Thursday, September 1, 2011

Teachers Day : 5 Biggest Mistakes Teachers do

I submit my "Pranams" to my teachers. They inspired me. They believed me more than I believed in myself. The way I was treated as a student lingers in my mind. I am not a very bright student. I am mischievous and naughty! Participated in strikes, lead students to show solidarity on local issues. Yet, I was treated as a learning student. My teachers made me "Who I am Today".

As a part of my consultancy, teaching thinking as a skill, I did one discussion leading session on "Biggest Mistakes Teachers Make". The out come was very worthy. This provides great insight and I was very happy. We used tools like "Consequences and Sequences", "Plus - Minus - Interesting", "Consider All Factors", "What is right and What is wrong".

Learning from mistake is a powerful way of helping student to learn. But learning from mistake is not limited to our students only. I realize that the environment in our profession (teaching) isn’t exactly friendly to making and learning from mistakes right now, but I would encourage you to not let that stop you. Don’t be afraid to make the inevitable mistake or two in the classroom as you teach. Instead, be open to learning from your mistakes and using them to make your teaching stronger.

I am sharing this and you may make comments and let us share our learning from mistakes. 

Mistake 1. Taking everything personally.

If the students disobeyed me, I got angry at them.  If they didn’t do their work, I took it as a personal affront.  Every time they put their heads down or didn’t turn in their homework, I was personally offended.  The problem with taking things personally is that it usually leads to blaming the students. The moment I realized that it wasn’t about me, I was able to to shift my focus from how offended I was to what I needed to do to help my students make better decisions the next time. When I stopped taking personal offense at everything my students did (or didn’t do) I was able to focus on how I could best respect, honor, appreciate, and capitalize on the currencies they brought to the classroom.

Mistake 2. Avoided dealing with parents.

When parents contacted me, I used to cringe.  Usually, they were not calling with good news.  I did everything I could to avoid dealing with them.  By seeing them as an adversary, or at least a nuisance I wanted to avoid,  I created more problems with parents than I solved.  Once I learned to see parents as my partners, to keep them informed about what was going on in my class, and to bring them into the loop early in the process, I found that parents were my best allies.  As a result, even when we disagreed on a course of action for their child, we were more likely to work out a plan that we could both support.

Mistake 3: Waited until students were failing to intervene. 

I was always surprised at interim time that certain students were failing.  What made it even worse was that by the time I sent out interims, there was really little students could do to redeem their grades before the end of the marking period.  It wasn’t until I created aproactive intervention plan that forced me to systematically look at student performance that I started to notice the moment students began to fail and plan in advance what I would do to get them back on track.  Then, I could intervene before they got so far in the hole that they could not possibly ever get out.

Mistake 4:  Afraid to make mistakes. 

I thought that as the teacher, I always had to be right.  I worked really hard at being the smartest person in the room.  When my students asked me a question for which I had no answer, I’d make one up.  If I made a mistake, I would cover it up.  Only when I gave myself permission to be, well, human, did my teaching get really good.  When I let my students see me make mistakes, admit them, and then take steps to correct them, it made it okay for them to make mistakes too.  The more I took risks in the classroom, the more I made it safe for them to take risks.  As a result, my classroom became a place where real learning could happen.

Mistake 5 : Cover everything. 

I thought that if it was in the curriculum, it had to be taught.  The problem is that most curriculum documents are so bloated that it is difficult to cover everything or allot the same amount of time to every assignment.  What’s more, covering the curriculum does not guarantee that the students will meet all of the standards.  Once I realized that, I began to focus on the standards and on helping my students reach the standards rather than just cover the curriculum.  Doing so gave me more time to teach what really mattered and more flexibility to adjust my teaching based on my students’ needs

Let us avoid making these big mistakes. 

Let us make New Mistakes !

Monday, August 1, 2011

Emotions in Business : Not business of emotions

Emotions in Business

During our July month, we did three things. 

1. Communicated one bad message to our partner. 2. Negotiated with one of our future valuable client. 3. Articulated our feelings to our customer.

