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Personal Development Hack 159: How to develop an intuition for business

We often hear about successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Richard Branson, who have admitted that they relied on their gut more than any statistics and analysis to achieve their success. With business trends being dominated by statistics and analysis, questions like, Is relying on one’s intuition a good idea for reaching success?  And Is it better than relying on statistics and analysis? The answer to these could be that intuition indeed is crucial for business.

Even though businesses require statistics and analysis in order to be functional and productive, there are still too many unpredictable factors such as social relationships, trends, emotions, and other factors that are difficult to analyze immediately. Such factors make it prominent that for an organization to become successful, both intuition and analysis need to work hand in hand.

Furthermore, studies have reported that about 80% of successful entrepreneurs tend to rely on their intuition, they are found to integrate this intuition with their cognitive capacities and knowledge when weighing options for making decisions. 

So, how to build this intuition for business? Our intuition is a result of the subconscious mind, past experiences, and gut feelings. The basic step to develop business intuition is to increase your knowledge about your business decisions so that you can allow your subconscious mind to help your gut feeling. Also, there are many instances where you need to deal with new situations, therefore, it’s better to take some time away from those while simultaneously trying to engage yourself in different activities as it’s been observed that intuition strikes the most during such activities. 

Furthermore, an effective hack that you can practice everyday to build your intuition is to learn to pay attention. This involves paying attention to things that are slightly out of the ordinary and asking yourself what you feel about them. This is an effective approach because not only those non-ordinary things can become your business ideas, but paying attention to them while asking your gut feeling helps you to trust your intuition and remove possible barriers to it.  

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Bonus tip: Your self-critic can be a barrier to developing business intuition as it keeps asking you to think about the negative outcomes. One way to deal with this is by taking a walk and asking yourself about the fears from which your self-critic is trying to protect you. This might be overwhelming, but it would help in understanding and then finding actions to overcome such fears. 

Challenge: Try to find one non-ordinary thing in your surroundings and write how that can affect your business in the comments. 


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Personal Development Hack 158: How to Support People you Care About?

We’ve grown up observing those around us helping one another most of the time, listening to multiple anecdotal pieces of evidence suggesting that “Happiness is found in helping others”. But is this true? Research suggests that giving your time and energy to others is as nourishing to your soul as taking care of yourself. Hence, here we will talk about what you can do to support people you care about. 

But before that let’s understand why some people face problems while showing their support or care? Although there can be different reasons behind this a few common causes include: 

1. Insecure attachment style that might develop from bad attachment formed at childhood with a caretaker which results in difficulty in reaching out or lending help to others in the later stages of life. 

2. Another reason might include our own lack of energy or feeling compassion fatigue by constantly giving help or listening to other problems. 

So, how can you support people you care about? The first and most basic thing you need to do before thinking about anything is to show up for your support. Research suggests that even just by showing up, you can exponentially decrease other’s worry and increase a feeling of strength in others. 

Now, the most simple and effective hack is to identify and offer practical help to others, such as, in certain situations, there is little to nothing which you can do to improve the base situation, but you can still help by identifying simple things you can do, such as, making coffee and/or doing their mundane tasks. And if you are unable to identify such things, then ask what you can do for them. 

Remember to take care of a few things such as putting away your phone, not assuming what they feel or think, being patient when they don’t want to have a conversation, and how to not interrupt during conversations.  

“The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.”                 

          – Dalai Lama


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Personal Development Hack 157: What do Millennials Aspire for in a Job?

Millennials (born from 1981- 1996 are the first native digital generation to enter the workplace. Studies suggest that the millennials would be about 75% of the workforce till 2025, and therefore will be playing a major role in any organization’s success and/or failure. 

But trends show that the majority of organizations still need to learn this generation’s real aspirations and needs instead of assuming that fun activities such as after-work socials, ping-pong tables, and free coffee machines will help them retain this generation. It is true that this generation didn’t go through any major economic depression and also has multiple career options which are easily accessible.

