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IMPROVING
ESSENTIAL PERSONAL SKILLS
the M MPATEL way
FOR MANAGEMENT STUDENTS,
PROFESSIONALS, TEACHERS AND TRAINERS
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A SELF EVALUATION AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
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IMPROVING
ESSENTIAL PERSONAL SKILLS
the M MPATEL way
A SELF EVALUATION AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
FOR MANAGEMENT STUDENTS,
PROFESSIONALS, TEACHERS AND TRAINERS
1. Analysis for Problem Solving
2. Creativity for Problem Solving
3. Verbal Communication
4. Written Communication
5. Presentation
6. Planning
7. Team Leadership
8. Team Membership
9. Initiative
10. Self-Confidence
11. Achievement Orientation
12. Learning
13. Self-Management
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CONTENTS
About the author 04
Dedicated to 05
Your personality and behaviour 06-07
Conceptual motivation (1 TO 6) 08-13
Process of self-evaluation : Rating 14
Process of self-evaluation : Analysis and Action 15
Before you assess yourself, Benchmark 16-34
The assessment of skills 35
1. Analysis for Problem Solving 36-37
2. Creativity for Problem Solving 38-40
3. Verbal Communication 41-43
4. Written Communication 44-35
5. Presentation 46-48
6. Planning Activities 49-50
7. Team Leadership 51-53
8. Team Membership 54-55
9. Initiative 56-57
10. Self-Confidence 58-59
11. Achievement Orientation 60-61
12. Learning 62-63
13. Self-Management 64-65
Plan-Act-Improve-Audit - The concept 66-67
Plan-Act-Improve-Audit - An Example 68
Plan-Act-Improve-Audit - Action plan 69-71
Plan-Act-Improve-Audit - Conclusion 72-73
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M M Patel, popularly known as Master Motivator Patel, holds Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, and
is an Associate member of Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India.
He has wide industrial experience in the area of Production, Industrial Engineering, Materials,
Systems, Finance, Kaizen and Quality Circle movement, and Human Resources. His last job was with
Bajaj Auto Limited, Aurangabad plant, where he headed Costing (Finance) function for eleven years and
Human Resource for more than seven years.
He provides productivity and systems improvement and Human resources consulting to many
organizations and trains students for campus selection.
He has written a number of books on Personality Development, Campus Selection, 5-S etc.
He is an intense trainer for personal and managerial skills building, aptitude development and attitude
changes.
His contact details:
M MPatel,
11, Suryakiran Apartments,
Umaji Colony, Bansilalnagar,
Aurangabad - 431005.
Phone : 0240-2354255, 98232 44099
E-mail : mmpatel_le@yahoo.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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DEDICATED TO...
I have written this book because I liked and I enjoyed.
This book covers essential personal skills with brief working definitions and corresponding behaviours.
The method of objectively assessing the skills in terms of behaviours has also been included.
The primary purpose of the book is to facilitate the process of self-evaluation and to identify ones
strong and not-so-strong behaviours affecting personal and professional effectiveness.
This process will lead to using ones strengths effectively and to improve upon the weaknesses.
I am sure, my effort shall result in tremendous enhancement in your personal effectiveness in all fronts.
I request your valuable feedback for improving the contents of this book further.
My dear readers, the book is dedicated to you !
M MPatel
AN ADVICE
I would very strongly recommend the following films
Ek Ruka Hua Faisala
Iqbal
Chak de
Prahar (first half)
36th chamber of Shaolin
See these films again and again. Reflect on the process of communication and problem solving. Reflect
on the effective use of your personal skills.
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PERSONALITY AND BEHAVIOUR
Let us study the components of our personality keeping in mind our personal effectiveness.
Examine the following diagram showing the personality layers. It also shows the degree of visibility
and trainability of different parts.
Study the visibility. Our physical personality and behaviour are the most visible parts. Behaviour,
basically in the form of verbal and non-verbal communication, is the projective part of our personality.
This means, we project our knowledge, skills, and attitude by our behaviour. We also make our values
and motives known to others by our behaviour. These are the reasons I have expressed the essential
skills in terms of behavioural elements. This will facilitate minute assessment, introspection, and taking
focused improvement initiatives for enhancing your skills and personal effectiveness.
For example, you get feedback about your being an ineffective communicator. This summary feedback
will not lead you to actions needed to improve. But, if you are told that while communicating you do
not listen and react impulsively or you point fingers to others or you look down while talking or your
grammar is not good or you do not arrange your thoughts in a sequence; you can work on the
shortcoming using the feedback.
YOUR
ATTITUDE, PARADIGM, BELIEF, MINDSET
YOUR KNOWLEDGE
YOUR PHYSICAL
PERSONALITY
YOUR BEHAVIOUR
YOUR SKILLS
VISIBILITY
AND
TRAINABILITY
HIGH
LOW
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PERSONALITY AND BEHAVIOUR
Now, let us discuss the following three components of our behaviour:
1. Our attitude and motive
Our attitudes and motives get projected and reflected by our expressed behaviour, directly or
indirectly, sooner or later.
The attitudes and motives are why of our behaviour.
2. The content
This is the next part. In order to be effective, the content of our behaviour should be planned. The
behaviour should be properly structured for situational effectiveness.
The content is what and how much of our behaviour.
3. The process
The right behaviour should be made in the right manner. A faulty process or method shall spoil even
the right contents, and may be the right motive too.
The process is how of our behaviour.
The following quote (Aristotle)precisely explains the above points.
Anyone can get angry; that is easy.
But to get angry
with the right person,
to the right degree,
at the right time,
for the right purpose and
in the right way -
that is not easy.
In nutshell, our behaviour should always be initiated, monitored, and controlled based on rational
facts, not by impulses and feelings.
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CONCEPTS OF MOTIVATION - 1
YOU HAVE ONE EMPLOYEE : YOURSELF
The following opinions have been expressed by Andrew S Grove in his very popular and thought
provoking book Only the paranoid survive, a must-read book for the professionals.
Nobody owes you a career. Your career is literally your business. You own it as a sole proprietor.
You have one employee - yourself.
You are in competition with millions of similar businesses, millions of other employees all over the
world.
You need to accept ownership of your career, your skills and the timing of your moves. It is your
responsibility to protect this personal business of yours from harm and to position it to benefit from
the changes in the environment. Nobody else can do that for you.
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CONCEPTS OF MOTIVATION - 2
IF ERASER GETS CONSUMED BEFORE LEAD ?
To err is human. But, if the eraser gets consumed fully before the lead, it is a signal that the mistakes
committed are a bit too many!
A B
A = CAPACITY TO WRITE B = CAPACITY TO ERASE
IF ERASER GETS CONSUMED BEFORE LEAD .... ?
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CONCEPTS OF MOTIVATION - 3
CONTINUOUS SELF-DEVELOPMENT
In the early times in Japan, bamboo-and-paper lanterns were used with candles inside. A blind man,
visiting a friend one night, was offered a lantern to carry home with him. I do not need a lantern, he
said. Darkness and light are all same to me.
I know you do not need the lantern to find your way, his friend replied, but if you dont have one,
someone else may run into you. So you must take it.
The blind man started off with the lantern and before he had walked very far someone ran squarely
into him. Look out where are you going! he exclaimed to the stranger. Cant you see this lantern?
Your candle has burned out, brother, replied the stranger.
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CONCEPTS OF MOTIVATION - 4
COMPLAIN OR MOVE ?
This happens when you resort to complaining -
It negatively affects your attitude - immediately and over a period of time. Every time you complain, its
hold becomes stronger.
It results into frustration and unnecessary emotions.
You lose focus on facts and objectivity. You generally behave based on your liking, disliking, and
prejudices.
You get attracted by negative and complaining people.
You become an ineffective problem solver.
People like you less. Some may avoid you and your company.
It reduces your self-esteem.
You cannot see a situation in its reality. You use your negative feelings and impulses more.
You focus more on negative rather than positive, more on losses rather than gains, more on bad rather
than good.
You develop the habit of criticizing and complaining.
You get attracted to inaction rather than action.
It kills your energy and enthusiasm.
You lose control over situations. The situations control you more.
It reduces your personal effectiveness.
Complaining is contagious - you spoil others too.
You can make the above list bigger; it is endless!
What do you wantI am sure it is personal effectiveness, higher and higher and higher..Then, what
are you waiting for?
All mankind is divided into three classes.
Those that are immovable,
those that are movable, and
those that move.
-AN ARAB PROVERB
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CONCEPTS OF MOTIVATION - 5
SUCCESS OR DIFFICULTIES ?
What do you focus on while working - Long term goals or Short term difficulties?
This is a million dollar question.
What happens with most of us is we start focusing on problems and difficulties while pursuing our
goals and instead of overcoming them we start avoiding them. We fail to differentiate between
overcoming and avoiding problems and difficulties.
Overcoming problems makes us stronger and confident; avoiding makes us weaker and shaky.
Overcoming problems increases our wisdom and optimism; avoiding increases our fear.
The choice is ours - Overcome or Avoid !
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CONCEPTS OF MOTIVATION - 6
GREATEST EVIL OF LIFE
A Persian king summoned the three wisest men of his realm and asked, What is the greatest evil of
life?
The wise men thought for a while.
Then the first man spoke,
Lifes greatest evil is to have debts and not have money to pay.
Then the second man spoke,
Of all the evils, the greatest is to be sick and not have a cure.
Finally, the third wise man came up with his solution,
The greatest evil in life, he said, is to stand at the end of it and to know that it was wasted!
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PROCESS OF SELF-EVALUATION
RATING
This book covers the essential personal skills you must acquire for personal and professional growth.
Each skill has been broken down to and expressed in term of positive behavioural elements for
conceptual understanding and self-evaluation. The skills can be evaluated objectively using these
elements.
For the purpose of self-evaluation you should go through these elements critically. Then, considering
your responses to actual situations in your day to day life, you should rate your behaviours using the
following scale:
If you make the behaviour all the time : Score 4
If you make the behaviour most of the time : Score 3
If you make the behaviour sometimes : Score 2
If you make the behaviour rarely : Score 1
If you never make the behaviour : Score 0
You may also get yourself assessed by someone very close to you and prepared to assess your
behaviour and give his or her honest feedback. Then, you may compare both the assessments.
