4 Effective Ways To Manage Your Time

We’ve all done it plenty of times in our lives. The complaints usually all sound the same – “If only there was more than 24 hours in a day”, “Where did all the time go?”, “Why does time fly when you’re trying to get something done” and the endless list continues. What is it about time that is so elusive? Why does it always seem like it moves slowly just when we want it to fly and flies when we want it to move slowly? It almost seems like it has a mind of its own! But we’re the ones with the minds.

Time Management Training  programs are especially crucial for companies where every man-hour made or lost is directly proportional to money made or lost. The more efficiently a company manages it’s time through resources, systemizing or personnel, the more cost effectively the company operates by saving on time wasted.

Time Management, it turns out, is not really one of the unsolved mysteries of the Earth or rocket science that is beyond our comprehension. It takes some organizing and some discipline, the two key ‘ingredients’ to successfully manage your time. Lets look at how those aspects interplay with each other:

Goal Setting

This is the first step to begin with. To-Do lists are generally not very efficient because they only keep getting longer and after a while can get overwhelming. It is also important to set not only the ‘type’ of goals to achieve but the ‘number’ of goals that need to be done as well. Setting a goal of 5 things to do in an hour maybe more efficient than 20 things to do in the same hour. The more realistic the goals, the more achievable they are.How does one manage time more effectively is a great article that gives you many simple, yet effective, techniques.


This goes hand in hand with goal setting. Some people attempt to just get ‘chunks’ of work done without prioritizing them according to importance. Consequently sometimes these are the very same people who just never seem to have time to do the things that actually matter. Prioritizing the goals that need to be achieved is the best way to maximize the efficiency of the limited time available.


Next it is important to actually put these priorities down on a schedule or calendar. Especially within a business context, there are often numerous tasks that may sometimes require our attention at the same time and having our priorities scheduled will help in allocating them into available slots through the workday.


This is the rivet that holds every other piece of the time management structure together. If this isn’t managed, everything else mentioned above falls flat on its face. Once the system of goal setting, prioritizing and scheduling is setup, it takes a lot of hard work through diligence and discipline to keep the system running smoothly. This is often the area where most people falter. If discipline is maintained within our time management skills, we will discover rather quickly that time need not be our foe but can actually be our friend.

Here are some of our recent blogs on Managing Time:

  1. 3 Tips To Preparing For A Good Presentation
  2. The Cost of Clarity in Communication
  3. How NOT To Deal With Stress

3 Invaluable Soft Skills For The Workplace

Soft skills or people skills are the driving force behind any company. Gone are the days when a resume was the ‘end –all’ for the job and a person’s academic and professional qualifications were all that mattered. In today’s business world, where markets are more global and the world has become a smaller place due to media and technology, credentials and qualifications don’t cut it any more. Today a company needs ‘people skills’, ‘relationship skills’ or more popularly called, ‘soft skills’. Hence soft skills training is highly sought after by corporates.

In this blog we will look at the 3 fundamental types of soft skills necessary for the workplace:

Efficient Communication

This is probably the most valuable of the soft skill topics that companies are looking for. The ability to efficiently and effectively propagate ideas across the spectrum sets an employee apart. Good articulation in speech along with being an excellent listener goes a long ways. Appropriate use of body language also counts toward this.


While nobody likes an obnoxious know-it-all, a person who has a good degree of self-confidence and self-esteem is certainly seen as an asset. The ability to believe in oneself regardless of the situation or people around us is a strong trait that companies find particularly appealing. This will also determine the confidence with which one troubleshoots or resolves conflicts that may arise unexpectedly. Of course mere self-confidence devoid of any actual skills or knowledge is definitely counter productive.

Team Player

And that of course brings us to a very important soft skill – the ability to get along with others. Soft skills after all have to do with people and if one cannot get along with coworkers, the concept of people skills becomes a moot point. Not to mention, having the ability to work closely and efficiently with people develops a sense of camaraderie and unity that is healthy for any organization. This is often the crux of professional development training that companies invest in for their employees.

