Sunday, April 6, 2014

Likability Matters More Than Ever at Work

Many times style overpowers substance - yes its true.....

Article taken from: WSJ

Is the workplace becoming more like high school?
"Likability" is becoming a bigger factor for success at work as social networks and videoconferencing grow. The impact goes beyond a high-school popularity contest. The ability to come across as likable is shaping how people are sized up and treated by bosses and co-workers.
Likable people are more apt to be hired, get help at work, get useful information from others and have mistakes forgiven. A study of 133 managers last year by researchers at the University of Massachusetts found that if an auditor is likable and gives a well-organized argument, managers tend to comply with his suggestions, even if they disagree and the auditor lacks supporting evidence.
Likability is more important—and harder to pull off—on video than in person. Sometimes this can result in a style-over-substance effect. People watching a speaker on a videoconference are more influenced by how much they like the speaker than by the quality of the speaker's arguments, according to a 2008 study in Management Science. The opposite is true when a speaker appears in person. The use of personal videoconferencing is expected to grow 47% annually through 2017, according to Wainhouse Research, a Boston market-research firm.
Social networking also places a premium on likability. More employers track employees' likability on in-house social networks and chat services. They recruit those who are trusted and well-liked to spread information or push through changes. Some companies take these employees' social clout into account when handing out raises and promotions.
Listeners tend to like speakers who seem trustworthy and authentic, who tell an engaging or persuasive story and who seem to have things in common with them, says Noah Zandan, president of Quantified Impressions in Austin, Texas, a provider of communications analytics. On video, these qualities can be hard to convey.
Many people make a negative impression on video by becoming stiff and emotionless, or by exaggerating their points. "Overacting is rampant. It's easy to go Ryan Seacrest when the red light goes on," says Tim Sanders, author of "The Likeability Factor" and a lecturer on the topic.
Job applicants interviewed on video receive lower likability ratings and interview scores, and are less likely to be recommended for hiring, than candidates interviewed in person, according to a study published last year in Management Decision.
But coaches say that likability can be taught. "Likability isn't something you are born with, like charisma. It's something you can learn," says Ben Decker, chief executive officer of Decker Communications, San Francisco, a training and consulting firm.
The "big three" behaviors most important to a speaker's likability are making eye contact by looking into the camera, smiling naturally when you talk and varying your tone of voice to convey warmth and enthusiasm, Mr. Decker says. To show the importance of nonverbal cues, he has clients role-play on video the first few minutes of an imaginary conversation with a client—then watch themselves with the sound off.
Mr. Decker also urges clients to "really think about the listener" and figure out goals you two might share. The ability to find common ground is a cornerstone of likability.
Melissa Temple-Agosta has her salespeople take Decker training partly so they learn to come across as warm and engaging in training videos. Many were likable in person, but "when you put them in front of a camera, they froze," says Ms. Temple-Agosta, assistant vice president, education and training, for Urban Decay Cosmetics, Newport Beach, Calif., a division of L'Oréal. Employees learn to think less about their appearance and more about how to forge a connection with listeners.
Senior executives at Charles Schwab & Co. take the training partly because "making sure you come across as authentic and as someone who can be trusted becomes more important" when speaking to large groups on video or webcasts, says Jay L. Allen, executive vice president, human resources, for the San Francisco-based financial services firm. Managers also learn to speak with more enthusiasm on video, varying their tone, Mr. Allen says.
It is important to get to the point quickly on video, because viewers' attention span is short, Mr. Sanders says. Research shows that watching people on video imposes mental demands that make it harder to avoid distractions and process what is said.
Mr. Sanders suggests paying special attention to others' facial expressions in videoconferences, stopping the conversation to acknowledge their feelings if necessary. Empathizing with others' feelings creates a sense of connection.
A common mistake people make on video is to play the comedian. Mr. Sanders says: "If you insist on poking fun at someone, it has to be you." 

Lessons to implement:
- Authenticity: behave in natural and comfortable manner, rather than stiff or self-absorbed 
- Curiosity: show interest in others, make eye contact, and ask questions about others opinions and activities
- Expressiveness: Vary tones of voice and smile, and show enthusiasm about what you are saying - even more so in a videoconference
- Listening: Focus on what others are saying and show that you are listening carefully, rather than getting distracted
- Mimicry: Mirror the expressions or posture of the person you are talking to, in order to create a sense of familiarity 
- Similarity: Actively try to find topics of interest you share with a  listener, rather than talking only about what interests you

Good Luck,
A

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Green Goblin aka Kale, Spinach, Apple, Grape Smoothie

Here is a recipe for a smoothie I have been drinking lately. It takes me 15 min to prep, drink, and clean afterwards. A healthy drink for folks who want to start the day with a bang....

THE MACHINE: (Vitamix 750)



THE INGREDIENTS:

THE RECIPE: (Total time: 15 min tops [includes prep and cleaning])
Ingredients: (see the fig. above)

1. Wash everything :).
2. Dice the apples.
3. Put honey dissolved in water, followed by diced apple, grapes, lemon juice, ginger, spinach, and kale in the blender.
4. Add ice if you like it to be cold.
5. Using Vitamix 750 and smoothie prog. mode, blend the goodies.
6. Enjoy 

THE RESULT:



Drink it in the morning or anytime of the day -  its filled with nutrients and energy. 

Anurag

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas...

After a long time I celebrated Christmas in the U.S. Here is the story in pictures....




(Decorations:
Top: Christmas tree I decorated, Left: Exotic Santa, Right: Angel Doll)













Santa's GIft for me.....Lets open it

Not bad....It actually had more stuff than I show....

