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Woman - Best business deal crackers

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Made all the arrangements to crack that business deal worth millions, but still apprehensive? Well, then get a woman involved in the negotiation, for according to a new research, the ladies may be more skilled in the talks than their masculine counterpartsbest-negotiators

According to the research, feminine touch could be a company’s secret weapon.

Dr. Yael Itzhaki of Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Management at the Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration carried out simulations of business negotiations among 554 Israeli and American management students at Ohio State University, in New York City, and in Israel.

“Women are more generous negotiators, better co-operators and are motivated to create win-win situations,” says Itzhaki.

The results of her Ph.D. thesis project indicated that in certain groupings, women offered better terms than men to reach an agreement. And women were good at facilitating interaction between the parties, she says.

negotiatorsThe model involved negotiating the terms of a joint venture, including the division of shares. The point of the simulations was to examine how women behave in business situations requiring cooperation and competition.

Itzhaki also discovered that men have begun to incorporate feminine strategies into their negotiating styles.

“Women in mid-management positions are criticized for being too ‘cooperative’ and ‘compassionate,’ so they don’t get promoted. Then men come in and use the same tactics women are criticized for.”

Although both men and women can be good negotiators, Itzhaki emphasizes that there should be more women in top management jobs. Women have unique skills to offer, Itzhaki says, “They’re great listeners, they care about the concerns of the other side, and they’re generally more interested in finding a win-win situation to the benefit of both parties than male negotiators.”

A lot of women don’t care to “fight” to be recognized, she says, preferring cooperation over competition. But more women in management can translate to a healthier bottom line, Itzhaki says.

“Businesses need to develop an organizational culture where everyone is heard, because women’s opinions and skills can give businesses a competitive edge,” she said.

Deal Done

Living with a mission

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Mission StatementCompanies use mission statements to let people know why they are in existence. Their mission statement could contain information about who they are, what they do, and how they do it. Although corporate mission statements vary greatly, each serves as a guide for the company, its employees, and the general public. But how many of us have personal mission statements? Informal research suggests that few people use detailed written mission statements in their own lives. Sure, most people have some idea where they are going and what they hope to accomplish in life but few have actually written a formal mission statement. What are the benefits of having a written personal mission statement? First, it’s easier to define the actions and goals that will help you achieve your vision. It serves as a roadmap to get you where you want to go. A mission statement allows you to measure your current reality and your progress toward your ideal life. It also allows you to evaluate your values and incorporate them into your daily life.

A mission statement is simply a statement of what guides you, what inspires you, or what you want to accomplish in your life. There are many different ways to approach writing a personal mission statement, but an effective statement can be written in four simple steps. First, list one to three values or principles that you live by and why these are important to you. If you have more than three values on your list, order them by importance to you and select the top three. Next, list the things that bring you happiness, inspire, and satisfy you. This would include the things you do best and most enjoy doing. Then list the things you’ve always wanted to do or the legacy that you would like to leave. These three lists will be combined and used to write your personal mission statement.

An effective mission statement will be simple, clear and brief (between 2-5 sentences). There are many different ways to combine these three lists into a personal mission statement. The first method is to use your own words and combine each of your three lists into a meaningful statement. The second method is to use a template and fill in the blanks with your answers from the above exercises. There are many templates available online that can guide you to crafting a mission statement. Here are a few of my favorite templates:

I value [1-3 values] because [why these are important to you]. I will [what you will do to live by these values].

To live each day with [1-3 values or principles], so that [what living these values will give you]. I will do this by [specific behaviors].

To treasure above all else [most important things to you] by [what you can do to live priorities].

As you write your personal mission statement, remember to keep it simple, clear and brief. Be sure to state everything in the present tense and keep it positive. If there are any negative statements, restate or redirect them to positive statements. Make your personal mission statement part of your everyday life – keep it handy and review it frequently as you schedule your daily or weekly activities. You will find that your mission statement may continue to change and evolve as you do. Revisit it often and make any necessary changes. And finally, keep in mind that you will get what you focus on. The more effort and focus you give to living your mission statement, the more results you will see in your life.


Boosting your professional worth

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
by Sck

If you think the outsourcing revolution means you are destined to pick up phones forever, think again.

The future of outsourcing is already here, and it’s not Business Process Outsourcing, but Knowledge Process Outsourcing.

