Answers to Questions asked at Speak Up! GPN Seminar 7th June 2014

How would you communicate your displeasure in a staff who is not measuring up on tasks viz-a-viz organizational goals?

Firstly, you should not get emotional. Emotions bring out emotions from the other party. The organizations goals have to be properly defined. When there is no proper definition of organizational goals personal goals get priority. When someone completes a task that measures below his capability you need to let him know. Tell him exactly what he did wrong and where he needs to improve. Educate him on the impact of his particular action and ask him if he can improve. Be specific. Don’t make general statements that are difficult to measure. Like, “You have not met your organizational goals today, you need to change” That is not specific enough.

How can one help a friend who hardly talks about his challenges?

Maybe the friend does not need your help. That is why he does not speak about his problems. If you think he can’t speak up to others but he talks to you then you can coach him by giving him a picture of what to talk about. Practice with him and let him know the aids to speak up such as words, pictures, video and models.

How would you correct your superior without looking like a monitoring spirit or critic?

You do not need to correct your superior. You need to identify his actions and let him know the impact of the act. Let him know the implication of changing the behavior. Mind you, this also applies to positive things that your supervisor has done. Nobody likes to get only negative feedback. Basically a critic doesn’t offer solutions. Your superior will see a way out to change the behavior.

How would you differentiate nervousness from the reality of the person?

We are all one way or the other insecure. It is part of our humanity. Our insecurity has roots in our experiences. However, we know instinctively who is a friend and who is foe. A nervous friend is still a friend and we have the ability to see beyond other people’s fears. In the end we have to be sensitive to ourselves and our insecurities so as not to read other people wrongly.

How do I improve my reading skills?

You can improve reading by reading. Read about the things you like. Buy Books. Reading takes time so block out time to read. Find a place where you will not be disturbed. Check your daily routine and block out time to read. You may start with few minutes at a time but do it consistently. After a while you will get used to it.

What are the system approaches for effective reading?

Buy Books. Set time to read. Cut out distractions. Read.

How do you harmonize body language with reality because people misrepresent my person with my look?

Your body language is usually not in your control. It is a representation of what is in your mind. These actions are usually unconscious. Many studies have proven that with age our dominant thought situation actually shows on our bodies. The most predominant area is the face. There is a reason why people see you the same way even when you think they should see you in another way. Check yourself. Your body language is a mirror and everyone cannot be wrong.

When I speak up, people assume I am too forward. Some have rejected me for that reason. What do I need to do?

You need to be clear with what you say and you need to judge the situation properly. There are times you need to keep quiet because of the situation. Speaking up does not mean you say anything that comes to your mind. Your words must have a direction and should be friendly. Many people reject you when you do not respect their time and space.

How do I help my Executive Director (ED) who believes she is always right even when all customers are complaining to her face?

Well. Why do you want to help your ED? If the customers are already complaining to her face they will later on complain with their feet. They will walk away from your business. If the customers are complaining because of a specific act then you can let her know the specific thing she is doing wrong. Let her know that if she does not change, the market will do the speaking later.

People around here tend to give negative feedback more than positive. How can we correct this?

You start by giving more positive feedback than negative. Make it a point of duty to complement good work or actions. You can start the movement for the society to start giving more positive feedback than negative.

How can one switch personality?

Change the way you think. Be positive and gentle. Imbibe the character of humility and be at peace with all men. These are strong spiritual forces that always impact the personality for good.

How would you avoid or deal with distraction in leadership?

Set priorities. Make plans and keep to them. Get a diary and make appointments with yourself. When you do the things that are important and not urgent such as Planning, Strategic Evaluation and other preparations you will be able to keep to your program.

What can prevent someone from pursuing his vision?

The main elements that prevent you from attaining your goals are distractions, depression, fear, disappointment and other negative spiritual forces. These need to be resisted daily so as to retain the desire to continue the pursuit.

How do I attract resources for entrepreneurship?

Firstly, you need a very good product or service. Secondly, you have to be seen to have invested personally in the product. You must have invested time, money and resources into the project. This makes the product economically viable as you would not invest so much personally if there were no returns. You need to be able to sell the idea of the product to sponsors. If you already have a model of the product it simplifies the pitch for the sale. What people see makes a lasting impression.

How can I know more about clear vision?

You should attend seminars, read books or seek out a mentor. Someone that has done what you intend to do. They will help you fine tune your vision so it becomes clearer.

How can I stay focused in pursuing my vision in face of challenging environment?

You have to cut away distraction and focus more inwards than outwards. The environment will always be harsh. Concentrate on the inward tasks such as building up yourself spiritually and intellectually so that you are emotionally strong enough to take up the challenges within the environment.

What is family vision?

Family vision is a vision the family design together and set out to achieve together. This is usually orchestrated by the parents and passed down to the children.

What are the core steps in working towards actualizing a vision?

Making plans and sticking to them. Vision is worthless if there are no plans to achieve the vision. Plans need to be carried out and completed.

How do I feedback my boss when he is not doing well?

Politely let him know specific things about what he has done and how it is affecting you. You will be surprised that many people do not know what they are doing right or wrong. Give feedback regularly.

How can I communicate my vision to people so as to support me?

Communicate using words, pictures, videos and models. These aids make it easier for you to stick to the point when communicating.

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