Hey guys the food and wine are ready...


Lasagna Al dente....believe me it looked good and tasted excellent

Why do I get to eat kibbles and you guys have good stuff.....sorry buddy cheese no good for you


Served piping hot....lets dig in


Thank you Chef


Now everyone go home I need to work...

Merry Christmas and remember:

"You are the Christmas tree that points upwards with branches on all sides. At the time of year when other trees are barren, you are green with many gifts to offer. You bear gifts and lights not for yourself, but for others. Remember that all the gifts you are carrying in your life are for others. Anyone who comes to you, offer them your gifts". - Sri Sri 

Will catch you on New Years

A












Saturday, December 15, 2012

A beautiful song...speechless

Hi,
2nd post of the day. I was suppose to finish some stuff in the morning, but found out that the power to the buildings is shut. Hence, I decided to put one more post. I took some pictures that were clicked by me (80%) and then used multimedia to compile the song and the photographs..


This is a song I found online, an amazing thing about this song is the sincerity of the singer. For me it is one of those songs you listen and you know that the composer and singer have put their heart into it. Makes me teary...




Enjoy

Discovering the self, one step at a time



Hi,
Lot of time has elapsed since I wrote a post, for reasons both personal and professional I was not in the correct mindset to pen things down. I went through many interesting and intense experiences resulting in ambivalent feelings. I will not go into the specific situations, but one thing that I have concluded is – anything and everything in the world exists only and only if it is in your experience or in other words theoretical, textbook, and things told by other people are just information that is fed and can nowhere be equated to real leaning. And so here is the 1st set of my learning’s:

1. No person can be labeled good or bad based on how they behave with you. Its all the about the time, at times people who you think are friends may behave like enemies and vice versa. The key here is not to get personal and emotional and look at things objectively. Keeping this in the mind helps us to see at the overall picture and not get caught up with individuals. And if there are people who are vindictive, malicious, and avaricious I would just advice to stay away from these individuals because there are tons of better things you can invest your precious time in, that’s a choice that you have always.

2. Emotional, social, or financial dependence on other people puts you at the receiving end, which can be very crippling and detrimental to your personal outlook and growth. I am not suggesting to be antisocial, but the point here is to share your happiness not seek happiness from external sources. Because no matter what you do outside situations, things, and people will never behave the way you want them. Intelligent people fix themselves i.e. work on inner technology not the other way round.



3. Meditate, meditate, and meditate. Yes meditate everyday, especially people who do have intense jobs that require use of mental horsepower. To explore the effects of meditation on my mind and body I did a small experiment, i.e. practiced meditation on a regular basis for 4 months and then stopped doing it for 3 months. Here is are my observations on benefits of regular meditation :
- recharges, resets, and restores body and the mind
- builds a reservoir of energy that you may have use in adverse situations or in other words makes          you feel strong not just be strong
- makes you more aware, alert, and efficient in daily work

4. For many people work fills a large part of the vacuum in life. Hence choose a job that you are passionate about. If you can get one, it’s the best things that can happen. Then you are like a self-propelled machine and it is one of the most fulfilling feelings. If, what you want to do and what you have to do agree – know that you are blessed!


5. Don’t react without thought. Sometimes in the heat of moment it is hard to resist and we snap back. If possible avoid this. I am more than convinced that at times silence can be golden and is very useful to diffusive an unfavorable situation. Many times, just keeping mum can do wonders. Whoever said “ You have 2 ears and one mouth so use the organs in that proportion” was 200% right. When to practice this will depend on the specific situation. 

Bye bye,
A

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Paneer Masala

Hello,
This is a very easy and nutritious vegetarian recipe. I love eating with bread, tortillas, or as it is.

Quantity here is enough for 2 - 3 people, provided there are other entrees.



Ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Diced Paneer made from 1/2 gallon of whole-milk (Indian cottage cheese - see the post on how to make it at home)
- One medium sized chopped onion
- One diced green bell pepper
- One grated tomato
- Grated ginger, garlic (2 - 3 cloves),
- Half lime
- 2 jalapenos or half habanero sliced thin (depending on how much spice you can tolerate)
- Cilantro for garnish
- Spices (cumin, mustard seeds, salt, red chili powder, and turmeric)






Procedure:
1.Heat oil in skillet (do not overheat as it may burn the cumin and mustard seeds). Tip - you can check the heat by the throwing a cumin seed in the oil, if it burns - too hot, it it sizzles without burning - temperature is good).
2. Add few cumin and mustard seeds and stir briefly for 30 s.
3. Add chopped onions and stir for a few minutes, till the it looks like this


4. Add grated ginger and garlic and cook for 1 min on medium/high flame.
5. Add the peppers and cook for a few minutes.


6. Now added the grated tomatoes - this gives a natural red color to the dish. Mix everything well and let the tomatoes and vegetables cook for 2 min on medium/high flame.


7. Now add the spices. Chili powder and salt - to taste, turmeric - quater teaspoon) and mix everything up and cook on high heat for 2 minutes. Simmer the flame and let the spices cook for 3 minutes on a medium/low flame, do not burn it. If stuff sticks to the bottom of pan scrap it and reduce the flame. 


8. This is how it looks once the spices are cooked.


9. Add paneer cubes and mix up everything, be gentle and do not break the paneer.



10. Cook on medium/low flame for a few minutes and cover the skillet and let the dish simmer for a few minutes.


11. Once done remove te lid, add lime juice (to taste), and garnish with clean, chopped, fresh cilantro.

12. Serve piping hot with bread, rotis, naan, or tortillas. 

Enjoy
A