Wednesday 31 December 2014

From Managing Talent To Transforming Talent

On Measuring Training Effectiveness

Take a bird’s view or worm’s view of any company that is a few years old, stable and gradually growing. The fact is well recognized that Human Capital is just as important as Financial Capital for sustenance and to meet changing business needs.

Human Resource Heads and Management also realize that attracting talent, retaining high potential and managing talent is not enough to acquire a commercial advantage – nurturing talent based on need is of paramount importance for future success

If this has to be achieved, needless to say – the nine box matrix or the performance versus potential evaluation should enable you to identify talent within the organizations, however to make them ready for more challenging roles, new projects introduce SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Readiness Training. At the very outset set expectations and measurable parameters.

While you can use multiple criteria to identify potential people based on 360-degree evaluation, reporting manager’s recommendation, an individual’s interest to take up new initiatives, past performances, it is still necessary to gauge his capability readiness as well as expertise, so that we do not risk project results.

While you transform available talent through training and unlock the potential of those who can take the organization or project to the next level, applicable to both entry-level resources and leaders alike, identify appropriate course and direction – coach till results are achieved, provide ongoing assistance till solution creates the right impact and the resource is thoroughly engaged.

Organizations need to develop an integrated approach to talent management – evolve from sourcing talent within the organization based on exact match with required skills versus potential to deliver, exact fitment to sharing opportunity to retain and engage the resource – And the support system behind all kind of capability building, the only mechanism that works is Training that is measurable, training that is designed for outcomes.

Human Resource leaders and project leads should conduct talent review exercise at regular intervals, not necessarily with the intention to just manage or retain talent to avoid the lengthy hiring cycle, but with the goal to transform existing talent through training, coaching, mentoring and motivating models to assume more challenging responsibilities.

Contact for outcome based learning models.

Saturday 27 December 2014

When You Drive Outcomes, The Key Factor is "Time" Taken for Results.

When you define outcomes to be achieved set criteria to measure - it is not activity but productivity that counts.

When you drive outcomes through training, marketing or any other campaign, there has to be flexibility in how the resources are guided towards outcomes. Learning is through multiple channels and not just power point slides or a heavy doze of online mentoring and a list of "Dos" and "Donts". Training is ongoing even outside the training environment. All measures that lead to the outcome is learning for both the participant and facilitator.

A road map is created for each respondent (Individual or Organization) who qualifies in BECKON questionnaire and training support is ongoing for the entire nesting period till business outcome (Revenue) or personal outcome (Rewards) is achieved.

What if results are not achieved within the agreed time frame - 100% Training fee will be refunded after the nesting period - no questions asked.

In the 4D Model (Demand-Design-Deliver-Deliverable), we commit results within two quarters in most cases post training delivery, This however depends upon the insights we draw during Training Need Analysis or when we validate training needs recommended by different business units and the outcomes they are looking for.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Part 3: For Leaders, Communication Is Not Just Communication

The credibility you have built as a leader goes a long way in supporting your communication agenda. A prolonged silence could be taken just as seriously as a simple instruction or a long lecture.

Conflict: Ask yourself if questions from audience or key members confuse and baffle you? How you conduct yourself when you are caught off guard by a question or when you are not prepared with a ready response actually gives insight of your overall personality and nature. Whether the occasion is one to one or one to few or addressing a large group, leaders ideally ought to use every opportunity to communicate with greater goals in mind than to defend personal ego or individual interests. When the intention is beyond safe guarding petty ego or personal agenda, the communication is not just exchange of ideas but also transfer of conviction.

Choice of Words/ methods/ Pace: What went well when you were a college graduate cannot probably suit things now. A joke that appeals to a young crowd might not necessarily create the same ripple with business unit heads. Even with best of intentions, your communication as a leader can be a disaster if you do not work on your language and study your audience. If you are being fed or self-taught reflects in what words you use, methods you adopt and pace you maintain during the communication. If you are fed by external source regarding what to talk, you are likely to fumble; the presentation method will make it evident if communication is knowledge based or situational dressing up. Most pseudo intellectuals and self proclaimed leaders miserably fail in this arena.

Content: You do not necessarily have to create material as the research part is often done by support functions. In a presentation with over – say twenty slides including audio, video, reports and reviews; you can remember the storyboard and the sequence if you were involved in its creation. It always helps a great deal if you create material instead of just checking and approving slides done by others. Share you pointers as the listeners not only get a glimpse of your strategic thinking and competitive intelligence, you speak with more conviction as the ideas are original, yours and you know exactly what you are talking.

In a few months I can come up with another ten C’s however that is not the whole point. The takeaway here is, each of these factors is internal – cannot be changed externally. “You” are the reason and “You” again are the solution.

For leaders, communication is definitely not just communication – it is the overall executive presence. Assess yourself by answering the BECKON Qualifying Questionnaire. You can command attention and carry yourself well when you leaders consider communication as a powerful tool to sharpen your image and impact business

Monday 15 December 2014

Part 2: For Leaders, Communication Is Not Just Communication

In my last post, I pointed if you have language concern - that is a major hindrance not just for leaders but anyone. The remedial measures are not just a quick action plan on lessons and practice but a pretty lengthy learning process. If there is anything that requires more time than language learning, it is building competence internally and dealing with chronic issues. The simpler aspects that seem apparent – stage fright, memory lapse etc. are just derivatives of the underlying chronic concerns.

Confidence: A senior HR professional I know, whose last role was that of Vice President tells me training large teams is not really her forte. She is good with presentations to Management Team or clients. There are many leaders who use defense mechanism not to try something new, as they fear they might not be quite as good like they usually are in their primary roles or deliverables. In a few years from now, as a board member in some company or a CEO in a startup, would it be better to falter in a town hall rather than seize opportunities now and improve? Build confidence now by using available scope to speak in large forums - including training. To begin with, shift focus from “You” to “Them” and take genuine interest in your audience and watch your confidence grow.

Connect: On that note, “Interest in your audience” I want to re iterate, you can never relate, connect or influence your audience or create an impact on their thought process, if you do not know them. I have seen leaders who almost always get into lecture mode the minute they see an audience. They set expectations at the outset that they want all kind of questions – intelligent or silly and hope for a session that is interactive. However, they are so pre occupied talking that there is no room for participation. Communication is two ways and if you were unable to connect, it is as good as not having communicated at all. Structure your content and communication style to suit your intention to connect first. As leaders, this responsibility is huge.

Conviction: I regard the recent Nescafe advertisement more than just an advertisement. Nothing can keep you down or stop you if your conviction is intact. Not everyone has the gift of speaking, and seriously, that is not required either to articulate or communicate effectively. It is your conviction that matters more than a physical handicap. What possibly could be pointed as ineffective communication are those without conviction. Can’t you spot a leader miles away and catch the difference when he mentions future business growth from a slide or from a deeper belief system?

Next in the series on Communication for Leaders: Conflict, Content and Competition

Thursday 11 December 2014

Part 1: For Leaders, Communication Is Not Just Communication

You have been with the organization for over a decade. Your growth in the firm has been phenomenal. Your success quotient with people, process and project is way above average. Your potential and performance even got you to the advisory board. As a senior leader, you are the Go-To person for anything pertaining to your domain and strategic moves. Your work inspires many and yet, in spite of all your achievements you have never been invited to be a key speaker in seminars, leadership trainings or address large audience in Town halls. Did you ever wonder why?

