Wednesday, October 23, 2013

5 simple clues to spot a liar

A part of my job involves interviewing candidates for various positions and at different levels. The other day while writing some stuff on body language I started to think about the many aspects of a candidate that we tend to evaluate during the interview process. One aspect that we look at, or at least try to determine to the best of our ability is whether the candidate is being honest or not.
Here are 5 simple clues that you too can watch for in your daily lives and learn how to spot a liar:

<![if !supportLists]>1-      <![endif]>Observe the body language
Does the body language match what the person is telling you? Very often we communicate more from our physical gestures than our words. It is the gap between what is being said and what the body is trying to portray which will give a liar away. You do need to watch for it thou as many expressions can be as slight as an eye blink.
<![if !supportLists]>2-      <![endif]>Watch the smile
A smile can convey many things. However a true smile will always incorporate the lips and the eyes. If you watch carefully you may be able to detect any hidden emotion that a liar is trying to hide such as anger, fear or even disgust.
<![if !supportLists]>3-      <![endif]>Not what but how it is spoken
Experts believe and to some extent I have personally observed that whenever a person is lying their speech rate (words per minute) and breathing pattern changes. It may either increase or decrease, but it does change. Noting this may also help you identify if someone is hiding something from you.
<![if !supportLists]>4-      <![endif]>Against usual behavior
In case the person is reasonably known to you, one indication of lying can be uncharacteristic behavior. The above points need to be weighed in along with the observation of a different behavior pattern to make sense and / or pass any judgment.
<![if !supportLists]>5-      <![endif]>Type of query and its response
Ask simple question and get a simple reply. When you note that someone turns their eyes or starts to show uneasy body language when asked a simple question it means there is something they are hiding. Of course in case a tricky or hard / uncomfortable question is asked it is natural for the other person’s body language to reflect the uneasiness or prolonged processing time.

I hope this is some help and do feel free to add any observations that you have made during the course of your interviews etc.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

CC: Crowd Cloud

While I am still getting used to the concept of cloud computing I have been introduced to a new collaborative approach to learning. I would like to call it The Crowd Cloud - Since it is easier for me to understand.

Consider this, as a user of cloud computing / storage, I am able to share any document or information with multiple people via a central storage location. It is safe, mobile, convenient and doest not require my presence to be available. I can share with everyone or I can select who I share with. All good things.
Cloud Computing

Now we come to the natural evolution of cloud computing and in some ways reap benifits of the Wisdom of the crowd. I read an interesting article recently that very brilliantly describes the concept and evolution and I would recommend you read it.

Its collaborative, democratic, a social learning tool all in one. As the story goes with the proverbial saying "Too many cooks spoil the soup", initially that may have been very true in this case. However this concept has caught up with the masses and measures have been taken to ensure the accuracy of the informaiton shared by the masses. One such step has been subject matter experts joining in on these online communities and moderating the informaiton shared.

This is the future of learning and perhaps even how future generations will remember us.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Life is simple

Life is really worth living, if one decides to live it. The choice is yours and yours alone.

We choose to allow others to decide for us. When we allow others to choose for us - we become our very own victims.

Now this does not mean that no one is worth listening to. Intelligence is to listen to the experience of others and then decide on what suits you. So in management terms you would choose the best-fit.

I believe that we choose to complicate life. Here are a few things I have learnt so far that I feel are good guidelines to maneuver decisions in life:

·        Live and Let Live
·        Put yourself in the others shoes
·        Be sympathetic to others
·        Listen then analyze and then react
·        You will live this life and everyone else is an accessory with their own unique value
·        Either don’t do it, and if you do : then live up to it
·        Stop complaining and do something about it
·        Think of the worst that can impossibly happen and then whatever happens will be better
·        Be Objective
·        Equitable standards

I invite you to share your feelings and experiences on this and encourage a healthy open discussion.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

In the lines

The other day I was looking at my 2.5year old daughter use crayons on a coloring book. I noted that she was not paying any attention to the borders of the Dora cartoon outlines. She was simply "spreading" color everywhere.

It makes me wonder... We are were once like that. We didnt care for any lines or boundaries to restrain our thoughts. First came the single rule note books and then the multi-rule English note books and so on. When we learnt to write we learnt to remain within boundaries. To live lives within limits to restrict ourselves.

Soon what may have started as a definition for our language letters writing becomes a defining moment in our subconscious where we automatically accept limitations to our thoughts.

We inadvertently accept limitations as givens and begin to think within the proverbial BOX.

Thou, it appears to be a great learning tool and leads to become a great disciplinary tool, I feel that we should encourage our children to color and paint as they feel and appreciate their " Picaso's" instead of discouraging them.

