose of the 3 daily scrum questions is relatively simple and obvious. These questions are asked routinely first thing in the morning, which allows teams to assess: (1) how they performed in the last 24 hours and (2) what the next 24 hours look like.

This article tells the story of our experience implementing a shift in approach during the Daily Scrum meeting. We went from a typical approach centered on each individual to one centered on each story of the Sprint Backlog.

The 2020 version of the Scrum Guide dropped the classic “three questions” of the Daily Scrum. Yet many teams stick with the practice, even when it doesn’t produce the collaboration that is the hallmark of a valuable Daily Scrum. When a Scrum Team I worked with said that their Daily Scrum was lackluster and unproductive, I challenged them to design a better one. The new pattern we created shifted the focus from individual action to team collaboration toward the Sprint Goal.

Smarter questions for the Daily Scrum

Scrum isn’t prescriptive about the way Developers run their Daily Scrum. Importantly, going ‘around the room’ and ‘standing up’ isn’t required. Some useful questions to raise at the Daily Scrum include:

Questions about scope

  • Do we need to change some of the work we have in the Sprint so we achieve the Sprint Goal?
  • Do we need to change some of the tasks we decided need doing?
  • Do some of the backlog items we chose need to be put aside because we now know they don’t help us achieve the Sprint Goal?
  • Do we need to negotiate scope with the Product Owner to help us achieve the Sprint Goal?

Questions about collaboration

  • Does anyone need their work peer reviewed yet?
  • Does anyone need help today?
  • What pairing activities will we do today?
  • Whose turn is it to pair with the new team member?

Questions about transparency

  • Have we updated the board to show our actual progress?
  • Is the Sprint Backlog up to date?
  • Is the status of work up to date?

Questions about metrics

  • How are we tracking toward the Sprint Goal? Are we where we thought we’d be?
  • What do our burndown metrics say about our progress?
  • What does our cycle time metrics say about whether we’ll complete the work by the end of the Sprint?
  • Questions about Done
  • What work is in-progress that we can work on today and get to Done?

Questions about learning 

  • Did anyone learn anything yesterday that means our work for today needs to change?

If the traditional “three questions” Daily Scrum doesn’t provide value for your team, try something new. Create a collaborative discussion focused on making each day a valuable step toward the Sprint Goal.

If you came across similar situations , please share your experience in the comments section.

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this or any other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share them with your family, friends, and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2022 in Technical

 

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What to do you do when a sprint is cancelled?


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

During my stint as a Scrum Master, I have experienced multiple cancelled Sprints. I have always tried to use these as learning opportunities.

Though Cancelling the sprint isn’t a frequent situation. In Scrum framework it’s at the discretion of the Product Owner(PO) to cancel the sprint if PO realize that the sprint goal and plan isn’t adding value to the product. In Scrum, only the Product Owner has the authority to cancel the Sprint, although he or she may do so under influence from the stakeholders, the Development Team, or the Scrum Master.

“Sprint cancellations are often traumatic to the Scrum Team, and are very uncommon.” — The Scrum Guide.

Sprint cancellations, might occur if the company changes direction or if market or technology conditions change. In general, a Sprint should be cancelled if it no longer makes sense given the circumstances. But, due to the short duration of Sprints, cancellation rarely makes sense. When a Sprint is cancelled, product backlog is updated with latest priorities any completed and “Done” Product Backlog items are reviewed. If part of the work is potentially releasable, the Product Owner typically accepts it. All incomplete Product Backlog Items are re-estimated and put back on the Product Backlog. The work done on them depreciates quickly and must be frequently re-estimated.

A Sprint may be cancelled in the event that an organisation has to adapt to an abrupt situation. In a way it enhances agility. It generally occurs when there is something more valuable or urgent that requires the team’s commitment and focus. A Sprint doesn’t get cancelled if the Scrum Team discovers it cannot meet it. Calling for cancellations often, reveals however that focus and commitment is lacking. Perhaps even the Sprint timebox is too long for the team to timely adapt to the changing conditions in the market. It could even reveal a lack of vision, or that the Product Owner’s vision for a Sprint isn’t respected by his or hers management.

Valid Reasons the PO Might Cancel A Sprint:

  1. A better technical solution is found that makes the current Sprint’s activity throw-away work.
  2. A major technology change occurs.
  3. Fundamental and urgent external changes invalidate the Sprint Goal or the Product Goal
  4. Company’s vision is changed
  5. Product strategy is changed
  6. Company’s business strategy is changed
  7. Market conditions are changed
  8. Customer needs are changed
  9. Product owner realize the value of the identified goal is obsolete
  10. Another poor reason to cancel a Sprint is when a Sprint Goal is already achieved early and there is still time remaining.

When Product Owner cancel Sprint, all the work done until that moment is evaluated and remaining work items are pushed to product backlog for further analysis. The time, efforts and at times work done might be considered waste and Product Owner takes the accountability of any such business impacts. 

When a sprint is cancelled, It is biggest challenge for Scrum Master to handle to situation. When a sprint is cancelled team morale is likely to drop off significantly. Team members are likely to have a negative reaction to the PO and the product. Its where Scrum Master communication skills comes to play.

Most teams are unlikely to be able to start a new sprint immediately. Instead opting to maintain a sprint heartbeat consistent with what they are used to.

If you came across similar situations , please share your experience in the comments section.

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this or any other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share them with your family, friends, and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2022 in Technical, Work Place

 

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Today this father is not a beggar, he is a KING


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

There are uncountable relationships in a person’s life throughout they live. The most precious one is that of a father and a daughter, its the most affectionate and sweet relationship one can ever experience. A father is a girl’s first love in the male character and this bond is really very special to each and every one. 

Did you wake up staring at your wardrobe, thinking you don’t have enough clothes or that you need to go shopping? And for many of us, it’s pretty simple: Get in the car, drive to the nearest mall and buy whatever you wish for.

There are millions who don’t have the same means and yet they make things happen out of sheer determination.

Case in point: MD. Kawsar Hossain, who begs for a living, saved up every rupee for two years to buy his daughter a new dress.

After an accident resulted in the amputation of his right hand, Hossain had no other means to support his family and so he started begging. The day he walked into the store to buy a dress with loose change, the shopkeeper yelled at him. His daughter burst into tears, but that did not deter his spirit.

After two years, he bought his daughter a pretty yellow dress of her dreams. This heartbreaking picture taken by photographer GMB Akash has gone viral and you cannot get through the post without shedding a tear.

Read the full post below:

Yesterday, I was able to buy a new dress for my daughter after two years. While I handed sixty pieces of five taka note to the seller, he yelled at me for asking if I am a beggar. My daughter held my hand and cried to leave the shop by saying that she did not want to buy any dress.

I swept off her tears with one hand. Yes, I am a beggar. Ten years ago I had never thought in my nightmares that I have to live by begging from people. The night coach fell from the bridge and unbelievably I was alive. I was alive by becoming a disable. My youngest son often asked me where had I left my other hand. And my daughter Sumaiya feed me every day by saying she knows how difficult it is to do all work with one hand.

After two years my daughter is wearing a new dress, that’s why today I brought her with me to play for some time. Maybe I will not be able to earn anything today, but I wanted to roam around with my little girl. I secretly borrowed this mobile phone from my neighbour without informing my wife. My daughter has no picture and I want to make this day memorable for her. When one day I will have a phone I will take a lot of pictures of my children. I want to keep good memories. It’s very difficult to send my children to school, but I am educating them all. Sometimes they cannot attend the exam because giving exam fees is not always possible by me. On those days they feel very sad then I tell them, sometimes we can miss exams because the biggest exam is life which we are giving every day.

Now I will go for begging. I will place my daughter in a signal where she will wait for me. I will look at her from distant while begging. I feel shame while she looks at me when I lend my one hand to others. But she never leaves me alone. Because there are big cars, she thinks accident can happen again, these cars could run on me and I would die. Whenever I managed to get some money I return to home by holding my daughter’s hand. We do bazaar on our way and my daughter always carry that bag. During rain we love to get wet and talk about our dreams. In someday I do not get any money, on those days we return to home silently. On those days I feel like to die but at night when my children fall in sleep by holding me I feel being alive is not a bad thing. Only bad is when my daughter waits for me in the signal by keeping her head down. When I cannot look at her eye while begging. But today is different. Because today my daughter is very happy. Today this father is not a beggar. Today this father is a king and here is his princess.

Being a father is no easy job! He is the one who gave his girl the strength to fight with the patriarchal society and live life on her own terms. The bond between daughter and father is genuinely filled with warmth and pure love.

Fathers play a big role in their daughters’ self-esteem, self-worth and body image. A strong father-daughter bond also plays a heavy role in her ability to express her feelings, her emotions, and her thoughts.

credit: https://corporate-soldiers.com, GMB Akash (photographer)

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this or any other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share them with your family, friends, and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 

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Re-onboarding new parent employees is vital to organisation’s growth


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Returning from maternity or parental leave can be an incredibly stressful time for your employee, so you need to help make the transition as easy as possible for them. They have probably got a lot of mixed emotions about coming back, and it is likely that this will be the first time they have been away from their child for any extended period of time.

While they might be excited about returning to work, they will probably also be a little nervous. A lot of things can change in a business over six-months to a year, and this article aims to provides some tips to help with their return.


Prioritising new parents in your workplace is a form of equity. Any organisation that commits to that value should dedicate resources to bringing parents up to speed when rejoining the workforce.

Most companies fall somewhere in between, but there are a variety of things you can do in addition to your policy to make new and even experienced mothers feel comfortable and welcome them back after their maternity leave or leave of absence

Returning to work after a lengthy absence on maternity leave can be a daunting experience, so the employer should take steps to ensure that the employee’s reintroduction is as smooth as possible. Every Employer has to ensure an employee’s smooth reintroduction to the workplace after maternity leave.

Now the big question is, How can we achieve that smooth reintroduction. ? How can employers manage employees returning from maternity leave to make sure they feel fully welcomed back to work ?

Here are some suggestions to support an employee returning from maternity leave.

  • Remember that maintaining contact with an employee on maternity leave can help them to stay in touch with the workplace and ease their return to work.
  • Check that you have notified the employee of the date that their maternity leave will end and consider sending them a courtesy letter to remind them of their expected date of return from maternity leave.
  • Send out a Welcome back letter and do onboarding and take feedback after a week.
  • Make sure that the employee’s workstation is ready for their return from maternity leave and that they have the materials necessary to do their job.
  • Make the time for a coffee with your returning employees, preferably OUT of the office. Maybe invite the broader team to say hello. Allow them to share their experiences as new parents and ask them to show you baby photos!
  • Encourage mental well-being and Allow flexible working options.
  • Bear in mind that returning to work after a long period of absence on maternity leave can be a daunting experience for an employee.
  • AVOID inviting your returning employees to large meetings for the first two weeks until they’ve had a chance to settle back in. During that time they would have gained more context and could confidently attend and actively participate.
  • Consider what changes need to be made to the employee’s workload if they are returning to work from maternity leave on reduced hours and what arrangements need to be made if they are going to be working with a jobshare partner.
  • Arrange meetings to update the employee and discuss any training needs or necessary support for them to get back up to speed with the job. Ensure that an employee who has returned to work from maternity leave is not treated less favourably because they have been out of the workplace for some time.
  • Carry out a risk assessment if an employee has returned to work from maternity leave within six months of the birth or is still breastfeeding.
  • Provide suitable facilities for a breastfeeding employee to rest, and remember that it is good practice to provide a clean, private room, access to a fridge and time off to express milk.
  • Ensuring that the logistics are in place for the employee to begin work on their return, for example that their workstation is ready and that they have the appropriate systems access and passwords.

Showing empathy and understanding during this difficult time will make a big impact. If the pandemic taught us anything, I believe it was to find compassion for each other’s full lives — at work or at home, which are now not as separated as they once were.


If you are a manager and have read so far- kudos to you. All that’s left now is to put the wheels in motion and change the statistics
If you are a parent who’s reading this and are finding it relatable- share this around. You too can change the statistics.

If you want your business to be more human, you have to invest in your humans.

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this or any other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share them with your family, friends, and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 

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Pair Testing User Guide


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Pair programming is a familiar practice in extreme programming. Therefore, Pair programming considered as a great approach for programming software. Like wise pair testing is an alike process for testing software.

When you think of software testing, you probably think of an individual sitting at their computer performing manual tests or maybe writing up a Selenium script. In this scenario, they are also the sole person providing feedback on the test case and recording any notes or documentation.

