5 fresh ways to motivate your team

Keeping your team motivated day in and day out can be exhausting. Looming deadlines can bring serious stress, and disorganization can destroy even the most motivated folks. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to keep everyone and everything from breaking down and falling apart. Bringing in donuts on Friday is downright delicious, but it’ll only get you so far – as will installing shark tanks beneath team member’s desks (not to mention it can be frightfully expensive). Thankfully, keeping your team on top of it doesn’t have to be difficult, fattening or dangerous. Here are five fresh ways to keep everyone moving forward.

Make sure recognition is earned. Participation trophies are lame; most valuable player awards are far more spectacular. General or generic praise to your team will earn you little enthusiasm or respect, and people can typically tell when you’re just blowing smoke. Instead, make an effort to specifically reward or recognize individuals who actually do an amazing job or put forth extra effort. Be genuine in your approach; taking notice of a team member’s success and applauding their work is a surefire motivator for continued success.

Know your team. Put forth the effort to know each team member’s strengths, weaknesses and preferences. Consistent communication between you and your team will greatly increase productivity and can help lower stress. If a member of your team is struggling with a particular part of a project but knows another team member is proficient for dealing with that problem, then the issue can be resolved with little fuss. This is only possible when everyone involved has a comfortable level of communication. Likewise, team morale will increase when members know that they can rely on one another for specific problems.

Huddle up. Don’t call it a meeting, people hate meetings. Instead, have a quick daily huddle or check in. At the same time every day, either first thing in the morning or after lunch (people tend to be more alert during these times), have your team gather to share their current projects and progress. These huddles should last no more than 15 minutes and are not designed as a problem-solving venue. The purpose is to keep each team member up to date on other everyone’s progress. This not only ensures communication amongst team members, but it also holds individuals accountable to sharing worthwhile progress each day. Not surprisingly, it’s a heck of a lot harder for someone to procrastinate when they have to give daily updates on their work.

Be a leader, not a manager. Your team members will be enthusiastic about a project if you also express your excitement. Remember, it takes a true leader to have an efficient team. Do you think the Ninja Turtles would have been as successful at bringing down the Foot Clan if Raphael was in charge instead of Leonardo? Obviously not. Every team needs a leader who can communicate and motivate them toward success. While it’s nice to have your team member’s think of you as a peer, keep in mind that you are in charge and you may have to be more direct than you’d like at times.

Decrease stress. Find ways for your team members to release any work-related stress. Try 20-minutes of stretching and calisthenics at the start of each day to get everyone active and ready to function. Or, depending on your work environment, expand casual Friday to casual Thursday. Little things like this show that you are concerned for your team’s well being and are willing to take action to decrease or prevent stress. Organization can go a long way in preventing unnecessary stress, too.

Source: (blog.pluralsight.com/how-to-motivate-your-team)

10 things Entrepreneurs can learn from Muhammad Ali

1. Build a brand around your aspirations. “I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was. I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

2. Don’t be afraid to fight for what you want. “At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”

3. Learn how to make friends. “Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

4. Embrace training. “I hated every minute of training, but I said, don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

5. Let your focus set you free. “I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”

6. Don’t let defeats destroy you. “I never thought of losing, but now that it’ s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”

7. Anyone can be great. “If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”

8. What you think is what you become. “It’s the repetition of affirmations that leads to belief. And once that belief becomes a deep conviction, things begin to happen.”

9. Defeat leads to victory. “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.”

10. The battle is won in your mind. “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”

Source (http://thenewprint.org/post/22940023394/10-things-entrepreneurs-can-learn-from-muhammad)

Mind Mapping for Memory: Why is it useful?

In this guest post, Thomas Jones, a Psychology student who spent some time working with us at the ThinkBuzan Headquarters, applies his know-how to Mind Mapping and the cognitive processes and theories behind the technique…

Mind mapping is one of the most powerful tools in anyone’s arsenal when it comes to remembering vast quantities of information; it provides the user with their own personal tree of knowledge on a subject of their choice.

Semantic Network Model

One of the ideas behind Mind Maps is Semantic Network Models (Collins & Quillian, 1969) which says that everyone has their own personal spider’s web, connecting everything they know about objects together, e.g. Red is connected to fire, blood, love. If one section of the networking models is activated, the surrounding links are activated. Our own personal experiences shape these connections and everybody’s semantic network models are different. Mind Mapping takes a certain subject and links everything a person knows about this subject together. This provides a vast quantity of information on one subject on a single page.


