Archive for the ‘Social Networking’ Category

Inner self talk is critical to success in life.

December 2, 2015

Finding your voice.

Past voices….

As usual, Toastmasters never ceases to inspire….

Using a style of writing that I’ve used before, and tying in to my ending, I will tell you where I am headed with this piece of writing….to My goals (please use this as a work-through (or ‘workshop’) to achieve whatever happen to be YOUR goals! This is meant to INSPIRE YOU! LOL). I want to share how important self-talk can be to success in life….

I promise to get you there reasonably quickly via past voices (negative ones of course) that my Toastmaster mentor Dawna (short form To-rmentor? No, I digress)…I will keep her last name private, but she does exist and has inspired many) was able to work through…given her near-death experience. Yes, near-death. Don’t wait for life to take you there before you take life where you want to go!

Come, now let us work through this together. Dawna’s Toastmaster workshop (Jan 2015) took us through a time long ago in her life, which still resonated slightly in her mind. We could see that she still had a little bit more work to do (as far as positive self-talk was concerned).

Years back, it was the teacher’s voice (Miller) that spoke to her and compared her negatively to her sister, older to her, and better at many things. This left her in a wake of comparisons made by other teachers who invariably knew her sister and made negative inferences too….

Lesson: ignore the negative voices in life (the ones that don’t fit in with a healthy self-image of yourself). For your benefit, and to personalize this story a bit more, here is an excerpt from the handout that Dawna provided us, so you get the point…idea is to work through your negative voices, so put this piece into practice, will ya! Do this by answering italicized questions….or absorbing the presented information to improve your thinking. Here are the excerpts (italicized):

My Mr. Miller is….

‘Certainly not as good as your sister are you?’  (This had a huge impact on Dawna’s life…  She gave up – she quit! Lesson: don’t listen to negative voices, DON’T QUIT! EV-ER! This is when you go Lalalalala in your head! As a child, or as an adult. Don’t listen! LOL.

In retrospect, what should Dawna (read ‘this could be any one of us, but we will use Dawna as our guinea-pig test person as per her workshop) have done differently? (Folks, this is where you are supposed to THINK and come up with some positive solutions – for the rusty, just substitute any positive affirmation)

‘It’s a product of what I did!  It’s my best work ever!’  Remember, whatever you have created (at school, work, or play), is PERSONAL expression and it is NOT – NOT to be compared with others….even (or especially) when you are a teacher (read mentor, parent, older respected sibling et al).

My nurse Amanda is…I should explain; nurse Amanda was the one who Dawna first heard say ‘we didn’t think you would survive!’ when Dawna ended up in the hospital due to serious stress related conditions. The italicized portion below will explain how she internalized this statement. (Backdrop: Shakespeare – remember, ‘nothing is good or bad, thinking makes it so!’)

Dawna: through self-induced stress…. She was barely conscious.  Stressed.  Exhausted. She spent three weeks in a hospital!  Nurse Amanda: ‘Dawna, we didn’t think you would survive!’

So…Dawna felt she was not supposed to be here! (Yes – she meant on earth)… She stopped having fun.  It was a ‘Wow’ experience – in a very negative way!

My Jennifer is…again, this bears explanation…in Dawna’s workshop, Jennifer was a good buddy and best friend who helped her realize the positives in life; she offered Dawna heart-felt and sincere encouragement and helped her heal from her negative thinking and cloudy past.

My cheer-leading team: Who is yours? For example, one of mine is: Shelley U., David L., and Isabelle H.  They are my encouragers and I probably owe them a debt of gratitude. Not probably, I do. Thank the people that believe and encourage you….



‘ Nothing is good or bad… thinking makes it so….’

Now, as per Dawna’s workshop….we are going back and reliving those moments in life, (we all have them) using a NEW perspective and the introspective that Dawna provided us:

My future voices…

If I could go back to Mr. Miller I would….  Have the wisdom I now have, with conviction….

I now choose to tell myself….  ‘Nothing is good or bad thinking makes it so.’

If I could go back to my nurse Amanda I would….

Use more positive affirmations, and change the (negative) messages in my head. I’d meditate, be more healthy, associate with positive people, stay healthy, and have more purpose in life.  Live a renewed life as a second chance….for living in greater abundance!

