Archive for October, 2007

How much appreciation can do to improve productivity

October 31, 2007 1 comment

The best example was how Sreedhar was rocking last sprint.

Categories: Uncategorized

Performance Testing Guidance for Web Applications – P&P Guide

October 31, 2007 1 comment

Strategic Story Telling – A leadership development tool

October 31, 2007 Leave a comment

Quotes from the article

Strategic Story Telling – A leadership development tool

Here’s an example. In one of my keynote talks, I teach the value of focusing on solutions instead of problems by telling a story about running late for a speech in Kansas City. My plane had been delayed and, to make matters worse, when I finally arrived at the airport, I missed the only shuttle that would have taken me to my appointment on time. So I spotted a limo at the curbside and, out of desperation, asked the driver if he could give me a ride. His other passenger had just canceled so he said yes.

By focusing on the solution, I saw the limo, took action, and got to my appointment on time. Had I focused on the problem, I would have waited for the next shuttle and been late. I wouldn’t have seen the opportunity for an innovative solution. This key point flows out of my limo story and, at the end, I suggest that when things don’t work out the way they’re supposed to, then “Look for the Limo.”

Read on:

Categories: Great Links

Employee Engagement Starts with Leaders!

October 31, 2007 1 comment

Quotes from the article Employee Engagement Starts with Leaders!

Employee Engagement

  • commitment to the organization;
  • job ownership and pride;
  • passion and excitement; and
  • commitment to execution and the bottom line.

So what can Leader’s do to drive employee engagement?

  • Walk-the-walk

  • Do what you say you will do 

  • Have a passion to lead

  • Articulate the vision

  • Promote accountability

  • Listen and act

  • Develop talent

  • Have a heart

  • Celebrate and reward

Read on


Categories: Great Links

How to tell difficult truths people want to hear

October 31, 2007 Leave a comment

Quotes from the article How to tell difficult truths people want to hear,

If I say to you, “My stomach feels queasy,” you’d have a difficult time arguing with me. If I say to you, “You make me sick to my stomach,” you’d probably find plenty to argue with me about in that sentence. The difference is intention. If I say, “My stomach feels queasy,” my intention is to reveal my inner experience. If I say, “You make me sick to my stomach,” my intention is to blame you for my experience. In speaking difficult truths so that people thank you afterwards, the trick is to reveal your inner experience and stay out of blame.
Breakthroughs in relationship communication are always brought about by saying unarguable things and never by blaming. It’s possible to communicate the most difficult truths in this new way, so that people are literally filled with gratitude afterwards.

Let’s say you want to break up with your lover. Your main complaints are that he never helps around the house, he has a perfect record of forgetting your birthday and he is unwilling to make a long-term commitment to the relationship.
Scenario One: You say to him: I’m leaving you because you’re lazy, disrespectful and commitment-phobic. Would he be likely to thank you for sharing this “truth” with him? Probably not. He’d probably argue with all three of your labels for him. You’ve provided him with a perfect way to avoid learning anything from your communication, because you’ve communicated it in arguable terms.
Scenario Two: You say to him: For a long time I’ve been feeling sad and disappointed. I can feel it right now in my chest, and I can hear it in my voice. I don’t think I’m getting what I want in our relationship. I feel angry a lot at you, and although I feel scared about being by myself, I think I’d rather face that fear than continue to feel what I’ve been experiencing the past year. 

There’s no guarantee he’ll thank you for speaking those truths, but we can give you a pretty solid guarantee that he won’t argue with you. We know, because we’ve coached hundreds of people to speak like that in sessions, and it stops arguments cold.

Read on


Categories: Great Links

Rhino mocks in action

October 26, 2007 Leave a comment
Categories: Great Links

What self taught programmers miss

October 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Another reason why I should read open source stuff & books on basics more.

Categories: Great Links

Resharper tips

October 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Some neat Re#er tips

Categories: Great Links

16 Tips to Survive Brutal Criticism (and Ask for More)

October 26, 2007 1 comment

Tips to Survive Brutal Criticism (and Ask for More)

“You suck.”

Everyone encounters criticism, whether it is a boss pointing out falling
performance, a bad review for your book, or even self-criticism after an
embarrassing slip-up. Your ability to digest that criticism and make use of it
says a lot about your character. Even better is to be the kind of person who
can take a sharp, verbal critique, stand up and ask for more.

People are Too Nice

Most people won’t tell you what they think of you. And if they do want
to slide you some honesty, it is usually wrapped in a sugar coating. Why then,
with our compulsion to smooth the truth, does it hurt to be on the back end of
an honest opinion?

I believe it is because most of us have shied away from getting honesty our
whole lives. As a result, we haven’t trained the ability to recognize
that a criticism of our behaviors, results or efforts isn’t a criticism
of ourselves. Once you train yourself to notice the separation, you can start
using any criticism thrown your way and actively seek more of it.