Provision of pair of boxes has been made for two assessments. In case of significant difference or
difference in case of most of the behaviours, you may like to discuss and get feedback from others.
Self-
Rating
Other-
Rating
Example:
01.01 I logically break down the issue / task into constituent elements /
alternatives / sub-tasks.
01.02 I identify various elements / alternatives / sub-tasks with proper linkage or
mutual relationships.
01.03 I collect relevant information and data.
01.04 I evaluate elements / alternatives / sub-tasks using proper, relevant, and
controllable measurements for resources, processes, and results.
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PROCESS OF SELF-EVALUATION
ANALYSIS AND ACTION PLANNING
Once you have scored yourself for all the skills, make three lists as follows:
List : 1
List of behaviours where you are very strong (Score 4). You need to use and build further on
your strengths.
List : 2
List of behaviours where you need moderate improvements (Score 2-3). Shortlist few
important behaviours relevant to your current personal or professional performance for
possible improvements.
List : 3
List of behaviours where you need to make drastic improvements (Score 0-1). Shortlist one or
two important behaviours affecting your current personal or professional performance for
possible improvements.
Having categorized the behaviours, the time is to make an action plan.
Make a specific, realistic, measurable, and time bound action plan. You need not plan multiple actions -
plan for small achievable actions keeping in mind the monitoring mechanism of your progress.
Undertake actions and monitor the progress religiously.
If you work consciously on one behaviour, it will favourably affect other behaviours and skills as well.
For example, you decide on the following behavior related to analysis for problem solving:
I collect relevant information and data.
Even a small improvement in this behaviour shall affect your analytical skill, planning, communication,
self-confidence, and self-management. This has been explained in detail in the chapter Plan - Act -
Improve - Audit.
Remain committed. Take actions and monitor your progress.
Todays little step is going to give you a life-time gain.
Refer to the chapter Plan Act Improve Audit.
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF
BENCHMARK
Before you start assessing your skills, let us take few situations to study the indicative positive
responses. These responses can be taken as benchmark responses under the given situations.
Read the situations. Imagine yourself to be in those situations. Imagine your responses. Then read the
responses which to me are positive and benchmark responses.
Without awareness of benchmark behaviour, you may get into a tendency of over rating yourself. Over
evaluation is dangerous. Once you consider yourself fully capable, you stop taking efforts for self-
development.
You may do one more thing. Before you start self-assessment, think of one or two critical situations
requiring use of the skill in question. Consider what you did with reference to what you should have
done. Do not get into justification of your actions. Be aware of the gap between the actual and the
standard. Then and then only your assessment shall be realistic and useful.
Read the situations given on the following pages. Imagine your responses. Then, go through the
indicative benchmark responses. Compare. You can think of more responses and better responses. The
possibility always exists.
You will develop better understanding of relating a skill and corresponding effective behaviours.
A point to remember always:
If you are rating yourself 4 (meaning you make the behaviour in question all the time), stop for a
moment and reflect. Ask yourself, did you really make this behaviour every time during last three
months, when needed?
There is a possibility that you did not. Revise your score suitably.
Similarly if you are rating yourself 0 (meaning you never make the behaviour in question), stop for a
moment and reflect. Ask yourself, did you really never make this behaviour during last three months
when needed?
There is a possibility that you did. Revise your score suitably. Remember:
Over estimating oneself is dangerous. It might result in arrogance and over self-confidence.
In the same way, under estimating is equally dangerous. It will result in poor self-concept and lower
self-confidence.
BENCHMARK
BEHAVIOUR
ACTUAL
BEHAVIOUR
GAP
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 1
This situation is mainly to understand the behavioural elements of the following skills.
Analysis for problem solving
Self management
Learning
You have gone to a place for about a week where you have no known persons. You are staying in a
hotel. On second day of your visit, you lose all your money except Rs. 50 in your bag. You are expecting
money in about four days time. You need to survive for four days with Rs. 50.
How will you manage?
Do not read further. Think what would you do and then read further.
One may get very upset in such situations. Some may feel hopeless and helpless. Some may start
cursing their bad luck. Some may get into blaming bad elements of society. They may shift their blames
to government agencies for their misfortune.
The question is, is it really a misfortune or an opportunity to face a difficult situation and increase your
strength?
The following factors may be considered.
Rs. 50 for four days would mean Rs. 12.50 per day. Should I manage with less to take care of
contingencies like sickness, telephones calls, not receiving money in time, etc.? How much should I
spend per day, maximum Rs. 10, minimum Rs. 5?
How can I manage one day with Rs. 5?
What do I need to survive?
How can I satisfy my hunger? What to buy? At what price?
Which are the shops where I can procure things cheaper? Should I buy something in bulk to get
discount?
Can I find someone known, connected person? Who? How?
Can I sell something which I have? Things in my bag? My bag?
Wrist watch? My ring?
Where to sell? How to ensure that I am not taken to be a thief?
What should be the selling priority?
Can I do something to earn money?
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What can I do in this place to earn money? What are my capabilities? What this place needs? How can I
match?
When should I start looking for sources of earning money? Right now? Tomorrow?
In case total money is exhausted, what alternatives will I be left with? What are the agencies who
would provide help? Can I collect their contact details in advance?
How do I feel emotionally? Am I disturbed? Am I keeping myself composed and organized in this
difficult time?
How will I monitor my expenses and balance with me?
What do I learn from this experience? How will I use this learning in future?
I should ensure to keep money safely while traveling. I should go for credit card. I can keep money
separately in bags, in purse, in person. I can keep something in person which can be sold easily.
Please note that these are not the only positive behaviours in the given situation. You can add many
more as benchmark behaviours and enlarge the list.
The above responses have also reflected the following skills:
Analysis for problem solving
Finding alternatives
Collecting facts
Anticipating difficulties
Self management
Managing oneself in difficult situations
Learning
Learning from experience
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 2
This situation is mainly to understand the behavioural elements of the following skills.
Creativity for problem solving
Self management
Learning
You worked very hard to take admission in medical college. Unfortunately (?) you did not qualify. The
people close to you are making all sorts of comments and giving advices. You are very upset and you do
not know what to do. You are confused about future course of action.
How will you manage yourself and decide your course of action?
Do not read further. Think what would you do and then read further.
Here also, one might feel very depressed. Being sad for a short period may be okay. But prolonged
feeling of failure and resulting sadness or depression could be damaging. In this type of situations,
some of you may find it very difficult to manage yourselves.
However, when analyzed with broader perspectives many possibilities emerge.
What are the possibilities available to me now?
Wait for a year - what will I do for one year?
Work somewhere? What are the possible places where I can gain relevant working experience?
Go for some other courses on medicine - which ones?
Go for some other professional courses - which ones?
Continue further academic study - which branch?
From which sources I can collect the details about alternative courses quickly? Who should be
contacted? Can I go to internet? Can I write to some agencies?
What are my strong points? What are my likings?
What are my weaknesses? What are my dislikings?
What do I want from my life? What are the different ways of getting what I want?
Considering the above facts, which are the alternative professions I can opt for? Can I go for graduation
and MBA in HR to help people? Can I graduate in psychology and opt for psychological counseling? Can
I join some NGO or social institution to help needy people?
Can I start my own business? What type?
What resources, in terms of money, I would have spent on medical course? What will I spend now? Will
I save some money? What can I do with the money saved?
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Can I get into writing? Teaching? Acting? Singing?
Can I form association of students who are passing through similar situations? Hey, This is really wild
thinking!
Let me go for outing for two dayshave some funthen thinkAre you joining me?
Please note that these are not the only positive behaviours in the given situation. You can add many
more as benchmark behaviours and enlarge the list.
You must have noted that most of the behaviours are action oriented. This is very important.
These responses reflect the following skills:
Creativity for problem solving
Many ideas in a short time
Ideas in many directions
Unconventional ideas
Self management
In case of a setback
Learning
Collecting facts
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 3
This situation is mainly to understand the behavioural elements of the following skills.
Team leadership
(Note: For Team membership refer Situation 3-A)
Planning an activity
Analysis for problem solving
Your family wants to go for outing for a day after two days. All your family members are discussing the
place for outing and other details. There appears to be many choices and everyone is having different
preferences.
Assuming that you are to take leadership position, what will you do to co-ordinate for arriving at a
decision?
Do not read further. Think what would you do and then read further.
The following factors may be considered.
First, I will ask all to be clear about the purpose of the outing. Is it fun? Is it spending time together? Is
it visiting a new place? Is it meeting someone? Is it to eat outside? Is it to purchase?
Then I will ask for the budget and other factors, i.e. spending on travel, mode of travel, time available
with us, spending on food, spending on purchases, etc.
I will make a list of all possible options and the members preferring them.
I will mark the places we have already visited. I will note if some member of our family did not visit a
particular place.
I will ask everyone to give the following points for each location:
Positive points of the place;
Negative points of the place, difficulties which might be faced, and means available with us to meet
those difficulties;
Possible match between our purpose and the place; and
Possible match between our resources, both money and time and the place.
Once the place is decided, I will plan for the following:
Preparation before going - allocation of work;
Work allocation during total span of the visit;
Responsibility of managing resources, monitoring and controlling.
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I divide the above discussion logically into the following steps:
1. Purpose of the outing
2. Possible places and the individual preferences
3. Relative advantages of the places
4. Resources (money, facilities, and time) available
5. Best possible match and final place
6. Monitoring and controlling responsibility
7. Time schedule
8. Pre-outing preparation and allocation of responsibility
9. Allocation of responsibility during outing
10. Winding up after return from the outing
I do one more thing. I write down all the above points in tabular form systematically. I read the points I
have written.
Then, I seek agreement on points I have written. There are bright chances that some members shall
seek clarifications and seek changes. I incorporate the agreed changes.
During outing, this paper is used as a reference to know the deviations from the agreed points. This
knowledge of deviations helps in altering the planning more effectively.
Once the outing is over, all the members compare the actual outcome with the planned one. This is the
learning for the future.
