It is absolutely important to be among people who can provide positive energy that will help you rise in life. Over the years, I have learned some important lessons and have built relationships which are indeed worthy of being in that position. In this, LinkedIn, Facebook, Toastmasters, Blogging and most importantly, my wife, have played an invaluable role.
I must agree I was not so ‘friendly’ before my MBA days. I used to be a pretty serious guy often working on my academics and not mingling much with others. But after getting married, I got to learn the importance of creating and maintaining relationships with people from my wife, Saru. And immediately I thought about my aim, and realized I would not be able to achieve it unless I am good with people…not that I was terrible before, but I saw good scope for improvement. So, that’s where my journey towards working on my ‘soft skills’ started. I believe, people skills are more important that being technically or functionally sound (in software parlance), which can be learned through training. Soft skills come with arduous practice, and normally take years, if not decades, to be skillful at.
During my professional experiences, I have met many people, who have been poor in dealing with others, but still they have risen to some respectable level, which I guess is because of their hard work, and may be they were at the right place at the right time. But I am sure they cannot rise beyond that unless they work on improving themselves socially. I worked with a team wherein my colleagues and I were afraid of our manager and we would enjoy behind him. I only wonder, what kind of managerial skills he had…just that he pushes people to deliver by setting deadlines for them. We all know, people won’t stay long under such bosses. But at times, I have been lucky enough to have good managers as well, who gave me opportunity to pick up on some leadership skills.
We would agree Networking is very important when it comes to moving up in life. One can not be within himself and work his way up. That’s where LinkedIn comes into picture. I am lucky to have many good contacts in my list, who have helped me in the past, and i am sure, they will still be around when i need them. I believe it is an excellent platform to grow professionally.
On Facebook, it is more of a personal relationship that i have with friends, with whom i strike a conversation every few days or weeks. I say with pride that i have contained my friend list to include only those whom i can talk with and they are just not one of the ‘contacts’ to be taken advantage of professionally, for which LinkedIn is there. When you share a picture or a thought with friends, you would want them to be emotionally connected with you, and that is why it is important to be connected with the ones who you know personally.
Toastmasters is again a related platform to improve socially, though not online, where i am getting a chance to put my skills to practice and learn on the new ones. I attend a club every Thursday at my work place and have been really enjoying my time there. I got lucky to be elected VP-Membership and Public Relations for the club and got a chance at improving just what i was looking forward to. I would strongly advice everyone to join a local club, wherever you are in the world.
Lastly, most of my improvements have started at home, with Saru encouraging me to join Toastmasters in the first place. Also, this blog is a reflection of the connect that she has with her friends through her work, which I believe is something for us to cherish for a long time. Through this blog, I share my experiences and keep a memory of what’s happening – good and bad. I am making friends and getting to know people who are talented and who exude positive energy. I think social networking via blogging is pretty meaningful and teaches you to grow. We learn from others’ experiences and others’ learn from our mistakes. I hope, blogging would go a long way to improve my people skills and you shall all be there to witness it.