Soft Skills Training is an important aspect of corporate training which helps to develop invaluable skills sets within an employee such as those listed above that will help to enhance and improve their abilities and efficiency at work.

For further information on Soft Skills, please visit:

The Cost of Clarity in Communication

How Business Etiquette Really Matters


How NOT To Deal With Stress

We’ve all gone through it some time or the other in our lives – Stress. It creeps up on us everywhere from work to home and in some odd cases, even in our sleep. Stress can also manifest itself in different ways depending on the person – while some may experience headaches; others may suffer more extreme symptoms like panic attacks, shortness of breath, etc. And the solution to all these stress related symptoms are as numerous as the sources of stress themselves. There are numerous tips, home remedies and self help books that address stress management .   In this article however, we are going to look at some things that one must NOT do to deal with stress:

Stress Management Training   is a core program  in our soft skills training and corporate training that is gaining new found respect amongst corporations as they understand the cost of playing at high stakes in a competitive industry and the need to equip their employees with the nerves to handle it.

  •  Smoking – This is quite self-explanatory and hardly needs expounding upon. Smoking is bad for one’s health even if they have zero stress in their lives. Smoking is unhealthy, period!
  •  Pills or Drugs – While there are legitimate medications that one can take to relieve themselves of a head ache or so, frequent use of such medications cause the body to adjust chemical levels within itself to make it dependent on the medication while simultaneously lowering the body’s own immune system.
  • Alcohol – While some alcohol in moderation might help to calm the nerves and steady oneself, ‘drowning’ oneself in it to block out the stress is dangerous to the liver. Besides it seems counter-intuitive to cause the body physical stress in order to deal with mental stress.  ‘Managing Stress Can Improve Company Performance’  is an article on effective stress management techniques.
  •  Withdrawing from people – Sometimes stress causes us to go into a shell. Occasionally some personal space and time might be helpful. But talking to someone also helps in coping with stress better. Otherwise internalizing our stress with no external vent or outlet is not healthy for us.
  • Excessive media – Some people immerse themselves into exorbitant hours of TV or video gaming in order to be able to deal with all the stress. These media devices actually cause more stimulation to the brain preventing it from slowing down and allowing oneself to process and reflect over the stress.

For more interesting articles/blogs on stress management, please follow these links:

Can Tough Feedback make you Tougher  

Stress – A Leadership Non-Essential  


How Effective Are Your Presentation Skills?

Here is a story of how a young boy’s life was changed when he was given Presentation Skills Training by the TED team containing some simple techniques.

How Effective Are Your Presentation Skills?

Some time ago, Richard Turere, a 12 year old boy from Kenya got the attention of the TED team who were scouting for stories of interest near his village. Little Richard grew up on a farm that raised cattle and protecting them from lions was a task that consumed all the family’s time. He told the story of how lighting torches didn’t help in keeping the lions away but when he walked to the boundary of the field with a torch, they would stay away. TED found his story so fascinating that they flew him down to the TED conference. There was only one problem – Richard had almost no presentation skills or public speaking experience. But that didn’t deter the team. With a little help from the organizers at TED and a little practice, Richard took to the TED stage at Long Beach, California and gave his talk, despite his shy and introverted personality. When he finished, the crowd gave him a standing ovation!

What embodies good presentation skills? If a 12 year old boy from a Kenyan village could give a TED worthy lecture, is it possible that we might be able to pull of a good one ourselves? There is often the misunderstanding that presentations have to be charismatic, full of bravado and sophisticated in order to keep the listeners attentive. But this is far from the truth. Presentation skills are more than that; it is about speaking from the soul, being true to oneself, while at the same time straddling the line of data and narrative with finesse and poise. Obviously in order to give a presentation one must first have something to showcase. But we must be wise to remember that human beings love stories. And a major aspect of giving a captivating performance is to take the audience on a journey – a journey of story telling mixed with information and emotion mixed with intellect. A successful presentation can be gauged by how differently the audience sees the world when you are done. In short, a great presentation begins with the subject, shows why you as the speaker care about it so deeply and ends with making the case for why the audience must care about it just as much as the speaker does.