I now choose to tell myself….my affirmations….

‘Nothing is good or bad thinking makes it so.’

If I could go back to my Jennifer I would

Thank her!

Realize ‘they’ (the negative ones) don’t know me….  hence they Gotta be wrong.

Watch serials Buddha and Suits. (I love them!)

My leadership voice…

I need to tell Trish P that she is quick and decisive.

I need to tell Kalida….thank you!

I need to tell Agee….hey! Thanks for being you!


Inner self talk is crucial to success in life.

BIG take-away from this workshop: How to turn negative talk into something positive.

PEOPLE, your self-talk is really important! It can ultimately be damaging or life-enhancing. At least be a good ‘Buddhist’ and ‘take the middle road’ and don’t be too hard on yourselves. (Talk out your negatives out loud to see if they sound ‘right’ or completely off the wall!)

In sum, Donna was shy and timid….  Her sister was an athletic and an academic star.  Jen was a best friend and star athlete.  Donna was part of a big family of children who were special from top to bottom yet Donna felt stuck in the middle, forgotten and unimportant.  Birth order can be determinative of how you feel – if you let it! Donna felt like someone stuck in the middle.

To overcome her difficulties though, she changed her mind set and the way she talked to herself….

Here’s one final positive thought for us to all take away…. to be more mindful of, and kinder and gentler with ourselves… what Donna learned from a positive role model, mentor and good friend….

Her friends said that though she was not the end pieces in her large family of siblings…she was the peanut butter…. the jam that made the whole sandwich sweet! (Aww!’ So sweet! No pun intended.)

So be good to yourself, and everyone else will too! We can be our own worst enemies, or our own best friends. It just takes a mental adjustment! You know….

Inner Self-talk can be critical to success in life!

Nilesh Shreedhar.


Arfath Saleem’s “To be a Legend.”

August 23, 2015

Speech giver: Arfath Saleem.

Organization: (International) at TM International Conference: August 13-16, 2015.

Venue: Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Purpose of this post (Acronym: R O S E):

1. To Retain this valuable information for posterity.
2. To Offer inspiration to people.
3. To Share the wisdom gleaned from motivational and inspirational speech givers at such events.
4. To Effect positive changes in the world.
This speech was done by Arfath Saleem and it is called “To be a legend.” during the just completed International Toastmasters Conference in Las Vegas, U.S.A.

Here it is as best as I can recall….

Arfath Saleem’s “To be a legend.”

Just three words…That’s all it takes….
Arfath fell in love 15 years ago with his math teacher. He had a gambling problem…at a tender age and became the school’s so-called ‘favourite’ student. Well, not exactly….

They kept him back since he was too busy gambling, not studying. His mother became very concerned and she introduced him to a student tutor named Samantha. Samantha said: “I’ll help you…” From that day those three words changed his life. Samantha devoted 15 hours per week to help him study. She made him feel smart! Result: he aced all is subjects!
In the process she had changed who he was…he said, she was his jackpot and quickly realized she was the type of person having the stuff legends were made of…Samantha became his hero.
Some time later Aunt Jenny came to him with the same problem – her son was having difficulties in school. ….Arfath, all grown up, now himself tutored school subjects. He ran to her and spoke the same three words that Samantha had spoken to him many years back…the same three words that changed his life…I’ll help you, he said. He met her son for only 15 minutes every week and with that he was able to score 93 on his math paper.
Ms. Samantha had become legendary enabling Arfath to be a conduit to help others. Like Dr. Ralph Smedley who first offered help to those who had difficulties standing up and giving speeches creating Toastmasters in the process.
Isn’t that in fact, what legends do? You just need three words to be a legend, not a special degree….I’ll help you!

Nilesh Shreedhar.

2014 in review – NeilShreedhar’s Blog.

January 31, 2015

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 790 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 13 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

How to Improve Relationships – at work and at home.

