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Monday, January 29, 2007

How to get anyone to say "Yes" in 8 minutes or less?

This amazing book has taught me a lot of things. Here are some of my learnings:

=> Once you are in possession of an item or have used it, its value goes up automatically. That's why lots of Tele-Brands offer Money-Back Guarantees, Car Manufacturers offer Test-Drives, Magazines offer free trial Subscriptions, etc.

=> People make decisions on how the question or proposition is framed to them. (Positive/Negative)

=> Too many choices confuse people. Ideal is around 2-3 so even if there are more options help customer by shortlisting 2-3 and help make the decision.

=> Your appeal in advertising or sales should be to the greater cause not just the benefit of the client - the greater cause could be family, society, country, God. This helps clinch deals much more easily. People want to believe that what they do is not for themselves but for their loved ones.

=> Once people take a public stand on something, it is very difficult to change their minds. So delay people from saying "No" to your proposal because of knee-jerk reactions.

Monday, January 22, 2007

If it hurts ... don't do that !!!

Guy walks into a doctor's office, raises his arm, points to his shoulder, and says, "Doc, it hurts when I do that."

Doctor looks at him and says, "Then don't do that."

That's the most solid piece of advice I've heard. Think it solves 90% of the pain an average human goes through.

If it hurts to think about a loved one who's no longer with you, don't think about him/her. If it hurts to walk, take rest for a few days along with other medication (if required). If it hurts to talk (mouth ulcer), sit quietly till it stops hurting -maybe read a book or something.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Monk ... Ferrari

This is about a recent book I read ("The Monk who sold his Ferrari"). I think it is highly relevant to most people in the industrialized world. This is the story of an ace criminal lawyer who re-discovers himself and the joy of living after a near-fatal heart attack forces him to change his priorities in life. These are some of the things the lawyer turned Monk suggests we do to improve the quality of our life.

* No event is +ve or -ve. Simply experience them, celebrate them, and learn from them
* The secret of happiness is to find out what you love to do and direct all your energy towards it
* Daily set aside 10 mins to think about how to improve ur next day
* Daily 10 mins of solitude and silence and meditation
* Include a physical activity / exercise in your every day life
* Vegetarianism and Non-Alcoholism :-)
* Wake up before Sunrise and see the sun rise
* Read for atleast 30 mins a day
* Spend some time listening to music every day
* Opposition thinking - Do not let any -ve thought enter your mind. Replace any -ve by a +ve thought immediately
* Fatigue is a creation of the mind
* Push yourself beyond the limits - all limits are human created ones
* Add timelines to all goals
* Commit goals to paper and follow for 21 days without a break. And it becomes a habit. (Another book I read recently said that the neurons in the human brain get created in 5 days according to modern research)
* To get quality sleep, listen to soft music before sleeping and 10 mins of meditation

Let me know if you find this post useful to you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

ISB Interview

Here's my interview experience. Arrived at the center at 5:00 for a 6:40 interview. Was atleast an hour early. But my interview started around 6:00. So wasn't that early too.

My pre-evaluation essay was on India's Exim Policy. Didn't do a very good job at it I thought. But 50 words is probably like 3-4 sentences. I guess I didn't know enough to write about the EXIM policy. :-(

Time In: 6:00
Time Out: 6:25
Panel 3 - Not sure of the names
Date - Jan 6th
Venue - Bangalore

P1: So you got offers from 5 IIMs in 2004 and didn't go for it. Why?

Talked about my research at the time and the fact that I felt 4-5 years of experience and actually performing a managerial role would help better appreciate an MBA program.

P1: Some more talk about it. The panel liked the fact that I'd consulted a lot of IIM students and alumni but didn't seem fully convinced.

Further clarified and I felt and he was finally convinced about my reasoning.

P1: So you read a lot. What kind of books do you read?

Talked about the range of books I've read. Spoke about some books that made a significant impact on my life.

P1: So what was your biggest achievement at work.

Spoke about a recent success at work in Project Management that made a difference. Not sure if it was the biggest achievement. But surely made a decent impact.

P1: With respect to your peers, how do you rate yourself.
Obviously I am the best ;-) - Got more questions on this. Not sure if I was convincing enough. P1 seemed like an Infy Alumni or had interviewed a Infy guy recently since he knew about some Infy specific terms like CRR, MVP, On the Spot Award, etc

P2: What does your team think of you? Two positives and two -ves.

Spoke about two positives. Could come up with only one -ve. Actually if I knew it was a -ve, I would have corrected it by now, wouldn't I. Also I could have given a lot of -ves of standard managers that I had in mind. But I wasn't sure my team thought that way about me.

Some more questions and cross-questions.

Finally the panel asked me if I had any questions.

I asked about the enterpreneurial support that ISB provides. Got a good response from them

Then asked about research done at ISB. Guess this was where I might have thrown it all away. P1 seemed to think that I'd not done enough research about ISB. :-( I tried to convince him with a response. Don't think I was convincing enough.

Fingers crossed - But not too hopeful looking at the way it ended and some screwups in between. Actually missed out saying so many things that I planned to say. All in all - looks like a disaster.

All the while P1 was talking and P2 was looking at me closely. Guess he was studying body language to see if I was lying anywhere, etc.

A nice experience with a lot of learnings:
-> If you don't like the ISB topic or don't know much about it, atleast try for a new topic. You might just get lucky.
-> Make a list of points that you want to make and ensure you bring it up as relevant. I ended up with the feeling that I had so many things to say that I couldn't.
-> Make a list of open-ended questions (atleast 2-3) and ensure that it is not something that can be answered easily by going to the ISB website or something.