Sunday, May 29, 2016

Empathy - an important leadership trait!



As we see around ourselves, we often realize how few people are truly empathetic towards their co-workers or fellow human beings. A lot of people live their entire life simply focusing on their own needs, desires, accomplishments or struggles. Either they have never developed the skill of empathy or they simply don't have the time to spend on anything unrelated to their own struggles.

However, as far as business relationships go, empathy plays a strong role in building relationships in your work place. Whether it is appreciating someone's achievements or providing support in the time of their need, empathy goes a long ways. A good leader almost always have empathy for others. If they don't, they would certainly benefit from developing this skill. You cannot possibly mentor someone without having empathy for their needs and struggles.

Our future leaders need to be made aware of this important leadership skill. In fact, current generation is so engrossed in technology and social media that it is even more important that we emphasize to them the importance of learning empathy and practicing it in their day to day life.


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 Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry.
She is a consultant, writer and a leader.
 LinkedIn |  Web |  Twitter | Books

Friday, January 29, 2016

Ego is a leader’s enemy



  
Healthy ego is essential for self-esteem and personal development, but an inflated ego is a leader’s worst enemy. Leadership is all about inspiring people, showing them the way, and leading by example. However, a leader with a heightened sense of self can only take from others and will not be able to have a positive influence around him. An egotistic leader would always be focused on serving their own personal agenda.
   I recently came across someone in power who had an overblown ego. I felt pity for the person as I saw them destroy their own image by displaying their conceited personality. When I heard the person speak, their words had a negative connotation and I realized that this leader barely had any self-awareness. It begs the question - are egotistic people solely responsible for their amplified sense of self?
   I tend to think that people who are around a leader also share some responsibility in shaping the leader’s image. If followers keep inflating their ego and don’t provide timely and adequate feedback, things can certainly get out of hand fairly quickly. If these leaders ignore the feedback, of course they are responsible for their own plight. If people keep singing your praise and keep feeding into how wonderful you are, it can get to your head sooner or later. I am pretty sure there are leaders who are secure and wouldn’t get affected by such adulation, nor let it go to their head. However, insecure leaders could be surviving on these false praises and lose any sense of reality. In the process, their own behavior would be hurting their image.
   Needless to say, as a leader, one should be self-aware and keep one’s ego in check. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to keep your ego at bay:

  • Do I seek regular feedback from people around me such as my customers, peers, friends, family etc.?
  • If I get constructive feedback on my personality, do I dismiss it or give it some thought?
  • Am I only worried about my own image or am I helping others build theirs?
  • Am I self-aware? What steps do I take in order to increase my self-awareness?
  • Do I have a trusted network that I can rely on for honest feedback; or have I surrounded myself with people who constantly praise me?

Take the time to be more self-aware and maintain a sense of reality to strengthen your leadership.

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Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry.
She is a consultant, writer and a leader.
 LinkedIn |  Web |  Twitter | Books


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Do's and Don'ts of working with your boss!



Well, just like you can't choose your relatives, it is also a matter of luck if you get a good boss to work with. Very rarely if one gets lucky, one gets to choose a boss. But in any case, there are some Do's and Don'ts that should be kept in mind to have a good relationship with your immediate boss.

  • It helps if your boss and you are compatible and think alike. Even if you don't, try and align your goals with your boss. It will go a long way!
  • Needless to say, don't challenge your boss in public. If you disagree, which you will at some point or another, do put forward your opinion in the right manner and in the right circumstance.
  • Never get into an ego battle with your boss, it is not worth it.
  • Don't compare your caliber with that of your boss. He/She is your boss, not your peer!
  • Do find sometime to genuinely appreciate what your boss does for you. Even bosses need appreciation.

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Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry.
She is a consultant, writer and a leader.
 LinkedIn |  Web |  Twitter | Books

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How to deal with criticism?





Someone asked me this question on Quora recently and the subject is generic enough that I decided to repeat my answer here as well. The question was - "How do I deal with criticism as a leader?"

There are various aspects to dealing with criticism.

  • The first and very important aspect - Be aware where the criticism is coming from and should you take it with a grain of salt? Like it or not, people have different intentions when they criticize you and all of them are not genuine.
  • If the source is genuine, means well - process the criticism and find out what you can do to change it if anything? Sometimes we have a weakness and we don't consider it big enough to work on it because we are short of time and we can pretty much do by just being aware of the weakness and not necessarily work on it. I always say - play to your strengths. But if the highlighted weakness is limiting, you need to figure out how to overcome it.
  • If the feedback is appropriate, find ways to develop your personality or learn the skill. Get a mentor who is skilled in the area or take a class/workshop.
  • If the feedback/source is not valid - learn to have a thick skin - easier said than done, but it helps in the long term.
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Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry.
She is a consultant, writer and a leader.
 LinkedIn |  Web |  Twitter | Books

Friday, April 17, 2015

How aligned are you with your boss?


We have always heard the popular saying that "Boss is always right!" and we all have our own interpretation of it. Besides acknowledging the importance of this popular phrase, one thing that will really help you in your career is to align with your boss.

What I mean to say is - figure out what your boss likes and doesn't like, what are his goals and objectives and how well do you align yourself with them? It is important to know your boss and align with him. It will help in your rewards and recognition. After all bosses are humans and they do pay attention to how well employees are furthering their goals.

No boss likes to hear employees complaint and remain self-centered around their own personal goals. See to it that you are not just looking after your own goals but also of your team.

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Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry.
She is a consultant, writer and a leader.
 LinkedIn |  Web |  Twitter | Books

Monday, March 30, 2015

Leadership Quotes from my book

Here are a few quotes from my latest leadership book

  • An unexpected turn of events that forces leaders to make a critical decision is termed a crisis. What it forces leaders to do is change or be changed
  • Hindsight is always 20/20 but you can’t have all the information to base the decision, in the time of a crisis. The more important thing is to make a good decision.
  • I like to think of confidence as - Not knowing 100% about a job role but believing that one can handle whatever is unknown.
  • Welcome change, when it is required. As they say – “Change is the only constant in life”.
  • If one is afraid of what others will think and how they will judge, then one is not ready for a leadership role and certainly not a critical leadership role.
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 Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry.
She is a consultant, writer and a leader.
 LinkedIn |  Web |  Twitter | Books

Empathy - an important leadership trait!

As we see around ourselves, we often realize how few people are truly empathetic towards their co-workers or fellow human beings. A lot...