You must have noted how the leadership was exercised to sort out the difference of opinions
rationally. You must have also noticed the planning for executing an activity, including resource
management and time scheduling. Accepting responsibility is also exhibited.
You can think of more such positive and action responses.
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 3A
Situation - 3 has been discussed considering the team leadership behaviours by one of the members of
the family. The success of the leader depends on his skills and at the same time the team membership
skills of the remaining family members.
Let us repeat the situation.
Your family wants to go for outing for a day after two days. All your family members are discussing the
place for outing and other details. There appears to be many choices and everyone is having different
preferences.
Assuming that one member of your family has taken the leadership position, what actions would you
take as an effective team member?
Do not read further. Think what would you do and then read further.
Now compare with the following responses.
I take efforts to understand the purpose of the outing. I also try to understand the resources available
in terms of time and money.
I ask clarifying questions to leader and other family members for creating uniform understanding of all
the aspects of the outing.
I help and support the leader for best possible results. If a member wrongly opposes the leader or
misguides him, I take action to guide the leader.
I give my ideas pertaining to all the aspects of outing, i.e. defining the purpose, collecting the
information about the places visited and the places which can be visited, relative advantages and
disadvantages of visiting different places, resources needed, anticipated difficulties and similar other
issues.
I actively listen to others. I help the members having difficulty in expressing themselves. For example, if
a member is confused, I help him clear his confusion. I ask him questions to understand him or I speak
on his behalf and ask for confirmation of my understanding.
I help the leader to take effective decisions, both for smooth team working and the quantity and
quality of output. For example, if team members starts discussing irrelevant things, I take efforts to
point out the diversion and ensure that the team remains focused on the relevant issues.
I give my ideas regarding the resources available to us and means of using those resources effectively
and optimally.
I encourage members by appreciating them for their ideas and contributions. This way I keep the family
energetic.
I do not criticize anybody. If I notice a mistake being made by a member, I point it out giving the facts of
the issue. I do not attack anyone personally. I do not create offending-defending situations.
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I admit my mistake. If convinced, I change my views.
I take initiative and take responsibilities.
I express my readiness to accept responsibilities assigned to me.
I accept responsibilities assigned to me. I work to ensure that I complete the work assigned to me
effectively.
I coordinate my work with others for overall team success. For example, if my job is to manage the
funds, I monitor the funds and fulfillment of individual needs as planned.
I keep the leader and the other members informed about the necessary things as and when required.
If required, I keep my personal problems and priorities aside so that the family members get maximum
satisfaction and benefits of the outing.
You would agree with me that the above behaviours require a good amount of understanding of the
situation and also the willingness to understand. The behaviours focus on the following issues:
Overall quantity of output
(Satisfaction and benefits to all in many directions)
Overall quality of output
(Quality of satisfaction and benefits)
Smooth team working
Interpersonal relations
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 4
The responses to the following situation shall check your information collecting and self management
skills under a stressful condition.
Yesterday your senior has given you an assignment of making a report to be urgently submitted to the
Director. You have given the report yesterday itself to your senior. This morning you were going through
a copy of the report submitted by you and you find a major mistake. You were wondering what to do. In
the mean time you got a message from your senior to see him.
How will you manage yourself and the situation effectively?
Do not read further. Think what would you do and then read further.
The chances are very bright that you will go and admit your mistake with a feeling of guilt before your
senior enquires anything about the report. You may temporarily get upset and project your low self-
confidence, poor self-management, and at the same time inability to handle difficult situations.
However, you may resort to the following actions.
Enquire whether your senior has seen your report and sent it to the Director.
If not, then you may inform him about the correction to be made and take the report back for
immediate correction.
If the report has been sent, you may request your senior for withdrawal of the report. You may also
immediately check with the office of the Director whether the report has been seen. If not, you may
withdraw and send the revised report.
If the report has been seen by the Director, you may request your senior for taking necessary steps at
his level.
Note: The above actions are based on facts. Your responses can be generated out of two sources.
Your impulses and feeling
The situational facts
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 5
The responses to the following situation shall check your self confidence when you are criticized. Your
communication skills, particularly to understand others views and to make others understand your
views shall also get assessed.
You met with a small motorcycle accident. Your bike got badly damaged and you sustained minor
injury. You are being criticized for your rash driving habits and irresponsible behaviour by your parents.
You know that you do not drive rash. The accident has not taken place because of you. Your friend has
explained this to your parents. However, they did not agree.
How will you manage their criticism and convince them?
Do not read further. Think what would you do and then read further.
There are chances that you would lose yourself and get into defending-offending arguments with your
parents.
You may choose the following options as well.
You may listen to your parents carefully. You may categorize their criticisms as follows.
The criticism which is wrong
The criticism which is partly true
The criticism which is true
Carefully listen to advices based on your parents experience.
Then, you may respond as follows.
Acknowledge their concern about your well being. This will make them relaxed. Admit true and partly
true criticisms and promise to change your habits.
Acknowledge their advices and promise to follow in future.
Acknowledge gratefully their concern and love.
Then, tell them about your good driving habits and the facts of the accident. Assure them of your
careful and safe driving in future. Chances are bright that they will get assured and convinced. At the
same time, you will also feel better.
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 6
This situation is mainly to understand the behavioural elements of the following skills.
Creativity for problem solving
Planning an activity in emergency situation
Analysis for identifying real problem
You are managing a small amusement park. The most popular item amongst children is the bouncing
castle. Today is Saturday and the peak hours start after 3 in the afternoon. You get a report at about 1
in the afternoon that the bouncing castle is leaking. It is six years old and during last three months it has
leaked four times. You got it repaired from a local agency.
How will you manage the situation?
Do not read further. Write briefly what would you do and then read further.
Most of you shall start thinking in terms of getting the bouncing castle repaired urgently. Some of you
may think in terms of firing the repairing agency. Some of you may start thinking to replace the old
bouncing castle.
Let us look from the perspective of the customers. What will children do when they find bouncing
castle not working? How will they feel? What will happen to your reputation?
You immediate problem is not the bouncing castle. Your immediate problem is the children, your
customers.
What can you do to keep the children occupied and happy? This is your immediate concern and
problem.
The following are some of the options.
Give them a free ticket for next week.
Take them to canteen and offer free ice cream.
Give them free horse ride.
Organize a drawing or painting competition.
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Organize a singing or dancing or acting competition.
Call a magician and organize a magic show.
Organize some sports or games.
Take them to another zoo.
Give them some free gift.
Organize lucky draw.
Organize mini-film show.
Organize a training program on story telling.
Did you think in this direction? How many ideas could you generate? In how many directions?
This is an example of creative thinking. You can think of many more things which are possible.
Let us move further. What did you learn?
In any situation, you need to take decisions considering the time frames as follows.
Immediate actions
Mid-term actions
Long-term actions
You may decide to go for alternative design of bouncing castle next time, may be spring based.
You may also decide to keep material for some games ready.
You may also create a database of magicians and entertainers. You may enter into an agreement with
them.
You may create alternative facilities in your park itself.
We have seen a situation requiring use of creative thinking. Initially, the solutions may appear to be
impractical and unconventional. But, on closer examination many of the ideas will turn out to be
practical and effective.
We have learnt how to identify problems out of a problem or a situation to decide immediate, mid-
term and long-term solutions or improvements.
* * *
On the following pages we will study few more demonstrative cases, which you may consider to
evaluate your responses.
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 7
A situation to check your
Self-management
Self-confidence
A salesman has come to see you. He is a close relative of your boss. He has very politely started
explaining you the product he sells. It seems he will take about one hour or so. You have an urgent
work to be done. You cannot spare more than ten minutes with him.
What will you do?
Write down your responses.
Now compare your response with the possible responses below. Is your response close to the effective
one?
Keep on listening to him.
Stop him and tell him to go.
Tell him you are not interested in his product and he can go.
Tell him about your urgent work and he can go.
Enquire about the personal details of the salesman and his relations with your boss; find about the
closeness of relationship; offer him a cup of tea; very briefly enquire about the product; tell him
about your interest or disinterest in his product; and your urgency; ask him about his convenient
time; match your convenience with his convenience and request him to come again. If necessary, you
may regret giving reasons.
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 8
A situation to check your
Achievement orientation
Initiative
Your company is expanding its operation in a very remote place of the country. The product demand is
expected to be very high. As the plant is new, the growth potential shall be very high. At the same time
the experience shall result in increase of your market value.
However, the place is remote and is about 40 hours away by train from your present location. There is
no flight facilities. The quality of social life is also not up to date. Also, the efforts required to set up the
new plant shall be very demanding and it is expected that your working hours shall be at least 14 per
day.
The management has asked willing people to volunteer for getting transferred there.
What will you do? Write down your response.
Now compare your response with the two responses below. Is your response close to the second one?
You do not volunteer as the offer is full of risk and difficulties. Once you are in that place, it will be
difficult to come out. And even if you come out, you would lose a lot!
Think of your goals of career growth and learning. Relate the offer with your goals. Evaluate the
extent to which accepting the offer will satisfy your long term goals. Make a list of what you will gain
and what you will lose in terms of money, your family and social life, your potential growth etc. You
also see the issue in a time frame, i.e. possibility of returning back in terms of number of years etc.
You make a list of issues and discuss with your seniors, friends, colleagues and your family members.
And, then decide rationally.
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 9
A situation to check your
Achievement orientation
Communication and Presentation
You are class teacher of standard nine. In the last unit test half of the students failed in chemistry
because of slightly difficult question paper. In case of physics almost everyone cleared the paper.
However, the marks scored were not more than forty percent. The students are highly de-motivated.
Putting two sections together, the number of students is about 100. What would you talk to them?
Write down your response in brief.
Now compare your response with the possible responses below. Is your response close to the last one?
Talk to the students about the difficult papers. Sympathize with the students. Blame the paper setting
authorities.
Tell them to talk to the Principal and request him to take the matter up with the paper setting
authorities.
Tell the students to request the Principal to give grace marks and pass all the students.
Tell them just to forget the issue.
Talk to students on the following lines:
Life is full of uncertainties and you should always focus on your strengths to meet the uncertainties.
The people, who face the difficulties and hardships, succeed.
The situation is an experience (and not failure) having negligible impact on your life. You should
learn from it.