They are not common or recurring every month. While discussing about our performance and measurement of our progress, these important activities are evoking emotions. Our chairman Senthilkumar, demonstrated his leadership abilities.

The communication to our partner, that he is not adhering “our” methods and not showing interest and therefore , he need to take rest for sometime, is one of the challenging task. There are question, “why me?”, “how do you say so?”, “it is your perception”, etc. He actually inspected all the data, communication, level of breach, deviation from standard. He answered all the questions. Then he communicated. He stood by his decision. In business, it is most important character.

The negotiation with our client, went on and on and on. It is happening for the last couple of months. The explanations, the measures, the approach, the action plan, the expectations, the micro activities were explained over phone and in person. Chairman took very responsible role. He started analyzing before meeting the customer, preparing himself for any fluid situations. The client accepted our norms, terms and conditions. This happiness short lived, when the client is not responding to our communication. Be it oral or written. The resource allocation to the project met a block. The budget and planning went spiral. This actually created a confusing emotion. The change in customer activity, affected our emotional balance. Of course, we discussed and concluded on our future action plan, but the situation demanded emotional balance, before taking any decision.

The third one is very different as we always not able to express our feelings to the customer. It was interpreted as against “customer relationship”. Helikx have different relationship. We treat customer as our own partner in growth. We express our happy as well as hot feelings. Chairman, expressed his feelings to our old customer, who requested extension of our services.

Emotions in business throw different challenges. 

We learn and we adopt new possible solutions.

Helikx purpose is again reinforced. 

New thinking, New possibilities, Simplified solutions.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Consultancy Fact - Father of Consultancy!

We are in consulting business. Out of curiosity (indeed very essential ), I have started the “Job Description” of a consultant. These are the thought shower in the process.

Consultants (Management , Marketing, System..) are involved in providing objective advice, expertise and specialist skills with the aim of creating value, maximising growth or improving the business performance of their clients. They are primarily concerned with the strategy, structure, management and operations of an organisation. Consultants can assist by identifying options with recommendations, providing additional resources and/or the implementation of solutions.
Consultants operate across a wide variety of services such as business strategy, marketing, financial and management controls, human resources, information technology, e-business and operations, and supply-chain management.

Typical work activities
The day-to-day activities of management consultants are often complex and varied. Consultancy is essentially entrepreneurial in nature and project-based. Projects can vary in length depending on the type of consultancy, firm and the demands of the client. They can involve an individual or a large team. They can be based at one site or across several international borders.

Typical tasks, involve:
Carrying out research and data collection;
Conducting analysis;
Interviewing client’s employees, management team and other stakeholders;
Running focus groups and facilitating workshops;
Preparing business proposals/presentations;
In addition to the above, tasks for more experienced and senior consultants involve:
Identifying issues and forming hypotheses;
Formulating and implementing recommendations/solutions;
Ensuring the client receives the assistance needed to implement the recommendations/solutions;
Managing projects and programmes;
Leading and managing those within the team, including analysts;
Larger leadership role in the management of client relationships

Our experience with this “Job of Consultant” is very exceptional. Everyone says this! Yet, from this part of the world (Salem in Tamilnadu in India), and serving the family owned, family based, family driven, family managed, family employed (nice usage), to families around with families to support. The business houses can be defined as “By the family, for the family, to the family”.

We have to sell (throw our full weight around) our service. Because, we envisage this is going to be the future (our future). These tiny, small, medium organisations going to create value to our economy (Indian). Having the knowledge about the culture and style, we found (our comfort zone) this opportunity and doing a “seriously different” job.

We aren’t a part of the organisation, yet we have to solve the problem of the organisation. It  is all about working in an unstructured environment, trying to solve a problem for an organisation of which we aren’t a part. The operative word is unstructured. The organisation doesn’t need to be unstructured.

“Unstructured” because often the organisation in question isn’t structured to support the consultant. As far as the consultant is concerned, the structure of the organisation is amorphous. Since he isn’t a part of the organisation, he’s working in an unstructured environment. He doesn’t exist in a defined hierarchy within the client org. He doesn’t have people reporting to him and he doesn't report to people.

His role is defined. Solve our problem, the organisation says. But what is the problem?

