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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Learn The Art Of Decision Making

When people get caught between problems, they begin modifying their behaviors, which are usually unusual compared to their common behaviors. These behaviors, instead of pacifying the bad impact of the problems, add oil to fire. As a consequence, even jovial people might turn to mute audiences and seem to be taciturn. A radical change in their way would definitely surprise you. This is natural for any human being, who tries to escape from the humiliation he needs to confront as a result of failure in facing the problems. The people shouldered by him run through his mind, the moment he thinks of the negative consequences in facing the problems. He thinks of his loved ones, his own reputation, and his career, which are all affected by his decisions. These factors make him to be surrounded with worries, hard feelings, anger, and make him lesser than a normal human being.

He searches for a standard solution to resolve these problems. He searches continuously and ends up finding nothing satisfactory. But, he would not know that the key to success is within him. Nature had bestowed an excellent ability to him. That is none but his immature decision making ability. He just needs to nourish it to make it a matured one, thereby elevating him to a perfect leader.

First, the complicated part of decision making is to derive a clear problem statement from the problem-case you confront. It is impractical to get a well defined problem statement and you should not expect that. The case may be your own problem or a problem between two external entities and you being neutral. Cases like, problems between you and any other entity like, your family member, friend, colleague, management of your workplace or even your future life, fall under the former category. In the latter case, you would be neutral and you are forced to take a decision. This category includes problems between your family members, your friends or any other problems took over by you in an advisory counsel and so on. In any case, the derivation of the problem statement from the real case is difficult.

Supposing, you are an employer of an enterprise and you need to resolve a conflict between two of your employees (Or as a family man, between two of your family members, say, your mother and your wife. Frequent huh??!!!!). One would blame the other and justify his or her thoughts and actions. The truth will be invisible as it would be behind the mist of justifications and hard feelings between the two. A good decision maker should be capable of extracting the truth from beliefs and justifications to pull out the root cause of the problem.

Secondly, after deriving the problem statement and root cause of the problem, you always arrive at many decisions which are quite ambiguous. You need to narrow down the number of decisions to one. This is done by listing out the pros and cons of each decision and choosing the one which benefits you more. Your selection of decision should be influenced by your ability to forecast things. You must be capable of working out the consequences of your decisions and choose the best one among them, which leads to lesser bad impacts. You need to maintain a balance between the two employees. You should not let your decision resemble favoritism to one. Your decision should be unbiased. It should be satisfactory to both the parties. Winning one of the hearts and losing the other is a poor leadership strategy. None should have a feel of injustice. The balance will make you keep going (As I said in the ‘crucial ‘balance’ factor’ article). A good leader is the one who always tries to minimize the number of people hating him, to zero. Love has no substitute, indeed!

Next most essential constraint in decision making is the time constraint. Your decisions should be quick according to the problem size. Late decisions do not help. What are all I told you till now must be worked out in seconds and not even minutes!!! If the problem is quite bigger, then reasonable time consumption is intellectual. Efficiency of your decision is inversely proportional to time. I will make the idea clear through my formula, which states as follows,

Efficiency of a decision is defined as the ratio of Resulting Happiness or Satisfaction from the decision (depending on the problem size) to time taken for the decision (depending on the problem size)

Efficiency of a decision = Satisfaction / time;

Further, you must have enough confidence to face the consequences of your decision if bad, and to fine-tune your decision to obtain success. Your decisions must not fluctuate. They must be discrete. If your confidence level doesn’t soar, you may seek some advice from the experienced and experts. Remember, your decisions not only influence your own future but also people behind you, your loved ones and people who have immense faith in you!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Why I Always Ask You To Write Down

Humans are the only species, who can express what they want to, clearly through words. They have the ability to use a standard language for communication among them. These are well-known facts. Further, the communication could be in oral or written forms (Written form only for literate!). Obviously, we efficiently harness one of our abilities, the oral communication. What about the second one? Do you think you habitually write? If your response is positive, then applause! Else, I say, you have kept your precious ability trashed with no use for anyone, these days. Am I sounding ludicrous? Absolutely not! A series of questions might surround you now. Why should I write? What should I write? What I get from writing? Go ahead reading!!!

Supposing, you are visiting a scholar’s house and, you happen to be lured by a beautiful quote written on the wall. You would try to memorize that and would succeed in third or fourth attempt. After a week, suppose, you are asked to write an essay by your class teacher, say, you are a student, and fortunately, if it seems that the quote which you saw in the scholar’s house would best decorate the essay, I am sure, you would hit your head several times to retrieve the quote from your mind’s database, but it might result in vain. This happens since humans are liable to forgetfulness. What If you had written it in a notebook for your reference? You would not have struggled. It is really a good habit to write down what you know, what you see, what you learn, so that it will buttress your future activities.

Let’s elevate our example to an enterprise level. In an enterprise, you will be able to learn a lot practically from old documents of the enterprise, your colleagues and from your own curiosity of analyzing things deeper. In addition to this, you might have some unique talents in yourself that the rest may not possess. Every successful product of the enterprise, in which your contribution contributes the major part of the product, will reflect your interest and attitude towards your work and your unique way of handling things. Supposing, one day, you confront a problem, whose consequences are severe to an extent that you need to quit the company. Its impact would definitely shake an area of reasonable size in your company. Think of the loss in knowledge pool of the company. Your gigantic knowledge bids adieu to the company. Isn’t this a sign of ingratitude? You could have overcome this, if you had documented everything. I do not insist you to document by scheduling time for that. Just a few lines about what you had learnt periodically in leisure hours would add up to a big document, no matter even if it is informal. Expressing your ideas in black and white will also keep your reputation alive even after you depart the company.