Blaming others does not help us in any way.
Syllabus is the foundation. If you want to use the foundation for making a building, you must study
beyond the prescribed syllabus.
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 10
A situation to check your
Written communication
Leadership (Motivating others)
You are head of a shop having 25 workmen. Presently, your organization is facing stiff competition and
you have initiated number of improvement plans. Recently, you have come across the following quote in
a management book. Explain it in about 75 to 100 words, assuming that your workmen will read your
explanation. They should feel motivated after reading.
Dreaming about a thing in order to do it properly is right; but dreaming about it when we should be
doing it is wrong.
- Oswald Chambers
Write down your explanation.
Now compare your explanation with the indicative explanation. Did you relate the quote with your
situation effectively? Will the readers get the right message intended by you and get convinced and
motivated?
Dream and Do
We are passing through tough competition these days. One thing is very clear that competition is
going to stay. To sustain the growth and to grow further we have already initiated actions on
various fronts to increase customer satisfaction and profitability.
We have experienced growth and we dream to grow further. There cannot be two opinions on this.
But, only dreaming big and talking big is not going to lead us anywhere. The time is for action,
action, and continuous action. Without action nothing can be achieved.
Heart dreams, head thinks and plans, and hands work. Let us put our heart, head, and hands
together for doing. Again, let our heart, head, and hands do in the same direction.
Let us Dream our vision and Do with all our might to make our dreams a reality.
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BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
SITUATION - 11
A situation to check your
Written communication
Self management (Learning, Seeking feedback)
You check in a hotel at 8 in the evening. While checking in you make a request for bed tea next morning.
However, you are not served bed tea in the morning.
What would you do?
Write down different possibilities.
Now, compare your communication with the indicative one. Did you write clearly, sequentially and
logically? Will the readers understand your intentions without any distortion? Did you convert the
adversity in your favour?
I would take the following actions:
I will phone Room Service to give me bed tea. I will also ask why did they forget to give me bed tea as
per my request. Did I confirmtheir understanding of my instruction?
Sometime during the day, I will go to reception counter and enquire to find out what really happened.
Did they forget or was there a systemproblem? I will think of possible remedies.
If they listen to my complain and suggestions with a view to improve, I will thank them for their
response. I will ask their names, appreciate and compliment them, and promise them to visit their hotel
and see themagain.
If they do not entertain me properly, I will introspect into my way of giving instruction, enquiring and
giving feedback. However, I will also go to manager of the hotel to give my feedback.
I will discuss this experience with my seniors and colleagues for suggestions to improve and to look into
other possible responses.
I will make the experience a learning and relationship building experience for me.
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Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up knowing
it must run faster than the fastest lion or be killed.
Every morning a lion awakens knowing it must
outrun the slowest gazelle or starve to death.
It does not matter if you are a lion or a gazelle;
when the sun comes up, you better be running.
BEFORE YOU ASSESS YOURSELF, BENCHMARK
(SUMMARY)
Before we go to assessment, it would be better if we know how to identify an effective behaviour. Here
is a small list to check.
IDENTIFYING EFFECTIVE BEHAVIOUR
Is your behaviour increasing your security?
* Physical security i.e. health, vitality etc.
* Psychological security i.e. emotional well-being, peace etc.
* Financial security i.e. professional growth, higher income etc.
* Social security i.e. Inter-personal effectiveness, healthy relations etc.
Is your behaviour increasing your wisdom?
* To take short and long term decisions
* To make life purposeful
Is your behaviour increasing your physical or intellectual power?
* To perform for your purpose
* To be effective
Is your behaviour taking care of your needs and goals?
* Short term
* Long term
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THE ASSESSMENT OF SKILLS
Before you go to the assessment, please go through the chapter Process of self-evaluation on page 9-
10 once again.
For your ready reference, let me repeat the scale to be used for evaluating you positive behaviours.
If you make the behaviour all the time : Score 4
If you make the behaviour most of the time : Score 3
If you make the behaviour sometimes : Score 2
If you make the behaviour rarely : Score 1
If you never make the behaviour : Score 0
The situations already discussed may be referred to as follows.
Situation Numbers
1. Analysis for Problem Solving 1, 3, 6
2. Creativity for Problem Solving 2, 6
3. Verbal Communication 5, 9
4. Written Communication 10, 11
5. Presentation 9
6. Planning Activities 3, 6
7. Team Leadership 3, 10
8. Team Membership 3A
9. Initiative 8
10. Self-Confidence 5, 7
11. Achievement Orientation 8, 9
12. Learning 1, 2, 4
13. Self-Management 1, 2, 4, 7, 11
However, please be clear that you need most of the skills for effectively handling a situation.
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SKILL NO. 1
ANALYSIS FOR PROBLEM SOLVING
Analysis is the process of breaking an issue or a problem into smaller but identifiable and controllable
parts. Once the break up is done, we will be able to understand the issue or the problem properly
making it possible to find more than one alternatives.
Thus, analysis is one of the most essential skills for problem solving and decision making. It is also
useful for activity planning, monitoring, and making situational amendments for better performance.
A problem is caused by the gap between the current status and the desired status. Naturally, analysis
for problem solving involves understanding (a) the current status, (b) the desired status, (c) the gap,
and (d) the means of bridging the gap.
A good knowledge base, directly or indirectly related to the issue in question, is an essential element of
analytical ability. The knowledge base shall provide the contents for the analysis. This base can be
improved by activities like reading, discussing etc.
The analytical abilities can be improved by solving puzzles and business case studies.
THREE FILTERS
One day an acquaintance met Socrates, the great philosopher, and said, Do you know what I heard
about your friend?
Hold on a minute. Socrates replied, Before telling me anything I would like you to pass a little test. It
is called a Triple Filter Test.
Triple Filter?
Thats right. Socrates continued, Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to
take a moment and filter what you are going to say. The first is filter of truth. Have you made absolutely
sure that what you are about to tell me is true?
No, the man said, actually I just heard it and.
All right. Socrates said, So you dont really know if its true or not. Now let us try the second filter,
the filter of goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend is something good?
No, on the contrary.
So, Socrates continued, you want to tell me something bad about him, but you are not certain it is
true. You may still pass the test though, because there is still one filter left, the filter of usefulness. Is
what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?
No, not really.
Well, Socrates concluded, if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why
do you tell it to me at all?
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The following are the positive behaviours of analysis for problem solving skill.
01.01 I logically break down the issues / tasks into constituent elements /
alternatives / sub-tasks.
01.02 I identify various elements / alternatives / sub-tasks with proper linkages or
mutual relationships.
01.03 I establish linkages between task in hand and the affecting internal and
external factors to understand the task from all angles and to arrive at a
global solution.
01.04 I collect relevant information and data.
01.05 I evaluate elements / alternatives / sub-tasks using proper, relevant, and
controllable measurements for resources, processes, and results.
01.06 I eliminate unnecessary or irrelevant or less effective elements / alternatives
/ sub-tasks for choosing the best possible solution in given circumstances.
01.07 I set priorities in order of importance or urgency or any other defined
criteria.
01.08 I formulate logical and sequential steps from problem to solution.
01.09 I plan step-by-step actions with reference to resources, processes, and
results.
01.10 I anticipate difficulties, obstacles and probabilities of failures. I plan for
meeting such eventualities.
01.11 I demonstrate relevance of my day-to-day actions with my life-vision and
long-term goals.
01.12 I anticipate and identify problems in day-to-day working and events for short
/ long term planning.
01.13 I analyze problems systematically and objectively.
01.14 I do not run away from difficulties. Rather, I find analytical and innovative
ways to tackle them.
01.15 I like problems and never avoid or ignore them.
Self-
Rating
Other-
Rating
SKILL NO. 1
ANALYSIS FOR PROBLEM SOLVING : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 2
CREATIVITY FOR PROBLEM SOLVING
Creativity is one of the most essential skills for problem solving and decision making in innovative ways.
Creativity is basically possibility thinking supported by a can-do attitude. Creativity is desire to think
and keeping the mind open to receive.
Creativity is not only seeing two sides of a coin; it is also seeing the surface of the periphery.
It helps us to see an issue from all sides, including unconventional and apparently irrelevant ones, and
to come out with innovative solutions.
Creativity today has become a must, not only in professional, but personal life as well. Creativity has
not remained in books or pieces of art; it has become an integral part of our day to day life.
Let us try to understand how to measure different elements of creativity.
Let us say there is a group of 20 students. We instruct all of them to write words they can associate in
their mind in five minutes on a common topic, say Hospital. They will write different words. Then, we
can follow the following method to measure their thinking.
1. Count the number of words they have written. A student who has written more words is a faster
thinker than the student who has written less number of words.
2. Count the number of directions or the issues covered. For example, one student might cover the
diseases only, whereas another student covers diseases, people, business, location, type and other
issues related to hospital. The second student is more flexible in his thinking.
3. Compare the words written and issues covered. A student might have covered an issue which no one
thought about. This can be called his unique thinking.
Once you increase your thinking speed and ponder over in a number of directions, the chances are very
bright that you will start thinking in an altogether new direction.
Undergo the above exercise with your colleagues. Instead of taking a word, you can take a problem.
Follow the following rules:
1. Remain open to receive
2. Dont reject an idea immediately
3. Stop being critical about an idea
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SKILL NO. 2
CREATIVITY FOR PROBLEM SOLVING
CREATIVE ALMIGHTY
A farmer stretched out in the shade of an oak tree and admired the pumpkin vine that slowly crawled
and threaded its way along the lattice of the neighbouring garden.
He shook his head and said, I cant see why such a small plant should bear such large beautiful fruit,
while the magnificent oak tree bears only petty and miserable fruit. Had I created the world, I would
have made the oak tree bear big golden coloured pumpkins that weigh a ton. That would certainly be
something to see.
No sooner had he said these words than an acorn fell from above and hit him. Ah! Had the acorn been
a pumpkin, I would have been squashed beneath it.
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The following are the positive behaviours of creativity for problem solving.
02.01 I spontaneously think and express many ideas related to an object or an
issue.
02.02 I spontaneously think and express ideas in many directions related to an
object or an issue.
