• 5 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Develop Intuition


    Intuition can best be described as ‘gut feeling’ – that is, a feeling regarding something which cannot be explained with the help of logic or reasoning. In common parlance, it is also called a sixth sense. According to Florence Scovel Shinn, “Intuition is a spiritual faculty and does not explain, but simply points the way.”

    Having intuitive abilities can somewhat be likened to seeing into the near future. This is essential when it comes to predicting future trends in economics, marketing or business in general. Imagine the benefits derived through the aversion of a possible crisis situation simply by the power of intuition. Below are a few simple ways to build up intuitions consequently you can turn out to be extra associated with you and the world as a whole.

    1. Meditate: Slow down your thought process and concentrate. This will facilitate you in building the strength of intuition. E.g. as an student of online degree program of online school or online university like MUST university which is leading online university among all online schools and online universities who offer online degrees in various subjects, MUST has a broad range of online degree programs in which MUST offers online degrees in arts, law, nursing, business, social sciences, engineering, and in several other subjects, the student can facilitate development of intuitions through taking breaks in his studies to have a relaxation and refresh thought process.
    2. Get creative: Whenever you communicate your opinions, views, beliefs, and thoughts by any innovative endeavor, painting, drawing, and writing, you too construct your sixth sense.
    3. Listen to your subconscious: The extra you give consideration to and contain quiet discussions through your inner self, the extra you grow gut sentiments. Spend time repeatedly to be anywhere quiet and pay attention to the voice of yourself, sense the feelings in your gut, and observe the descriptions in your brain’s eye.
    4. Do memory tests: Motivating your mind helps build up intuitions. Call upon a remembrance of a casual event in life. Concentrate on this remembrance and attempt to remember the slight particulars such as the weather, dress color, and traffic sound in background.
    5. Be active: Intuition development can also be improved and enhanced by taking part in physical activities.

     

    December 31st, 2012
  • Top Mistakes Made by Interns


     

    Internship can be an exciting and incredible learning experience for most of the young and fresh graduates. They can make the most out of this experience with a professional attitude. However some of them make typical mistakes and ruin their reputation. Given below are some of the top mistakes that most interns make along with the ways to avoid them.

    -       Not dressing up professionally.

    If you dress up for work like you used to do for college, people can have the impression that you are not serious about work. Dress up professionally as people will be watching you closely. See what the higher-ups and other people in office are wearing and match your dressing sense to them.

    -       Not Paying Attention to Office Culture.

    Most interns make the mistake of ignoring the office culture. You should have a close look at how things are done at the workplace. How full-time employees behave and interact with each other? Do they arrive right on time for the meetings? Do they have their lunch at their desk? Do they lower their voice while taking a call or do they go out to take personal calls? Observe and follow the suit and it will help you to adjust more quickly.

    -       Being too Relaxed

    Even if you feel your workplace is somewhat casual, you should keep a professional demeanor. Avoid laughing too loud, using swear words, sitting with your feet up on the desk, playing with your mobile phone and acting like you usually do in college.

    -       Being short of ideas or questions

    Your internship is a kind of a long test in which you are being judged from every aspect. Most interns make the mistake of thinking that once they have landed the internship, their test has ended. In fact, it is just half of the battle. The real one begins when you start the work. So, when your supervisor asks you for your own ideas or input, don’t show them a blank face. Share what you think about a particular subject without worrying about the response. Your supervisors will appreciate the fact that you have at least contributed something.

    -       Using the free time to browse social media websites

    Opening up a new tab in your browser for facebook or twitter could be very tempting, but remember that your supervisor is watching over you even when you don’t think he is. So, use your free time efficiently in absorbing information about how things work in your field and how permanent employees are performing their jobs.

    -       Making Fun of Menial Tasks

    Filing papers and making photocopies sure doesn’t seem to be interesting, but don’t show it on your face what you think of such tasks. You can complain or scoff about such tasks later with your friends.

