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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Making Good Investments

Whether you are a first-time investor or an investment guru, mistakes happen. The key to avoiding mishaps is to keep on top of investment rules, tax codes and annual reports:-
  • Study. Read latest financial news, personal-finance Indian magazines, stock market eBooks, corporate and quarterly reports and the prospectuses for the financial products you are considering.
  • Develop goals and strategies to meet your goals to choose stocks and other investments. Ask for professional advice if you are uncomfortable investing on your own.
  • Diversify. Avoid putting large portions of your portfolio in single stock or industry so that you are not so affected by its ups and downs.
  • Take advantage of tax benefits.
  • Buy stocks that you plan to keep for three to five years. Remember that "good" stocks at unrealistically high prices are a bad buy. Aim to buy at a low price, sell at a high price.
  • Invest in what you know and avoid buying stocks in unfamiliar industries and companies.
  • Shop for total value. That means learning to calculate key financial figures, such as price-earning ratios, so you can compare stocks.
  • If everyone is buying gold, variable annuities or some other investment, watch out.
  • Know when to fold. Your objective may be to hold a particular stock or mutual fund for three to five years, but if its track record looks like terminal descent, bail out. 

Choosing Domain Name

A domain name, the name for your website, reflects your business or personal identity. Here are the simple steps for choosing name for your website:-
  • Write down the name of your business.
  • Short and sweet names attract attention and easy to remember.
  • Prepare a list of services your business provides and a list of possible names in accordance with those services.
  • Use catchphrases from your brochure and other promotional materials to create additional domain name options.
  • For personal domain name, use your name, your pet's name, your hobbies, your surname or even you child's name.
  • Select organisation suffices. Whether you prefer .com, .net etc.
  • If you prefer to use a domain name that has already been registered by somebody-else, contact domain owners. Domain owners sometimes sell domain names they do not use.

    Resolving Conflicts at Work

    Friction in the workplace can be stressful and counterproductive for everyone involved. Learn to resolve the situation:-
    • Decide whether you want to confront the person who is bothering you.
    • It is usually better to air grievances in the open.
    • Speak to the other person calmly, politely and rationally.
    • Focus on the situation and facts, avoiding gossip and personal attacks.
    • Do not express resistance in your posture, facial expression or tone.
    • Be assertive without being aggressive.
    • Listen to the other person carefully. What is he trying o say? Be sure you understand his position.
    • Express interest in what the other person is saying. You can acknowledge his ideas without necessarily agreeing or submitting.
    • Communicate clearly what you want, offering positive suggestions and recommendations. Be willing to be flexible.
    • Speak to your superior if a problem with a difficult co-worker seriously threatens your work.
    • Deal with problematic personalities by trying to understand what motivates their behaviour.
    • Tailor your actions to work with the personality type.
    • One you grasp why people behave as they do, you will be able to interact with them more effectively.

    Monday, 19 September 2011

    Writing a Speech

    Writing a speech is in may ways like writing a paper, except that there is no penalty for spelling and punctuation errors:-
    • Assess how much time your speech should take.
    • If you do not have a time limit, try to keep your speech brief yet informative.
    • Think about your audience and let our perception of the audience shape the tone of your speech as you write it.
    • Begin with an introduction that establishes who you are, what your purpose is, what you will be taling about, and how long.
    • Do you want, you can conclude a joke, anecdote or interesting, fact to grab the audience's attention.
    • Organize your information in to three to seven main points and prioritize them according to importance and effectiveness.
    • Delete / ignore points that are not crucial to your speech if you have too many for your time-frame.
    • Start with most important point, then deliver your least important point and move slowly back toward the most important points.
    • Support to each point using statistics, facts, examples, quotations or other supporting materials.
    • Link your introduction, points and conclusions with smooth transitions.
    • Write a conclusion that summarizes each of your points, restates your main purpose and leaves the audience with a lasting impression.

    Writing Research Papers

    Writing a good Research Paper is a tough challenge, but breaking it down in to smaller pieces helps a lot:-
    • Choose a topic that is broad enough to be interesting but narrow enough to be manageable.
    • Find your sources. Books, eBooks, eMagazines, References, Bibliographies & Browsing the net.
    • Reserve one index card for each source for ease of future reference.
    • Take reading notes on index cards, writing down only the material that is most relevant to your project with source number on each card.
    • Organize your index cards by topic and sub-topic.
    • Use the cards as a basis for an outline.
    • Write an introduction that grabs the reader.
    • Write the body of the paper, following the structure you created in your outline. Be sure to cite sources.
    • Write the conclusion, reviewing how you've made your points.
    • Read your paper at least twice to be sure your argument makes sense and is presented logically.
    • Proofread carefully and ensure that there are no typographical, grammar and spelling errors.