02.03 I spontaneously think and express original and unique ideas related to an
object or an issue.
02.04 I spontaneously think and elaborate, in required details, my thoughts related
to an object or an issue.
02.05 I relate an issue with other apparently irrelevant issues. I find many solutions
global in nature.
02.06 I do not take uni-directional impulsive or prejudiced judgement about an
issue, idea, or person.
02.07 I do not impulsively reject apparently irrelevant or unconventional or
impractical ideas.
02.08 I am a possibility thinker and I focus on possibilities instead of difficulties and
impossibilities.
02.09 I connect ideas and generate ideas from ideas.
02.10 I am curious about new things. I take conscious actions to know the
unknown.
02.11 I question and challenge the status-quo or current situations or practices
with a view to improve.
02.12 I question and challenge the present level of performance in order to
improve.
02.13 I am sensitive and keep a problem alive in my mind and look for linkages for
possible solutions.
02.14 I think about the problems which might arise in future. I find preventive
measures to avoid those problems.
02.15 I like to create and use humour.
Self-
Rating
Other-
Rating
SKILL NO. 2
CREATIVITY FOR PROBLEM SOLVING : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 3
VERBAL COMMUNICATION
Verbal communication is one of the most essential quality required to improve our interpersonal
effectiveness. The basic purposes of communication are -
1. To make the listener understand your message
2. To understand the listener
Verbal communication is not only a physical process, but to a large extent a psychological process too,
projecting our inner personality. The expert communicators make the process two-way in real sense.
While communicating you can take the following three styles:
1. Aggressive : You try to force listener understand your point of view
2. Submissive : You try to understand others view point at the cost of your idea
3. Assertive : You understand others and at the same time make them understand you.
Effective verbal communication increases our self-confidence and ability to influence others.
Statistics says all the leaders were effective communicators and motivators.
TWO FROGS
A group of frogs were travelling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other
frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they
were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all
of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead.
Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and
died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at
him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out.
When he got out, the other frogs said, Did you not hear us? The frog explained to them that he was
deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.
The story teaches few lessons:
There is power of life and death in the tongue.
If you do not know what to speak, learn to keep quite.
You can do whatever you set your mind to.
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SKILL NO. 3
VERBAL COMMUNICATION
POWER OF TONGUE
A hunter found a human skull in the forest. Surprised, he asked him: What brought you here? The
skull answered, Talking brought me here. Amazed, the hunter ran to the king and reported to him, I
have found a skull in the forest who talks. Neither the king nor his courtiers would believe such a thing.
So the king along with the hunter and his guards set out to find the truth.
When they came to the skull, the hunter asked as before, What brought you here? There was no
answer, for the skull remained silent. The angry king called the hunter a liar and ordered the guards to
cut off his head and leave it in forest as a prey for the ants.
When everybody has left, the skull spoke and asked the head of the hunter, What brought you here?
And the head of the hunter gave the answer, Talking brought me here.
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The following are the positive behaviours of verbal communication.
03.01 I use effective words, phrases, and sentences with grammatical accuracy to
convey my intentions and the meaning of the contents accurately.
03.02 I make clear and precise expression with proper tone and required pauses to
make the communication understood by the listeners.
03.03 I make logical, systematic, and sequential expression of ideas and thoughts.
03.04 I use proper body language (particularly eye contact and facial expressions)
showing attention, involvement, confidence, and mutual trust.
03.05 I do not interrupt others unnecessarily, aggressively, submissively, or
improperly.
03.06 I ask clarifying or probing questions or request for repetition for better
understanding of others views.
03.07 I actively listen to others ideas and thoughts and take efforts to understand
their ideas and thoughts.
03.08 I provide necessary support, both physical and psychological, to make other
persons comfortable for expressing their views.
03.09 I take efforts to make others understand and appreciate my ideas and
thoughts.
03.10 I interrupt others, with a conscious purpose, when they talk irrelevant or
unnecessarily or improperly. However, such interruptions are issue based,
and not person or ego based.
03.11 I summarize the communication from time to time to ensure proper
understanding and progress and to take corrective steps, if required.
03.12 I also summarize at the end of the communication to ensure completeness
of the communication.
03.13 I remain objective and non-emotional throughout.
03.14 I demonstrate confidence and assertiveness by communicating in even terms
(without creating offending-defending situations) while expressing my
beliefs, opinions, and perceptions.
03.15 I demonstrate confidence and assertiveness while negating others beliefs,
opinions, and perceptions.
03.16 I use controlled emotions (consciously - to make withdrawal possible, if
required) to achieve the objectives of the communication.
03.17 I understand the underlying issues and messages, may be straight or
diplomatic or political, by making effective situational responses.
Self-
Rating
Other-
Rating
SKILL NO. 3
VERBAL COMMUNICATION : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 4
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
Written communication is essential to communicate with people who are not physically available to us
or to communicate issues like business plans etc. on which deliberations are required, or issues like
policies, procedures etc. required for guidance and reference by many people.
Written communication is also essential where common understanding on an issue by a group of
people is required.
Written communication skill is important because audience is not available to offer spontaneous
reactions or responses, to seek clarifications, to question etc. Also body-language influences, used
while communicating verbally, are not possible here.
Written communication creates a documentary evidence of the communication made for future
reference. Therefore, you need to be careful not only about formats but also about the following two
points:
1. Message conveyed in letter
2. Message conveyed in spirit
WHY TO WRITE ?
The discipline of writing down something is the first step toward making it happen.
In conversation, you can get away with all kinds of vagueness and nonsense often without even
realizing it.
But there is something about putting your thoughts on paper that forces you to get down to specifics.
This way, it is harder to deceive yourself or anybody else.
- IACOCCA
If you get confused while solving a problem, take a big piece of paper and start writing.
Write the problem; write the influencing factors, both favourable and unfavourable; write all possible
alternative solutions and actions and the expected consequences.
Then meditate on what you have written. Add, delete, or modify to have better clarity.
And, I am sure, you would arrive at an effective solution.
- M MPATEL
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The following are the positive behaviours of written communication.
04.01 I use effective words, phrases, and sentences with grammatical accuracy,
including punctuation marks, to convey the desired meaning.
04.02 I structure the sentences giving precise meaning and required emphasis.
04.03 I effectively paragraph to break the contents into smaller parts, to create
linkages, flow, and continuity, and to improve readability.
04.04 I make overall layout of the communication - margins, divisions of the report,
indications of continuation to next page (Page no., PTO etc.), use of the
enclosures for details, indication of reference to an enclosure, etc.
04.05 I use tables, graphs, sketches, pictures, visuals, highlighted / underlined /
bold words or sentences etc. to make the communication focussed,
attractive, and readable.
04.06 I use examples, quotes, stories, etc., if warranted by the purpose of
communication, to increase clarity and impact.
04.07 I start the communication stating clearly the purpose and objective of the
communication.
04.08 I make logical and sequential expression of ideas demonstrating
understanding of the subject matter.
04.09 I conclude stating achievement of the objective stated at the beginning of
the communication.
04.10 I use the level of contents and method of writing style considering the
understanding level of the targeted readers and the purpose of
communication.
04.11 In case of voluminous communication and complex contents, I make proper
levelling, referencing, and indexing supported by enclosures giving details,
data, conclusions, or other references.
Self-
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SKILL NO. 4
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 5
PRESENTATION
Presentation is becoming an integral part of business life. These days not only the products need
marketing, but our skills and ideas also need marketing.
The presentation can be divided into two parts -
1. Content: What you present
2. Process : How you present
Presentation is generally made to a heterogeneous or homogeneous group of people in a defined time
frame, in a formal or informal setting, with or without presentation aids.
Considering the above factors, you need to decide the contents and the process of your presentation.
The basic purposes of a presentation are
(a) to tell (transfer knowledge or information),
(b) to sell (convince, persuade), and
(c) to impel (persuade, motivate for action).
A presentation can be one-way or interactive. Generally, the presentations are interactive or are
concluded by a question answer session. Hence, effective presentation requires skills different than
those necessary for effective verbal communication including listening and spontaneous responding.
PREPARING A SEVEN MINUTE PRESENTATION
Considering a speed of about 100 words per minute, a seven minute presentation can be broadly
divided as follow:
Introduction (One minute - 100 words)
Innovative start with relevant quote, story, joke
Your introduction
Introduction of topic (One minute - 100 words)
Theme, purpose and scope of your presentation
Background
Main presentation (Four minutes - 400 words)
All the sub-topics properly sequenced and linked
Climax and conclusion (One minute - 100 words)
Meeting the purpose of the communication
Thanking the audience
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The following are the positive behaviours of presentation skill.
05.01 I break the topic into well-defined parts with a clear structure showing good
analysis of the topic and mastery over the subject.
05.02 I present the relevant parts of the topic in a logical sequence demonstrating
a smooth movement in right direction, pre-defined or situational.
05.03 I present the relevant parts in right proportion with reference to purpose,
audience, relevance, importance, and time. I demonstrate mastery over the
topic being presented.
05.04 I summarize presentation from time to time (as required) to ensure proper
progress and to take corrective steps, if required. I also summarize at the end
of the presentation to ensure completeness of presentation.
05.05 I demonstrate oratory skills by effective use of tone, fluency, and pauses for
better clarity and audibility.
05.06 I ask questions to audience to ensure their understanding of the topic and
their involvement. I keep a constant watch on body language of the audience
to check their interest.
05.07 I use examples, quotes, jokes, stories etc., appropriate to the topic and
situation to create and maintain interest and involvement and to make a
complex issues easy to understand.
05.08 I make body language, including eye contact, appropriate to the topic and
audience.
05.09 I remain brief and precise. I do not give unnecessary elaboration. At the same
time, I do not make unnecessary repetitions.
05.10 However, I resort to repetitions to make the audience understand complex
parts of my presentation, demonstrating understanding of the audience.
05.11 I invite questions from audience, if required.
05.12 I listen the questions asked by the audience attentively and confirm my
understanding by repeating the questions, if required.
05.13 I respond to the questions demonstrating mastery over the topic being
presented.
05.14 I maintain emotional balance and maturity by taking questions and criticism
with ease and without getting emotionally upset.
