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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Family Values: Tolerance

How to Raise a Tolerant Child:
A tolerant person accepts diversity and doesn't prejudge others on the basis of religion, race, or gender. If we are to live in harmony with others and seek cooperative solutions to conflicts, we need to focus more on our common humanity than on our differences. Tolerance also involves being flexible and accepting that others have the right to be who they are. How a person treats those who appear different depends to a large extent on what he or she is taught in childhood. Here’s how parents can teach tolerance to children.

Help Your Child Get Used to New People:
Babies are blissfully unaware of other people’s differences. But fairly soon they start to discriminate between parents and others. At that point clinginess and stranger anxiety are common. But there are ways to help your child feel more secure with others. Start by allowing some transition time before you leave your child with an unfamiliar caregiver. Be sure to let kids spend time with other adults while you’re around to help them get comfortable with different ways of looking and acting.

Introduce Diversity:
It’s normal for young kids to notice how people look—short, tall, thin, fat, skin color, and gender differences. These new perceptions stem from a growing sense of their own physical identity as well as their keen curiosity about the world. Observe and respond to their curiosity. For example, if your child points to a child whose hair is very different from hers, you can say, "He has straight hair, and you have curly hair." Make sure your child has dolls, puppets, puzzles, books, and other toys that show characters of different races and cultures.

Handle Embarrassing Moments:
Children may go through a stage of commenting loudly and embarrassingly on physical differences--"Why is that girl brown?"--but there is no malice or prejudice intended. How a parent responds is key to preventing prejudice. It's best to keep explanations simple, concrete, and positive--"She has beautiful dark skin because her mommy and daddy have dark skin." It's also important to explain to kids that loud comments about someone's appearance can hurt that person's feeling. So tell them to ask questions quietly or wait until they get home.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

When a Positive No is OK

“I am utterly over-worked but cannot possibly mention it to my boss! I have so many things on my plate but still cannot get myself to say no to my colleagues! My to-do list for this week has exceeded all expectations, and is still getting longer by the minute! So many things to do, so few resources and so little time! I am stressed out but I just cannot get myself to say NO! What if I lose my job? What if my boss gets infuriated with me? My colleagues will never ask for my help again!”

These are random statements we often hear ourselves/ colleagues/ friends say.

William Ury, author of “The Power of a Positive No” declares people often tend to say “Yes” when they actually want to say “No”. This illusion that working professionals are doomed to get “blacklisted” should they dare say “No” in the office haunts their minds today, probably more than ever before, with the economic crunch forcing many organizations to lay off people and thus, adding more responsibilities to remaining staff. Bayt.com’s recent “Employee Motivation at the workplace” shows 57% of Middle East professionals who have participated in the survey tend to suffer from excessive work pressure in the workplace, 32% of whom state the pressure they endure is almost on a daily basis.

Work pressure more often than not stems out of a combination of factors that include extended working hours, newly increased responsibilities, very tight deadlines and a lack of clarity on expected procedures or outcomes. All the above can be regulated with a crystal clear plan of where you stand, what you can offer, how much you can stretch yourself and what are the resources you require. Setting reasonable limits for yourself and your workplace peers will not only ensure you a much more lucid state of mind but will also boost your focus, and thereby your workplace productivity!

What can you say “NO” to at work?

- Getting buried with job responsibilities you cannot handle all at once: Most professionals dread saying no to the boss so that the fragile “boss/ employee” relationship keeps flowing smoothly. This is unfortunately a potential quagmire. Managers do not usually get involved in every tiny little detail of your working schedule and thus cannot possibly realize on every occasion that they are placing too much on your plate. You need to ‘’manage your manager’’ and professionally and calmly point it out. The equation here is very simple: Is there balance between your working schedule and the job tasks assigned to you. Are you working extra hours already and in danger of having to work weekends with an incremental project you have just been assigned? Managers do understand that work overload might eventually lead to poor quality of work, so lay your cards on the table loud and clear and respectfully backed with solid facts to support you. Based on Bayt.com’s recent Middle Eastern Professionals Motivation Survey, 91% of Middle Eastern professionals state a work –life balance is crucial for their motivation levels and consequently productivity at work. Should you be a usually productive and committed employee, your boss will not judge you or provoke you; he/she will instead appreciate your transparency, your commitment to optimal efficiency and the timely wake- call.