Presentation Skills Training is an important program of our soft skills training that companies invest in heavily to equip their employees with the right tools and resources to be able to communicate ideas and agendas confidently and efficiently. To see how companies do this, refer to this link: http://www.inc.com/articles/2000/05/18605.html

Read some of our recent blogs that gives you more information on Presentation Skills:

1. The Science of Non-Verbal Communication 

2. How Presentation Skills can be like a Movie Screenplay?


The Science of Non-Verbal Communication

I’ve been in a few meetings where I perceived very clearly that it wasn’t going well. The person I’m talking to is looking at me and even has a slight smile on their face. Shouldn’t that be sufficient evidence that I have their attention and they’re interested in what I have to say? Not really. While I might not have been an expert in communication skills, there were subconscious signals this person was sending me that told me they were not really engaged in this conversation even though it looked like they were. They were facially expressing that they were but their other gestures screamed otherwise.

So why is non-verbal communication important? Lets examine why: The Science of Non-Verbal Communication

Eye Contact: Even though this person was looking at me, I could tell he was distracted because his eyes were darting around and glancing at other people behind me. Eye contact is probably the most crucial aspect of non-verbal communication techniques. When we hold eye contact with the person we are talking or listening to, we communicate that we are genuinely interested in what they have to say.  

Open Posture: This person also had their arms crossed over and seemed rather rigid. He was also tapping his foot sporadically as if he was itching to go somewhere. This is usually an indication that they are not really open to what I have to say and could be perceived as disagreement, disinterest and/or impatience. It is vitally important to maintain an ‘open posture’ (free arms/open chest/open palms) while talking to people to show that they have our attention and we are interested in listening even if we don’t necessarily agree with the content.  

Facial Expression: When someone is disinterested in what is being said his or her expression usually tends to give it away. A smile could be forced but most of us can usually tell when that is the case. While listening to someone it is helpful to nod as they speak to show them that you acknowledge what they’re saying and respond emotionally according to the content (smile at something good or show more seriousness at something sober). Nothing displays disinterest than an impassive and emotionless expression. Communication Skills Training is an important aspect of equipping people with the right tools to be effective communicators in the workplace. For more information on how this is done, please refer to the following link: http://www.inc.com/articles/2000/03/18145.html

Below are some of our recent blogs on Communication Skills:

Ted Talks and The Art of Public Speaking

What Can Aladdin’s Genie Teach you on Communication Skills?  


How To Improve Soft Skills Of Your Employees

How To Improve Soft Skills Of Your EmployeesSoft Skills training development is currently the most rapidly growing and investing industry for corporate training in India right now. As India grows and begins to make a more global footprint and presence in the world today, companies are fast realizing the need to train their workforce to be relevant to the changing trends of corporate globalization. As a result, soft skill training in India has exploded. But exactly what are soft skills? And how does that actually affect the way we do our work and interact with our colleagues? After all, isn’t all that matters simply our academic credentials and/or work experience? Well, no it’s not that simple and here is why:

Communication Skill

Of all the soft skill topics, this is the most cardinal skill that one needs to have. Eye contact, an attentive posture and non-verbal acknowledgement (affirming nods) go a long ways in communicating that you are paying attention to what is being said. It also attributes a sense of undivided attention that makes for an affluent conversation.

Relational Skill

Developing relational equity with a colleague also goes a long way in honing one’s soft skills. Making sure to get good quality time with one’s peers goes a long ways in developing common ground and foundational trust that can be so crucial to a harmonious working relationship. Having relational equity is also tremendously useful when a conflict arises and a situation is created that requires tact and trouble-shooting skills for a healthy resolve and reconciliation.