So, what do Millennials look for in a job? There is extensive research on what Millennials want in a job and a few common factors that organizations should focus on are the following: 

  1. Culture fit: One of the most important aspects for employees is to have a culture-values fit where both employee-organisation values, ethics and culture are in sync and thereby increasing the performance of both employees and the organization.

  1. Recognition and growth: Millennials in an organization tend to demand more positive feedback than any other generation in the workforce. They also have personal and career growth amongst their top 3 priorities when selecting an organization. 

  1. Work- family balance: Because it is the generation who is connected to the internet 24/7 it is also the generation that suffers most in having a balance between work and personal life, hence research suggests that they prefer organizations that help in maintaining this balance. 

  1. Social impact and sustainability: Millennials as a generation have this need of being able to make an impact in the world. They tend to select organizations based on researching such initiatives in order to satisfy this need and to also have pride in being a part of such an organization. 

Challenge: Write three things you want from any organization in the comment section.  


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Personal Development Hack 156: How to Master Talent Acquisition?

In the current business environment and advanced changes in technology, strategy, and market demands, having top talent is crucial for the organization to have a competitive advantage over themselves. Talent acquisition is the process that works on identifying and acquiring specific talented workers to meet your organizational needs and growth. 

Without the right talent in their right roles, the overall performance of the team and organization suffers that further affects the business success and by talent acquisition organization can achieve success, high employee engagement, higher retention and less turnover, improved performance, and satisfied customers.

Hence, the talent acquisition team’s responsibility is to effectively determine what skills, talent, and roles are needed in the organization and how to get employees to fulfill those roles and come on top of the competition. 

So, how to do an effective talent acquisition? Although there are many detailed processes and structures for talent acquisition, a simple and effective approach is to follow the AASR process which is in 4 steps called Assessment, Attraction, Selection, and Retention. 

  1. Assessment: It includes carefully assessing the specific needs of the organization and for this an effective method is to collect feedback from higher management and HR experts about what skills and qualities they need in an employee that can help achieve organization their business goals. 
  2. Attraction: It includes attracting the right talent that fits the organizational values and culture, and to do this organization needs to clearly communicate this before hiring the individuals. 
  3. Selection: It includes creating an interviewing and selection process that not only facilitates the selection of the right candidate based on ability, skills, experience, and fit, but also provides the other candidates with feedback on why they were not selected. 
  4. Retention: It doesn’t matter if you select the right talent if you can’t retain them, hence, try to build retention strategies in your organization culture like open- communication, effective employee relations, and training and development for career and personal growth.

This is an effective method because not only it focuses on selecting the best talent for the organization, but it also works for that talent to retain them in the organization for a longer period for the growth of both employees and the organization. 


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Personal Development Hack 155: How to use job crafting?

Job crafting is an employee-initiated approach which helps employees to shape or redesign their own work environment’s demands and resources in such a way that it fits their individual needs. Therefore, the fundamental theme is to craft our work in such a way that it matches with our strengths, motives and passion. 

So, how to do effective job crafting? Berg, Dutton, and Wrzesniewski (2013), came up with a very effective approach to job crafting, which they divided into several parts that keep each of those job demands and resources into account. For this, employees need to keep asking themselves two questions: How could they reduce their psychological costs including stress and energy? And where might they welcome a challenge in their role? 

The following are the steps for building job crafting: 

  1. Start with making a ‘before sketch’. In this sketch write different tasks you do and how you spend or allocate your time at work. Remember to think this in terms of energy, and broadly about resources and demands.
  2. Secondly, divide your whole job into three types of task blocks. These blocks are in increasing order of their size where the biggest block is for tasks which consume most of your effort and time, and the smallest block is for those that take up least of your energy and time.
  3. After doing this, start with making an ‘after diagram’ of what your ideal role should look like. Here, use your strengths, passions, and motives to create something more meaningful and exciting for yourself. Remember to not step completely outside of your formal responsibilities. 
  4. Finally, your last step is to create an action plan to set some goals (both short and long-term) so that you can move your before diagram (current job) to your after Diagram (ideal job)?