The problems aren’t clearly defined, and often a closer look reveals that they’re mostly the symptoms, not the underlying cause. (Our chairman says, “If the client knows what is his problem, he never call us or no job will come to us”).

When we interview the founders, managers (senior most), they say, we have everything in place, the plan, the system, the process, the people and the product. When we dig deeply, everything they say is right and wrong! They have a plan but they implement different one. They have the system and they follow different (example accounting – one for the owner, one for the banker, one for the IT department), they have process (example – recruitment process – they use that only to the new – unknown – non-family member, if the applicant is a family member (brother in law), with no qualification or attitude, employed) but not in use. They have product and they sell different one as the demand and spec is not met.

In such a situation, the greatest challenge a consultant faces, and the first thing he must do, is ensure that his ideas are respected by the organisation which hired his services. The organisation isn’t really a monolith. It’s a thousand different people, a thousand different opinions  The founder or director who hired you may have faith in your abilities, but the manager who is infinitely more important to your project’s success because he has all the info you need may think otherwise. And if he continues to feel that way, good luck getting any cooperation from him. (That translates nicely as, ‘You’re screwed, boy!’)

The only way you can successfully complete a project is by gaining their trust and their respect. And the only way you can do that is by chipping away at their reticence (silence) and suspicion, one recommendation at a time, until the rock face crumbles. You have to be ready to have your recommendations ignored, ridiculed and bitterly opposed. Only when that is done will you stand a chance of having them accepted.

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.
~ M K Gandhi

It applies to consulting, regardless of whether you’re a freelance consultant like us, down at the bottom of the food chain, or happen to be McKinsey’s brightest star. we come across this phenomenon ourself during each and every consulting engagement and there’s no reason to believe nobody else has. Indeed, a McKinsey alum does mention that this is the reason why every recommendation they make has to be backed by tonnes of facts. It helps if you aren’t an asshole.

To overcome some of the pitfalls we, helikx, started our "Process" ....It demands one more post "Pitfalls in Consultancy and how to overcome it"

Comment to have one...

Thanks to Chairman who provoked me today during our discussion about our client War..W. The debate continuous..

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How to Tell When Someone is Lying

Our recent interactions with sales force of many industries and meeting college students taught many interesting lessons. I was going through my old mails. There are many discussions about "how to find a liar?"
Is there any tool like "Pinocchio" nose? 

Is there any pattern? I searched and collected some materials. This is the compiled one. Enjoy

Watching body language in addition to what is spoken might just save you from being a victim of fraud, or it could help you figure out when somebody’s being genuine. The police do this during an interrogation.

You have to learn the little facial and body expressions that can help you distinguish a lie from the truth. Here are some steps and tips to do so.

1. Learn to recognize deflections. 

Usually when people are lying, they will tell stories that are true but are deliberately aimed at not answering the question you asked. If a person responds to the question “Did you ever hit your wife?” with an answer such as “I love my wife, why would I do that?”, the suspect is technically telling a truth, but they are avoiding answering your original question, which usually means they’re lying.

2. Mind exaggerated details. 

See if they are telling you too much, like “My mom is living in Delhi, isn’t it nice there? Don’t you like the Taj Mahal? It’s so clean there.” Too many details may tip you off to their desperation to get you to believe them. 

3. We have illustrators, and manipulators. 

Illustrators are a sign of telling the truth, this is when you are using your hand gestures to talk. Moving your hands while you are talking is a sign of telling the truth. We also have manipulators. These, are the opposite of illustrators. An example of a manipulator can be playing with your wrist-watch, your jewelry, pulling on your ear lobe, etc. People who behave this way tend to be hiding something. The last, commonly unknown sign of hiding something is reptile tissue, most people have a reptile tissue in their nose, and it itches when you’re hiding something. But, before you assume that the person is hiding something, please establish a base line.

4. Base Line:

 A base line is what someone acts like when they are not lying. You have to get a base line before you proceed with anything. Imagine you have a itch on your nose ever since you got out of bed. And someone thinks you are hiding something because you scratch your nose when answering a question…oops. What the person should have done is establish a baseline. To establish a baseline, you need to see the person when they aren’t lying. Try asking what their name is, and what they do for a living. 

