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Scatter Diagram: A Pathfinder for Your Power

Scatter Diagram: A Pathfinder for Your Power

By Ushasi Sengupta

January 31, 2021

With a simple click on “Search,” or by pressing “Enter,” we receive plenty of responses to our queries on our screens, anytime and anywhere. Information is so widely available that a query string generates abundantly—sometimes more than we require. More or less, most of us can avail similar resources, as technology is pretty affordable.

In a world with a diminishing advantage of information, what could be your differentiator?  How do leaders stand out among the crowd? We have read that leaders can leverage analogies from other disciplines to solve a problem. Let us see how to systematically manifest that treasure trove of problem-solving.

The Scatter Diagram Technique helps.[i] The technique is a synthesis of our perspectives about diverse domains. It is a systematic approach that helps in identifying and exploring various solutions to individual and business issues at a micro or a macro level. Moreover, it can help individuals nurture a quality life.[ii]

In this article, we shall dive deeper and experiment with our instrument to arrive at creative solutions to “power conflicts”—a primary aspect of any business. We will explore diverse business situations that are potentially vulnerable to confrontations over the distribution of power. Subsequently, we will apply the concept of Scatter Diagram to analyze those scenarios.

What is Power?

Power is an ability that helps an individual influence others’ decision. By definition, “Power is a capacity that ‘A’ has to influence the behaviour of ‘B’ to do things he or she would not otherwise do” (Obisi 2003)[iii]. In an organization, individuals own different power bases—formal or informal—and capitalize power accordingly. Conflicts of interest in power transactions often result in disputes. Let us analyze a set of conflict situations.

Understanding Power Conflicts through the Scatter Diagram

As mentioned above, we will apply the Scatter Diagram technique and find out potential solutions to our cases in the points.

Our three points in the Scatter Diagram are “football,” “history,” and “politics.”Power Sourcing: How Do Football Clubs Foster Their Talent?

In Football, power transactions occur between power bases, such as between the coach and the captain, the coach and the support staff, the management and the players, the management and the coach, the senior team staff and the junior team staff, and so on. Football clubs have their strategy to attract niche talent. One of those is the player transfer policy of few of the professional football clubs. Who can forget the expensive player recruiting process of Galácticos, Real Madrid, in the early 2000s?

Power Sourcing/Fostering Power: In-House and Outsourcing

Real Madrid diversified talent sourcing and brought renowned players in the team. This created a player-pool and, in turn, fueled the growth of the club. Their move opened avenues for strong off-pitch commercial presence leading to a financial transformation of the club. Real Madrid doubled their revenue from £93.2m per annum in 2001 to £186.4m at the end of the financial year in 2005.[iv]

This tactic proved to be a differentiator for Real Madrid because FC Barcelona, its arch-rival, heavily depended on nurturing players fresh from the Barça Academy. Barcelona’s philosophy of nurturing talents resembles organizations’ strategy of fostering in-house talents based on their value systems. This, in turn, protects tacit knowledge and thus promotes in-house brands like Barca’s famous “Tiki-Taka” style.

From an organizational perspective, we observe Microsoft, the technology conglomerate, handing over the executive leadership position to Satya Nadella, a Microsoft veteran, in 2014. Whereas during 2012, Siemens, Hershey’s, and 3M recruited CEOs from outside to steer diverse strategies. Another recent example is that of Infosys. Infosys appointed Vishal Sikka, a former member of the executive board at German software company SAP AG, as the CEO in 2014.

Power Distribution: What If the Team Has Only One Center of Control?

Now let us focus on the process of how an individual or an organization can influence associated individuals, that is, organizational control. Going by our sample football point, we will explore two famous figures of the English football division—Sir Alex Ferguson and Mr. Arsène Wenger. They are among the most successful and elite football managers. Both of them are also known for their penchant for silverware.

Surely, something that places them beyond the crowd is their management style. Their leadership style was far from traditional, while their underlying strategy was “control.”

Centralized Power Steers toward a Common Goal

Though questioned multiple times, Arsène Wenger spearheaded both managing and coaching responsibilities. Interestingly, absolute authority helped these defiant personalities thrive beyond the glorious period of their career. A centralized power enabled both to form a multicultural and diverse team and to steer the team toward a common goal—productivity improved, complacency reduced, and quality ensured.

In companies, power distribution between leadership and employees follows a similar pattern too. Brian Stowell, the CEO of Crown Point Cabinetry that supplied high-end custom kitchen cabinets to customers throughout the US, earned the trust of customers and motivated the workforce by implementing his strategy of organizational control.[v] Thus, understanding the absolute authority of a coach in a football team gives us an idea of organizational control and its importance.

Could there be a flip side of absolute authority? What could happen if most of the organizational power rests with an individual?

Absolute Authority Might Lead to Organizational Conflicts

Lionel Messi is touted as “the single most important entity” in his club, FC Barcelona. According to his teammates, “Barca can do anything to retain Messi.” Focusing on the corporate world, we see the influence of Warren Buffet on Berkshire Hathaway’s future or how Elon Musk’s tweets on Tesla negatively impacted Tesla’s share price by almost 20 percent. The aforementioned are among the many instances of impacts of a centralized corporate governance.

Stand-alone influences, such as Messi in Barcelona or Ronaldo in Juventus, can help their team align to a common goal. If channelized properly, this stand-alone influence can motivate the team immensely. However, when that individual fails to perform, it might destroy the value. From an organization’s perspective, the higher the power distance in an organization is, the more dependent are the subordinate employees on their leadership.

This, in turn, makes an organization more vulnerable to differences in opinion among its employees. And, “agency costs” increase if the stakeholders are not managed properly. The rise and fall of Theranos, the blood testing start-up in Silicon Valley, depicts the entire picture of stand-alone influence of the CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, who was the supreme influencer and decision-maker of the healthcare start-up.[vi]

So, from our knowledge of football, we can infer that absolute authority establishes a culture of power-distance in an organization, which can enhance corporate performance and impact adversely as well. However, a corporate governance that can strike a balance between a culture of power distance and a system of distributed accountability will steer the institution towards a common aspiration and enhance the institution’s performance.

Power of Collaboration: What can We Reflect from History to Strengthen Our Power Tenet?

We will shift to the next point of our Scatter Diagram, that is, History. Transactions of power occur between a king and his nobles, between a king and a church, between nobles and peasants, among colonies and empires, and across different strata of a society. Let us analyze these structures and try to understand the consequences of the division of power leveraging some “historically tested” solutions.

