Monthly Archives: June 2016



The most jarring of Gen Y’s workplace behaviors is their connectedness. They are — they expect to be — in constant communication with their friends by phone, by e-mail, by instant messaging, and by text messages. They are the first digital generation, and

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 6.00.34 pmthose who preceded them must accept that the way we communicate has changed. While the rest of us learn a second, technological language, Gen Yers are native speakers of a language with a different grammar, vocabulary, and etiquette; cross-generational misunderstandings, confusion and resentment often result. In addition, electronic communication has led Gen Y to become impatient with what strikes others as only minor delays. They expect instant messaging. Since so many of their friendships are electronic rather than face-to-face, they have not acquired the ability to read inflections and body language, an ability that is a key part of emotional intelligence. The relative anonymity of electronic communication has fostered an egalitarian style of communication whose informality often offends people.

Employers who focus on impatience, lack of people skills, multitasking, and casual language will miss the unique contribution Gen Y brings to the workplace: their technological fluency can create new possibilities for the company and add global perspectives. The authors advise the following:

  • Recognize that the Gen Y preference for electronic rather than paper communications is both ecologically sound and cost-effective.
  • Build intergenerational relationships and improve performance and productivity by letting Gen Y employees teach communication technology to older coworkers.
  • Take advantage of Gen Y’s ability to gather information from the whole world.
  • Allow them to multitask because they will do it anyway.
  • Model good communication form in the workplace by using “I” statements rather than “you” statements.
  • Set the limits to teach what is and is not appropriate professional behavior.
  • Let Gen Y employees hone leadership and mentoring skills by allowing them to use their technological expertise.
  • Build social relationships through emotionally intelligent communication.

Be well connected


According to Ferrazzi, it is very possible to be “well-connected and all alone” – essentially, to be surrounded by friends and acquaintances but lacking intimate relationships. These intimate relationships, however, are a natural and essential need that is “part of our DNA.” To develop intimacy and lifeline relationships, Ferrazzi suggests learning and practicing four core mind-sets:

1. Generosity 2. Vulnerability 3. Candor 4. Accountability

These four mind-sets work together to promote close relationships. Reaching out generously to others often changes the quid pro quo nature of relationships and allows people to be more open and vulnerable with one another. The relationship can then take on the characteristics of a “safe place” in which people feel comfortable speaking with candor. Eventually, people may be ready to commit to helping each other through thick and thin and holding each other accountable for continued growth. These relationships must exist between peers rather than between a mentor and a student. In some cases, however, people with different levels of responsibility may be part of the same lifeline relationship, as long as they can function as peers within that relationship.

Generosity is the starting point for lifeline relationships. In many cases, people want to be generous but are unsure of what they have to give. According to Ferrazzi, everyone possesses a “universal currency” that allows them to connect with others using simple acts, such as helping with a task, listening to a complaint or problem, or offering a simple smile or word of encouragement. In addition, everyone has a unique “personal currency” that involves figuring out what others need and want and then helping them succeed. People can help others by using their personal skills, such as their professional expertise, their ability to problem-solve, their network of relationships, their personal optimism, or even their skill in a hobby. This allows lifeline relationships to involve people of all ages, since all ages have both universal and personal currency to share.

The hardest part for people practicing generosity may be receiving generosity from others. Accepting a person’s generous actions and assistance is essential to establishing close relationships, as it gives others the satisfaction of being generous. Ferrazzi suggests that a person’s reluctance to accept help may stem from the fact that they see the world through a “lens of scarcity,” which makes them believe there is only so much good stuff (such as success, money, charity, knowledge) to go around. When there is limited supply, people may not be able imagine why someone else would want to share with them. When people can see life through the “lens of abundance,” however, then the pie gets bigger and there is plenty for everyone to share. If people can truly “give and let give,” a relationship can be formed in which both people benefit from their own success and the success of the other person. Asking for help naturally attracts people and is therefore essential to establishing a new set of lifeline relationships.

According to Ferrazzi, vulnerability is the “courage to reveal your inner thoughts, warts and all, to another person.” Showing vulnerability oftentimes includes sharing struggles, inadequacies, and fears. As such, it is a quality that can be especially tough to encourage in a business setting, as businesspeople tend to believe that showing signs of weakness can damage their careers or status within the company. As a result, it is essential to establish a safe place before expecting people to express thoughts that make them vulnerable. But vulnerability is a risk worth taking, for four reasons:

  1. It serves as an emotional pressure valve that reduces tension.
  2. The confidants become closer to the speaker.
  3. By talking openly, others are likely to offer help.
  4. People can master the art of creating a safe place.

It is best to build a foundation for vulnerability slowly, using casual situations to gradually disclose vulnerable thoughts and gauge a person’s reactions. To achieve “instant intimacy,” Ferrazzi suggests several steps, starting with the creation of an authentic environment in which an individual practices “the art of being real” rather than living up to others’ expectations. To attract others to a lifeline relationship, individuals need to suspend their prejudices and project a positive image. When an individual shares passions and talks about goals and dreams, it encourages others in the group to open up and share their own. The individual can revisit past struggles as a way to share painful moments, which can provide an opportunity for growth and learning. When individuals share worries that keep them up at night, for example, their relationship with others can be brought to a deeper level.

