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Co-Creating More Purpose and Joy!

Which accent is the best?

Accent is a characteristic way of speaking based on a person’s ethnicity, mother tongue, location, peer group and work.

Ann Cook, a renowned Accent Trainer says that Accents are neither good or bad... they are just different.

If a person feels that he or she has a lot of Mother Tongue Influence and people find a little hard to understand him or her then Voice and Accent Training can really help.

In case you are in the field of training or public speaking or if you have foreign clients it makes sense to work upon your voice and accent. The way you speak and modulate your voice is a part of your personality and it helps you to create an impact. People pay more attention to you if you modulate your voice as per the situation and can create an excitement and interest in the mind of the listener.

Like the way we go to a gym and build our body muscles, we can also work upon our speech and sound more impactful. One can either join a Voice and Accent course or work with a coach to learn the intricacies of voice modulation and accent.

There are three dimensions of an accent:

  1. Articulation: The way we say our vowels and consonants sounds. (In India people sometimes have issues with S/Sh, Z/Zh and V/W sounds)
  2. Pronunciation: How we stress a part of the word. (Syllable Stress)
  3. Intonation: The music of the language... the rhythm, pace, pauses, highs and lows...

Becoming aware of these three areas can really help you to become aware of your speech patterns and work upon your opportunity areas.

Power of Behavioural Skills

I used to work as a Voice and Accent Neutralization trainer many years ago. When I would get excellent feedback from the participants I would really feel good. In the year 2004, my learning leader asked me to focus on behavioural skills. I conducted a session on Assertion Skills and I got a feedback that made me realize the power of behavioural skills.

After a week from the session a participant came to meet me in the trainer’s room. She asked me if she can talk to me for some time. I said, yes and this is what she said – “Atul, I want to thank you for the session. You know, I have always been a submissive person. Last year I got married and my found that my mother-in-law is very dominating. I didn’t know what to do. Yesterday, for the first time I said no to her in a very respectful and assertive manner and she was surprised. I feel, now I have the power in me to face this world.” She had tears in her eyes.

In my mind I was thanking my learning leader who patiently reviewed the course multiple times and told me to focus again and again on two questions - How is this information going to help the participant? How will participants use this in their lives?

To this day whenever I draft any module, I keep these questions in my mind.

Personal Mission Statement - Example

Emotional Bank Account

An emotional bank account is an account of trust instead of money. It’s an account based on how safe you feel with another person.

Covey identifies six ways to make deposits (or reduce withdrawals):

1) Understanding the Individual. This means listening intently to what the other person is saying and empathizing with how they may feel. It’s important to care for others and act with kindness toward them.

2) Keeping Commitments. How do you feel when someone arrives right on time when you have a meeting? How about when people simply do what they say they will do? You build up an emotional reserve by keeping your commitments.

3) Clarifying Expectations. We are not mind readers, and yet we consistently expect others to know what we expect of them. Communicating our expectations can help create a higher level of trust. When we ask for what we want, and we get it, we can then trust a little more.

4) Attending to the Little Things. Don’t you find that the little things tend to become the BIG things when they do not receive our attention? Doing the little things is how we honor and show respect for others. Small kindnesses, a smile, a little extra effort, a hug, doing something you didn’t “have” to: these are the things that build trust.

5) Showing Personal Integrity. Integrity is the moral floor upon which trusting relationships are built. When we operate with sound moral character, it makes it so easy for others to trust us.

6) Apologizing When We Make a Withdrawal. We will make mistakes; it’s part of life. But when you see you have violated a trust, sincerely apologizing is how we make a deposit to counteract the damage we have done.

As a leader keep a track of the transactions you have with others and see if you are investing in the Emotional Bank Account or making frequent withdrawals? 

Handling Sessions with Large Number of Audience

  1. Get to know the administrative arrangements of the venue and see if some outdoor activities are possible.
  2. Would you have access to some volunteers who would be able to help you move the mic around, collect chits and other such activities.
  3. Focus on a ppt based session which has billboard text and pictures.
  4. Prepare a manual with exercises and reflective questions.
  5. Choose your videos wisely.
  6. Have a power packed approach and make the audience react to your content by asking:
    • Are you with me?
    • Yes or No?
    • Raise your hand.
    • Reflect and think of..
    • Quickly pair with your partner and share…
    • On the handout you have I want you to write..
    • On the chit you have I want you to write..
  7. Think of some outdoor activities provided you have support, props and space…
  8. Use lot of stories..
  9. Have a list of names of the participants and call random people to share and participate in various demonstrative activities
  10. See if the space allows you to have triad work. (two participants practice a technique via a role play and the observer records the observations… have a format for observation)..
  11. Have lot of Caselets planned to go round the focus areas…
  12. Always have a mindmap for the participants in their handouts.
  13. Have scripted roleplays…

Daily Prayers

Serenity Prayer

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

 

Worthiness Prayer

God, grant me love and acceptance for myself.

Help me to see and feel that I am worthy of all the goodness in life.

Allow me to embrace success and happiness in my life.

 

Gratitude Prayer

God, I thank you for everything in my life.

I express my gratitude to all the wonderful people who enrich my life and give it more meaning and happiness.

I am thankful to every experience of my life to make me a stronger and wiser person.