Initiative Skill

Whenever possible, it also helps to take the lead on an issue and be the one to spearhead a project or task, or at least be willing to. This displays responsibility but also fosters an image of dependability that is encouraging to the company and peers included. It shows a general care for the greater good and a principled approach to taking ownership of a situation.

With the growing need in this area, there are numerous programs that train on how to develop soft skills. For more information on soft skill training from a company’s perspective, please refer to the following article – Top 5 Most Important Soft Skills Training for Companies

Soft Skills Development For Interpersonal Relationships

I had no idea what behavioral training was. But let me qualify that statement with a story first. My former colleague had it all – the social status, the education, training, work experience, fantastic resume, high benefits job, etc. It seemed like he was born as royalty, with a silver spoon in his mouth and wired for success. At work he had the Midas touch – every project and assignment he ventured into he was successful at. He was the envy of many at work, including myself. And then one day in a rather strange turn of events he suddenly left the company. And I was asked to take over some of his projects. Over the next few weeks I got to talk to some of his department staff and a very different image of him turned up. His staff claimed he was rude, proud, narcissistic, insensitive and totally oblivious to his fellow peers. People hated being around him and would consider it a fabulous day if they didn’t have to run into him in the hallway. Their testimonies of him were so damning that I was struggling to understand if we were talking about the same person. So while his personal achievements were pretty hot, his interpersonal relationships were stone cold dead! Days after his departure our company began a behavioral skills training program. Now I know what it means!

Soft Skills Development For Interpersonal Relationships

My former colleague lacked, what is called in the professional world, ‘Soft Skills’. What are soft skills? Lets first address what they are not – they are not your academic or professional qualifications or credentials; that would be called a ‘resume’. Soft skills are those intangible qualities and traits that one possesses in work ethic, communication skills, attitude and emotional intelligence. They are the little facets of one’s personality and character that make them who they are, that are so vital to doing one’s job effectively. Companies today look just as hard into a candidate’s behavioral skills as they do his professional skills.

While a candidate’s weighty CV/resume might get him through the doors of the company, it is ultimately his soft skills that will define what he becomes and determine how long he lasts there. A person with good soft skills is a naturally good leader, excelling in delegation of responsibilities, troubleshooting, conflict resolution and a host of other talents crucially necessary for productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Unfortunately soft skills training are highly undervalued in the business world today. But this scenario is starting to change rapidly with the evolution of professional development training offered my numerous companies. Soft Skills is fast becoming a highly desired aspect for employee profiling and hiring in the corporate world today.

For more information on Soft Skills Training, please refer to the following article – Top 5 Most Important Soft skills training for Companies

Top 5 Most Important Soft Skills Training for Companies

Top 5 Most Important Soft Skills Training for Companies
In an ideal world, every identified soft skills training need for companies, ought to be given equal priority. But with increasingly lean budgets allocated for training due to the economic challenges, a far cry from what the yester years offered, organizations across industries, barring few, are trying to bring down the number of soft skills training programs to be conducted in the coming financial year.

While, bringing down the number of programs may help cutting costs, leaving out key soft skills & behavioral training programs from the training calendar can be defeating the whole purpose of employee development. (To learn more about creating an effective training calendar please visit: STRATEGIES FOR CREATING AN EFFECTIVE TRAINING CALENDAR)

So, what are the top 5 Behavioural / Soft Skills Training Programs for corporate employees?

If you look at each training need objectively, it would be a near impossible task to pick the top 5. Having a broader perspective helps. Ask yourself what are those key behavioral skills that go a long way in ensuring employee productivity? My list is as follows (not necessarily in the order of priority)

Communication is a complex activity. Communication is considered effective only if the receiver comprehends the message in the way it was intended by the sender. The effectiveness of communication depends on usage of words, body language, tone of voice, sender’s and receiver’s perception of the topic of communication and the communication history between the sender and receiver. To address these complexities in communication and to ensure all employees work in cohesion towards achieving organizational objectives it is imperative that Communication Skills Training is part of your training calendar.

