My #BadManager

I am tired of my Manager, always doing micromanagement. I am done with my Boss and am going to talk to HR about the way employees are treated. My Manager is useless, he does not know anything and tries to expect us to do everything on time, does he know about what this work is all about, what process we follow. I am done, and putting down my papers, can’t work with such Manager and management like this.

So, have anyone of you also had such feelings and thoughts about your Manager or your Boss. I am sure yes, there are instances when you feel your boss is not doing justice to you and is expecting too much. We also feel that we are doing everything as expected for our job, but we don’t get full credit of that, or being a good employee have been never appreciated by Manager or management. This is true and honestly, even I have felt the same in my earlier days when I was new to the industry and corporate world. But, have we ever thought are we right in making such remarks or making judgment about our immediate boss. What if you were at their position and how you would have handled the situation which you are in, would you have done something different, well I doubt and depends on the situation.

We all sulk, crib and judge the other person who is managing you or you are reporting to, I can say 85% of employees are not happy with their management and there are various factors responsible for that which I will discuss in another article. But we have never tried to be in our Managers shoes and see things from his/her perspective, why because they are also answerable to someone and they do have their limitations.

So, here are few areas where we need to really work on and have focus to have good relationship with your Manager:

Communication:   Very fundamental principle in any relationship, is communication. Do we talk and discuss where we need to work on? If your Manager is not happy with your work or performance, did you ever spoke about it, did you tried to setup a One-on-One meeting with your Manager and discuss why he/she has this perception or what triggered this, your Manager is observing you, there may be instances where you may need to focus ON. So, start communicating about your performance once a month, get feedback how you are doing etc. and vice versa.

Visible: You are doing wonderful job, your peers are so happy with your work as you help them and share your expertise, the best thing, your Client appreciates your contribution, and you observe your Manager is not bothered about all this and when it comes to performance review you don’t get what was expected by you. Why, reason is you and only you, because you never highlighted your good work. When you are doing good work make it visible, show your Manager your initiatives what you do for team or when you get client appreciation share with your Manager, if its verbal appreciation, request for same on mail and forward that to your 1st Line and 2nd line Manager. This is called being in limelight, if I am doing good work why won’t I talk about that, you should.

Feedback:  Always ask for feedback from your peers, your stakeholders for you work who are involved in day to day business, Client, Management etc. who deal with you and know that you are contributing the best of knowledge and you are fit for your work. Make sure this feedback is in black&white and then share the same with your Manager.

Work/Data: We work so hard every day and make sure that we meet our deadlines and deliver on time. We make sure not or never to miss SLA’s and be the best of breed. But, do we keep track of our work, do we have our data points ready when appraisal time will come, and I can prove my work. I remember few years back when I was working for Dell, we had points system for all employees and at the end of the month top 50 employees were announced and among them top 10 were the best breed of that month. This one time I knew coming month I will be the No.1 and was waiting for the list to come out and flash on the board, I had my data points measured and had met all the points in metrics to have top spot, however when list was uploaded to my shock I was No.10, you can say wow still you made top 10. Na, wrong as I already said I had all my data points ready and I should be at Top of the list. You know I straight met with my Senior Delivery Manager and discussed about my rating for the month, he was so happy to see me and my passion, he made reporting team to re-look in whole list of 800 people and see where error has happened. And you know when new list was out, I was No.1 for that month.

So, how all this happened, I made sure I do the best of best. Worked in such a way so that no one questions my capability be it anyone. Always made point that my work speaks for me and most important my data points are ready with me.

Finally, we came to an end and what we learnt is, always note what you do and keep record of that. Most important always ask for feedback. When you set clear communication and expectations, make your work visible, like this we will never complain, or say my Manager is bad or he/she does not understand me, or is having undue expectations, or never appreciates my efforts. Remember, always your Manager is not wrong, you can be at fault too. You may be the best at your work but say you missed the SLA or you missed the timeline for presentation. Tomorrow you will be also Manager and managing employees, so imbibe above points and share the same with your direct employees.

Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners. …”

Busy, Busy and Busy…!

People say they are choked with work and don’t have time, always busy like crazy. Is this true?

