Wednesday, April 3, 2019

To grow, you need to move out from your comfort zone

While you might think you’re challenging yourself and moving toward your goals, you could be confusing daily frustrations and roadblocks for actual growth.

Our worlds shrink or expand based on our willingness to do things outside of our comfort zone. While this growth can feel uncomfortable, it often is what’s needed to propel you forward.

Identify one project that is high value to your organization and find a way to proactively put it into your day-to-day task list. Make sure you prioritize it over less-significant work.

Pick a goal that you don’t totally know how to accomplish, commit to it, and watch your abilities and confidence grow as you work towards it.

Comfort zones are sneaky because they feel, well, comfortable. Obviously, I’m not suggesting you push yourself to do scary, uncomfortable things every moment of every day. But I will encourage you to add some productive discomfort to your routine. When you push outside of your comfort zone, you’ll know that you’re doing more than just busy work. You’ll be actively growing your skills, your confidence, and your career.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Make use of your time properly

We only have one life, and it is very precious, and there's a lot we can do, and there's a lot we should do. ~ Selena Gomez

Life has a limited timespan. Don't waste it. Do something beneficial. Go to work on time, get the job done and learn something new.

Spend more time with your family, do stuff together, get ample rest. Don't overthink. Don't lepak too long. Don't dwell on the past too much.

And always be positive.

View the video below:

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Eyes on the Rise

Rise Up! doesn't means taking part in a rebellion, oppose or protest a rule or an ideology. Rise Up can also mean adopting a fundamental change for self-improvement by rising up above any situation and achieve your goals.

For Pasti Nyalian, how do you RISE UP to your true potential? First, the willingness to change to take responsibility and commit. Lastly, make it happen.

Below is an excerpt from Corey Alvarez, which also partly reflect my true self.

My COMMITMENT and obsession is always to be better today than I was yesterday
If I have to make sacrifices to do that: so be it.
If I have to tell that person I can’t go out drinking with him anymore: so be it.
Because that’s not what I value.
Anything or anyone that is taking me further away from my dreams has to go.
I’m committed to self-development not self-destruction, and you know, any person that is meant to be with me on the journey will choose that higher road with me.
Yes, a tougher road, but it is also a much more rewarding one.

I want my life to mean something. To be able to look back at my life and say, yeah, I made some tough decisions, but they were the RIGHT decisions.

So many people don’t get it. They piss their life away every weekend for what? 
So they can complain about their current circumstances for the rest of the week?

NO CHANCE! I’m in charge of my own life!
It’s all on me!
I take responsibility. I take action. And I GET S**T DONE!

You will never hear me complain about another person or circumstance as the reason I’m not where I want to be.
If I don’t like where I am… 
Time to knuckle down and work harder!

I am a perfect reflection of the hard work or lack of work I put in. And luck, that only comes to those who have paid their dues.

If I am weak in a certain area, it won’t be for long.
Because I’m committed to be better. I will learn, I will read. I will make it happen. I will FIND A WAY.
I will WORK until that weakness is turned into a strength.

No one can beat me, because I don’t give up!
You might knock me down, but I NEVER stay down!

It’s time to RISE.
RISE UP to your potential!
RISE UP past your limitations!
RISE UP past your family or friends limitations!

Set the standard for those around you!
Don’t conform to the standard, like a sheep. Get out and LEAD THE WAY!


You will arise, so start by attempting to rise and you'll be a Rising Star in no time.

Suggested reading:
Courage to Act

Monday, February 4, 2019

What makes a team effective

Based on Google research on their executives, team leads and team members to determine the key dynamics of what makes a successful team, Google concluded that the best teams were effective because they worked together well, regardless of who was on the team.

From Google's conclusion about the traits of best teams:

1. Psychological Safety

Psychological safety is about the environment. It's about creating a safe culture in which team members feel "safe" enough to take an interpersonal risk. Encouraging team members to voice their opinions, even if it goes against the group, can be risky. However, teams that exhibit high psychological safety encourage risk-taking. Plus, when team members take risks, they aren't viewed as disruptive, disrespectful or incompetent.

When teams promote psychological safety, there is a free flow of ideas, which can lead to better outcomes. You can ask for help without fear of retribution or adverse impact to your reputation. Team members feel comfortable asking questions and sharing opinions, which can lead to healthy debate and help the team thrive.