First, we will try to understand the meaning of “authority.” As per Max Weber, “Authority is power whose use is considered just and appropriate by those over whom the power is exercised.”[vii]The early Vedic history showcases an effective way of distribution of authority. The Varnas—Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras—were divided based on profession and people were living in a cohesive society. They were interdependent and had mutual respect.

Mutual Respect and Collaboration Drive Holistic Development

Though later on, this mutual respect was lost and the society became divided. This not only established hierarchy among castes and repression of the lower castes but also made the society weaker and vulnerable to attacks from foreign powers. Research study emphasizes the same as finding says that 80% of employees treated uncivilly spend significant work time ruminating on the bad behavior, and 48% deliberately reduce their effort.[viii] Hence, we can acknowledge that “collaboration and respect” can develop stronger bonds among teams and help the system prosper as a whole.

Mergers and Acquisitions: What Does the Roman Empire Tell Us about Corporate Synergy?

Thus, collaborations manifest synergy. “Synergy” becomes more vital when different institutions share their resources either by merging together or acquiring the other institution.

“Mergers and acquisitions” are crucial in the corporate world and so is the power struggle among the involved parties. Often, after acquiring a small firm, larger firms tend to overarch their culture and policy. Or when two firms merge, a mix and common culture are imposed on both the organizations. Two companies fail to negotiate their cultures and they clash. Amazon and Whole Foods venture, which, in spite of being one of the promising mergers, failed to create impact because of a cultural misfit.[ix]

Tracing back to ancient Europe, we see that the Roman Empire, the ancient mega-organization, was founded on the principle of res publica and sustained for more than 200 years. A closer look unveils that the imperial administration exercised both decentralized power and principles of minimal intervention. It maintained a fine balance between provincial versus centralized authority ensuring peace, law, and order on the one hand, and revenues and resources on the other.[x]

These centuries-old instances help us gauge the importance of organizational culture and behavior. Organizational synergy cannot be achieved unless the culture, management, and human resources of the merging entities are in sync. The peace agreements mentioned above can be a guiding strategy for the corporates today while designing the post-merger cultures.

Why Do Corporates Need to Plan for Sustenance?

“Corporate sustenance” beyond present reign depends on succession planning of a power base. Poor power transitions often impact organizations adversely. Confrontations and conflicts divided most of the religions apart. For example, Islam fragmented when prominent people got divided between the Shias and the Sunnis on the rightful inheritance of leadership after the Prophet Muhammad. This event teaches the importance of maintaining balance among “succession forces”—positive relations with leaders and also their supporters. Reliance Industries Limited reflected a similar pattern when the company split into two in 2005 because of the tension between two Ambani brothers. However, the organization revived after Mukesh Ambani had held rein of the business. Businesses can reflect on these historical events to make a cohesive and evolving work culture.

Power and Politics: Are They Two Sides of the Same Coin?

Now, we are on our third coordinate: Politics. Politics, at its core, is about the dynamics of power. In a government, a macro-organization, we see that the distribution of power varies across centralized and decentralized forms, in autocratic and democratic governments, in capitalist and communist rules, and so on. Also, within a government, we see the division of power between the states and the center, the houses of the parliament, the executive and the judiciary, the legislature and the judiciary, among various levels of the judiciary, the executive and the legislature, and many more.

Power distribution among various departments while working on cross-functional projects is very crucial. It is very important to understand whether any department can overrule the other department’s decision. Can any department curb the powers, aim, or budget of any other department?[xi]

Political Power Dynamics Can Help Us Arrive at Creative Solutions to Division of Power

Three major components of governance—the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary—have different relations and power distribution in different governments.

For instance, in India, the executive is answerable to the legislature and holds power till it has the legislature’s confidence. Whereas, the judiciary is an independent system that ensures the right conduct by the other two arms of the government. It has the right reserved to challenge any decision by the legislature or the executive and even strike it down. Although the judiciary is an independent entity the legislature can influence the judiciary system.

For projects in which strategy, execution, and compliance teams work together, this model can be helpful to ensure the right balance of power. Often within a party, executive decision power is diluted by the collective decision leading to performance criticism. As it happened to Dr Manmohan Singh, the former Finance Minister of India and one of the pioneers of Indian Financial Reforms, who faced extreme criticism during his regime for numerous corruption scandals and policy paralysis that were in place. When we look at business cases, we find Tata Sons and Cyrus Mistry indulged in conflict on the moves to reduce conglomerate debt. This resulted in an abrupt expulsion of Cyrus Mistry from the position of the chairman at Tata.

In the US, the political system is designed in a slightly different way. The executive has a strong veto power over the legislature, and only two-third majority can override the veto. Also, the legislative doesn’t have control over the executive. The judiciary has more power and is independent of the other two bodies.

A Combinatorial Approach

There can be different combinations of examples from each reference points of scatter space that can shed light on the various aspects of power distribution.

So far, we have seen three variables in our scatter space: football, history, and politics. We can express various power attributes, such as fostering power, control and authority, synergy, transition, and succession, as a combination of relations of these scatter variables. We can even try out different combinations of these coordinates of scatter place and arrive at another set of solutions with respect to organization’s distribution of power. For example, in a political system, the process of nurturing a political spokesperson is analogous to creating in-house leadership. The decline of the Byzantine Empire highlights the need for a strong succession planning.

Creativity: An Integral Approach in Differential Thinking

At an initial level, creativity and power seem quite unrelated to each other. But, mapping of different domain variables with an observed variable indeed needs creativity. Creativity triggers cues to discover a pattern. At times, these are a pattern of words, phrases, colors, thoughts, and of various other ways. From a broader organizational perspective, this pattern visualization is called strategy and vision. The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, visualized the pattern of technology usage and translated that into one of the key business drivers—AWS (Amazon Web Services). Thus, creativity exemplifies the power of contextualizing a contrasting thought. It has a double-edged impact on the principle of the Scatter Diagram. Creativity twines the scatter points together. Also, while applying the Scatter Diagram approach, we foster creativity in parallel. Hence, creativity is the heart of the Scatter Diagram and one of the most influencing parameters.

Scatter Diagram is a continuous process. This can be applied even if you have a different problem statement and a different set of points. Each experience of problem-solving with a Scatter Diagram widens the scatter space and so does the diversity of solutions. And the process goes on. However, as the saying goes, “Practice makes a man perfect,” similarly, the efficiency of our mind depends on the frequency of application of the Scatter Diagram. Every time our mind traces back the scatter points and associates with problem-solving, it develops both System Thinking and Creativity. Gradually, we arrive at “out-of-the-box solutions” from our existing experiences.