I don’t think so, because if one knows how to manage their time and how to prioritize the work then no one can be busy . One should always know their priorities, everything one does may not have urgent priority as we think so. It’s human tendency to get stressed to see lot in plate and sometimes ending up doing nothing which turns in total chaos. So, always remember to :

  1. Have a list of things to do on daily basis written on notepad etc.
  2. Arrange the items in order of urgency or priority.
  3. Never jump from one item to another, always finish one and go to another.
  4. If you are good at multitasking, then do smaller items with least priority.
  5. Review your work which you have completed and move to another.
  6. Always read all your emails in your mailbox and keep to clean and tidy.
  7. Have sticky posts on your board and set them as visual board to have the idea of how much work is done and how is left, be Agile.
  8. Always have smile on face and be positive whether at work or doing other stuff apart from work, if you will work under stress it will get stuck.

These are few tips from my day to day life and the way I like to work. Hope you will start same way and see the change in your style of working.

 

You and Your Personality

We talk a lot about individuals personality, whether our friends, colleagues or even about your folks. All individuals differ at personality level, some are extrovert, some introvert and so on. Moreover, people do sometimes judge one another on basis of one’s persona.

How many of us know that what type of person I am, does an individual know about his real personality or who that person is. There are n number of questions which comes in mind when one thinks on this subject. There are individuals who are not aware of themselves at all, and they come to know about their personality from another person. Most of the times when one faces their own analysis on personality, they try to differ or disagree, or they don’t want to face their real side as how they actual look to the society or to the people.

Nowadays, we see lot of personality tests on web, where you answer few questions and get to know what you are or what type of individual you are, “if you answer them with your gut feeling and are honest”, rest analysis will do its work and come to conclusion about your persona trait. These tests assess your personality traits and how you think about things and how you react to certain situations. As per Wikipedia the first personality assessment measures were developed in the 1920s and this was mainly introduced for armed forces. Since these early efforts, a wide variety of questionnaires have been introduced and developed including the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF), the Comrey Personality Scales (CPS), among many others.[10][11] Although popular especially among personnel consultants, the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has numerous psychometric deficiencies. More recently, a number of instruments based on the Five Factor Model of personality have been constructed such as the Revised NEO Personality Inventory.However, the Big Five and related Five Factor Model have been challenged for accounting for less than two-thirds of the known trait variance in the normal personality sphere alone.

According to me I prefer MBTI or Myers-Briggs Type Indicator most, I tried myself and found that my personality falls under ENTJ-A. You know, it’s good to know about your personality and very much aware of your strengths and weakness. If one really works on personality on areas where weakness is on higher side then it can change his way of life, the way one thinks or works or most important interacts with others. It can boost individual’s confidence and morale and can achieve the best in life.

Now, should we all try these Personality Assessments and see where we are and how are as an individual, I say yes absolutely we should go for it. Should we start putting our Personality Status on our resumes to let the hiring department know about us, so that they know what type of person they are hiring or will give them fair idea. I think we should put this status or mark on our CV’s like other details and feel proud about it. It will help people to know you more and interact at your intellect level.

Reality and Dream

There are really two issues here: one is the degree to which an experience seems subjectively real (at least while it is happening). The other issue is independent of the first; this is the degree to which the experience seems objectively real in the sense that it produces actual effects on other parts of reality.

Since age of 14, I was more mature than my other friends. I had realized what is good and bad, what we should do and why. I had embraced my Solitude and was happy being in it. Only one person behind my mature brain and she was my Mother. She always wanted me to learn things whether cooking, cleaning, and understanding of life. I used to runaway from things which she used to tell me to do and always used to say,

Listen, “You have to learn, what if tomorrow you move to new place, how will you manage”.

My younger Brother never had to go through this process of learning. I used to be angry on him as he was free to go out play and do whatever he wants. With the time and me growing up, things changed I was more of homely guy rather than being playing and being with friends.  Started being alone with myself in my room, study, think all weird things on earth. And the best part, I used to think of being a Superman or some special guy with loads of extra powers. Why those thoughts and feelings because I wanted to runaway from whole scenario. There used to be instances where I wanted to just fly and leave this world.

One fine day, my mind was boiling with all the weirdest thoughts, I was on a roller coaster of misery and helplessness, not sure why my thoughts and my inner self was in some sort of trauma and denial of my existence. And in this whole pull and push, I found myself drenched in snow and running from everything in void where there was no destiny or goal. I, ran away from my home and decided not to come back. But, after a day long walking and moving from one place to another crying and cursing and saying sorry to my parents, there was a time when suddenly I found myself lying in my bed. How did I come back, what was that force which made me return to home, I don’t know, it was like a miracle.

