Menu

Oasis of Learning

Co-Creating More Purpose and Joy!

BHA-RA-T

July 26, 2017

A Leadership Lesson

January 9, 2017

The year was 2002 and I used to work in a BPO as a process associate. We used to get subsidised coupons for coffee at Barista at the office canteen. One day, there was an hour for my shift to get over so I thought of taking my last break and sip a cup of hot chocolate at my work station. As I reached my work station I don’t know what happened; my hand sipped and I ended up spilling coffee all over. My key board was all covered in hot chocolate. I got scared and thought that my boss would come and yell at me. I immediately called up IT for a replacement key board and then informed my boss about it. He didn’t say anything to me. The next day he came to our bay and told everyone to take a huddle break. He announced that he was running a ‘Best Bay’ contest and after a month the cleanest and most decorated bay would get a prize. He appointed me as the bay manager and gave me 200 rupees. He told me, “Atul, I trust you with this responsibility and I know you won’t let me down”. The next day I got some posters and balloons and decorated the bay. I also put some ‘keep your workstation clean’ handouts at each team members display board. After a month the results were announced and our bay won the prize. He came over to me and patted my back. He handed over a coffee mug to me and said, “For you to drink hot chocolate. Now, I can trust you that you won’t spill” with a smile on his face.

This leadership behaviour of my boss stayed stamped in my mind. I learnt that if we give people opportunities to contribute then generally people do well. I also learnt that in case I make mistakes then I can correct them.

The Remote Control of Life

December 21, 2016

The year was 2006 and I was working as a lead trainer in an organization. My personal life was a little turbulent at that point in time and in addition to that another trainer with whom I was working on a project was really giving me a hard time. It reached a point where I felt totally helpless and devastated. During then, I was supposed to get a presentation reviewed by my learning head. As we started the meeting and I had just started taking her through my presentation, she said, “Atul. Stop. What is bothering you?” I replied, “Nothing, I am fine.” Just when I was supposed to go back to my presentation, she said, “Let us take a break. I am hungry. Let’s go to the food court. My treat.” We went to the food court and sat there for two hours. I just vented out all my emotions and felt so relieved. All the while she kept listening empathically. Towards the end she said, “Atul, you are a person who uses his heart more than your mind. It is easy for you to get hurt this way. Do you think you can let the remote to your emotions in your hands only? No one has the right to take that remote from you. As a human being we do get affected by the people we work with and the circumstances around us. It is during these times that you need to develop more resilience and bounce back. You train people in customer service for all this- implement it on your life”. And remember.. the remote is in your hands.”

It has been a decade to this incidence and I have kept the remote in my hands! I think we unconsciously pass on the remote to others and then feel hurt. Let’s keep it in our hands. 

Pearl Goleman

November 18, 2016

 “am writing about Jug in my life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda“.

Yes, Pearl Goleman…that’s the alias I suggested her.

It was my first job as a corporate trainer in a contact center. I was in a graveyard shift which used to begin at 12.30 am. In my first batch I met Poonam Dhaliwal. She joined the company as a Call Center Executive, like the rest of the executives but she was different from others. She had a spark in her that set her apart. She had a deep resonating voice which echoed experience and life.

She was a post graduate in Micro biology but as she got married and had kids she could not pursue her B. Ed and so was left with the option to work as an agent. She had an exceptional memory. I got to know this when she was giving a presentation on American Culture. She had remembered all the US history and holidays by heart.

We started taking our breaks together and the more I spoke to her, the more I found a real and genuine person in her. She was ready to listen most of the times but when she would be disturbed, she just wanted to vent out and would not give you any chance to interrupt her.

One day she brought bread halwa for me. I had never tasted it before and found the bread halwa very tasty. I also started carrying Samosas and Jalebis to the office sometimes and we would sit, sip, munch and chat in our breaks. I developed a special bond with Poonam and it was as if I have found a guide, friend, sister… all in one person.

Due to some reasons I had to leave my job very abruptly. On the day, I left the job I called Poonam and asked her how she was doing. I asked her with whom she took her break. She replied, “I don’t need a break now”. I literally had tears in my eyes but I could not do anything to help her. I did call another team member and told her to take care of Poonam.