As you grow up in the corporate ladder, did you ever realize that you had to work on your communication style, body language, regardless of whether your audience remained same or has changed? What you speak reflects how you think and your thinking has definitely changed over the years. How you say determine what impact you are likely to create. Positive impact is the desired outcome and if there is even the slightest of chance to damage that leadership image or impact on audience, why should you be invited to address an audience in large forums?

Here is a quick checklist of C’s for you to run through so that you can identify what is stopping you from getting those opportunities to speak in important platforms. You may work on remedies accordingly. (A list of remedies will be published soon)

Command on language: Is it your heavy accent? Do you fall short of right words due to limited vocabulary? Would you be more comfortable talking in your own mother tongue? Is it really about language in the first place? Do you abhor the spontaneity required in speaking and you think you are better off writing your thoughts? Fight this war out first before you do anything else to improve communication, as if it is language concerns, you have a huge task in hand. We all know fluency in language cannot be acquired overnight.

Crowd Conscious: Though you are well prepared for the speech, well rehearsed with multiple dry runs for the presentation, the sight of an enthusiastic crowd diffuses your spirit for the fear of letting them down or not living up to their expectations. Does the sight of a dais actually bring butterflies to your stomach? Who should we treat here then? Not the butterflies for sure. You are human and so are they. Get the intentions right – your key messages will not just penetrate the crowd but their minds too.

Circle of Influence: You have always been a great presenter. You address queries from the team effectively. Your storyboards are very well accepted, however you have a comfort zone with specific team members, clients, and small group of stakeholders. You sail through because you are able to influence them, get their buy in, relate to them. You believe, you might not be able to have similar control with a bunch of strangers or larger group.

Next in the series is on developing Competence

Friday 5 December 2014

What Stops You From Measuring Training Effectiveness?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

It is the question of ownership. As long as there is ambiguity amongst stakeholders – Learning and Development team, Business, Participant, leaders – regarding who is responsible to measure effectiveness of training provided, the level of learning maturity is highly questionable.

Once the following fundamental questions are answered, the battle is half won and to rationalize the responses and allocate responsibility consider the needs listed below.

Who owns measurement of training effectiveness?
Who owns assessment of training needs in alignment with business needs?
Who owns validating any training request that is raised by business?
Who owns outcomes to be delivered?
Who owns applying learning in real time situation?
Who owns measuring the resource that got trained?
Who owns course correction to be done if training program is not appropriate for a particular resource or project?
Who owns signing off training content?
Who owns signing off learning outcomes?
Who owns signing off business outcomes?

Individual Needs: If an individual was not courteous in writing a mail does not mean he requires training in communication or email etiquettes. It is his state of mind that has to be taken into account to develop a training plan – Is the resource at breaking point due to performance pressure and is venting out in more ways than just one mail, how fair is it push him for communication training while he always believed his communication was above average? Consider the damage being done to his confidence due to his reporting manager’s short sightedness about the situation. A proper assessment means validating training recommendation in various ways including a session with the resource and then proposing a training program to ensure not just his well being but also his productivity. To do that, with whom do we have to sign off the outcomes?

Business Needs: In an outsourcing environment if client requires certified resources from vendor to run a particular process, then training is aimed at certification only. How hard it is to guess who should be responsible for the completion of this entire exercise? The project lead or L and D team? In case a project needs a different skill set and a resource is trained to meet that demand, whose responsibility it is to deliver by the end of the training?

Organization Needs: Based on organization agenda, to achieve a certain amount of preparedness from human capital for the next level of progress, if the leaders mention a few programs based on their experience, market trends and business needs – and L and D rolls osut flagship programs and random training modules without testing the need of the recommendation, who should we measure for effectiveness – The leader, L and D team or the participant?

Depending upon the need, answer the key questions listed above and measuring training effectiveness can become a structured offering for any training institute/ team.

For consulting on learning solutions and measurement, contact

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Are You Spiritually Aware?

Source: Google Images

In BECKON learning model designed for individuals, the Qualifying Questionnaire is to test if a resource is open to learn (Eligibility), has potential to learn (Ability) and the will to apply learning (Stability).

One of the questions is about spiritual awareness, which seems so irrelevant in a professional qualifying questionnaire. So far the responses I received was always “Yes” and the interpretation of the question was one of the following or perhaps a combination of these.

It is about believing in God or Supreme power, about faith, about being spiritual beings on a human journey or being humans on a spiritual journey, about Self Awareness, about being aware of your higher self, about igniting your dormant inner energy, the radiance of minds that is above matter, about prayers, about higher energy, about idols, about God men, about Messiahs, about belief system, about meditation, about soul consciousness above body consciousness, about divinity, about Dharma and Karma or about natural and universal laws. The list continues.

The only reason behind including this in the questionnaire is to gather insight about your intent to learn. You can successfully learn even if your physical intelligence (Body), emotional intelligence (Heart), mental intelligence (Head) fails you however if you are spiritually (Soul) stunted – there can be no learning or change in demeanor. And spiritual awareness is just to ask yourself those fundamental questions: Who you are? Where you want to go? Why you want to do what you want to do? What next?

You need external training or mentoring only because your belief system, your thoughts, your words and your actions are not in alignment. Being spiritually aware is just to find your center of pursuit.

Will you try to sail a boat when it is windy and the ocean is turbulent? Can you? To ensure smooth and seamless transition of learning, if your system requires purging, so be it. If you ask me why you failed in business, why you missed that promotion, why you lost a dream opportunity – just let me know in detail what exactly were you thinking prior to that? List those thoughts down and mail me and receive an insight, you never knew existed.

For more details contact

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Are Your Thoughts Out For A Stroll Again?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

‘Show me your friends and I will tell you what you are’ – There is still a whole amount of truth in that line. Just that we dwell in the digital era, where galaxies of information are transmitted in a matter of seconds. Who do you think has the patience to check your friends - their class and contacts, sense and standards, manners and motives to get an idea about you? Is that not being judgmental, about you and your friends? I can see you nodding.

So here is the new version – ‘Show me your room and I will tell you how your mind works’. Just observe people who really do not know how to handle and take care of things properly - they are most often the ones with a lost look. They probably either do not deserve the material things or they have no value for those - the existence of those things in their life is a definite waste of precious resource. I can’t see you nodding anymore. Fair enough I will stop being philosophical here. Let us give this whole thing a more logical explanation.

Your room may look neat and tidy. That is you, trying to impress the world - Your cupboard and your chest of drawers is a different scene altogether. Nothing is arranged, everything is in a total mess – How do you think your mind works then, with your little ideas? Your thoughts and ideas will obviously lie in the same state just like your things as you are habitually not trained to have things in order – inside (Mind) or outside (Material) and both get tossed around without care, without focus.

The room only hints at your superficial need to look proper on the outside and the more chaos in those drawers, the worse is your mental or cerebral confusion. Do not try to test this. There is really no exception. Two contradictory thoughts, or impossible sequence of ideas play in your mind, as do your things here and there in your room.