2. Dependability

Dependability is about accountability. It's about reliability. It's about trust.

When everyone on the team is accountable, reliable and trustworthy, the team succeeds.

How many teams have you been on when one person shirks responsibility? We've all seen it before. A team can crumble when even one person can't be trusted to do the work. On a highly dependable team, every team member can trust that high quality work will be produced on time.

3. Structure and clarity

All teams need structure and clarity, so long as rules are not too rigid that they stifle progress.

When teams have structure and clarity, there are specific and clear performance standards and directives for the team to work and achieve. With these inputs, team members understand their function, purpose, expectations and performance objectives.

With structure and clarity, specificity is key. Team members will thrive when they have goals that are clear, specific and transparent so they know what is expected of them. For example, at Google, Objectives and Key Results (OKR's) are a management tool used to establish and communicate both long-term and short-term goals. Some teams even establish a common vocabulary to start introducing norms that reflect the team identity.

4. Meaning

No one wants to work in a job or organization without meaning or purpose. So, you can imagine how a team member feels working on a team without either meaning or purpose. There are many ways to create meaning within the construct of a team. For example, you can create meaning in the work itself or in the final product.

Google found that other ways to create meaning in work include creating financial security, supporting one's family, helping the team succeed, or exhibiting self-expression.

5. Impact

Work is about creating value and impact for others. Team members want to know - from their subjective perspective - that the work they are doing is creating impact. Also, team members want to feel that the team's work is helping to advance the organization's overall goals, mission and impact. Reserving time for each team member to reflect on their impact can be a valuable exercise to further purpose and meaning as well.

Source: Forbes

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Courage to act

Peter F. Drucker argues that “In every success story, you will find someone who has made a courageous decision.”

That decision is a processing thought of selecting a course of action. To do (despite your fear or pressure) or not to do. Courage is an attribute of good character that makes us worthy of respect.

Regardless if you are in management, lead or contributing members, you are are not exempted for making a decision.

In Pasti Nyala operation, there are plenty of decisions and actions to be taken, such as:

  • to complete a task timely with good quality
  • willing to spend the time to participate, observe, learn and share
  • willing to commit to self-improvement
  • taking challenges to be accountable for or take lead to be in charge of something
  • to have the desire to be more competent
  • learn to lead and show positive examples
  • contribute to the cause

Let me give an example. Suppose Ms Heidi Hamilton is the Team Lead for a module called "Datapuri Human Resource Information System". Being a senior coder, Ms Heidi is expected to make sure that the module is free of defect. But having the courage to act, on her own accord, she could do even more, like, learning the HR industry (knowing the HR processes inside out), plan for upgrades, preparing marketing kits, helping in sales, support, you name it.

If you are somewhat in a senior position (either based on your position or length of service) and if you don't dare to decide (act), probably because of:

  • not willing to spend extra time for the team
  • well, my juniors will do the work
  • I'm contented with my existing workload

then, expect the following:

  • you will still be the same in time to come
  • some young blood will be called in to deliver better outcomes, and 
  • the team will be losing trust in you

If the above sound hash, then view it from this perspective. Being willing to act more, you will accomplish more:
  • gain more knowledge for yourself and your team
  • gain more trust and respect from your peers
  • you become more reliable and competent in your workplace
  • gain potential for rewards and incentives
  • gain possibility of being selected in something greater
  • you become a true leader that influence

If you are not bold enough to take the leap at the right moment than you might never reach the destination you aimed for. The road toward success may not be easy for everyone. Yours may be full of challenges. That is when you have to take the risk and make a bold decision. You may lose, or you may win, but you will never know if you don’t try.

The more you have followed your fears and acted despite of the discomfort you have felt, the more your life will have expanded.

So don’t wait for the courage to act. Instead: act, and courage will follow.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Customer Service Skills

Being in the IT industry, trained in technology, our staffs are pitted to do customer service due to the nature of our business. Not only we develop Software of users, but we also need to serve them as well.

And since staffs are the face and voice of our brand, it's definitely something that we can't afford to get wrong. So along the way, we try to empower our staffs with the right knowledge, skills and responsibilities to make important decisions on behalf of Pasti Nyala.

Below are some of the Customer Service Skills that they need to learn and practice:

1. Empathy -Empathy is powerful because it allows you to read between the lines and pick up hidden intentions that are not directly communicated. This helps support staffs pinpoint and fix the customer's concern before it actually becomes a full-fledged problem. This skill required experience for language, culture, behaviour and even understanding of the business.