My Mother, was always worried about me and wanted me to be happy as she loved me more than anything else. We were like best friends, laugh, and talk and share everything. She was my mentor and guide and taught me everything what I am today. She treated me like I was her Daughter rather than Son. Maybe she wanted to have daughter and I was born “by mistake”. It was more of a mother daughter relationship rather than mother son relationship. Sometimes I wander was I her daughter and by mistake took shape of a boy when I was born.

As a lonely lad, always in my thoughts and solitude, playing with all things which does not exist and being with my imaginary friend had total different effect on me. I loved to be with myself and in my fantasy world. Being not so connected to people around and having no friends, I decided to move to different city or place. And my parents agreed me to study in Delhi for rest of my schooling and college.  That was a turning point in my life, no one was around me I was in my own world. Learned to be independent and tackle things on my own, from a shy guy evolved a smart guy, with tremendous presence of mind.

I started writing letters to my mum, as that time there were no mobile phones. She used to write me back everything which we used to talk in person, we started talking through letters. I started growing up, being more confident, mature and responsible. Being away from my folks and no one to bother me, I was bound to do anything, I could have even turned to bad company or friends because it was my way out. But never did that always maintained a distance from groups who were trouble makers or can deviate me from my studies. This again used to come from her letters, my parents had trust on me and knew their son will not disappoint them or will not do anything which will break their trust. And parents should have this feeling and faith towards their kids. If you cannot build that trust or faith, your child will think in reverse manner.

Being a happy and confident guy, I was good at studies and besides my regular studies, was busy with extra activities related to Radio, Television and most important Theater. Everything I was doing was teaching me some or the other lesson and yes thanks to my parents for being my support at every step and decision I took. I understood the meaning of life and what does it mean. I grew up into a different personality, self-confident, independent and ready to embrace any challenge. My Solitude helped me a lot in this whole personality development and being a mature person.

Alas, there was a day when my Mum was diagnosed with Cancer, I was shattered, my world came crashing down, and it was a sudden earthquake on a scale of magnitude which no one can imagine or calculate.  Doctors gave a time frame of a year for her survival, it was all done and dusted and there was no hope. I was watching my Mum, dying in front of me day in and day out but nothing which I can do except loads of prayers and begging to Allah to give her back to me. As, I had stepped myself into world of work and earn, so had to be in Delhi. Always used to talk to her on phone laugh and giggle, make jokes as we used to do.  And one day on phone she said, “People come, people leave and that’s how world ends”, after few days of that saying, my phone rang, and I knew what the news was about, and that was the end.

My Mother and my best friend left me in void, now with whom will I share my ups and downs, my laughs and my achievements.  A miracle happened, one day I woke up with confusion and happiness. Guess what, I just had finished talking to my Mum, not through letters or phone but face to face as we used to at home. We used to talk regular stuff like we used to do, if I required any suggestion on any issue she guided me. She knew everything what was happening around and with my Dad and Brother too. I do tell her about things happening at home and she is the one who gives me suggestions to solve them. And I tell that to my Dad and Brother. I made her meet my friends and talk to them. My Dad, was skeptical first when I told him about this dream and he literally blasted me for not letting her go in peace. I knew, it was not me troubling her, but it was her love for me which compelled her to be with me in my dream. I explained same to my Father and you know now he also asks me, “Hey what were you and your Mum discussing today”J. I never want to wake-up when she is with me and I hate if someone wakes me up while we are in conversation.

What was it, a reality or a dream? I wandered, it was a dream however, talks and discussion were real. She has never stopped talking to me since then and I always share things with her as I used to do always.

So, as I mentioned there are really two issues here: one is the degree to which an experience seems subjectively real (at least while it is happening). The other issue is independent of the first; this is the degree to which the experience seems objectively real in the sense that it produces actual effects on other parts of reality. Both the issues happened with me and I am happily living and experiencing it.

Life After Lockdown

As more and more Countries are opening up and easing the Lockdown and letting the economy get started with opening of businesses and industries with the realization that we cannot just sit locked forever as this invisible enemy is going to be with us for long and we have to start adapting to new changes and new way of life.