Candor is “the ability to engage in healthy, caring, purposeful criticism,” which makes it an essential component of effective lifeline relationships. Ferrazzi uses the stock market as an analogy: Would you invest in a company if you felt its numbers were lies? Full disclosure is necessary in intimate relationships, and providing it is relatively risk-free: friends or co-workers will think the same of a person regardless of whether the person invites candor, and candor can open the door to additional knowledge and opportunities. Based on his work with clients, Ferrazzi states that a lack of candor is “the single most corrosive cause of lackluster performance.” For individuals, candor from others gives the individual an opportunity to change their own harmful behaviors, see facts that cannot be ignored and that will not change without action, and accept the conflict that is central to personal and professional growth.

Candor in a business setting should not be limited to exit interviews or anonymous, 360-degree feedback; it should be based on an individual’s sincere desire to be a better employee. In many cases, it is the responsibility of the employee to encourage candor, as he should realize that coworkers will not want to say something that hurts the employee’s feelings or damages the relationship. To promote candor, Ferrazzi suggests nine steps for individual employees to follow. They should:

  1. Find people they respect.
  2. Create an opportunity for dialogue.
  3. Make it clear that the feedback received is a gift of time, honesty, and thoughtful consideration.
  4. Acknowledge their own faults.
  5. Tell the responders what they plan to do with the advice they receive.
  6. Avoid leading people in their feedback by telling them what they want to hear. Instead, the employee should ask the responders for specific examples of a general statement — for instance, “You don’t always listen well.”
  7. Proactively decide to “take it or leave it” by choosing whether or not to act on the advice given.
  8. Preserve the safety of the interaction by simply thanking the responder rather than reacting with anger or displeasure.
  9. Repay the person giving feedback by giving candid feedback in return, but only if that person is interested.

One way to encourage candor from others is to be a “straight-shooter” in other situations, addressing the elephants in the room that others avoid. While it is important to be candid, Ferrazzi reminds readers that providing feedback when angry or in response to built-up frustration is not usually productive and often avoids the real issue. Pitfalls associated with candor include: responding in ways to get back at people for their candid statements; attributing failure to a person’s performance without considering outside influences; avoiding candor because of fear of conflict or losing a relationship; using candor to shame another person; and asking just one person for feedback rather than several, which would avoid individual biases.

Accountability to others produces change that can be sustained for the long-term. Accountability within relationships allows people to set higher goals and rely on peer-to-peer support to help achieve them. Lifeline relationships grant “butt-kicking rights” to one person (or more) if progress towards stated goals is not made, and they also require solid emotional support. It is therefore important to choose the right person or people to provide accountability, since some people are not willing or able to offer the type of commitment and candor needed for progress. An accountability buddy is different than a regular buddy because that person may be forced to “hold your feet to the fire” in order to achieve goals. In some cases, it makes sense to hire a person from outside an organization or circle of friends to provide an objective assessment of progress. Some people and organizations have begun associating an economic penalty with failure to make progress; in these cases, the person is required to post a bond before beginning, and the bond is donated to charity at regular intervals if progress is not made. If progress is made, the person gets the money back.

In the business world, there cannot be too much emphasis on accountability. It is best to make accountability a two-way street for a pair of accountability buddies who commit to a formal process of check-ins on a regular basis, usually daily or weekly. Finding the right buddy is important, since not everyone wants to commit to an accountability relationship or feels comfortable giving “tough love” to motivate a person who needs it. Individual pairs can develop a system and routine that is comfortable for them, and it is often helpful to formalize the agreement in writing.


Ferrazzi uses an analogy that compares the ease and quickness of taking an elevator to the ease and quickness with which a personal dream team can be used to take individuals to the top. He suggests nine steps for individuals looking to develop one or more lifeline relationships.

The first step is to articulate a personal vision; this requires deep introspection to “figure out who we are, where we are, and what we want out of life.” The answers to questions such as, “Where do you want to be in your life and career in one year or three years?” and, “What aspect of your life do you most want to improve right now?” can provide a basic direction for recruiting and developing lifeline relationships.

Next, individuals need to identify up to three people who could be a part of a lifeline relationship. It is important for people to look outside their inner circle of friends to find people who can help achieve their goals by being generous, vulnerable, candid, and accountable. Good candidates need to exhibit the “4 C’s” — commitment, comprehension (know-how), chemistry, and curiosity — and diversity should also be emphasized, as it brings fresh perspectives to the team. The team will evolve and change over the years, with some people “graduating” from the team to focus on other pursuits and others proving uninterested or unequal to the tasks.

When assessing potential team members, it is important to practice “the art of the long, slow dinner.” This is the third step, which Ferrazzi suggests “takes the tact and finesse of a diplomat,” and it may involve an extended process before a commitment is made. It is best to experiment with some of the behaviors needed in a lifeline relationship, such as candor and accountability, to see how the relationship works before making a commitment.

In step four, individuals should start to broaden their goal-setting strategy by identifying both performance goals, such as “lose ten pounds,” andlearning goals, such as “learn to cook healthier meals.” A person can also identify stretch goals, which require a breakthrough to achieve.

