Women Safety # 80

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Have you ever felt frightened or intimidated when out walking alone? Have you ever stood at the bus stand and were ogled by the road side romeo? Have you wondered what you would do in case you get involved in any such an incident?

The sad reality is that we are living increasingly in a violent society in which the fear of crime against women is increasing. Personal safety has become an issue of importance for women. Situational Awareness is something every man in uniform is trained in. They know instinctively to sense danger. They can smell fear; their brains and body align to fight off life threatening situations instantly.

As always, I share some action points for safety.

+ If you are feeling unsafe – you are right. Your ‘gut feel’ is triggered genetically and it sends across the right signals to your brain and prepares your body for the flight or fight mode. If you think, something is amiss, you are right. The sudden quiet, a dark street, a gang of rowdies. Trust your gut feel.

+ Science says that women have wider peripheral vision and men have long distance tunnel vision. It means she can receive an arc of at least 45 degree clear vision to each side of her head and above and below her nose. Many women’s peripheral vision is up to almost 180 degree. Women don’t have to turn their heads to know the road-side romeo in green shirt standing in the bus stand. She knows. Situational awareness prepares you mentally to be in state Yellow.

In condition yellow, you remain relaxed, but are aware of who and what is around you. This merely means that you are paying attention to the sights and sounds that surround you. Condition yellow DOES NOT equate with paranoia. Its your attention that will prevent you from being totally surprised by the actions of another person. While walking through an area you will loosely keep track of anyone behind you. When choosing a seat in a restaurant, you will position yourself to see the entrance or to minimize the number of people who might be behind you. woman being_followed

+ Your best option is escape. You are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you go with the predator than if you run away (even if he promises not to hurt you). Run away, yell for help (No, don’t shout help; shout “Fire, Fire”), throw a rock through a car window; do whatever you can to attract attention. Dictum is ‘if he has a gun, run’. Fat chance he can shoot straight. 

+ Be aware of the legal aspects of ‘Self-Defence’. Understand emotions can’t be produced in a court of law as evidence. I “felt unsafe” and hence I attacked him. That feeling cannot be produced as evidence. And when you quote “self-defence’ – in the eyes of the law, you have stated that “yes, I did it” and the onus to prove your innocence is yours (otherwise, law sees you as innocent, till proven guilty). More on the legal aspects in my subsequent blogs. Yes, be aware.

Situational awareness will help you stay safe. Be Alert . Be Aware . Be Safe .

Failure is NOT an option: It’s a must

failure-complains1“Failure is not an option.” This phrase has become increasingly commonplace in recent years. The phrase comes courtesy of the Hollywood scriptwriters for the 1995 Ron Howard film, Apollo 13, in which Ed Harris played Kranz. It perfectly captures the attitude and tenacity that enabled Kranz and his team at NASA to learn from the multiple near-misses, unsuccessful attempts at fixes, and unprecedented challenges that arose as they worked tirelessly to save the spacecraft and the three astronauts on board. The reality is that Kranz and his team failed repeatedly during the mission. But with each failure they gained valuable information and knowledge that contributed to their ultimate success.

We led a number of missions in the Army, it is not always that we succeeded. There were instances where our ambush was sited at a place where the terrorists bypassed it (incorrect assessment of terrain). We didn’t give up .. learnt and build a repository for subsequent actions/ units to follow. Operations against terrorists, needs constant learning and re-learning because every situation is different. This sharing of knowledge, building up the repository, learning from failures makes it such a great organization.

Winston Churchill had a similar thought: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” More recently, the past CEO of Procter and Gamble, arguably one of the most innovative companies in the world, said, “I think of my failures as a gift.” While we like to believe that failure isn’t an option, the reality is that it’s unavoidable. What’s more, it is something we should embrace!

So, what can organizations/ leaders & YOU do to become less risk-averse and more accepting of failure?

  1. Don’t punish “honest” failures. Instead, think about ways you can reward them! When you give associates the freedom to succeed, you also need to give them leeway to fail. SurePayroll, a payroll service for small companies, give out formal and frequent “failure awards” to their people. An interesting concept—and a rare and unique idea.
  2. Design for failure. Many organizations try to succeed every time by coming up with what they deem to be a big idea and then testing it under optimal conditions. A better approach is to make “little bets,” as championed by Peter Sims who wrote a book on innovation with that title. Making little bets entails running multiple small experiments, and then choosing typical or even adverse conditions for pilot programs (automakers, after all, don’t test new vehicles just in sunny weather and on four lane highways).
  3. Learn from failure —and keep going. The end goal of failure is not more failure.  The goal is to dissect, in an open and transparent environment, what went wrong and learn lessons that can be applied next time around.  Medical research firms conduct ground-breaking, life-saving medical treatments and drugs are the result of testing, evaluation (which often entails failure), redesign, and more testing.  Real failure is not having in place strategies for learning from failure.failure6

Being a leader who is okay with failure, who is willing to take risks, and who is a true champion of innovation isn’t easy, especially if it runs counter to your accustomed leadership style. But if you really want to drive innovation in your organization, you have to start somewhere, perhaps by being willing to swing and miss sometimes—and to let your people know it’s okay for them to do the same.