Ushasi Sengupta is a research analyst at Tata Consultancy Services. She completed her Post Graduate Diploma in General Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur in 2019. She is a sports enthusiast. Other than working from home and working for home, in parallel, she is spending her quarantined days exploring the unchartered territories. Running is her newly developed habit.

We are grateful to Mr. Shahrukh Moin Khan for drafting the foundation version of this article.

References

[i] https://www.parthapd.com/introduction-to-the-scatter-diagram/

[ii] https://www.parthapd.com/scatter-diagram-in-a-scatterbrain-a-story-of-self-compassion/

[iii] Obisi, C. (2003)., “Organizational Behavior Concepts and Applications”. Malthance Press Ltd, Lagos.

[iv] “Beckham drives Madrid to top of money league” https://www.theguardian.com/football/2006/feb/16/newsstory.sport

[v] Vanderschee, D. 2002. “Crown Point Cabinetry.” https://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/pages/faculty/chris.trimble/osi/downloads/20010_CrownPoint.pdf

[vi] Hu, C. and Ramsey, L. May 2018. “The rise and fall of Theranos, the blood-testing startup that went from a rising star in Silicon Valley to facing fraud charges over a wild 15-year span.” https://www.businessinsider.in/science/health/the-rise-and-fall-of-theranos-the-blood-testing-startup-that-went-from-a-rising-star-in-silicon-valley-to-facing-fraud-charges-over-a-wild-15-year-span/articleshow/64319477.cms

[vii] Weber, M. (1978). “Economy and society: An outline of interpretive sociology (G. Roth & C. Wittich, Eds.).”, Berkeley: University of California Press. (Original work published 1921)

[viii] Christine Porath and Christine Pearson, “The Price of Incivility”, Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2013/01/the-price-of-incivility

[ix] Gelfand, M, “One Reason Mergers Fail: The Two Cultures Aren’t Compatible.” Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2018/10/one-reason-mergers-fail-the-two-cultures-arent-compatible.

[x] Maier, F. 1995. “Megaorganisation in Antiquity: The Roman Empire.” Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) / Zeitschrift Für Die Gesamte Staatswissenschaft, 151 (4), 705–713, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40751852.

[xi] Zaleznik, A. May 1970. “Power and Politics in Organizational Life.” Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/1970/05/power-and-politics-in-organizational-life.

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LGBTQIA+ Mind Personal Essays Relationships Social Issues

I Survived, Dad

I Survived, Dad

Anonymous

January 10, 2021

I’ve been living a lie my entire life. A twisted sick retelling of a long lost twin’s sorry story. Even at the best moments of my tale, there is just so much malice in my wonderland. Mostly myself. I’ve been a sucker for self-harm, the idea of the bubble bursting so much more wholesome than the bubble. So as the author of this heavily rewritten book, let me show you a few pages of my life.

I say heavily rewritten as my disease has the added curse of a terrible memory. Whatever I don’t remember clearly, I rescript to suit my convenience or make a better story. I don’t remember a lot of my glory days, have entirely blocked out tear jerkers, and a lot of my suicidal moments feel a lot more subdued when I recall them now. The distortion doesn’t just restrict itself to my recollections. It alters the way I look at things. I used to be a pessimist and can recall this one incident where a boy had gifted me a flower for my birthday. After he left, I shredded it and stomped it to the ground. Flowers are just reminders of how impermanent life and beauty are. That all things eventually die.

My happiest songs are the ones which tell the saddest tales. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy up-tempo bangers. The notes which pluck the strings of my soul however are wrought with woe. Life shouldn’t have to feel this way. Jumping of a terrace despite my vertigo shouldn’t be the first thought that comes to mind. Contemplating least painful ways of offing myself shouldn’t be routine. I see people breezing through life and sometimes wish things were that easy. Dandelion seeds floating with the wind while I’m lugging my anchor around everywhere.

Relationships with people become complex. Family often becomes the crutch which broke the leg. (Childhood stress and trauma are common contributors for an early onset of manic depression). While on medication, the feelings and emotions become numb. Creativity, often associated with mental health problems, takes a backseat. For a person living their life in highs and lows, this new flat-lining can come as an unwelcome shocker. The predilection for the emotional rush can be quite overpowering. We tend to resort to drugs or quitting medication to experience the altered reality once more as the new normal feels quite bland. That is why a support system is quite necessary to monitor the initial phases of recovery and to prevent a relapse.

During depression, even the most supportive friends may feel unwanted. Judgement goes for a toss and we end up not thinking about consequences. This often leads to burning bridges and more often than not, there’s no going back. I am lucky to have so many people who understand my disease or try to. I haven’t been that lucky always. I was in an abusive live-in where the other person’s push and pull on my emotions made them go haywire. He just added fuel to the fire. Despite dropping me off to my psychologist, he refused to believe that I was ill and thought that I was deliberately acting crazy because I enjoyed that. I’m much choosier about the people I let into my life these days. Once I used to indulge in self-destruction. Nowadays it doesn’t take me a second to cut off someone who could harm me for the sake of self-preservation.

I survived delirium, borderline insanity, anxiety sucking away at me like leeches. I survived the horrors of the world not ending in 2012. I survived a speeding truck while fully loaded on three drugs. I survived bullies, I survived this, I survived that. I survived Dad. I survived, Dad.

I feel like the Destiny’s Child song. I’m surviving despite the odds of bipolar death rates (doubled due to increased chances of heart failure) and I’m not just talking suicide. We are hypersexual as well, often resulting in risky behavioural patterns and promiscuity. I have survived 6 HIV tests in as many years. I’m surviving not because I want to. I’ve tried the other options and failed, so why not make the best of living a loud life and making the best of it. Currently I’m surviving to hopefully see a day where I enjoy living and am excited about opening my eyes the next morning.

 

The author is bravely dealing with their mental health problems. The article has been published without any edits.

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Career Code Technology

The Art (and Science) of Professional Networking

The Art (and Science) of Professional Networking

Anonymous

January 13, 2021

Harry was an adult bear then. Every morning, he used to brush up his canines after waking up and went to the portion of stream which was flush with salmons to hunt. And guess what he caught on most days?

Disappointment!