Step five involves creating a personal success wheel: a visual representation that lists seven different areas of one’s life — spirituality, intellectual stimulation, physical wellness, financial success, professional growth, deep relationships, and giving back — and the goals that are associated with them. In each area, the person should identify what the goal is, when it will be achieved, and what people are needed to achieve it. Individuals need to be realistic about their time and interests, and they should note whether their motivation to achieve each goal is intrinsic (coming from inside the person) or extrinsic (coming from the external world).

In step six, individuals learn to fight under a unique set of ground rules, a crucial skill that Ferrazzi calls “sparring.” When sparring, an individual presents her goals and strategies and a trusted individual or group responds with tough questions. The purpose of sparring is not to determine a winner but rather to enable both people to learn new skills. Sparring may get heated and force people outside of their comfort zone, but if a relationship has been established as safe place, it can lead to extraordinary growth. Ferrazzi lists six rules to govern sparring:

  1. Remember that safety comes first; the goal is progress for both people, not winning an argument.
  2. The person presenting goals is in charge of the process.
  3. Use Socratic questioning to make a point. It is best if a responder asks questions about a goal to lead the individual to self-realization rather than the responder stating a hard opinion.
  4. It is up to the receiver to decide how to react to the information offered.
  5. Avoid pulling any punches; remain dedicated to candor.
  6. Allow plenty of time for thoughtful listening, and especially for receptive listening, which offers empathy.

It is often helpful to formalize the sparring process by clarifying, restating, and evaluating the issue and then reviewing, restating, and refining the goal.

The next step requires that individuals diagnose their own weaknesses. Ferrazzi lists 20 different types of self-defeating behaviors, including self-doubt, pessimism, risk-avoidance, and overachieving. He also notes that in certain cases, a strength has the potential to become a weakness — for example, when a person who successfully micromanages tasks in a small office then continues the same behavior when supervising others in a much larger setting. It is important for people to work on only one type of these behaviors at a time, since everyone has multiple ways they can improve. Ferrazzi emphasizes the importance of seeking out diverse points of view and remaining positive when working toward improvement.

Committing to improvement is the eighth step in the process. Individuals first need to make a commitment to themselves and then extend that commitment to others. Making a public commitment to improve frees a person from keeping the need for improvement internalized, forces the person to move ahead because there is no turning back, and builds intimacy with others who will respond to a person’s vulnerability.

Ferrazzi calls the last step in the process “Fake It Till You Make It – Then Make It Stick.” It is important to understand that early attempts to build a dream team may not be effective in accomplishing the ultimate goals. Because the process of building a dream team can be long and complicated, each of the steps can be small and still result in a foundation for improved lifeline relationships and the achievement of greater goals. By formalizing and practicing the process, it can be modified as needed and eventually become an integral part of a person’s thought processes and actions. Ferrazzi warns that this process will not always be smooth; team members will need to address such issues as changing priorities and graduations to other pursuits; the group becoming too close to provide candor or demand accountability; and early expectations being set too high. As the group works out its dynamics, members should focus on collaborating rather than compromising, which will prevent members from feeling that they need to give up important priorities.


Making this process structured and formal will benefit groups that are created at work as well as groups that are created by individuals outside of work. A formal process gains momentum, drives the process forward, and becomes so concrete that progress toward goals is more likely. It also creates peer pressure to succeed, encourages committed people to join the group through the self-selection process, and encourages diversity among group members. Ferrazzi notes that there is a “school for every fish,” and he cites a wide range of successful groups with different affiliations and goals, from young executives to Internet groups that have a virtual meeting every day.

Ferrazzi provides a basic outline for how people creating their own groups can structure a two-hour meeting that is similar to that of a Greenlight Group, which is the specific group model used in Ferrazzi’s consulting business:

  1. Reaffirmation of group vows — that were established in early meetings (5 minutes)
  2. Professional/personal check-ins — in which each member briefly describes their progress on personal goals and issues since the last meeting (3 minutes/person, 20 minutes total)
  3. Spotlight — on a new goal or issue presented by a member (20 minutes)
  4. Sparring — conducted by group members with the presenting person (30 minutes)
  5. “I might suggest” — group members offer suggestions to the presenter (15 minutes)
  6. Group issues — such as finalizing meeting times or the next presenter (10 minutes)

When using the Greenlight Model, success is based on group support rather than individual support. Recruitment for this type of group should focus on peers, not mentors; in particular, it should focus on people who are capable of the four mind-sets and other behaviors such as diplomacy, collaboration rather than compromise, and positive attitudes. Recruiting is a “team sport,” and it may require a formal system to accept or veto members.

Ferrazzi offers some basic, formal guidelines that are used by Greenlight Groups, though they may be adapted and customized for each unique group. Each Greenlight Group needs to establish:

  • Promises that outline general group and individual goals.
  • Principles that guide individual and group behavior.
  • Rules of engagement that govern conduct during meetings.

Greenlight Groups also emphasize the importance of holding all members equally accountable, creating a buddy system for individual support, and having spotlight sessions that provide opportunities for individuals to articulate goals and for group members to help them achieve success. One goal for the group is to celebrate conflict rather than fear it, since conflict is a natural part of any successful group and provides fertile opportunities for individual growth.