    Perform every task seriously no matter how boring it is. Since you are an intern, people cannot rely on you for serious tasks until you have proven your worth. Show attention to detail, perform each task the way supervisor asked you to do and put great emphasis on the quality and time. If you do that, you will soon be trusted for more important and interesting tasks.

    -       Not Asking for Feedback

    Feedback is really important to see how well you are doing and what you need to improve. If your supervisor doesn’t provide you regular feedbacks, ask for them. Appreciate the critical and constructive feedbacks as they help you to learn, grow and develop yourself.

    -       Not Connecting with People

    If you are not networking with the people at work, you are not making the most out of your internship. Connect with people, talk more and discuss your current experience and future plans. Ask them for guidance and their personal experiences in finding the permanent employment. Keep in touch with these people even after your internship comes to an end.

    -       Not listening to people at work

    Listen when someone tells you about anything that happens at work. Absorb as much information as you can about how the company actually works and why things are happening in a particular way. Before you start talking about your own ideas, listen to people as they have more experience and knowledge than you.

    -       Not showing your manners

    Always use your good manners when you are at work. Say please and thank you whenever needed. It is a small thing but it does make a difference in building your impression.

    -       Not Paying Attention to something that doesn’t involve you directly

    While in a meeting, if something not directly related to your work is being discussed, don’t yawn or show others that you are bored. Pay full attention and you can always learn about something new.

    -       Not staying in touch after your internship period has ended.

    Make sure that you stay in touch with your supervisor and co-workers after your internship have ended. Send thank you note and occasional emails about what you are currently doing. It can build a healthy and professional relationship while building your network strong.

     

    December 15th, 2012
  • How to Ask for a Raise


     

    You’ve been working at a reputable company for 3 years now. You have made several contributions towards the company’s growth and have earned praise and acknowledgement for your achievements. Amongst your colleagues and superiors, you enjoy the reputation of being a good and able worker. Given all these factors, you feel that the time has finally come for you to ask for a raise. An extremely sensitive matter that normally involves a battle of wills between the employee and employer, it makes sense for one to become nervous. So how does one go about it?  Given below are some tips that might help.

    Prepare your Case

    Before you go to the boss and ask for the raise, take time to prepare your case. One of the factors that you should know to determine the amount in pay rise you want is the current market rate. If it is above the figure you are currently earning, then you can use this piece of information in one of your arguments.

    You can look for information related to salary figures from the following sources:

    - Ask professionals working in your industry for a general idea about the suitable salary range for your job position.

    - Contact professional organizations working in your field. They often conduct salary surveys and can provide you information about the salary range you should expect.

    - Check out online job boards to look into the salary ranges for job roles similar to yours.

    Know the Best Time to Ask

    Matters of such importance require a delicate hand; therefore it is important to have this discussion at a time when your boss is in a positive frame of mind. This means refraining from such topics when your boss is in a hurry or is in a bad mood.

    Have a Backup Plan Ready

    As a last resort, you can use the most compelling argument that you have some other job offer and you would consider that if you don’t get the raise you deserve. Remember, only use this argument if you are really willing to leave or stay at the company on the basis of the decision of your pay raise.

    Keep performing at your best even after your boss turns down your offer. Talk with your boss about the new set of responsibilities you can perform which can eventually lead to a higher position and a pay raise.

    Set a date when you will ask again for a raise. Until that date, perform your duties at the optimal level.

     

     

    November 29th, 2012
  • Myths About Quiet Workers


    Do you spend your entire workday without saying a single word? Are you not one of those chatterboxes at work who go on spoiling their and others’ time? Does it actually mean that you are a boring, peevish employee and that you don’t like your colleagues? No, it doesn’t. Instead, it means you just an introvert, someone who’s more reserved at the workplace than in your home. Your productivity and hard work has nothing to do with your being quite or introvert—it’s just that you feel it’s better to work that way.

    Unfortunately, sometimes people wrongly assume that those on a quieter side of their personality are ineffective, shy or arrogant. Here are the seven myths about quiet workers.