Deservability

Deservability

We all want many things in our lives and we often wonder why we don’t get those things.  A big part of it has to do with the concept of deserving, or as Louise Hay terms it, “deservability.”  If, at the deepest core of our being, we don’t feel we deserve to have what we wish for, that belief will block those things from coming into our lives.  We end up settling for less than what we truly desire as a result of our limiting beliefs.  To achieve our goals in life, it is necessary to work on our beliefs as well as take concrete actions towards that which we want.

Lot of people have the potential to do remarkable things in life. They also have the ability to do those things. If they don’t feel worthy of those good things in life, then in spite of their efforts they might not be able to achieve those things.

Start with these affirmations:

  • I am worthy.
  • I deserve.
  • I enjoy all the pleasures of life.
  • I let of anything that does not serve me.
  • Abundance finds it way easily in my life.
  • My life is filled with love and gratitude.

Deservability- Inner Work

Once you start practicing the affirmations, you can also do some inner work for worthiness. Sit in a comfortable place where you have least disturbance.

Answer these questions:

  1. What are my beliefs about being successful and happy?
  2. What holds me back to be successful and happy?
  3. If I reflect on my parents’ life what messages do I get regarding success and happiness?
  4. What exactly I want from life right now?
  5. Am I allowing these things to come to me?
  6. What steps do I need to do to get out of my comfort zone?
  7. Am I willing to let go of my limiting beliefs about deservability?
  8. If I have to plan a life I want how would it be?

Write a detailed description of what you expect from your life. Write it in present tense.

Example: I have a wonderful life and a job that I love. My colleagues appreciate my work and get along with me nicely. I am recognized for my work. I have the flexibility of time at my work place.

Case Study: Personal Leadership

This case can be used in any behavioral program where the trainer would like to highlight the importance of personal leadership and proactive behavior.

Case

Vikram works in the operations department of an MNC as a manager. He is a very responsible manager and someone who really believes in creating a difference with his actions. One day after putting in some extra hours when he was leaving for home he noticed Kavita, the receptionist talking very loudly over the phone. It seems like she was on a personal call. Vikram waited for the conversation to end and then approached Kavita. He told her that it is not professional to attend personal calls at the reception. This projects an unprofessional image of the company. Kavita didn’t like this conversation and just kept quiet. After some days Vikram again noticed the same behavior. Kavita was talking and laughing very loudly over the phone. Next day Vikram spoke to Kavita’s Manager, Francis and got to know that other people have also reported similar incidents about Kavita. Francis also told that he has spoken to Kavita about this but it has not helped. Vikram told Francis that he would like to talk to Kavita. During that day, Vikram told Kavita to see him in the meeting room. During the meeting Vikram explained Kavita the importance of her role and also emphasized her contribution towards creating a professional atmosphere at the reception area. He was very patient and understanding during the talk. He listened to Kavita side of the story and helped her to understand the organization’s expectations from her. Towards the end of the discussion, Kavita apologized for her behavior and assured Vikram that she would not repeat her behavior in future.

       Questions for discussion

  1. Do you think Vikram was right in correcting Kavita’s behavior?
  2. What other consequences he could have faced?
  3. What made Kavita understand the situation afterwards?
  4. What personal and professional traits helped Vikram create a win-win situation?
  5. Where shall one draw a line between personal leadership and interference?

Deservability

We all want many things in our lives and we often wonder why we don’t get those things.  A big part of it has to do with the concept of deserving, or as Louise Hay terms it, “deservability.”  If, at the deepest core of our being, we don’t feel we deserve to have what we wish for, that belief will block those things from coming into our lives.  We end up settling for less than what we truly desire as a result of our limiting beliefs.  To achieve our goals in life, it is necessary to work on our beliefs as well as take concrete actions towards that which we want.

Lot of people have the potential to do remarkable things in life. They also have the ability to do those things. If they don’t feel worthy of those good things in life, then in spite of their efforts they might not be able to achieve those things.

Start with these affirmations:

  • I am worthy.
  • I deserve.
  • I enjoy all the pleasures of life.
  • I let of anything that does not serve me.
  • Abundance finds it way easily in my life.
  • My life is filled with love and gratitude.

Deservability- Inner Work

Once you start practicing the affirmations, you can also do some inner work for worthiness. Sit in a comfortable place where you have least disturbance.

Answer these questions:

  1. What are my beliefs about being successful and happy?
  2. What holds me back to be successful and happy?
  3. If I reflect on my parents’ life what messages do I get regarding success and happiness?
  4. What exactly I want from life right now?
  5. Am I allowing these things to come to me?
  6. What steps do I need to do to get out of my comfort zone?
  7. Am I willing to let go of my limiting beliefs about deservability?
  8. If I have to plan a life I want how would it be?

Write a detailed description of what you expect from your life. Write it in present tense.

Example: I have a wonderful life and a job that I love. My colleagues appreciate my work and get along with me nicely. I am recognized for my work. I have the flexibility of time at my work place.

It is all about Attitude

Jerry is the manager of a restaurant in America. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs; they would follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life."
"But it's not always that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Jerry said, "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It's your choice how you live your life."

Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business: he left the back door of his restaurant open one morning and was robbed by three armed men. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident.
When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.
"The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared?" I asked.
Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything." 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'.

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.
I learned from him that everyday you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours - that no one can control or take from you -- is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.

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