However, pair testing is a little different, and it’s gaining popularity among the testing community. Pair testing, often referred to as Buddy testing, is a software testing technique where two people from the project team test the same feature in parallel under the same conditions while exchanging ideas. It generates more ideas which result in better testing of the application under test.Contrary to how it appears, pair testing does speed up test assignments while delivering more quality results.

One does the testing and the other analyzes or reviews the testing. This can be done between one tester and developer or business analyst or between two testers with both participants taking turns at driving the keyboard

In this a single task is divided between two individuals who exchange ideas, discuss test scenarios, take notes, and generally collaborate to test software functionality. It is a form of exploratory testing.

Generally, the pair in pair tests comprise a developer and a tester. However, in some instances, a customer, business analyst, solution designer, or technical writer can also form part of the pair if the situation calls for it.

This guide serves to introduce beginners in software testing to the concept, and where and when they can adopt the technique to maximize its benefits.

How to Conduct Pair Testing

Pair testing really isn’t that different from other methods of software testing, but there are a few things you may want to do in preparation.

Following these steps will ensure that it’ll be a productive use of both your time.

  • Identify scenarios to be tested: Identify the test case you want to work on and why you think pair testing is a solution. Come up with a few specific cases you want to be included in the pair testing. I suggest to write down a simple checklist of ideas.
  • Determine an objective from your pair testing session. Do you want to find bugs or suggest new features? Maybe you want to define tests that should be automated — maybe all of the above. Understand who you will be bringing your results to if it’s different than your normal report.
  • Establish Goals: Even though pair testing is a form of ad-hoc testing, testers shouldn’t be completely unstructured when approaching it. At the very least, formulate a list of software areas to cover. For example, let’s say a pair is testing a new feature with multiple components. Testers should come prepared with a list of components to cover, expected results for each, and what the test intends to accomplish.
  • Decide on Roles: Before starting, decide which of the pair will operate the machine (the driver) and who will direct the session (the navigator). The navigator takes the driver through the steps of the tests, suggests scenarios, takes notes, and swaps ideas. However, both parties should equally contribute ideas, suggestions, and concepts to enrich the test cases.
  • Create a timeline:  The duo should have access to a quiet room where they can talk (and not disturb anyone else) as well as the required machine for one or two hours. That gives yourselves enough room to explore and meet these objectives while staying focused on the tasks at hand.
  • Partner Up the Right People: Find two people comfortable with collaborating. The two people should have a sense of each other’s working styles, be able to communicate adequately, and see eye-to-eye on project goals.
  • Log Bugs and Take Notes: Once the session ends, log bugs, if any. Additionally, make detailed bug reports and note any unexpected discrepancies and anomalies that might have popped up.

Characteristics of Pair Testing:

  • Testing is an open-ended defect hunting process. Pair Testing will generate more effective test cases quickly and cheaply.
  • Forming testers in pairs will enable test managers to gather performance of the testers within the group.
  • Pair Testing is the best approach for mentoring and training the newbies in the team.
  • Testing in pairs generates a positive energy within the team with increased coordination.
  • Pair the domain expert with a novice tester to develop domain knowledge within the team.

When to Conduct Pair Testing

There are a few situations in which pair testing comes in handy:

  • Short pair tests between team members to quickly validate software components and further collaboration.
  • As a learning opportunity, pair tests are ideal. Assigning a new member or junior tester with a senior tester can help the former quickly come up to speed on the development lifecycle.
  • Pair tests are also helpful in supporting collaboration among different roles and expand the purview of QA operations. Testers can pair up with designers to get a sense of the software’s visual significance and design relevant test scenarios. Similarly, testers can pair with business analysts to ascertain how a customer-facing feature can be enhanced to boost revenue streams and brand credibility.
  • When bugs are identified, pair tests are perfect for bringing objectivity into the debugging process. With the second set of (preferably fresh) eyes on the job, it became much less likely for incorrect code to go unnoticed.

Benefits of Pair Testing

  • Breaks down siloes for better collaboration: Since pair testing requires people from the same and different teams to collaborate. Hands-on knowledge sharing and test activities break the ice between teams or individuals, invites new perspectives into QA, and keeps everyone appraised of overall project progress. It also fosters better inter-team relationships.
  • High creativity: Working in a pair forces each person to explain their ideas and react to the ideas of others. The simple process of phrasing ideas seems to bring them into better focus and naturally triggers more ideas. 
  • Easy Training Technique : A strong pairing is one where people are grouped so that their strengths will mutually complement their weaknesses. This presents an opportunity for people to learn from one another. Pairing is a good way for novices to keep learning by testing with others. It’s also useful for experienced testers when they are new to a domain to quickly pick up business knowledge.
  • High productivity: Each person must stay focused on the task or risk letting their partner down.  Pairing allows the person at the keyboard to follow their train of thought without pausing to take notes or locate reference information. It encourages dogged pursuit of insights. Two people working together limits the willingness of others to interrupt them.
  • Provides greater accuracy: A tester may miss out on a bug if they know the feature too well from its initial development phases. Technical personnel can lose sight of how actual end-users may approach the software.In pair testing, testers can join forces with someone less technically oriented (business analysts, product owners) to not miss out on the obvious errors. A fresh pair of eyes can contrast their “curse of knowledge” and help keep them connected to end-users’ concerns.Even if they pair up with a tester from another team, valuable feedback can come from the person not acquainted with the software. Basically, pair testing provides QAs with a pair of fresh eyes to examine software with, which tends to identify far more bugs than one tester working alone.
  • Promotes Knowledge Sharing: This might not be a tangible benefit, but its importance should not be downplayed. With experts from different teams/roles working together, both individuals will better understand how diverse software development operations work.Naturally, this fosters easier communication and helps individuals gain a more comprehensive understanding of team dynamics. This results in people who work better together (always a good thing) in the long run.
  • Creates Better Bug Reports: With two people examining software for bugs, bug reports tend to be more detailed, which helps developers address issues faster. Additionally, with insights from members from different teams, bugs are analyzed from not just technical perspectives but from customer-facing and financially relevant POVs.

Pair testing is one kind of what Malcolm Isaacs calls “social software testing”. When following an agile methodology and shifting left, it’s crucial for testers, developers, product owners, and other participants in the SDLC to come together for collaboration. Pair testing is just way one to do this.

While it may not be as deeply technical as, say, test automation might be, there are clearly many advantages to having two team members get together to discuss the quality of the application under test — what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to change?

Finally, it is a blend of team work and testing but it has many advantages like sharing knowledge about testing and SUT, training new members, making barrier between members and above that it is fun. we should use pair testing wisely.

Better software. Together.

Do you know of any other resources that might be useful to add to this list?

REFERENCES

  1. Pair Testing
  2. Exploratory Testing in Pairs Cem Kaner & James Bach
  3. Boost acceptance testing with pair testing Mark de Bono
  4. Testing Dojos
  5. The Power of Pairing Mike Talks
  6. Pairing – seeing the flipside of the coin Ben Kelly
  7. Pair Testing: How I bought developers into the test lab Jonathan Kohl
  8. The Moment Marlena Compton
  9. Pair Testing or something like it Matt Heusser
  10. Communication avenues to pairing opportunities Sean Cresswell
  11. Pair Testing QA Hipster
  12. Pair Testing: A Beginner’s Guide Shreya Bose
  13. Pair testing – A best practice to enhance accessibility test coverage Sunil Dangwal

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this or any other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share them with your family, friends, and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2022 in Technical

 

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Tips to Handle Employee Turnover Tsunami


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

A new trend is emerging in the pandemic-era workplace. People are rethinking their priorities and beginning to make new career moves. Several factors seem to be playing into this reshuffling, including work-life balance concerns and the pursuit of passion projects that people were able to consider during the past year. Other people are focusing on their families, taking time off after a year of strenuous work, or starting their own companies.

The Great Attrition is happening, it’s widespread and likely to persist—if not accelerate—and many companies don’t understand what’s really going on, despite their best efforts. These companies are making ineffective moves based on faulty assumptions.

As per recent surveys, a record number of employees are quitting or thinking about doing so. Organizations that take the time to learn why—and act thoughtfully—will have an edge in attracting and retaining talent. The top three factors employees cited as reasons for quitting were that they didn’t feel valued by their organizations (54 percent) or their managers (52 percent) or because they didn’t feel a sense of belonging at work (51 percent). 

More than 19 million US workers—and counting—have quit their jobs since April 2021, a record pace disrupting businesses everywhere. Companies are struggling to address the problem, and many will continue to struggle for one simple reason: they don’t really understand why their employees are leaving in the first place. Rather than take the time to investigate the true causes of attrition, many companies are jumping to well-intentioned quick fixes that fall flat: for example, they’re bumping up pay or financial perks, like offering “thank you” bonuses without making any effort to strengthen the relational ties people have with their colleagues and their employers. The result? Rather than sensing appreciation, employees sense a transaction. This transactional relationship reminds them that their real needs aren’t being met.

If the past 20 months have taught us anything, it’s that employees crave investment in the human aspects of work. Employees are tired, and many are grieving. They want a renewed and revised sense of purpose in their work. They want social and interpersonal connections with their colleagues and managers. They want to feel a sense of shared identity. Yes, they want pay, benefits, and perks, but more than that they want to feel valued by their organizations and managers. They want meaningful—though not necessarily in-person—interactions, not just transactions.

By not understanding what their employees are running from, and what they might gravitate to, company leaders are putting their very businesses at risk. Moreover, because many employers are handling the situation similarly—failing to invest in a more fulfilling employee experience and failing to meet new demands for autonomy and flexibility at work—some employees are deliberately choosing to withdraw entirely from traditional forms of full-time employment.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If companies make a concerted effort to better understand why employees are leaving and take meaningful action to retain them, the Great Attrition could become the Great Attraction. By seizing this unique moment, companies could gain an edge in the race to attract, develop, and retain the talent they need to create a thriving post-pandemic organization.

But this won’t be easy, because it requires companies and their leaders to truly understand their employees. It requires leaders to develop a much deeper empathy for what employees are going through and to pair that empathy with the compassion—and determination—to act and change. Only then can employers properly reexamine the wants and needs of their employees—together with those employees—and begin to provide the flexibility, connectivity, and sense of unity and purpose that people crave.

As these shifts begin to take place in your company, know that internal communications will become more important as well. This starts with inspirational leaders communicating core values and the mission of the company, as well as culture-building among team members. Use this time of reshuffling to shore up your communications infrastructure, brand values, and company culture, and you’ll build the new team that will take you successfully into the years ahead.

There will always be employees who want to leave your business. They will find jobs they’re more interested in, change career paths, decide to become a stay-at-home parent, or maybe start their own business. Employee turnover can’t be completely eliminated. But, you can reduce it by providing a workplace where employees want to stay.

With that in mind, here are a few tips on how you can slow down the revolving door at your company. Some may be familiar, some may be new to you, but all should help you inspire long-term loyalty from your best employees.

We Don't Actually Have to Retain All of Our Employees! - Fistful of Talent

Making Remote Workers Happy

Do everything possible to make remote workers successful and happy. This includes those who are going to remain in their home office five days a week, as well as those who will be allocating some of their time in the corporate office and some of their time at home (a.k.a. hybrid workers). “Successful” means equipping them with the technologies and tools they need to be productive, efficient and organized. And “happy” means paying attention to their wellbeing and protecting them from micromanagers.

Hire the right people

The best way to ensure employees don’t leave you is to make sure you are hiring the right employees to begin with. Define the role clearly—both to yourself and to the candidates. And then be absolutely sure the candidate is a fit not only for it, but for your company culture.

Fire people who don’t fit

As the old saying goes, “a stitch in time, saves nine.” The same goes for cutting employees loose when necessary. Sometimes even when you follow the advice above, you get an employee who — no matter what you try to do — just doesn’t fit. And, no matter how effective they might be at their actual work, an employee who is a bad fit is bad for your culture, and that creates “culture debt.” They will do more damage than good by poisoning the well of your company. Cut them loose.

Employee-Centric Culture

Focus on practical and meaningful ways to build an employee-centric culture. Compensation is always going to matter, but it has never been the number one thing that most employees focus on when it comes to joining an organization or staying in one. Organizations that establish and evolve a culture that is characterized by transparency, inclusion, respect, support, and empathy are much better positioned to recruit and retain vs. those that might offer higher salaries, but only pay lip service to these values and principles.

Keep compensation and benefits current

Be sure that you are paying employees the fair going wage for their work (or better) and offer them competitive benefits, or — really — who can blame them for ditching you? This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how few companies offer raises that keep up with an employee’s development and actual rising worth.