A more easier approach to do this job crafting is to focus on 3 types of job crafting namely “task, relationship and mindset crafting” and changing those roles to fit your passion and needs. Such that:

1. Task crafting focuses on what tasks you need to craft. 

2. Relationship crafting focuses on what interactions you need to craft. 

3. Mindset crafting focuses on which mindset you are currently using and which mindset will fit your needs and resources. 

Challenge: Identify your current blocks and write your biggest block in the comment section that consumes most of your resources.


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Personal Development Hack 154: How to release your stress.

how to build a successful mindset

Experiencing stress is a normal response to being able to healthily deal with situations on a daily basis. This healthy stress is known as eustress, an example of it could be completing your work before the deadline to watch a movie. Oftentimes what we experience is called distress, which impacts both our mental and physical state of being. One of the most suggested ways of dealing with such stress is trying out breathing exercises. 

For this purpose, try these two breathing techniques to better deal with stress:

  1. Morning breathing: This is a preventative exercise to reduce the amount of stressful experiences in one’s life. It is to be practiced as the very first thing in the morning to relieve your muscles and clear breathing passages, in order to begin your day while feeling better. To learn this, follow the steps below:
    1. Stand and bend forward a little so that your arms get closer to the ground. 
    2. Slowly inhale and move back to the standing position. 
    3. Hold your breath for only a few seconds in this position. 
    4. Slowly exhale and get back to the bending position. 
    5. Repeat this for a couple of times.

  1. Diaphragmatic/belly breathing: This exercise is helpful when you don’t want to move much and just want to relax yourself while lying down on your bed or sofa. To do this:
    1. Start with getting into a comfortable seated or lying down position.
    2. Then place one hand on your chest and another hand on your stomach. 
    3. Now, slowly breathe through your nose while actively expanding your stomach upward, pushing upward on your hand while keeping your chest still. 
    4. Exhale with your mouth and let all the air out of your stomach. 
    5. Repeat up to 10 times.

Challenge:  Try either or both of the techniques mentioned above and write how you felt in the comment section.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” 

– Oprah Winfrey


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Personal Development Hack 153: How to boost resilience in a team?

We juggle multiple projects, in-office politics, conflicts, and even our personal life issues each day. All these act as stressors living in our occupational world, a new addition to it is the transformation to a more virtual mode of communication. All these stressors have been observed to impact employee performance levels and are in turn also correlated to having an experience of burnout mostly resulting in a higher employee turnover. Therefore, finding a way to healthily cope with all these stressors has become the need of the hour.

Resilience has been found to be one of the most successful coping mechanisms for a majority of the employees. Being resilient at work not only increases employees’ performance, but it also increases the team’s overall success. Furthermore, resilient employees make positive relationships at work and boost team-building to help in each other’s successes

So, how to boost resilience in a team? A simple and effective hack is to establish checklists and guides that are specific to the organization. Both checklist and guide would then become a “go-to” resource for the team members to use under stressful circumstances for themselves as well as guide other team members when they are visibly under stress. The checklist may include:How are employees feeling at present? 

1. How stressful do they perceive themselves or their teammates to be?

2. How resilient do they or their teammates feel right now?.

And a few measures for guides can include:

1. Who should they contact during a challenging time?

2. Tips and tricks for new employees to handle things at ease

3. A few reminders of their achievements to boost their confidence

4. A few affirmations and breathing exercises to help them relax 

Challenge: Write a short checklist in the comment that will work with your organization and teammates.

Bonus tip: Having debriefing sessions after overcoming challenges helps employees to reflect on their current strengths which aid them to healthily cope with the challenge and in turn boost their resilience. 

Resilience is not what happens to you. It’s how you react to, respond to, and recover from what happens to you.”

– Jeffrey Gitomer


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Personal Development Hack 152: How to control your impulses?