BPOs and call centres have unlocked new fields of opportunity for the young. But the newer, faster growing job wave comes from Knowledge Process Outsourcing.

KPO is outsourcing work, but the requirements are more specific. The job profiles are less repetitive/ mechanical and demand specific technical knowledge that must be combined with elements such as imagination, creativity, strategy and global corporate etiquette.

These jobs are mentally stimulating and tend to pay than typical BPO work.

KPOs encompass sectors such as medicine, IT, law, biotechnology, education, analytics, design and animation, research and development and intelligence services. A recent example is the fact that entire airplane navigation systems are being designed offshore in India.

This is just the beginning. Research shows the KPO industry is expected to reach US$ 17 billion by 2010. The question that immediately comes to mind is: how much of the pie will India really get?

The global scenario

Currently, our competition includes various nations in Eastern Europe, China and otherGlobal Scenario Asian countries.

According to a recent report by McKinsey & Co, only 25 percent of our engineers are ’suitable’ to work in a multinational corporation. Compare this with the fact that 50 percent of the engineers in Poland and Hungary are ’suitable’ for the same jobs.

Our figures are even more depressing in other categories: for example, ’suitable’ finance/ accounting and life science graduates are a mere 15 percent.

Are you ’suitable’?

What makes a graduate ’suitable’ to work in a world-class company? Where are we fallingSuitable short?

Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with our technical skills or work ethics.

The problem is language proficiency and corporate etiquette — the soft skills required to be an ‘anywhere’ worker in the new global economy. Sadly, our education system fails to equip us as far as this is concerned.

So, if you want to be a player in the new global economy, you must take your future — and your training — in your own hands; opportunities are available only to those willing to groom themselves to join the truly global workforce.

How to embrace global opportunities

Boost your worth in the global job market by paying attention to these 10 areas.

i. English languageEnglish Language

Speaking without grammatical mistakes is imperative. Improving language skills is difficult and time-consuming, but can be accomplished through books, classes and self-help.

Read as much as you can.

ii. Ability to market yourselfMark yourself

This starts with how concise, well-formatted, well-versed and tailored your CVs and cover letters are.

Beyond this, the ability to interview well, cold-call recruiters and follow-up are essential.

iii. Presentation
Knowing how to put together a basic Power Point presentation with relevant and structured content is vital.

Additionally, any business executive should be able to deliver content quickly and powerfully while speaking to a group of his peers and superiors.

iv. Interpersonal skills

Listening (not just hearing), combined with the ability to build interesting conversations, is crucial in the business world.Interpersonal Skills

Client interaction and networking depend heavily on how much other people enjoy speaking with you.

Intonation (how much feeling and rhythm you put into your voice) and pronunciation (how well articulated your sounds are) factor heavily here.

v. Telephone Etiquettes

Yes, as basic as this sounds, the way you answer your phone tells a caller just howPhone etiquette professional you really are.

When at work, calls should be picked up by introducing yourself. When you call someone and reach their voice mail, leave an organized message detailing why you called, your name and your telephone number.

Refrain from calling clients from a mobile phone when in a noisy place.

vi. Diction

DictionWhether the conversation is taking place on the phone, or face-to-face, it is important you use professional language.

Read business newspapers and industry-specific material so you become savvy with the jargon used in your field.

vii. E mail Etiquettes

E-mail etiquette

There is no reason why professional standards should be abandoned just because a message is electronic.

Pay attention to grammar, spell-check your work, don’t skip salutations, introduce attachments and use professional language when sending out work e-mails (even to people you know well).

viii. Dress codes

To be a credible businessperson, you have to look like one.Dress code

Men should wear collared shirts with an undershirt. Button your shirt all the way, wear simple belts, stick to dark-coloured slacks and dark-coloured shoes.

Women who wear Western clothes should opt for skirts that fall below the knee, collared shirts/ blouses and close-toed shoes.

ix. Handshakes

Don’t hesitate to shake hands. Initiating a handshake is an indication of your confidence level. Remember to kHandshakeeep your handshake firm.

If you are a woman and want to be taken seriously, don’t hesitate to shake hands with the same confidence and authority as your male peers.

x. Business card etiquette

Always take your business cards with you when going for a meeting or conference. When presenting your card to someone, keep the prints facing the recipient, so he/she will not have to turn it around to read it.