Pay attention to engagement

This one sounds obvious, but for too many leaders interest in engagement is limited to the results of engagement surveys. It’s not enough simply to run an engagement survey once a year. You need to save most of your energy to take action based on the results and you need to work to build a culture of engagement in your company all year long.

Retention and Exit Surveys

Make retention surveys and exit interviews a top priority — and if this means spending more money on staff, tools or both, then make it happen. Organizations that assume what their workforce is feeling are often shocked to discover that their beliefs are rooted in wishful thinking instead of reliable data.

Prioritize employee happiness

Happiness may sound a bit soft and squishy to many execs, but the numbers behind it are anything but. Employee happiness is a key indicator of job satisfaction, absenteeism, and alignment with values–just for starters. Investing in the happiness of your employees will pay dividends in engagement, productivity, and yes, retention.

Make opportunities for development and growth

Employees place HUGE value on opportunities for growth. In fact, a Cornerstone survey drew a direct connection between lack of development opportunity and high turnover intentions. If you aren’t developing your employees then you aren’t investing in them. And if you aren’t investing in them, why should they stay with you?

Encourage generosity and gratitude

Encourage pro-social behavior in your employees. When they are given the opportunity to connect with one another through acts of connection and appreciation, employees will be healthier, happier, and less likely to fly the coop. And by encouraging them to be on the lookout for good behaviors to commend, you give people a sense of ownership of the company.

Recognize and reward employees

Show your employees they are valued and appreciated by offering them real-time recognition that celebrates their successes and their efforts. Make it specific, social, and supported by tangible reward, and you, too, will be rewarded—with their loyalty.

Offer flexibility

Today’s employees crave a flexible life/work balance. That impacts retention directly. In fact, a Boston College Center for Work & Family study found that 76% of managers and 80% of employees indicated that flexible work arrangements had positive effects on retention. And more and more companies know it.  That means, if you’re not offering employees flexibility around work hours and locations, they might easily leave you for someone who will.

Clean up performance reviews

Our Workforce MoodTracker survey painted a frankly dismal picture of how employees feel about performance reviews. Only 49 percent of them find reviews to be accurate, and only 47 percent find them to be motivating. Performance reviews offer a prime opportunity for a big win to increase trust and fortify your relationship with employees. Improve performance management by overhauling reviews, and watching employee trust and satisfaction grow.

Provide an inclusive vision

One key factor in employee engagement and happiness, according to experts, is to provide them with a sense of purpose and meaning in their work. Offer employees a strong vision and goals for their work and increase their sense of belonging and loyalty to your organization.

Demonstrate and cultivate respect

Finally, don’t discount respect when it comes to creating a magnetic culture. In fact, in one study, respect in the workplace was revealed to be a key factor involuntary turnover. Find ways to cultivate and nurture respect in your workplace and it will pay off in higher retention.

Use these tips to help build a culture in your organization that will keep your turnover rates low, and your best employees on board and productive for years to come.

Sources: McKinsey, Forbes, Workhuman, HBU

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this or any other posts, I’d be honored if you’d share them with your family, friends, and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2021 in Work Place

 

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Work Making You Anxious? Thinking Of Quitting?


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

We all join jobs to earn a good salary which is required for good living. But the pace we are working and living today causes stress. We all know our capability but when the workplace expects to deliver beyond our capability then stress at work occurs. Stress affects a lot of people, and can influence your health. And also we come across colleagues with Anxiety and Depression in team.

Stress and anxiety may seem similar, but they’re not the same. The difference? Stress is a response to daily pressures or a threatening situation, while anxiety is a reaction to the stress. Anxiety, which has no clear cause, tends to last longer and be more difficult to treat. Anxiety can make you feel like a failure and it may make you feel stupid and feel stressed out.

Are you alone getting stressed out in the workplaceHave you ever checked with your friends, how they are feeling in their job? Ask any of your friends, you will get the common answer that “We are all stressed at work”?

Whoever is working, they are feeling the pressure of work-related stress, irrespective of age, experience, gender, and position. Only the level of stress varies from person to person. It’s impossible to get a completely stress-free work environment today.

In today’s work environment, office politics is very common. People are pulling each other’s legs to show-off and make them significant. Frictions happen between employees and it never goes away.

You would have heard that “there is no married relationship without some fights”. In the same way, “there can be no office without politics”.

In earlier days once we leave the office and go home, work did not follow us. But now we have an option to be fully connected to our work, 24 hours a day. It’s your choice to allow it or not.

People who struggle with anxiety often find themselves struggling with low self-esteem. They may have poor confidence in themselves or think they are worthless.Feeling worthless often involves a sense of hopelessness and insignificance. Such feelings are often a common symptom of depression, but can also arise due to things such as low self-esteem, neglect, abuse, trauma, or difficult situations that pose a threat to a person’s sense of self.

A small amount of anxiety helps your body to perform at its best.  An adrenaline kick starts you every morning and keeps you alert throughout the day. However, too much of this stress hormone can exhaust you. Everybody has bad days at work. But if you dread waking up every Monday through Friday, or you regularly find yourself sitting at your desk on the verge of tears, you probably have a more serious problem on your hands. Feeling worthless can create significant distress and make it difficult to function normally in daily life.

Stressed out at Work: Can You Afford to Quit Your Job - Harish Saras

Workplace issues does not stay at work. It creeps into every part of a persons life and can change their whole perception of themselves. It can destroy the self worth of even the most confident people – especially if the workplace does not have the right support systems.

1. Your Skills Are Being Underutilized. Management doesn’t acknowledge that you have more to offer than what you’ve been contributing for a significant amount of time. Perhaps you’ve been passed over for promotion – or your repeated attempts to take on more challenging assignments have failed.

Just be cautious – you should still perform to the best of your ability so that you will have those all-important references for the future.

2. You’re Not Following Your Passion. If you’re not doing what you love, you will never tap your true potential. It will just continue to be “a job,” and eventually each day will seem more of a grind. If you’ve tried re-inventing yourself at the company with a lateral move – or changing your job description to no avail – then it’s time to go back to the roots of what you love. First, however, brush up on your skills to ensure that they are current and marketable.

3. The Boss Keeps Behaving Badly. If you’ve tried everything under the sun to “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant” boss or co-worker; talked to your boss; your boss’s boss; Human Resources; and your work life is simply unbearable, then it’s time to visit your favorite job board. Just make sure you’re not going from the frying pan into the fire. Through job interviews and other sources, become a sleuth: try to determine how your prospective new boss and employer operates, the culture and management style.

4. The Company is Tanking. The firm has managed to stay afloat during several downsizings, management changes and reorganizations. But if the company consolidates anymore, they could collapse. Recently you heard another department is closing or about another mass exodus. There’s no need to go down with this ship. Put on your life preserver and get in the water.

5. You’re Not Being Fairly Compensated. Downsizing has moved your team into double time, but certainly no where near double compensation. You’ve been made to feel lucky to receive a paycheck. The company might even be performing well, but that is not reflected in your salary or other rewards. You can’t even get an evaluation or your evaluation is not consistent with your true work performance. Perhaps clients have given you excellent feedback, but that is not reflected in your compensation. It may be time to think green (as in more money) or make like a tree and…article continues after advertisement

6. Your Values and the Company’s Are a Mismatch. You feel that there are ethical or moral differences in how the company and you believe the firm should operate; cultural differences; work ethic clashes, and so on. Perhaps its latest product is bad for the environment for example, and you are an avid environmentalist. Whatever the issue, you’re morally misaligned with your employer, and it’s an uncomfortable workplace setting.

7. You Aren’t Being Heard. You can’t seem to: get time with the “powers that be”; get approvals; or get acknowledgment for great work; and over time, projects are no longer coming your way. There may be a changing of the guard at the top; you’re being edged out of projects; or the entire position seems at risk for political or other reasons. Essentially you are being ignored out of a job.

8. The Job is Making You Sick. Instead of jumping out of bed first thing raring to go to work, you feel immobile. You think of ten reasons why you should call in sick because you are sick. Stress, fear or lack of enthusiasm can drain your energy and hurt your performance, creating a lose-lose proposition. When work starts affecting your health…physical, mental, or both, consider taking time off. While you conduct your job search, immediately find healthy ways to reduce stress levels.

9. You’re Surrounded by Egregious Behavior. If you’re the victim of bullying, sexual harassment or other egregious behavior, you should certainly keep an eye out for other positions, regardless of what corrective measures you’re taking. Always consult an employment attorney on such issues. But remember that you should never feel uncomfortable in a job, and that may occur in the long run even if you “win the current battle.” Health does comes first.

10. You Feel You Have More to Contribute Elsewhere. You are in a personal growth mode while your position is stagnant. You’ve been thinking in directions that seem miles apart from the work you’re currently doing. You spend your time imagining what your life would be like “if only.” When you know you have more to offer the world, don’t second-guess yourself – get ready for change.

If you’re facing one or more of these red flags, make sure you’re prepared. Know how to leave gracefully and without burning your bridges. You don’t want to be exposed to unflattering tweets or poor references in this world of instant communication.

You Can Conquer Job Stress | Dr. Chip Roper

“You don’t need anyone’s affection or approval in order to be good enough. When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, it isn’t actually about you. It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs, and you don’t have to internalize that. Your worth isn’t contingent upon other people’s acceptance of you—it’s something inherent.” ~Danielle Koepke

If you need a change but feel stuck and are unsure of what to do, you’re not alone. The fear of letting go of a steady paycheck, a predictable routine, and the people and surroundings you have grown accustomed to—warts and all—can be a paralyzing feeling.

The truth is that there will never be an ideal time to say goodbye to your old job and start over. It is almost impossible to create the perfect conditions you think you need in order to start reaching for your career and personal goals. Here’s an analogy: If you believe that every light at every intersection along your journey must be green before you can set out, you’ll be stuck at home forever. The lights are never all green at the same time. That’s just the way life is. But if you venture out to the first intersection and then to the next and then the next, you’ll eventually get to your destination.

Tips Before You Decide to Quit

  • Before you make a decision to quit your job, make sure that you have actually identified the real problem at work.
  • Ask yourself what goals quitting your job will help you achieve. Will the decision to quit bring you closer to your goals?
  • Don’t overestimate or underestimate your capabilities.
  • Give yourself time to think through your decision to quit your job.
  • Make lists. Think of 10 things you can do instead of quitting your job. Then ask yourself if any of those alternatives would be better suited to your current financial or emotional situation.
  • Use mind maps, pens, papers, post-it notes, and file cards to explore your options. Lay the alternatives out on a big table. Move them around. Organize them according to importance.
  • Give yourself credit for making the best decision you can with the information that is available to you.

There is nothing wrong with the way you feel. Judging our emotions is like running into the rainstorm with anger and demanding the sun come out—in other words, a total waste of energy. Instead, use this time wisely. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it seems far away. Often, it is much closer than you think. Use these reminders and practical ways to shift perspective to create some much-needed breathing room.

“Dreams can come true, but there is a secret. They’re realized through the magic of persistence, determination, commitment, passion, practice, focus and hard work. They happen a step at a time, manifested over years, not weeks.” – Elbert Hubbard

Be kind to yourself. Minimize the chatter of the inner critic. Unplug from the negativity and chaos of the world and make small steps in the right direction. As you do, celebrate tiny progress along the way while remembering you are worthy and you have plenty of proof to show yourself that.

As time passes, you’ll wake up and back in a thriving state. You’ll wonder what took you so long to get over this feeling and be equipped with a new perspective and empathy.

CC: @Lynn Taylor

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 

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Great Teams are made of Great Characteristics


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Over the years, as teams have grown more diverse, dispersed, digital, and dynamic, collaboration has become more complex. But though teams face new challenges, their success still depends on a core set of fundamentals. 

All team dynamics are different. Teams depend on the personalities of the members, as well as the leadership style of managers. However, the ingredients for what makes a successful team are similar across the board. Having mutual respect, common and aligned goals, open communication, and patience can all help make for a successful team.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”… Aristotle

Much of the work done in many organizations, is done collaboratively by teams. The team is the molecular unit where real production happens, where innovative ideas are conceived and tested, and where employees experience most of their work. But it’s also where interpersonal issues, ill-suited skill sets, and unclear group goals can hinder productivity and cause friction.

To have a great team, there is no surefire recipe for success. A combination of solid leadership, communication, and access to good resources contribute to productive collaboration, but it all comes down to having people who understand each other and work well together. Not every team needs that one superstar player to excel. Having the right mix of trust, ambition, and encouragement among your team members is crucial.