    Myth No.1: Quiet workers are shy

    Many people assume that if a person is quiet then it is because he/she is shy. On the contrary, many quiet people are known to be highly extroverted in surroundings where they are most comfortable. Being a quiet worker need not necessarily be an indication of shyness – it may simply mean that the person prefers to focus all his/her concentration and attention on the task at hand rather than stirring up a conversation with colleagues.

    Myth No. 2: People who are quiet are antisocial and unfriendly

    As they speak less, quiet workers are often misunderstood to be less friendly and even anti-social. This is related to another misconception people have about quiet people – because they don’t participate in conversations in the office environment, therefore they are automatically perceived as self-centred and arrogant. That may not necessarily be the case. Once given the chance, people who are quiet will be more than able to hold a nice conversation with anybody; whether it’s about something work-related or any other topic.

    Myth No. 3: Quiet workers are always short of suggestions, ideas and productivity

    People assume that quiet workers don’t have anything valuable to contribute as they are not vocal and do not bring useful ideas to work.

    In reality, quiet workers do understand their work very well. They know what they are doing and are available whenever their co-workers or managers need them. They are just not very loud about what they are doing.

    Myth No. 4: Quiet workers do not like their co-workers

    This is related to Myth No. 2 outlined above. Because they are perceived as arrogant and self-centred, other people tend to assume it is because they don’t like to associate themselves with their colleagues. All it takes is a little change of perspective to realise that being quiet is not equivalent to arrogance.

    Myth No. 5: Quiet workers are not confident about their talent

    Another reason that people attribute to the quiet nature of these individuals is their lack of confidence regarding their abilities and talents. Since they are not very vocal about their job, therefore it is assumed that it is because they are not confident about the value of their input. On the contrary, these people try to make their work speak for themselves. They want people to know about their valuable skills through their achievements at work.

    Myth 7: Quiet workers lack leadership and management skills

    These people are often perceived to lack good leadership skills. However, they are actually modest about themselves and avoid showing off their skills. According to a study, around 40% of executives are extroverts.

     

    Think you are a quiet worker? Prove people wrong by showcasing your talent, skills and achievements, interacting and working with more people that helps express your personality, ideas and thoughts via a number of different ways.

     

     

     

     

    November 24th, 2012
  • Get an Associate’s Degree in Legal Studies from MUST University


    If you are interested in becoming a paralegal or advancing your career in legal studies, MUST University offers the most versatile and popular online degree, diploma and certificate programs in law and legal studies.

    MUST Associate’s Degree Program is designed to provide students with extensive knowledge related to the field of law along with the real-world skills, preparing them to have successful careers in their chosen fields.

    Program Structure

    MUST’s Associate’s degree program in Legal Studies is designed to strengthen students’ academic knowledge regarding the subject so that they can develop and advance their career effectively. The course is delivered to the students through a variety of innovative learning and teaching methods. The whole program is divided into 13 courses and students can complete them at their own pace in less than a year.

    Program Objectives

    The main objective of MUST University’s Associate’s degree program is to provide students with a strong base of knowledge in the area of law. Other objectives include:

    - To develop the necessary skills and knowledge needed to identify, evaluate and solve legal issues and become a successful law professional.

    - To present students a broad outlook of the legal system.

    - To keep students abreast of the latest industry trends in law and legal systems worldwide.

    Career Prospects

    There are a wide variety of career options available for legal studies graduates. The fundamental knowledge and skills gained by legal studies graduates at MUST University make them valuable candidates for prospective employers. With their qualifications, skills and knowledge they can add value to any organization.

    Career options for Associate’s degree graduates are wide-ranging. Many reputable organizations require entry-level professionals to work in their corporate departments like finance and legal operations. Graduates can also work in the public sector which includes criminal justice organizations.

    Some examples of possible job opportunities for those wishing to pursue a career in law are as follows:

    - Paralegal/Legal assistant

    - Compliance and Enforcement Officer

    - Title Examiner

    - Journalist

    - Abstractor

    - Probation Officer

    - Social Worker

    Global Recognition

    MUST University’s Associate’s Degree program in Legal studies is fully accredited and recognized by International Accreditation Organization (IAO). MUST University graduates are readily accepted at the world’s most renowned organizations and educational institutions. The University has a high employment ratio, with almost 80% of the graduates managing to get rewarding jobs within a year of their graduation at the world’s top organizations.