05.15 I accept ignorance assertively without feeling of guilt, insult, or inferiority. I
do rational analysis of my ignorance, instead of impulsive action.
Self-
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SKILL NO. 5
PRESENTATION : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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The following are the positive behaviours of presentation skill.
05.16 I use emotional tone when the topic and situation demand. However, the
emotions are designed and used by choice and controlled consciously to
make the withdrawal at the right moment possible.
05.17 I use appropriate presentation aids effectively.
05.18 I prepare the visuals, appropriately for the level of audience, and present in a
sequence to make the presentation more effective.
05.19 I show mastery over the contents by not referring to the board or screen for
referring to the presentation material or by not reading the notes
continuously.
05.20 I create influence and impact, immediate, short-term, and long-term, on the
audience.
05.21 I express my gratitude to the audience in the beginning, if necessary, and at
the end of my presentation.
ACTIVE LISTENING
Listen to what is being said;
Listen to what is not being said; and
Listen to what cannot be said without your support !
Self-
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SKILL NO. 5
PRESENTATION : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 6
PLANNING ACTIVITIES
Planning an activity is essential to complete the activity timely, as scheduled, and effectively using
available or planned resources.
Planning skill is essential for overall personal effectiveness as we are always engaged in activities and
the resources available to us are mostly in limited quantities needing balancing and prioritizing for their
optimum utilization.
Planning requires understanding the total activity with reference to the output desired before
undertaking the activity. Obviously, It needs anticipating something which is yet to take place.
Planning is to a large extent an objective process. However, good planners use their intuition also to
foresee.
Planning is very critical skill considering balancing and optimization of multiple resources and methods.
PREPAREDNESS
One day, a king gave his clever jester a staff in the court saying, Take this staff as a wand of office and
give it to a fool bigger than yourself.
Some time later, the king was sick and lay dying. He wanted to see his jester. When the jester came, the
king said to him, I have called you to tell that I am going on a long journey.
Where are you going? Asked the jester.
To a far away country - to another world.
My master, have you made provision for your journey and your stay there?
None whatever, my little fool.
Have you any friends to welcome you there?
No one! replied the king.
The jester sadly put the staff into the kings hand and said, Take this staff, Your Majesty. You are going
to another world without preparation. Surely this wand belongs to you.
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The following are the positive behaviours of planning an activity.
06.01 I break total activity into identifiable and controllable sub-activities keeping
in mind the objective of the task.
06.02 I decide controllability of each sub-activity with reference to the output
expected and responsibility for the output.
06.03 I decide dependencies of the sub-activities on one another, with reference to
time, resources, and results.
06.04 I identify critical activities needing higher focus, attention, resources, etc.
with reference to time criticality, uncertainties, or similar other criteria.
06.05 I estimate the resources needed, identify the resources available, plan for
getting the additional resources in time and for their optimum utilization.
06.06 I identify the obstacles likely to affect the progress adversely, and formulate
measures to overcome or face the obstacles.
06.07 I also anticipate uncertainties and contingencies, and plan for delays,
requirements of extra resources, extra attention, etc.
06.08 I formulate action plan / schedule for completing the activities with highest
possible efficiency.
06.09 I decide progress-monitoring and follow-up systems, and control points with
reference to time and resources.
06.10 I formulate efficiency and productivity measurement plan or system with
proper benchmarking for quality and quantity of (a) Resources i.e. inputs, (b)
Processes i.e. methods, and (c) Results i.e. outputs.
06.11 I write the details of my planning. Writing makes monitoring and controlling
easy and effective during execution.
Self-
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Other-
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SKILL NO. 6
PLANNING ACTIVITIES : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 7
TEAM LEADERSHIP
Leadership is a quality most sought after these days.
Leadership can be out of an assigned authority or an assigned role, i.e. by way of position or expressed
delegation by higher authority for a task etc. However, it can be unassigned as well - and we must learn
to lead, particularly where leadership is not assigned. There, our personality and character assume
greater importance.
Leadership is not taking work out of people; leadership is not creating a followership; leadership is not
gaining power; leadership is not making people obey commands.
Leadership is visioning, taking responsibility for planning and execution of task efficiently and
effectively, taking people together by utilizing and developing their potential, empowering them to
move ahead and remain committed, and working to achieve overall objective.
Leadership is making contribution.
Leadership is creating and realizing a vision of excellence, both in terms of quantity and quality, in
whatever you do and get done!
CONCERN OF A LEADER
Dr. A. Sahay, narrated this heart-warming story that will illustrate JRDs empathy with his people:
I was a junior executive in charge of a blast furnace that we had just installed in our steel plant. This
blast furnace was built with imported technology.
I was assigned the role of explaining how this blast furnace worked to our Chairman JRD Tata. I was a
little nervous as JRD was a charismatic man. I was wondering what kind of questions he might ask. To
be safe I gathered all the technical details that I thought JRD might be interested in.
During his visit JRD just asked me, How would the workman who would operate this blast furnace
stand the enormous heat?
This was his only question!
LEADER, YOU ARE BEING FOLLOWED!
Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis was walking through the streets.
A boy with a cigarette in his mouth ran up to him. You shouldnt be smoking, said Greg. Why do you
do it?
The boy said proudly, Because you do, and I want to be like you.
That episode played a big role in getting Greg to stop smoking. He said, I better accept my position as a
role model and live it out.
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The following are the positive behaviours of team leadership.
07.01 I take charge and responsibility for effective team functioning.
07.02 I take responsibility for quantity of output.
07.03 I take responsibility for quality of output.
07.04 I identify and clearly define team vision and objectives with norms for
measuring performance. I involve team members and seek and consider
their opinions objectively for team goals.
07.05 I formulate ground rules for team functioning, including progress monitoring
system.
07.06 I demonstrate objectivity and open-mindedness while accepting or rejecting
others ideas and opinions. I use logic and rationale to convince members.
07.07 I identify, allocate and utilize resources effectively.
07.08 I make necessary changes dynamically for optimum utilization of resources
for quality and quantity of output.
07.09 I clarify roles and responsibilities of each individual clearly and explicitly.
07.10 I motivate and encourage members for their commitment and involvement,
by making them offer their ideas and opinions and also make them accept
responsibility willingly for the team output.
07.11 I listen, acknowledge and appreciate a members contribution sincerely and
in time (may be spontaneously most of the time).
07.12 I demonstrate objectivity by defining and using decision-making criteria.
07.13 I put forward my ideas effectively without undue force. I convince members
using logic and rationale.
07.14 I give negative feedback in a constructive manner and in time to bring the
individuals and team back to track for overall effectiveness, keeping personal
prejudices aside.
07.15 I allow members to think for themselves; I value and respect individuals and
their uniqueness without sacrificing team performance.
07.16 I resolve team conflicts using logic and rationale.
07.17 I keep team working at high motivational level, even in conflicting situations.
Self-
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SKILL NO. 7
TEAM LEADERSHIP : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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The following are the positive behaviours of team leadership.
07.18 I support a member when needed, e.g. when a member is inactive or he is
not being listened to by others or when he is put down or when he has some
personal difficulties etc.
07.19 I share relevant information, knowledge, experience etc. with the members
for subordinate development. I create opportunities for members to learn.
07.20 I set personal examples of excellence. I am being considered a role model by
people around me.
Self-
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SKILL NO. 7
TEAM LEADERSHIP : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 8
TEAM MEMBERSHIP
n all walks of life we are part of many groups consisting of people working to meet common objectives
- may be immediate, short term or long term.
An effective team member contributes both in content and process of team working resulting in overall
team effectiveness.
Obviously, there is a need to possess inter-personal skills over and above technical and conceptual
knowledge.
It is the interpersonal qualities that makes one acceptable as a contributing member of the team.
An effective team member shall keep his personal agenda aside for team success, obviously without
sacrificing personal values and ethics.
The following are the qualities of an effective team member:
1. Understanding of team objective
2. Committed to the objectives
3. Contributes in the process of team functioning
4. Follows the rules of the team fuctioning
5. Contributes in the team output both in terms of quantity and quality
6. Sacrifices his personal priorities in the interest of the team
7. Remain assertive and do not compromise with the principles
WE ARE THE BOSSES !
In my younger days in the US, I attended an executive seminar for Rockwell International, where about
25 senior company executives had congregated for a week for strategic discussion.
In the evenings, we would break out into five different groups of five people each. In those group
workshops, someone would delegate tasks, saying, You make coffee; you take notes; you are the
chairman; and you clean the board. The next day, there would be different duties for each group
member. No one ever said, But I made coffee twice or I cleaned the board entire day.
I thought to myself, if this were happening in India, people would be saying, But Im the senior
secretary - why should I make the coffee and you be the chairman?
- Sam Pitroda
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The following are the positive behaviours of team membership.
08.01 I have clear understating of team vision and goals.
08.02 I help leader and team members to formulate ground rules for effective team
working.
08.03 I understand and commit to teams ground rules, demonstrated by following
the same.
08.04 I listen, acknowledge, and appreciate others ideas, demonstrate interest by
asking relevant and probing (non-judgmental and non-prejudiced) questions
for clarification and to build on ideas given by others.
08.05 I put forward my ideas objectively and persuasively to improve the quality
and quantity of team thinking and functioning to achieve team goals.
08.06 I disagree to others ideas / points assertively and objectively by using logic
and rationale, relevant and appropriate to the issues involved.
08.07 I clarify my views by responding positively and appropriately to the questions
from others.
08.08 I allow smooth team functioning by not putting obstacles or by misdirecting
the team intentionally or unintentionally. I remain conscious always.
08.09 I put the team back on track, as and when required by intervening suitably
and providing in-time process feedback and critique for higher efficiency.
08.10 I demonstrate commitment and involvement by actions and the result of the
actions for achieving team goals.
08.11 I take actions to ensure that overall commitment and involvement of all team
members for achieving team goals are kept high.
08.12 I support the leader for quality and quantity of output. I also support leader
for optimum utilization of resources.
08.13 I impact the quality and quantity of output by my contribution.
Self-
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SKILL NO. 8
TEAM MEMBERSHIP : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 9
INITIATIVE
nitiative is working without being forced or pushed by others.