Your sense of order need not necessarily match those of others. What seems like chaos to me might make perfect sense for you as you have organized things and thoughts that way. I might try to look for a Linda Goodman’s book in your library against the alphabet “L” and think you are disorganized however you have listed it under “A” for Astrology.

The point is not that just an untidy room hints at a disorganized mind - Let me make it even easy for you – Show me your writing table, show me your rough pad, show me your desk, show me your workstation – I will tell you how your mind works. Now imagine an organization with leaders, middle managers, 50% resources who fail to keep things and thoughts in order everyday – where will this lead to? It is any day easier to keep in order when things are few, ideas are few to ensure effective action, implementation and results.

Friday 21 November 2014

Part 3: The Whole Nine Yards Of Authoring A Book

Pre Launch Reviews: You want your book to be read by all, not just professional editors and reviewers. So while you adhere to the standards of grammar nazis and literary pundits, also get ordinary readers to share perspectives. I shared the synopsis of a novel I just concluded with a friend of mine for her feedback. She hardly reads books and yet pointed out a flaw that made me re draft the synopsis. There were many names in the synopsis and she asked me to retain only the key names – that was not a reader’s advise, an analytical mind’s perspective. So get as many pre launch reviews you can.

Readiness: Your book is ready content wise duly edited by a professional. You are done with ISBN – now rewind your life and remember all those who assisted you in this journey. Do they deserve mention in your acknowledgements section? Who do you want to dedicate the book to? Do you want to include an inspirational quote that kept you going? Do you know someone of repute who genuinely liked your book and is willing to write a foreword? Depending upon the kind of book you wrote, do you need to insert references and bibliography, for further reading and to allow readers deep dive into your source points? Take those vital calls

Book Promotion:Now that you are clear why you want to write and why you are keen to publish a book, which audience you want to cater to, you really have to work out a strategy to promote your book. You want to rely more on social media, create pages for awareness, give free books, establish readership base through your blogs, plan a book launch, be member of online portals– regardless of what strategy you adopt, be prepared for both appreciation and criticism – simply put bouquet and bricks. If you want to build your credibility as an author – consider these different stages as milestones and don’t get stuck by any of them. If you are not a best seller due to poor marketing strategy or quality of book, that still does not rob you of your identity as an author.

Remember why you wanted to write in the first place – use this learning experience as a catalyst to refine your writing and strengthen your motivation. The process will be much simpler and easier now and going forward.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Part 2: The Whole Nine Yards Of Authoring A Book

Voice: If you ape the trend, it is really not your voice. If the world of writing is now dominated by trilogies that does not mean that is the only success format. The more you work on your voice the better you will be heard. It is more risky to believe a pattern that has worked before will also pay off for you. Work really hard in making your voice as different as possible, fresh and unheard – the chances of being read is much higher. You really do not want to be a non-reader’s delight, do you?

Discipline: It can take anywhere between three to six months to create a book from writing, developing a concept or story board, editing, a few rounds of reviews for perspectives, formatting and publishing. Write, read and learn every day – Get that into your system. Depending upon how you manage time, you have to set your priorities right. For first timers, you really have to make writing, mentally dwelling on content, characters, creative ideas one of our top priorities if that time frame has to be maintained. You may write an article, blog, book review, however that is part of your writing agenda and cannot be considered as any progress on the book – So work on the chapters, the title, illustrations, sequencing, the synopsis, the sections you want to share as excerpts, the plot, the characters etc.

Self-Publishing or Traditional: That is another question most first time authors have – Is it better to self publish or share manuscripts with traditional publishers. Well, go traditional if you have the patience to be rejected after a six months long wait. It has nothing to do with the quality of writing, at times – It is the bias and prejudices regarding what would or would not run in the market – habitual thinking about viable commercial commodity! When you know authors like James Joyce, J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter fame) etc initially faced manuscript returns; I leave it up to you to decide. I personally love the flexibility and speed of self-publishing, gives you complete control as an author, to set release dates, price and promotions.

Part 3: The Whole Nine Yards Of Authoring A Book
Pre Launch Reviews, Readiness, Book Promotions

Part 1: The Whole Nine Yards Of Authoring A Book

When I published my first book three years back – a collection of short stories, it took many of my friends and colleagues by surprise. They knew I write and had a few articles and stories published in Atlanta, Kolkata and online portals. I used to mail them the initial drafts for feedback. I still do.

“Tell me everything, the entire nine yards of how you did this – Let me know all about how you published this book and when can we access an e-book”, a contact in US mailed me. Since then many of my friends and their contacts (spouses, bosses etc) had different questions for me on writing, authoring and publishing a book. Regardless of how a book fares in the market – this cycle is inevitable and the experience is worth sharing.

Honestly the more I read different authors, the more I realize how average I am, as a writer and how much there is still to learn. That does not disqualify me to share my learning process. Does it?

Reason to Write: If you do not have a strong enough reason to write, you probably will not have the tenacity to go through the entire cycle. The creative process is different for each one of us – a workshop on writing cannot make your creative overnight. It is how you think, what you think, how much you think that strengthens your reason and motivation to write, almost compels you to research, learn, unlearn, write, rewrite, edit, work on multiple drafts, and go through the grind. And how you think is conditioned by your experiences, what you read, what you need, what you learn and what you want to earn.

Reason to Publish: I have known people who want to write book without reading enough, who bother about being published before they have an outline ready, who plan book launch and marketing strategy even before they are sure about when they will complete their write. Ask yourself why do you want to publish a book? With multiple forums available for writing that provide ample opportunity to be read across geography, the question will assist you in deciding genre and target audience. Is it brand building, a foothold in media, an award, a legacy, impact others lives, thrill to see your name in print or book in stores?

Genre: Some find authoring children's books easy and gratifying while others find it a huge waste of time. Writing a self-help book can be a rewarding experience if you strongly believe that it will make a difference in people’s lives. A novel could take you years and you can opt for short stories due to time constraints. In a vegetable market, you do not choose subject to what is available, but based on what you want to eat. Get the hint. It is your reasons to write and publish that very strongly govern the genre part.

Part 2: The Whole Nine Yards Of Authoring A Book
Voice, Discipline, Self-Publishing or Traditional

Monday 17 November 2014

New Hire Training: Four Months of Revenue Loss

Four is just a number – it could be three or six. It is not the duration allocated for Training alone that determines cost – it is also the number of months required to learn and deliver that contributes to cost and impacts revenue. Training a new employee is one the biggest costs of doing business.

So ideally it is a combination of the number of months a new resource is in Training and the number of months they require to come up to speed that sums up to total training cost. Though, other associated costs like logistics, trainer’s and trainee’s salary, instructional designing charges, infrastructure etc is considered during pricing, the loss due to zero productivity of new hires is not really accounted anywhere. This delay in revenue recognition due to different learning curve does not reflect on your profit and loss statement.

In a new project, while billing clients for new hire training based on number of hours is a convenient option, another effective way to control this cost and make it lucrative for your client during bidding is not to own the training piece and completely outsource it.