According to Ferrazzi, these same ideas can be used to “transform the workplace” through lifeline relationships and groups modeled on Greenlight Groups. International research shows that the most successful business teams have strong social bonds, formal ways to strengthen relationships, and leaders who build strong relationships with teams. In the Greenlight Method, the company hires an outside person to form and guide groups, thereby allowing the group to remain free from internal office politics. It involves six steps:

1. Make the Case – Explicitly state the need for improvement and the possibilities for growth.

2. Raise the Stakes – Identify the outcomes and behaviors that are the focus of the group, the four mind-sets that guide the group, and a customized set of Promises and Principles that are specific to the company and tasks.

3. Bond over “Barbarians at the Gate” – Focus on the danger from competitors and the necessity for change.

4. Dial Up the Intimacy – Leaders should use personal stories and issues to lead by example.

5. Dig Deeper in the Now – Leaders and others should share current personal challenges, not business issues.

6. Getting Candid – Establish the group as a safe place by beginning with positive observations and following with areas for improvement.

These steps require that leaders and individuals be committed to long-term growth for both the group and its members. A group is not a one-time occurrence, and positive results over time provide motivation to keep groups going.

Ferrazzi concludes the book with a chapter for salespeople in which he suggests that the “lone wolf” model of selling is outmoded. According to Ferrazzi, sales groups that collaborate through a formal process are significantly more successful when judged by employee satisfaction and bottom-line sales. Managers can suggest several options for salespeople solo sales, small group teams who work together but are still compensated on individual sales, and fully-integrated teams that share revenue equally. Individuals who want to get started on a collaborative process can progress through three levels:

  • Level One: Begin a Greenlight Group focused on the four mind-sets.
  • Level Two: Begin to work together on sales proposals, with each member contributing their best skills.
  • Level Three: Work toward shared compensation for the team, realizing that institutional support is essential.

It is possible for these teams to be virtual teams, although initial contacts need to be done in person. Virtual teams need to be relatively small (usually three to four members), and members need to be available for long telephone calls or e-mail exchanges without interruptions or distractions. Members should share personal stories and experiences to build a social bond, and they should be creative enough to modify the format as necessary. Ferrazzi notes that personal communication is critical to these virtual teams, and that lack of organizational and personal commitment and deep personal relationships can reduce the company’s bottom-line rewards, as well as the personal rewards of being a member of a committed team

First 4 sec



First impressions have great importance; when a person first sees someone new, a lot happens in the nonconscious mind. The brain instantly tries to categorize the person into a certain type, making judgments and evaluations within the first four seconds. One way the brain categorizes is to make a judgment about whether the person is of high or low status within the group. Humans are wired to be attracted to the more powerful and higher-status individuals. The brain also notes the person’s chosen emblems and adornments, such as clothing, jewelry, or glasses, and their level of physical attractiveness. All of this information is observed, filtered, and categorized almost instantly by various parts of the brain leading to an intensely powerful yes-or-no reaction. While there is nothing fair, politically correct, or reasonable about this process, it is almost always permanent and rarely given a conscious thought. Additionally, overcoming these initial and instant impressions take an enormous conscious effort.

A person’s perceived level of attractiveness will be a significant benefit or detriment to their career, their relationships, and throughout all aspects of their life. The physical attractiveness factor is important in relationships, culture, and the survival of the species. The author states that most researchers agree that nonverbal communication and physical appearance make up between 50 and 80 percent of the impact of a communication, and cites many examples of this in human society. These examples include:

* Professors who are considered physically attractive by students are perceived to be better teachers.

* Attractive females receive significantly higher grades than male students or relatively unattractive females.

* Attractive females are far more convincing than females perceived as unattractive.

* Most of the wealth acquired by women in the world today is acquired by the most attractive women.

* Taller men make more money than their shorter counterparts.

In business settings, the author advises employing significant preparatory efforts to improve the likelihood of drawing a positive response:

* Dress about 10 percent better than the client is expected to dress.

* Emulate, or at least be aware of, the client’s values and beliefs.

* Mirror the client’s speaking and listening pace.

* Show an honest and caring interest in the client.




It is critically important for employers of Gen Yers to look beyond behavior and understand what is driving it. This generation has been taught to thrive on external motivation — after all, schools give rewards just for showing up. They have a genuine need for praise, tangible rewards, and feedback at every step. Unlike earlier generations, they must learn in adulthood rather than in childhood to develop internal motivation. Managers willing to help with this process will have more independent, self-reliant, and successful employees. In addition to understanding the expectations of their employees, supervisors must be careful to define their own expectations clearly. Gen Yers tend to show extreme sensitivity when confronted with constructive criticism or when perceiving failure because they have encountered it rarely in the past. They have been taught to expect instant reward and gratification.

To enable Gen Y employees to do their best work and grow towards leadership, employers should:

  • Schedule brief chats with employees to find out what external motivations will be most effective for individuals and for teams.
  • Engage the employees in self-monitoring when problem areas are discovered so they can see what they are doing and how it affects other people.
  • Arrange an intergenerational mentoring program.
  • Help employees recognize and harness their strengths.
  • Reward high-quality performance with increased responsibility.
  • Schedule quarterly rather than annual performance reviews.

