“I overvalued intelligence”-Bill Gates.

I read an interview with Bill Gates published in the Times of India. 3 points stayed with me:

1. The importance of emotional intelligence for people in Leadership

2. People management skills are not correlated with Scientific IQ & may be negatively correlated

3. It is rare to find someone who combines Scientific skills with IQ

An excerpt:

TOI: Sometime ago, you gave a speech about how you once “overvalued intelligence”. Can you elaborate?

 BG:There’s a certain type of IQ where I can give you a 500-page book on meteorology and you read it and you understand how tornadoes work. I always admired people who were good at that, and I thought if you were good at that, then everything else is easy.

Managing people? Just use common sense. Understanding profit & loss? That’s just a little mathematical equation. “You’re a smart person. You know physics. Go manage this group.” I used to think. I was wrong about that.

The idea that some of these skills were not correlated with scientific IQ, in fact, some of them were negatively correlated, it took me a while to figure that out. Those who combine scientific IQ with people skills—like Satya –are rare. You have to learn to build a team with different capabilities & as Microsoft got bigger, it became more important.

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A simple test to measure your emotional intelligence

#Selfawareness is the first step to emotionally intelligent behavior.

How self-aware are you?

Do you use the same words to describe your #emotions, most times?

If you have had a#difficultconversation, would you describe your current state of mind as “being upset”?

My teenage daughter uses the same word -“upset”, to describe several emotions. Angry, disappointed, frustrated and fearful would all be categorized as “I’m upset”.

We now sit together and delve further to discover what “upset”really means. We are now making some progress, where she has begun a journey to become more aware of her emotions& label them more accurately

This capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them is what is known as #emotionalIntelligence. Research shows that only 36 % of people have the words to do this.

Research has also shown, the first step to dealing with emotions is to accurately identify them.

Step out of your skin & reflect on what you are feeling. If can view your emotions during a heated conversation and say “aaah…I can feel myself getting angry again”, it will immediately calm you down. It takes a little introspection and practice but gets better with time.

Try it..it really works!!!

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Managing Stress in Uncertain Times

Training landscape

We recently conducted a virtual training program for a large 2-Wheeler Manufacturing company. Due to the lockdown and the Pandemic, there was a general feeling of anxiety on 3 levels:

  1. What is the market going to look like for the next year or so?
  2. I feel isolated due to the lockdown and WFH
  3. I hope my family remains safe through the pandemic

managing stress

The audience included Production teams and Sales teams that were spread out across India. This was an initiative that the HR team ran to “connect and uplift” team members.

Shradha HRD solution

There is so much negativity and despondency all around us. Thinking Positively and looking ahead with optimism is the way to remain Happy and Productive. This was the key to our program design, which focused on the following:

  • Identifying factors that cause stress and anxiety
  • Discussing the importance of building self-awareness to reduce anxiety levels
  • Applying strategies to keep a positive mindset during difficult times

Program feedback

We had a fantastic audience who felt charged up & motivated after attending the training program. Many of our attendees mentioned that they were definitely feeling less stressed and were looking forward to adopting a “growth mindset”.

How can you help your teams remain creative?

98% of 6-year olds have Creativity scores at genius levels &only 12% of 15 year olds

In 1968, George Land (with Beth Jarman) conducted a research study to test the creativity of 1,600 children ranging in ages from three-to-five years old. This was the same creativity test he devised for NASA to help select innovative engineers and scientists.

The proportion of people who scored at the “Genius Level”

1. amongst 5 year olds: 98%

2. amongst 10 year olds: 30%

3. amongst 15 year olds: 12%

4. Same test given to 280,000 adults (average age of 31): 2%

According to Land, the primary reason for this is, there are 2 types of thinking processes when it comes to creativity:

Convergent thinking: where you judge ideas, criticise them and improve them, all of which happens in your conscious thought

Divergent thinking: where you imagine new ideas, original ones which are different from what has come, which often happens subconsciously

We teach children to try and use both kinds of thinking at the same time, which is impossible.
Competing neurons in the brain will be fighting each other, and it is as if your mind is having a shouting match with itself.

Land suggests we need to allow people to split their thinking processes into the various different states, to make each of them more effective.

If you want people to retain their ability and desire to be creative, encourage them to let their mind run free while they come up with ideas, and only afterwards to sit down, evaluate them and start working on the ones they think are the best.

How do you encourage creativity within your teams?

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Last week we conducted a #webinar for 311 participants on #Unlockingcreativity.


Last week we conducted a #webinar for 311 participants on #Unlockingcreativity. Our client is a market leader in the Petroleum refining sector

There is an ongoing debate on #nature versus #nurture, with respect to #creativity.

Based on the results of an internationally validated creativity test:

The proportion of people who scored at the “Genius Level”

1.    amongst 5 year olds: 98%

2.    amongst 10 year olds: 30%

3.    amongst 15 year olds: 12%

4.    Same test given to 280,000 adults (average age of 31): 2%

These statistics clearly prove that Creativity is #inborn. It just needs to be allowed to nurtured and allowed to flower.