2. Listening Skills - Everyone seems to agree that listening is important, but everyone has different opinions about what it means to be a great listener. As with anything in life, practice makes perfect. Listening skills can be honed over time to the point where you'll be able to pick up things customers want without thinking too much about it.

3. Integrity -We prefer to deal with people we know, appreciate and trust. Integrity does not apply to staff but also our product which must be usable, create values and reliable to the users.

4. Positive Attitude - Some people are comfortable in their own skin and are really passionate about making the customer feel great at every chance they get. While technical skills can be taught, an attitude change won't come easily - it's something that hinges heavily on personality. Read Positive Pants.

5. Decision Making Ability - Customer service roles depend on solving problems at their core - resolving a wide array of issues customers may be faced with. Just like Pasti Nyala products, we want it to be versitile with useful functions so that users are fully equipped to perform their interaction with the system. Let me sidetrack a little bit, did you know that if the users are happy with your products, they complain less.

6. Thinking on Your Feet - Here's the thing, no matter how long you work in support, no interaction is ever the same. Customers are a human being after all, they can act unpredictably and situations are not covered by our SOP or user guides. So staff - aside from being a people person and a problem solver - also needs to be "make the right decision quickly".

7. Being Patient - Customer service (we also call them Support) tends to be an emotionally draining and sometimes even thankless job. Therefore, support staff need to keep their resolve. Users reach out to Support when they are stressed and confused, so if the problem isn't solved quickly, they get irate. While speed is important in customer service, customers don't want the quality of support to be compromised. So again, a reminder to all staffs, do cut corners, do buried complaints under the carpet.

8. Persistence - An important character trait of being persistent is being able to stand your ground in uncomfortable situations. This may include having to decide whether a customer is being honest or deceptive in their language, actions or intentions. Ideally, we also want our staffs to have the ability to influence and don't stop until the customer is satisfied.

9. Product knowledge - We are aware the Support Staff will have difficulties if he or she does not have a thorough, hands-on-knowledge of the product and troubleshooting knowledge. They won't be able to help the customer. Thus, it's very important for the seniors or leads to impart their knowledge and spend time coaching their juniors. A good Support Staff will know when a user is having trouble, they will be able to pick up the user's pain points and use their knowledge of the product capabilities to address them. Since users usually contact Support because they don't fully or correctly understand the product (or functions within), staff will be able to make better recommendations if they're familiar with benefits (and shortcomings) of the complete product.

10. Progress Mindedness - One fatal mistake most businesses make is thinking of customer service as a dead-end or entry-level job. It's not. Pasti Nyala for one, is trying to empower staffs in making important decisions and reinvesting in employee development by grooming potential and nurture team spirit. We want this to be part of our working culture.

I can't help it but to say this to the customer who complains about nothing "Complaining is like vomiting - you feel better, but the people around you feel WORSE".

Monday, December 10, 2018

Put on your positive pants

Do you immediately get upset or discouraged by your non-stop work, your bossy manager or near-impossible clients? How do you react when you encountered unexpected setbacks and difficulties?

I have faced many setbacks and difficulties. It's part of my work hazard. Anyway, the way we tackled those issues at work or a home, help us form a view. That view could be a positive view or a negative view. That view or intent is yours and you can actually change it for the better if you desired so.

More often than not, I don't have a plan, I don't have an immediate solution to those problems, but I tried not to let is upset or affect it in any way but taking it for what it is and hopefully, I can learn something from it.

If you allow negativity to affect your personal outlook and ability to change things, it could hurt you in the long run.

Research indicates that Optimists and Pessimists approach a problem differently, and their ability to cope successfully with adversity differs as a result.

"The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The Leader adjusts the sails". - John Maxwell.

If at any moment you have a negative thought, try to battle it will positive thought. As you focus to carry that positive thought with you, it somehow grows within. Wear your positive pant and show just how good positivity can look by doing the simpler things like giving positive or motivational words to your fellow colleagues and friends.

Model that contentment and others will want to know just where you got that look. You can share your key to showing satisfaction with your life. Positive energy never goes out of style.

Put on your positive pants and get nice stuff done.

Related posts:
When you have passion, anything is possible
Respond less to negative people
Avoid Unhappy People

#positive #positivepants #yougotthis