    Planning Your Wedding

    You have recovered from the delightful shock of your engagement? Take a breath, take a note-book and your address book and then let the countdown to the Big Day begin:-
    • Envision your wedding from beginning to end. Where and when your wedding should take place? How formal the event should be? What will the wedding party wear? What kind of food would like to serve?
    • Fix a date.
    • Set a budget - one that is functional and provides for some flexibility.
    • Buy / order your wedding rings & jewelries.
    • From the officiant of your wedding, be clear about rules and restrictions regarding the ceremony.
    • Select your wedding attendants - your wedding party can be as big or small as you like.
    • Make a guest list. Compromise on the number of guests if your budget is limited.
    • Choose a dress and wedding attire for the rest of the wedding party.
    • Plan your pre-wedding parties, ceremony, reception and honeymoon, considering menus, decorations, favors and music.
    • Meet and finalise the deals with your wedding co-ordinator, videographer, caterer, florist and entertainment.
    • Check the Govt. requirements for obtaining marriage certificate.
    • Take care of the rest of the paperwork, from ordering invitations to signing up with gift registries.
    • Once you get married, have you registered with matrimonial sites, remove your profile to avoid unnecessary follow-up from alliance seekers.

    Delegating Responsbilities

    Many superiors delegate less than they should. Delegation of your responsbilit to your subordinates will increase your overall productivity and efficiency:-
    • Decide whether you want to delegate.
    • Decide to whom you want to delegate.
    • Weigh, whether the person you want to delegate to, has the requisite skills and background knowledge?
    • Brief the person the task. Define exactly what he is responsible for. Clarify objectives and decide on deadlines. 
    • Motivate your subordinate to act independently and to make his own decisions by stressing the results.
    • Allow him to perform the task. Offer him your help when needed, but don't be intrusive. Be flexible and open-minded about it.
    • Periodically check the standard of work. Provide helpful feedback. 
    • Recognise him and give him credit to it.
    • Public recognition for a job well done will encourage effort in the future.

    Effective Business Meeting

    Too many business meetings are ill-directed. Call a meeting only when it is absolutely critical, and structure it firmly so that it achieves its purpose:- 
    • Decide whether you really need to call a meeting.
    • Can the issue be resolved by an individual or a conference call?
    • Determine who needs to attend. Try keeping the number of attendendees small, as large meetings get unwiedly.
    • Set definite starting and stopping times.
    • Prepare an agenda. Explain its goal. If there are many goals, prioritise and make it clear to all.
    • Circulate the agenda in advance to allow attendees to prepare.
    • Assemble visual aids and ensure their working conditions.
    • Start the meeting at designated time, regardless of whether everyone is present. Avoid taking too much time to summarise for latecomers.
    • Start off the meeting with straightforward, easily resolved issues before heading into complicated ones.
    • Allocate specific amount of time for each issue. Move through issues, allowing for discussion.
    • Postpone discussion until the end of the meeting if debate on an issue runs overtime.
    • Make sure to cover the other issues on the agenda.
    • Circulate the copies of the 'Minutes of the Meeting' after the meeting to remind everyone of conclusions and action plans.

    Shop Online

    You can now buy just about anything online. If you have not yet tried e-shopping with heavy discounts, here is a general outline:-
    • Use a search engine to find the product you are looking for if you do not know specifically which site to go.
    • Visit several sites from a single source to find the best & most products with competitive prices.
    • Create an outline of the product you want to buy.
    • Go through complete description of the product closely along with Guarantee / Warranty & Return policies.
    • Read customers' reviews / comments about the product & suggestions about alternate / better products available.
    • Create strong passwords using lower / upper case letters / numbers / symbols & always keep your log in details confidential.
    • It is better to use Credit Card than Debit Card for online fraud-protection.
    • Before you enter any sensitive data, identify if the webpage is safe for financial transaction.
    • Protect / Defend your Computer / Lap-top on daily basis with automatic updates / anti-virus software.
    • To begin with and to confirm safe-and-secure, you can test-buy online with an inexpensive / low priced product.
    • Make sure your order is accurate and then confirm it.