He was surprised why he could not meet with success when everyone else could catch a decent meal every day. The problem was neither lack of efforts nor location (he was surely at an Ivy League end of streams); it turned out that spray-and-pray did not work during hunting.

The art of networking and job hunting is no different. Someone rightly said: “If you ask for a job, you probably will get nothing. However, if you ask for an advice, you will get experience (and job as a rub-off effect).”

The last few months have changed times like never before in this century. While economies have been ravaged, these times have still seen certain sectors grow. Even in sectors that have been impacted, there are verticals and horizontals that are still upbeat and hiring.

Job search, therefore, has moved from a mere spray-and-pray to a focused shoot-to-kill approach. In times like these, it is, therefore, imperative that one must have a more structured and thoughtful approach to job searches.

Let us discuss the strategy in two parts:

1) Professional Networking through LinkedIn

2) Job search from other platforms, including company’s website and online application

Professional Networking through LinkedIn

Over the years, LinkedIn has emerged as the most relevant platform for professional networking and building business relationships. Almost all companies today use LinkedIn to search for talent and to share updates. Be it an executive or a CEO, unless they are living under the rock, in all probability they would be on LinkedIn.

People use LinkedIn extensively to successfully approach managers of their prospective companies and land a job of their choice. However, there are some rules one should follow while approaching the concerned person of prospective companies:

1. When looking for a Job/Role

a. Connect to relevant prospects: Check on LinkedIn the role for which you intend to apply. There might be a reference of the hiring manager. If not, research from your network and figure out the details of the hiring manager. In case you still do not manage to connect to the hiring manager, connect to the HR point of contact (POC).

b. Send a personalized message: When you send a connection request on LinkedIn, an automated message is generated. Do not send the automated message. Rather, send a personalized message to the prospective connects.

c. Incrementally build a relationship: When you intend to connect with someone on LinkedIn, ask for advice. It would be rash to ask for a job, especially if it is the first time you are interacting with the person. Use the platform for extracting more information.

d. People love being valued: While everyone would like to put forth their agenda first, like in a relationship, you must compliment your connection or their organization for their achievements before moving ahead to ask for advice/help.

e. Listening is as important: Be a patient listener and make notes when discussing over a video conference. Also, keep notes of queries you seek to clarify.

f. Thanking for the call: Send a formal thank you note after you have had a meeting with your connection.

g. Schedule the follow-ups: When you have reached out to your connection, let them know what your area of expertise is. In case there are openings, the connection will themselves ask for your resume.

h. Measured follow-up: However, it is also imperative that you do not reach out too frequently or too soon. That might be a put-off for the other person. Follow up once a week with a polite message over any one of the media—that is via phone or e-mail or WhatsApp.

i. Use a current tie for introduction: At times, you want to reach out to a prospect but do not have a direct connect. Use one of your current contacts who might be linked to the prospect. Use LinkedIn’s connect feature.

2. To use LinkedIn to effectively highlight your profile

LinkedIn is a powerful medium not just to build strong relationships but also to improve your online presence and reputation building. This is a professional medium and, thus, should be treated similarly. Some Dos and Don’ts for LinkedIn:

a. Your profile should have a headline. Job details, description, projects, and certification tabs should be filled out.
b. Keep adding all your professionals contacts on LinkedIn network continuously to ensure that your reach grows
c. Choose the profile visibility option to “your name and headline” so that your prospects would care to check your profile.
d. Get influencers among your connections with whom you previously worked to write recommendations for you. This is a useful early validation before people reach out to you for exploring an opportunity to interview with them.
e. Avoid liking/posting any content that might encourage hate of any kind or could be termed as unprofessional and juvenile. When in doubt as to whether to endorse a post or not, take the simple judgement test: “Would you be comfortable sharing about the issues highlighted in post with your peers and bosses in office?” If the answer is no, avoid liking or sharing. This would help you resolve the dilemma.
f. Use LinkedIn to post articles that would benefit others in the network. Posting at regular intervals helps you build a positive reputation and more followers.
g. Check who has commented on your prospects’ posts. Connect with them as an ice-breaker to connect with your prospects.
h. Join relevant groups (say if you are looking for consulting roles, join relevant job search groups). Also like and follow companies that you might be targeting so that you get regular updates on jobs and other developments from those companies.
i. Engage in positive conversations in these groups; doing so would enrich the group members and direct their attention toward you.
j. Do not talk ill of your company/superiors on LinkedIn. For one, this would get you in trouble with your current organization; it would also project you in bad light in front of other members of LinkedIn.
k. If you are looking for a job, ensure that you set it to open for work. In case you do not want your current employer to know, the same can be updated through privacy settings.
l. Connect with your school’s alumni in the prospective company. They are the ones who have an emotional bond with other alumni from school.

 Job Search from Other Platforms

Applying for jobs from a career website is like sending your application into a black box—you do not know what would materialize, if at all it does. With thousands of applications for a handful of jobs, most HR professionals and hiring managers have few seconds to assess a CV. It is, therefore, imperative that you set your job search correct. Few important points to note are:

  1. Find a referrer:  An application without a referral might not get noticed. Try and find someone from the network who can refer it to the hiring manager or the HR POC, if possible.

  2. Curate CV and Cover Letter: A one-size-fits-all CV does not work. Curate your CV as per the job description, highlighting points that are relevant to the advertised job. Also, prepare a cover letter explaining how you are the right fit for the job.

  3. Do not be a generalist: When curating a CV, do not make it a buffet offering. This is important because of a couple of reasons:

    1. Most hiring HR managers/software are trained to look for keywords while searching.

    2. People avoid hiring jack of all trades for roles that require specialization. A generalist CV does not give a clear idea of your expertise. It is, thus, important that you curate a CV strictly as per the job role defined in the post.

  1. Be polite, not servile: While writing a cover letter or following up with the POC, be polite and use formal language. However, do not appear to be servile.

  2. Use school’s e-mail ID: If you have access to your undergrad/grad school’s e-mail ID, use that to send follow-up e-mails. Many recruiters and hiring managers have a preferred list of schools. An e-mail from a school’s e-mail ID indicates where the applicant had been to, way before opening the CV.

  3. Follow up: Create a schedule for follow-ups. Have a curated message each time you send across an e-mail or a message for a follow-up. Be polite and do not show your frustration or anxiety in the messages.

  4. Acknowledgment note: Finally, whether you are successful in your endeavor to land a job, send an acknowledgment note to your connection and thank them for their support. Also, send across a thank you note to the HR person who apprises you of the result, whether successful or unsuccessful. This ensures that the relationship is intact for future.

