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Personal Development Hack 167: How to make others believe in your ideas?

We are social beings who live to communicate with another, thereby it becomes important to be able to get your idea across to the other person in a manner that makes them believe in it the same way as you do. This may not be as easy as it sounds like for everyone, which may further cause a variety of problems such as negatively affecting self-confidence, having a lack of opportunities in the future, and people becoming less proactive in taking decisions for themselves and/or those for a group. 

So, why do some people face difficulty in making others believe in their ideas? A few reasons include facing difficulty in communicating with others, lacking confidence within themselves, and there is also the inability to make a concrete plan for the idea due to which communication becomes more difficult leading to people unable to understand the plan and thereby not believing in it. 

Hence, to make others believe in your ideas, you should begin by building a Concrete plan about your idea so that if someone questions you about it then you can comfortably answer them. You can try practicing this by asking yourself the following questions: 

– What exactly is my idea?

– How am I planning to execute this? 

– What necessary steps will I need to take to complete it? 

– How much time and resources will I need for this? 

– How is it better than the other similar ideas? 

This is an effective approach because it helps to boost confidence within yourself as well as increase the quality of your idea. Furthermore, people may have doubts about how realistic your idea is, for this you can use these two methods:

  1. Application: Prepare and show a small application of your idea or highlight any of your previous achievements that resembles your current idea to increase your credibility.  
  2. Social proof: Provide social proof by highlighting specific people who liked your idea. The higher the authority and credibility of those people the easier will people believe in you.    

Bonus tip: Remember, how you communicate affects how much people believe in you and your idea, therefore, we can always keep working on communicating effectively.   


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Personal Development Hack 166: How to overcome self-doubt?

Oftentimes, we find ourselves in a monologue about doubting and criticizing our ability for achieving a task and/or goal. To deal with such self-doubts we use multiple coping mechanisms but it becomes concerning when this continues for a longer period of time leading us to feel demotivated, procrastinating on the work, low performance, difficulty in making decisions, and increased stress. 

But what leads to self-doubt?  Research suggests that attachment styles developed during the early stages of life can result in self-doubt, such that it’s been reported that people who have insecure attachment styles have shown more thoughts of self-doubt as compared to others. Another reason could be our past experiences, as we find ourselves reminiscing memories from uncomfortable experiences leading to self-doubt in similar future situations. Furthermore, comparing yourself to others, especially the ones who are in a better position than you, leads to more self-doubt. 

So, how to overcome self-doubt? A popular hack is to practice affirmations a couple of times in your day, an example of a few affirmations is as follows:

My past experiences are all learnings, and my present and future experiences are also going to help me become a better person

I see stressful situations as challenges and opportunities

Another effective hack can be to replace the fear of criticism and comparison with others by identifying your inner values and remembering your past achievements. To do this:

  1. Ask yourself what few things are most important to you, those which bring meaningfulness in your life and make a list of those things. 
  2. Think about a few past accomplishments of yourself that you are proud of and add them in your inner value list. 

Then whenever you feel that you are doubting yourself, remind yourself that you are working for your inner values and not for any external reward. Also that you did your best in the past and that you will continue to do so. This approach is more effective because it shifts focus from external comparison to internal motivation. 

Bonus tip: When you observe yourself going into stories or thoughts of blame, say “stop” to yourself out loud. This will allow you to turn your attention away from your blaming thoughts for a short while, giving you time to think about your past achievements and experiences for healthier coping.

Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” 

 William Shakespeare


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Personal Development Hack 165: How to Manage Your Finances?

The pursuit of happiness has one of its aspects popularly known as financial management. It involves planning, setting goals and outlines, as well as monitoring the path to the successful accomplishment of such goals. A number of articles suggest that a lack of financial knowledge plays a role in failing at managing your finances, leading to an increase in mental stress and an overall decrease in life satisfaction.   

So, how to start managing your finances? One of the simple hacks the Arthur Isabella’s 50/30/20 rule, this rule talks about an ideal division of one’s finances in a way that 50 percent goes toward fixed expenses, such as your food, rent which cannot be avoided, 30 percent goes toward flexible spendings, like shopping or restaurants, and the remaining 20 percent goes toward your financial goals, like paying off your student loan, buying a new home or saving money to start your startup. 

External environmental factors such as pandemics can also affect your financial goals, so it’s better to prepare three kinds of budget for yourself:

  1. Fat budget is for times when times are good and you can afford luxuries so you can increase your luxury budget a little, but remember to save 20% for retirement or emergencies. 
  2. Regular budget involves thinking that you are earning 20% less than what you are making right now and budget your 50/30/20 in that. 
  3. Apocalyptic budget assumes that you are only getting 50% of what you are earning right now and make a similar budget while giving priorities to necessities. 

