Holding Meetings That Connect with Remote Workers

Holding Meetings That Connect with Remote Workers

If you’ve ever held or attended a virtual meeting, then the latest Tripp and Tyler satire, a Zoom ad entitled Video Conference Call in Real Life, probably made you laugh out loud. As the former COO of a company in which all of our folks worked from home offices, I surely did! I can’t help with bandwidth challenges, but based on my experiences, I can wholeheartedly recommend three best practices for conducting meetings that will at least figuratively connect your highly distributed team. 1. Maintain a professional set-up. Using a video over voice-only platform goes without saying. People should be able to make eye contact with each other and read non-verbal cues just as if they were sitting in the same room. Not only will that minimize the inevitable multi-tasking that occurs when people “hide” behind a computer screen, but also fosters an environment of connection and mutual respect. This means all participants should take care to ensure that: • Video cameras are at or close to eye level and framing them nicely • Lighting is conducive to being seen clearly • Distractions (i.e. kids, pets, devices, background noise) are minimized in advance • All the materials they need to participate are handy 2. Maximize technology tools. Utilize the features available on your video conferencing platform to focus people’s attention, create visual interest, and boost collaboration. Take full advantage of highlighters, drawing tools, white boards, chat rooms, screen sharing, and other interactive features. For example, when conducting webinars for global clients, we often put up an interactive map of the world and have participants use the drawing tools to designate where they are streaming from. This...
Why E-learning Is the Best Way Forward!

Why E-learning Is the Best Way Forward!

Did you know that you can train people faster and cheaper? Did you know that it is perfectly possible to increase learning capabilities of people without getting them to the classroom? If you didn’t, you will now. E-learning is coming up as one of the easiest ways to enhance the learning environment across the globe, and it is just a matter of time that the traditional method of learning is taken over by e-learning. People often ask, what is it that makes E-learning so viable that it stands out. The answer lies in a scrutiny of the benefits of E-learning and how it is carried out. It can be summarised a s follows: 1. E-Learning is cost effective Via E-learning companies/ organizations cut down on their environment costs as they do not have to arrange for classes or traditional methods of teaching which include physical presence of students or teachers/trainers. For example, Compass Group whose program demonstrated an estimated cost reduction of £495k in 6 months because of cost cutting in accommodation, travel, time out of the business, external trainers or materials. (source: kineo.com) 2.E-Learning benefits learners With e-learning, learners have the option to learn at their own convenience. Where most of the online courses are tagged as self-paced, it becomes easy for the learner to grasp the knowledge and information at their own pace which helps in better retention. 3.E-Learning ensures faster delivery Due to less implementation time and costs, it becomes easy for trainers and learners both to wrap up sessions at their own convenience. It doesn’t take that much time to start or end a class,...
Why Leaders Are Not Born, But Trained!

Why Leaders Are Not Born, But Trained!

There goes a popular fable, which talks about how once a monkey got to become the king of the jungle. The day that happened, everyone heaved a sigh of relief that now things might change. But the next day they found the monkey prancing around the jungle and jumping on tree tops. They wondered what is wrong, but said nothing thinking this might be the new way of doing things around. This went on for some time, the jungle was now a mayhem. Animals approached the monkey to ask why isn’t he doing anything, to which he replied, “Can’t you see I’m doing what I can?  Tell me if there’s something wrong with my efforts? I keep jumping around all the jungle for you people and this is how you talk to me?” With this the monkey left everyone dumbstruck, and went away hopping on tree tops. Moral of the story:  No matter how good you think your efforts are, in reality you might just be a monkey hopping on trees. Nope, just kidding. The real lesson here is to understand that leading people is not an easy task, and understanding what you job entails is a tough thing to conquer. One might do all what they can to make things work, but that doesn’t mean it will succeed.  And that is exactly where it becomes crucial.  Leadership is not what we perceive it to be, it is what the people and the organization needs. People elevated from individual contributors’ role to team managers have hardly any experience in management, in the first go. According to IBM’s Global Chief...
Train Your Brain to Become a Better Leader

Train Your Brain to Become a Better Leader

Good news, old dogs – new tricks can be learned. And the secret to making dramatic changes to behaviour involves one of the coolest new trends in contemporary science – neuroplasticity. So, what exactly is neuroplasticity? To put it simply, it’s the ability of the nervous system to respond to stimuli by reorganizing its structure, function and connections. There is plenty of evidence proving the incredible capabilities of the brain. Human beings can indeed change the way they behave and think, even in the presence of brain disorders. An April 2016 case study published in Perspectives in Psychiatric Care found that patients with schizophrenia who underwent intervention strategies like cognitive remediation and physical activity can improve cognitive function and their quality of life while positively modifying neuroplasticity in schizophrenia. Neuroplasticity sheds some light on the human ability to essentially change the structure of the brain. As needs change, people are able to create new neural pathways as a way to adapt. These changes are the brain’s method of tuning itself to a new habit or practice. Neuroplasticity and the workplace. How does this impact the professional world? For those who want to go for that promotion but don’t consider themselves to be a leader, think again. Leaders are needed and are in short supply. According to the Workplace Trends’ Global Workforce Leadership survey, almost half of the companies surveyed note that leadership is the hardest skill to find in employees. Many companies are trying to implement leadership training courses to proactively address this growing concern. The 2015 Business Human Capital Challenges Report from the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that one of the top concerns...
Nine Myths of Success- Debunked!

Nine Myths of Success- Debunked!

Success, in itself has no definite meaning, as it changes from person to person accordingly. But on a general note, the common idea of success means financial affluence, increased societal status, a happy family, and many such indicators. Since there is a clichéd understanding of success, there are also a few connotations attached to it. Not necessarily true, here we are debunking much popular notions surrounding the popular idea of success: 1. Success makes you a better person When people work in a very demanding role that makes them deeply competitive. It rubs off on their personal life also. People seem to be on a short temper all the time, flaring up at people including their family for no reason. Once this is realized, people can make an attentive effort to separate their work life from personal life and things can soon return to being normal. Staying level headed and not letting success go to your head sometimes needs a conscious intent! 2. To succeed, you need to focus on some parts of your life more, however once you are successful you can balance your life again When you focus too much on one aspect of your life at the expenditure of other aspects which are equally important, you cannot always escape the consequences. Let’s look at an example. In 2009 Ranjan Das, the SAP India CEO, died of a massive heart attack. He was 42 years old and active in sports, was a fitness fanatic and also a marathon runner with no history of any type of cardiac problem. So what led to this tragedy? Apparently, as he had...