Signoff Outcomes with Training Vendor: It is not scores or certification that matters, only outcomes. The idea is to have ready workforce from training vendor, with 100 percent productivity from day one and agree on outcome-based fee.

Set Expectations with New Hires: During induction and on-boarding session a new hire has to be made aware that successful completion of training hours is not the end all goal - It is 100% productivity. To be able to achieve that, you can list all tasks and activities a new hire must be able to perform post training. Explain measurement criteria and begin the count down.

Document Standard Operating Procedures: A flowchart that captures different steps that occur following a decision or handoff can be a great aid for new hires. This will assist in adherence to quality guidelines to avoid on the job training errors that can cost the project huge money, drastically reducing the profit margin.

Knowledge Repository: Build a repository to provide a platform and access to all task related information a new hire will need. Such a permanent reference is beneficial not just for new hires but also for cross training other employees to deliver the task or replace the new hire in case of attrition.

Knowledge Transfer and Testing: Self-Learning at a new hire’s own pace can be a feasible alternative, provided resources are not on company’s payrolls. The surest way to test how well they have learnt is let them deliver in a training environment before inducting them in operation or production.

According to industry experts the cost of lost productivity is huge – a considerable portion of their annual salary. So re-do that pricing to maintain margins. By adopting these simple measure companies can reduce the time it takes to have a new employee up and begin generating revenue.

Friday 31 October 2014

Look Beyond Recruitment Practices

Some reality bites do not really feature in the resume. If you are a live Hiring Manager, who deals with real problems, you should be able to see the person beyond his stories, his problems, make a few exceptions in policies and stay human. Get him to the interview board. Hear him out. He is probably the one. A few biases to deal with:

Startup Failure: After years of corporate experience, someone wanted to build something of his own; he put his entire savings in that dream project. Lack of experience, guidance or tenacity, regardless of the reason, dynamics of business somewhere pulled him down and he is back to job hunting. How fair is it to treat that person as failure and ignore all his past achievements in his corporate life? Would you label the candidate as immature? How fair is it to doubt his stability that he might quit to try a start up again?

Lay Off: Being laid off does not always mean performance issues. Let us get real here. It is not the average or under performers on the first list. Who do you think is high on earnings – all those resources who performed well in their initial years, got rewarded with high percentage hikes and those took more responsibilities and got promoted. So, when money is tight, any guesses what the strategy will be? Their talents and experience can build the company’s future however as they are not attached to day-to-day revenue, out they go. Only an interviewer who understands business dynamics and changing eco system can see through this and hire him.

Facing Redundancy: As Insurance is focused vertical this year the company decides to purchase an Insurance company to strengthen their portfolio of services and grow client base. You were key Insurance professional till that happened and suddenly, you are surplus. The hiring manager based on his own personal conditioning can pre suppose that you are not redundant, just incompetent. Even if the resource is exploring new territory, the Hiring Manager can still be blind to that. Remember, only the very competent can dare to go beyond their domain expertise.

Career Mistake: They offered a huge package and you were flattered. Only after you join you learn, it is not exactly your skills or industry expertise that they were interested in, as you were hardly given any responsibilities. It is not just the leads and deals that you were working from the previous company that mattered, you were given the Herculean Task to pitch to the same prospects. Yes, most of us know how difficult it is to explain people that you could not pursue the job as your Ethics and Integrity did not allow you to stoop that low.

Unemployed: If current status is unemployed, the resource has probably lost his edge. No one lives a life that has an upward graph always. Stand up and defend a profile when you think it deserves a closer look. Recruitment problems are complex. Is it a complicated pregnancy, an ailing parent, a pet project, a crash course, travel – Does that justify the unemployment? He is just a call away anyways. Listen. Never Assume.

It is your personal choice whether you want to be human or be driven by a set of blanket policies and continue the rounds without challenging status quo. By the end of the day, you fail to hit the numbers and meet recruitment goals because the best resources are out due that checklist you have.

BECKON Model thrives on questionnaires – a series of them. By the time you are answering the third or fourth questionnaire, you already know what needs to be done, regardless of which department you belong - Recruitment, Business or Talent Development.

Monday 27 October 2014

Are You Alive Online?

If your marketing road map is still about finding the ideal customer, creating a campaign and surveying your customers for a possible lead and your advertising channels are still broadcast and print, the action items below are for you:

Build Target Audience: How can you reach out to your target audience (Someone who needs what you offer) if you are not following them on social media channels? In all possibility they will follow you, even if they do not need your services right away. Each time you post about your company products, share a relevant article or event; it reaches the right people and the interested ones will subscribe to your newsletters to know more.

Soft Sell: Just keeping them in the radar is not enough. At regular intervals, get the experts and researchers of your company to reflect their knowledge about the industry through blogs and feed the same audience. Would a customer like to do business with someone who knows the market and is well informed about current industry trends? Would he wait for the blogger to call him or reach out to the company, when the need arises?

Experience Centric: Target not just the customers but aim to impact their overall experience. When this becomes company’s primary agenda, the focus is not just about product quality, delivery timelines etc it is about influencing client’s mind with each sale and service. That builds loyalty. If you can handle client’s negative feedback in record time speed for minimum customer impact, that will not only restore faith but build trust many fold.

There are many small and medium enterprises, outlet owners, high value product dealers, exporters and institutes who still run their business without being alive online, as the myth is, the Social Media exercise requires a full time resource and if not done right, it can impact existing business.

To break that myth and know more, contact We will do a session with your employees who can contribute to your company’s content strategy and be part of the learning to achieve business outcomes. Serious business is not done just with a handshake anymore.

Friday 24 October 2014

I Cannot Sell Even At Gunpoint.

I can do everything, but cannot sell. Sounds familiar? Who needs to sell? Let us hold on to that thought – we will learn that in a minute.

A friend of mine, I knew for years, was a stellar sales person. She was with an FMCG firm then and she did sell me, and many of my contacts several products. That was over fifteen years ago. We even bought things from her, which we never needed. I always thought that if one could sell like her, they never had to worry about financial security. They will never really fall short of jobs.

Then marriage, pregnancy, being a single child she had to look after both - her ailing parents and ageing in-laws as her husband was working abroad – that sales career was long gone. In its place what she has built is what I asked her to share with me for benefit of others who can replicate that success.

Virtual Office: She works from anywhere. If you are wondering what is the big deal about that or about being a freelancer? For the past five years, she has carried out several projects online – tutoring, term projects, assignment based fee etc. Initially I had the same thought cross my mind, which just occurred to you – What a waste of her precious selling skills!

Suit Capability: She bids only for those projects that will not always require new learning each time – That does not mean she does not want to go beyond her comfort zone. If the scope is familiar, her speed of execution is high which means more money as she can quickly assign herself to other similar projects.

Work Life Balance: Her work is not affected even when she moves out of her home country. She decides the dates for her vacation, while the rest of us are at the mercy of our company holidays to plan one.

Increments & Retirement Benefits: An extra assignment each time she needs an increment or wants to save for her retirement – All well in her control.

Again, that was about my friend, who is a great sales person. I am sure her cover letters for bids, her resume on freelance portals, and her responses during interviews – each time with different clients and different companies and winning all those projects is an outcome of knowing how to sell her skills and experience well.