5. Look out for micro-expressions. 

Micro-expressions are split second facial expressions that flash on a person’s face for a less than a 25th of a second and reveal the person’s true emotion underneath their facade. Some people may be naturally sensitive to them, but almost anybody can easily train to be able to detect microexpressions. Put focus to the upper and lower eyelids, the corner of the eyes, the mouth and the muscles surrounding the mouth, the eyebrows and forehead. 

6. Shaking hands… 

When you meet the person who you think is deceiving you, shake their hand. Take note of the temperature. When you are sure they are lying to you, pretend to be leaving and quickly grab their hand for a “Good-Bye” Handshake. If the temperature is colder, they are fearful. 

7. Notice the person’s eye movements

Contrary to popular belief, a liar does not always avoid eye contact. Humans naturally break eye contact and look at non-moving objects to help them focus and remember. Liars may deliberately make eye contact to seem more sincere. You can usually tell if a person is remembering something or making something up based on their eye’s movements. When someone is remembering details, their eyes move to the right (your right). When someone is making something up, their eyes move to the left. It’s usually reversed for lefties. (although not always true.) 

8. Be aware of their emotional responses 

Timing and duration tends to be off when someone is lying. If you ask someone a question and they respond directly after the question, there is a chance that the person is lying. This can be because they have rehearsed the answer, or they’re already thinking about the answer just to get it over with and move forward. A delayed answer can be a sign of lying. To tell the truth takes 2 parts of your brain at most, however to lie takes 6 parts of your brain. If the person has a long story then you can ask them to tell it backwards. Liars have trouble telling stories backwards, because in their mind they have rehearsed it forwards, but not backwards. And, as with smiling, facial expressions of a poor liar will be limited to the mouth area. 

Pay close attention to the person’s reaction to your questions.

 A liar will often feel uncomfortable and turn their head or body away, or even subconsciously put an object between the two of you. Also, while an innocent person would go on the offensive (usually responding with anger, which will usually be revealed in a microexpression directly after you say you don’t believe them), a guilty person will often go immediately on the defensive (usually by saying something to reassure their facts, such as deflections). 

9. Listen for a subtle delay in responses to questions.

 An honest answer comes quickly from memory. Lies require a quick mental review of what they have told others to avoid inconsistency and to make up new details as needed. However, when people look up to remember things, it does not necessarily mean that they are lying. 

10 .Be conscious of their usage of words

Verbal expression can give many clues as to whether a person is lying, such as: 
Using/repeating your own exact words when answering a question. Not using contractions 
Avoiding direct statements or answers (deflections) 
Speaking excessively in an effort to convince 
Speaking in a monotonous tone 
Speaking in muddled sentences 
Vocal pitch rising 
Using classic qualifiers such as “I’m only going to say this once…” 
Using humor and sarcasm to avoid the subject 
Using Deflections (beating around the bush, not answering the question.) 

11. Allow silence to enter the conversation

If they’re lying, they will become uncomfortable if you stare at them for a while with a look of disbelief. If they’re telling the truth, they will usually become angry or just frustrated (lips pressed together, brows down, upper eyelid tensed and pulled down to glare). 

12 .Change the subject quickly.

 While an innocent person would be confused by the sudden shift in the conversation and may try to return to the previous subject, a liar will be relieved and welcome the change. You may see the person become more relaxed and less defensive. 

13. Watch his or her throat.

 A person may constantly be either trying to lubricate their throat when he/she lies by swallowing or clearing their throat to relieve the tension built up. A person’s voice can also be a good lie indicator; they may suddenly start talking faster or slower than normal, or their tension may result in a higher-pitched speaking tone. See baseline info 

14 .Check the facts.

 If you have the means, check the validity of what the liar is saying. A skilled liar might give some reason why you shouldn’t talk to the person who could confirm or deny a story. Perhaps the liar will infer that the person is particularly favourable towards the liar, or that the person would have little time for you. These are probably lies themselves, so might be worthwhile overcoming your reluctance and to check with the person you’ve been warned against. 