The author is a seasoned professional.

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Health and Fitness Personal Essays

My Diet Story: How I Regained Control of My Health

My Diet Story: How I Regained Control of My Health

By Suraj Sharma

January 08, 2021

Though wellness entrepreneur Agatha Achindu once said “good health starts in our kitchens,” I blissfully chose to ignore it. I have been a fitness enthusiast for many years now. My focus has always been on training—a combination of weight training and cardio. As I started exercising from an early age, I was visibly healthy. Hence, I believed that I have earned the right to eat a bit of unhealthy food. My friends were bingeing on junk and were not even exercising. I lived in Kolkata from 2013 to 2016 and had an incredible time with my friends. Independent financially and otherwise, I enjoyed the freedom to hop bars and pubs every week. I would also work out diligently at one of Kolkata’s best gyms. Everything was running smoothly—I had a good job, I was engaged in self-improvement activities, I used to work out, hence, I could party and eat junk without compromising my health or wealth. I was in decent health. My body fat percentage was around 17 percent and I appeared to be strong and well built.

In 2016, I joined one of the finest business schools in the country. I was overwhelmed with all the knowledge, new friend circles, and career opportunities that the place provided. Business school curriculum is demanding; it may become emotionally and physically stressful because of the rigor and the competition among the bright minds to churn out the best. I tried my best to get the most out of the place, and decided to give all my time and effort to get involved with the school and its people. Hence, I stopped working out because of lack of time. In order to cope with the intensity and pressure, I would often treat myself with a good meal. There was a monumental pressure to perform well; and I ended up ordering delicious meals, such as biryani, ice creams, thick shakes, etc., often. Food was one of the escape routes from the competition. By the time I graduated, I was loaded with wisdom and weight. I had gained around 12 kilograms in a matter of few months. Even my parents were surprised at my physical transformation (or deterioration?). I didn’t bother as the tradeoff of not exercising was quite rewarding.

I was about to join a new organization and my employer asked me to get a basic health checkup as a mandatory requirement. The results of the health checkup were shocking. I had cholesterol level of 500, enough to give me a heart attack. My blood sugar levels were also on the higher side. I was terrified after gaining knowledge of my worrying state of health. Diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol are prevalent in my family, and I am highly susceptible to them. I was horrified at the thought that I may have diabetes and I wanted to do anything to get back to a normal, healthy life.

I relocated to a new city to join the organization and immediately joined a gym. My doctor had prescribed medicines for cholesterol and advised me to lose weight as a more sustainable way of balancing health and lifestyle. I had to lose the extra 12 kilograms to get back to a normal, disease-free lifestyle. I was determined to lose weight and, hence, started talking to fitness trainers, did online research, etc. Everything directed me toward optimizing calorie intake and training. I decided to do something that I had previously chose to ignore—focus on my diet. I started focusing 60 percent on diet and 40 percent on exercise; that was my mindset at that time. Diet may be ignored at a younger age when metabolism rates are high but as one approaches the age of 30 or is beyond that, then an eye on the diet should be strictly maintained.

I started keeping a calorie count of all the food that I ate every day. The idea was to stay a bit lower than the maintenance calorie required with a good balance of carbohydrates, protein, and good fats. My height is 182 centimeters and, at that time, I weighed 103 kilograms. The calories required to maintain the bodyweight was around 2800 and if I had to drop weight, I had to cut calories. I made a diet chart that would meet a calorie requirement of 2000 calories (high deficit) and macro nutrients of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the proportion of 40/40/20—that is, 800 calories from carbohydrate, 800 calories from protein, and 400 calories from fats.

Basic calculation: 1 gram of carbohydrates ~ 4 calorie, 1 gram of protein ~ 4 calorie, and 1 gram of fats ~ 9 calories. 100 grams of chicken ~ 20 grams of protein, 100 grams of cooked rice ~ 20 grams of carbohydrates, and fats from almonds, walnuts, etc.

For eight months, my meal comprised of the following:

  • Six meals per day: Pre-Breakfast, breakfast, lunch, mid-lunch snack, pre-workout meal, and dinner

  • Pre-breakfast: Protein shake immediately after waking up (24 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrate)

  • Breakfast: 2 pieces of bread (35 grams of carbohydrate) or roti and 3 whole eggs (18 grams of protein)

  • Lunch: 200 grams rice (45 grams of carbohydrate) and 150 grams of chicken (30 grams of protein)

  • Mid-lunch snack: 4 egg-white omelets (12 grams of protein) and almonds

  • Pre-workout snack: 60 grams oats (40 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of protein) with protein shake (24 grams of protein)

  • Dinner: 200 grams rice (45 grams of carbohydrate), 200 grams chicken (40 grams of protein), and vegetables

Carbohydrate and protein were present in every food I ate; I have only mentioned the primary macro contributors. I was getting extra ~ 40–50 grams of carbohydrates and proteins. I measured my food on a small weighing scale and tracked my calories on a mobile application. Weighing continuously for two to three weeks would help give an estimate of the weight and portion size of the meal; daily weighing may not be required after that. Tracking calories can also be done similarly. Eating junk once a week is, however, fine.

The benefits of following a disciplined diet and regular exercise exceeded my expectations way beyond my imagination. I hoped to lose 6 to 7 kilograms in a year but I was dropping ~1.5 kilograms every month and by the yearend, I shed 11 kilograms. An extraordinary feat never achieved before.

The diet that I followed is called a calorie-deficit diet. Listed below are few of my learnings from my experiences.

Things that went well:

  • Excess weight reduction: It is a guaranteed way of shredding excess fats.

  • Increase in energy: This leads to an increase in energy which is observed after a few months and not immediately. This may be due to reduced body fat percentage and cholesterol level.

  • Increase in muscle mass: Since protein intake gets high, muscle mass doesn’t not deplete much. Further to maintain muscle mass, weight training with cardio at the end is suggested. Only cardio depletes muscle mass.

Things that could have been done in a better way:

Rather than going on a high calorie deficit diet, I could have started with lesser deficit diet, such as 2600 calories per day and then could have reduced 150 calories every two weeks. This would have reduced the downsides significantly. The downsides were:

a) The starting phase of the program is filled with hunger and cravings.

b) Mood swings during the initial phase.

c) Reduced testosterone level by the second/third month due to continuous starvation.

d) Reduced energy and fatigue: My energy level was down in the early phases and it reflected in my appearance, too.