But, if managing finances is as simple as setting aside a portion of your monthly income to your investment account and saving accounts then why can’t everyone do it? Well, the challenging part is whether you can do this consistently, without breaking the set rules. There is no denying that most people do set aside some of their income for investment, but after a span of some months, they are found to break the rules and utilize the savings for other unplanned expenditures. To overcome this, it might be better to open multiple accounts for different purposes such as fixed spending, investments, and emergency funds

“Financial freedom can only be achieved by a conscious choice. It’s not an accident. It’s not just merely by thinking, it’s through grinding and doing what is necessary to get to that goal.”

― David Angway


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Personal Development Hack 164: How to identify and prevent groupthink in your organization?

Groupthink is a phenomenon that came into being in the 1970s during a classic study pursued by social psychologist Irving Janis, it was commonly associated with poor decisions that came out of teams or groups of knowledgeable people. The core idea behind groupthink is that when ideas aren’t challenged in a group then everyone just agrees to a consensus without any debate. Now, it’s okay to follow a consensus for a small-everyday decision such as what to eat for dinner, but for major organizational decisions, this can be harmful and may even lead to disastrous outcomes. 

Not every group suffers from groupthink, so when does it happen? According to Janis, group thinking can develop in a group when group cohesiveness is high and when a group has a ‘warm, clubby atmosphere.’ This is often reported in organizations that heavily rely on referrals for recruitments so after a point majority of the team are friends who build group cohesiveness as they don’t prefer going against any of their friend’s decisions. It also happens when a group is homogeneous, meaning when all of the team members have similar demographics.

And how do you recognize it in your organization? To recognize and understand the amount of groupthink in your organization, Reflect upon your last team meeting and answer the following:

– Did team members ask questions from each other? 

– Was anyone critical of any of the ideas of other team members? 

– How many of them were critical about a particular idea? And how often were they critical? 

– Did all of the team members agree quickly to a suggested idea? 

– Did you learn anything new, or did you majorly discuss something that everyone already knows? 

The answers to these questions will assist you in understanding the possible risk of groupthink for your team.

So, How do you prevent it? A simple and effective hack is to clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the team members. Once you do that then assign a specific role of Devil Advocate to one of the members, their role would be to propose and stick to the side of an argument that is not supported by most of the team members, thereby being able to further critically examine their argument and enrich the meeting. This is effective because when everyone feels that they have specific role-related expertise to contribute, they focus more on the project and less on comforting others. 

Another efficient hack is to build diversity of perspectives in the team.  Try to expand your team’s viewpoint by inviting a new member for discussions from other departments who can provide a fresh perspective in meetings, experts can also be brought into the group to present their views and inform deliberations. Furthermore, this diversity can be boosted by the HR department by focussing on recruiting a more diverse team.

“Always be willing to look at both sides of the argument. Understanding the other side is the best way to strengthen your own.” 

– Jim Rohn


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Personal Development Hack 163: How to master the art of follow-up?

In the fast-paced world, growth within an organization is often monitored through a system of consistent follow-ups. This helps to generate a multitude of opportunities for business development, maintain active communication amongst employees, as well as helps in boosting sales. It is also a major part of the process of job searching while building a new business, growing an already established business, and building long-term relationships with other stakeholders.  

Although you can call or visit places to follow up on different leads the most efficient and used method globally is to take follow-ups through emails, these are efficient but may create an issue where the other person or party can take a passive approach.

So, how to deal with this issue? An effective and simple hack to master the art of following up involves focusing on three points:

  1. Make the message focus on them
  2. Add value in the message
  3. Strive to get an answer

By making the follow-up message a little about them and asking them a personal question can make it irresistible for them to not reply back, making the message centered around value also helps the respondent to know that you are offering something valuable, and lastly making your objective to get an answer helps you to save time if they aren’t planning to respond. 

For example, Mark applied to a manager position in an organization, and he had a quick call with Steve a week back but he hasn’t heard from him till now so he can send a follow-up Email message as, “ Hi Steve, it was great talking with you last week about the new manager position at your organization. I saw that you’re also an alum of Stanford College, good to know that a fellow is working in this organization.  

I had some new ideas about the open manager position and would like to share those with you. Would you be available tomorrow for a short call at about 15:00 BST? Please let me know what you think?”

Bonus tip: Remember that no matter how many times you’ve followed up, or how impeccable you think your proposal, resume, or pitch is; nobody is actually obligated to respond to your request, but making every email as respectful, polite, and humble in attitude can help.

Challenge: What was your hardest and easiest follow-up you have done until now, share them in the comments section. 


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Personal Development Hack 162: How to Boost your Goal Commitment?