When you receive a card, take a second to look at it as the card is representative of the person. Don’t pass your card around like it is a flier.

Refrain from forcing someone to take your card, especially a senior executive. It is farBusiness card etiquette better to wait for him/ her to ask for it.

Countries like the United States and some of the European nations that already outsource heavily are shifting towards countries where the labour force is of a ‘higher quality’ (such as Poland, Hungary the Czech Republic and Russia) as opposed to countries with a labor force of a ‘higher quantity’ (such as India and China).

We don’t have time to wait for our educational system to improve or for more corporations to work with universities and create exposure for students through internship programmes.

Those who want to do well professionally must take their careers in their own hands. The global economy is hiring, and the choice is yours as to which side of the statistic you want to be part of. So, are you ’suitable’ or are you ‘unsuitable’?

Must Know - E mail etiquetts

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008
by Ann

Communication has come a long way. And, with the ever-rising popularity of the Internet as a vehicle for formal business communication, Netiquette, a relatively new concept, is a must-know for every professional. It is a set of
standards of acceptable behaviour you need to follow when online, and includes rules you need to follow while sending and receiving formal business missives.

Why do you require netiquette? For two reasons: It creates an impression of professionalism. And it ensures the correct message gets across. Some simple rules, if followed while sending e-mail, make all the difference between a good professional impression and a bad one.

Why are you writing to me?

State the purpose of your e-mail — it is a good practice to have a subject line that explains what follows and how high on the priority list it should be. This information has to be in two places:

i. The subject box, which is part of the compose e-mail form. Here, state the reason for your mail. If you are writing it to apply for leave, you could say ‘Leave application’.

ii. Subject line in the main e-mail body; just as you would in any formal business letter. Here, you could say:

Sub: Leave application, April 1-April 15 2006

Greet me right

Address people you don’t know as Mr, Mrs, Ms or Dr. Address someone by first name only if you are on a first name basis with each other; it is okay, under these circumstances, to use first names on a formal business missive.

If you do not know the name of the person, or whether it is a man or a woman, it is best to address the person concerned as: Dear Sir / Madam, Whomsoever it may concern, The Manager; etc.

And your point is? Get to the point.

Verbosity and extreme terseness are two ends of a spectrum, you should try for the middle — state your point without sounding rudely brief or chatty.

Remember to state your point and what you expect from the reader of your mail in clear terms. There should also be a clear structure — an introduction, body and conclusion.

2 use or not 2 use…

Never use ’sms-ese’ or informal abbreviations in your email. U instead of you, 2 instead of to or too, plz instead of please, thanx instead of thanks and 4 instead of for are a strict no-no.

While are all right for personal e-mail, they show a level of informality not encouraged in formal business communication. Frequently used abbreviations you may use include FYI (for your information), Pvt., Ltd., Co., etc., OK.

The magic of spells

Though using a spell check is a must, don’t rely on it completely. The most common areas of errors and confusion are — two, too and to.

For eg:

Wrong: I would like two order too other books two.

Correct: I would like to order two other books, too.

A hit or miss effort with spellings does not help — use a dictionary.

Write right

Good grammar is very important. A correctly framed sentence, with proper punctuation in place, is what you should aim at. Be very careful with commas, especially, as they change the meaning of a sentence.

A good example would be:

Wrong: All foreign tea, tree, oils are free from duty.

Correct: All foreign tea tree oils are free from duty.

Use action words and ‘I’ statements — they evoke a sense of reassurance in the reader. For eg:

On receipt of your earlier mail, I/ we have already set things in motion and I/ we assure you that you will receive your order on time.

I was responsible for the day-to-day working and administration of the office; planning, scheduling, and achieving targets were my areas of contribution.

Mind your P’s and Q’s

Though a friendly tone is encouraged, basic corporate etiquette rules do apply. So, maintain a well-mannered, friendly polite stance.

Gender-neutral language is politically correct — couch your e-mail accordingly. This essentially means you should not assume a person’s gender on the basis of the designation. Keep the e-mail neutral.

Attachment breeds detachment

With worms, viruses, and spam, nobody wants to open attachments anymore, not even if the e-mail is from one’s own mother. If you do need to send an attachment, confirm this with the recipient first.

Like an arrow shot from a bow

An e-mail is like the spoken word — once sent, you can’t recall it. By the time you press the recall button, chances are it has already reached and, with it, your recall message. This compounds the embarrassment. So, think before you dash off something.