    Fee Structure

    Like the other programs, the fee structure for this program is also very affordable. In addition, the University offers numerous financial aid options and scholarships to deserving and competent students, allowing them to study without worrying about their financial constraints.  To know how you can receive financial aid, get in touch with our professional and supportive student advisor.

    Why you should choose MUST University to obtain your Associate’s Degree

    MUST University has become the number one choice of students and professionals for a number of reasons, including:

    - The University offers modern and exciting ways for students to learn and develop. While studying online, you will never feel alone or detached. You can always interact with faculty members, support team, student advisors and classmates.

    - MUST University provides a convenient web-based study environment that allows you to be in total control of your studies. Plan your classes and complete your coursework as per your own schedule. The University offers you an exciting and fulfilling learning experience thanks to its user-friendly and interactive classrooms, a variety of online tools and study material, and a highly professional and accessible faculty.

    - The University has highly qualified and experienced faculty members who come with a wealth of knowledge in their respective fields. They are dedicated to both teaching and groundbreaking research and take a genuine interest in their students’ work.

    - The University has professional and friendly student advisors who are on hand to guide you through the admission process to the selection of the study program. They will also tell you how you can take advantage of the University’s financial aid program and scholarships.

    Students’ Testimonials

    ‘MUST University really exceeded all my expectations. Earning an Associate’s Degree has given me the self-confidence, skills and knowledge to start a career in legal studies.’

    Laura P- Associate’s Degree in Legal Studies

     

    ‘MUST University provided me with the best experience in distance learning education. My Associate’s degree inspired me to advance my educational and career goals and I went on to earn a Master’s degree in law and legal studies, too. I owe my career success to the faculty members who provided me valuable and professional advice throughout my studies.’

    Kevin J- Associate’s Degree in Legal Studies

    November 15th, 2012
  • MUST University’s Affiliations


     

    Every university’s mission involves facilitating students with their development and encouraging them to be the best of themselves, irrespective of whatever stage of life. This is why many universities and educational institutions establish partnerships with third party ventures in the corporate as well as the education sector to give students a chance at making their own futures.

    In this regard, MUST University is no different. With its corporate and educational affiliations established around the world, MUST University is driven to provide students with the opportunity to benefit from great employment opportunities and quality education practices.

    MUST University Affiliation can be broadly categorized into two types:

    - Affiliation with Partner Employers

    - Affiliation with Educational Institutes and Universities

    Here are the details.

    1.     Affiliation with Partner Employers

    MUST University is committed to meeting the needs of motivated and energetic learners who want to pursue their career goals and reach their full potential. Realizing the problems faced by graduates and job seekers, MUST University has affiliated with small and large national and multinational organizations around the world to provide its graduates employment opportunities at the world’s reputed organizations. These organizations seek out MUST graduates because of their strong communication, analytical and leadership skills. To their credit, more than 95% of MUST University graduates are currently serving renowned organizations and institutions at the top-level positions—which is proof of the University’s high educational standards.

    How MUST University refer students to partner employers

    The University’s Admission Department and Career Centre choose top students from different areas of study, studying for different programs. These selected individuals are referred to MUST partner employers and are given the opportunity to work or intern at reputable organizations the world over.

    MUST Career Centre offers the following placement services in collaboration with MUST partner employers:

    • Internship Opportunities in collaboration with MUST Partner Employers

    MUST Career Center provides students who wish to experience real-world learning environment with excellent internship opportunities. Students willing to switch their careers can also take advantage of these opportunities.

    • Job Opportunities in collaboration with MUST Partner Employers

    For MUST alumni, the partner employers offer top positions at small and large organizations across the globe. Partner employers prefer MUST graduates to others because of their strong communication, analytical and leadership skills.