Art of Public Speaking


I think, public speaking is the most important talk because it is needed every day by everybody. You are required to talk for either informing, entertaining or persuading somebody.

You are constantly telling your superiors something, informing your faculty something, making a point or telling your team what to do and calling for action; the purpose is to make the audience act as you request and they act only when we are able to win both their hearts and mind. Let me share with you my journey of public speaking and how you Call for Action.


Talking the Talk

Step One:
First & Foremost : Establish an “I AM OK, YOU ARE OK” position with them by first few sentences without touching the subject.
” I am so glad to be with such bright students of this college .” Here you are not antagonizing anyone. I’m Ok, You’re OK!

Step Two:
Start speech from a point of Agreement. Everyone should say / feel Yes!
” Love is the most precious thing in life”. There is no disagreements; hint – the more the ‘Yes’ the more the audience starts agreeing with you.

Step Three:
Slowly move towards point of disagreement: in small steps. As you move on, shift from mind reasons to heart reasons. 

” We love life, we love this earth, we love our friends, and family. We want to be there whenever they need us. In times of joy, in times of trouble; that’s what friends and family are for, right? Just being there is a great emotional support. The least we can do for our loved one’s is to be there, to be at present when they need us most. And if we love them then how can we destroy ourselves with say drugs?  Or when you see your friend suffering from it usage it becomes important that we are there for them to give a helping hand and pull him out of the morass. Just think few years from now, if someone I love is in trouble, or in great joy, and desperately needs me to share and care , and ………”

Keep Eye contact, watch their Body – Language. You’ll know whether your impassioned plea is making any difference. Connect with the audience and feel them.

Step Four:
The moment you feel you have them nodding with you, without wasting any more words. Ask them! Request them for a clear-cut action, to be done – Today ! Call for Action.
Shall we all decide and commit today to begin the end of drug abuse.
Let us sign that form now!

Step Five:
Presume that they have all agreed. Say that you have full faith that they will do as agreed, thank them and close.
“And now that we have resolved to do the right thing, the love thing, the life thing, I am sure ..”

This way you have now put the ball in their court.

Remember …

+ Use maximum of “WE”. We know. We are. We should. We wish. We can.
Never shoot arrows more than necessary.

+ Try overkill and you may loose, Stretch it and it breaks. Don’t rub it in.

+ One human story is more powerful than hundred of arguments, thousands of facts & figures and if it is YOUr story nothing like it. “Let me tell you a story ….

Here is wishing you the very best in your journey … still unsure!!! Phewww .. connect with me.

WOmen SAFety (WOSAF) # 79


WOSAF # 79 (WOmen SAFety … tips every week)

Even when confronted with the worst case scenario .. never give up hope or let futility set in. Futility and despair is the enemy of survival and enables paralysis. An assailant or criminal will let his guard down (esp when he thinks he’s won), presenting lucky breaks and opportunities to make your move and get away.
Your aim at all times must be to Avoid, Bypass, Confuse, Divert/ Distract and RUN (at the first opportune moment).

Be Alert . Be Aware . Be Safe .

IoT and your dilemma to Capitalize

A number of engineering students whom I interact on a regular basis, were grappling with SMAC technology! Social media, mobility, analytics, cloud computing and then they go and add an “i” to confuse you further. Internet of Things ( generally abbreviated as SMACi) technologies stirred much conversations during your PI & GD rounds. Some of you who are still undecided and are wondering how to capitalize on the i; here is a low-down on Internet of Things.

These technologies are facilitating enterprises in leveraging cloud for storing large volumes of customer data; and analyzing them for better business performance. In 2015, the adoption of SMACi was evident across geographies and sectors for supporting diverse functions which included improving efficiency of sales force, managing employee retention, or driving intelligent communication between machines, among others.

SMACi is now among top three CIO priorities, and CIOs are expected to make the investments towards it. In India, it will present a $225 billion business opportunity for the IT and BPO industry by 2020. Looking towards 2014 and beyond, SMACI technologies will continue to grow and eventually obtain a more mainstream status. Nearly 25 billion ‘things’ will be connected to the Internet, and the IoT will add $2 trillion in economic benefits worldwide. IOT is expected to touch every aspect of your life. So, if you are looking for avenues for better opportunities, where should you invest? 

So, pick up a segment like Sensor companies, Chip companies, Software and services companies, Analytics companies or Device makers. Don’t overly fret over the segment though. Do a research about the big companies investing in these technologies. (like GE uses millions of sensors in its industrial machinery, and makes its own IoT software too; Both Google and Microsoft have created software to power Internet of Things devices). If required there are small companies too, which are investing heavily in these segments. Start ups in Bangalore are exploring these new fields.

So, if you have the appetite for adventure and want a steep learning curve in a sector which is bound to explode .. 2016 presents an opportunity.

With a warm handshake in Thought .. go and explore