A good team is the foundation for any high-performing business. Superficially, a thriving team looks very much like any other. Here are characteristics to create a great team:

Communication. Arguably the most important component of the group. Effective communication is central to every facet of an organisation. A thriving team has open and honest discussions, sharing their thoughts, ideas and opinions. They engender a meritocracy, ensuring no-one is above anyone else and allowing everyone to feel as though they can contribute freely. Creating this sort of culture is one of the fundamental foundations of a successful team.

Problems that emerge in groups can often be traced back to issues with communication. Poor communication leads to crossed wires which in turn can lead to inefficiencies in performance and even conflict! Effective communication is imperative.

Trust and Respect. Every thriving team relies on a high degree of trust. When you know that your colleagues are reliable and competent, you can trust them to work independently toward the team goal. Knowing each other’s accomplishments and work experience plays a key role in relationship development, the catalyst for a strong team. Before a new team begins work on a project, have them meet for an extended period of time to establish familiarity and to bond. As the teamwork progresses and conflict arises – an unavoidable part of collaboration the team that has respect for each other will be able to move past conflict towards resolution and, ultimately, completion of the goal.

Specialization. Just like a team of athletes working together in different roles to win the game, good teamwork comes from members combining their specialized talents to achieve an end goal or resolution. While one may excel at writing, another may boast superior organizational skills, while another is great at presenting to decision-makers or the art of rhetoric. Figuring out who works best where will come naturally as the team spends time together, but it is important not to suppress individual talents. Allowing each person to make their own unique contributions will lead to less conflict and a superior outcome.

Establishing objective. If the goal of the project, whether small or long-term, isn’t clear from the beginning, many hours will be wasted in frustrating meetings that go nowhere. The very first step should be to describe a clear outline of work and the projected end result. Change is always necessary along the way, and this is where our next tip comes into play. Each individual member is accountable and has responsibility for the team’s overall success.

Let's Work Together

Adaptation. Being flexible is a key trait of any team player. Confronting and resolving crises, rushing to meet deadlines, or picking up the slack for an absent or dismissed colleague are all problems that require adaptation. If someone on a team is unable to change gears and refocus, odds are more issues will arise to further complicate the workflow process.

No finger pointing. When a big mistake is made, it is easy for members of a team to find a scapegoat or individual to lay the blame on. This will only lead to distrust and low morale. It is possible that if one person keeps making critical mistakes, they should no longer be a part of the team, but that is not always the case. The entire team should accept the responsibility for the mistake and move forward to correct it and make sure it does not occur again.

Diversity and Heterogeneity: Thriving teams value diversity. They recognise each individual’s strengths and their preferences to assign tasks, and ultimately to boost performance. Each team member is valued for their unique talents and skills. Collectively, a diverse skill set, way of thinking, experiences, idea generation and problem solving helps to create an effective team and enhance results.

Admission of failure when necessary. This tip can go hand in hand with number five. If the desired outcome of a project has setbacks or is predicted to be a complete disaster, it is better to admit failure and start over rather than giving up or presenting a flawed product. A good team will roll with the punches, recognize that each step is essentially an experiment, and stay positive even when facing serious setbacks.

Patience. Working with others requires the most the most difficult trait of all: patience and tolerance. We all strive for it, but few people are truly unflappable. Patience will keep a team motivated and allay conflict.

Delegation of duties. A capable leader will know one of his most important jobs is to delegate responsibility. One or two team leaders should never be saddled with all the grunt work. Instead the workflow should be spread out evenly and each person given a reasonable amount of projects and adequate access to resources.

A natural-born leader. As noted earlier, a team does not need a superstar to excel. But they do need a self-assured, trustworthy, ambitious leader that keeps morale high and knows when to rally the troops. A good leader will listen constructively, act as a mentor, monitor the quantitative and qualitative results, provide consistent feedback, and maintain a good rapport with all team players.

Competitiveness. A healthy dose of competition is fuel for inspiration. When you are working on a team, all your cards are on the table, so it is easy for people to become jealous or possessive of each other’s attributes or contributions. And this motivates others to work harder and develop even better ideas, because it makes people ask themselves, if he came up with this, can I create something even better?

Manage Conflict.This is an essential component to aiding team growth. It is important that when issues arise they are not avoided or ignored. When managed effectively there are a plethora of benefits to be seen including: the quality of decision-making; improved creativity; increased scope of view; increased participation from team members and more effective communication. It is also important for the team leader to differentiate between a culture of challenge/disagreement and blame/criticism. If the environment empowers team members to challenge one another in a constructive and open manner, then the working relationship within the team is likely to be more creative and productive.

Being in the right team is important for one’s future relevance, because, like in the Aristotle quote, the whole can be more powerful than the sum of its parts. Even if you are a freelancer or a tiny team, you work in collaboration with others – be it the same company or with extended teams of partners. These same ideas apply to those situations as well.

All teams, naturally, are different. All teams, too, will be fluid and evolving structures; people come and go (including team leaders); challenges or priorities change; the dynamic constantly adjusts. To that end, creating a thriving successful is something that, as a leader, is never ‘done’ or completed.

Nevertheless, successful, thriving teams do tend to share a range of characteristics and attributes. To cultivate, share and embed these in your team is now your mission.

Collaboration has become more complex, but success still depends on the fundamentals.

I encourage you to think about this. For further reading, check out Google’s page on these results.

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook

 

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Misner’s Corollary to Murphy’s Law


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Nearly all of us have heard the term “unintended consequences,” but we may not be aware of how to avoid them. In February 2018, in the publication The Library of Economics and Liberty, Robert Norton wrote, “The law of unintended consequences, often cited but rarely defined, is that actions of people — and especially of government — always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended.”

When we try to make a single change within a complex system, we often end up causing unintended consequences. These can be positive or negative. If we don’t anticipate unintended consequences, we can’t expect to achieve our desired outcomes.

When the unintended consequence of a decision is favorable, there is never an issue. The favorable outcome is considered a bonus. When the unintended consequence is adverse, depending on its impact, the decision-making process is questioned, as is the leader who made the decision.

Sometimes unintended consequences are catastrophic, sometimes beneficial. Occasionally their impacts are imperceptible, at other times colossal. Large events frequently have a number of unintended consequences, but even small events can trigger them. There are numerous instances of purposeful deeds completely backfiring, causing the exact opposite of what was intended.

Many entrepreneurs and executives face unexpected negative consequences after experiencing initial success, such as anxiety over being able to maintain their “winning streak”, fearing that they are being set up to fail, and experiencing the envy others feel towards their accomplishments.

If you ask yourself “What could go wrong with this?” before you launch a new business idea, you can head off some potential problems and increase the chances of a successful launch. But you also need to ask yourself about the possible unintended consequences of success. What if you fix one problem only to create several others?

And you know, the bigger the challenge, the more important it is to check and double-check, to look at what can go wrong and look at what can’t go wrong. And think those through so that you can be a little bit more prepared for a transition that you may have in your own business

For the first time in my life, I learned about “Murphy’s Law” in graduate school. It basically says that “what can go wrong, will go wrong.” Although this law feels very pessimistic, there is value to it. It gives a framework for people to look for the flaws in their thinking. When one does that effectively, it’s easier to address potential issues before they arise.

This leads me to “Misner’s Corollary: Sometimes, what can’t go wrong, will go wrong!” Here’s what I mean by that. When I have introduced something new into my business, I have often thought about what could go wrong with this new approach or idea. If you do that in advance, you truly help to head off challenges. However, what I’ve learned over the years is that you also need to think of what “can’t go wrong.”

I know this sounds crazy and even more pessimistic however if you go about this in a thought-provoking manner — you can truly think through potential challenges before you proceed. In particular, you want to consider, what I call, the “unintended consequences of a seemingly good idea.” This tends to happen when you have a solution to a problem and almost everyone agrees that the solution will definitely help with the problem. You think about how you will roll it out and avoid those things that could go wrong with that rollout and its implementation. You then roll out the idea and all goes well. What we tend to forget, however, is the unintended consequences of that new idea. In other words, the roll-out goes great but then you create a whole new set of problems that never existed and were never considered when dealing with the original problem.

The lesson learnt here — is that when you have a good idea, think about what can go wrong with that idea. If at all possible, test your ideas in advance on a small group of actual customers. They will help point out the things you didn’t think were possible or didn’t think were problems. Then, spend time thinking about what “can’t go wrong.” This means you need to really think outside the box to consider the potential unintended consequences. Most importantly — test the idea in some limited way to identify the things you thought couldn’t go wrong. Believe me when I say, you still might discover unintended consequences. The experimental testing phase is critical to avoid Misner’s Corollary.

Most unintended consequences are just unanticipated consequences. And in the world of consequences intentions often don’t matter.  Intentions, after all, only apply to positive anticipated consequences. Only in rare circumstances would someone intend to cause negative consequences.

So when we make decisions we must ask what the consequences be? This is where having a toolbox of mental models becomes helpful.

What unintended consequences have you experienced from successful business initiatives? Share your experiences and your solutions in the comments.

Source: @BNIpodcast

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1)

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2021 in Technical

 

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How to Be an Inclusive Leader


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

The events of the past 17+ months have made it very clear that organizations and leaders within companies are looking to foster a more inclusive work culture. An inclusive culture is one that accepts, values and views as strength the difference we all bring to the table. Achieving Inclusive culture, isn’t something that can happen overnight, it can happen — by resetting workplace dynamics and implementing inclusive practices with the support of Inclusive leadership.

Building a culture of inclusion isn’t like turning on a light switch. Companies increasingly rely on diverse, multidisciplinary teams that combine the collective capabilities of women and men, people of different cultural heritage, and younger and older workers. But simply throwing a mix of people together doesn’t guarantee high performance; it requires inclusive leadership — leadership that assures that all team members feel they are treated respectfully and fairly, are valued and sense that they belong, and are confident and inspired. 

How inclusion affects your teams

Research from BetterUp shows that 1 in 4 employees don’t feel like they belong. That’s across companies, industries, and demographics. Imagine what it is for underrepresented employees.

When people don’t feel included, the cost is deeply personal. It also hurts the team. They don’t show themselves. They might hold back opposing or counterintuitive ideas and not participate in working sessions for fear of falling further out of the group. They don’t feel comfortable that their ideas and comments will be taken with the same openness and seriousness as anyone else’s. They don’t bring their unique personality, background, and interests into conversation.

They don’t take big risks or achieve big results. They don’t get noticed. They censor themselves. The cost to the team? Employees who feel excluded are 25% less productive on future tasks, have a 50% greater risk of turnover, and are less willing to work hard for the team. 

The feeling of being included comes from all of a person’s interactions, not from policy. Our data shows that the direct manager has the biggest impact. They need to be more deliberate, especially for people who feel demographically dissimilar from others in the organization and experience 27% less psychological safety as a result. 

Only 31% of employees believe their leaders are inclusive. That is, less than a third of employees believe their leaders see, value, and respect them as a whole person. Unwanted attrition, especially among employees from underrepresented groups, is an ongoing problem. Those valuable employees leave, and with them, their potential, as well as the insight about the ways the environment, culture, and leadership aren’t working. 

Most leaders and managers don’t set out intending to exclude others. Yet, in the course of pursuing a goal and relying on sometimes outmoded beliefs about leadership, they fail to get the best out of their teams. Worse, they might not even realize it. 

As you work to become a more inclusive leader, keep these experiences in mind. Not every underrepresented person will have these experiences, of course, but they are common and worth remembering as you work on demonstrating more inclusive behaviors. If individual leaders are inclusive their teams will feel safe and trust them and then they will perform better.

What is Inclusive Leadership?

Inclusive leadership is emerging as a unique and critical capability helping organisations adapt to diverse customers, markets, ideas and talent. An inclusive leader sets the tone and models the behaviors for their team to create an environment where each person feels seen, valued, respected, and able to contribute — in short, where they feel they belong and are included. 

Inclusive leadership is about actively creating an environment in which all members of your team feel empowered to contribute and feel safe to be themselves. While the tactics vary depending on the situation, at a high level, it means demonstrating empathy for team members and customers, advocating for colleagues with less institutional power, increasing your cultural and emotional intelligence, and establishing a culture that values (rather than merely accepts) diverse perspectives.

Diversity is all around us but it is up to leaders to decide whether or not to make full use of the diversity in their organisation. Inclusion is about fostering the structure, culture and mindset in an individual and leader, that enables that person to say, I fit in here, I feel valued, and I can be my true self and do not have to hide parts of my character – and because of this I can contribute to this organisation.