In other words, initiative is taking action out of ones own desire without any external persuasion.
Taking initiative is one of the most essential elements of achievement orientation. Initiative means
taking responsibility for ones own actions and the consequences thereof.
However, taking initiative does not mean action without a purpose. It also does not mean taking action
with enthusiasm for some time and than failing to pursue it further. It also does not mean giving up
when faced with failures, obstacles or difficulties.
Initiative without perseverance is of no use.
OPPORTUNITY
Alexander the Great visited the studio of an Athenian sculptor and found it full of little gods. He was
particularly attracted to one with a covered face and winged feet.
Whats its name?
Opportunity.
Why is its face covered?
Because men live so haphazardly that they rarely see it when it passes in front of them.
Why does it have wings on its feet?
Because once it flies by, opportunity has flown.
DREAMING AND DOING
Dreaming about a thing in order to do it properly is right; but dreaming about it when we should be
doing it, is wrong.
-Oswald Chambers
INSPIRATION AND ACTION
We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration.
Inspiration seldom generates action.
- Frank Tibolt
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The following are the positive behaviours of initiative taking.
09.01 I anticipate situational opportunities - obvious ones as well as not-so-obvious
ones.
09.02 I recognize situational opportunities. I see relevance and avail them for
improving personal as well as professional effectiveness.
09.03 I create opportunities, even when apparently there are no opportunities in
sight, to take care of my short, medium, and long term objectives.
09.04 I convert obstacles into opportunities demonstrating persistence and
perseverance.
09.05 I take actions with ownership and take responsibility of actions without any
external force or persuasion.
09.06 I respond to external persuasion quickly, positively, pro-actively, and willingly
- all indicating no need for further external follow up or persuasion.
09.07 I take action with ownership and responsibility for maintenance as well as
improvement of the norm and methods of working.
09.08 I take action with ownership and responsibility for quality and quantity of
results.
09.09 I show persistence in case of adversities and failure. I refuse to give up. I
utilize my potential fully.
09.10 I understand the performance expected in the given situations. I take actions
to achieve more than the situational expectations.
09.11 I take risks and responsibility on my own, may be without any support or
guidance.
09.12 I am guided by my life goals, and not by compulsions or short term impulses
and temptations.
09.13 I always work with energy and enthusiasm. I never feel hopeless and
helpless.
Self-
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SKILL NO. 9
INITIATIVE : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 10
SELF-CONFIDENCE
Self-confidence is an important desirable trait of our personality.
The essential elements of self-confidence are self-awareness and self-acceptance. Unless and until one
accepts oneself supported by self-awareness, one will suffer with either inferiority complex or
superiority complex resulting in passive or aggressive behaviour. This may also result in lack of self-
direction.
It is one of the most important elements for healthy interpersonal relationships and personal
effectiveness. Let us see the following psychological positions one can take with reference to others:
I am ok - You are ok : Self-confident
I am ok - You are not ok : Aggressive
I am not ok - You are ok : Submissive
I am not ok - You are not ok : Depressed
Although, there can be many reasons why one has low self-confidence, one very important factor is
lack of spontaneous thinking and communication skills. There is no point repenting once an event is
over.
It is generally seen that the self-confident people have very high amount of self-belief and self-
acceptance. Is a person does not believe and accept himself, he develops a feeling of inferiority
complex. It becomes very difficult for him to face other people in difficult conditions.
It is also generally seen that people having good communication skills are self-confident and they have
higher inter-personal effectiveness.
Therefore, one should work on behavioural elements of communication skills and rational self-
management skills.
GIVE WORRY ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE
In my life, I have found there are two things about which I should never worry.
First, I shouldnt worry about the things I cant change. If I cant change them, worry is certainly most
foolish and useless.
Second, I shouldnt worry about the things I can change. If I can change them, then taking action will
accomplish far more than wasting my energies in worry.
Besides, it is my belief that, 9 times out of 10, worrying about something does more danger than the
things itself.
Give worry its rightful place - out of your life.
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The following are the positive behaviours of self-confidence.
10.01 I present myself and my ideas to others in an impressive, influencing, and
impacting manner.
10.02 I state my opinions with confidence and clarity in non-conflicting situations.
10.03 I state my opinions with confidence and clarity even in conflicting situations
without putting others down (aggression) or accepting put-downs from
others (submission).
10.04 I do not react impulsively or emotionally (losing control over myself) to force
my ideas on others.
10.05 I maintain calmness even when others criticize my ideas. I either ignore or
learn from the criticisms.
10.06 I maintain calmness even when others criticize me personally. I respond
rationally, and not emotionally.
10.07 I make decisions and act on it, in spite of disagreements from others, if I am
convinced.
10.08 I change opinions and decisions and act on it, in spite of disagreements from
others, if I am convinced about the need to change.
10.09 I accept challenges or unpleasant situations with ease.
10.10 I appreciate as well as criticize others assertively, honestly and directly. I
criticize the issue or the behaviour, not the individuals personally.
10.11 I like and love myself.
10.12 I know my strengths and shortcomings. I accept and acknowledge them.
10.13 I seek help and advices from others, when needed. However, if they dont
respond to my request, I dont get disturbed. I look to other sources.
10.14 I believe in I win - You win We win and I am ok - You are ok themes.
Self-
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SKILL NO. 10
SELF-CONFIDENCE : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 11
ACHIEVEMENT ORIENTATION
Achievement orientation is one of the essential personality traits in todays competitive world.
It motivates one to set stretched goals, to take actions to achieve, and then set higher goals - and
continue with the cycle.
The people with high achievement oriented attitude shall be task-oriented, persistent, focused, self-
driven, task-driven, and naturally competitive. They would love challenging tasks and situations. They
would be restless in no-challenge situations. Their self-motivational factors shall be very high.
Their action shall be mainly governed by their goals.
Achievement orientation makes a person assume responsibility, convert adversities to opportunities,
take risks, work with perseverance, and move ahead consistently at accelerated pace.
Let us understand the meaning of achievement - Achieving does not mean breaking a world record.
Achievement means breaking ones own record consistently. If you are able to break your own record,
who knows a day will come when you will break a world record.
DESIRE TO SUCCEED
A young man asked Socrates the secret to success.
Socrates asked the young man to walk with him in the river. When the water got up to their neck,
Socrates took the young man by surprise and ducked him into the water. The boy struggled to get out.
When after some time Socrates pulled his head out of the water the first thing the young man did was
to gasp and take a deep breath of air.
Socrates asked, What did you want the most when you were there?
The boy replied, Air.
Socrates said, That is the secret to success. When you want success as badly as you wanted the air,
then you will get it. There is no other secret.
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The following are the positive behaviours of achievement orientation.
11.01 I have a clear vision of what I want to do and achieve during different phases
of my life.
11.02 I decide specific and time-bound milestones progressively taking me towards
my vision.
11.03 I set specific, stretched (achievable with difficulties), time-bound, and
measurable activity plans.
11.04 I take ownership and responsibility for achievement.
11.05 I take actions as planned and monitor the results.
11.06 I take risks. I am not averse to risk-taking. I do not avoid risk deliberately or
impulsively.
11.07 I foresee difficulties and obstacles and plan to overcome. I change my plans
situationally and dynamically, if required.
11.08 I take actions consistently to break either own records of excellence or break
the world records of excellence in my area of performance.
11.09 I create opportunities even when no opportunity is visible or offered by
circumstances. I am quick to avail opportunities whenever they come on my
way.
11.10 I create and take challenges. I question and challenge the prevailing
conditions for change to improve. I do not put myself in a comfort zone and
suffer with a feeling of complacency.
11.11 I do not blame circumstances for my failures and shortcomings. Instead, I
take measures to overcome.
11.12 I remain constantly focused with single mindedness on my long term goals. I
do not work to satisfy short term impulses and temptations.
11.13 I start, do, and finish a task with full commitment.
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SKILL NO. 11
ACHIEVEMENT ORIENTATION : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 12
LEARNING
Learning is the most important characteristics for todays professionals.
Attitude of learning comprises of having desire to learn, taking efforts to learn - even going out of the
way to learn, and putting learning to action.
Learning can be planned; one can learn from experiences too. A learner is open to environment around
him - he not only learns from his experiences, he converts others experiences into his conceptual
learning and effective actions.
A learner supports the above processes with constant reflection to monitor the effect of learning on his
effectiveness.
There are many method of learning. Few of them are:
1. Reading followed by reflection
2. Discussion with people
3. Solving hypothetical business cases
4. Visiting places like, factories, offices, institutions, museums, libraries, book shops, etc.
5. Undertaking special assignments
6. Teaching
7. Organizing or taking part in some social activities
8. Experimenting
This is just an indicative list. Create your own methods of learning.
FAILURE OR LEARNING
When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work.
A young reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times. He said, I never failed once. I invented
the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.
FOUR QUESTIONS
Here are four questions I have asked myself over the years that have helped me manage my problems.
If this is the first time I have encountered this problem, what can I do now so that I dont encounter it
again?
What good is there in this problem that will create growth and advancement for me as I deal with it?
How can I build up my resistance during the time it takes to fix the problem?
How can I change my perspective so my problem impacts me more positively?
Todd Duncan in Power to be Your Best
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The following are the positive behaviours elements of learning.
12.01 I have a clear vision of what I want to do and achieve in short, medium, and
long term.
12.02 I keep myself aware of latest developments in my professional as well as
supporting areas.
12.03 I have a well defined plan of learning indicating resources, actions, and
results with a monitoring mechanism.
12.04 I consistently look for and use various formal and informal methods of
learning.
12.05 I take responsibility for my learning and use innovative and unconventional
ways of learning. I go out of the way to learn, including seeking feedback
from others.
12.06 I regularly reflect consciously for consolidating and reinforcing learning. I
remain open to new things.
12.07 I remain open to whatever happens around me with a desire and intention to
learn.
12.08 I analyze my mistakes, failures, and successes with an intention to learn from
my experiences. I keep track of quality and quantity of my performance.
12.09 I demonstrate curiosity by taking efforts for continuous learning and courage
by taking actions for continuous improvements.
12.10 I learn from mistakes made by others, as well as positive results obtained by
others.