After rigorously maintaining my diet for nearly ten months, I went easy on my diet and started enjoying the food that I loved, of course, being mindful at the same time. My daily consumption of calories has been close to my maintenance calorie of ~2300 calories since then. My weight didn’t drop or increase any further.

Here are a few diet tips that I follow now, so as not to lose control over the health:

  • I am aware of how much calories I consume and don’t exceed my maintenance calorie frequently. Maintenance calorie is the number of calories required to maintain the body weight. It is a factor of height, weight, age, and level of physical activity. The entire diet plan revolves around maintenance calorie.

  • Calorie consumption should be as per the individual’s goal. Muscle gain and weight gain require calorie surplus over maintenance calorie and fat loss requires calorie deficit from the maintenance calorie. Excessive eating beyond the maintenance calorie may be done less frequently, if lifestyle is sedentary.

  • Maintain a balanced combination of macros in the diet: protein/carbohydrates/fats in 30:40:30 ratio.

  • Focus more on macros from natural sources rather that supplements.

  • Enjoy a good meal once or twice a week whenever on a deficit diet, especially in the starting phase. This helps maintain the focus.

As I acknowledge the importance of diet in one’s lifestyle, I have also very recently started experimenting with various forms of dieting. One such was suggested by my exercise trainer who specialized in body weight training and weight management. He suggested me to try “Intermittent fasting.” For someone who is unaware of it, intermittent fasting is fasting for major part of the day (16/18 hours) and eating in a limited window of 6 to 8 hours. Curious to know what it was, I did my own research on Google and YouTube. Turns out that the Internet has all praises for intermittent fasting. It is told by many experts that intermittent fasting improves metabolism, regulates blood sugar level, and enhances fat reduction ensuring muscle mass, improving focus, and many more.

I was very skeptical of it initially as I was not used to skipping breakfast but, nevertheless, I went ahead. I decided to do the 16-hour fasting as was suggested by experts on the Internet. I had my last meal of the day at around 10:30 p.m. and the first meal of next day at around 2:30 p.m., fasting for 16 hours and eating in the 8-hour window.

Guiding principles of intermittent fasting are as follows:

  • Fasting can be for 16/18/20 hours. This is the time between the last meal of the previous day and the first meal of the next day.

  • No calories to be consumed in this fasting period, not even milk tea or milk coffee. Only water, black coffee, and similar calorie-free items may be consumed. Meals to be consumed within the eating window only.

What I did:

  • First meal at 1:30 p.m. (rice, chicken, and dal)

  • A cup of milk tea at around 3 p.m.

  • Pre-workout snack (oats, protein, and berries) at around 5 p.m.

  • Dinner at around 9:30 p.m. (rice, chicken, and vegetables)

  • Little things here and there within the permitted eating window.

I felt hungry at around 11 a.m. in the first few days but later I got adjusted to the routine. I prefer it over six meals per day with, perhaps, larger portion size. Since I was only eating during the eating window, excessive eating didn’t seem possible and I was always eating around my maintenance calories.

Few things to consider during intermittent fasting:

  • Don’t overeat the first meal.

  • First meal should have some proteins.

  • Intermittent fasting can be done for 3 to 5 days a week depending on the person’s comfort.

  • For optimum loss of fat, exercise when fasting. I didn’t do that, however.

My experience:

  • It is a good way of maintaining body weight as overeating is generally not feasible.

  • My sugar and blood pressure levels were also in the normal range.

  • I allowed myself good meals once or twice a week without worrying about gaining fat.

Armed with the knowledge of different diet programs, I have been maintaining a moderately disciplined diet for the last three and half months, and often would resort to a combination of calorie deficit and intermittent fasting whenever I felt out of track.

Fitness programs and diet plans should not be stressful in the long run. I would advise everyone to pick programs, workouts, and diets that are enjoyable and can be sustained for a longer period. Listen to your body before starting a diet program or any training program. Body gives signals, such as headache, nausea, and similar others, whenever in excessive stress. Discard the program for a few days if discomfort is observed. To efficiently execute a program, incremental progress is preferred, such as incremental deficit/excess of 50 to 100 calories every fortnight is preferred over calorie deficit/excess of 500 on the first day. Similarly, fasting may be done incrementally from 13/14/16 hours rather than starting with an 18-hour fast.

 

Suraj lives with his wife Alankrita in New Delhi. He is a Chief Manager at Sterlite Power. Apart from fitness, Suraj is passionate about rock music. He listens to classic rock bands, such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, AC DC, etc. He has also started learning guitar more seriously now, after failing in the first three attempts because of lack of practice. He is fond of travelling, too. Suraj studied Electrical Engineering at the National Institute of Technology, Silchar and pursued MBA at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

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Empathy and Compassion Ideas Personal Essays Scatter Diagram Women

Scatter Diagram in a Scatterbrain: A Story of Self-Compassion

Scatter Diagram in a Scatterbrain: A Story of Self-Compassion

By Srija Chakraborty

January 04, 2021

Though we subject ourselves to a spartan diet of effective communication skills, we fail to shed the extra calories that result in a gamut of misunderstandings and sufferings amongst our fellow human beings: just like the unwanted flab around your waist after living on a frugal diet and practicing a rigorous workout regimen. So, what is it that will get the world in shape?

Compassion! And it begins with self-compassion.

True compassion is the tool that unmasks the very basic purpose of communication. That is, recognizing and understanding one’s own needs and those of others, leading to a spiral of more profound and positive relationships around the world or even a small little corner of it. It is imperative that we gain a fuller grasp of how we can practice self-compassion in order to effectively communicate with ourselves and in turn with others so as to build a better world.

“I love you.”

You must have uttered these three “oh-so-important” words on innumerable occasions in your life. But, how often have you addressed the “YOU” to yourself? The idea might seem strange or even narcissistic, for most of us fail to distinguish the not-so-thin line between narcissism and self-compassion. Conversely, we attach “I am” more easily and frequently than “You are” to the adjectives “stupid” and “unworthy.”

It is evident that, more often than not, we inadvertently fail to establish a compassionate communication with our own selves. This handicapped self-communication stifles our self-confidence and smothers our self-esteem, thereby negatively affecting our decisions and behavioral patterns and degrading the quality of our lives.

Now, let us take this to a slightly higher level. This distorted self-communication affects us not only at the individual level but also at the group level. When our lack of self-compassionate communication stimulates wrong decisions, attitude, and perspectives in a group, we fail collectively as well.

