How To Negotiate And Win Your Way With Each Zodiac Sign

Inspiring Stories

11 July 2016

How To Negotiate And Win Your Way With Each Zodiac Sign

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

It’s no surprise that great businesses are often built on solid human capital. That means constantly having to network and collaborate with others – be it your eccentric employees, unreasonable clients or an over demanding boss. But sometimes, winning them over to see your side of the story can be quite a task. For what seems like a stalemate, simply follow our zodiac manual to crack the code to their entrepreneurial mind…

AQUARIUS (January 22 – February 21)

They are known to be true visionaries who are constantly pushing to break social norms. Traditional and conservative is not their style and they love hearing about fresh and new ideas that have yet to be discovered. Adaptive and innovative, it is best to consider them as decision-making equals, since they are probably ten steps ahead of you in terms of creativity.

PISCES (February 22 – March 20)

Their generous sense of spirituality and service to others makes negotiating with a Pisces – easy and effortless. To win them over, show them the greater good behind your motives over a great fine dine. Idealistic, empathetic and caring, they will lend steady support to social and humanitarian projects, while their knack for being organised and detailed will help you execute your projects to perfection.

ARIES (March 21 – April 20)

Assertive, dynamic and courageous are a few words that describe these folks. They adore a healthy amount of risk and adventure and will be the first of the lot to take a brave leap. Get them to tune in by being point-blank straightforward and allowing them to take centre stage in form of sincere compliments and leadership positions. Their world revolves around genuine warmth and affection and they look up to those who inspire them!

TAURUS (April 21 – May 20)

Show them the money through concrete numbers, because for them comfort and security rank very high. They are hardworking, dependable and practical but also very rigid in their goals. Never rush them into making decisions since they like to take their own sweet time to think things through. If you really want their support, then statistics and a steady plan for the future will do the trick.

GEMINI (May 21 – June 21)

Sell them your idea like a true salesman, and they will buy it. Known for being social butterflies and great communicators, they love like-minded people who are equally as charming and enigmatic as them. Since they are very knowledgeable, they can be great teachers when it comes to their field. Remember to stay in their good books by being extremely diplomatic, at all times.

CANCER (June 22 – July 20)

Sensitive and nurturing, Cancerians use their emotional feelers to respond to their surroundings. Their body language and expressions will tell you everything you need to know. If you’re at a deadlock with them, then acknowledge their contributions and they’ll be on cloud nine. Being kind and understanding about   their dreams will win you their support in return!

LEO (July 21 – August 20)

Give them a chance to shine! These kind, vivacious and artistic personalities love being classy and centre-stage. Want a Leo on your team? Then simply consider adding value to their reputation and image. For them, loyalty and friendship is above anything else, so don’t ever break their trust. Known for being great managers, they will know how to strike the perfect balance between work and play.

VIRGO (August 21 – September 22)

This category signifies all the number crunchers and organisers that believe in logic and statistics over unpredictable emotions and gut instincts. They tend to hold on to order and tiny details with acute focus. If you’re banking on them in the long term, then get them to look at the bigger picture and how it could align with their personal goals. Also, don’t forget to over look all the details before approaching them, as they can tend to be highly critical.

LIBRA (September 23 – October 21)

They bent towards partnership and compromise, often finds them in positions where they believe in keeping everyone happy. Show them a general consensus, and they will be more likely to hear your plans. Just be clear about what you want and choose your words carefully as their investigative sense leaves no stoned unturned.

SCORPIO (October 22 – November 20)

These all-rounders are drawn to all that’s complex and analytical as they can achieve anything in difficult situations with flying colours. They appreciate go-getters and reliable people who can align with their goals. Sometimes, they might be sensitive due to their strong intuitive abilities but all you have to do is motivate them with a fair share of passion, risk and challenge.

SAGITTARIUS (November 21 – December 22)

They are fun, enthusiastic and optimistic who are constantly on the lookout to further their knowledge. They wear their heart on their sleeve and are naturally attracted to opportunities that involve travel and leisure. Their strong sense of independence makes it difficult to commit to one single thing but if you manage to show them the bigger picture of your bargain, then you might just have an audience!