    2.    Affiliation with Educational Institutes and Universities

    MUST University has allied with several educational institutes and universities in a number of countries. In addition to professional student consultants offering academic and career counseling services to students worldwide, the University maintains a physical presence through these affiliate educational institutions. Students who prefer learning via traditional mode of education can study at MUST affiliate institutions operating globally. The affiliate institutes and universities play a pivotal role in helping MUST to spread high quality, flexible and affordable education to working adults worldwide. With purpose-built campuses and highly experienced faculty members, MUST affiliate institutes and universities provide high quality learning experience to students in a more traditional learning environment.

    Types of Affiliate Institutes and Universities

    Our affiliate institutes and universities around the world provide quality education in close coordination with MUST University. There are many avenues through which our students can benefit from a quality education. These are as follows:

    • On-Campus Universities

    Traditional on-campus universities offer their students the option of studying a traditional classroom environment by offering MUST University courses in their region. These affiliate universities offer higher education and research in a variety of faculties including those offered by MUST University under both undergraduate and postgraduate education.

    • Training and Vocational Institutes

    Training and vocational institutes (or ‘career schools’) have included MUST University courses into their curriculum designed to help students develop the skills needed to perform the tasks for a particular job.

    Through these affiliations, MUST University is able to empower numerous students from a variety of locations around the world and enable them to go forward and achieve their dreams.

     

     

     

    November 8th, 2012
  • Your Guide to Job Search After 50


     

    So you are a 50+ mature job-seeker looking for a decent job? Job hunting gets difficult as your age grows. We all know that there is a law preventing age discrimination. However more and more employers prefer young and motivated individuals to become a part of their teams. There are a number of reasons behind that. Many employers have some misperceptions about the old worker which include:

    - Old employees demand for high salaries.

    - They get tired easily.

    - They have outdated info and skills.

    - Older employees don’t know about the latest technologies.

    - They are inflexible in their working style.

    - They are going to do things in the same way that they have been trained to do for years.

    Despite all the difficulties, you can land a job by thinking wisely and strategically. Because of your age and experience, you have more options than young workers only if you know how to use your age as your advantage.

    Given below are some useful advices to help you in your job search after 50   

    Work on your Resume

    Before starting your job-search, have a look at your resume. Does it have a job objective and ‘References available upon request’ line? An updated resume should have a summary of your qualifications and the skills that makes you suitable for the job.

    After working for years, you must have gained strengths, abilities and skills. It’s time to emphasize them on your resume. Have you perfected the art of time management skills? Are you best at problem solving? Were you the most-admired manager at your previous jobs? Highlight your skills in front of employer and they can set you apart from other job applicants.

    Delete the dates of your education from your resume and mention your achievements and qualifications only. Write about the most relevant experiences you have gained. This way, your resume will focus on your accomplishments instead of your age.

    Network

    We all know networking is essential for a successful job search. Are you using all the networking mediums? Are you using social networking?  Even though you have a large network of people you know, you should step out of your comfort zone and interact with new people. Attend job fairs and workshops. Send emails to people in your network.

    Here are some good sources of networking:

    - Connect with the people in your industry and profession. Let them know about your job search.

    - Make a profile (if you haven’t yet) at the social networking websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter. Find your old contacts and interact with them.

    - Join the school/college/University alumnus groups and connect with your classmates and friends. Ask your school to find out about the alumni services. Join the previous employers’ alumnus groups and network with your old colleagues.

    - Get yourself registered at job sites for new opportunities. There are some job sites especially designed for people over 50 like Workforce50 where employers are looking for reliable and experienced workers.

    Be Well-Prepared to Answer the Questions about your Age

    It is illegal for employers to do the age discrimination. However they may ask you some questions keeping in mind your age like ‘Don’t you think you are overage for this role?’ Instead of being defensive, show your confidence on your strengths and skills that you have gained over the years and your willingness to put them into practice.

    Give yourself a Makeover

    To land your desired job, it is vital that you make a positive first impression in front of the potential employer. Work on your physical appearance and dressing style. You should look like a motivated and confident individual ready to take the next role. Bring the positive energy from inside and make yourself busy in healthy activities like jogging and walking.