- Being asked to complete a task that does not relate to your scope of work at all: Middle Eastern working professionals have stated in Bayt.com’s recent survey “Employee Motivation in the Middle East” that 32% of them are mostly motivated at work when they have the opportunity to develop their skills. Does that entail you taking charge of filing employee leave applications when you are actually a graphic designer? Or maintaining the company’s blog when you are in fact the company accountant? As useful as the above might turn out to be, eventually perhaps, to your long term career development plans, analyzing the short run and taking into consideration the amount of time each task could consume of your working day may well warrant raising the issue calmly and openly to your management. It is, of course, both challenging and flattering to be entrusted with novel and interesting job tasks, even when they are in an entirely different department or field of work, but acquiring the relevant knowledge and resources could entail a considerable time investment, on top of the time you are required to allot to your regular job activities. If you are certain your schedule will not allow it right now, convey the message promptly and professionally to the executive concerned.

- Getting pressured by deadlines that risk leaving you wounded: Task 1 is quite urgent (needed end of day), task 2 is even more urgent (needed end of day). Task 3 and 4 have just been thrown into your plate (needed yesterday). You can definitely complete all 4 tasks, and complete them with pride and professionalism, but the deadlines are a bit too unrealistic. You fully understand the key here is prioritizing but since all 4 are matters of urgency to your management, you might want to turn to your management for help in prioritizing these specific tasks. This gesture will not only be appreciated, but will also take a bit of weight off your shoulders and help you abide by more reasonable set of deadlines. 32% of Middle Eastern professionals who have participated in Bayt.com’s Employee Motivation Survey stated the support of their line manager is crucial for boosting their motivation at work. Turning to your line manager whenever you are stuck will show you are committed, trustworthy and sincerely care about the wellbeing of your professional reputation and his/hers!

- Getting asked to do personal favors during work time: Pick up the boss’s laundry, dog and children during work time when that isn’t part of your job description? Run errands for your associate as she’s stuck in meetings all day and busy preparing for her glamorous party after work? Set your own priorities straight first and then, should you wish to take pleasure in stretching yourself a bit further and doing people favors in the office, make it clear that this cannot and will not interfere with your working schedule! Its great being helpful, flexible and cooperative in times of need, providing of course your favors are recognized and appreciated as such, but job responsibilities come first. Everything else can wait! Learn to politely refuse such requests should they repeat or become chronic. Indicate politely that your schedule does not allow you to entertain social favors while piles of urgent work under your direct responsibility accumulate at your desk. NO, it is not being rude: it is being frank and realistic!

To conclude, the workplace today is probably more hectic than ever before, and as much as you would want to please your colleague/boss/ upper management, you should first make sure your important deliverables would not be adversely affected. Do not entertain out-of-this world requests when your performance is at stake. Always ask yourself if the request is reasonable first, if your time allows it, if it aligns with your goals. Do not feel urged to profusely apologize or make excuses that weaken your position. Do not allow for manipulation or feelings of guilt or fear to rip you into pieces. You need not be provocative, you need not stress. Instead, stay calm but firm: Saying NO is not a taboo in the workplace any more than it is in real life. You will, interestingly enough realize, at the end of the day, learning how to say NO can very much be a win-win situation for all parties concerned!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Are engineering students being fooled by IT firms?

Friday,27 November 2009

Bangalore: "Infosys, TCS or Wipro! Somehow I need to have a placement in any of these IT companies," voiced over 400 students, who took admission in a Chennai-based engineering college in 2005.

Among all those voices, was a frail, but a determined voice of Raman Sharma, a boy from Chhattisgarh, who studied day and night to get admission in this college. Dressed in white shirt, black pant and leather sandal on the first day of his fourth-year engineering course, Raman thought that he had crossed the first hurdle of making his dream true of becoming an IT engineer. But at the same time, he was unaware of the words like recession, lay-off, firing, cutting costs, virtual pool and bench strength, which he faced, once he passed out from his college in May 2009. Helping his father in the field, Raman is still waiting for his appointment letter from TCS.

Raman's case is not the only one. In the last one and a half year, most of the 2008-09 graduates have not been given joining letters after they were handed offer letters in the campus. Now, most companies are coming back to these graduates, asking them to join the BPO division instead of the technology division, which is a frustrating situation for the engineering graduates, who worked very hard for four years in college to get through an IT company. Saurabh, who did not prefer to mention his college name, said, "I studied IT for four years, but now when I go to any company for job, they say that there is a vacancy in the BPO sector, but not in the main stream."

Wipro had given offer letters to 8,000 graduates for jobs in the IT services segment, but when these graduates joined the company, they were asked to work in BPO division. Pradeep Bahirwani, Vice-President (Talent Acquisition), Wipro Technologies said, "This was part of its new initiative to let engineering graduates commence work without delay. Their experience at the BPO would be considered relevant and continuous when they move into the IT services after 12 to 18 months."