How often do you find yourself buying things other than those you had pre-decided while in the supermarket? Or doing things on impulse?  Or being unable to stop yourself from eating unhealthy food, especially when working on improving your health? If you agree to these situations then you might be facing a problem with controlling your impulses and face difficulty in delaying gratification, which is the act of resisting an impulse to take an immediately available reward in the hope of obtaining a much more valued reward in the future. This delaying gratification is also essential for self-regulation.

In 1972, psychologist Walter Mischel conducted the famous marshmallow experiment where he found that participants who as a child were unable to resist eating marshmallows in front of them knowing that they would be rewarded with more marshmallows if they do not get tempted with this first one, became adults who were less likely to finish college and earned lesser incomes than children who delayed their gratification and controlled their impulses. A possible reason may be that while instant gratification gives us the reward we seek, it also distracts us from meaningful pursuits in life that may further result in destructive financial, health, or social outcomes.  

So, how to control these impulses or learn delay of gratification? A hack that you can learn from the kids who successfully controlled their impulses is a positive distraction. They sang songs and created a kind of play for themselves to control their impulses. You can also positively distract yourself when you feel an impulse. For example: Think about an impulse you have a hard time controlling and write a few positive distractions that you can use when you feel those impulses in the comment section. 

Bonus tip: Tracking and journaling your impulses is a reliable and efficient way to improve your overall capacity to delay gratification. Hence, try to note down your everyday progress in a journal and how that makes you feel after the day. This will make you more self-aware as well as mindful about your impulse control. 

Remember, controlling impulses and delaying gratification helps in many areas of life but it’s okay to have a few cheat days in a while.  

“The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.”                       

 -Stephen Covey


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Personal Development Hack 151: How to deal with job burnout?

Experiencing burnout at the job? Studies report that 77% of the employees admitted that they experienced burnout in their current job, wherein more than half of them further described experiencing more than one occurrence of burnout. Job burnout is characterized by three negative symptoms or outcomes known as emotional exhaustion, increased negative feelings about work and feeling incompetent and inefficient. 

So, how to deal with job burnout? A common assumption or approach taken by the majority of employers and employees to deal with job burnout is to take a vacation. While it may help, research suggests that daily recovery efforts are more important than a vacation. And that makes more sense as taking a vacation can give you the break and self-care you need, but there will be more pending work when you come back. Therefore, try to take more frequent breaks in your day, go for a little walk in these breaks so that you can release the stress-coping hormones and eventually feel better.   

Also, oftentimes employees are doing things that aren’t even in their job description, hence another way to deal with job burnout is to compare your regular tasks with your job description and make a list of things you are doing extra, the next step is to present this extra task’s list to your superior stating that as you are doing extra work and will need more time and assistance for successfully completing the same. 

Finally, remember to detach yourself physically as well as mentally from your work after your working hours by closing your laptop and being there for your own self with yourself.


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Personal Development Hack 150: How to build self-discipline?

Do you find yourself struggling to follow through with a set goal? In the 21st century, Self-discipline which involves our ability to stay motivated, be on track in order to take action, and achieve the target goals we set for ourselves has become of utmost importance. This discipline is crucial for our overall life as studies report that those with higher levels of self-discipline have higher self‐esteem, better relationships, better interpersonal skills, and better emotional intelligence. Furthermore, they are also more satisfied and happy.

But, why do we face difficulty in being disciplined? A few possible reasons include fear of failure, lack of clarity of purpose in life or having people in the environment who enjoy spontaneous things instead of planned discipline. As discipline is something that we learn while growing up, therefore, the early development of a child is very crucial. The famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud proposed that children who fixate on the psychosexual development stages tend to later lack discipline in their life. 

So, how to build self-discipline? A simple hack could be the 3-C technique. This technique helps to build discipline for anything by a three-step process involving:

  1. Creating a goal
  2. Challenging yourself 
  3. Creating a deadline. 

This is an effective hack, as once you start using this method for multiple things, you will realize that the discipline learned for one thing, tends to pervade to other things as well. 