    Prepare for Interview

    - Before you go to interview, prepare for some solid examples that explain how you worked with young people, how your leadership skills have refined over the years and how proficient you are in new technologies.

    - Is the interviewer much younger than you? Instead of getting overwhelmed or nervous, be relaxed and comfortable. Talk about the latest technological or industry news. Prepare for such type of interviews by talking to young professionals. You can learn about the latest technologies, gadgets and industry news from them.

    You may be rejected a number of times before getting accepted for the job offer. Stay focused without losing confidence on your abilities and skills. Never make your age an excuse for not being successful in your job search. A successful job search always takes time. Work on every aspect and you may land your desired job very soon.

    All the best for a successful job search!

    November 3rd, 2012
  • Perfectionism or Obsession: Where to Draw the Line


    Are you a perfectionist? Do you always try to do things the perfect way? Do you want to have a perfect job, a perfect family and a perfect life? Does the overachiever inside you ask you to have the highest personal standards? Aiming to achieve the maximum quality in everything is a good thing to do- however the obsession of perfectionism can be bad and it can even prevent you to be your best in everything. When perfectionism becomes an obsession, the perfectionists don’t accept anything less than perfect and that’s where the problems begin.

    Here are some of these problems.

    - Perfectionists are never happy with their work. They want to do everything in the perfect way and failing to do so lower their self-regard and self-confidence.

    - The perception that perfectionists are more competent and productive is not true. Even when an average performer has completed his/her job, a perfectionist is still lingering on the same task to find new ways to improve it.

    - Perfectionists are more often less effective or successful. They are always willing to add new things to their existing tasks thinking it would be a good addition. However, often these additions have no value and they affect the whole project. For example, adding unnecessary points in a blog making it way too lengthy or cluttering a PowerPoint presentation with unnecessary information etc.

    - Perfectionists procrastinate. They tend to delay things a lot just because they are waiting for the perfect moment to start their work. They are always striving for the unattainable best in everything and that make it hard to get started.

    - Perfectionists ignore the bigger picture most of the times. They are too busy in dealing with the unnecessary things that they forget about the main goal of the work they are doing.

    - Perfectionism is about getting worried about needless problems. They foresee problems before they even arise and try to look for the solutions of those problems. Most of these problems never surface and are of no importance.

    - Perfectionists cannot delegate their tasks. They don’t trust anyone to reach their level of perfection and so they try to do everything by themselves.

    - Perfectionists cannot take the criticism easily as they think whatever they have done is perfect. They don’t want to make mistakes and their perfectionism nearly paralyze them.

    - The fear of imperfection is often the biggest hurdle for the perfectionists to do most of the things.

    Having said so, I will repeat that perfectionism is not bad as long as you have drawn a line between being perfect and being obsessed about perfection. If you are a good and healthy perfectionist, you try to excel in everything you do while being aware that mistakes do happen and we cannot be our perfect selves all the time.

    Here are some tips that could help you to be a healthy perfectionist:

    - Don’t worry about the unnecessary details of any project. It can be tedious and ineffective and will not help you to achieve any additional thing. For example, if you have written an article, there is no use in reviewing it four or five times. Review your article once and twice, send it and move on.

    - Try to be aware of your time and your to-do list. Being a perfectionist you spend a great deal of time and energy on a particular task but you don’t have the same time and energy left for the other important tasks.  Be conscious of the quality compromises that the other tasks have to undergo and make wise choices on spending your time and energy.

    - Always see the big picture and the ultimate objectives. You should know what your short-term and long-term goals are. Are you working towards the fulfilment of those goals? It is a good idea to maintain a daily, weekly and monthly to-do sheets that could help you in going towards the right direction and keeping track of your progress.

    - Keep a focus on doing things that really matter. When you are putting your best efforts, time and energy for a particular task, ask yourself: Is it really important? The answer should be a big yes, if not, assign it to someone else or get it done as quickly as possible. Look for things that do have an impact and work on those with your time and energy.