Similarly, Mahindra Satyam had 3,000 campus hires waiting to join the telecom solutions company till September. The company sent an email to the campus recruits, saying, "We are glad to share our plans with you for adding fresh engineering graduates to our Network Implementation Services operations in the near future. The candidates who accept this offer, the salary package offered will be Rs.1.7 lakh per annum, which is Rs.1.2 lakh less than what the campus recruits were supposed to get as per the company's initial commitment. In case the 'freshers' do not accept this offer, its earlier offer issued through campus selection stands good and very much valid, but will depend only as and when company has the requirement." Also Infosys, which had hired around 18,000 graduates last year, asked more than half of the recruits to work in its BPO section. But it did not reduce the salary.

Even though these companies have not offered joining letters to all the previous campus recruits and placed many of selected candidates in BPO division, they have started making rounds of engineering colleges for the campus recruitment once again. This year too, they plan to hire 'freshers' in large numbers.

According to recent NASSCOM report, Infosys has plans of hiring 20,000 graduates this year, even though 30,000 people at Infosys are 'benched'. Similarly, TCS has plans of hiring 25,000 people this year, even though 100s of students like Raman are waiting to get the joining letter. TCS officials denied of giving any information regarding the last year campus recruits, who are yet to get the joining letter.

As already we have a large number of students waiting to get their joining letter, these companies seem to be doing the same mistake again by planning to hire large chunk of students. Some IT professionals also believe that this step may be a sign of major lay off in middle level positions.
To get the answer of this question, we need to wait till the current session gets over in June 2010.

Work - Biggest health hazard, for 93 percent techies

Friday,27 November 2009

Bangalore: 93 percent of techies feel that their health is being affected by work and more than half say it's got worse since the recession began, according to a survey.

The main effects on their wellbeing are cited as not enough time to exercise and others say that it's because their social lives have changed for the worse. An IT Job Board spokesperson says that this bad news from the industry is most likely down to the fast-paced and environmental nature of the work.

"If employers want to keep their absenteeism down, they should create a better working environment that focuses on its employees' health," says IT Job Board.

Friday, November 20, 2009


In the run up to the UN Climate meetings starting December, WWF launches Vote Earth- our campaign to raise awareness and encourage action to combat the climate catastrophe.

You helped us make Earth Hour the largest environmental campaign in India.This is your moment to Vote for Earth yet again and show where you stand!

Climate change is uopn us. It is affecting people, ecosytems and livelihoods world-over, and more so in India. We have a duty to act.

The upcoming summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, is being billed as the most important global meeting in recent history. Make sure you're in it and help us make our voice get stronger.

Pl vote at www.voteearth.in, encourage others to vote and help us make this a success.

Thanks for your support.

WWF-India Team

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What comes first for Indian CEOs - company or self?

Thursday,19 November 2009

Bangalore: As per a study CEOs are less likely to pursue actions that advance their interests at the expense of the organization and its stakeholders. However, in the Indian context how far does it hold true?

Ramalinga Raju, the Founder and Chairman of Satyam Computer Services, an alumnus of the Harvard Business School as well as the winner of several awards and global accolades cannot be forgotten in this context. His involvement in the biggest corporate scam has no parallel in Indian corporate history. He created a $2 billion company in a short period of time, only to leave it penniless, all due to personal interests.

Sanjay Kumar, a former CEO of Computer Associates who is of Indian origin, was found guilty in 2007 in an accounting fraud, for which he was asked to pay about $52 million over two years to the victims. So how many Indian CEO's actually put their company before self is a big question.

On the other hand, ask the CEOs of the biggest U.S. companies whether they identify with the firms they head, and a plurality say they do. In research presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, in Chicago, August 9-11, about 40 percent of approximately 800 CEOs who were surveyed affirmed (about one third of them strongly) that the company was a major part of who they were. Another 30 percent denied that was the case, and the remaining 30 percent were somewhere in between.

"One might expect that a CEO who identifies strongly with his or her firm will see nothing wrong with using the company resources for personal use, but our findings suggest the opposite to be the case," comments James Westphal of the University of Michigan, a Co-Author of the study with Steven Boivie of the University of Arizona, Donald A. Lange of Arizona State University, and Michael McDonald of the University of Central Florida. "What we found instead," he adds, "is that such executives tend to shun lavish perquisites that shareholders and the public resent, perks which, in fact, have been shown to be associated with significant under-performance of company stock."

CEOs with strong company identification also tend to avoid corporate strategies that are likely to be at odds with the interest of shareholders. For example, they are less than half as likely as CEOs with weak company identification to increase their companies' level of unrelated diversification, a strategy that the study characterizes as 'a form of corporate empire-building, associated with lower financial performance, lower stock prices, and greater institutional pressure to divest.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

India stands among world's most corrupt nations

Wednesday,18 November 2009
Bangalore: India is still perceived to be one of the most corrupt countries by Transparency International in its annual corruption perceptions. The country ranks 84th in the list of 'World's most corrupt nations' due to high public-sector corruption.