Going to even higher levels, let us apply this to our society. The success of a society lies in the collaborative inputs from individuals or from the groups of individuals comprising the society as a whole. Failed self-compassionate communication is bound to have ramifications. The way we communicate with ourselves has a direct bearing on how we affect our lives and our society. The more compassionate our communication with our own selves, the more compassionate and adhesive our society.

Self-Compassion through Scatter Diagram

For us to inculcate self-compassionate communication in our everyday lives, self-awareness, self-worth, and self-acceptance are of primary importance. Here’s where the scatter diagram comes into play. Scatter Diagram fosters self-compassion by facilitating the following techniques:

  1. Self-awareness: If we stay tuned to our strengths, we can avert the vicious cycles of self-sabotage and move towards extending compassion to our own selves. Scatter Diagram provides us with a shot of self-awareness and introspection to identify and stay tuned in to our strengths. These strengths are called “points” on a Scatter Diagram. The techniques of Scatter Diagram help keep us focused on our inner landscape, making it a curtain-raiser in the journey towards establishing a seamless compassionate communication with the self.

  2. Self-worth: It is a hard truth that we cannot always achieve what we want to achieve. When we confront this reality, we question our self-worth; we feel threatened by the fear of being perceived by the society as an unworthy individual. We tend to become crippled with pessimistic thoughts of being shamed and criticized by others. The “self-worth” technique reinforces our real strengths and competencies, and helps us design our life based on these strengths. Scatter Diagram, by reminding us of the strong “points” of our personality, helps us derive our sense of self-worth. This technique administers hope and optimism within us and guards us from the apprehension of rejection in the future. By applying the techniques of Scatter Diagram, we inoculate ourselves from self-critical and self-blaming communication. This is achieved by reducing our irrational self-beliefs and fear of shame-proneness and failure.

  3. Self-acceptance: One of the barriers on the path to achieving self-compassion is conditional self-acceptance. It is humane to accept only our positives and not accept our flaws and deficiencies. In doing so, we allow our shortcomings to define us. We fail to treat our identities and our limitations as separate entities. We draw our self- portrait only in terms of our weaknesses and all the positive attributes seem disjointed. By applying the techniques of the Scatter Diagram, we are able to connect all those disjointed positive attributes that seemed unrelated to us and paint our self-portrait in terms of not only our weaknesses but also our strengths. By employing the Scatter Diagram technique, we also build on our strengths and this, in turn, engenders positivity in us to diagnose our less-desirable traits, find meaning in them, and embrace them. This is how the Scatter Diagram technique fosters an objective and self-accepting communication within ourselves.

How the Scatter Diagram Technique has helped me cultivate Self-Compassion

Before you read on how the Scatter Diagram has made a positive difference to my life, it would be worth knowing as to “Who am I?”

In my early childhood, the answer to the question went something like this: “I am a friendly, caring, impulsive, hot-headed girl who is talented, decent at academics, and good at Kathak,” or something like “I am a fair, pretty, and charming young girl.”

However, in my mid-twenties the answer to the same question changed. It read, “I am an underachiever who is not talented enough to be good at anything, and an ugly-looking person who doesn’t look good in any outfit.”

In providing answers to the same question in different stages of my life, I have simply super-imposed others’ perceptional image of myself and heavily relied upon those perceptions to arrive at my conclusions. In childhood, the others, for example, my teachers at school or my relatives, thought highly of me, perceived me as a very good student securing either the first or the second position in class throughout my academic life. After Class 12, I was accepted by several prestigious universities in India for pursuing an Honors degree in Physics. I had always wanted to do so.

However, heavily influenced by my parents and unable to maintain my stance of pursuing an Honors degree in Physics, I decided to take up engineering as a career. It is then, that, the well-intentioned significant others in my life, especially my relatives and friends, changed their perception of me.

I started casting doubts upon my talent. Despite the fact that with very little preparation I managed to find myself within the top two per cent of the State Level Joint Entrance Examination candidates, I borrowed my self-image of my capabilities as a student from those others. I doubted my academic capabilities.

Over the initial years of my professional life, I put my heart and soul into all my assignments but never garnered any attention, let alone appreciation, from my bosses. I constantly compared myself with my colleagues. I saw them outshine me the way I had used to others, back in my school days. I blanketed myself in fear of failure. I paid little or no attention to the potential that I was yet to tap. Gradually, I developed a very thick coat of low confidence and low self-worth.

This influenced the way I communicated and also affected the way I responded to communications. I feared clarifying my doubts from my bosses. I allowed them to overpower me, to criticize me, or to belittle me even when I did not deserve such treatment. I retreated. I lost my voice. I forgot my positives. I perceived myself as an unworthy, incompetent, and good-for-nothing individual. I found myself trapped in a vicious cycle. I could not quit my job in fear of being shamed by others and found it difficult to continue either. This sense of unworthiness was etched so deep into my mind over a period of two to three years that even without realizing, my dreams of pursuing a master’s degree in business administration and of becoming a strategist and eventually a highly successful woman became dormant.

My focus shifted its trajectory from my goals to my appearance. I emphasized only on my looks. Even “obsessed” would be an understatement. I gambled away all my self-esteem on how good I could appear. I defined myself only in terms of my appearance. Consequently, I suffered the ill effects. I became overtly anxious of each and every public appearance, even if that meant stepping out of the house for grocery shopping. I could not take a respite from checking myself on every mirror or windowpane that I passed by when I stepped out. I freaked out when I thought I looked bad, so much so that I could not manage to step outdoors; walking confidently on the street was a dream far-gone. I strived to look perfect in every photo or selfie, failing which I felt naked as though all my flaws were exposed to the world.

Every now and then I would find myself waged in self-defeating wars on social media, constantly comparing my photographs with those of others. I anchored on the weakest weapons such as makeup and beauty filters. I forgot to leverage my most powerful weapons: my confidence and my smile. In the process, I lost my stride in my uniqueness and my self-worth became contingent on my outer—not inner—topography.

It was at this time that I got introduced to this beautiful concept of scatter diagram by my mentor. No wonder, the first thought that ran through my self-critical mind was as to how could a person like me have any point on the Scatter Diagram. But therein lies the beauty of the technique. It requires delving deep within the horizons of your brain. It was for the first time that I started an in-depth analysis of my habits (good and bad), values, passion, hobbies, strengths, and goals.