For example, if a person’s specific goal is to build the discipline of waking up early then you need to:

  1. Create a goal for when you want to wake up. 
  2. Challenge yourself by noting down the reduction in the number of alarms you now need in order to wake up and how early you woke up before an alarm rang.
  3. Put a deadline with a cost, for example, if you don’t build discipline of waking up early until the week after the next, then you will pay some money to your friend or family member as a fine. 

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” 

– Jim Rohn 


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Personal Development Hack 149: How to Achieve Balance in Life?

We all have different priorities and aspirations in life that motivate us. Imagine these aspirations or goals as pillars that help you to build a stable home or stable life, hence, it’s crucial to have a balance with these three pillars: career, love, and purpose.

So, how to work on these pillars? To build an effective career pillar, identify if you have clear career goals or not by asking yourself a few questions such as:

1. Where do I want to reach in the next 10 years? 

2. What role or kind of work should I be mastering in these coming years? 

3. Which person’s career do I aspire to the most?

4. What am I doing to reach there? 

Once you have clarity on the question above, then it’s time to boost up your pillar strength by identifying the following, usually having a coach or mentor helps you to make better career decisions:

1. Where do you lack strength?

2. Do you need to get more training about something? 

3. Do you need a mentor? 

4. Do you need to go back to college to get another degree?  

To build an effective Love pillar, begin by identifying different variations of love you already have. For example, you might have unconditional love for someone close to you, you might have comradery love for your friend and you might have nurturing love for your pet. Then identify the time and effort you make for these people and try to find a balance between the give and take of the affection amongst the two of you. And remember, it’s okay to be vulnerable around your close one, it helps in building more trust and a genuine relationship with others.

To build an effective purpose pillar, you need to understand that it’s not about personal or career-related purpose, it’s about the purpose which helps you to make your mark on the world. Hence, think about what difference you want to make in the world. You can move towards making such a difference by working on both micro and macro levels. For example, if you think your purpose is to make people’s life better then on a micro level you may work on bringing smiles to your friend’s or family members face, and on a macro level, you may start a blog or choose a career option that impacts other’s happiness.

Remember your purpose can change or shift with time, so there’s no hard and fast rule to stick to a purpose when you don’t feel passionate about it or if it doesn’t give you peace and satisfaction.  


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Personal Development Hack 148: How to Build 360-degree feedback?

360-degree feedback is a process where a given employee gets feedback on not only their performance, but also on job-related behaviors, competencies, and skills from a number of different employees that have different working relationships with the employee or employees. This 360 feedback helps employees to become more aware of their weaknesses so that they can grow as an employee, helps them to understand their strengths and also learn how to fully capitalize them. Furthermore, it helps employees to decrease conflicts within the team and make employees feel that their feedback is appreciated. 

How to administer 360-degree feedback? 360-degree feedback usually includes 6-10 employees who complete an anonymous online feedback form. This anonymity helps employees to become completely honest with their feedback. The feedback form includes questions such as how well the employee is the work, teamwork, interpersonal communication, and respecting organizational and cultural values. These respondents are those employees whose work gets affected by the employee for example coworkers and managers. The employee themselves also fills their feedback form and usually, all of this is supervised by an external professional who can be truly unbiased.  

Implementing a 360-Degree feedback system also needs the whole team to be on board with the idea, including higher management. This becomes necessary because if the managers are not leading by themselves as an example, then the rest of the employees will have no incentive to follow the program. Furthermore, it is necessary to make sure that the objectives and process of the feedback are clear for all those who are involved. The objective is to improve employee’s growth and the process should include providing support to the employee to grow instead of criticism. 

Remember, the goal of a 360-degree feedback program is not to use it as a one-time process to assess employee appraisal, but to implement a long-term solution for performance as well as overall improvement of the employees. Hence, organizations should encourage regular feedback reviews, maybe at the end of every week or month, that will allow employees to build a positive feedback culture in the workplace.


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