Lots of articles about inclusive leadership list personality traits of inclusive leaders, but that’s not the approach I take here. I believe anyone can (and everyone should) demonstrate inclusive behavior, so I focus on actions that will help develop your inclusive leadership style.

Tips for Becoming a More Inclusive Leader

What can you do to improve your inclusive leadership style? Here are a few places to start:

Reflect

I invite you to start paying attention to your own frame of reference.  Consider how your background affects the way you show up at work. Think about the ways your education, race, gender, age, physical or mental health all come into play. How comfortable are you discussing those things at work? How comfortable are your reports doing the same? 

Build trust

Inclusive leaders trust their people. They are totally committed to ‘we’ before ‘me’. If your people have to trust you as a leader you have to trust them to bring their expertise to work. Fostering trust will enable your people to feel safe and willing to contribute their unique perspectives

Slow Down

In a world where “Move fast, break things” is printed on company walls, it can feel radical to ask someone to slow down. But a few minutes of planning and thought can go a long way. Speed and spontaneity are rarely inclusive—they rely on ingrained habits, not empathy and understanding. Build new, more inclusive habits and you’ll still be able to iterate quickly without asking your underrepresented colleagues to bear the burden. 

Relationship Building

Inclusive leadership cannot be transactional. Inclusive leaders invest time in building real relationships with their team members, peers, and other employees, getting to know what matters to them and what they need to be successful. They know that each employee is a whole person who has more to offer than just the task or output they are delivering today. 

Building relationships goes beyond tolerance or accommodation. Inclusive leaders know the importance of not just being seen, but being understood and appreciated, for their whole self. 

Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions: How do you pronounce your name? Am I addressing you the way you’d like to be addressed? How am I doing? Is there anything more you’d like to discuss?  You can’t read your employees’ minds, but you can make the space for discussion to happen.   Tip: Consider anonymous options for collecting feedback, paired with public acknowledgment and commitment to improve—remember, your employees don’t always know if they’ll have backup and may not be willing to share right away.)

Recognition

Inclusion is proactive. Inclusive leaders make an effort to recognize people for their work and support their efforts and growth. That means recognizing specifically and personally the unique contributions of others in ways that are motivating and elevate their sense of personal accomplishment. Individualized recognition and support let employees know that the skills and experiences they’ve contributed and the risks they’ve taken are seen and valued.

Encouraging participation

Inclusion is an invitation, extended day after day. Inclusive leaders use a variety of approaches to seek input and feedback directly from people who might not speak up. and check- in on what people need to be successful. They also stay attuned to obstacles that might get in the way of participation — not just in meetings but in the way work gets done — and look for ways to minimize these obstacles. 

Focus on Culture Add, not Culture Fit 

A diverse team is smarter and does better work. So why focus on whether or not someone also likes craft beer and board games? Reframe the conversation so your hiring plans can look for what new and exciting perspective someone brings to your team. As my own manager Drew Gorton puts it, “If you want better results, surround yourself with people who are meaningfully different from you.” 

Empathy

Creating an inclusive space requires having an appreciation for where others are coming from and what they might be experiencing. Inclusive leaders are warm and encouraging in their interactions, embracing compassion in order to foster deeper connections with others. They make an effort to stay connected to the daily pulse of what is going on for employees and whether they are feeling seen, valued, and respected. When a leader prioritizes empathy and models nonjudgmental behavior, it helps everyone feel more able to share their experiences and state of mind.

Fair

Inclusive leaders treat people equally in terms of opportunity and fairly according to ability. We can only do this if we know our people. Curiosity is a trait of the inclusive leader. One way to check how to be fair is by substitution. Substitute one group for another when you are looking at questions for an interview or the language you are using. 

Social connection

Interactions with other people drive our sense of being included. Inclusive leaders encourage people to recognize each other as humans, not just co-workers or adjoining parts of a process. They create opportunities for people to engage with each other — both in and out of work — to deepen their connections and model the importance of maintaining close personal relationships with supportive people in our lives.

Alignment 

Inclusion means being able to do your best work. Inclusive leaders provide shared vision and clarity to guide others. They set their people up for success and create avenues for contributing to the larger outcome. Inclusive leaders also make space for people to find their own meaning and purpose. When employees know what the organization and team are driving toward and what matters most to the organization’s success, they can better determine how best to contribute. 

Inclusion is not just about diversity. It’s about competitive advantage. And it’s a choice.

Your Role as an Inlusive Leader is Creating Cultures of Belonging Where Everyone Can Thrive.

Remember, Actions Matter 

Your actions as a leader matter. Maybe you’ve never had formal leadership training—many of us haven’t!  Whether or not you intended to end up as a manager, a team lead, or an open-source maintainer, you now hold the power to materially improve the lives of the people around you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want this power.  As long as you are in a leadership position, it is yours and you can use it for good. 

As leaders we must remember: our teams are watching our behavior to know what is and is not acceptable. If we turn a blind eye to harassment, harassment will flourish. If we turn a blind eye to microaggressions, microaggressions will flourish.  

On the other hand, if we do a good thing, others will follow our example. If we hold ourselves and others accountable, our team will, too. If we take the time to use the right pronouns, or have an inclusive holiday celebration, our team will know it’s okay to do the same. And that’s a magical thing. 

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1)

 

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Africa’s Ancient Trees, Surrounded by a Blanket of Stars



Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Beth Moon travels to the ends of the Earth to photograph ancient trees under a breathtaking night sky.

BETH MOON’S images of ancient trees, so stunning in their stature and grandeur, straddle the line between fantasy and reality. For Diamond Nights, she spent many moonless nights in the African bush, making long exposure images of trees shrouded in a blanket of stars and later manipulating the images in her studio.

Vela Baobab in Botswana.

She was inspired by scientific studies that link tree growth to the heavens. The idea was at once romantic and alluring. “The sun is just one star, after all,” Moon says. “That really flipped me backwards.”

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Trees have long been a subject of Moon’s—her book Ancient Trees is a collection of her stunning platinum print images of the largest, oldest, and most storied trees on earth. For Diamond Nights, she decided to embrace digital photography because the images she wanted to make required a pumped up ISO and drawn out exposure time. She originally thought the series would be black and white as well, but found that she couldn’t sacrifice the color.

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The result are images of a sky so brilliant they look as though they’ve been meticulously painted as some childlike, awestruck fantasy of the heavens. The title of each image comes from constellations named by the Greeks and Romans, a nod to the long history of human fascination with these natural wonders.

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I certainly felt small in a very large landscape that seemed to go on forever.

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Moon knew Africa was where she’d find the trees to frame against this celestial backdrop. She spent a month in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. “I had my eyes on baobabs and quiver trees,” she says. “They just look like antennas—receptacles of some kind.”

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She worked in total darkness, camped next to these massive trees. Days would pass without Moon seeing anyone other than her guide. “I don’t know if lonely is the right word, but I certainly felt small in a very large landscape that seemed to go on forever,” she says. “I was encouraged to know there are still very remote and very dark places void of light pollution left in the world.”

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Lighting was the trickiest part of her process. Mostly she used a large flashlight to illuminate the trees, bouncing it off whatever was at hand—a large rock nearby or her 10-gallon water tank. She shot exposures up to 30 seconds, and each location proved to have its own challenges she had to work around. Occasional dust storms put shoots on hold—one in Botswana lasted 36 hours and kept Moon tightly zipped inside her tent with her nose in a book.

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Moon has spent many years with trees as her muse. She wants people to pause in their harried lives, and see the wonder in them. “Trees are everywhere,” she says. “We see them every day, so much so that we become so used to them that it’s easy to lose sight of their importance. By choosing these very large and iconic trees as a metaphor I hope to start a larger conversation about our natural world and the way in which we interact with it.”

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The majority of these photographs were created during moonless nights, shot with a wide angle lens and ISO of 3200 – 6400. The Milky Way, a ribbon of stars that stretches from horizon to horizon burns brightly in some of the images. Exposures up to 30 seconds allowed enough light to enter the lens without noticeable star movement. Each location required a lot of experimenting. and different lighting techniques. Sometimes a short burst of diffused light from a flashlight was sufficient, or bounced light from multiple flashlights was used for a softer more natural glow.

Updated 5-14-2019, 5:15 pm: This story has been updated to clarify that the photographer manipulated the images after taking them.

Source, Credit: Wired.com, PHOTO 06.17.2015 10:00 AM

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1)

 

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Niksen: The Art of Doing Nothing


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Everyone wants to be happy. It’s a fundamental human right. It’s associated with all sorts of benefits. We, as a society, spend millions trying to figure out what the key to personal happiness is. The Dutch people are some of the happiest in the world. Their secret? They are masters of niksen, or the art of doing nothing. Do not already start juding the statement. COntinue reading to get clear picture about Niksen.

When I visited Netherlands in 2019, for the first time I heard word “Niksen” the Dutch concept of doing nothing, and thought, “Ah yes, I know this practice well. I do it everyday.” During Pandemic, I got chance to do more research about “niksen” and other wellbeing cocnepts like hygge and lagom .

Niksen

First there was hygge, the Danish concept being cozy and full of contentment. Pronounced “hoo-gah,” this Danish expression is an attitude towards life that emphasizes finding joy in everyday moments. Rather than drudge through the winter, hygge is about celebrating coziness, warmth and family, as well as practicing mindfulness. This tradition is carried down by generations when family members cuddle up in blankets and warm clothing from head to toe and gather by the fireside and candlelight together to enjoy simple pleasures

Then there was lagom, the Swedish mindset of approaching life with an “everything in moderation” mindset. It means “Not too little. Not too much the right amount, and is a philosophy that aims to balance, in every area and juncture of everyday life. Lagom is the secret that explains a lifestyle based on social awareness, moderation and sustainability. Just right.” This term represents their slower-paced, simple life. In Sweden, they value a healthy work-life balance.  

Now there’s another Northern European trend that’s being embraced as a way to combat our increasingly busy and often stressful lives: niksen. The Dutch concept is as simple as, well, doing nothing.    

Niksen is an increasingly popular Dutch relaxation technique where you relinquish control and just … stop. Niksen is not a form of meditation, nor is it a state of laziness or boredom. It’s not scrolling through social media, or wondering what you’re going to cook for dinner. Rather, to niks is to make a conscious choice. 

What is niksen?

The practice promotes taking conscious time to simply do nothing.

Niksen “literally means to do nothing, to be idle or doing something without any use,“. With niksen, which most closely translates as ‘nothing-ing’ in Dutch, you have to be intentional about doing nothing.Stop doing everything right now. Congratulations, you just did a niksen. It is essentially sanctioned daydreaming.

When most of daily life is consumed by the need to maximize productivity, to make the most of our time, the constant stress of this can be daunting. Hence, taking time to be idle might require some mental adjustment as the results of this cannot be quantified or measured.

Instead, we simply feel lighter, less cluttered mentally, and healthier.

Practicing niksen could be as simple as just hanging around, looking at your surroundings or listening to music — “as long as it’s without purpose,”

Niksen enables us to take a step back from whatever we’re doing to just let everything be as it is without being an active participant in it. Ideally, practicing niksen and allowing your brain to wander “can enhance creativity,” benefits of doing nothing?

Why will making sure you regularly do nothing increase your feelings of happiness? Unproductive time can make us healthier and happier, according to science. When we remain idle with no agenda, we turn on the creativity centers in the brain. People experiencing work stress and burnout at a coaching center in the Netherlands reported decreased feelings of stress and increased happiness when they practiced niksen versus when they didn’t practice it regularly.

“It frees up space we use to ruminate so that all that energy that is utilized to focus on doing something can be freed out. We can get room to be more productive and perhaps do [our work] with a calmer, less judgmental approach.”

It’s not mindfulness; a better definition would be a short period of mindless relaxation. 

Whereas mindfulness is about being present in the moment, niksen is more about carving out time to just be, even letting your mind wander rather than focusing on the details of an action.

Niksen is a time without devices, without a screen, without immediate gratification. You’re just able to be.

Not into meditation or mindfulness? Borrow this technique from the Dutch: doing nothing — but with a purpose. I tried it and it was harder than I thought it would be.

Do not ever feel guilty for doing nothing. Being Busy is often seen as the sign of success and  productivity. Is it possible to be productive all the time? . Absolutely not. Sometimes you want to do something but you feel you don’t have that energy. Then you think that you are lazy or you are not productive. Many  are going through such situations where your energy is low and you want to do some work. The mistake that everyone makes is  to force yourself to do that specific task though you feel that you have low energy to do. The output is more stress and anxiety. 

