How can I improve my skills in listening and how can I practice my speaking?

Practice makes perfect.

Practice speaking and listening – and use technology to analyze your skills and measure the progress.

Sounds sophisticated? Not at all.

All you need is a simple speech recorder or just your smartphone. Make it a habit to record all substantial conversations that you have during the day, then allocate ample time to listen to the recordings and do a conscious “flight debriefing.”

You will be amazed.

That happens pretty much to everybody because you have never heard yourself “from the outside.” You will notice some obvious mistakes or mannerisms that sound so … well, disgusting, that you will not need much effort to get rid of them (like talking too much, interrupting, using pleonasms, periphrasis, discourse markers, grandiloquence, or being excessively magniloquent – just like I am now).

Additional benefit: you will retain much more from the conversations. That’s a good thing, especially when the discussion is important, and you have no chance to make notes. Next time you’ll impress your counterparts with your attention to detail.

One caveat though. You have to be discrete, i.e. your recording device must be hidden. Obviously, when you start openly recording the conversations all the participants do not talk naturally (yourself including) or do not talk at all. Another thing to bear in mind: this may be illegal in some states…

(Originally answered on Quora)

How can Elon Musk put in 80-100 hours a week and still have a life?

(Originally answered on Quora)

Most probably you want to share your surprise that Elon Musk, who reportedly stayed overnight at Tesla site on many occasions, still looks and behaves like a normal sociable person, gives interviews and is altogether in good health and good spirits, right?

This is because he is fortunate enough to have a solution to the ageless dilemma of “work-life” balance.

For most people, this problem exists, and exactly in this form – work vs. life – implying that the negative portion of your existence, called ‘work’, is balanced out by the positive ‘life’. When the balance is in place, then the negative impact that work leaves on your personality and health is cured by the positive emotions you get from what happens after work. Or that is how the unfortunate majority sees it.

 There’s not much of an overlap between the Life and Work, and as this overlap is not considered healthy, we are advised by holistic gurus that we must disconnect, shut off etc. and not mix the two. Hence, there’s not enough room to have both, we either displace one at the expense of the other, or meticulously separate them, having not enough of either as a result. The rest is a multitude of ‘chores’, neutral in their nature; we just take them for granted, neither good nor bad. Continue reading “How can Elon Musk put in 80-100 hours a week and still have a life?”

What are the best tips and tricks for increasing productivity and time management?

Here are a few off the top of my head. I am glad you’ve asked because it’s good to go through the list every once in a while.

1. Always have a plan. Thinking before doing requires some time and internal discipline but gives you an edge over the “doers” who act without thinking. Continue reading “What are the best tips and tricks for increasing productivity and time management?”

Reflections 2017 Global Conference

Reflections

To learn more about the critical role Leadership Development professionals play in society, come to the Rebalancing Society Event, hosted by Henry Mintzberg, Philip Kotler, Mitch Joel and many others.

““Leadership, like swimming cannot be learned by reading about it.” Henry Mintzberg.

Register to see Henry and other thought leaders at Reflections 2017 Global Conference!

Here’s how to make your worklife better:

Help

Offer more help than you ask for.

When parents help their children grow up, they do not ask for anything in return. Nor do they expect to have a good return on this investment in the future. If they do, the ROI is often negative in the long run.

Good teachers are excited and overjoyed with their students’ success. They see themselves behind the scenes watching their students receive a standing ovation from the academia. If laughing all the way to the bank in front of their student is all they can see, never will there be a standing ovation in their lives.

Lovers want to comfort each other. Continue reading “Here’s how to make your worklife better:”

A Gentleman’s Manual for Becoming a Good Man

Required Reading

“Read before bed every night.”

If you want to read something really special this weekend and perhaps be able to share it with your kids, try “Rules for My Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond.

Published a few years ago, the book has never made it to a bestseller list. This is what happens to the real gems. I would suggest that if “The  Shades of Gray” has never been on your reading list, you will love this book.

As an Appendix, the book has the list of Essential Reading for Boys – which makes another good reason to buy it for your son and write a dedication on the first page. The list will help you to check if you are up to snuff yourself.

Below are 100 quotes from the book widely circulated on the internet. Driven by one of the Rules –

“If you’re going to quote someone, get it right.”

– I have updated the list – corrected the misquotes and added my favorites. You may disagree with some of the Rules, but in any case, the Rules are inspiring and will make you think. Continue reading “A Gentleman’s Manual for Becoming a Good Man”

Weekend Easy Reading – Healthy Quote from the New York Times

Easy ReadingGood article in The New York Times: “A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health”

If you are too busy to read it in full,

here are the skills one must learn, and practice each day:

■ Recognize a positive event each day.

■ Savor that event and log it in a journal or tell someone about it.

■ Start a daily gratitude journal.

■ List a personal strength and note how you used it.

■ Set an attainable goal and note your progress

■ Report a relatively minor stress and list ways to reappraise the event positively.

■ Recognize and practice small acts of kindness daily.

■ Practice mindfulness, focusing on the here and now rather than the past or future.

And, of course, contribute to universal health, share the good content with your friends and contacts.

A Leadership Dialogue with Brian Fetherstonhaugh

Brian Fetherstonhaugh

Integrated Management Symposium Series: Authenticity and Deception in Communications and Advertising

Great event at McGill University. Amazing speaker and a great book!

Once again, highly recommended reading – to children from 15 to 65.

Brian Fetherstonhaugh: The Long View.

 

Brian Fetherstonhaugh: “The Long View”

Required Reading

Over the weekend, I have read a very interesting book – “The Long View” by Brian Fetherstonhaugh.

Brian Fetherstonhaugh is the Chairman & CEO of OgilvyOne, but the book is not about marketing. It is a thoughtful but clear feedback on his personal career experiences, supported by “business cases” from the careers of other successful individuals. Continue reading “Brian Fetherstonhaugh: “The Long View””

Weekend Easy Reading: Inspirational Quote

Challenge quote

I could not find the author of this quote. But it is simple and memorable. And printable.