CAPRICORN (December 21 – January 20)

They are masters of strategy and implementation. Make sure you show them your ideas, as they will help you execute them with ease. Known for being poker-faced businessmen, they will often keep their feelings to themselves. Getting to know them on a personal level, can earn you their support and companionship, come what may.

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Why do Leaders Swear by Thinking Fast and Slow?

Inspiring Stories

27 April 2020

Why do Leaders Swear by Thinking Fast and Slow?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

According to Daniel Kahneman, human beings have fractional thinking – System 1 and System 2; where System 1 is the gut, intuitive thinking, and System 2 is analytical, problem-solving and reflective decision making. Overall, both aid our judgement, where for some situations system 1 (fast thinking) provides the foundation for System 2 (slow thinking). But in many conditions, these work independently – for example, first impressions are formed solely by fast thinking. However, best decisions are made when both these methods are running simultaneously.

Hence, leaders swear by thinking fast and slow because it provides multiple business advantages such as:

Error Minimisation: Leaders encourage employees to indulge in fast and slow thinking because it reduces errors. If a person applies any of the two independently, there is a higher chance of tilted decisions. For example, when a person thinks too fast, it leads to cognitive biases, leading to erroneous results. For example, A project demands the regional sales of X product. But an employee registers only ‘sale’, conducts a quick search and quotes global sales while providing no figure for region-wide sales.

Enhanced Productivity: When a person effectively balances both slow and fast thinking, productivity rises sharply. This promotes wise thinkers who analyse situations rather than rely on quick judgments. For example, in a team, two employees do not get along and indulge in ruthless competition. A leader, who applies fast and slow thinking, will adopt a sound strategy to form better relations between the two, such as joint mediations or a combined project. But alternatively, in a quick response, if a leader fires the underperformer, it will be a loss to the team.

Rational Decisions: Decision-making is the basis of management and hence, needs to be made rationally. For example, a team needs to vote for a leader. Some employees, instead of carefully assessing the candidates, might make an unreasonable judgement based on superficial qualities. This will lead to the selection of a wrong candidate, which could be avoided through balanced evaluation based on multiple factors, including appearance, attitude, career trajectory, team spirit, etc.

Quick, Calculated Response: Hasty decision making or slow thinking can both result in a disaster independently. Hence, employees need to be quick but also calculated in their responses. Assume a scenario where a client is angry, and the employee reciprocates with the same emotion or worse. In such situations, the employees should be prompt yet calculated with their replies, calm the client and ensure error rectification.

Better Negotiation: For leaders, negotiation is an everyday task. One of the most important factors that can help a leader win a negotiation is how well he/she understands the opponent. The principles of thinking fast and slow help one to better understand the opponent and ultimately win an argument.

Thinking fast and slow advocates a healthy balance of the gut and factual thinking.

How to Harness the Power of Lateral Thinking to Enhance Creativity?

Inspiring Stories

20 April 2020

How to Harness the Power of Lateral Thinking to Enhance Creativity?

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

As working professionals, productivity and creativity come at the apex of keeping a business going. The world out there is competitive, the industry stops for no one, and innovation becomes the key. Therefore, it becomes vital to continually engage with unique techniques to produce out-of-the-box ideas. Lateral thinking can help you work those grey cells and keep the creativity flowing.

What is lateral thinking?
The term was first coined by the famous psychologist Edward de Bono. He summarized the need for lateral thinking by saying, “You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper.”
Once you are presented with a problem, how do you get to thinking about its solution? Lateral thinking can help you break the barrier of age-old solution-driven techniques that have become redundant in the modern age. While practising lateral thinking, the answer is searched in indirect and creative light. When your perception about the problem is tweaked, the solution-driven mind is forced to think of alternatives and come up with solutions that are unique to one’s experiences.
Steps to harness the power of lateral thinking
A few things that can help you execute lateral thinking perfectly are –
1. Stay curious. The only way one can look at the question/problem from a new perspective is when they are questioning everything enough. Ask yourself questions about the whole concept before working your mind towards solutions.
2. Since lateral thinking has only one rule, i.e. think outside the box, there are no restrictions on the order in which the thought must proceed. You could also ideate solutions first and then think backwards. It will help you garner creativity.
3. Switch personas. Sometimes thinking differently could be difficult. An effective technique would be to think of yourself as a different person and run your thoughts as if you were someone else.