So it is that age-old wisdom – Each one of us are selling. Most of us do it really bad – during interviews,client presentations, appraisal discussions, building our resume, even while pitching an idea at home or anywhere . Do you still want to chant mantra like – “I cannot sell even at gunpoint”? Now that you know you do sell, is it worthwhile learning it and doing it better?

Selling is a lot about the language you use. To know more about Sales Program, contact

Sunday 12 October 2014

Is There Any Scientific Approach to Estimate Working Man Days For a Consulting Project?

While preparing a management-consulting proposal for any client, most consultants estimate working man-days required to execute the project and deliver desired outcome. Each time, they fumble at the exact same point – How to calculate, if not exact, at least close to exact man-days? It is not the ambiguity involved that creates the confusion – it is lack of a scientific approach. However, there is enough room for refining prevailing approach by considering a combination of the following components while estimating working man-days:

Scope of Work: You re look at the scope not just from execution perspective but also from an outcome based standpoint. The methodology you will adopt to frame your recommendations, implement your solution and execute the project should be crystal clear and should not be “Evolve as you Solve” style. You list the series of tasks; estimate time and effort required for each task and quote a fee, even if you are unsure if all components were appropriately included. The list is to let your client know the magnitude of the project.

Methodology: Many consultants often refer earlier projects similar in nature to arrive at the working man-days. A standard set of assumptions can be misleading. If a particular task took X time in a company as the resources involved went out of the way to execute it, how fair it is to assume another company would be able to complete the same task within the same time frame? What discount would you consider for bureaucracy? Time and effort required for key tasks could vary, depending upon the complexity of activity, stakeholders involved, organization culture and other external factors.

Milestones: Clients would me more keen about milestones reached or outcomes achieved than activities involved – You can always keep the man-days for internal reference and add required buffer if you anticipate slips or delay from client’s end while quoting project based fee. In the project charter include roles and responsibilities of both parties with required penalty clauses for delay and options to claim additional fee in case of implementation lapse. A communication calendar with key stakeholders to discuss project progress as per mutually agreed timelines should facilitate meeting targets better and lead to a logical closure of the project.

BECKON Model is used in One to One sessions with Entry-level Consultants, Leaders, Entrepreneurs, Owners of Small and Medium size enterprises.

For more details contact

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Is This How You Handle Your Home Based Business?

Is This How You Handle Your Home Based Business?

BECKON Learning Model is not limited to training alone. It is a combination of training, consulting and coaching over a pperiod of time to achieve results.

For more  details contact

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Are You New To Paid Online Writing?

‘Content is king’ sounds cliché somehow that is the buzzword of the era. You have a flair for writing, even if it is standard diary entries and you thoroughly enjoy the exercise. Then you probably can assist others find something of value in those scribbles. The standard diary bit was an exaggeration to encourage you. When you write about subjects that can provide useful information to thousands who read that, you could as well be paid for it. Here are just a few acronyms that you will need to know before venturing out in this field and submitting a writing sample

MLA/ APA etc – Most writing portals want to know if you are acquainted with different styles of writing and include a few questions to test your understanding on these. This is mandatory for research-based articles to address citation, sources, references, notes, bibliography etc. It is always advisable to refer a reliable source each time you attempt to write with these mandates.

SEO – It is not enough to know its full form and understand how keywords work. Developing the skill to write such articles, which has a count, rule and a desired impact is an art that comes more with practice and less with knowledge. You cannot over do or under do while attempting SEO article and yet should be able to draw traffic.

POV – First person point of view entries are discouraged and your writing sample is likely to be declined. It works to maintain a neutral tone or stick to “You” just the way I am doing it here.

PLR –The stack of articles that you write on a specific subject, which is within your scope of expertise and comfort zone with your Private Label Rights on them, can be purchased and reused by those who need it.

An aspiring author or thought leaders or even work from home moms in their freelancing journey find writing as a decent outlet for all their ideas and experience drawn over the years. Are you ready to try the BECKON Questionnaire to find out if you can really write? BECKON Consultant will review your initial drafts and share neutral perspectives and tips to improve, guide you till the outcome is achieved.

Friday 1 August 2014

Is B.Ed enough for teachers?

We can explore the reasons to understand if really B.Ed alone is enough for being a good teacher.

Quality of Teachers: To improve learning objectives and to achieve learning outcomes, it is not enough to hire teachers with the right fit in terms of degree and experience but to also gauge their potential to create positive impact on learners and inspire them to make learning their personal discipline. If the demo class with a new hire even remotely hints at a teacher’s ability and intention to impact, the learning system of education will automatically reflect a soaring graph.

A Teacher’s Toolkit: Every teacher has his/ her toolkit – Qualifications, labels, experience, depth of understanding the subject and the kind. Being more knowledgeable is not always being a better teacher. The degrees can get you the job but not really certify you as a great or more effective teacher. Experience certainly can give that edge to deal with wider range of questions related to the subject to the entire satisfaction of the student. It is only teachers with better teaching skills who do far better than those with just smarter tool kits. They also thoroughly enjoy what they do because of the results it brings.

Methodology: What truly determines the quality of knowledge shared is not the system of education, syllabus, and lesson plans; it is what works with a specific target group that stands out as the best methodology. It is often a combination of tools and techniques - medium, motivation; methods go hand in hand and any effort to teach just with a standard methodology without any understanding of a learner’s drive is as futile as never to have taught at all.

Two times learning: Challenges thrown at teachers either in terms of dealing with difficult students, classroom realities of disobedience or just relevant questions beyond syllabus and teacher’s scope of knowledge has always added to a teacher’s toolkit. Though trained teachers do better than untrained ones in handling a class, they are not always better in teaching as that is an altogether different ability.

Under researched Areas: A large proportion of teachers quit, in spite of joining the vocation with great enthusiasm. This is simply because the way teachers are taught. Only sharing teaching tools and not exactly showing how to teach or developing the required skills is the one of the primary causes of this crisis. A B. Ed class should be able to assist the learner to imagine a real time class, a chaotic disobedient class or a studious class with intelligent questions and accordingly apply their tools and expertise. Like any other course, teacher’s training requires being apprenticed to someone or supervised while doing it alone initially with a structured feedback mechanism from an experienced practitioner.

Social View/ Industry pressure: In our society, a teacher’s job, regardless of the pay is still a very respectable job. A teacher who cannot set a good example by being principled in his/ her ways in the class environment or elsewhere, lose credibility which in turn impacts a student’s belief system, thought process and at times their learning curve. A teacher who compromises under parental pressure or school’s hierarchy and leadership has to work harder to improve their integrity rather than prove their abilities.

While the teacher’s can acquire their toolkit from their respective course degrees, BECKON Model sharpens that much needed skill to teach, that is more important than the tools - to stay composed during a reality crisis and gradually build that trust in student-teacher relationship.

BECKON Model will nurture even untrained teachers with required classroom simulations, structured feedback, and support in their teaching journey with adequate exposure to real time scenarios and demonstration. BECKON will support at different levels in this pathway, as determined by the learner however after an evaluation of their current capacity through BECKON questionnaire and face-to-face interaction.

For more details, Schools, Training Institutes, Teachers can contact

What do the leaders need more - Mental or Emotional intelligence?