Most organizations have highly skilled employees and yet the desired business results are seldom achieved. The reason for this is that, these skilled employees either prefer working in silos or find it difficult to align personal goals to common goals of the team. Interpersonal effectiveness, ability to resolve conflict, ability to challenge and inspire fellow team members are few of the benefits of Team Building Training. In a nutshell, team building programs ensures synergy in team and propels them to achieve more.

Today’s business scenario has become extremely competitive. From an individual’s perspective, it is important that he or she has the necessary skill to present an idea or a plan effectively. This can help progress one’s career. Leaders with better presentation skill seem to enjoy more success and better followership. From an organization’s perspective, it is a known fact that, more often than not, it is not the superior product that sells but a superior presentation. That is the reason why many organizations across the globe spend huge amounts of money on Presentations Skills Training.

A team without a leader is like an army without a general. You are sure to expect chaos in such a situation. But even with Leaders on board, the changing times and the dynamic business climate necessitates Leaders to evolve. Also, Leadership Skill is not a skill limited to managers alone. Even individual contributors need to undergo Leadership Training program to develop the ability to influence stake holders.

Time is a valuable resource. We all acknowledge and know that time is money. Therefore, effective use of time results in higher employee productivity and business profits. Regular Time Management Training interventions to reinforce time management skills ensures employees remain productive.

Chances are, most of your employees have already undergone programs on these skill sets in the previous years. However, these are skills that can never be mastered with a one-time training. If these soft skills training programs are conducted on a yearly basis by effective soft skills trainers, the organization is bound to benefit exponentially.

Creativity and Innovation – A Leader’s Nightmare?

“Creative thinking is not a talent, it is a skill that can be learnt. It empowers people by adding strength to their natural abilities which improves teamwork, productivity and where appropriate”
– Edward De Bono

Creativity and Innovation - A Leader’s Nightmare?Creativity and innovation are buzzwords in today’s business world and the need for Creative Thinking Skills Training is vital and pertinent. When we think of creativity, the names Steve Jobs and Bill Gates come to mind. These names often overwhelm people and creativity becomes a daunting task, as they feel incapable of reaching these levels.

“The world is but a canvas to the imagination.” — Henry David Thoreau

This picture is a manifestation of the quote. An everyday scene of two zebras grazing in the pasture triggered the photographer to take a picture that could be termed ‘innovative’, ‘creative’ and ‘thought-provoking’. The capability of the photographer to see the ‘unusual in the usual’ is what led to this photograph. This, in short, is the most desirable competency in a leader today.

There is an opportunity for embracing a new way of doing even the simplest things – how you give feedback, how you reach customers, how you position your products and so on. All things in this universe are reduced to a lower state with time. A wooden table starts to wear, humans lose energy and organs start to fail, roads have to be re-laid etc. The way a person did an activity at age 20 will have to be different when he does it at 50 and 80. How the roads were tarred 10 years ago is very different from how it is done today. In short, we are constantly innovating. Noticing the small innovations will build up the capability to embark upon bigger ones.

“The key question when we conduct leadership training isn’t “What fosters creativity?” But it is why in God’s name isn’t everyone creative? Where was the human potential lost? How was it crippled? I think therefore a good question might be not why do people create? But why do people not create or innovate? We have got to abandon that sense of amazement in the face of creativity, as if it were a miracle if anybody created anything.” — Abraham Maslow.

So if you are one of those who find yourself all at sea when it comes to creative thinking and left wondering how to improve creative thinking, it will help you to know that it is after all a skill that can be learnt. MMM Training Solutions offers programs on creative thinking skills that can just be the answer to your problem. Our creative thinking training programs helps you develop a disciplined approach to innovation, idea generation, concept development and strategy.

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.