Honesty is a Good Thing, Here’s How to Survive It

Here are some tips for surviving the floods of good intentions that might
crash upon your ego:

  1. Balance
    – The salience effect is a cognitive bias where
    we tend to focus on the most recent or memorable piece of information,
    ignoring the collective. Whenever you get a piece of criticism, you need
    to balance it by recognizing that this is just one tiny critique out of
    all feedback. Don’t exaggerate it’s impact on who you are.

  2. Get
    Them to Focus on Behavior
    – If you are in the middle of an
    evaluation, try directing the person onto your specific behaviors, not
    you. Tell them you are interested in hearing their suggestions and ask for
    positive ideas for improving your methods.

  3. There
    is No Absolute Feedback
    – Part of the sting comes from
    converting feedback, which is entirely relative, into absolutes. If
    someone told a stand-up comedian he wasn’t funny after a show, that
    would probably mean he wasn’t as funny as other comedians that
    person likes. It doesn’t mean he is objectively, the most unfunny
    person who ever existed.

  4. It’s
    Opinion, Not Fact
    – The only benefit of feedback is if it
    illuminates weaknesses or strengths you suspected but hadn’t
    realized. You always have the option to disagree with criticism.

  5. Don’t
    Ask for Honesty When You Want Support
    – Don’t ask
    people for honest feedback if you plan to tune out anything but praise.
    Notice your internal state when you want feedback. Do you want help or
    validation? Get clear, otherwise you might get an unexpected critique.

  6. Flip
    it to Positive
    – Guide the person towards making
    suggestions for improvement rather than pointing out flaws. It’s
    easier to hear: “You should try slowing when you deliver a
    speech,” rather than, “I couldn’t understand anything
    you said!”

  7. Don’t
    – I once saw on a famous speaker’s blog
    comments a verbal insult from someone. The speaker responded by continuing
    the attack and redirecting it at his assailant. I felt this showed a lack
    of maturity by bringing himself down to the level of the man who insulted
    him. You’ll look more secure and confident if you can redirect and
    brush aside criticism than if you engage in an argument.

  8. Train
    Your Ego
    – My suggestion is to actively run towards as
    much harsh criticism as you can. It will desensitize you to the bite of
    one particular comment and give you the ability to see yourself more

Now that you have some pain-killers for the attack, here’s how to ask
for more:

  1. Say
    – Some companies pay consultants millions of
    dollars to come by and show them how they are doing a bad job. At least
    some people will do it for free. Thank them so you don’t have to pay
    heavy consultant bills later.

  2. Honesty
    – Develop a policy for honesty where you encourage
    people who give you honest feedback. I’ve wrote about this topic
    several times on my blog, and I’ve gotten many suggestions from
    readers who prefaced their ideas with, “I’m saying this
    because I know you won’t take it personally.” How many ideas
    would I have lost if I hadn’t created an honesty policy?

  3. Don’t
    – In the face of criticism, you might feel the
    urge to explain or justify yourself. My advice is to avoid it unless it is
    specifically asked from you. The reason is that justification not only
    admits your insecurity, but it makes the other person think you
    aren’t listening.

  4. Experiment
    with Embarrassment
    – If you aren’t making a fool of
    yourself routinely, you probably aren’t being ambitious enough. Take
    criticism as a sign that you are experimenting regularly.

  5. Give
    People the Sugar
    – Give people the sugar-coating, so they
    can give the honest suggestions. Frame questions so they can deliver
    feedback in a non-offensive manner. “What could I have most
    improved?” “If you had
    to say something, what did you like least?”

  6. Be
    – If someone criticizes, translate them into
    positive suggestions and discuss it with them. The translation informs the
    person that you have a thick-skin and are using the advice.

  7. “Thanks,
    I’ll think about that.”
    – Five words to end
    the conversation and give yourself time to process any particularly
    crushing information. This keeps you from starting an argument with a
    person which can only defeat an honesty policy.

  8. “I
    Understand, But Disagree.”
    – Those four words are
    your only comeback. I’ve had people tell me I should stop writing,
    speaking or change something I felt strongly about. Calmly stating those
    four words shows the person that it isn’t a topic of discussion, but
    shows everyone else that you are open to all suggestions.




Yours Truly

Categories: Uncategorized

Investing in Strengths

October 26, 2007 Leave a comment

A Gallup research survey indicates that investing on improving a person’s strengths has more ROI than investing on improving his weaknesses. Nebraska School Study Council had conducted rapid reading courses to improve reading speeds of students. Fast readers were able to improve their reading speeds from 300 to 2900 words per minute. The average readers on the other hand were able to improve their reading speed from 90 words per minute to 150 words per minute. The ROI ratio is roughly 10x. Do not neglect your weaknesses. Work with your family / friends /team / manager to identify ways to live with those, workaround those, improve them just enough so that there aren’t any negative impacts?? Invest more in your strengths.

The link to the Gallup Paper documenting the research.
The original Chris Sells article which prompted me to read the Gallup research paper.
The recent entry from Prakash which reminded me of old Chris Sell’s article which I had read about three years back (Great I remembered it!).

Categories: Uncategorized