The KISS rules

Keep It Short and Simple. Use simple sentences, words that don’t need a dictionary. Use universal formats — not all systems support HTML rich style, or tables and tabs. You could lose much by way of appearances if your recipient’s system can’t support all that fancy formatting you spent hours working on.

Smile please

Smileys and other emoticons are a way to add ‘body language’ to e-mail. When used appropriately and sparingly, smileys do bring a touch of personalisation to otherwise impersonal mail. Of course, due care with regards to the appropriateness of the communication must be taken.

You would not use emoticons in job application covering letters, while delivering bad news (delay in order, loss of job, etc). Use discretion.

Emoticons are generally used to add comfort to the communication or soften the blow. The most common smiley faces are probably these:

:-) OR :) Just a smile / can be used for greeting or making a point gently.

:-( OR :( To show mild displeasure or that something is not going the way you want it to.

;-) Equivalent to a wink — used to convey that a particular comment is a joke and not to be taken too seriously.

;-> To be used sparingly, and with people you know well, as this signifies a provocative comment.

Humor doesn’t travel

What seems funny to you may be offensive to someone else. Remember, humor doesn’t travel well. Jokes about religion, sports, political figures, and women may come across as tasteless and should be avoided at all costs.

Swift and prompt

Be prompt in replying. That is why we have the Internet. If a prompt response were not expected, one would use the postal service.


IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS, IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING. You could get really angry responses to your e-mail if you do so, and trigger a flame war.

Fw. Fw. Fw.

Do not forward chain letters — simply delete them. Also avoid forwarding them to professional contacts.

Shh… It’s a secret

If it is a secret, don’t send it via e-mail — you never know where it will end up.


Keep the thread of the message as part of your mail; this will help keep the context handy. The thread is the previous message/s in context to which this e-mail is being written. Last but not least, please, please read the e-mail before you click the ‘Send’ button. It will save you a lot of embarrassment and misunderstanding.

Call center - Hiring and Firing

Monday, June 16th, 2008
by Ann

Call centre business has a standing of being one of the industries that has high hiring andCall Centers firing turnover and likewise, the mindset of the people available in industry is nurtured on the same philosophy. They are not much concerned about frequent switching like other careers where it goes against you. Finding and retaining right people for the call centre is a well known dilemma, as there are certain shortcoming which are attached with this particular business, so, all the measures can only contribute in reducing them and that’s the maximum achievable when it comes to call centre hiring and training.

Retention is highly recommended, go an extra mile to retain an agent who is a part of your call centre, he has pre-qualified, has got-on with the things and you are also able to evaluate his abilities. Make a correct judgment about the skills of the person and offer all that which the person expects by way of any of your company intelligence. Changing people is a never ending story for call centers; the need of the hour is to change minds of the same people. Recognize their needs and address them instead of preferring aggressive hiring and firing. You have already invested in their training, up gradation and grooming.

If for one reason or another, you are to hire call centre agents, make it a real task forCall Centers yourself. Do a lot of homework about the interviews and selection strategy. Conduct an in-house meeting with Managers and supervisors to evolve an efficient and effective evaluation procedure that can end-up in picking right people for the job. Look for the accent first of all, that’s the biggest selling-point. Your second priority should be the evaluation of overall personality, find-out the sense of responsibility with the body language and the way of responding to questions. Put some of stupid questions across and detect the patience of the person, if he keeps his nerves cool and come up with respectable reply, go for this person. He/she will sustain.

Through cross questioning, bring-out the internal roadmap of the person about his pursuits of career. Get an idea about his endeavors and expectations. Ask him about any ideal call centers’ pre-exquisites, this way he will give you his picture about the call centre he wants to join and what things will satisfy him in the long run. Never trash the interview assessment, make it most important document in the lifecycle of that particular agent.

Regardless of the facts elaborated in the article, time 7 again, the only short-cut to get good call centre agents is the experience. Nothing else can do it for you as good as this. So behave maturely, improve communication, enhance flexibility in overall decorum, and facilitate your agents to maximum extent, so that they can be at peace of mind to make effective sales or to offer quality customer service. Time has changed for the employee and employer, now both have to understand each other to fall into long-term relationship, so care for your agents and get care in turn and it works.


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