Why should you practice lateral thinking?
There are many pros to this technique. Some of them include-
1. It pushes you towards alternatives. When you look at the problem in an unusual light, it naturally will invoke newer solutions, something that will be more creative and unique.
2. It boosts productivity. Eliminating redundancy and monotony, lateral thinking will drive impressive ideas, keeping you motivated enough to not give up and keep working.
3. It makes your solution/product a potential game-changer. Most start-ups or early-stage companies rely on products and solutions that can help them impress stakeholders, including investors and consumers. A novel and out-of-the-box idea is sure to grab eyeballs and get the ball rolling for you.
4. It can be used during interviews to test the creative potential of the candidates. A talent that can drive your business towards incredible heights must be screened well!

The Rags-to-Riches Story of Jack Ma

Inspiring Stories

24 October 2019

The Rags-to-Riches Story of Jack Ma

  • Posted by Awfis Editorial

We’re just two months away from entering a new year. And if you are looking for some inspiration to chart your journey into 2020 as a business leader par excellence, this is the story you want to read. Learn how Jack Ma, co-founder of the Alibaba Group, didn’t just dream big, but made it happen. He has rewritten the rules of the e-commerce game, become ‘China’s richest man’ and has gone on to become ‘the most flamboyant tech founder on the planet’.

Jack Ma – A man with great emphasis on learning

Born Ma Yun on 10th September 1964 in Hangzhou, China, Ma worked as a tourist guide for nine years so that he could practice spoken English. Interestingly, it was an American tourist who nicknamed him Jack when they were pen-pals. Although he was Head of the Student Council in school, college was not easy. He struggled to obtain his degree and then enrolled himself at a teaching institute to become a lecturer in English at Hangzhou Dianzi University.

 In 1994, Ma started his first company, Hangzhou Haibo Translation Agency. The following year, he visited the US with his friends for a better understanding of the World Wide Web. There he realised that China and Chinese products found no mention on the internet. This motivated him to start his second company, chinapages.com, which he registered in the US. In three years, the company earned about USD 800,000!

The birth of Ali Baba – A global inspiration

For the next few years, Ma headed an IT company established by the China International Electronic Commerce Center, a department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation. He quit in 1999 to return to Hangzhou with his team to found Alibaba, China’s answer to Amazon. Ma firmly believed in an open market economy that caters to customer needs. Soon, his company revealed the mega potential of small and mid-sized (SMEs) businesses across the globe. In 2014, Alibaba raised USD 25 billion, the largest initial public offering in US financial history to become one of the world’s most profitable technology companies.

The rejections en route – A tale of extraordinary perseverance

Ma’s parents worked as musical storytellers and growing up, he had little exposure to the world of business. Life threw him his fair share of rejections and failures, teaching the entrepreneur important lessons in patience and perseverance. His first tryst with failure was during college graduation, when he could not succeed in clearing the Chinese entrance exams until his fifth attempt!

He applied 10 times to Harvard Business School; he was rejected every time. Ma also applied for 30 different jobs, including one at KFC, but failed to hear back from any of them! The failures only strengthened his tenacity and will to succeed. Today, he inspires people with his stories urging them to remain steadfast in the face of obstacles. An entertainer at heart, Ma enjoys singing and dancing. Did you know that he made his acting debut in 2017 with a Kung Fu short film?

 The richest man in China – More than a serial entrepreneur

Four years after Alibaba received the USD 25 billion funding, Ma announced his plans for retirement as Executive Chairman to pursue educational work. He is seen as a global ambassador for Chinese business, and a role model for start-ups.

As of October 2019, Ma is one of China’s richest men, with a net worth of USD 37.9 billion. He also featured in the Forbes’ list of World’s Most Powerful People and World’s Greatest Leaders. However, he remains frugal in his daily life, with humble hobbies like meditation, reading and Tai Chi.

In 2015, he launched Alibaba Hong Kong Young Entrepreneurs Foundation to support entrepreneurs in Hong Kong. The same year, the company funded the rebuilding of 10,000 houses damaged by the earthquake-hit in Nepal. This year, the Foundation launched the Netpreneur initiative that grants a million US dollars each to 10 African entrepreneurs annually, and launched a fund with USD 14.6 million to develop education in Tibet.