January 29, 2015

Here are some useful Relationship Tips that I have gleaned from attending numerous seminars and workshops over the years….I hope you find them as useful as I do:

  1. Be sincere. There’s nothing that mends relationships better than being sincere…..
  2. Have faith. This goes hand in hand with the above. It takes time to change. The only real change is gradual. It is often so subtle that one doesn’t even realize it; until one actually sits down and reflects on journals of past days. You have grown by leaps and bounds since you were a toddler. In that time frame now do you see that?
  3. Mind the language. Often if we pay attention to language we can win our point with tact and diplomacy. Words like ‘manipulative’ are hurtful and loaded. No one wants to think of themselves that way and it creates walls around discussion. The person is still thinking about what you meant and isn’t really listening to what you say any more…what? J
  4. Listen to one another. A sure way to get on each other’s good side and improve relations is to show good reflective listening skills. So you mean…(’this’ – whatever it is). Then you follow through on whatever action is entailed on improving the relationship from your end!
  5. Assume positive intent. Nothing rankles with people worse than when you assume the worst of them. They then try even harder to meet your already low expectations! Don’t give them the chance! (This is Pepsi Co’s CEO’s advice – straight from her dad).
  6. Talk nice. Leave a person’s dignity intact. After a huge fall from grace, iIt may be the only shred he or she has left. So be gentle with one another…we’re all God’s children (and some of us have long memories!).
  7. Take ownership of your share of the problem. With a proper analysis you should be able to determine how things ended up this way….. Now you have the tools and can take ownership of your share of the problem (without beating it to death) and ensure that similar mistakes aren’t made in future. Then the road is made better for all in the process if someone is down, but not out!
  8. Remember that ‘this too shall pass.’ All of life’s mishaps are just passing phases. If this is kept in mind, true wisdom  is gained…( the “law of impermanence” – ‘anicca’ – the ‘Buddha’)

Please share this with one another – so that we are all on the same page…we live in a small global village. Nothing would make me happier than if we all got along nicely!

Thank you and best regards,

Nilesh Shreedhar.

The Netgiving Concept.

May 19, 2014




Do you value relationships or would you prefer to just be at work and not care?

Do you want to be amongst the best and the brightest?

Then embrace the concept of Netgiving

Humility…Authenticity…Curiosity…Empathy…Vulnerability…Generosity…Confidentiality….This can be easily formed into the acronym GAVE HCC, which is a memory aid for our minds, which thrive on information packets such as this.

You can view the interactions at work as a series of transactions, or see them as opportunities to serve one another towards a larger purpose. This type of behaviour results in a definite Return on Investment – having a Net effect on better relationships and on the bottom line.

According to Tommy Spaulding – speaker, New York Times bestselling author, executive coach, entrepreneur, and leadership consultant, we should all engage in Netgiving at work.

What comprises Netgiving?

Briefly, the attributes are stated above, but let’s get into more detail….

Authenticity means really caring for your colleagues because if you don’t, they’ll know it! It may be time to reflect on whether you demonstrate that you really care about your coworkers to see if this or any of the other areas about to be discussed need to be looked at for possible amendments.

Empathy is the ability to understand others, including colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. This shows that you care and creates trust, it means overlooking the short-term view in preference of the longer-term one, realizing that such thinking places more value on the person’s capacity to move the organization forward.

Vulnerability. It is ok to be strong yet have weaknesses, just like others. It is ok to own up to being strong, competent, yet capable of error; and someone who is able to admit errors is more likely to create a culture in which others are likely to own up and admit to their mistakes too! Mistakes which can and then should be rectified.

Confidentiality. Sensitive information, it goes with out saying, must be guarded very carefully, especially if one is to allow a culture of vulnerability. Guard secrets with tremendous surety.

Curiosity. Don’t stop asking questions and learning new things as part of the important circle of Netgiving. Curiosity keeps the wheel turning forward towards betterment or kaizen.

Generosity. Give time, money and talent to the environment around you and to each other. As a leader find ways for others  in your community to give generously too.

Humility. Be proud of your team successes, yet share that success with the individuals who made it possible! Honour one another.

Humour. Keeping a smile on your face, laughing once in a while and enjoying each other’s company as we work humanizes the environment and makes it easier to get through rough patches if they should come about.

Gratitude. A sense of thankfulness for the work, clients, and the environment itself should be inculcated in the workplace; this contrasts to attitudes of entitlement and taking things for granted – cancerous to an organization.