This practice is perfect for anyone who feels overwhelmed, burnt out, or exhausted, NIKSEN does not tell you to work harder. Instead, it shows you how to take a break from all the busyness while giving you sincere, heartfelt permission to do nothing. For Example

  • AT HOME: Find a comfy nook and sit. No technology or other distractions. 
  • AT WORK: Stare at your computer. Take in the view from your office. Close your eyes.
  • IN PUBLIC: Forget waiting for the bus, enjoy some relaxing niksen time.

I encourage you to loosen your concept of time and productivity and practice this simple exercise. Allowing your brain to rewire from stress by doing nothing is a wellness practice worth implementing. If you are sitting in a cafe, you can indulge in some stress-busting niksen but sipping your coffee and looking out the window. Leave your phone in your pocket, and let your mind wander. It’s not mindfulness; a better definition would be a short period of mindless relaxation. 

If you’re not sure where to begin, “start by staring out a window,“. “You don’t have to stay thinking about what you see, but it can be helpful to have a starting point. Begin by simply looking at a tree and then just let the thoughts go where they will.”

Niksen is just one of many ways you can deal with stress. What matters is that you successfully manage work-related stress and not let it negatively affect your health.

If niksen doesn’t work for you, that’s ok. There’s something out there for everyone, just do what feels right for you!

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1)

 

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Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Life is not a Race to WIN… Life is like a Journey , to ENJOY every moment. We are running through life so fast that we forget not only where we have been but also where we are going.

There is no reward for completing the race my friend. Please run at your own speed and run how you like it.

Don’t try to run other’s race. It is your own race run how you like it.

Stop worrying about the consequences. Live in the present, share the glory of being a part of this race. No amount of gold, silver or money will or can compensate what you will miss if you try to rush things and miss the very essence of running.

Don’t just run for the sake of running because running is important and not the race!!

Do not undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.

Do not set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.

Do not take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.

Do not let your years slip through your fingers by living in the past, nor in the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.

Do not give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.

Do not be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.

Do not shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give love; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly.

Do not dismiss your dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope; to be without hope is to be without purpose.

Do not run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been, but also where you are going.

We have born and brought up in society, where we were prepared to compete with others – your fellow mates and friends. 

The seed had planted when you were at school. The pressure of scoring highest marks, the pressure of performing well in sports, the weight of getting admission into a renown college, getting a good job and again getting into an unhealthy competition at the workplace.

Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way.

When you were in college, you wanted a job.

When you got a job in service-based company, You wanted product-based.

When you got 6 LPA package, you wanted 10 LPA.

When you got 15 LPA, You wanted 30 LPA.

When you got 40 LPA CTC, you wanted 40 LPA Fixed.

When you got 50 LPA fixed, You wanted to build a startup.

When you got successful in that, you wanted early retirement.

When you retired early, you wanted unlimited passive income.

When you got everything you ever wanted, You wanted time to enjoy it.

Hence, time is your most valuable asset and it cannot be equated with your earnings. Enjoy your 20s and 30s by both working hard and playing hard. Feel the satisfaction of hitting milestones. The finish line is not really important.

Achieve your own goals ( Not society’s expectations ). You don’t need to prove anything to anyone but yourself.

Nobody is measuring you, they are busy in their lives. You are the only opponent to yourself in this battle.

Running towards the next fulfillment will never be able to find peace in life. It will only lead us distant away from what we’re hoping to feel.

The only way to win the race of life is to realize that, there is no race.

Winning has to be from within us. We need to find happiness within ourselves. True satisfaction can only be observed from inside.

Life is not a race or competition. It’s a journey. Don’t just run after aiming at the finishing line, rather enjoy the ride.

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1)

 

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Kanban is awesome but it has to be managed well


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Delivering work in a quick and efficient way could be a challenge. The Kanban Method suggests an approach of managing the flow of work with an emphasis on continuous improvement without overburdening the development team that focuses on productivity and efficiency.

Kanban was initially invented as a way of managing Just in Time (JIT) manufacturing processes. The next chapter in Kanban’s history introduced new principles and practices to make it more efficient for knowledge workers. It is a method designed to help you optimize workflow and use your team’s full capacity. In this article, we will discuss what is the Kanban Method, how to implement it, and what are the most important Kanban analytics charts.

By using Kanban, you can evenly distribute your most important tasks and eliminate any wasteful activity or useless information. The method can help you solve your productivity problems using visual cues that are easy to understand by your team. The Kanban Method is one of the simplest to implement, with no immediate structural changes and prescribed ceremonies. As long as you continuously analyze and manage your flow of work, Kanban can enable exceptional results.

No matter which agile framework is used – Scrum, LeSS or SAFe or other the Kanban Board always helps to make the work progress and impediments of teams visible to everyone and so supports the core agile values – transparency, commitment to do the right things and courage to achieve common goals.

8 Benefits of Using Kanban for Software Development - Kanban Zone Blog

Kanban Principles

The Kanban method is a pull system – this means that work is pulled into the system when the team has capacity for it, rather than tasks being assigned from the top. Kanban can be used to improve processes and workflow efficiency without making any changes to your team structure.

Prior to applying the Kanban Method within your business, it is important to first understand and adopt its fundamental principles:

  1. Start with what you are doing now – Kanban doesn’t require a particular setup and can be applied directly to your current workflow. This makes it easy to implement since there is no need to change your existing processes. The benefits of Kanban are gradual, and any process improvement is adopted over time.
  2. Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary change – Sweeping changes can unsettle teams, disrupt flow and damage performance. Kanban is designed to incur minimal resistance by encouraging continuous, incremental and evolutionary changes.
  3. Respect the current process, roles, and responsibilities – There should be no organizational changes at the outset. Kanban recognizes that existing processes, roles, and responsibilities may have value and are worth preserving. Instead, Kanban encourages incremental change to avoid emotional resistance.
  4. Encourage acts of leadership at all levels – Kanban promotes leadership and decision making between all members. If the lowest-ranked team member has a bright idea, it should be acknowledged and embraced. Everyone should be fostering a mindset of continuous improvement (Kaizen) – in order for your workers to reach optimal performance.

The structure of a Kanban board

A Kanban board is one of the most practical tools that you can use to manage your projects in a simple and clear way. Kanban can help you visualize and maintain your tasks and workflows, signaling potential bottlenecks for each project or workflow stage. This is why they are used by several agile in-office and remote teams across the world to manage tasks with flexibility.

There are many Kanban boards online that you can use to balance your resource demands. You might already know about other tools such as Trello or Kanban Tool, but you must be aware that Kanban boards are most effective when they are part of a more advanced project management software. Such platforms can help you track time and maintain real-time collaboration with your team.

With Kanban, you can limit the number of tasks that are allowed for each stage to avoid overloading your employees or leaving them with no tasks. Likewise, Work in Progress (WIP) limits can be set for a more effective workload distribution among your team members. This guarantees that each task will be completed before the team moves on to the next one and that the focus on the “In progress” tasks is never lost. You can also turn the completion of a task into a priority to get a better idea about your overall workflow.

A basic Kanban board, be they physical or virtual, are created using these three main elements:

Kanban for software development

Kanban Board: 10 basic rules how to use it in an effective way

Kanban boards were first used in the late 1940s at Toyota’s factories to balance supplies with production. Workers could share the inventory levels of materials through a card named “Kanban” (meaning “signboard” in Japanese). Each card had the requirements for the necessary materials written on it and would then be moved to the warehouse were instructions were carried out. This helped teams communicate easily across the entire manufacturing process.

Now Kanban is used to visualize and speed up your project’s workflow, improve team collaboration, and identify possible obstacles. 

Even though the look, structure and usability of the Kanban Board is well known the rules how to apply it effectively in order to unfold its full potential is something left for teams to find out.

Rule #1: Keep it simple

If you use the Kanban Board for the first time start with the basic structure with columns To Do, Doing, Done which everyone understands and is able to intuitively assign tasks to. Once you get acquainted with this basic structure you may thing of extending it by additional categories given that these categories add a real value – help the team to remove impediments faster and perform tasks more effectively.
Use simple plain language without abbreviations and “team jargon“ when you define tasks. This will make the Kanban Board to a universal tool for reports and communication across across teams and hierarchy levels.

Rule #2: Common structure and level of details across all teams

Use the same Kanban Board structure (column definition) agreed at the rule #1 across all teams.If a team suggests to introduce a new category (column) align with all teams if this category makes sense for everyone. If it is accepted as a common value-adding category adjust the common Kanban Board structure accordingly. Otherwise commonly refrain from it.

Rule #3: Manage flow – By observing and analyzing flow efficiency, you can identify any problem areas. The main goal of implementing Kanban is to create a smooth workflow by improving the lead times and avoiding delays. You should always strive to make your process more efficient.

Rule #4: Agree on a time box

Even though the original Kanban methodology does not apply time-boxing to the work visualization but rather see is as a continuous flow, we recommend to do so. A common agreement on a certain time box with duration from one to four weeks – applied to the categories To-Do, Doing, Done and valid for all teams helps to achieve the same level of details in task definition across multiple teams. „Speaking the same language“ simplifies integration and synchronizes the deliverables of teams. Keep the time box duration fixed unless all agree to change it for an important value-driven reason.

Rule #5: Revise it regularly

Revise the Kanban Bard on a regular basis: Plan the „To-Do“ list for the next time at the end of the current time box by moving the parked tasks from the „Backlog“ column and not-completed tasks of the current time box from the „Doing“ column to the „To-Do“ column. Always keep the status of all tasks up to date at so that the Kanban Board can serve as a tool of transparency and work synchronization. Move a planed task from the „To-Do“ column to the „Doing“ column when you started the task and from the column „Doing“ to the „Done“ column when you completed the task on a daily basis.
Keeping the Kanban Board up to date is not a responsibility of a single person such as Scrum Master, Team Lead or similar. It is a responsibility of each team member who execute tasks.

Rule #6: Improve collaboratively – Kanban requires constant evaluation, analysis, and improvement. When teams have a shared understanding of the process, they are more likely to reach a consensus should any problems arise. The Kanban Method suggests that various models of scientific approach are used to implement continuous, incremental, and evolutionary changes.

Rule #7: Accessible to everyone

The Kanban Board should be placed so that everyone who is involved in task execution, planning and revision as well as all stakeholders can easily see it anytime they like. This helps to avoid status requests from stakeholder and saves the team’s time for productive work.

When you work with an analog Kanban Board it should be placed in a room where everyone has access to and the most people have the shortest way to reach it. A digital Kanban Board should be stored in a shared folder (e.g. Sharepoint) with the write access for the team working and a read access for stakeholders.

Rule #8: Purpose over tools

When you use the Kanban Board for the first time, start with an analog board on a wall. The reason for this lies in the rule of simplicity. All tasks are posted as post-its on the wall. This gives you a good overview and helps to draw your attention to relevant tasks. There are several good tools on the market such as Jira Agile BoardTrello etc. which not only provide basic Kanban Board features but also allow to track the progress with fancy customizable reports, e.g. Burn-Down charts, Average task duration, Number of tasks in status „Doing“ and „Done“ by team assignment, Number of tests planed vs. completed within a time box.

Rule #9: single south of truth

Avoid creating several Kanban Boards when you can achieve your goal with just one. Duplicating Boards and tasks leads to either extra effort for the team of keeping the boards in sync or to a disconnection of the tasks between two boards. The impact of the disconnection may be huge – from misinformation and misunderstandings to confusions and delays.

Rule #10: Visualize workflow – The first and most important task is to understand the current flow of work – what is the sequence of steps to execute in order to move an item from request to a deliverable product. This is done using a Kanban board with cards and columns: each column represents a step in your workflow, and each card represents a work item. Every item moves through the flow from start to end. By observing this process, you can easily track progress and identify bottlenecks in real-time.

Rule #11: team achievement over personnel achievement

Do not assign and track a task to a person, rather assign it to a team. The team should be able to complete the task independently from other teams or managers.

Doing it on a team level encourages the team spirit and mutual support and establishes psychological security which is inevitable for the success of a project.

Rule #12: Make process policies explicit – The process should be clearly defined, published, and confirmed for everyone in the team: people won’t feel motivated to be part of something unless they think it will be useful. When everyone is aware of the explicit policies, each person can suggest improvements that will improve your performance.

Rule #13: continuous improvement

Brainstorm with all teams at least once in a quarter what can be improved about your Kanban board and implement improvement measures which are value-adding for the team.