15. Judge the character

Most people tell the truth most of the time, and 

will cherish their reputation. Liars will ’sail close to the wind’ – they’ll artificially bolster their reputation so that they seem more credible or desirable than they actually are. 
If you overhear a version of an anecdote that seems wrong, listen to those alarm bells – it might be a liar. 
If someone takes the time out to ingratiate themselves with you out of the blue, it’s very flattering, but you have to ask, why are they doing that? 

If Kishore rubbishes or smears people more than normal, Kishore is possibly putting in the groundwork so the audience are more receptive to John, and less receptive to the people who John has lied to – they’re discredited before they can say ‘Kishore is a liar’. 

Note -

Some people are extremely experienced or even professional liars. He or she has told their made up story so many times that they are actually believable, getting all their days, dates and times down perfectly! Sometimes, you may need to simply accept that you can’t catch every lie all the time. 
If you do catch a lie, don’t reveal it to the liar; they will just adjust their story. Once you know one thing that is not true, you can use it to find more of the net of lies, and other nets of lies. Then decide which points you reveal and to whom. 

Now tell me how much truth this contains...?

5S An excellent tool : Purity and discipline

I am not going to post anything new in this post. I may get a comment, all earlier posts also the same! This is all about 5s. A practice that improves productivity in an organisation and relationship if implemented at home level. 
We, the people carve for look and feel. Be it a product or place. This exercise (5S) will get you the both. At my home, we are practicing 5s. This actually made us lean and mean, this usage need not be for the organisation only. We enhanced our home "feeling" by this systematic exercise. For us it took about 2 years. 

During the process, we have to convince our old (78year) member to discard his records from the year 1964. Those were very vital for him and trivial for us. He recalled his memory through that records and we never ready to listen to him! Yet, as a member, we convinced him to discard. The selling of 5s to him was a challenge. 
We are not rude or heartless. We took time explaining why this up? We gave respect to his sentiments. Then we explained and he understood, that those records actually attracted insects rather than adding value to his memory. We scanned some of his work and kept it as digital storage. We made him understand, that value is something else that he seek through that records. 

Then, we sorted our home. It took 3 months to reach first phase. We examined (not audited) our sorting. Then we started another level - any purchase should be a result of one removal or scrap or discard. If I have to buy a pant - then I have to discard one of my existing pant. This took 6 months. And we reduced our impulse purchasing. It actually added value. We got more space to move. The entire home got new look without any decorative articles. 
The old photos and frames were one of the very sensitive articles during our sorting. We decided collectively to discard - regardless of its' antique value. This created big debate. There are many right and wrong arguments. But who ever argued for wrong are not ready to keep or protect at their home. They advised us to keep it. We decided that, it (photos) occupies space and no one is interested in looking the photo anymore. The walls become free and nails were unplugged. 
As a poetic view, that left more scare over the wall. It, the nail scare, made us to decide our home painting! We painted our home and now it looks different. There are many interesting incidents. We are now focusing keeping in order. This is challenging and we are doing our best. 

Let me share the process of 5s at an organisation level.

5S is the acronym for five Japanese words, seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke, which signify order, cleanliness, purity and commitment

The 5S philosophy focusses on effective workplace organisation, helps simplify the workplace environment and reduce waste, while improving quality and safety. 

Seiri (sort) means to put things in order. Seiton (systematise) means proper arrangement. Seiso (clean) implies keeping things clean and polished in the workplace. Seiketsu implies purity and focuses on maintaining cleanliness and perpetual cleaning. Shitsuke is commitment. 

This is a typical teaching and attitude towards any undertaking to inspire pride and adherence to standards established for the four components. 

The principles underlying a 5S programme appear to be common sense -- and they are. But until the advent of 5S, many businesses ignored these basic principles. There is an order and logic to how 5S is carried out, which is: 

1. Seiri or sorting

Seiri means sorting through everything in each work area. It requires keeping only what is necessary. 

Materials, tools, equipment and supplies that are not frequently used should be moved to a separate, common storage area. Items that are never used should be discarded. This makes it easier to find the things needed and frees up additional space. 