The bond that got formed within five months was so strong that I still get comfort by just thinking about a friend who resonates with my thinking and understands me.

Due to different cities I don’t get to meet Poonam that often and because of our busy schedules I am not able to talk very frequently too. In spite of all these limitations, whenever we talk or meet it seems that we are starting from where ever we left. It is very difficult to find a friend who is there for you come what may. I feel lucky to have a friend like Poonam in my life.

WORK AFFIRMATIONS

August 11, 2016
  • I possess an endless supply of creativity, energy and tolerance for any project that I assume
  • Everything I put my hand to prospers and succeeds
  • My work is deeply fulfilling
  • I am dynamic and full of energy and passionate about what I do
  • At work, my mind is focused and I have clarity and energy in all that I do
  • I possess an endless supply of creativity, energy and tolerance for any project that I commit to
  • I am often promoted at work
  • My success and reputation for being a stellar achiever brings me wealth
  • I am respected and appreciated by my all work colleagues
  • My opinion is valued
  • I am an expert at what I am doing
  • I am respected at work
  • I love my work!
  • I am a magnet for creative ideas
  • My work now fulfills and enriches me
  • I am easy to work with
  • My work is deeply satisfying
  • I always achieve more than is asked or expected of me in my work
  • My work is always recognized positively
  • I work hard at what is important to me and I accomplish amazing things!

THINKING POSITIVE

August 2, 2016

In case you feel that you have more of negative thoughts, ask these questions from yourself in the following manner:

  1. What am I thinking?
  2. Are there any distortions in my thinking? (See the unhelpful thinking styles poster)
  3. What worst can happen?
  4. What is the likelihood of it happening?
  5. What is the evidence supporting it?
  6. Has this happened in the past?
  7. How did I cope with it?
  8. What worked out /didn’t work out?
  9. What can I do differently this time?
  10. Who can support me?
  11. What’s my advice to my best friend in case she is in a similar situation?
  12. What are my rights in this situation?

A Proactive Customer Service Story by Adrian Swinscoe

May 10, 2016

A little while ago, my Mum and Dad flew to New York to go visit my brother and family when they were based there.

When they were planning their trip, my Mum and Dad looked into booking ‘cheap’ flights (possibly something to do with being Scottish!). However, my brother and his wife recommended that they did not just book a cheap flight but that they book a ‘good’ flight.

My brother went on to recommend that they check out, Virgin Atlantic, as he has flown with them a lot and really likes them as an airline.

Eventually, my Mum and Dad took his advice and booked a couple of economy tickets flying out of London Gatwick.

What happened next is a great example of proactive customer service and shows how a small personal touch can have a huge impact on customer experience.

A few days before they were due to fly, my Mum received a call at home from a young man by the name of Kevin at Virgin Atlantic.

He asked for my Dad, who had booked the flights, but my Mum explained that he was out but that he could speak to her.

Kevin explained that he was calling just to let them know, if they didn’t know already, that they could check in online but also to ask if everything was OK, if all of their passports, ESTA forms etc etc were in order and if they had any dietary requirements.

According to my Mum, this was not a scripted call and was done with real sincerity, with Kevin keen to make sure that everything was OK with them with regards to their impending trip.

Kevin even asked my Mum if they needed anymore legroom as that was something that he could arrange too. My Mum laughed and then explained that this was not an issue as they are both only 5 foot 4 inches tall.

Finally, Kevin enquired as to the purpose or occasion of the trip, showed real interest in my parents plans and even offered a couple of suggestions of things that they should visit whilst in New York.

Now, I don’t know if this is a routine part of Virgin Atlantic’s customer service or if my Mum and Dad were picked to be called for any particular reason. But, what I do know, is that by calling them Virgin Atlantic has created two new advocates for their business for the cost of a short phone-call.

I think that proactive customer service presents a real and future opportunity for many firms and I hope that this story shows how a small, proactive, personal touch can have a huge impact on customer experience and a company’s ability to create brand advocates, customer retention and customer loyalty.