Mr. Spaulding’s conclusions also derive from being CEO of one of the world’s top organizations and give credibility to the fact that Netgiving tips result in more harmonious environments capable of generating greater profitability too. In short, it pays to be kind!

– Nilesh Shreedhar.

Excerpts of “Developing the ROI of Netgiving were reviewed with permission from Tommy Spaulding, author of  ”Not Just Who You Know: Transform your Life (and Your Organization).”

For more information:


Starbucks experience 2007 to now.

May 10, 2014


Reflective Journal #1



Prepared by:    Neil Shreedhar

Due Date:        Jun 02, 2007


Instructor:       Professor Mark Burgess


Course:            GBA 602 ­­       Marketing Management  



Session 1         For this week’s entry, visit a local coffee shop or Starbucks and compare your local visit to the services provided in the opening vignette of the chapter.

Two teenage girls walk into their local Starbucks. One goes to the counter and hands the barista cards for two free peppermint lattes and purchases some pastries. The other sits at a table and opens her Apple PowerBook. Within a few seconds, she connects to the Internet courtesy of Starbucks’ deal with T-mobile to create wireless HotSpots at over a thousand Starbucks stores…(Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.3).

Does your local Starbucks or coffee shop contain wireless Internet access?


Situation: two friends decide to have coffee at a local Starbucks café shop.


Yes it does, through a special arrangement with Bell Hotspots. This is advertised prominently at the front of the store. We asked at the counter as well; the internet service doesn’t seem to be used very often and is probably fairly expensive, but it is readily available.

What is the climate of the establishment—friendly or hurried?

I went with a friend (Hany) to the Starbucks coffee shop located in a sophisticated area of Toronto. We were quite pleased with the friendly atmosphere and were greeted with a smile by a gentleman of Asian origin who asked us what we would like to order. The climate of Starbucks is usually very friendly. I have been there several times previously and this time was no exception – you are always greeted with a smile! This makes the whole experience from start to finish a pleasant one, or at least sets the tone for an excellent experience at this obviously well-loved establishment. (It is obvious that people are pleased to be there). You get the feeling that people can come there to hang out with friends and to enjoy a few laughs together. To make this possible, the staff are courteous and will often go out of their way to serve you, either to explain the different company involvements (to the best of their knowledge), or to give details about the different products that they sell, such as the specialty cookies and treats if requested.

Overall climate: friendly, easy-going; courteous, helpful; relaxed, brochures available; not cramped but space is well-utilized and includes a few comfortable couches and tables seating two.

Is marketing prevalent in this establishment?

Yes. There is coffee-related hardware that is available for sale such as coffee-makers and cups. They don’t look to be of cheap quality and add to the décor of the coffee shop. They seem to serve more of a decorative purpose and add to the ambience of the store but are also available for sale should anyone want to spend a whole lot of money buying one of these items. (Judging by people’s apparent disinterest in these items (they came there to drink coffee after all, it doesn’t really look like they get a lot of sales of these items, and I’m not sure they’d know what to do if someone decided to buy one of these machines, but I’m sure people do from time to time).

If so, how and to what extent are they exposed to marketing messages—keep a list of every marketing message you encounter.

Here are some of the (socially conscious, partially bilingual, due to the French-English heritage of Canada and business-related) marketing messages that we came across. These are just the brochures, and do not include the message advertising internet access or other signs that they may choose to display on their storefront from time to time, according to their corporate involvements and promotions:

Marketing messages: silk soy beverage and your health; some information and history about the noble soybean.

Que Pense—vous de Nous? We’d love to hear your thoughts. (Please take a moment to give us your suggestions and advice).

Trees Across Toronto. Dig in and Plant a Tree for Toronto on Saturday, April 28.

Welcome to the Starbucks Duetto**Visa* Card Quiz

Connect over coffee. Bell Hotspots™ bring high-speed Internet access to Starbucks.

Starbucks commitment to Social Responsibility.

Apply for the Starbucks Duetto Visa Card. One card. Two ways to use it. Lots of rewards.

Starbucks Careers. Create the experience.

Starbucks—in our communities. Contribute positively to our communities and to our environment.

There are also the usual Starbucks banner and cute and colourful miniature picket signs advertising their specialty treats!