Leading Through Effective Communication- Being A Supercommunicator

Leading Through Effective Communication- Being A Supercommunicator

As super communicators you should observe these six basic guidelines to ensure effective communication:

1. Lead with the Conclusion: The agreed upon standard for communications used to be gradually building to the main point, usually best to state the main idea first and why it is important. After ensuring that all readers have at least understood the critical argument, writers can continue with supporting evidence, information, and a limited number of links for those interested in reading further.

2. Use Big Words Sparingly: Ironically, research shows that while people with stronger vocabularies are more successful in business, those who use too many big words are not effective communicators. When the audience is concentrating on a speaker’s vocabulary, they are missing the overall message. Rather than responding with admiration, people become frustrated or are put off by the speaker’s perceived attempt to brag or impress. Again, the aim is not to insult the audience’s intelligence, but merely ensure that their focus is on the information being conveyed.


3. Combat Jargon Abuse: While jargon feels good to use for insiders, it inherently excludes everyone else. When trying to simplify complicated subjects for a non-specialist audience, it is imperative to minimize and explain any use of jargon. Acronyms are like another form of jargon that increases efficiency for insiders but, again, is a hassle for outsiders. When content looks like “alphabet soup,” acronyms are being overused.
4. Shorter Sentences, Paragraphs, and Chapters: Just as with the overuse of big words, long sentences, paragraphs, and chapters are “roadblocks” for readers. Internet culture has promoted brevity in the same way it has encouraged easy readability. Overdoing it can make a document boring, however, so this is not a hard and fast rule but something to be mindful of.

5. Sync Content with the Audience’s Culture:


When making cultural references or analogies, communicators must be sure the entire audience will understand them. It is safest to stick with shared human experiences (e.g., food, family, sports) to avoid confusion. also need to consider the tone their messages are delivered in.
6. Make it Error Free: Errors ruin credibility no matter how intelligent the person presenting is. Communicators should always work with others to ensure work is free of errors, particularly those a computer may not pick up.null

“A golden rule to be a good manager/leader and of-course a human is to communicate effectively. Our in-depth training modules are designed specifically to bring out the super-communicator in you to make sure you progress and pave the way forward for you and your team.

Our “Be a Supercommuniactor” training module is one in-depth, well researched and perfectly planned as per the recent trends to address the communication issues in your organisation.”

Here is a glimpse of our 2-day session at a leading software solution company.




According to Stein, emotionally intelligent workplaces share seven key factors:

Key #1: They hire capable people who love the work they do and show them how they contribute to the bigger picture. It is important to ensure that the person and the job are well suited for one another, and to continually motivate those employees by showing how their daily contributions impact the organization, the local community, and the world.

Key #2: They compensate people fairly. This goes beyond the paycheck. Trust is built when there is equality in compensation. Implement a coherent pay structure which ensures every employee is treated fairly and equally.

Key #3: They do not overwork (or underwork) people. Manageable workloads prevent boredom and burnout. Pay particular attention to the work/life balance of employees. Stress from work spills over into the home and vice versa.

Key #4: They build strong teams with shared purpose and viable goals. No person or department within an organization is an island. Build continued momentum by clearly communicating to each individual the importance of their daily duties.

Key #5: They make sure managers can manage. Star performers do not necessarily make the best managers. Only promote if they possess the desired skill set required in a management position. Once in the position, properly train and mentor new managers.

Key #6: They treat people with respect and leverage their unique talents. Promote a diverse environment free of all forms of tension. Anger destroys relationships and sabotages work productivity levels. Be vigilant in extinguishing hostility and embracing differences in others.

Key #7: They are proactively responsive by doing the right things to win the hearts and minds of their employees. Gain trust and win respect through honesty and integrity. Demonstrate courage during times of change and continually provide opportunities for growth and development.

Negotiation from India Context



In India, where ceremony is an integral part of daily life, there is accepted protocol followed even in the negotiation process. Indian society is formal and hierarchical, and most of the discussion in a negotiation should be directed at the most senior person present or the person with the most decision-making power. Commonly, the spokesperson of the negotiation team will dominate the discussion, although he/she may call upon various team members.

When dealing with foreign negotiation teams, Indian negotiators may often appear to approach topics in an indirect way or to deviate from the agenda at hand. They are often persistently focused on getting the best bargain, though they will do so in a very gentle and roundabout way. They are open to what can be quite lengthy discussion and will often keep the other team’s interests in mind when proposing a solution.

Indians prefer negotiators who are intelligent, patient and good listeners, and who are able to put the point across with as little conflict as possible. Precedence is important, and an effective negotiation should be able to put the point across. International negotiating teams who employ aggressive, short-term and impatient tactics are not appreciated. Indians would prefer to reach a win-win situation where possible and are typically very accomplished negotiators, as it is part of their daily life.

When dealing with teams from other companies, Indians expect them to be open, forthcoming, have good communication skills and adhere to accepted standards of behavior. They also should be senior enough to make decisions on the spot, and may challenge a negotiator’s authority as a tactic to force a premature decision that would be advantageous for their side.


When entering the negotiation process with an Indian counterpart, it is important to use the first few meetings to establish trust and a good working relationship, as the team’s background credentials are important. Third-party introductions help establish the negotiating team’s credentials, through in-person introductions or an endorsement over the phone or by email prior to the meeting. It is also common to have a third party present to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process.