We all seek to become better holistically, with health, career, and relationships taking the position of the key umbrella goals. While setting these goals seems easy, following up on them has been a challenge faced by a majority of us. This goal commitment highly relies on our internal motivation as well as individual differences, for example, a person has a high interest in one goal, hence shows long-lasting commitment in it, but has lack of interest in another hence fails to show commitment for that goal.  

Moreover, we find ourselves in a position to show commitment to goals where the need for money and power plays a much larger role.  An effective and simple hack to stick to completing these goals can be to use a progress board. A progress board is simply a board that can be made on a paper, chart, or online on a device, where you regularly input and specify your progress. To work on this progress board you need to have clarity about the goal and for that try to use the SMARTER technique. 

It works effectively as it includes both a basepoint and a final goal for being able to visibly see, experience, and feel more motivated about your goal achievement progress. This also helps in setting key milestones to reach the larger goal which aids in the better determination of your pace to achieve that goal. 

Bonus tip: Make a public commitment, by telling a few of your friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and family about your projects. Now, whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects. To make this commitment stronger try to add a deadline in it, for example, “I will complete that project by next month”. If there are any specific groups for your goal, then joining them can give you the necessary boost in motivation to reach your goals. 

Challenge: Think about the hardest goal you had stuck to until it got completed and write in the comment section, which possible factors helped you in succeeding at finishing that goal. 


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Personal Development Hack 161: How to boost your post-covid career growth?

Personal Development Hack 161: How to boost your post-covid career growth?

The COVID-19 pandemic took up a toll on each of our lives, on both the personal and the professional front, with evidence suggesting that over 200 million people experienced unemployment during the pandemic. Furthermore, this led to a fear of income and job security in a number of the employees, along with bringing new changes within an organization both structurally and functionally to create new opportunities.

So, how to boost post-covid career growth? The most effective hack is to make your work irreplaceable within your organization, such as by being portrayed as an asset to the organization and having an important role in its success. This may provide you with a competitive edge against the other employees and would work in the favor of your career growth.  

To do this, Introspect upon your role in your organization, what all do you bring to the table for the organization, how does that help the organization to move towards more success, as well as how easily, can you bring to the organization be replaced by someone else? Once you figure these out, then you can move towards bettering the quality of your work, thereby making yourself irreplaceable while highlighting your work that adds to the organization’s success and to further boost your career. A few techniques that may help you to increase your worth and boost your career are: 

  1. Identify your unique strengths which are beneficial when used for the organization’s success, also think about how you can better highlight them so that upper management knows your strengths. 
  2. Learn new skills that will be used in the future projects of the organization so that you can be an expert at something and hence to some extent become irreplaceable.
  3. Develop a multicultural and interconnected network by connecting with people from different departments of your organizations, different people from other organizations and communities, this will further improve your communication and leadership skills.
  4. Whenever you get the opportunity, step up and take new responsibilities in your organization. It communicates that you take initiative, have confidence and want to learn more. 

Bonus tip: Build resilience within yourself, as it helps you to bounce back from difficult situations, and is something that most organizations always look for in a prospective employee.

Challenge: Think about how the covid-19 impacted your career and write what you can do within this month to boost your career a little in the comment section. 


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Personal Development Hack 160: how to boost happiness at work?

It’s no surprise that happiness enhances our physical and mental health, thereby becoming an essential aspect of our lives. In the past few decades, Happiness and well-being at the workplace have become a popular topic. Research suggests that being happier at work is linked to better health and well-being, more creative and effective problem solving, as well as enhanced productivity and innovation. Furthermore, it is also suggested that the happier the employee the better are their chances of career advancement in an organization.

But, what does happiness at work mean? It could be understood as:

1. An overall sense of enjoyment at work 

2. Being able to handle setbacks 

3. Connecting effectively with colleagues, and stakeholders

4. Knowing that the employee’s work matters to themselves, their organization, and beyond. 

So, how to build this happiness at work? An effective hack is to build purpose and meaning within your work. This provides space for a better connection between the employee and their respective roles, this connection enhances the feeling of enjoyment while doing work and might also make the employee feel that they are moving towards reaching their purpose.

Furthermore, to boost this purpose and meaning, organizations and leaders need to: Understand the motivation and goals of employees Then try to align them with organizational goals and culture. Although this might need an organization to change some work profiles and rearrange the teams and projects, it will definitely prove to be beneficial for both employees and the organization. 

Another important hack that organizations can build in their culture to boost employee happiness is to give regular internal rewards such as appreciation and encouragement.   

Bonus tip: Avoid making assumptions about what brings happiness to employees rather than ask them about it and then collectively make decisions.  

Challenge: Think about the last time someone encouraged and appreciated you for your work and write how it made you feel in the comment section.


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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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