And, it was not like eureka that I had my Scatter Diagram ready. I had to dig really deep to communicate with my inner self. My brain feasted on the deepest of musings on the following questionnaire:

a) What are the things that give me perpetual happiness?

b) Self-satisfaction or recognition by others, which one blooms me?

c) Benchmark that I set for myself or on the one that others set for me—which one is my motivator?

d) What were the occasions on which I was respected or appreciated? What were the occasions on which I was berated?

e) What do I want people to remember me for?

f) What are my accidental slips?

g) Am I courageous enough to recognize and embrace my imperfections?

Step 1: In my attempts to find answers to these questions, the Scatter Diagram has helped me rediscover things that motivated me like dancing, cooking, writing, and watching movies. It also helped me find my character strengths such as diligence, meticulousness, and courage. That I am good at dancing, cooking, writing journals was a disjointed event of the past. Scatter Diagram reinstated them. My conception of my self was, until now, defined only in terms of my appearance. Scatter Diagram gave me a wholesome and complete definition of my self by reintroducing my inner qualities.

Step 2: I envisioned my long-term and short-term goals. My goal of getting admission into a top business school and becoming a highly successful woman, which I thought was intangible, seemed attainable. My past achievements (points on the Scatter Diagram) served as constant reminders and sources of hope for an optimistic future.

Rigorous practice of the technique facilitates internalizing hope. The injection of hope through Scatter Diagram enables an improved ability to deal with the fear of shame-proneness arising out of a fear of failure and thereby propels one towards the set goals.

The psychological barrier stemming from a fear of criticism and embarrassment was the number-one barrier that impeded an effective communication between my manager and me. Now that I evaluate my self-esteem in terms of my capabilities, I can deal with any negative feedback more objectively: I treat the criticism and my identity as two separate entities.

So, the fear of criticism is not so aversive. I do not feel afraid to ask my boss as to what his expectations are from the work assigned to me. I do not stumble, if I need to clarify my doubts. Because of my improved self-communication, I can ably understand the information communicated to me by my manager in a manner intended by him. Consequently, I can deliver the expected results and also communicate my ideas and thought processes unambiguously.

Step 3: I chalked out ways to achieve my long-term and short-term goals by making use of points on the Scatter Diagram. This step distinguishes the Scatter Diagram technique from other therapies or counseling techniques. Let us analyze a bit in depth to understand how the Scatter Diagram technique is unique in its operational effectiveness.

The Scatter Diagram technique, like strength-based counseling, aids in providing solutions to people who have poor self-esteem, want to overcome challenges, and achieve their goals but often feel stuck in life. Strength-based counseling helps in identifying strengths and in realizing goals by capitalizing solely on strengths. Unarguably, though working on strengths offers a plethora of benefits, yet focusing only on the strengths can sometimes be a disadvantageous attitude. Emphasizing only on what works for you may leave unaddressed underlying maladaptive thoughts stemming from what does not work for you.

Our weaknesses are our problem areas. The general human tendency is to look for solutions that have worked for us in the past. When you practice the Scatter Diagram technique, you have a natural inclination towards scouting for points with similar situations or problems and, thereafter, deriving workable solutions from them. In doing so, Scatter Diagram not only focuses on strengths but also addresses the underlying issues or problems arising from weaknesses.

Scatter Diagram by the sheer nature of it—that is, scattered—explains why you cannot always focus just on your strengths, and, sometimes, how the best way to move forward is to embrace the imperfections and address the underlying problems arising from those imperfections. In the process, the weaknesses themselves could become the points on the Scatter Diagram and serve as reminders that those weaknesses themselves can be turned into strengths by accepting them and addressing them.

A constant point on the Scatter Diagram could be the ability to take up one’s weaknesses. It is needless to say how embracing weaknesses does not result in misplaced perceptions of reality and in chasing unrealistic targets. For instance, one of my strengths is “meticulousness.” When I leveraged only on meticulousness, I tried to perfect every minute aspect of my appearance and when unable to do so, I could not accept the asymmetry and settle for anything less. I found myself invariably trapped in the self-harming vicious cycles.

Movies, a constant point on my Scatter Diagram, introduced me to Olive from the 2006 award-winning American blockbuster movie Little Miss Sunshine and made me believe in the dictum: “Let Olive be Olive.” From Olive, I learnt that it is okay to not conform to the conventional standards of beauty and that it is more important to embody one’s wholeness. Scatter Diagram gave me ample resources to broaden the horizon of my idea of beauty and encouraged me to become more self-accepting and love every bit of me. Now, I use meticulousness to fuel self-improvement without being destructive. With continued practice, the ability to find comfort from discomfort could become one of my points on the scatter plot.

The Scatter Diagram technique, in enabling me to harness the power of self-compassion, has streamlined my inner and outer communication skills. I feel safer and more-cared-for with my new self. I am bestowed with more courage to practice imperfections. I have garnered more resilience to strive towards my personal and professional goals. My transformation from a stingily self-compassionate to a self-loving person was definitely not a cakewalk and certainly not an overnight phenomenon.

However, the intermediary trek to get me there is worth savoring every bit.

The Bottom Line

The most crucial yet less-touched-upon faucet of communication is the ability to avoid misunderstanding. Lack of compassion and, more importantly, the lack of self-compassion blocks our ability to understand ourselves and others. At the heart of the Scatter Diagram technique is the process to inculcate self-compassion. Scatter Diagram technique makes you self-aware by making you revisit the arenas from where your self-esteem stems, redesigns your life based on the positives inside you, and aligns your self-image with the reality free from your biases.

More importantly, Scatter Diagram, in its uniqueness, helps you identify your negative triggers and rather than sweeping them under the rug, allows you to embrace those negatives. It also gives you the opportunity to tap the best out of our negatives.

I have shared my story. So, all the people out there with poor self-esteem jammed with distorted inner and outer communication skills and unable to navigate your way through the pits towards your goals, please try your hands on the Scatter Diagram tool to become a more self-loving, a healthier self-esteemed, a better self-managed person and, last but definitely not the least, a more effective communicator.

The key to mastering this technique is the old cliché: “The more you practice, the better you’ll be.”

Practice, till it becomes your reflex.

 

Srija Chakraborty is an Assistant Manager at Tata Consulting Engineers Limited. Other than the challenges in Mechanical Design Engineering, she is also keen on designing her life. She is a food nerd. Cooking is her stress-buster and she loves backpacking, too. She is a trained Kathak dancer. She adorned her feet with the ghungroo at the age of six and practices the patience and perseverance that Kathak has taught her.

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