When receiving negotiating teams, Indians will behave with hospitality and respect and may take time offering refreshments and social banter to ensure the comfort of their guests. Upon arrival, teams will likely receive a very professional, warm and responsive welcome.

Indian negotiators are most likely to showcase past work done and refer to a network of common references to support their cases. They are also keen to ask questions, listen to what is required and ensure that the negotiation is done in a social, relaxed, professional and collaborative manner. Indians tend to appreciate a good bargain, so when negotiating with Indians, they are likely to expect a discount or a concession.

In general, the monetary aspects of a deal are the last to be discussed and typically not even in the first meeting. The monetary aspects are often eased into gradually and may seem as an afterthought at the end of the negotiation process but are always very important, and the timing is part of the overall negotiation strategy. In no way are they the focus of the discussion.

Negotiation in India takes time. It may take anywhere from three to nine months for a contract to go through, as it will need to progress along several steps of the company hierarchy, and there is back-and-forth discussion. Modifications are expected and commonplace. There is even the potential for modifications to be requested after the contract or agreement is signed.


Wegenerally have a moderate to low tendency to take risks in the business environment, although that is changing rapidly with the rise in entrepreneurial successes. They like to be sure of all the variables and outcomes before making a commitment. This contributes to longer negotiation periods and in-depth discussions at every stage of the contract.

This tendency to avoid taking risks also impacts the pace of the negotiation, and it may appear to be stuck for a while. Typically, the decision maker is the last person met, and until that stage, the tendency will be to discuss the proposal in depth before referring a negotiator to the person who is next on the hierarchal ladder.


While Indians may vent their frustrations in social or personal situations, they are most likely to avoid conflict in the workplace. They would rather not do business with someone than enter into a situation that may result in negative issues being aired or discussed in public. When conflicts do arise between colleagues of similar rank in the same company, they are often discussed openly and enthusiastically in a face-to-face meeting. In rare cases when the conflict crosses hierarchical lines or cannot be resolved by other means, a manager will most likely be asked to arbitrate.

During the negotiation process, Indians are hesitant to handle conflict openly. This may result in halting the negotiations or delaying issues for resolution later. In some cases, the most senior member of the team may call upon the opposite team’s leader to resolve the conflict in private.


In many Indian firms, decision-making takes place mostly at the senior- and middle-management levels. While employees may have certain responsibilities and tasks, they often do not have the ability to make decisions regarding these responsibilities and tasks and will have to wait for senior management to make a decision.

When making decisions, it is expected that these decisions be fair and analytical and be based on business logic. It is also commonly seen in many Indian firms that, if the decision results in a success, the leader takes credit for the success, and the leader’s enhanced credibility then benefits each team member in the long term. If it results in failure, then the entire team is responsible for the failure.

When making decisions in teams, which is less common, the group is most likely to engage in a lively debate as they push for consensus within the group before arriving at a decision. If the group is unable to reach a consensus, the decision is made by keeping in mind the majority viewpoint.


The negotiation process in India begins with a sometimes-long period in which the parties establish trust with each other. Bringing in a third party who can attest to the team’s trustworthiness can expedite the process.

Because the decision-making process is almost always a top-down approach, it is accompanied by many hours of discussion with various team members, observation, and then more discussions, after which a consensus may be reached. The alternative to the top-down approach is consensus, and then, only after all the members of the senior-management team are in agreement, can a final decision be made. While decisions are often considered final, there needs to be much room for flexibility and modifications throughout the process, and exceptions may even be requested for consideration after signatures are on the agreements.

In most Indian companies, decision-making is a lengthy process, as the stakeholders would rather be certain of a positive outcome than risk failure and subsequent blame. Indians tend to be conservative decision-makers, and this requires deliberation when making high-impact decisions. They often debate points in depth, resulting in multiple discussions.

Indian companies prefer detailed written documents in addition to oral agreements. An oral agreement must be followed by a written document explaining options and alternatives. Documents are written in English, but in the case of government contracts, they may also be written in the local or regional language (Hindi).

The decision-making process in Indian organizations can take anywhere from four to sixteen weeks in corporate organizations and multinational companies, and can last for months with governmental organizations. Recruiting local advocates and representatives who can attest to the negotiation team’s credibility may reduce this length of time.

The complexity of the deal and the risks involved can influence the process. Indians tend to be conservative and spend time on the multiple aspects of a complex deal. Other factors include the scope of the deal, the monetary aspects involved, the number of people involved and the timelines. The decision-making process greatly depends on the levels of trust and the relationships between all of the parties, especially in the presence or absence of established trust between decision makers.


Factors of happiness


According to Pryce-Jones, there are five main factors of happiness in the workplace, dubbed the 5Cs: Contribution, Conviction, Culture, Commitment, and Confidence. These factors form the core of happiness at work, which the author Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 9.15.02 pmcalls “achieving your potential.” These factors are associated with three additional themes: Pride, Trust, and Recognition. When the 5Cs come together in an employee, it is likely that she will be happy at work and that her productivity will be substantially higher. The major task for business leaders is to understand these major themes and how they can work toward achieving them.


The first and most important of the 5 Cs is Contribution, defined by Pryce-Jones as what a person does in the workplace and what his view of it is. An employee’s sense of Contribution is shaped by both the employee (Inside-Out Contribution) and his colleagues (Outside-In Contribution).

