Soft Skills Trainers! Enhance Your Careers – Just Buy It!

Soft Skills Trainers, Enhance Your Careers – Just Buy It!

I once invited my girlfriend home to showcase my culinary skill, though it was just an attempt at making vegetable fried rice. The entire effort lasted a gruelling 3 hours. Out of the 3 hours spent in the kitchen, more than 2 hours were spent cleaning and dicing the vegetables. I gave up when my final attempt tasted unpalatable. Embarrassed, I made the wise decision of buying it. She devoured the dish and left very little for me.

All is well that ends well. Lesson learnt, cooking is not my forte! My girlfriend became my wife and since cooking is not her forte too, we eat out a lot. We do not spend time re-inventing the wheel!!

A close friend of my mine, also in the training profession, a process trainer, learnt it the hard way. He was a very talented process trainer. The CEO of his company, impressed by his ability to brilliantly articulate ideas and keep up the interest of participants all through a 6-hour process training, entrusted him the task of training the mid-level managers on presentation skills. My friend who was always ready for a challenge accepted the task gleefully. He had 5 days to prepare a 2-day presentation skills training module.

What transpired the next 3 days was arduous and yet funny (well, funny for me). After seven hours of work he called me and said that he was yet to finalize on an outline. His exact words describing his ordeal was “This is worse than searching for a needle in a hay stack especially when you are not sure if what you need is a needle.” Before the close of day he rushed to the neighbourhood library and got 3 books that claimed tall on how presentations are made effective . That night he hardly slept but managed to collate adequate information.

The next day at office, barring few short breaks the entire day was spent on creating a PowerPoint. In the evening he wanted me to review his PowerPoint. It was a 48 MB file with 322 slides. I made it very clear that I would not go through his PowerPoint and left him with a small word of wisdom – “Ideally an 8 hour training day should not have more than 35 slides.” And so his second night was spent cutting down 80% of the slides.

On the third morning at office my friend sends me a mail with a compact 1MB PowerPoint as attachment and a subject line reading “size zero – presentation skill program.” As I perused his PowerPoint and spoke to him on what methodologies he intends adopting, I realized his program was heading for a disaster. He spent the 3rd day at office working on the participant handbook and few handouts. In the evening when we met I told him what I felt about his preparation and narrated my fried rice story. I suggested he should buy online soft skills training materials  that come with PowerPoint, facilitator guide, participant handout, handbook and other related training objects. He looked at me with mixed emotions. He was relieved that his ordeal might just come to an end but he was piqued with me for not advising him of this option earlier.

I am sure there are lot of us out there who would love do our own stuff. It’s good as long as we have the luxury of time.

If not, why re-invent the wheel, just buy it!!

Consider buying the time-tested and proven soft skills training material created by the expert trainers of MMM Training Solutions.

Creativity and Appetite for Risk – Is Jeff Bezos a fool or a leader?

As I read about the octocopter drones in the newspaper yesterday morning, I thought I was watching a science fiction movie in my dream. After pinching myself to reality, I raced to the Internet and watched Jeff Bezos of Amazon being interviewed on 60 minutes.

I was entranced by the octocopter but even more mesmerized by Jeff Bezos who has the courage to take such a huge risk. Bezos stated that the time between receiving the request from the customer and delivering the product to the customer is shortening everyday and if the innovations are not targeted in this area, the business dies. In his quest to keep his business fresh and listening to the voice of the customer, he has revealed that Amazon has invested in the research and development of the octocopter which is a GPRS driven electrical device that will deliver packages (of maximum weight of 5 pounds) within a 10-mile radius in a window of 30 minutes. The description of ‘fast’ needs to be rewritten in the dictionary!

“A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.”― Albert Einstein

As a leadership trainer, people who push the limit and are willing to take the fall always fascinate me. Managers who are conservative and cautious are becoming obsolete in today’s market. The ability to explore unexplored paths and make imagination a reality are core competencies of a leader today. In the 19th century, business encouraged people to be risk-averse but today people have to risk-hungry. Situations that are risky are seen as an opportunity for creative thinking and growth.

Corporates that focus on leadership development should be asking themselves some key questions – Are we encouraging creativity, innovation and risk-taking in our people? Are we rewarding these qualities and is it a part of performance management? Are we talking about these qualities only for the top management or are we creating this environment for people as soon as they join the company?

The leadership programs conducted by MMM Training Solutions focuses on the core competencies of a leader that are essential for success in the 21st century. Some of the distinguishing features of our program are – duration of 3 to 6 months, combination of individual coaching and group training and individual assignments that help the participants to put the learning into practice.

What does it mean to be Emotionally Intelligent?

Daniel Goleman, the father of Emotional Intelligence, illustrates the above question with a

thought-provoking story of a cantankerous samurai. This samurai challenged a Zen master to explain the concept of heaven and hell. The monk scornfully replied that he does not waste time on people with such attitudes.

Feeling insulted the samurai flew into a rage and, pulling out his sword and yelled “I could kill you for your insolence.”

 “That,” the monk calmly replied, “is hell.”

Startled at seeing the truth in what the master pointed out, the samurai calmed down and bowed, thanking the monk for the insight.

“And that,” said the monk “is heaven.”

“The sudden awakening of the samurai to his own agitated state illustrates the crucial difference between being caught up in a feeling and becoming aware that you are being swept away by it. Socrates’s injunction “Know thyself” speaks to the keystone of emotional intelligence: awareness of one’s own feelings as they occur.” ― Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Today leadership development is focused on enhancing self-awareness. Google has a very successful program called ‘Search Inside Yourself’ and McKinsey Consulting is hot on Google’s heels with a program called ‘Personal Insights’. The corporate world has finally realized that change in their company can happen only one employee at a time.

Human beings think and feel. As the story above illustrates, our feelings supersede our thinking. Hence, the emotional maturity of a person improves when their life is not driven by their feelings. Feelings are only a result of ones thoughts about any situation. A hundred people could witness the same situation and each of them could experience different feelings.

When we intentionally shift our thoughts our feelings will change and vice versa.

Here is an example of shifting our feelings. If we are rushing to work in the morning and somebody cuts us off in traffic causing us to lose a green light on the signal, most of us would be irate at the person and display it in various ways. Now if I informed you that the person had a dying daughter and he was rushing her to the hospital, would you feel differently? Most of us would say yes.

Stay calm in all situations and know that you have the capability to choose your emotions. As leaders, our teams are constantly watching our behaviour. Role-model behaviour that will ensure your team’s success. The leadership training programs of MMM Training Solutions focuses on some of the time tested and proven techniques that help you to achieve this emotional maturity.