Rule #14: Use feedback loops – In order for the positive change to occur, regular meetings are necessary to provide essential feedback to the entire team. The frequency of these meetings varies, but the idea is that they are regular, at a fixed time, and that they get straight to the point.

Rule #15: make these rules be known and agreed by everyone

A great rule which nobody knows, the reason for which nobody understands makes it just а deadweight. A rule which is known and understood by everyone moves mountains.

Assure that everyone who starts working with a Kanban Board understands the commonly agreed rules and is given a possibility to contribute to their further improvement.

References: Agilon GmbH, Nave, Paymo

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1)

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2021 in Technical

 

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Power of your Wasted Efforts


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Probably every person has the same feeling every time they go out into the field, that will they be able to deal with the “fear of rejection”?

We all know that there will always be many more rejections compared to our successes and achievements. However, we grapple with the fear of rejection many times which leads to doubting our own capabilities. In the last 15 years with a career in Quality Assurance, I have acknowledged that along with the fear of rejection.

The journey that I have been making did not started in a high-end car but more like on bicycle. Its a very very special journey from a village kid who is Milk Vendor( person who used to sell MILK by going to each house) in a village to Qulaity Manager in London,  developing teams, implementing effective QA Practices. It is all possible, only by accepting Fear of Rejection and understanding The Law of Wasted Efforts

Do you know that lions only succeed in a quarter of their hunting attempts — which means they fail in 75% of their attempts and succeed in only 25% of them.

Despite this small percentage shared by most predators, they don’t despair in their pursuit and hunting attempts.

The main reason for this is not because of hunger as some might think but it is the understanding of the “Law of Wasted Efforts” that has been instinctively built into animals, a law by which nature is governed.

Half of the eggs of fish are eaten… half of the baby bears die before puberty… most of the world’s rain falls in oceans… and most of the seeds of trees are eaten by birds.

Scientists have found that animals, trees, and other forces of nature are more receptive to the law of “wasted efforts”.

Only humans think that the lack of success in a few attempts is failure… but the truth is that: we only fail when we “stop trying”.

Success is not to have a life free of pitfalls and falls… but success is to walk over your mistakes and go beyond every stage where your efforts were wasted, looking forward to the next stage.

Life can be a rocky road; the challenge is not to let it grind you into dust, but to polish you into brilliant gem.

I learn from my mistakes or failure and move on & the fact is our expectation towards life to be perfect and in a better way and my way is the biggest reason for our unhappiness. So friends we need to understand the law of impermanence of nature & I keep saying for many people that after each sunny day there has to be dark night and night is also good because you are able to get good sleep, rest well when there is a night. If you want to see a full moon to come again it has to pass through no moon right? and if you want to see the rainbow this summer…is it possible? you have to wait for the rain to come + the sun to shine to see the rainbow.

Again friends, in this imperfection of nature there is perfection. Stop taking your failures to your heart and making it so huge and get hurt deeply & mess the whole life. Believe that it is just the cycle which u need to pass through & that’s part of your life. However, get conscious not to take too much time to bounce back & learn how to decide quickly & it is not uncertain situations but an uncertain mind that often leads to failure. So believe in nature and prepare yourself because even failures cannot be permanent.

I agree 100% this feeling `fear of failure or rejection’ would still bother your subconscious mind. Just see around the journey of life, instances like a mother giving birth; the child growing; when the child starts going to school; getting admission to school; when the student working on his final year; employee of his project deliverables; getting into relationship & every instance there exists a fear.

so I want you to be aware consciously & get ready to get absorbed to deal with the fear of failure or rejection.

BTW, get ready there will always be many more rejections compared to our success and achievements. Let’s grapple with this which leads to self-doubt about our own capability and knock this off to get better. I acknowledge whenever I failed or got rejected for my projects, I appreciate the process I focus on learning and continue with never give up attitude and that’s what `Law of Wasted Efforts’ is all about.

I have to share a few exemplary leaders’ examples here:-

  • Apple will be the top brand when it comes to phones and the then CEO Steve Jobs was once a College dropout, fired from his own company & then succeeded in becoming a CEO of Apple again & he’s known as a master of innovation.
  • I’m sure we have grown up in this childhood story, hearing to Thomas Alva Edison story where his teachers told him he’s too stupid to learn anything and he failed thousand times while inventing the lightbulb and he turned out to be a winner of 22 Academy Awards
  • For all our cricket fans – MS Dhoni, one of the greatest cricketers initially played badminton and football, & he took up the job of a train ticket examiner in the Indian railways as he hails from a lower-middle-class family & today Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the captain of Indian Cricket Team and his records are the best among all Indian captains to date and his leadership style has become learning for aspiring leaders.
  • Coming to politics – Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, has faced many odds in his path. He started working at an early age by distributing newspapers after school & he had average grades in his schooling. From there on, Dr. Kalam joined thee Aeronautical Development Establishment of Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) as a scientist and went on to head the organization as an Indian scientist and he also became the 11th President of India.

There are 100’s of examples around us and look at all successful people around you from Amitabh Bachchan to Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Walt Disney , Ratan Tata, Dhirubhai Ambani, Narayan Murthy, Sachin Tendulkar and observe all other successful people around you. They have failed multiple times before becoming successful in whatever profession they are in.

BTW, get ready there will always be many more rejections compared to our success and achievements. Let’s grapple with this which leads to self-doubt about our own capability and knock this off to get better. I acknowledge whenever I failed or got rejected for my projects, I appreciate the process I focus on learning and continue with never give up attitude and that’s what `Law of Wasted Efforts’ is all about.

So I finally understood that whether it’s about surviving in nature or hunting as a predator or playing the game or building an IT giant company, this awareness of wasted efforts made these people sharper, better, richer to ultimately succeed in reaching their goals.

To conclude,

You can halt or take rest momentarily but you cannot say QUIT, because success does not come after a few attempts of failure; you need to keep trying, never give up till you succeed, so learn to grow in your life at each stage and go beyond by understanding the Power of your Wasted Efforts.

Also, let’s agree that all of us are vulnerable to faults, we have our own weaknesses, and failures will happen. Don’t shy away from owning your mistake or failure. When it happens believe that that you are wiser today than you were yesterday as you have enhanced your knowledge in this process.

If there is a phrase that summarizes this world, it will simply be: continue all over again.

The universal success secret mantra for Law of Wasted efforts will simply be `Learn from Failure… Take Action… Don’t Quit… Continue! all over again….. until you Succeed!

Refrences: plyinsight, Prajvitha Knowledge, LinkedIn

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1).

 

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Leadership Starts with Simply Being a GOOD Person


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

It doesn’t matter if you are running a business, managing a team, or teaching a class–leadership skills are important. Some people seem to be born knowing what to do to inspire and lead people, but for most of us it doesn’t come that naturally.

Being good is all about our core VALUES as a person.  Every one of us has a set of core values.  Our values have been built from a young age into adulthood.  From day one, the people that have raised us, our parents, relatives, guardians, and friends, have been IMPRINTING values upon us.  When you were young and impressionable, you were just young and impressionable. 

Not everyone will become a great leader, but everyone can become a better leader.

What makes some people excel as leaders often feels shrouded in mystery. You can read about leadership, research it, and talk about it, yet the interest in leadership alone will not necessarily teach you how to be a good leader.

You will have more information than the average person, but learning effective leadership is lifelong work. It requires experience – and lots of it. Most importantly, it requires observation and a commitment to action.

Remember words like these: “Show respect for your sister; that type of behavior may be okay for your friends, but not you; do your chores, everybody does their role in this family.” Those words instilled the values of respect, strength, and hard work. Take a minute and reflect on words you may remember from your childhood. Now let’s fast forward from your childhood to, if appropriate, parenthood. As a parent, have you ever heard your parents voice come out of you as you talk to your kids?  Most parents have, and it’s cute and scary all at the same time. 

In living and leading a fearless life, values are an integral part of navigating and overcoming fear.  In life, when things are good our values are beneficial and positive. However, when a crisis strikes, tragedy sets in, a roadblock is thrown up, and the value of your values skyrockets. I’ve always felt that you learn more about a person when the chips are down. During challenging times our values can be our bedrock, our lightpost and something that carries us through the challenge. 

It is really interesting to reflect back on the first global crisis I had to lead a company through.  It was September 11th and I was in the middle of a capital raise to keep our company alive.  It was also on the heels of the Internet Bubble bursting.  I was leading a struggling tech company in Silicon Valley that was running out of money and America just got hit by terrorists.  In fact, on September 11th we had investors from New York and Chicago in our offices in California and we became their hosts for over a week as all planes were grounded. 

In the face of adversity, the values that immediately struck were STRENGTH, COURAGE and FAITH.  Just a day earlier the company relied on its own strength, but today the company needed mine.  Everyone was shaken, and I don’t mean professionally.  We were all shaken personally and as Americans we were literally numb. As a company we pulled together for our employees, served our clients, but more importantly served our community, all while we were struggling and running out of cash.  We were courageous in the face of fear and had faith that if we did the right things, good things would happen to us. We made it through September 11thstronger as a company and closer as a family.  And our Fearless Leadership was rewarded with a successful capital raise and the company stayed in business and grew. 

The lessons I learned during that crisis I have been able to apply at other times in my career – during the financial meltdown of 2008-2009 and most recently during the global pandemic we are all experiencing. In all of these instances, I have lived and learned that simply waking up and being a good person is perhaps the biggest part of being a steady and consistent leader during troubled times.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to be a good leader, first and foremost, is an inside job. You must focus on growing as a person, regardless of the leadership title that you hold. You cannot take others where you yourself have not been. So focusing on yourself, regardless of your time or where you are in your career, will have long term benefits for you and the people around you.

Being a Fearless Leader is built on being a good person and living your core values. Values are great in good times, and they are literally the super-glue during the tough times. 

Author: Brendan P. Keegan

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1).

 
 

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Workplace Happiness Matters


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Happiness at work is heavily surveyed and it is proved that an average human spends over 90,000 hours at work over his/her lifetime. People still figure out how to work on feeling happy or coming in terms with your work. Just like everyone, you may be also thinking that happiness should be the primary goal of having a good work-life.

Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy. The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful. How often do you consider quitting your job and feel that you are not getting paid enough for the dedication and service you offer your organization?

Happiness and satisfaction are subjective concepts – while for some of us monetary benefits can be equated with job satisfaction, some might strive for recognition of their hard-work and lose motivation on failing to achieve so. For some people, having a friendly environment at work is an essential requisite for deriving pleasure. No matter what the standards are, being content with our careers is crucial for maintaining the ‘work-life’ balance.

Being happy is the first step to anything that we want to do successfully. Going to the office, mechanically performing all the duties assigned, and coming home to spend the rest of the day with a drink in hand and the TV in front is an ideal picture of an unhappy life.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama

How to work toward happiness at work

So now that we know the essence and benefits of happiness at work, how can we foster, support, and build it?

There’s no single, simple answer to this question. However, in developing our course, we have identified four key pillars of happiness at work: Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness—or PERK, as in to PERK up your happiness at work, or make happiness your company’s best PERK.

Studies report multiple ways to strengthen each pillar of PERK on personal, social, and structural levels at work—through individual exercises and activities, the development of key social skills, shifts in leadership style, organization-wide initiatives, or changes to company policy. While this field is young and ideas overlap, we offer PERK as a flexible, integrated framework to help guide thinking about how to increase happiness at work.

A happy worker will reach office on time because he respects his punctuality and will perform all the daily tasks because he enjoys doing it. He will work out of love, not out of compulsion.

1. Happiness Multiplies Success

Happiness at work can spread like fire. Employees who feel pleasure in doing their work form a great example to others who are less motivated.

For example, when a team leader is happy with his position and work, he can influence his team with more positivity and maintain great functionality in the group. Happiness in the workplace is directly correlational to increased productivity and better group performance at work.

2. Happiness Builds Positivity

A troubled mind can be the storehouse of negative contemplations. When we work out of compulsion and don’t feel passionate about the contribution we make to the organization’s success, our mind starts wearing.

We become stressed, lose focus, and indulge self-deprecating thoughts like “I have to quit”, “I cannot take it anymore”, “I am not worth it”, etc. On the contrary, a professional who has strong positive feelings about his job will undoubtedly be more enthusiastic and focus on building himself. Rather than focusing on the problems, he would look into ways of solving it.

3. Happiness Reduces Stress

Annie Mckee, an International Leadership advisor, and writer, in one of her publications in the Harvard Business Review, mentioned that when employees are unhappy, their brain starts to disconnect from the positive emotions, and damages their power of creative thinking and reasoning.

