Thursday, February 25, 2010

Communicate sans barrier

Do you know what the world’s number one fear is? Fear of death? Fear of flying? No, most studies suggest that it is the fear of public speaking. Have you ever wondered, if you would be able to articulate your thought across to room of strangers and convince them to act? I haven’t. It wasn’t one of my biggest fears. I could speak to people at ease; I could make a presentation to a hall of gathering after taking in a few breathes. Mark twain once said, there are two kinds of speakers in this world, those feel nervous and the rest all are liars. I am not a liar, no one can deny not being nervous, but one can still make a neat presentation controlling their nervousness. I fall into that category.

One afternoon, I was egged to join a colleague of mine to visit Toastmasters club, a forum that helps to hone your speaking skills. With little option left, I trudged along to join a group of people seated formally. I won a ribbon for the best table topic speaker of the day. It helped me rediscover a speaker in me which I never paid attention to, but what impressed me the most was, the camaraderie in the room and the positive energy that exuberates in any Toastmasters club. I found it as an avenue to network with people. With time, I realized’ Evaluations’, makes Toastmasters unique. In this cut throat world, we have very little time to stop , acknowledge , correct and help our fellow human beings, the race is ran so hard that we fail to realize we have only created stampedes instead of leaving behind trails. This place is an exception, you enter a Toastmasters meeting, everything around you slows down, and you progress!

The entire program is so well thought of and structured that it can cater to anybody’s need. I didn’t have a need when joined; it catered to me as well. Toastmasters helped me understand my strength as a speaker and exposed the dents and holes that required immediate attention to make me a better speaker. Communication is a vital tool. I never knew saying it right made so much of difference in establishing our personal relations, winning deals in business, and sealing victories at work. The power to move the world lies in your communication, the ability to articulate. Over these two years, I have paused to observe many situations where, it is miscommunication that has lead to a grave issue, be it personal or professional life. It is sad that, most of us aren’t even aware that our simple unintentional words create havocs. Even if some of us do, we are left clueless, how to alter? We once again misinterpret it to be our behavior. Our behaviors’ are camouflaged by our words, shed the dry leaves, and use the power of words to reveal yourself. The art of communicating can be revered when the same message gets interpreted by different recipients in one and the only way you intended it to be.

How can I leave behind the leadership opportunities that a Toastmaster club offers you? As one focuses on communicating, even before one can realize, Toastmasters will groom the individual’s leadership abilities. I learnt the rendition of the word ‘Leader’ here. My stint at leading the club from front was the most rewarding experience, a leader can forge ahead getting the team together searching for higher ground or just stay still in the comfort of the past glory. Neither of this is as easy as it may sound. Any role that bestows responsibility will help you shape your personality. It did to me. I can add adjectives to my experience but to put it simple and keep it effective, I found the depth of many attributes associated with a leader.

Out of the many things that I learnt the most important learning is; to open the doors to a new world, it is just not enough if you hold the right key, YOU should use it.

I found Toastmasters to be the forum to communicate, collaborate and rejuvenate. June’2010 would earmark my three year journey with Toastmasters. What have I achieved? CC and ALB! Nah, the learning’s at every meeting can’t be accounted for in those education tracks. Experiences go beyond.

I take this opportunity to thank Expressions HCL Toastmaster club for nurturing me, wordsmiths club for accepting me as their own, Chennai Toastmasters for being there always, not to forget the Toastmasters from various other clubs I have been associated with.

Communicate sans barrier to live by your aspirations.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dec 2009 - My tryst with Psychology

A break in blogging is inevitable. Instead of rambling over why I wasn’t here, I shall get to sharing what I have missed. Into a new year and so many random thoughts entwined, though I ended 2009 in the most enchanting way.

Ten days away from home for the first time ever in my life, but didn’t feel what one is suppose to ;-) I was looking forward to the opportunity and to the fact that I am finally getting back to studying and studying something that has always intrigued me. The Human Behaviour. It wasn’t any way disappointing, imagine being in a class packed with people from all over the country and of various age groups. Quite an experience! The lectures were no way boring, good food for thought. The schedule was tight that one could never realize anything beyond the present. Experiencing to Live in the present by itself was a worthy experience, how many times does one get to do that in our everyday routine? Though time was hard to account, it wasn’t really strenuous and didn’t demand one to break free. To add to the beauty to the days, i had a good old friend of mine as a companion to partner with me in this aberrant choice of mine. Yes, it did bring in another pleasant dimension to the whole rendezvous. We spent most of the evening talking about people and psychology and wondering if at all our busy urban lifestyle would permit us to take any of these learning’s in? Talking was one activity that we did from dawn to dusk. When you get to do what you want, you tend to add distinctness to your act which you never would otherwise. That’s what we did. At the end of 10 long days, we did want to head back home, but definitely knew we will miss the very feeling of being with the self. 2 months after the classes, still feels fresh. Looking forward to the classes next year.

A nice road trip, with many special moments and enthralling experiences wrapped up the year. I didn't know then it would be a beginning..