India's integrity score, a major component of the survey, stands at 3.4 out of the highest score of 10, which indicates that the country has a long way to go as far as eradicating corruption is concerned.

While releasing the names of the world's most corrupt countries, the international watchdog has for the first time recommended that tax havens like Switzerland and Liechtenstein should do away with the secrecy in banking laws.

"Corrupt money must not find safe haven. It is time to put an end to secrecy in banking laws," said the Berlin-based group's Head Huguette Labelle. The bottom five nations were Somalia, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sudan and Iraq, while the cleanest countries with ranking close to perfect 10 were New Zealand, Denmark and Singapore.

Even China scored 3.6 on the scale, thereby indicating slightly better position than India in terms of perception of corrupt countries. In India's other neighbouring countries, Nepal was at 143rd position much below India, Pakistan scored 2.4 claiming 139th position along with Bangladesh while Sri Lanka scored 3.1 and stood at 97th position.

"Transparency international has found that strong correlation between corruption and poverty continued to exist, jeopardising the global fight against poverty and threatening to derail the United Nations Millennium Development Goals," Admiral (Retd.) R H Tahiliani, Chairman of Transparency International India said in a statement.

Microsoft to launch cloud computing system next year

Wednesday,18 November 2009

Los Angeles: Microsoft has announced that it will be releasing its cloud based computing system Azure on January 1, next year. The company plans to take advantage of the growing interest in internet-based software and services, according to Reuters.

Azure provides an online platform for software developers to create their own programs, and space for customers to store data. The service was rolled out for experimentation a year ago.

The announcement was made by Microsoft's Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie in the company's annual software developers conference.

Microsoft is expected to be a big player in the cloud computing market - broadly the trend toward running software in remote datacenters and accessing it over the Internet - but has lagged behind pioneering rivals such as Amazon.com, which already sells cloud-based storage, and Google, which offers a range of free, online software.

The first month of the service will be free, and billing will start in February, said Ozzie.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In March 2009, you supported Earth by switching off your lights during the Earth Hour. Now it’s your chance to show where you stand. It’s time to Vote Earth!
This year, the world once again joins hand for a unique global election, an election between Earth and Global Warming. Starting 7th Dec, 192 countries will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to come to a solution to the problem of climate change. Developed nations will be pitted against developing nations in an attempt to allocate emissions reduction targets for each country and put money on the table for a low carbon development path for the future.
VOTE EARTH is WWF’s global climate campaign aimed at securing an ambitious and effective deal at this summit.
Encourage conversation. Come together in this global community & Vote Earth by simply signing your name at 
www.earthhour.in/voteearth. We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations. 
Do It Now!

by Joseph Bismark

To change one’s life, one should start immediately. Do it flamboyantly without exception.

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is actually doing it.

There are two kinds of people; those who don’t do what they want to do, so they write down in a diary about what they haven’t done…

…then there are those who haven’t the time to write about it because they’re out doing it.

If you have something to do that is worthwhile doing, don’t talk about it... just do it.

Action is the antidote to despair.

Activity and sadness are incompatible. Action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.

So my dear friends, take action now before it’s too late. Remember that the saddest word in the English language is the word ‘IF’.

Please take a moment to ponder and reflect, thereafter take action. We are all on very short borrowed time in this world, so let’s not waste a single second.

Joseph Bismark

Group Managing Director, QI Ltd

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Woman and the Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly.

'What's that?' came the Pastor's reply.

'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.

'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork, the best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come. Great friends are a very rare jewel, indeed, they make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.

Show your friends how much you care. Remember to always be there for them, even when you need them more. For you never know when it may be their time to 'Keep their fork.'

Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND

And keep your fork

All who wander, are not lost!

Nasa blast finds enough water for man on Moon to have bath

Friday, November 13, 2009

an egotistical wish that may "feel good" at first but lead to disastrous results later, and a spiritual wish that will lead to lasting happiness and success no matter what.
"Be filled with love, be filled with gratitude, get rid of the fear in you by being in love."

9/11 suspects to be tried in New York: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001

Thought Provoking

I am not a person without manners and never was . I respect all people , especially my close friends . If someone see me as a bad person , then ( s )he is talking about him .
I know who I am and nothing can take my self respect and inner happiness .

I suggest to every human being to have self respect and inner happiness .
Nothing is important in this world except that .
I was never enemy to anyone and I will never be .
All what you , or any one , do to others , you do to your self and hurt your self , not others .

Thank you for forwarding my messages to others whom I am talking about .
There is no need for that , I used to say all personally , never behind a back like some .

Have a nice day : )