Only when their thoughts are left to grow and wonder and taste the air of freedom can they really "learn" to control themselves instead of becoming slaves to their own minds. Replicating, reproducing and not creating.

I know that many may differ from my point of view and that is fine and encouraging. Just wanted to share my 2 cents worth.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Office Show Down

Now that I am working for the 7th company in my professional experience spread over a dozen years and multiple countries and a few continents I feel that I have finally (rather obvious) concluded that office politics is not a local or regional phenomenon. It is a universal reality. 

The sooner we acknowledge its existence, the better prepared we will be to handle and cope with it. Mostly I feel it’s about how WE react to such situation and less about accepting it. 

But as the saying goes, acceptance is half the battle won.

First, always remember that amongst all the variables that you cannot control ... there is one very important factor that you can control. That factor is YOUR RESPONSE to any situation. How you choose to react decides the tangent the situation will take. Always evaluate and respond in a manner that is above petty personal differences and ultimately good for the business.

Second, Always remember that if your reaction supports the bottom line then sooner or later your boss and management will see it. This is a good thing J

Third, instead of being upset about the things you cannot change its better to be happy about the things you can change. Very often we are too busy feeling victimized by some policy that we cannot change to notice the positive influence we can bring within our own area of influence.

Fourth, Its always better not to take sides. Being opinionated is one thing however taking sides is another. Learn better and effective conflict resolution techniques in order to resolves positively the disagreements.

Fifth, Always remember to understand before your seek to be understood. This helps in creating a deeper understanding of the others point of view and also creates a better possibility of a Win-Win situation.

Last, Never …Never get personal. It is an office and you will come across many people from different places and different insight and opinions and objectives. You must remain focused on the company objectives and stay aloof from making it personal.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Its all about how process things

So there is an old story I heard from someone last weekend and thought to share it with you all.

There was a small town and it had a sweet old lady who was the most popular sweet seller ( Mithai Seller ). Every day you could see lines outside her shop. 

Interestingly, she didn’t make the sweets her self. Rather she only sold them and had them outsourced to a sweet maker.

Now, one fine day a gorgeous young lady opens a sweet shop right across from her shop and goes in to business. Fact to be noted is that even this gorgeous young lady did not make the sweets herself but rather outsourced it to the same sweet maker the old lady was purchasing from.

On the very first day there was a huge line outside the new shop... yes, indeed many had come to get a glimpse of this gorgeous girl and customarily buy some sweets too :)

For the next few days the line out side the young lady’s store kept increasing while the line outside the old ladies store kept dramatically decreasing.
However, about a week and half down the time line … the reverse started happening. The line outside the old lady’s shop started to increase while the line outside her neighbors started to decrease … until the old ladies clientage was back to what it used to be.
Since everything seemed to have been same in both shops one bystander remarked that it doesn’t make sense that the beautiful young lady’s shop is empty … there was confusion.
So, one person decided to figure out this little puzzle. After a lot of investigation and eventual failure he decided to go and ask the old lady her secret to such success.
This is what the old lady said:
“ Dear Sir, I don’t do anything special to my mithai (sweet) but I think that it has something to do with how I weight the mitahis. You see, when someone orders 1 KG of Mitai , the young lady put 1.25 or 1.5 kg on the scale and removes the extra to measure the full 1 kg….. While I always put 600 to 800 grams and then add mitahis to complete the 1 KG.”

Surprising… don’t you think?
I believe it is the truth.
Regardless of the fact that both measure exact weight the perception that people leave with is that they are getting something with the old ladies style while they are loosing something with the younge ladies style.
The same I believe applies when one makes out policies at any organization. If you were to include all the exceptions in the policy … in no time will people start to view the exceptions as rules and rights. Rather if policies were straightforward and exceptions were reviewed on a case to case basis thou the decision may be the same in either case… the perception the employees leave with is that they have been heard and given special attention and treatment… perceived value addition means better motivation and improved word of mouth.
That’s my thought for today :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

9 to 12 Rule

Its been a while since I wrote my blog. A lot has happened since my last update.

I am working with a different company now. I have another little princess in my family. I have gained weight.

Now back to what I was thinking about.

I have found it almost impossible to focus on my strategic tasks at work due to the incessant visitors I get to my office. So after seeking advice from a few very wise mentors I have decided to implement the 9-12 Rule.

The 9-12 rule stipulates that my "visiting hours" so to speak are from 9am to 12pm. After which I work dedicatedly on my research and strategic policy matters.

I shall keep updating my blog with the results I get out of this in due course.

Stay tuned.