"Tagging" items is a common approach when deciding what is to be thrown away. An area is targeted; items likely to be disposed off are tagged with a red tag and a date. If the item is not used after a certain period of time, say, between one and six months, it is disposed of. Practising seiri at Sona Koyo, for instance, led to the freeing up of an 8x6 ft by removing unwanted rakes. 

2. Seiton or systematise 

This is the next step. It requires organising, arranging and identifying everything in a work area for efficient retrieval and return to its proper place. 

Commonly used tools are readily available; storage areas, cabinets and shelves are properly labelled; floors are cleaned and painted to make it easier to spot dirt, waste materials and dropped parts and tools; spaces are outlined on the floor to identify work areas, movement lanes, storage areas, finished product areas and so on; and shadows are drawn on the tool boards, making it easy to quickly see where each tool belongs. 

In an office, bookshelves are provided for frequently-used manuals, books and catalogues. 

There are two important parts to systematic organisation -- putting everything in its proper place and setting up a system so that it is easy to return each item to its proper place. The second part is where labelling and identification practices are important. 

3. Seiso or shining 

Once everything from each individual work area to the entire facility is sorted and organised, it needs to be kept that way. 

Regular cleaning and inspection makes it easy to spot lubricant leaks, equipment misalignment, breakage, missing tools and low levels of supplies. When done on a regular, frequent basis, cleaning and inspecting does not take a lot of time and, in the long run, actually saves times. 

4. Seiketsu or standardise 

Seiketsu ensures that the first three steps of the 5S programme continue to be effective. The good practices developed in the first three steps need to be standardised. 

Therefore, organisations must develop a work structure that will support the new practices and turn them into habits. 

5. Shitsuke or self-discipline 

This implies continuous training and maintenance of standards. The organisation must build a formal system for monitoring the results of the programme. A follow-up is a must for the above four steps to continue to be practise. 

There will have to be continuous education about maintaining standards. When there are changes that will affect the 5S programme -- such as new equipment, new products or new work rules -- it is essential to make changes in the standards and provide training. 

A good way to continue educating employees and maintaining standards is to use 5S posters and signs. 

We, at helikx, now encouraging home 5s and we simplified the entire operation. We are ready to share with "interested". 

Just mail us or call 98427 33318 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The 4 Basic Barriers

Mr. Ram of Milkko Rich came for a discussion. He is along with his Marketing Manager Mr. Kishore. We were analyzing the last months trend and how this  month sales is happening. We are also into customer complaint register and looking into the details. 

We are actually looking for a clue that may help us to improve the sales. Rural marketing in India is very tough and people (customers - consumers) are of complex nature. The communication is difficult. We understand something where as they are communicating some other message. 

We have to ask question to start the sale and at the same time the question should not create a reflex answer from the prospect. I am discussing with Mr. Kishore, how his team is asking questions and responding to the questions that the customer asks. 

Unless we learn to probe and clarify throughout the entire sales process, we'll never uncover a prospect's hidden objections. One interesting case is of "Cavin Kare" episode. Why is getting the inside story so hard?

The Four Basic Barriers

1. People don't volunteer information

2. People talk in generalities

3. People make wrong assumptions

4. People perceive things differently

These four communications problems make it necessary for every salesperson to develop the skills of a detective tackling a baffling case. Good salespeople get answers to their questions. Great ones probe and clarify each answer until they've solved the mystery. To get that order signed takes nothing less than detective work at every stage of the selling process.

Breaking Through the Barriers:

Barrier #1
The first problem -- that people don't volunteer information....comes up all the times when you're selling. A prospect might say, "We're not ready to make a decision yet," never volunteering that the "we" refers to a committee of six that must have proposals submitted in writing, and the "make a decision yet" refers to a meeting next month. Though these are crucial details, the prospect isn't going to volunteer them. It's up to you to probe and clarify to get a full understanding of the situation.

Barrier #2
People buy specifics, but often talk in generalities. Their reasons for agreeing or objecting to your sale can be very precise, but they're unlikely to state them. Even when people think in specifics they are often too lazy, afraid or impatient to state their real feelings. And many times a prospect's reasons for turning you down may be very vague: perhaps a feeling of distrust caused by your tone of voice or lack of eye contact.