    - Set the time limit for your tasks. Tell yourself, I will finish it in 2, 3 or 4 hours and try to finish the task by then. The perfectionist inside you will ask you to spend more time on that task to further improve it, but you should set a limit and draw a line.

    - It is completely alright to make mistakes. We all are human beings and we are bound to make mistakes. Trying to achieve 100% error-free work could turn out to be ineffective. When you are busy in making something perfect, you cannot move on to other important things. Realize that making mistakes help you learn from them and improve yourself.

    - Realize that your concerns and worries can be wrong. Planning in advance is good but preparing for things just by imagining them can be a waste of your important resources. Deal with the problems as they come- they can always be countered on the spot.

     

    October 28th, 2012
  • Taking Criticism Constructively


    Criticism is a term used for assessment or evaluation, whether good or bad. Criticism, in fact, has become a part of our lives and we revel in criticizing others whether they are in the wrong or not.   For e.g.: ‘This dress makes you look fat.’  ‘You never call back’. ‘You don’t have good presentation skills’. ‘You should work on your time management skills’.

    There are quite a few reasons why people criticize each other. It can be out of sheer anger, jealousy, frustration or other factors. When it comes to work, you may hear criticism from your supervisor or colleagues. Handling criticism at work is not easy, especially when you think you don’t deserve it. If unwarranted, criticism may offend or hurt you, prompting you to defend yourself. While responding to criticism in a polite and reasonable way is encouraging, you should also see where it’s actually coming from. If your immediate boss or your sincere friend or parents highlight your weaknesses or drawbacks in an attempt to rectify you, you should take this sort of criticism seriously and positively. However, if it’s meant to just malign or embarrass you, you’d better ignore it, for it’s not worth paying your attention to.

    If you believe the criticism is constructive and given by someone important, here are a few tips that will help you handle it with grace and appreciation.

    Postpone your first reaction
    Getting hurt or offended by someone’s rude remark about you is quite natural; however, you should avoid lashing out quickly at the person who’s done that. Rather, take a deep breath, walk around, or do anything to quell your anger. Don’t take anything personally. Maybe it is something about your personal growth and improvement. Similarly, if you get an email from someone criticizing your piece of work, reply to it at least after an hour so, until your anger subsides.

    Acknowledge the criticism
    Your first reaction after hearing the criticism should be to thank the other person. Acknowledging the feedback would make the other person feel that you are taking it seriously. It also demonstrates that you respect their opinion and have confidence in yourself.

    Analyze the criticism closely
    Filter out the criticism by asking ‘What’s in it for me?’ Try to read between the lines and keep count of the points that need improvement. Ask the person lashing out at you the reason for doing so, if you are unable to understand why you’re being criticized. Support your wrong decisions in a calm and composed manner Jot down the important points

    While you are hearing criticism, make a note of the important points in your own words. Show them and ask, ‘Do you think I am going in the right direction or I understand what you are saying’?  It shows the other person that you are taking their feedback seriously and it also helps you control emotions.

    Take the feedback seriously
    Once you have scrawled the important points from the criticism, turn them into your measurable goals. For example, if your boss said that you miss deadlines, work on your time management skills and set your deadlines a day earlier than they are actually due. If your boss says that there are a lot of mistakes in your content, try to proofread every piece before sending it.

    Turn the negative into the positive
    Try to see the positive things in the criticism. There may be some useful and valuable suggestions for you. If you are able to translate negative criticism into positive behavior, you are successful in handling criticism perfectly. For example, ‘I see you want me to improve _________’ or ‘is that right if I do it like________’.

    Work on your attitude
    Despite doing all the above things, it is very easy to feel hurt, depressed or humiliated when someone comes and tell you the negative things about your work. Your attitude towards the criticism is the key here. You need to push yourself towards taking criticism optimistically and if you don’t, you will lose your motivation at work. Take the feedback as your chance to grow and improve yourself. Know your strengths and always be ready to hear, accept and work on your weaknesses.