A leader with a five on five in IQ (Mental Capacity) and lower emotional intelligence score is often found to compensate for this deficiency in more ways than one. He is either dependent on his intellect, its logical inferences alone for his success or he attempts to drive a point owing to his current or former position, regardless of its impact on people. Such leaders who have chalked out every plan and strategy based on mental intelligence alone lose out on the huge advantage social sensitivity and effective communication with others could bring on the table.

It is important that leaders develop that acute sense of timing and social appropriateness, be aware of them selves, their style of communication, their weaknesses, not just express their opinion but respect differences. Being analytic, logical and assessing every angle purely based on reasoning is just half the known world of business. The other half is people’s motivation, learning mechanism and combined synergies.

A leader’s intellectual stimulation could be derived from multiple sources however without an equal measure of emotional competence, he cannot really deliver a standout performance. And the only source to develop that intelligence is to make small efforts to know people, understand them better. A leader has to develop other dimensions of his capacities – to go beyond just thinking with the mind, as people are not likely to remember how much a leader thought about your plan or strategy, they will only remember how he made them feel – important, ignored, dumb or whatever. It works wonders if leaders can anticipate those little things while making their presentations and addressing that as well to respect other’s sensitivity and in the exercise, reflect his own.

To develop strong emotional intelligence is one of the greatest challenges organizations face at all levels and intelligent idividuals when they fail to realize why inspite of all the right scores, they are lagging behind. That is the first step that a leader with poor EQ needs to be aware - that something is missing in his personality traits. Once he knows why he needs to develop emotional intellgence he will automatically prioritize what he needs to do, how he needs to drive himself, and how he can be more empathetic and polish his social skills.

BECKON model is used in one to one sessions with leaders, owners of small and medium based enterprises to chalk out a road map and assist them build that edge, exercise their emotional intelligence more often. Most leaders will continue to think their failures are just due to communication problem, negotiation issues, domain knowledge unless they run through BECKON questionnaire.

For more details contact

Sunday 27 July 2014

Training ROI – Taboo topic for L&D and Business?

When business requests L&D team for a training program to up skill their process members or a specific team to enhance productivity or to address a challenging business need, it is a common practice to automatically conclude – just in case the desired change/ process outcome is not achieved post the training workshop - that possibly training content or methodology need to be refined better for the right impact. On the other hand, L&D team’s repository of decent feedback scores from participants, sign off from business leaders regarding the content and methodology is counter defense mechanism to reflect program’s likeability and effectiveness – another natural conclusion that it is the scope of business leaders to ensure the participants apply the learnt skill and behavior.

In most companies neither business nor training team is ready to rock the boat, which makes training a prolonged entertainment for participants, with no measurement model, year after year - particularly the behavioral and leadership trainings. Measurement is limited to attendance count and feedback form scores and the corporate communication just reflect those numbers.

BECKON is a model to measure learning in terms of outcomes and translate it to revenue. We own training end to end from design, delivery to deliverable. The ownership of impacting business outcomes will not shift from project lead to learning team/ trainers or vice versa, we gradually make it the participant’s responsibility while the L&D acts as assessors at regular intervals and Project Lead as drivers.

Our Training Design and Delivery charges are based on outcomes agreed which also means we bill our clients based on the revenue they could generate post our training – Out come based fee. Terms and conditions do apply.

We will have a series of conference calls for a thorough training need analysis or validate requirement / recommendation, not just with target audience who are to be trained but also Management, Finance, Marketing for a holistic view before we design the module, build a model to measure learning and impact business outcomes, across functions. We will engage industry experts, if required at no additional cost to our client for a structured training need analysis.

The upfront fee to conduct Training Demand Analysis or to validate the leader’s recommendation of training need specifics will range anywhere between INR 70000 to INR 150000 depending upon the size of the organization and the number of hours invested to gather inputs and consult with various teams on target based strategy.

If CFOs think, it is time to assess ROI for training as multiple costs are attached to training – salary costs, external facilitator costs, learning portals annual membership cost, logistics, monetary value (revenue loss) of time invested by participants who undergo training - Let us start with ROE first – Return on Expectations using BECKON model. Contact us, when you are ready to rock the boat.

For more details contact

Friday 18 July 2014

Team Building etc.

This is a regular program conducted by many training institutes which cover:

-What is a team?
-Who constitutes a team?
-How many different types of team members?
-Belbin's Theory
-How do you build a team?
-What are the different stages of team development?
-What are the roles and responsibilities of different team members?
-What are the advantages of having a team?
-What is in for you, if you are part of a team?

A couple of role plays, a few activities, one video or an audio and the workshop is concluded.

As an attendee, you receive new insights sitting in one of those cozy chairs in an air conditioned training room, without as much as lifting a finger to type 'Team Building' in Google search. You are happy to be spoon fed or ladle fed whatever. Great! Like you were a dinosaur before the training and did not know how to pick up a book and read about it. The facilitator must have researched and collated those inputs for the program. You do not need a doctorate or be a ranker in school to be able to do that. It is within the capacity of every sane person who knows to identify his eyes and his ears, can differentiate his arms from his legs and can read.

BECKON's approach to the same theme is different. The participants, who attend the workshop work as a team, define their roles and responsibilities; allocate tasks for research,  content designing to facilitate this session to the consultant. BECKON consultant trusts their intelligence and brings them back on track in case they deviate from the subject. After all teaching is two times learning.

A practical demonstration is the surest learning experience. The workshop is just the beginning, post that at regular intervals for a stipulated time, aligned assessors would keep track of each participant's team building abilities - in different situations.

Team Building holds a completely different meaning for entry level resources and senior professionals. The need for building a team varies depending on the purpose, direction and expected end result.

Cross Functional Teams
Multiple stakeholders working as a team for a specific project
Resolution of team conflicts
The leader and player
Depending on the complexity of the project,  there is a responsibility matrix chalked out for risk mitigation and audit compliance
Leveraged Team who have defined primary and secondary functions.

While practically team building is in progress in a training environment,  it is interesting to observe how they do it, without knowing other team members and their strengths, just based on limited notion and assumptions. The little flaws that occur in the final presentation are because of that approach - to build a team for a particular task by being clueless of each other's abilities.

As BECKON model drives outcomes, if Team Building has to be coupled with an understanding of each member, that becomes the primary learning and key takeaway of the workshop.

Just incase the participants wonder after the workshop - Why exactly do we charge them a fee, if they are the ones who research, design content, format and finally present the module to the facilitator? Here is the clarity on that - The  fee is not for 'Team Building' but to teach you how to rely on yourself to learn.

For more details contact

Monday 14 July 2014

Just Placements?

Average colleges reckon placement percentages as their success criteria to attract  more students. Premium institutes  highlight the highest salary offered to their students.

Have any of the colleges ever aimed for 100% placement as their success criteria?  Top 15% serious, focused and studious students will either ways get placed regardless of which college they belong. A certain percentage will pursue higher studies, few get married, some join their family business, and a handful would like to start their own business - ecommerce,  IT Solution or whatever. The rest are left alone to fend for themselves, and even if they get placed after multiple rejections, their confidence to perform in the newfound job environment has to be rebuilt.