Other marketing messages received.


Compact discs are available for sale for example, a Nora Jones CD; such items fit in with the background of music playing which adds to the ambience. Food items available, specialty teas and coffees.


Interestingly enough, the following quote from the text validates our experience at Starbucks and also illustrates how Starbucks has stayed close to its values and mission:


Starbucks is a company that has achieved growth in many different ways….Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO until 2000…recognized an unfilled niche for cafes serving gourmet coffee directly to customers. This became Starbucks’ market-penetration strategy, and helped the company attain a loyal customer base…Once the company established itself as a presence in thousands of cities internationally, Starbuck sought to increase the number of purchases by existing customers with a product-development strategy that led to new in store merchandise, including compilation CDs, a Starbucks Duetto visa card that allows customers to receive pits toward Starbucks purchases whenever they use it, and high-speed wireless Internet access at thousands of Starbucks “Hotspots” through a deal with T-Mobile. Finally Starbucks pursued diversification into grocery store aisles with Frappucino® bottled drinks, Starbucks brand ice cream, and the purchase of tea retailer Tazo® Tea (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.48).




In sum we had a terrific experience at Starbucks when we went to peruse it from a marketing perspective. As one would expect from a company as successful as Starbucks, they are paying attention to the consumer and Jack Welch’s advise: “Change or die” (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.4). They are paying heed not only to the consumer, but to consumer advocacy groups who believe in Fair Trade Practices. After a careful analysis of the environment, they have successfully pursued excellent market penetration and product diversification strategies to become the world leader they are now.


Nilesh Shreedhar.




Kotler, P., & Keller, K.L. (2006). Marketing Management (12th ed.).  New Delhi:  Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited.


Shreedhar on Effective Business Use of Social Media….

April 9, 2012


Location: Sheraton Centre. Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.

Date and time: 7:15 am – 9:30 am. 30/11/11.

Title: Effectively Use Social Media to Grow your Personal Brand and Profile in the HR and Business Market Place.

Event: LinkedIn Presentation by Sulemaan Ahmed, Managing Director of Kinetic Cafe.

LinkedIn Tips

Here are some quick tips from Sulemaan Ahmed.

In order to get the MOST out of your LinkedIn profile, he recommends the following:

1. Upload a professional photo to the site. You want to put your best foot forward. (Your profile is seven times more likely to be accessed).

2. Create the right profile headline.

3. Write a keyword-rich summary highlighting your skills and experience to maximize SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

4. Provide status updates. This will position you as a thought-leader.

5. References do NOT have to be provided upon request.

6. Link to other sites but…ensure they are professional and be strategic. Blogs about recent books read are fine.

7. Use applications but also be careful.

8. Tailor your LinkedIn profile URL.

9. Join or Create groups in your industry.

10. Complete your profile 100%.

Other tips: Karma is important, pay it forward. People remember a good deed done. Help others.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

These tips should stand you in good stead in using your LinkedIn account efficiently and you help you grow your personal brand. Good luck!
– Nilésh (Neil) Shreedhar.

Shreedhar on Clemmer’s “Wallow, Follow or Lead” – HR Professional, Aug/Sept 2009.

April 7, 2012


Review of “Wallow, Follow or Lead” HR Professional, Aug/Sept 2009

 According to Jim Clemmer, keynote speaker, workshop leader and management team developer on practical leadership, workers fall into one of three easy to recall categories.

He makes the distinction that leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and that some of the people we naturally think of as leaders, because of their titles, aren’t necessarily leaders in the real sense. This is because quite often some of the best leaders “don’t have formal leadership authority.” In fact, “leadership ability shines clearest when facing turbulence, adversity or change,” and it is during those times that we “wallow, follow or lead.”

Briefly then, wallowers take a situation and make it worse by focusing on the negative elements; typically they point fingers, remember the way things used to be, and live in a world of hurt and worry. Unfortunately they believe most people are bad and can’t be trusted. They focus on weaknesses and gaps and often play the victim. Here are your conspiracy theorists who talk of being gotten by them and complain of never being listened to… who would?