Why Remembering is so Hard

Atkinson and Schiffrin (1968) founded the theory of the Multi Store Model, which was based on the idea that memory passes through 3 stages. Sensory memory is the first stage of the Multi Store Model and this is where all of the information gathered from our senses is initially collected. This information is passed on to our short term memory which, if recalled, can be processed in our long term memory and retained for longer periods of time.

It is in the short term memory centre where problems occur when revising information. Miller (1956) discovered that the short term memory store can only hold approximately 7 pieces of information and this information must then be rehearsed if you are to retain it. This is why last minute revision is such a difficult task. It is near impossible to retain so much information just from listing or reading the information yourself. In order to remember everything, you must identify ways to connect the information.

How to Remember Things

One of the main models for memory is known as the Working Memory Model (Baddeley and Hitch, 1974) which claims that the mind has separate areas to do certain tasks. For example, the Visuo-spatial sketchpad analyses the visual world that surrounds us and take in information based on colour, shape, movement, and location. It is the component that prevents us from bumping into objects, recognising faces and other important factors that determine the way we interpret the world. The sketch pad registers stimuli which grab our attention. The more attention we pay to a stimuli, the more likely it is that we will remember it. However, it can backfire making us forget the duller features in our environment which are also important.

The basic rules for memories to be remembered are that they must fall into at least one of the following categories:

  • Memorable
  • Unique
  • Recalled
  • Chunked or linked

These factors help us remember exceptional events in real life. For example, if you repeat a certain action every morning (eat cereal) then you can vividly visualise eating cereal with ease. You are also more likely to recall information such as phone numbers if you chunk the digits together (01234-567-890).

The easiest way to exploit all of the categories is with a Mind Map.

Why Mind Maps Help

ThinkBuzan’s iMindMap software takes full advantage of this information and allows you to draw the connections between information, highlight important pieces of information and thus gives you the opportunity to remember vast quantities of information at ease.

Recalling the 4 rules above, Mind Mapping incorporates all of these. Other revision methods only utilise 1 or 2.

1) Memorable:

This is the easiest rule to follow while creating Mind Maps because it is automatically done while creating the map. The physical creation of the Mind Map helps us visualise the map in our head when sitting in the exam room or presenting a speech. It’s easier to recall information because you follow the branches to the points you are trying to make.

2) Unique:

If you want to remember a really specific piece of information in your Mind Map, make it stand out. Change the colour of the branch to one you haven’t used or add a picture or diagram to help you remember it. One of the most powerful techniques is to addhumour. If you have an emotional connection to a specific piece of information, especially a positive one like humour, it is more likely to stand out in your mind.

3) Recalled:

Although the actual creation of the Mind Map will help recall a lot of information, you will still have to revise the map thoroughly. Repeating information and identifying the connections is a good way to remember information in the long run.

4) Chunking/Linking:

The branches are a simple and visually stimulating way to take a subject and chunk of all of the vital points into one neat section. You can use arrows to link certain piece of information together which are on separate branches. This trail helps you to make essays or speeches flow as you can see the relationship between the branches. In essay writing, this is especially important as you can prioritise the amount of time spent writing about key pieces of information and making the information which you include relevant.

One Last Thing – DIY

This last piece of advice and it gets its own title because I cannot stress enough how important this is. To get the maximum memorable benefits you have to create your own Mind Map rather than share someone else’s. Like the semantic network model, it should be your own interpretation of information. You will find it more difficult to understand someone else’s Mind Map as the way they associate and connect information may not be familiar to you. It takes hardly any time to create a Mind Map and it will save you far more time revising the information, so no excuses!


Source – [ThinkBuzan]


23 Questions to Inventory Your Successes


As you set goals for this year, it’s a good idea to take stock of the progress you’ve made toward your goals last year.For many people, this review is unpleasant and even can lead to a downward spiral.

If you didn’t achieve all of the goals you set at the beginning of the year, you may feel like you have failed. Our self-esteem can take a hit, we can become disheartened and discouraged, and our motivation drops. Some people actually become depressed.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to reframe how you look at success. Zeroing in on accomplishments that didn’t happen puts your focus on what you lack, rather than on what you have (the things you did experience and accomplish). This subtle mental trap leads to a host of negative consequences, which usually lead to attracting more lack.

The answer is not giving up the review of your year. Periodic review is essential to the process of growth and goal achievement. The key is to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate what you did accomplish, and then to refocus on the goals that you still want to achieve.