    Friday, 16 September 2011

    Boosting Child's Self-Esteem

    Positive self-image is one of the greatest gifts any parent can bestow and and a key to successful child's living:-
    • Help your child remember the good times in the bad times.
    • Be quick to forgive.
    • Tell your child the truth - always say what you mean and mean what you say.
    • No matter how busy everyone gets, find time to eat meals together as a family on a regular basis.
    • If you want to take some credit for your child's success, be willing to take part of the blame for his failures.
    • Sometimes on a special occasion, give your child a gift certificate and let him pick out his own present.
    • Don't presume your child will follow in your footsteps.
    • Show your child how you budget your income and save for "big-ticket" items.
    • Establish a curfew. There will be times when your child will welcome an excuse to get home "on time".
    • Stop calling them kids when they are teenagers.
    • Don't try to pick your child's career. Encourage and support your child's choice.
    • Be on your best behaviour when your child is trying to impress someone.
    • Don't expect your child to solve your problems.
    • Make it comfortable for your child to have friends over.

    Thursday, 15 September 2011

    Getting Good Night Sleep

    If you encounter sleeplessness in the form of onset or remain asleep for a length of time or both, you may be able to treat yourself with one or more of these remedies:-
    • Avoid 'Nicotine', 'Caffine', and 'Alcohol
      Nicotine is a powerful stimulant and also addicting. It carries harmful tars and other impurities linked to lung cancer and other life-threatening diseases. If you cannot quit, at least try to avoid smoking within a few hours of bedtime.

      Caffine is present in coffee, cola, chocolate, tea, aspirin and lot of other less obvious sources. It remains in your system for four hours after you ingest it so that after-dinner coffee at eight may be hurting your sleep at midnight.

      Alchohol is a powerful depressant and it blocks your descent in to deep and restful sleep though alchohol is certainly not a stimulant.
    • Take sleeping pills for short term or not at all
      Do not rely on sleeping pills for long term as these drungs have serious drawbacks.

    • Keep regular meal times
      Try to have the food at approximately the same times each day, and avoid eating too close to bedtime. Digestion is a very active process and may interfere with your attempts to relax and fall asleep. Regular habits will benefit healthy sleep.

    • Stick to regular bed and rising times
      If you tend to follow one schedule during the work week but depart from it drastically for week-ends, you may well have trouble falling asleep Sunday night and even more trouble dragging yourself out of bed Monday Morning. A regular sleep schedule - getting up and going to bed at approximately same time each day - will help combat abnormal inability to obtain adequate sleep.

    • Exercise regularly
      Exercising on a regular schedule and not within three or four hours of bedtime is best for most of us.

    • Don't worry about it
      If you cannot sleep, examine your life for unusual sources of stress that may be causing problem. If a specific problem or challenge is stealing your sleep, try the techniques try the techniques to diffuse your anxiety.

      If grief is causing your stress, know that both grief and stress will decrease or end with time, and with them your sleeplessness. Again, your reaction is perfectly natural.

    Tuesday, 13 September 2011

    Creative Time Management

    Managing Time well means 'Managing Your Life' well. The most important benefit of creative time management is that it enables you to feel in control of your life.

    If you feel in control of your life, you will experience less stress, more relaxed, productive, self-satisfied, and live longer. Contrarily, poor time management causes missed deadlines, unfinished projects, annoyed clients, and cancelled appointments. It also leads to heightened tension, anger, embarassment, low self-esteem, and feel mentally depressed.

    To creatively manage your time, here are the fundamental principles:-
    • Be Active
      Make active decisions about how you spend your time instead of reacting to every demand on you. Decide what is important to you and say 'No' to anything that interferes.
    • Set Goals
      Set goals to know where you are going. No matter what age you are, you can develop daily, weekly, yearly, or longer-range goals to guide you. By settting goals, you can better manage your time and life today. 
    •  Prioritise Actions
      Create a plan of action. 20% of what you do will give you 80% of your results. Identify the right 20% of your activities adn make them priorities.
    • Keep Your Focus
      Maximise your productvity by concentrating on one major project at a time. Stay on track until project is completed. Simplyfy your goals, and set short-range priorities.  
    • Create Realistic Deadlines
      Realistic deadlines help keep you focused on specific long-term goals and specially on short-term priorities. Create a to-do list of projects or goals, but you also have to estimate how long it will take you to complete each task so you can specify concrete deadlines.
    • Balance Your Life
      Last principle means creating time for yourself and for those you care about - your partner, children, parents, siblings, friends, neighbours and even your pets. 