On the other hand, followers are sceptics who may require some direction. They are hopeful, and analytical, but need assistance to understand what happened and what to do about it. However, with the right encouragement they often can step up to the plate; under the wrong influences, they will start down “the slippery slope of cynical pessimism” and wallowing.

It is often said that there are groups at work, crucial to influence positively, like the swing vote in an election, or the undecided kids at school who flourish under the right conditions but who flounder academically when they’re with the wrong crowd. So it is with the workplace as well.

Leaders take initiative and make a situation better by doing what they can with what they have, or what is available to them. Words to describe effective leaders are: able to live in ambiguity, explorative (of options), living in the moment, and preparing for the future. They are self-aware and self-disciplined and continually improving. Unlike the wallowers, “they believe that most people are good and trustworthy, until proven otherwise and focus on reinforcing and leveraging their strengths. They praise and encourage others to higher performance…and face tough situations squarely” (while) focussing on the positive.

Mr. Clemmer provides other excellent adjectives and characteristics to describe effective leaders, but the essential ones are described above. On a more philosophical but potentially life-altering note, he states that “the choices we make are the glasses we put on to view our situation…these choices create our reality”

For deeper insights, read the article; it will be time well spent! Try this link, or Google (most of) the title above if necessary:

– Nilésh (Neil) Shreedhar.; or Google: Neil Shreedhar.

Shreedhar’s Review of Keogh’s “Delusional Disorders in the Workplace.”

April 3, 2012

Review of HR Professional’s Delusional Disorders

(Aug/ Sept 2009 edition)Unhappy Workers.

Many people may not be aware of just exactly how complex our work environments have become, but this concise article about disorders in the workplace by Dr. Thomas Keogh, featured in HR Professional – Aug/Sept 2009 edition quickly clarifies this point. 

Aptly enough it is entitled “Delusional Disorder in the Workplace.” In the order of credentials, Dr. Keogh is an occupational medicine consultant. As such he strives to improve productivity in the workplace. Once again it proves the value of the HR function, “the HR department is crucial to the management of the illness,” Dr. Keogh states.

The first part of this article takes the time to define Delusional Disorder, and then follows this with an example which illustrates how disruptive it can be to the workplace. The case study he provides in the article is of a potentially disillusioned young man, having achieved little in the way of work promotions and who is argumentive and easily offended, and difficult to work with. In the end we discover that he is diagnosed with delusional disorder. “He believed that multinational companies saw him as a threat to their prosperity and were sending him messages on the train on his way into work.”

“Delusions are false beliefs – attitudes and values not held by the general public – that persist despite evidence to the contrary.” They may occur across a wide spectrum of behaviours: in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (manic or depressive phases), major depressive disorder, substance abuse and organic mental disorders. It becomes challenging to distinguish delusional disorders for several reasons, one of which is the accompaniment of other signs and symptoms.

Other reasons which make it a challenging disorder to deal with are because it requires a high deal of cooperation, collaboration and buy-in from all concerned parties including employee, union, manager and occupational health services, or the employee may become suspicious and withdrawn.

Dr. Keogh suggests that HR policies that are clear and concise can be effective in dealing with such disorders. As trust features so prominently in these disorders, whether or not the employee accepts or resists medical assistance, “emphatic support might be the only helpful connection this person has.”

This is important information to bring to light at this time and age, when we ourselves may come across such individuals needing our help and guidance due to a greater occurrence of mental maladies.

– Nilesh (Neil) Shreedhar.;        or…

Google: Neil Shreedhar.


Shreedhar on ‘Work.’

April 2, 2012

Here is a quote I like, find very useful and which I’d like to pass along:

“Let the work you do be a source of joy. Find pleasure in your work. Let it not be done under compulsion. The mind turns away from that which it does not like, and then takes recourse to other objects for getting pleasure. You should work freely and happily, so that there may not be occasions for the mind to resort to unhealthy practices. Work for the sake of God. Then all work will become interesting. Take to hard physical labour but do not exhaust yourself. Do your work as a hobby. Then you can do it happily.”

I think the quote speaks for itself and has enormous potential in it if we all try to practice it, even a little bit!

– Quoted from: Eight Breaks of Brahmacharya (Celibacy)

– Nilesh (Neil) Shreedhar.;Work can be fun!


Google: Neil Shreedhar.

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