    Dealing with criticism can be tough for all of us. It can be discouraging and insulting when your supervisor sends you back your work and criticize your working style. However, you have a choice how to deal with the whole situation in a sensible way and taking the criticism as a way to develop and progress.

    October 17th, 2012
  • How to Tell if You have Leadership Potential


     

    What do you think makes a great leader? Is it about having a great vision or possessing people skills? Is it about good team management or effective time management? A great leader is in fact a combination of all these traits and much more. When you look around, you can see people performing leadership roles everywhere, regardless of occupation. It can be a famous political leader, an entrepreneur, the CEO of a successful organization or maybe your own boss, teacher or a colleague. If you want to be a great leader, you need to work on your leadership skills. Start by analyzing if you actually possess leadership potential or if there are any areas where your skills need further development.

    Do you always want people to like you?

    Are you always thinking how people are going to think about you? Leadership is not about making people happy all the time. Leaders have to take some decisions that make people disappointed and frustrated. So, if you always want to be liked and fear disappointing people, you should give up the idea of becoming a leader.

    Do you like controlling people?

    Are you a control freak? Leadership in this day and age is not about dictating people; it’s about showing them, through your own examples, how to do something effectively and boldly.  There’s a thin line between inspiring and motivating people to perform efficiently and bullying them into doing something.  In order to get good results, be encouraging and motivate them to work harder.

    Do you know how to deal with tough situations?

    Leadership involves dealing with challenges. It can be anything from the annual financial review, changes in company’s policies or the grievance of any team member. If direct confrontations and difficult situations hold you back, then leadership may not be for you.

    As a leader, there are situations when you find yourself between a rock and a hard place: people under you want you to fulfill their expectations, right or wrong, while those in higher positions come up to you with their unrealistic demands. You feel yourself under immense pressure as you have to pander to both sides’ demands, otherwise you will be subjected to severe criticism, jeopardizing your position as a leader.

    Do you feel that you are ready to deal a situation like that?

    Do you get jittery while speaking in front of large groups of people? How do you feel when you are asked to give a presentation about a specific topic in front of a group of people? If you become panicky and choke up while speaking, then probably leadership is not your cup of tea.

    Do you know that empathizing too much with people cannot help you become a good leader?

    Being nice with people and taking care of their needs is a good thing, but only to an extent. But, in such scenarios, although you are classified as a good human being, but you are not a great leader. All leaders have to take tough decisions and do things that are not always fair, logical and reasonable.

    Are you willing to sacrifice your personal life for your professional life?

    Leadership is all about hard work, time, commitment and taking responsibility. Most leaders have to put their personal lives behind to fulfill their professional commitments. If you are not ready to do so, you are not ready for a leadership role.

    The following questions should help make things clearer. Your answers can range from Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Most of the Times or Always.

    1. When I am delegating tasks to people, I look at their skills, background and interests.
    2. I am not sure about my abilities to succeed.
    3. I am highly motivated and that’s what you need to work as a leader.
    4. I work to inspire the people who are working under my supervision.
    5. I expect nothing but top quality work from people.
    6. I look forward to a great quality of work from my people every time- but not more than what I deliver myself.
    7. When a worker is not giving his 100% to work, I try to understand the reason behind instead of giving negative feedback out rightly.
    8. I take the criticism positively.
    9. When circumstances change, I try to adjust according to the new situation.
    10. I spend time to find out ways to increase my team morale.
    11. I try to teach my people my actions instead of dictating them.
    12. I always plan ahead.
    13. I try to keep a positive attitude and energy at work while trying to look behind the temporary setbacks.
    14. I encourage my team members to learn new skills and acquire more knowledge.

     

    If your answers to most of the questions stated above are ‘Most of the Times’ or ‘Always’ then we can say that you are made of perfect leadership material. If you answered ‘never’ or ‘rarely’ to most of the questions, then that means you need to work on developing your leadership skills.

    There are no perfect formulas or rules to find out if you have leadership potential. You are the best judge to analyze if you can lead a group of people and be an effective leader.

    October 6th, 2012