If you are a student, documenting would drag you to a situation in which you need to search for appropriate words that suits the purpose of your document, which would result in widening your vocabulary. Writing down your ideas has innumerable number of merits than you actually are aware of. Hello! Get up! Search for a notebook and a pen!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I Blink When I Sit In An English Presentation

There would be times when you might have wondered why connoisseurs of English language and philosophers use unfamiliar and esoteric vocabulary mostly in writing. Adding to this, you might have criticized your friends for doing so if they had used such vocabulary for writing. One must understand that, they do so not as an endeavor to create an air of pride around them, but they are more specific in using the language in a particular situation than others do. They deserve appreciation. Now think why an expert or a master of English uses such vocabulary? Why did I say they are more specific in expressing their ideas according to a particular situation? Now let me say you something useful. Vocabulary is inevitable in any profession. One of the most essential points to be kept in mind is, the more words you learn, the more you can be accurate in expressing your ideas. More words will give you confidence to face a large number of gatherings and creates a good image of yours among your audience.

Everything okay, dude! ‘Why such unfamiliar words, provided you have thousands of commonly used words?’ would be your question. While using words, you should remember some constraints and if you do not abide by such constraints then you may sound odd spoiling your reputation. A simple illustration will make the idea clear. Let us say, you are talking about, “following rules” in a meeting. If the meeting is in a school, you may use the words, “indiscipline”, “obey”. If the meeting is between judges, you should use, “violation”. If you talk with software engineers, you need to say, “Security breach”. You cannot use words interchangeably. Doing so would change the face reaction of your listeners in the negative sense. Similarly, when you talk about “thinking an entity in more than one ways”, usage of “perspectives” sounds better than “angles”. This is the reason why I emphasize in enhancing your vocabulary, which if mastered can do wonders!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

How To Become A Good Teacher?

Education – A wonderful entity that has been quietly sitting behind every man and becoming the cause for his victory or failure. For a man, his actions and their consequences reflect his interest, knowledge and attitude towards that particular work. An artist’s oeuvre not only portrays beauty but also his perspiration, love towards his work, and attitude towards the theme he chose. In the similar way, a man’s education and the way he was brought up would influence the outcome of his actions and behavior. Let me narrow down to a more specific term, “the way to bring up a man during his education” rather than the most general term, “education”.

If I isolate this term for research I would end up with several intangible representations like, through love, behavior, attitude, rationality and so on to concentrate. But, the root lies in a single word, and that is the influencing factor of all the above mentioned terms. It is none but pedagogy.A teacher, at the primary stage of a man’s life, when he was a child, is next to his parents, a hero, a role model, the one whose actions would be stamped in his mind. A teacher has the power to make him a great philosopher or even a terrorist. Every utterance of a teacher, though small, may bring about an incredible change in a child’s mind. In particular, the scholastic days plays a major role. I wish to emphasize the importance of the paradigm a teacher chooses for teaching his students.

The goal of teaching, as said by Einstein, is to train the mind to think. A teacher must not immure his teachings within the walls of the class room. His discussions should not be confined to book content He must be able to soothe the boredom resulting from teaching without interludes, by his badinage and interesting anecdotes. Pupils have affinity to interesting stories, no matter what level they are in, maybe a school student, a college student or a professional. Everybody likes to hear stories.Initial class of any subject must start with a beautiful, fresh story related to the subject that would be taught next. A teacher needs to realize that there is no substitute for a humorous approach with a smiling face always. Smile would, not only grab everyone’s attention but also mesmerizes one to follow his path. It would be difficult to enjoy the pleasure of grabbing the students’ attention. Remember, the secret lies only in the ability to interconnect the subject under study, with day-to-day life. Supposing, the teacher teaches physics, it is not a sin to disclose the anecdotes about the great philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes, who always emphasizes the essence of commonsense, which may expose his pupil to a new world called philosophy and to know the importance of commonsense or logical thinking towards any real-world entity (For his physics too!). This would rather be a better path to bring up, than to set limits for a student’s learning process, in the name of curriculum.

A teacher should play the role of a teacher, a parent, a friend, a guide, a scientist, a philosopher, a judge, and many other. No other profession has had such kind of responsibilities encapsulated in a single profession. His talk should not be desultory. His teaching must tend to confabulation, rather than a mere lecture. He must let the students to talk by asking as many simple queries as possible to stimulate the real talents in them. If a student’s response appears to be inappropriate, he must accept that with a smile and correct, and not objurgate it. Applause should surround the student for any cogent response. A teacher should never be irascible and never utter a pejorative word at any instant. I have always been attracted by philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, and Confucius. I wish to mention Aristotle’s words in one of his greatest works, ‘The Nichomachean Ethics’. He says, “The man who is to be good must be well trained and habituated.” He talks about virtuousness and the only way to attain it is through education and what I say is good education could be obtained only from the pedagogy of a good teacher.