Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

How to improve Self-confidence

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2010 at 12:02 pm

You may have already read my blog on self-worth. I came across an interesting blog in HBR about building one’s self-confidence. If you are new to the work place, you may find that there are several knowledgeable people in the team. There may also be some who takes another person’s idea and hashes it like their own. There may be someone who finds / creates loopholes in your argument so their opinion matters more. How do you go about gaining self-confidence in these situations?

  • Set larger goals for yourself. If you have been given an assignment, break it down into small pieces. As you complete each piece of work, you have accomplished something! The more you accomplish, the better it is. It helps to boost your confidence.
  • Stay current in your field. If you are a software engineer, know the language well. Browse through forums to see sample codes, problems and solutions. Join community to groups outside your company to gain support. If you are in customer service business, see how other companies serve their customers. What best practices can you adopt? What are the industry trends, productivity enhancers, trade shows that you can attend, etc.
  • Be kind to yourself. It is okay to fail sometimes. Learn from them and move on. Overall, you need to have more wins than fails. As long as you do not make the same mistake twice, you are learning.

Your confidence increases as you accomplish more. Reflect on your past to identify circumstances in which you have been extremely successful. How can you create similar environment for you? Set some achievable plans for the short term and long term in your role and stay focused.

I would like to hear from the readers about what worked for you. Please share your tips to benefit others.


Importance of follow-through

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2010 at 8:46 pm

A lot of people get easily excited about a new concept. Its like the shiny new band wagon. They want to get on it, drive it and benefit from it. However, the attraction lasts for a short time. Once the shine wears off, people move on to the next big thing. But, success requires perseverance. Lets explore a few examples in this article:

  • Have you blogged in the past and discontinued? Unless there are new contents, how do you get new hits?
  • Have you started a project and left it incomplete? How about your garage clean-up planned last spring? How many new improvement ideas do you have sitting in your to-do list? How many have you completed more than 50% already and then your priorities changed?
  • Do you make focused effort to go to networking events, but never follow-up with the people you meet?

Unless you follow-through and complete the project, you cannot fully benefit. If you committed to someone that you will do A by next week, you will gain credibility by delivering on that. If you have already completed 50% on a project, can you work with someone else to get the remaining done? This will benefit the business while you can still focus on your new priority. You have to make adjustments to your execution as you go. But persevering through the obstacles will help you to succeed.

Increase productivity using IT

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2010 at 6:42 am

In my blog on February 3rd, I wrote about how to enable team to focus on big things. InformationWeek magazine dated Feb 22 talks about the importance of being agile and 7 key factors that enable it. The stark similarities between the two articles only confirm the importance of focusing on the right things.

A medium or large size company has both organic growth and growth by acquisition. Different product groups within the company may have different preferences on software for development, repository, version control, etc. All this may work fine in one team. But when there is a handshake between teams, things start to get complicated. The new acquisition adds yet another dimension with its own set of tools and policies.

The IT department should invest in identifying best practices and ensure that the teams follow them. A periodic review enables that the team has the best technology to work with. This enables ease of doing business within the company to respond to customer needs faster. It is essential to phase out the old tools for two reasons (a) no new users can be added (b) save money instead of maintaining a legacy tool / application. Being proactive saves a lot of time, money, and frustration.

You may be interested in the article Big Rock, Small Rock.