Do It Anyway

March 7, 2016

Some time back I conducted a session on Team Dynamics and used this poem while facilitating the session. Participants were supposed to reflect upon this poem and share instances from their work life when similar incidents happened. We did a ‘Forgiving Exercise’ after that. Some of the participants shared that the exercise helped them a lot. They were feeling stuck with the negative feelings of grudge and anger. Forgiving others is liberating and sets us free.

(‘Do it Anyway’ Poem was found written on the wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta. It was probably written by Keith Kent)

 Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. 

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. 

Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. 

Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. 

Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. 

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. 

Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. 

Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

MemoriesForLife for HDFC Life

March 4, 2016

Pearl Goleman. Yes, Pearl Goleman…that’s the alias I suggested her.

It was my first job as a corporate trainer in a BPO. I was in a graveyard shift which used to begin at 12.30 am. In my first batch I met Poonam Dhaliwal. It was year 2004. She joined the company as a Call Center Executive, like the rest of the executives but she was different from others. She had a spark in her eyes that set her apart. She had a deep resonating voice which echoed experience and life.

She was a post graduate in micro biology but as she got married and had kids she could not pursue her B. Ed and so was left with the option to work as an agent. She had an exceptional memory. I got to know this when she was giving a presentation on American Culture. She had remembered all the US history and holidays by heart.

We started taking our breaks together and the more I spoke to her, the more I found a real and genuine person in her. She was ready to listen most of the times but when she would be disturbed, she just wanted to vent out and would not give you any chance to interrupt her.

One day she brought bread halwa for me. I had never tasted it before and found it very tasty. I also started carrying Samosas and Jalebis to the office and we would sit, sip, munch and chat in our breaks. We used to call them Samosa Parties.

Due to some reasons I had to leave that job very abruptly. A day after, I left the job I called Poonam and asked her how she was. I asked her with whom she took her break. She replied, “ I don’t need a break now”. I literally had tears in my eyes but I could not do anything to help her. I did call another team member and told her to take care of Poonam.

I met Poonam only twice after that. I got busy with my life and she with hers. We talked very rare and exchanged messages on birthdays and festivals but the bond that formed within those five months was so strong that I still get comfort by just thinking about a friend who could resonate my feelings and understand me.

I lost a very dear friend of mine recently in an accident and I really felt very bad that I could not keep in touch with him. I took a lesson from that incident and I planned to spend a weekend in Amritsar with Poonam’s family.  

I met Poonam and her family at Amritsar exactly after a decade of meeting her. We talked non-stop for hours at that night and shared so many stories. Those memories are priceless and still comfort me.  At any point in my life if I feel little disturbed, I just go back to that day we spoke non-top for 4-5 hours and it always brings a smile on my face.

Poonam and I met as colleagues, became friends and then good friends. Poonam became my sister from a friend and now she is much more than a sister. She is a guide, confidant, friend, sister and a buddy.. all rolled into one.

I thank God for giving me such a wonderful person in my life.

Do you also have a memory you treasure and want to share? Share your #MemoriesForLife like I’ve done at BlogAdda for HDFC Life. See this scrapbook video, I created for Poonam:

https://memories.hdfclife.com/message/1At4z5vT0pClb-1f6PnttQ==

The Morning Power Questions

February 23, 2016

 

(Come up with 2 or 3 answers to all of these questions and feel fully associated. If you have difficulty discovering an answer simply add the word ‘could’.

Example: “What could be something I am most happy about in my life now?”

  1.   What am I most happy in my life now?

     What about that makes me happy?

      How does that make me feel?

  1. What am I most excited about in my life now?

What about that makes me excited?

How does that make me feel?

  1. What am I most proud about in my life now?

What about that makes me proud?

How does that make me feel?

  1. What am I most grateful about in my life now?

What about that makes me feel grateful?

How does that make me feel?

  1. What am I enjoying most in my life now?

What about that do I enjoy?

How does that make me feel?

  1. What am I most committed to in my life now?

What about that makes me committed?

How does that make me feel?

  1. Who do I love? Who loves me?

What about him/her makes me feel loving?

How does that make me feel?

View older posts »