The #focus of our webinar was:

1.    What are some #barrierstocreativity?

2.    How can we retain our innate #creativeabilities?

3.    How do you enhance a creative #mind-set in everyday life?

4.    What can you do to unlock your inherent #creative potential?

Our #instructionaldesign teams had to allow their creative juices to flow, to make this concept come alive for a large audience in an #onlinetraining format

Our audience was fantastic: engaged, responsive and extremely interactive !!!!

A big Thank you !!!

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3 simple strategies to improve your cultural quotient

Cultural intelligence is an outsider’s seemingly natural ability to interpret someone’s unfamiliar and ambiguous gestures the way that person’s compatriots would.

Why does increasing your cultural quotient makes good business sense?

Most people who don’t really interact with clients outside India, believe increasing their cultural quotient is not important.

Research shows that we have a definite bias, conscious or unconscious towards people that are like us viz race, color, skin, values, traditions, age etc. This is well documented in the work done by Harvard Professors:

People with a common nationality or people from the same region tend to gravitate towards each other. Anyone that has lived or studied abroad will vouch for this. We see this phenomenon at the work place all the time: a shared cultural/regional heritage is usually a reason for immediate bonding.

Every home, every organization and every country has a distinct culture. If a person is more comfortable interacting with like minded people ie people with a similar age & education profile, socio-economic background and those that hold matching views, they find it difficult to work in a diverse e

If you see merit in embracing diversity and improving your cultural quotient, there are 3 simple strategies that will help:

1. Embrace diversity; not just tolerate it:Step out of your comfort zone & learn about other cultures. Travel to off-beat locations, talk with people that are different from you, make an effort to know those you have little in common with

2. Appreciate the reasons behind the customs and traditions. To outsiders, some customs and ways of functioning may seem odd because they see what is happening on the surface. They don’t know the reasons behind the tradition. Once you develop an

3. Suspend judgement: Become aware of differences&appreciate them. When we see life through our mind lens, we often look down on things that are different from the way we work.. We pass judgement and like or dislike things.

4. Be sensitive to the customs and traditions. Mirror them through your actions

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How can I increase my happiness without an increase in my salary?

Is consumption really an accurate measure of development or happiness?

The world over Growth & Development is measured by GDP, which is defined as the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods & services produced within a country’s borders in a year.

Roughly translated: the more we consume as a society, the more developed we are & corollary the happier we should be.

Bhutan has a different measure for Development: Gross National Happiness (GNH).

The 4 pillars of GNH are good governance, sustainable development, preservation & promotion of culture & environmental conservation.

Are the Bhutanese happier than the rest of the world? Is the Index a Political gimmick? This is debatable.

What is important is, there is the thought of moving away from “material consumption” as a measure of development. Economic development is critical but is it the only indicator of development?

Happiness is a function of how satisfied I am with what I have, not how much I consume.

If I look at how much I have, instead of how much I should have, it will definitely lead to happiness, everything else remaining the same, ceteris paribus.

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How can you assess if a team member is culturally adaptable?

The CEO of an infrastructure management company headquartered in the US had an interesting observation to make about his company culture. During a recent conversation with me, he said“2/3rd of our workforce is extremely conscious of hierarchy. They won’t question or voice opinions in front of seniors. The other one third is fairly egalitarian in their views. They stand up for their beliefs & question when required. This situation creates a disconnect within the organization”

What determines if a team member will blend into different cultures easily? 3 simple questions will determine the answer

1. Is the person motivated to learn about other cultures? Does he/she have a diverse circle?

2. Is the person able to suspend judgement while viewing differences in culture or is the person more comfortable with like-minded people?

3. Does the person mirror through actions the values &customs around them?

If the answer to these questions is “yes”, this person will find it fairly easy to blend into different cultures.

What are some steps you have taken to enhance your culture quotient?

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A CEO’s successful experiment with Virtual Meet Up’s for critical decision making

I wish for the touch & feel of a live meeting with colleagues but was really impressed with the results from a virtual quarterly meet up of a Logistics company

I recently had a conversation with a C-suite executive from this company. He spoke about the tools they used for a recent meeting & how much they were able to achieve in a short period

Agenda: to decide new services to be added, address issues the company faced due to the Pandemic

1. Break out rooms to brainstorm: Each group was asked to come up with their ideas on how new services could be added to the current ecosystem

2. White board for ranking: All the ideas were plotted on a cost and potential benefit matrix. The combined group debated on where to place each idea on the grid. This helped narrow down the choice to 5 ideas

3. Polls for getting opinions: Instead of guessing what colleagues thought about the existing ideas, a poll was conducted to see where the majority opinion was

Within 2 hours the entire process of generating new idea, ranking them & getting final opinion on most suitable ideas was wrapped up.

I’m all for the human element but was impressed with the results accomplished in such a short span of time.

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