Because, top performers live in a virtuous cycle of great output, great feedback, more great output and more great feedback. They get much love on a daily basis that the extra PR make them much happier. More important is to learn from your best performers. – Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Inc.Bock asserted how every company has the seeds of its future success ingrained in its best people. But most companies fail as because they fail to notice the seeds. Google study its best people very closely, as Jennifer Kurkoski and Brian Welle co- founded the People and Innovation Lab (PiLab), an internal research team and think tank with mandate to advance the science of how people experience work. PiLab scientists had PhDs on sociology, psychology, economics and organizational behavior and have moved into leadership roles to apply their research skills of organizational benefits and meet challenges. Michelle Donovan- director of talent development and Neal Patel, technical project lead of the human/social dynamics program was looking for a way to optimize management and have it organically fit within Google’s unique culture. They came up with their flagship program- Project Oxygen. Through this project they found that switching employees from lowest quartile (based on performance and happiness index of team) of managers to highest quartile of managers performed better. Likewise, a reverse mobility of employees i.e. from higher quartile to lower quartile will inevitably diminish the overall performance and confidence of the employee. Based on this research, Patel and Donovan developed a semiannual “Upward Feedback Survey”- a tool to rate their respective managers anonymously. Each manager then gets a report with percentages of favorable answers, measured against their last report and the global average. Google strongly encourage its managers to share the results with their respective teams to foster a discussion on how to lead better.
Debate is all about intellectual exhibition of your knowledge and beliefs. In ancient times debate used to be treated as an effective faculty at King’s court. Debate is a sheer manifestation of sanity and rationality. Nothing seems more appealing than a man/ woman driven by logic and sanity of mind. Since long people with debatable attribute are much in demand in every spheres of life. Be it Socrates, Chanakya, Birbal or even Elizabethan Portia (as described by The Bard himself).
Technically,debate involves more of politics than logic. Dialectic has always been the key for any solemn debate sessions.
This article is intended to suggest some key factors essential to win over any debate sessions.
- Eye for knowledge: the most essential attribute needed to win over a debate is your inquisitiveness. In a world full of followers, it’s our inquisitiveness that gives us an added advantage over others. Our inquisitiveness helps us to explore spaces of life and our individual minds. Debatable characteristic emerges from the ambit of our individual knowledge and wisdom. Remember, all human brains are hardwired to act or judge as per precincts of their knowledge. So always keep replenishing your mind with more and effective knowledge.
- Listen: Ears to see, eyes to hear- yes, our ears can do wonders if we could apprehend the virtue of listening. A good speaker is the one who listens. How can you win a debate without being a good listener?
- Note: Have you ever heard the term “dream incubators”? They are people who love to incubate their dreams for varied reasons. Writing or taking note is the only way how we can incubate our dreams. Most successful entrepreneurs, leaders, bureaucrats have confessed about their habit of taking notes. It’s as good a habit as washing hands before eating. Notes help us to recapitulate, analyze, apprehend, secure and use information for imperative use.
- Frame: is the dish on which we serve the food, named logic. This is the way how we want to position or place our logic. One of the most crucial aspect of debate is to direct your opposition towards your desired conclusion. Framing helps in channelizing the interaction or monitoring the course of debate. Better the framing better is your chances to nail your opponent.
- Synthesize: Synthesis is a key attribute which will propel you ahead of your league. During any debate session, we synthesize our knowledge and experience to exploit the thought process of our opponents. It is said that human brain is the only organ in our body which manifests the layers of human evolution. The oldest part of our brain is called reptilian brain which caters our instincts, followed by limbic brain guides our feelings and emotions. While the outer most layers is called neo cortex, it is responsible for rational thinking and actions. While debating we synthesize our knowledge and experience in a way that will affect these aforementioned brain layers of our opponents.
- Deliver: This is the most crucial factor of any debate sessions. As no matter how logical you are or how good research had been- unless you deliverance is appealing, you can never win a debate sessions. Every interaction or debate sessions is a one is to one bargaining game, where the dominant player is most likely to win the game. Hence, domination of your opponent can augur you further towards your triumphant glory. You may do this by proper voice, intonation, body language, pronunciation and eye movement. People listen to what you say, but to make a people think give a pause amidst your sentences. These pauses make your listeners analyze and apprehend your sentences. Even there are techniques like palm down gesture and sudden glance at the top hairline of your opponent often plays a significant role in rob your opponent off his/ her confidence.
- Show Gratitude: ‘Thank you’ when combined with a smile is said to have a tremendous psychological impact on the person saying it or the person for whom the gratitude is meant to be. Gratitude is said to be the primeval virtue possessed by all leaders. So in order to prove your worth.
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“Call him “Buddha”, he who can refrain himself from this eternal cycle of necessity.”
We all are obliged to this perpetual cycle of necessity. Be it the CEO/ CFO/ CIOs of multinationals or daily wage earners working at construction sites, we all succumb to this eternal cycle. This is what that drives most of the daily consumptions across the globe.
With the exception of those who make their living as purchasing agents or secret shoppers, no one is a professional customer. Rather they are professional engineers, accountants, HR managers, customer service representatives, CEOs or whatever. They are as normal as you and me. They laugh, they cry, they frown, they fart- hence we all are equally vulnerable while buying.
Who buys an Inuit costume in scorching Indian summer?
No, one buys anything but solution to their problems. I need to look good and confident, hence I bought a formal shirt made of imported cotton fabric and a pair of stone embellished cuff links. I’m planning to go for a trek- I need a pair of shoes to withstand the climate and rough terrains, so I should buy one. Likewise, hunger makes us buy food; thirst makes us buy drinks. We do not buy anything that doesn’t align with our own necessities.
So what if we tamper the ambit of these necessity cycle? No brownie for guessing. Results will be outrageous.
So what do we actually buy/ consume?
We consume food, we consume clothing, we consume shelter, we consume internet, we consume entertainment, we consume information, we consume education, even we consume the habit of consumption itself (read window shopping). In countries like India we consume politics and political leaders as well. Personally I believe elections are more like weekly haats (Mandis), where in every five years, people from myriad backgrounds and political communities display their products (candidates) through every possible media to seek our support. Inarguably, for us voters- this is also a form of consumption, guided by our inherent buying behaviour. We trust the candidature as much as we trust the actors (with stethoscope) in a toothpaste commercial.
Who buy, who sells?
“Although we each have different titles and responsibilities in this company, we are really all in sales, we need to think like salesman” – extract from Think like your customers by Bill Stinnet.
Irrespective of our individual designation or industry we work for, we all are both consumers as well as selling agents at the same time. We sell ourselves to buy products and services sold by others. I sold myself at job interviews so that after getting the job I can buy products or services sold by someone else.
Now take a deep breathe and try to recall the last time you came out of a supermarket/ hyperretail without exceeding your predetermined shopping budget.
Yes, the additional expense that you incurred at the supermarket is due to impulsive buying. Lions share of your daily consumption is guided by your subconscious mind. As an advertising professional, I always preferred to appease my customers’ subconscious mind instead of his rational thought process. I bet, knowingly or unknowingly every successful marketing professional does the same. Rational mind restraints us from superficial enlargement of this necessity cycle. It seeks logic over our urge to consume, while subconscious mind negates all logic before buying anything which is beyond our necessity cycle.
So how does advertisements or marketing professionals instigate our subconscious? What are the other influencers that compel us to buy? To know more about consumer behaviour and buying patterns, follow the blog series named Buy-O-Logical.
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