Now, we all are excited to get out of our dens and visit our favorite cafe’s, meet friends, be at work with colleagues and have that sip of morning coffee with them. Sounds exciting, but I want to say something which I feel is important for all, that is, ask yourself “What is Important for me?”.

Yes, before you get engrossed in your daily routine life think what is important for my life, is it my family, my health, my kids, my job, what matters to me. Doing the retrospect of importance then step out of your house and start new life. Because when you know what is important to you, then only you will take proper precaution and be mindful about how to keep yourself safe, because if you won’t, I am sure not today but someday you will be infected as no one is safe.

Be safe and stay alert for your family, kids, people who care for you. Most important for yourself, because if you are Infected everything you have around will be Affected. THINK….!

– Masarrat A Shah

#encouraging

First Night Together

Our first night together, our first night to lay next to each other,

Tingle and excitement in heart and butterflies chirping in our souls,

We seeing into eyes and talking with silence, being one on our first night and  laying side by side,

Your touch and my sigh, sigh of togetherness and closeness,

Your lips touching my lips, and exchanging the breath of souls, laying next to each other,

Your strength in me, your soul in me and we being one on our first night together,

Slept in arms and dream our world, when woke up it was a beautiful morning with a kiss, on our first night together,

Our souls are in love truly, madly, deeply and what if we deny of this beautiful beginning which is love but destiny has the answer,

New beginning, new journey, new life, so let us not hold it rather nourish and cherish it as life is too short for absurd thinking and wasteful thoughts,

Awakening, new hope after our first night together.

 

Springtime Love!

When love beckons to you, follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep,

And when his wings enfold you, yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you,

And when he speaks to you,

Believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams

as the north wind lays waste the garden.

– Khalil Gibran

How May I Help You?

How frustrated do you feel when you give a call to the Customer Care and you end up with worst experience and I am sure you must have felt few things in a fraction of seconds, like:

  1. Why the hell did I called the Customer Care number.
  2. Why Companies don’t recruit agents who can speak well and have proper knowledge.
  3. And finally, most important point, why the hell I opted for this product from xyz company.

And we all have experienced this pain and are experiencing on daily basis, so what is the solution, should we stop buying the products where we end up calling their service desk for the support and help or should we go for products where we get support at our doorstep.

Main reason for companies to lose their business in today’s competitive hush and rush is because of their Product which is not put through various quality checks (as we know example of Samsung) before launching in the market and secondly, their customer care department.

Let us focus on Customer Care Support or Service Desk support people. Why are they so rude or why don’t they have knowledge of the product which they are supporting, why are we loosing focus on this important aspect of the business.

I remember in 2002-03 when there was boom in Call Centre business and culture, employees who used to work there were so passionate and enthusiastic about serving their customers and clients. Training which used to be provided after joining was at least for 2 months including shadowing period. People used to love their job and jump for competitions. I myself was part of such company where I grew from Technical Agent to Team Lead and I am sure most of you would have already lived that life. We were so focused towards customer relationship and providing the best support. Customer’s used to love the support and never wanted to leave the product and the company which owned it, so we used to end up providing Loyal Customers to our Clients.

Where are those days, why customer care now is so pathetic and non-supportive?

So, here are few tips for Service Industry and Product based Companies:

  • Work on your product and make sure it is tested and do go through various quality checks.
  • Hire resources for your support desk with good understanding and communication.
  • Train the Service Desk agents on Product, Policies and escalation matrix.
  • Make them understand what Customer means to them.
  • Most important, give proper training on Communication and Culture.

If we concentrate on above points, we will see change in our Customer Behavior and have loyal Clientele

 

The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary. – Sam Walton

Selfish Son

Selfish Son  – By Masarrat A Shah

Abdul, in his late 40’s parked in a couch and in a deep thought. Thinking about how his life turned upside down in just a year. How things changed forever around him and he is left alone.

It was a quiet Sunday and sky was cloudy as it will rain anytime soon. Abdul is in Hospital where he gets news that his wife succumbed to Cancer. He is crushed and is crying holding 2 of his kids, suddenly whole world came crashing on him. His Kids crying and saying what will we do now without Mummy,

Back to his thoughts and talking to himself, “I am so alone, and every day is miserable without you. I look on these walls and they are haunting me, everything is so empty without you, why did you leave us, why?  How will I manage Kids and everything?”