    Sunday, 11 September 2011

    Engage Audience Successfully

    Maintaining your audience attention and interest for your topic till the end symbolises successful communication. Following are the simple ways:-
    • Maintain Eye Contact
      Maintain eye contact, randomly but as widely as possible so that individuals feel included at all times to show that you are sincere, credible, experienced, persuasive and friendly.
    • Tone of Voice
      To maintain audience attention, speak slowly with varying tone and resonance. 
    •  Repeat Key Phrases
      Add emphasis by repeating key phrases and sounding assertive as you reinforce your point to get your message across as confidently as possible.
    • Look and sound professional
      Always try to limit confirming phrases like 'Do you know what I mean?', 'OK?'. as this gives an impression that you are not sure of yourself.  
    • Be enthusiastic
      Being enthusiastic can be infectious as long as it is not over the top. Animated facial expressions, humor, body positions and gestures count for a lot in winning over.
    • Use Natural Breaks
      To maintain audience attention, it is often worth creating natural breaks by distributing literature and other items connected with your presentation. Keep the material hidden from view until then as it can distract your audience. 
    • Avoid Negative Body Language
      Certain postures and gestures tell you how receptive they are to what you are saying. When audience appearing to be picking fluff off their cloth, it suggests they are not in agreement with you, but are unlikely to challenge you about it. 
    • Avoid Distractions
      Body Language is a two way communication and that it is easy to be distracted by someone else's eye contact. The moment your attention is distracted, the audience's attention will decrease gradually.
    • Encourage Participation
      If you feel you need to bring people in to maintain their attention, mention their names, refer to something over which they have responsibility, or ask for questions and comments. 
    • Visual Aids
      As it is difficult to continue to maintain eye contact, use flip charts and projector presentations but do not be distracted by the visual aid becausse your body language will show that you have lost with your audience.

    Saturday, 10 September 2011

    Say 'No' to Boss Gracefully

    'No' is one of the shortest words in the English language. But the trouble with 'No' is that it often frustrates the person on the receiving end by making him feel powerless. It can create powerful, usually negative feelings. How to get your way without turning off your boss? Here are simple ways:-
    • Always try to express the pronouns "I" & "you" in to "we": "I have reviewed the drafted Company HR Policies, and found that we need to make some changes in it".

    • Bring up alternatives, using brief phrases as "I"am stronger in this field" & "make the best use of resources".
  • Avoid using the words which underscore negativity and inability such as can't, impossible, incapable, mistaken, overloaded, ridiculous, tired and won't.

  • If your boss is wrong like neglecting details, forgetting how to accomplish the basic tasks or always forgetting appointments, do not correct his mistake. Instead, focus on getting clarification and confirmation of instructions.

  • It will be difficult to say 'No' to the boss who is tyrant, plain, simple & barking out commands. Without threatening your boss's self image, let him tell what he really wants and work out together.

  • The hard-driving boss can be exciting and inspiring to work for, if he does not drive you in to the ground with unreasonable demands. Remind your boss even the most dedicated workers need a break.  If accelerated pace is a chronic problem, discuss with your subordinates and enlist  their support before talking to your boss.
    • Your boss invites you and your family to dinner, but you have previous engagement that you cannot break. Politely tell him your inability to accept his invitation due to previous engagement which you cannot break. Tell him to  give you another opportunity.
    In short, do not just say 'No' and leave it at that. Try to create a bridge of empathy and understanding that helps both of you get over the negative emotions. It is usually better to under-react than to overreact.

    Writing About Social Issues

    If we pay attention to what is going on in the world around us, we will recognise some issues which touch our lives. Writing about a social issue, that is important to you and you are interested in is tricky. Every issue has two sides and you will need to research both sides of the issue and summarise the best points for both sides.

    However, to write a good report, you need to be fair and unbiased and give the reader a chance to make up his own mind. Here are the simple steps to write a good report on any social issue:-   
    • Choose an issue that is interesting and important to your readers and to you.
    • One good idea is to see if you can phrase the 'Title' of your report in a question. For example, instead of  'Eradication of Corruption in India', say 'Can corruption be eradicated in India?'
    • Start writing from your heart about the issue and do not stop to think too much.
    • Jot down the arguments you might hear from the other side of the issue (which you like or not).
    • Use the most up-date information, by referring most recently published Books, magazines, periodicals and online. 
    • As you need to report on two sides of the issue, use a graphic organiser.
    • List out points with main idea for each pararagraph, you make for both sides of the issue ('for' and 'against'). Graphic organiser is an outline which will help you, progress your report easily.
    • Now prepare a draft, summarising each side of the issue in 2 or 3 sentences. 
    • It is important to present both sides fairly.
    • Note, the introduction introduces the topic of your report and it should get readers' attention so that the reader wants to continue reading.
    • By using a question as your title, will get your readers to think about where they stand on the issue.
    • Revise your report and ensure you have given same amount of space for both sides and tone has been fair throughout your report.
    • Begin each paragraph with general statement (topic sentence), supported with details in the paragraph.
    • Your conclusion should relate to your introduction in some way.
    And finally, pay close attention to both 'Introduction' & 'Conclusion' as they will make your report appear complete.