The  placement leads train the students on how to handle specific questions related to salary, industry, their qualifications, what new will they bring to the table, what posture to maintain during interview etc. The project during  internship exposed them to senior leaders, important meetings, critical decisions and different functions. The corporate leader or industry experts invited as guest lecturers share their views and perspectives.

In any of the above are the participants prepared for any real business situation or crisis beyond internship scope - to handle a client escalation, a control freak or prejudiced boss, a difficult non cooperative team member, to prepare win themes for a  bid conversion, to present a report to management with analytics, to underplay their intelligence at times to respect an experienced senior, to effectively project his performance during appraisal, to build their own brand that distinguishes them from others?

In order to  have a competitive edge and be ahead of contemporaries, if any of the following is in an educational institute's future road map, BECKON model can build that edge.

Performance beyond placements
Institute's credibility through quality placements
Student's wellbeing
Industry ready global workforce
Encourage enterpreneurial vision
Aim for 100% placement

A standard module cannot suit an audience with different mental caliber, needs and aspirations.  Introducing  BECKON model in the first  year to an interesting and odd mix of students based on extensive evaluations, could be a highly effective tool not just for placements, performance in their jobs but also for the next examination that is knocking.   As BECKON is a discipline that ensures learning through an intersection of participant's personal desire and determination that culminates into a habit over a period of time. It is not limited to training content or duration but a much wider practice of intent and impact.

For more details contact

Sunday 13 July 2014

Beyond Testimonials and Training Feedback Scores

There is a myth around testimonials and training feedback scores.They are almost always positive.

As a facilitator, if one conducts a program keeping this as their end result that they should gather positive feedback scores and great testimonials, the training structure will obviously meet just that - content designed for a charged full on session.

The participants just love  the training program, the audios, videos, role plays, the trainer's hair cut, his blazer, his attitude which makes training day so different from other college or corporate days and they love all of it. The trainer scores a five out of five and the program something close. 'The training was a great learning experience.' The reports show all the right figures - great attendance, great scores,  great testimonials.

Thought experiment is a powerful technique in presentations - So here, let us imagine another consultant meets the same audience a year later to carry forward the learning experience minus the fancy stuff this time. "So what was your key learning last time?" he asks to set expectations that his program revolves around assignments, will measure learning and quantify results.  This consultant can even disengage a participant from a workshop on the grounds that he remembers nothing from the last training session,  zero interest in learning derived from assessments and can be absorbed only in future workshops provided he has an outcome to achieve. If a resource does not have any clarity on what changes he wants in his behavior or what goals he intends to achieve,  there can be no training agenda for such a participant.

For individuals BECKON Program is spread across two days with a gap of 10 business days to cover and capture personality traits and then align appropriate training. The preliminary tests and questionnaire will reveal if the participant is an introvert or an extrovert, visual,  auditory or kinesthetic learner, individual or group learner, self aware or self absorbed, retarded skill wise or will wise, left or right brained,  logical, analytic or creative and to enable him to reach his true potential,  is it training or coaching,  mentoring or motivating that is required?

BECKON Consultants do not measure their success based on how many attended the program,  how many clients,  how many great feedback scores,  how many testimonials,  how many recommendations or how many references. The only measure of our success is how many achieved their desired outcomes following BECKON model - The outcome can literally be anything - Weight loss or cracking in GMAT, a promotion or performance,  a placement or an enterpreneurial effort,  a certification or learning a new language or just finding yourself back like you were before. BECKON establishes that will to leverage your inherent and acquired skills.

BECKON is the way to lead you to your outcome. Your success is BECKON's testimonial and those who are positively impacted by your success is BECKON's true feedback scores.

To know more details please contact

Tuesday 8 July 2014

Make Your Own Lane: Mid Career Crisis?

You first begin to ponder if the crisis of joblessness is a short lived catastrophe or is it true that there are always jobs for those who have talent and want to work?

The reality bite is after your resume is through the initial screening of HR and business leaders on the basis of content alone  with almost zero hint at your real capability, after you have effectively handled the wrong age, too experienced, too qualified, too junior bias in interviews, after letting a software scan your personality traits mechanically, after multiple psychological  tests to assess your ability to perform, your options aren't plenty.

You deal with many other perceptions and myths too, if you have not handled a project relevant to your domain for six months, you probably lost that edge, need retraining to build your competence. 

It matters little that you have executed several other projects that required new skills.  In that case your wide range of skills is a serious threat to stability.

Each time there is a slightest hint of M&A, a probable sale of company stake or a technology innovation, an internal job transfer filling the post that you worked so hard for or another round of restructuring and job cuts to match profit targets, that poses threat to your cozy corporate cocoon -  you update your profile.

You begin exploiting your connects and job portals, knowing well, it would be a huge compromise driven by a sense of security for a pay check. After all the years of hard work,  promotions and all the learning towards an aspired goal, it is back to new insecurities.

Even if you lose your job  for no fault of yours,  the naked truth that it is the Management's failure will not be in the interviewer's radar. It is not about company's sustenance anymore but its very existence that is at stake. So the interviewer is already tilted mentally to the company's side almost stamping their decision as justified. The victim mentality is just not hire-able.

There are a dozen things one needs to unlearn to learn one new thing in a new environment, all the more so, when it comes to cultural fitness,  new hierarchy structure,  new responsibilities and deliverables that come with the new role, new management and dynamic business needs. That will most certainly require a new "You".

BECKON learning model works on the basic framework that key behavioral traits are always transferable based on which new skills are easily acquired. While we know anybody is expendable, we also know anyone can fill a generalist role, irrespective of industry or domain,  with right amount of mental mapping and ability alignment.

The prevalent practice of hiring on the basis of exact match with the job description instead of hiring on the basis of ability to do the job often leaves potential talent out. BECKON is an infant step to bridge that gap for more job creation and leveraged capacities.

Losing job might not be in your control always however losing employ-ability due to inability to mentally align to a new profile in an alternative domain, is very much in your scope to influence.

For more details contact

Monday 7 July 2014

Learning: You are not just a role!

A participant after attending one of my training sessions  walks up to me to  hand over the feedback form. She stood there waiting till the rest of them left the class room. She obviously had something to say. I looked at her questioningly. She said, 

"I wanted to be a facilitator like you and train people"

During the session I had observed she was very restless, agile and temperamental - at times loud and dominating. Even before I ask more, she continued saying that she had missed an opportunity to be a trainer and the feedback given to her was she was overbearing. She admitted that she was aware about that personality defect in her. Now I asked, 

" What did you do about it?"

'Realization is the  first step to rectification' 

As I said nothing to contradict the earlier feedback, she was now doubly sure the exact areas she needed work on and she did. A few months later,  she met me to inform that she had become a trainer and confidently trains new hires.

BECKON was not conceptualized then as this happened a few years back. Her intention was to be a trainer and  she became one, however her colleagues, I am told, even then found her overbearing.  Though the role was achieved, the defects still remained.

BECKON is a learning model that ensures overall personality development not just sharpens the skills for a particular role. 

A thorough assessment reveals the symptoms only, example for a trainer's role - stage fright, confidence, grip on domain, presentation issues, incapability to hold audience's attention for too long, time management etc. There are a dozen programs and books to address that.