Son: Enters Room and sits next to his father.

“Dad, what will we do now, how will we manage”, I am missing mummy.”

Abdul: You don’t need to worry about anything, remember now onwards, I am your Dad and I am also your Mummy. We will manage everything, remember if we become weak and loose, people will take advantage of that, do you understand what I am saying.

Son: Yes, Dad. Don’t worry I will be strong.

Abdul: Good, that’s my boy.

After few months, Abdul is sitting in his office and working as usual, going on with his life and routine. One of his colleagues enquirers, how are you doing. Sorry to hear about your loss.

Abdul: That’s alright, you cannot change the fate. It was supposed to happen, and I was prepared for it.

Colleague: You are strong indeed, btw, how are kids doing. They will be missing their mother. It is tough for them.

Abdul: Yea, very tough. But I am there for them and will take care, as I was when she was sick.

Colleague: Can I suggest something if you agree.

Abdul: What?

Colleague: You are young and whole life is in front of you, kids are also growing, and they need both the parents.

Abdul: What are you trying to suggest me?

Colleague: Why don’t you give a thought about remarriage; I am not saying immediately but just give a thought and see if you … maybe you will find someone who will take care of you and kids.

Abdul: Not sure, and it’s too early.

Colleague: I understand, just had a thought rest all is up to you. Take care.

Abdul while at home, having tea after a long day at work is thinking about what his colleague suggested with him at work about remarrying. He is giving it serious thought but don’t want to decide anything without talking to his kids.

Abdul: At dinner table and having dinner with his kids.

“I need talk about something to you both, it’s just a thought, OK”.

Kids: Okay, what is it?

Abdul: You see, I was doing a lot of thinking and had suggestion from my friends about … mmmm about getting married again. Because you guys need mother and someone who can take care of home.

Son: No, we don’t need any stranger to come and take place of our mother, we can manage ourselves. We don’t need new Mummy. And no one can replace her.

Abdul: I understand but say tomorrow when you guys will be busy with your life and work and family, I may need someone to talk to, share my daily stuff. Don’t you think so.

Son: Do you understand what these new Mothers do, they break the family, one of my friend has gone through this and he is now living with his grandparents. He lost his Dad and his home, everything.

Abdul: Everyone is not same, there are exceptions.

Son: In this area, they all are same, either they will come with their own children or will have and will care about their own ones and we will become strangers to step children, I don’t accept that and will never let that happen in our lives.

Dad why are you worried. You have us and we will take care of you, don’t you trust us, and we will live happily.

Abdul: I trust you and love you both. Ok, as you both say I won’t think about remarrying again. I have you and we have us.

After few years. Abdul has grown old and is just struggling with things, is retired now and sitting at home. Kids have grown and are busy with their lives, wife work etc. He feels alone and is sometimes scared to ask for help or anything from his Son etc. He does not have anyone to talk to.

Abdul: listen I have to see a doctor today; will you come early from office and take me to the clinic.

Son: Dad, I will try but as you know I am very busy.

Abdul: that’s alright, I will manage myself. (Man, thinks wish I had remarried, atleast my wife would have been here to take care of me and at least give me company).

After few months, Son realizes his father is struggling with various things, and he needs someone to be with him.

“I was so selfish, now I am realizing that we should have let Dad remarry, he would have someone to be at his side and take care of him. We all become selfish at every step of life and try to play safe so that we don’t get affected.  At that time did we thought about our loved ones what they will be going through. We always think about ourselves and want our happiness, jeopardizing the life and happiness of others and in my case, my father”.

We should always keep in mind that they also deserve to live and be happy, if your Parents can sacrifice their life for your happiness, why can’t you.

At the end I want to say only one thing “Live and Let Live”, it’s easy to think about ourselves, be selfish and avoid odd situations, but we have to think what the situation for them in future will be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Can Breathe!

Now, see Mother Earth is breathing,
Now, see Birds and Trees are breathing,
All the destruction is caused by us,
Every chaos and disruption is caused by us,
We the humans are culprits of every mess,
Hope we correct our actions and stop this mess,
If we ignore the damage caused,
What is the use of us being locked,
Now, we need to be awake and aware,
Now, we need to think and realize.
—- Masarrat A Shah