Inside-Out Contribution

Inside-Out Contribution has four main components, the first two of which relate to getting things done. First, a strong sense of Contribution will result when a person reaches the big goals that she sets for herself in her working life, such as getting the promotion she wants, landing her ideal job, and so forth. Pryce-Jones warns that it is important to set goals that are not only realistic but also in harmony with the larger aims and values of the company; happiness at work must occur within the context of a working community. However, it is also important for a businessperson to ensure that the goals she is working toward are goals in which she truly believes. If the goals are not really hers, then she will have a much harder time sticking to them, and consequently she will suffer from a reduced sense of Contribution.

The happiest people stretch themselves with challenging goals that answer to their talents and interests; they are genuinely committed to those goals as ends in themselves; and they find pleasure in the tasks necessary to achieve those ends. This crucial aspect of Contribution requires great self-awareness and the discipline to identify the right goals. These goals must be clear and concrete enough to determine the objectives that need to be reached along the way.

Having clarity about objectives–the steps a businessperson needs to take to reach his goals–is the second main component of Inside-Out Contribution. For example, if a businessperson’s goal is to become an executive, then good objectives would include earning an MBA, taking on higher-profile projects in his current position, and so forth. According to Pryce-Jones, goals and objectives need to work together. Without clear objectives, goals remain abstract and frustratingly distant. The goals must also be appealing enough for a businessperson to pursue objectives that she may not find very attractive.

The third component of Inside-Out Contribution is the ability to address any issues with one’s colleagues and employers. Happy employees are more likely to make suggestions and address problems that matter to them, thus providing more open, honest communication and Contributing to social capital.

Honest communication leads directly to the fourth component: the feeling of job security. Lack of open communication can lead to gossip and uncertainty, resulting in a decline in Contribution. This can be avoided when individuals have enough confidence in their colleagues to raise issues honestly and expect direct answers. Job security also demands that businesspeople make an effort to be mindful of their job situations, objectively considering the requirements of their position and their ability to meet them–and if necessary, discussing the situation with colleagues or bosses. Good communication provides businesspeople with concrete metrics on their performance and prevents them from feeling uncertain about their positions. Like the other components of Inside-Out Contribution, this helps to ensure that they remain on-task and focused on their work.

Outside-in Contribution

While the four elements of Inside-Out Contribution are the wellspring of Contribution, they are complemented by the four elements of Outside-In Contribution. Outside-In Contribution begins where Inside-Out Contribution leaves off–namely, with the feeling of being heard by colleagues and bosses. As a component of Contribution, listening makes the most noticeable difference. According to Pryce-Jones, those who feel most heard have a much higher sense of overall Contribution than those who do not.

Cultivating listening skills in the workplace will build the Contribution of colleagues. A person with good listening skills will:

  1. heed what the other person says.
  2. interpret non-verbal signals to arrive at an understanding of what is implicit in the conversation.
  3. affirm the other person at the same time.

This level of listening ability requires a great deal of mindfulness and discipline, but it brings substantial rewards in terms of psychological and social capital.

The second element of Outside-In Contribution is the reception of positive feedback, or what the author terms “positive feedforward.” In order to be effective, positive, encouraging comments must be specific to an individual’s work; they must focus on what that person does well (what he should keep doing); and they should be frequent but not regular enough to seem automatic and disingenuous. Businesspeople should also make an effort to ask others for positive feedback, not only to receive it but also to confirm the acceptability of doing so, creating a climate friendly to “feedforward.” Like listening, this is a particularly difficult skill to develop.

The final two components of Outside-In Contribution are the feeling of being appreciated at work and the feeling of being respected by one’s boss. Appreciation and praise are clearly linked, but appreciation tends to result from effort–how hard one tries — rather than ability; it recognizes that someone has good intentions and has made sacrifices. A CEO pausing to thank an employee by name for keeping the floor clean would be an example falling under appreciation.

Respect, according to Pryce-Jones, seems to emanate from one’s demeanor and general way of being with others. Body language, eye contact, and attentive engagement all indicate respect. Perhaps the most important part of showing respect is taking care with basic manners, such as saying thank you and hello. These habits can further the sense that a businessperson respects her colleagues, and she is likely to earn respect in return. This fosters an atmosphere of respect throughout the company.


Conviction has the second-strongest correlation to happiness at work. Conviction means that a businessperson thinks he performs well in his job, and that he is motivated to keep pressing on even when circumstances are difficult, as he ultimately thinks he is making a difference.

At the core of Conviction is motivation, or the ability to persevere with the work. According to Pryce-Jones, motivation is innate in human beings, but certain conditions need to be met in order for a person to maximize it. Self-Determination Theory states that motivation is comprised of three elements:

  1. Competence: engagement in something a person likes and can manipulate effectively.
  2. Connection: participation in healthy working relationships.
  3. Choice: the freedom to choose activities that accord with one’s interests.

Using these three elements, it is possible to gauge a person’s motivation level and identify where it may be lacking. A businessperson’s competencecan be gauged by identifying how often she experiences moments of “flow”: the extremely satisfying times when she is so engaged in her work that she hardly notices time passing. Connection can be assessed by the level of reciprocity that she enjoys with her colleagues, or the likelihood that a favor will be returned. Choice is measured by the attitude that a businessperson has toward her job; is it a burden, or does she go the extra mile instinctively? If a businessperson is not interested in the work to begin with–that is, if the work is not something that she truly values–then she must force herself to make personal sacrifices. A bad attitude is a sign of lack of Choice. Only when all of these elements work together are people able to tap into their full capacity for motivation.