She further said in her article on the link between our thoughts, feelings, and actions. If any of these breaks down, it is sure to hamper the others. If we feel happy in the 8 hours that we spend at work, if somehow we can hit the strings of positivity that will keep us uplifted, it can remarkably improve our responses to stress and redirect our focus to the positive aspects of the work-life.

4. Happiness at Work means a Healthy Life

If we allow the work stress and disappointments to enter into our personal space, there is no way that we can get rid of them.

Successful professionals who can optimize their work are less likely to suffer from hypertension, cardiac arrests, substance abuse, and other stress-related disorders.

When we are happy from inside, we get that power to fight diseases and the will to recover and get back on track.

Remaining physically or mentally sick can bring unprecedented hurdles even at work. We lose the energy to give it our best shot, become less focused on work and more focused on the woes, and consequently, kill our productive soul.

Not just that, happiness at work also makes us less prone to work-related stress and burdens.

5. Happiness at Work Increases Likeability

We all like to stay around people who have a positive attitude and look content with themselves. In a happy state of mind, people are more innovative and inspired. They are willing to improve their existing skills and contributes toward creating a fun and creative performance culture at work.

Finding happiness in work helps in building strong interpersonal relationships at work and encourage people to work together for the common welfare of the organization they are serving. It is the backbone for innovation, loyalty, responsibility, and success.

Happy workers can create a pleasant environment at work that is easy for others to cope in, and the more people get into it, the better the team grows.

Dyfed Loesche, an eminent statistical and data journalist, in one of his publications about countries having the best and the worst work-life balance, mentioned that the Netherlands is one of the happiest countries concerning the work-life balance.

His interactive chart (given below) represents the countries that have great work-life balance, starting with the one that has the happiest working population.

Happiness Workshop Ideas for Employees

  1. Workshop Activities To Build Team Success – Access here
  2. The Work Happiness Workshop – Access here
  3. The Employee Stress Management Online Workshop – Access
  4. Happiness In The Workplace Everyday – Access here
  5. Team Building And Effective Communications Workshop – Access here
  6. Happiness At Work In-depth Workshop by Alexander Kjerulf – Access here
  7. Arrive At Happy Workshop – Access here

Finding happiness is as much about the decisions and actions you take as it is about having good things happen to you. And remember, if you don’t enjoy your life, change it! Doing the same thing today will create the same results tomorrow. Try some of these strategies and put yourself in a position for happiness.

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1).

 

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Comfort zone is graveyard of our Dreams


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

It has always been said that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, so then why are so many of us afraid of stepping outside of it? I will tell you why, because being inside your comfort zone minimises stress and anxiety. This makes it super duper easy to never push the boundaries, because it’s pretty darn comfy inside your little safety bubble, right?

Coming out of your comfort zone is tough in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and awesome in the end…because in the end, it shows you a whole new world. We always tend to slide into our comfort zones whenever we find a familiar environment. It is time to get out of our comfort area and challenge ourselves to attain new dimensions in life. What can seem like small marginal gains start to stack together to create a rhythm that is unstoppable.

The comfort zone is a psychological state in which one feels familiar, safe, at ease, and secure. You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.

The comfort zone is nothing else but a graveyard for your dreams & ideas.

For some people, the thought of stepping out of their safety bubble is unfathomable, especially if you know for certain that anxious feelings will arise.

Doing everyday normal activities is so familiar that it doesn’t create any apprehension. However, flying solo across the world, jumping out of an airplane, or following your bucket list dream of opening a new business will probably make people a little jittery. Really, why would you want to provoke feeling anxious? Here’s why. Because, every time you do you will grow-each time a little piece of the fear of the unknown is removed and replaced with a little piece of empowerment. And if you continuously do this the size of your fear bubble will get smaller while your comfort bubble gets bigger. With that said, we all need a little extra motivation every now and then to face our fear and step out of our comfort zone bubbles, and these comfort zone quotes will help you do it.

Sometimes it is good to be in uncomfortable situations because it is in finding our way out of such difficulties that we learn valuable lessons. Each time you try something for the first time you will grow-a little piece of the fear of the unknown is removed and replaced with a sense of empowerment. Real change is difficult at the beginning, but gorgeous at the end. Change begins the moment you get the courage and step outside your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone

I will guarantee you that the day you step outside your comfort zone by making success your goal, is the day you discover that adversity, risk, and daring will make life sweeter than you ever imagined.

This is the new year the new you. You can pass through another year, coasting on cruise control. Or you can step out of your comfort zone, trying things you have never done before, and make 2021 as the year that you elevate from where you are & soar high. Make it happen!

It is time to rise above NORMAL!

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1).

 

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A mother’s love is unlike any other


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

Mother is not just a word, it is the deep emotion, thought and feeling that no other relation can make.  A mother’s love is unlike any other and our one-of-a-kind relationships can never be compared. No word can define how amazing mothers are. Not only do they hold us in their womb for 9 months, but they are also the first ones to show us the world by introducing us to our dad and our entire family.

The greatness of a mother is the most perfect thing that exists in the life of human beings. A good mother will never be forgotten, we will take her forever in our hearts; that’s why it is so important that we value as she deserves, giving that invaluable person the proper place. Since we are in her womb, we feel her full and delicate protection compared only with the magnanimous love of our creator; therefore, our mother is unique.

While a lot of people say that as parents we shouldn’t be friends with our children, it is something that happens no matter what. If you have a positive relationship with your mother, she will become your best friend whether it’s when you’re young or years later when you’re finally an adult.

My Mother is the one person I know now that I can call in the middle of the night if I truly need her. She loves me unconditionally and I love her unconditionally. I have kept her up at night without realizing it and she has always worried about me in ways other people never will. My mom is a great best friend and I would not trade her for the world. The relationship I have with my mom is easily the most important one in my life and that might sound a bit weird to some but if you have a positive connection with your mom, you know exactly what I am talking about. A mother’s love is unconditional and only grows stronger over a lifetime. 

You will realize just how important she is when she is finally gone and by that time it will be too late so please do your best to understand the relationship you have with the woman who brought you into this world. She is the person who helped to make you who you are right now, she has cared for you through the ups and downs life has placed before her and even when she was struggling she make time to play with you and do her best to bring a smile to your face.

She was there when you went through breakups, she was there when you fell off your bike, and if you ever needed her for anything she would only be just a call away. She wants the best for you and works hard to see that you even now are able to live a good life. If you are struggling she will always come through the help in any way she can and she deserves some acknowledgment.

She is the person who has stood by you when you were treating her badly and made sure you still had all you needed in life. She might not be the same woman she used to be now that you’re older and she’s getting up there in age but she will continue to love you completely until the day she takes her last breath and even into the afterlife. Be sure to bring back the love and care that she gives to you before it’s too late!

A mother’s love impacts us in an incredible way, always guiding and protecting, and it can be felt long after they are gone. A Mother is a gem in everyone’s life. She is the ultimate source of happiness for a child. Her contributions are certainly too great to imagine. Above all, her love is pure and innocent. To find a Mother who does not love is probably an impossible task.

For those of you who are lucky to be still blessed with your Mom’s presence on Earth, this story is beautiful. A small piece of advice my dear friends, fall back to your parents for anything and everything. I am sure that will make our lives better. Our parents may not understand all our feelings, emotions and thoughts immediately. They may not be so educated, talented & advanced; however I am sure they will make an honest attempt to understand us at any case. And, that attempt would always make the result fruitful. It is because they deny something or go against some of our decisions it does not mean they will do it always. They always understand and all ears to us with an unlimited unconditional eternal love.

Kindly understand your parents and respect the love, hope, dreams & the faith that they kept on you…I sincerely request each and everyone, please never miss your parents. They are the visible gods on earth.

I know I am miles away from my mother now. But, I will never forget what my mother sacrificed in her life and it is what have made me special in this world. She never left hopes on me, her belief and trust made me achieve all what I have now, but I never cared you and received you with love.I thank you for all your unconditional love, care, and numerous uncountable things you have given me in life. I wish you all health, happiness and comfort forever. Please never leave me mom.

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1).

 

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Message to Women who sacrifice themselves for Family


Each minute of our life is a lesson but most of us fail to read it. I thought I would just add my daily lessons & the lessons that I learned by seeing the people around here. So it may be useful for you and as memories for me.

The journey of a woman at any stage of her life can be either extremely beautiful or extremely disastrous, and a great deal of this depends on what kind of men are around her. By this I don’t mean that women are not strong. In fact, women are more courageous and strength-providing creatures than men could ever be. Our Earth has been a male dominated society for centuries. This means men have most of the power. But as they say ‘with great power comes great responsibility’, so the question that has been stamped on the strength and power of men is:  are we taking the responsibility and doing enough to make women feel respected, ensuring that they have a fulfilling life?

In Life, relationships are what we have and they are important. Relationships are wonderful… until they’re not. While most relationships require work, the difference between sacrifice and compromise can sometimes be hard to tell. Are you actually making healthy compromises in your relationship or are you starting to sacrifice yourself? Are you happy or are you getting resentful? Will your relationship last or is it destined to fall apart? These are all questions you can be wondering about if you’re not sure whether you are making the appropriate compromises for your relationship or whether you’re sacrificing too much.

Super mother with newborn baby – cleaning, shopping, talking by phone, coocking, working, combing hair, making sport and doing pedicure at the same time. Multi super wife, beautiful lady

Maintaining a successful relationship with someone often means making compromises to be with each other — that’s just part of being in a partnership. But, there are some sacrifices you should never make in a relationship, no matter how much you love the person you’re with.

The truth is, there is a clear line between compromise and sacrifice, but sometimes, it’s a really thin line, and when you’re in the thick of a relationship, you can’t really see it. Unfortunately, if you’re already starting to feel a bit uncomfortable with your relationship and where it’s going, it’s even more necessary to make sure you are staying in healthy territory. One partner getting upset and feeling unheard is a surefire way for things to end quickly.

No relationship should ever put your health or your happiness at risk. If your partner or your relationship is taking a toll on your mental health, hurting you in any way, or leading you to believe you don’t deserve to be happy, it’s not a relationship you should be in. It doesn’t matter how strong your feelings are for someone, or how long you’ve been with them if they do and say things that are harmful to your health and make you unhappy all the time. You should never have to sacrifice your happiness for anyone, and honestly, a loving partner would never ask that of you

So, how can you know? Well, there are actually three main differences between compromise and sacrifice. By examining this list, you’ll better be able to discern whether your relationship is the right, healthy one for you.

🛑 Compromise Is Mutual; Sacrifice Is Disproportionate

🛑 Compromise Has A Specific Goal; Sacrifice Often Doesn’t

🛑 Compromise Is Never Resentful; Sacrifice Can Be

My dear women, most importantly make time for yourself .. the ME time.. the time for the self.. 

🛑Get in touch with your friends… Talk, laugh and enjoy

🛑 Live your passion, live your life  

🛑 Once in a while do things that love to do …

🛑 Don’t look for your happiness in others, you too deserve some happiness because if you are not happy you cannot make others happy 

🛑 Everyone needs you, and you too need your own care and love.

🛑 Women should come forward to help and guide other women who are unable to handle their personal stress and give them a hand to uplift their confidence .

🛑HELP Yourselves and make this LIFE WORTHWHILE .

If you are in a relationship where you feel like you are sacrifcing all the time or sacrificing too much, the best thing to do is talk to your partner about how you can get back to a healthy place. If that doesn’t work, unfortunately, you just may not be in the right relationship for you.

I believe that a society where its women do not feel secure and respected is not worth calling a society. Crimes like rape, domestic violence and trafficking have increased over time and the word respect is ebbing. Trafficking of women has raised a big concern and has destroyed many lives. I live in a country where, according to statistical data, a rape happens every 20 minutes. Men have misused their dominance and power and responsibility has not been taken.

A woman sacrifices a lot of things in her life. Yet, somehow she finds happiness in those things. I hope we, as men, find happiness in giving women the love and respect they deserve. Respecting women cannot be a rule, but surely it can be a responsibility. We all have only one life to live , respect everyone and give space to everyone to lead their life….Life is beautiful ….

Please feel free to share your story and any lessons you learned, you experienced, you came across in your life in the comments below. If you enjoyed this, or any other other posts, I’d be honoured  if you’d share it with your family, friends and followers!

If you wish to follow my journey outside of my writing, you can find me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MunnaPrawin) Instagram(MunnaPrawin) and Twitter(@munnaprawin1).

 

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