BECKON is beyond just identifying symptoms,  and proposing cure - it is the entire way we go with the participant till we see the outcome within a prescribed time frame - And the outcome is not just people without the symptoms,  people healed, people in their desired roles but people better in more than one dimension than what they were before BECKON.

People learn that if BECKON can be applied for one new learning,  it is applicable for every other learning they want to follow themselves,  going forward.

For more details contact

Sunday 6 July 2014

Learning: Cynically yours,

'Every fired, tired and retired person is a trainer today. 

Every middle manager who could not make it to the top or even if he did, could not stick there for too long or did a career mistake is a consultant. Every under performer who was part of a behavioral or disciplinary action plan quit to massage his  bruised ego and begin freelancing in the name of being your own boss.'

Indeed that is the cynical 'You'  speaking.

'It is his sycophancy that  got him the promotion, not quantifiable results. I am more hardworking than he ever was, more sincere, more open to learning, more flexible and yet he gets the limelight.'

That is because he is not too busy thinking about you, but his own work scope. He is not saturated about what all he is good at, he knows the areas he needs to work on and improve rather than regard his one time super performance over another person's consistency and potential.  That itself is a behavior worth promoting, regardless of how he slipped in a particular project or ill managed a client escalation with minor impact.  The very  fact that he sees the reality the way it is and not the way he  wants to, is good enough reason to set him apart  from the rest of the clan.

What seems sycophancy to you is actually that person's very nature that he cannot be critical and often ends up looking at a person's or situation's positive attributes and most often appreciates it wholeheartedly.  

Who can escape a genuine appreciation? 

No wonder people automatically drift towards him.  

How can you ignore that talent in people to see through a person's bright spot hidden in layers of negative energies? 

That is a  learning and it is not natural always. It  has to be nurtured to perfection so that it is as good as your nature. 

Seriously,  that never happens overnight.  It takes years to polish that art. Just that for the young chap who got the promotion,  limelight, reward or whatever, that very art of giving simple  dozes of genuine appreciation comes to him naturally, effortlessly which only adds to his own personal brand and credibility.

'He is never on his chair, never speaks a word in the meetings, never shares an idea and never contradicts his boss.' 

Is this about him anymore? It is all about you that you miss reality most of the time due to your tunnel vision and unfortunately you are yet to know that.

BECKON is a learning and coaching framework that allows you to bring that much needed clarity not just in thinking but in your belief system.

The only qualifying criterion after preliminary assessments is your interest in your own professional and personal well being, independent of your bias, prejudices and conditioning.  A person can be exceptionally bright in work and happy with what he does,  provided that little shift in paradigm or belief is consciously done. BECKON with its 21 day rule and agreed nesting period assists in that inward journey.

For more details contact

Career Kit: Tell Me Something About Yourself

How often have you faced this innocent line in an interview,  which is supposed to be a question and intended to  explore your strengths and weaknesses, achievements and wins? And how often have  you answered that with  utmost sincerity while the interviewers pick just two words.  Which two words? That actually depends on what you spoke.

That gives you a nagging feeling, while you are so well prepared for the interview,  the guy on the other side of the table, either just had a bad client meeting or a dressing down from his senior or whatever be the reason for his wandering  mind, had gone through your  resume weeks back when the HR had forwarded it to him, liked some aspects of it, asked the HR executive to arrange a face to face and then forgot everything about the candidature.

So that 'Tell me something about yourself' is at times more to do with him, than you - revive his amnesia than assess your abilities. So keep it short, just enough to wake him up. Human memory is short, do give him that benefit of doubt. Once you  grab his attention,  the questions that follow will be critical.

In response, as a fresher,  one probably might not have much to say and they rave about school achievements, college debates, how he was awarded the best intern, how he fared in a group discussion with leaders recently, how many followers he has for his blogs and how so very much he is open to learning.  

However, an experienced person really has so much more to say-quantify his achievements, substantiate his tall claims in his multiple roles and in various capacities. The risk is when you go on and on with your stretched monologue, their attention spills over to your mannerisms, eye contact, pace, non verbal clues and along with your verbal content, something quite else gets communicated to the interviewer, which might not be favorable. So regardless of experience,  the brevity in response to this line could well prepare both parties for a structured interview session.

Every time a case study or a situational analysis or problem scenario is shared in the elimination rounds, it is not  necessarily about right or wrong interpretations. It is to gauge your thinking pattern - logical, reasoning, creative,  left brain-er or right brain-er.

Group Discussion is  not always about how informed you are, how well you communicate, how articulate you are, how you influence others,  how you relate or negotiate,  what leadership qualities you display - it could be all of these or a particular trait that the interviewers are seeking to see in their new hires.  It could as well be just to identify your natural instincts and reactions.

BECKON is an outcome based learning model preparing students and freshers not just for any placement but a calling of their choice. The model is designed not only to assess the student's caliber but also align a program to achieve signed off outcomes, as mutually agreed. 

So BECKON goes one step ahead of placement - Performance!

For more  details contact


Saturday 5 July 2014

Learning: The Tiger Is Never Red

Most writers become motivational speakers; many middle managers become free lancers; the senior professionals naturally drift to become consultants; people with brief stints in multiple roles automatically believe they are entrepreneur material as they know all aspects in Corporate environment and after a year, dive back to a job - as they learn knowing all aspects of business and knowing sales alone are two different abilities.

Many housewives almost all their waking hours plan to open a creche, day care, unisex salon, preschool, a boutique; many young MBA grads from  premium business school always have Mark Z or Steve Jobs playing hell in their mind and sneer at every corporate job they get in campus drives; many finish their engineering first before they decide what to do with their lives next?

What is this rambling all about?  A Cheetah is known for its spots, not stripes and a tiger is never red. Some qualities are natural and some nurtured.  Our acquired knowledge from a degree or certification is very limiting and what we do  is often subject to our mental conditioning. 

If people begin drawing their energies towards a more realistic professional goal - some thing that wil support their journey from net worth to self worth, to assess what they are without their labels and align with their natural preferences - their level of commitment and satisfaction is bound to be much more.

It is not just a combination of skills and competencies that always count for success and happiness, it is the extent your work is  close to what you always wanted to do.

A dentist in BPO sales, an engineer taking calls in a call center,  an MBBS as a senior  corporate leader - Aren't their degrees an individual and national waste? Is it just survival strategy?  For some it takes a few years and for others it takes decades to realize what their true calling is.

BECKON with its rigorous assessments coupled with relevant training which is not pre-designed but created based on evaluation not only highlights  your natural preferences but also the required scope of being nurtured to achieve,  enjoy and impact- through what you do.

BECKON is assessment based training agenda. We meet our prospects with a clean slate, not with a pre conceived notion or a ready made power point presentation. We spend considerable time in knowing our prospect before we propose what is required - coaching, mentoring, motivating, training or just time. If our assessment indicates, it is just phase or state of mind and will improve without our involvement,  we build a fruitful relationship with you, not by assisting you or offering you our services but restoring your faith to access your own resources till you achieve your desired outcomes.

BECKON's end result is learning to impact.

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