Resilience is another essential component of Conviction, as it keeps a businessperson going during difficult times. A person’s resilience depends heavily upon his nature and experiences. For instance, people who grew up during the Depression were found to be much more resilient than those who grew up in economic booms. However, there are some strategies that can be used to improve one’s resilience, regardless of past experiences. The most effective of these strategies is proactive coping: being mindful of what difficulties might occur in the future so that one can be prepared; interpreting events in a positive light whenever possible; and viewing risks as opportunities rather than as evils.

People with high levels of Conviction feel that they are contributing to the betterment of the world through their work. Therefore, one way to develop a sense of Conviction is to be aware of the impact of one’s work.


The third element of the 5Cs is Culture. It refers to how well a businessperson fits within the ethos and dynamic of the workplace.

The Culture of a business can be represented by a continuum between “fixed” Culture–meaning that there are more rules and the work is structured–and “fluid” Culture–meaning that there is more variety and freedom for the individual, and roles are more dynamic and loosely defined. Depending on his personality and the type of environment he is actually working in, a businessperson will either find the business culture more enabling (in which case he will find the Culture either “systematic” or “organic”) or more restrictive (in which case he will find the Culture “static” or “chaotic”).

Within this continuum, Culture can be broken down into several elements. On the more fluid side–that is, among the elements that are more variable and less determined by top-down structure–is a businessperson’s love for his job and his relationship with colleagues. The degree to which a person loves his job depends on whether he is in the right role and whether the business’s place in the fixed-fluid continuum suits his personality. A person’s relationship with his colleagues depends on both the person and his colleagues, and how effective they are in forging relationships with one another.

The more fixed aspects of culture–the ones that vary less–are related to the values of the organization, the fairness of the company’s work ethos, and the amount of control employees have over what they do. These factors are determined by parameters that the company sets. This is especially true of fairness: if employees are systematically treated unfairly, there is not that much an individual can do. On the other hand, it is possible for one employee to have some effect on other employees. For instance, a businessperson can make an effort to be mindful of what her values are, and to think about how her values might coalesce with those of the company. Likewise, a businessperson can achieve more control in the workplace by learning to say “no” to people, or by seeking more responsibility (and thus more influence) on decision making.


The fourth C is Commitment, which refers to an employee’s general level of engagement with work. Commitment can be broken down into two elements: believing in what one does, and having positive feelings related to one’s work.

People who are happy at work find their work more meaningful and more interesting; they are more in tune with the purpose of their company; and they feel more positive emotions. Individuals have some control over each of these aspects, but they require a good deal of reflection and self-knowledge. Specifically, an employee needs to identify what she sees as her overall purpose (or what she is trying to achieve in her work) and then find work that is meaningful in a corresponding way. This will be most effective if the employee can identify a calling for herself, something that she is deeply interested in for its own sake.

Another factor in enabling strong Commitment is the effectiveness of the mission statement of the organization. Companies will have much more success recruiting and retaining committed workers if they have a clearly articulated, concrete, and distinctive vision. In addition, their employees will have a better chance of feeling that they are doing something worthwhile and interesting. They will also be able to link their role in the firm with their sense of calling, and they will be more likely to experience positive feelings, or emotional highs.


The fifth and final C is Confidence. Confident employees believe more in themselves, are more productive, and are significantly more energetic than those who lack confidence. Confidence is comprised of three parts:

  1. high productivity
  2. strong self-belief
  3. good understanding of one’s role

High productivity is the more solid, dependable part of Confidence. If a businessperson has a history of completing tasks, then it will be difficult for any momentary doubts or difficult events to shake his Confidence. To achieve happiness at work, it is therefore extremely important to learn strategies of self-control and to avoid or manage procrastination as much as possible. The more things a person gets done, the higher his core level of Confidence will be.

Self-belief relates to a businessperson’s perception of his ability to perform tasks and achieve goals. A businessperson’s self-belief is formed by:

  • observing evidence that encourages the perception that he can get things done.
  • seeing co-workers who seem to have things in common with him succeed.
  • encouragement from others.
  • refusing to panic and interpret his experiences in a negative light–for instance, by reading signs of nervousness as a measure of personal failure rather than of stressful circumstances.

The final part of Confidence, understanding one’s job, means that the businessperson feels her job has not been a disappointment; that it aligns with the vision she has for her career; that she wants to keep doing it; and that she would refer the company to a close friend.

In order to achieve strong performance, these three elements need to be exhibited in moderation–over-confidence can be as big a problem as lack of Confidence. It is therefore necessary for businesspeople to seek out challenges that will stretch them and build their level of Confidence, while simultaneously preparing for situations that might undermine it. They can do this by making sure they have the right strategies and support to minimize the impact of problematic situations on the more vulnerable elements of Confidence.

Strong self-belief and a good understanding of one’s role are points of vulnerability for Confidence. When troubles surface, a businessperson will feel these two elements drain away first, leaving him doubtful and indecisive.