What is a salesperson to do with general answers like "I'll think about it"? What will the prospect be thinking about? You don't know what aspect of the sale he will be dwelling on. Find out, and if need be refocus his attention where you want it. Respond with, "That's great. I'm glad you're going to be thinking about this. What exactly will you be focusing on?" 

It's natural to enjoy hearing a prospect say "I liked your product," but this is one gift horse you have to look in the mouth and ask, "What exactly did you like about it?" A standard objection like "I'm not ready yet" could mean anything from "I don't like you" to "I'm considering two other minaral companies" to "I don't have the money" to a dozen other concerns. Unless you probe and clarify you have no idea what to focus on to convince the person these concerns won't affect the satisfaction or value of your product or service.

Barrier #3
People make wrong assumptions. You can't assume anything. When a prospect says, "I'll take it into my boss," or "I'll talk to my uncle about it," most of us assume these are positive signs that the sale is progressing. But the prospect could be planning to tell his boss to hold off on the purchase. Unless you probe and clarify statement you'll never know where the sale really stands. Next time you hear, "I have to talk it over with my wife," probe that answer by asking, "Do I understand you correctly that if your wife likes it you'll be ready to proceed?"

Barrier #4
The final obstacle to communication is the fact that people perceive things differently. How I perceive a situation will be quite different from how you perceive it. That's because everyone's perceptions are based on past experience and present desires. So if I say, "let's go out to dinner," the scene those words conjure up in my mind is probably very different than what you envision. (Ram and Kishore understand this! when the prospect called them for dinner and yet to meet him!)

Such differing perceptions can play havoc with a sale. When a prospect says "let's close the deal," you might take that to mean a signed contract with money up front, but to your prospect it means one more round of negotiations. 

One area where perceptions always vary is people's perception of their own importance. It's natural for a person to have a heightened sense of his or her own significance. However, prospects frequently perceive themselves as decision makers when they can't really give the final okay. Be sure that when a prospect says, "I'm ready to close the deal," he has the authority to do so.

Once you learn to recognize these four communications barriers, you can easily learn to probe and clarify your way right through them

The rural marketing is very challenging and we are making extremely fantastic progress. Hats off to Mr. Ram and Kishore. The team work - works.

6 Skill you must have

While discussing about the new MBA program design for the college at our place we discovered this interesting and simple skill set . The college, in our discussion, offered us the opportunity out of heavy competition from local and national level players. We are under pressure to present our "seriously different" approach.

During this we verified and analysed some of our data. We collected this from various organisation through questionnaire and interviews. They (the head of the organisation) are the one who employ the freshers and pay them. These decision making community answered some of most important questions and the result is amazing. 

Definition of skill:  This is very important. We defined the skill as:  "A skill (also called talent) is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills. For example, in the domain of work, some general skills would include time management, teamwork and leadership, self motivation and others, whereas domain-specific skills would be useful only for a certain job. Skill usually requires a certain environmental stimuli and situation to assess the level of skill being shown and used."

Skills are categorised in many ways, key skills, transferable skills, academic skills, personal skills, skills for employability and more recently functional skillsThree functional skills identified by the government are English, Maths and ICT (information and communication technology). 

Functional skills are the skills needed to allow people in their work and everyday life as citizens, they give them the chance to study and work independently, to make sense of the world around them, and have the skills to achieve personally and contribute to their local community.  We asked our clients, what are the skills that individuals need to be able to operate in today’s society.

The following are the comprehensive result.

1.Application of number - maths
2.Communication - English
3. Information and communication technology
4. Improving own learning and performance
5. Problem solving
6. Working with others

We designed our program to the MBA students which may answer the following questions from him.

How often have you used this skill? 
How will this skill help me to be independent? 
When have I used this skill in everyday life? or 
When might I use this skill in everyday life? 
In what types of career might I use the skills I have developed today? 
How might I develop this skill?

We have prepared our presentation. Wish to share this as this is very important finding.