12.11 I maintain a balance between learning and the learning put to action.
12.12 I increases my potential (in terms of knowledge and skills) consistently and
utilize them fully.
12.13 I reflect and audit my learning methods and practise most effective ones.
Self-
Rating
Other-
Rating
SKILL NO. 12
LEARNING : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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SKILL NO. 13
SELF-MANAGEMENT
Life is a process; live it or leave it ! Self management makes us live our life purposefully and
effectively.
Before one starts managing situations and other people, it is essential to be aware of ones own
psychological makeup.
Self-awareness helps managing situations, adverse or favourable and also all types of people
effectively.
Self-management includes managing
1. Physical,
2. Intellectual,
3. Psychological, and
4. Spiritual
parts of our life in an effective and balanced way to make the process of living meaningful.
ADVERSITY OR OPPORTUNITY
One day a farmers donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer
tried to figure out what to do. Finally he decided as the animal was old and the well needed to be
covered up anyway, it just wasnt worth to retrieve the donkey. He invited all his neighbours to come
over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began shovel dirt in the well.
At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyones amazement he
quitted down. A few shovel-loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well and was astonished at
what he saw.
With every shovel of dirt that was falling on his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He
would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmers neighbours continued to shovel dirt on top of the
animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey
stepped up over the edge of the well and totted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick is not to get bogged down. Shake it off and
take a step up!
- Told by AzimPremji during IIM - A Convocation-2002
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The following are the positive behaviours self-management.
13.01 I have a clear vision of what I want to achieve, why I want to achieve, and
how and how much I want to achieve. I plan my life for a purpose.
13.02 I have a factual and objective clarity about my strengths and weaknesses.
13.03 I remain focused on the purpose of my life.
13.04 I accept myself fully and rationally. I never look down upon myself. I have
positive self-concept. I never suffer from inferiority or superiority complex.
13.05 I have positive thoughts about environment and other people. I believe in I
am ok - You are ok philosophy. I like and love myself and I have a feeling of
being liked and being loved by others.
13.06 I have positive attitude towards work. I like whatever I do and take pride in it.
13.07 I believe in action-orientation. I work to achieve my goals in a focused
manner. I do not procrastinate.
13.08 I learn continuously and put learning to action for achieving my goals and to
improve continuously.
13.09 I live in present - here and now. I do not think negatively about past and at
the same time do not worry about future by creating unnecessary fears. I
accept whatever happens in life naturally. However, I plan for situational
effectiveness.
13.10 My activities are governed by my long term vision of life, and not by short
term sensual temptations.
13.11 I do not have very strong (addictive, prejudiced) liking and disliking. I do not
get into emotional outbursts.
13.12 I do not feel a need to prove myself or justify my actions to others.
13.13 I never blame myself, others, or circumstances.
13.14 I believe in I win - You win - We win philosophy.
Self-
Rating
Other-
Rating
SKILL NO. 13
SELF-MANAGEMENT : POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
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PLAN-ACT-IMPROVE-AUDIT
THE CONCEPT
This book is not meant for one-time reading.
To get maximum benefit, first assess yourself. Then, get yourself assessed by someone close to you.
Compare the two assessments. Discuss. Identify your strengths and the behaviours needing
improvements. Then follow the steps given below.
PLAN : Plan to change.
ACT : Act as per your planning.
IMPROVE : Get the result of your action.
AUDIT : This is the reflective monitoring process.
Take some time to think and objectively audit the action and the result
And, the cycle of P-A-I-A continues
If you are not convinced, read the story below. (We have read this story earlier also.) Then, reflect and
answer the question, Is your candle lighted?
CONTINUOUS SELF-DEVELOPMENT
In the early times in Japan, bamboo-and-paper lanterns were used with candles inside. A blind man,
visiting a friend one night, was offered a lantern to carry home with him. I do not need a lantern, he
said. Darkness and light are all same to me.
I know you do not need the lantern to find your way, his friend replied, but if you dont have one,
someone else may run into you. So you must take it.
The blind man started off with the lantern and before he had walked very far someone ran squarely
into him. Look out where are you going! he exclaimed to the stranger. Cant you see this lantern?
Your candle has burned out, brother!, replied the stranger.
At this stage, your self-assessment and the assessment by someone close to you is over. You might
discuss with other people and get their feedback.
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THE CONCEPT
At this stage, your self-assessment and the assessment by someone close to you is over. You might
discuss with other people and get their feedback.
Now, let us categorize the behaviours in three parts:
1. The behaviours in which you are very strong (Score: 4)
2. The behaviours in which your are very weak (Score: 0, 1)
3. The behaviours in which you achieve moderate effectiveness (Score: 2, 3)
You need to build on your core strengths. Plan how you can utilize your strengths more effectively and
in different areas of your concern or activity.
For your weaknesses, you need to increase your awareness, first by knowing the adverse effects. You
can plan to block those effects. Then, you can plan to improve. You can also plan to use your strengths
to cover your weaknesses.
Immediately on behaviours you are not required to make today. For example, if you are not required to
make presentations, do not start with improving your presentation skills. However, if making
presentations is your job requirement today, focus on behaviours related to presentation skill.
If you work on a behaviour which will give you immediate result, you will understand and appreciate
the process of improvement better. You will also be able to see the inter-connection of the behaviours
and skills .Your level of motivation shall also be higher.
On the following pages you will see an example followed by indicative work sheets. You can use either
the same formats or make your own to suit you. The key is Action !
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AN EXAMPLE
Let us assume that after self evaluation, you have identified the following behaviours where you need
improvements.
ANALYSIS FOR PROBLEM SOLVING
* I collect relevant information and data.
* I demonstrate relevance of my day-to-day actions with my life-vision and long-term goals.
VERBAL COMMUNICATION
* I ask clarifying or probing questions or request for repetition for better understanding of
others views.
PRESENTATION
* I accept ignorance assertively without feeling of guilt, insult, or inferiority.
LEARNING
* I use various formal and informal methods of learning.
Dont get panicky by the list. These behaviours are interconnected.
You need not make action plans for all the above behaviours, as they are directly or indirectly inter-
related to each other. Even if you take action to improve one behaviour, others will get affected. For
example, let us say, you work on "Collection of relevant data and information".
Now, whenever you are required to work on an issue, you will start with making a list of data or
information needed. Then you will think of the possible sources and take action to gather the details.
Once you gather the data, you will ignore irrelevant data and analyze and use relevant data for planning
and decision making. This will make you more analytical and confident.
For gathering data you will require to exploit many sources. This will change your learning attitude. You
may like to ask questions to people related to the problem or the data. While gathering data from
people, you may require to take efforts to probe. This will affect your self-motivation and verbal
communication.
This is how actions to improve one behaviour affect many other behaviours.
Let us decide the methodology for making action plan for different categories of behaviours.
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ACTION PLAN
MY CORE BEHAVIOURAL STRENGTHS (Score: 4)
Having completed the assessment, you should identify and list your core behavioural strengths.
These are the behaviours you should use effectively to increase your personal effectiveness.
NO Ref Behavior Remarks
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
What should I do to get still better results? Where?
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ACTION PLAN
MY BEHAVIOURAL WEAKNESSES (Score: 1, 0)
Having completed the assessment, you should identify and list your behavioural weaknesses. This
awareness itself shall pay.
You need to block the adverse affects. You should also take actions to overcome the weak behaviours.
NO Ref Behavior Remarks
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
How does the absence of these behaviours affect my personal effectiveness?
How can I block the adverse affects?
What should I do to improve?
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ACTION PLAN
MY BEHAVIOURS NEEDING MODERATE IMPROVEMENTS (Score: 2, 3)
Having completed the assessment and having identified core strengths and weaknesses, it becomes
very easy for you to locate behaviours requiring minor changes.
List the relevant behaviours. Make action plans and take actions.
NO Ref Behavior Remarks
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Where and how do I use these behaviours? What results do I get?
What should I do to get still better results? Where?
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CONCLUSION
The behavioural change starts with awareness. We have worked on awareness aspect. Once you
become aware, you can take direct actions to change the behaviour in question and monitor the
progress.
I would like to suggest some common indicative areas of improvements.
Read conceptual books : You may read technical books to enhance your technical knowledge. For
enhancing presentation skill, you may read relevant books to understand the skill conceptually.
Conceptual knowledge includes defining the skill and the evaluation criteria. Build the foundation of
knowledge.
Action plan:
Watch your own behaviour : You can watch your behaviour and reflect periodically. You may maintain
diary to keep track. Auditing your behaviour shall be of help. You may take help of someone who
spends time with you.
Action plan:
Get feedback : Take feedback from people who are close to you and also interested in you. Take their
feedback in right spirit. Healthy discussions help.
Action plan:
Learn from experiences : Analyze the situations taking place around you. Constantly look for
opportunities of learning. Remain open to environment.
Action plan:
Learn from your role models : Spend some time with people who are successful in some respect.
Watch their behaviour. Look out for something which you can learn. Learn and put to practice.
Action plan:
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Stop blaming : It consumes energy without giving you anything positive.
Action plan:
Stop having strong liking and strong disliking : These create prejudices making you blind to other
possibilities.
Action plan:
Look for opportunities in everything : In any given situation, you have something positive. Look for the
positive and build on it, instead of brooding over negative.
Action plan:
Be creative : Be innovative when solving problems. Look for unconventional solutions. Stop taking
immediate judgments on ideas.
Action plan:
Dont perceive pains and risks psychologically : Most of the physical pains are created by thinking.
Take efforts to rationally understand the reality. Remain focused on your goals. Dont stop because of
obstacles and difficulties. Overcome them. Persist. Never give up.
Action plan:
Take initiative and risk : Most of the successful people are self-driven. Dont always look for security
and surety. They may pull you back. Take initiative and monitor and co-relate your action and result.
Change strategy to be more effective.
Action plan:
Create your own list : The above are indicative suggestions. You may need something different to take
care of your need.
Action Plan:
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IMPROVING
ESSENTIAL PERSONAL SKILLS
the M MPATEL way
A SELF EVALUATION AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
FOR MANAGEMENT STUDENTS,
PROFESSIONALS, TEACHERS AND TRAINERS