Achieving a goal is a lot like flying a plane. You’re guaranteed to be off course 99 percent of the time, which means that if you want to successfully reach your destination, it is essential to periodically check your position and correct your course. December is an ideal time to perform this much-needed review and analysis.

The “Win List”

One of the techniques I teach my coaching clients is to create a detailed “Win List” at the end of the every year. Its purpose is to help you acknowledge all of your wins, especially those that didn’t start as a written goal or intention.

This powerful technique takes about 30 minutes to complete. Start by listing all of the goals you set and achieved last year. Then list any other wins you think of – both large and small.

Here are some questions to help identify your successes.

• What wins or progress did you achieve in business?
• Did you discontinue an old product or develop a new product or product line?
• Did you identify a new market to focus on?
• Did you create any new marketing pieces or campaigns?
• Did you delegate any tasks to become more productive? This could include adding new staff and/or assistants, such as a housekeeper, executive assistant, gardener, errand runner, babysitter, or child care person. It also might include putting new systems into place to increase your efficiency.
• Did you buy, use or learn to use any new technology? This includes mental, emotional or spiritual technology, as well as mechanical, electronic and digital technology?
• Did you spend more time in nature?
• Did you develop any new supportive habits (such as meditation, exercise, sleep, or gratitude)? Did you overcome any non-supportive habits (for example, addiction to alcohol, caffeine, sugar, video games, porn, gambling, or shopping)?
• How did you grow in leadership?
• Did you deliver any presentations or speeches or develop new programs?
• Did you develop any new abilities, skills or competencies?
• What success did you achieve in the areas of financial income, investments or debt reduction?
• Did you create any new relationships or deepen existing relationships? Consider both business and personal relationships.
• Did you make any progress in self-development?
• Did you attend any positive events (e.g., seminars, lectures, concerts, theater, or sports)?
• Did you experience any positive events with your family?
• Where there any positive events in relation to your house or apartment?
• Did you take any trips or vacations?
• Were there any positive additions to your life?
• Were there any positive events in your community?
• How about any positive events in your spiritual life (e.g., church services, meditation, retreats, rituals)?
• Did you experience any positive events in regards to letting go (e.g., bad habits, negative people, or clutter)?
• Did you have any wins in health and fitness (e.g., weight, exercise, cholesterol, sports, or endurance)?

Reduce Mental Friction

Mental “friction” caused by negative thoughts and feelings will slow down your progress as you work to achieve your goals. By using this technique to focus your attention on what you did achieve, you’ll shift into a state of gratitude and joy, accelerating your momentum into this year.

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Source – [JackCanfield]




Sounds laughable?  No, I am not kidding.  I keep reading that we live in an era where everything youth-centric, and anything that moves fast attracts high premium.  I disagree.  I look around me.  What do I see?   People around me, older to me, show no signs of slowing down.  Some of them are far more active than others half their age.  Take my word for it – there is no sign of us going into retirement, yet.

Yes, I may appear to have taken a backseat, but that means I am happily working behind the scenes.  I am not out there running around everyday playing in the field. I am still in the game, playing the role of a coach, inspiring, guiding, encouraging, supporting and helping smoothen the flow… very active, off the field.  You could see me still living life very excitedly in the fast lane, with the team, but comfortably going at “my” pace.  Friends, I will keep working as long as I enjoy it.

Today, with a healthy life style, good eating habits and the medical support available, one can continue to live fit and healthy – with all faculties intact.

Going bald and grey is very much acceptable now, compared to the past when one had to wear wigs or use a hair dye.  It is more important to feel younger in mind and emotion and not to worry if one is looking older in body.

If I were asked where I get my seeming elixir of life, I would pin that down to my insatiable curiosity for life, a constant process of learning, a thirst for new experiences, acceptance of life’s up and downs and making mistakes as a reality,   letting go of regrets and bitterness and finally being grateful for each friend and family member that continues to wish me well.

Each day, I now consciously take every opportunity to meet and be with like-minded people.   I look for the positives and see the best in everyone I meet, and I ensure I leave them feeling better and happier even if we just meet for five minutes.  To ensure those pleasant moments are not forgotten, I have now developed the habit of giving each one an affirmation card with a strong positive message to boost their energy day after day, even though we may never meet again.

My daily mantra : Take each day as it comes. Concentrate on having a beautiful mind, so others enjoy spending time with me. Continue making my dreams come true and also remember to help people along the way.

Old age is just a different phase in life. Yes, I am packed and ready to go but while I am here, in my mind I still remain young.  Any objections?










Ram Ganglani