Archive for the Strategies Category

Winning an Argument

Posted in Communication, Management, Strategies on August 6, 2015 by MD OBSERVER

Before everything, sorry for my long absence. I’m sure you understand that managing several international projects, reviewing new phases of I.M.M., and on top of those having a few books in the pipeline are time consuming. But I promise, I will continue writing ‘MD Observer’ more regularly.
Well, not very far from the topic of my new book, ‘Hidden’, which you can read more about it at the end of this post, I have decided to allocate this post to ‘How strategically win an argument’.

In this post, I will briefly introduce you the Weapon, Technique, Tactic and Strategies for winning an Argument.

CALMNESS IS YOUR WEAPON:
Remember, those who can make you angry, are in control. By staying focus and having self-control you can add up to your chances to gain more during a heated argument.
Do your best not to lose your temper. Losing your temper will eventually turn your conversation into screaming, a total waste of time with no proper and constructive communication.
Some people might intentionally say things to get under your skin. This is to disarm you, and make you vulnerable. Remember, you don’t have to respond to every sentence you hear.

THE TRUTH IS YOUR TECHNIQUE:
The truth can really hurt. Base your argument on ‘Facts’, NOT on ‘Emotions’. The worst action that one might take during an argument is making it a conversation based on feelings.
Although time to time showing controlled emotion is important, but certainly it is not the ideal technique to succeed in an argument.
Think like an Attorney presenting a case in a court. Would you agree with an Attorney at law, who does not have any facts to present?

TO PROVE THE POINT IS YOUR TACTIC:
Remember, the core purpose of an argument is to ‘Prove’ a point tactfully. If instead of proving your point, you go side-ways, you might end up in a weak position. Know your audience, do your homework, be prepared, review every angle of your argument back and forth and know it by heart. The best tactic is to stay focus on ‘proving the point’, but gently and with utmost respect.

ACTIVE LISTENING AND PAINTING A PICTURE ARE YOUR STRATEGIES:
Have you considered why often people yell during arguments? Well, they want you to listen to them. So, to gain a more favorable outcome, be an active listener and give your undivided attention to their argument. In this manner, most likely you will be in control.
Also, paint a picture for them: describe your facts clearly so that they can visualize your argument and connect with it. Those who can visualize factual information, most likely will give you less pain. You will save a lot of energy if your argument is well-painted.

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As mentioned above, I am happy that my new book is published. This book is a series of scientific articles on secret techniques and tactics of Japanese-Okinawan Martial Arts. Those of you with interest in Martial Arts and Martial Strategies will most probably enjoy reading that and I am sure can apply the insights into your business practice and/or life.

Hidden Book Cover - Mosi Dorbayani

You can find out more about the book by clicking on HERE

Office Politics

Posted in Communication, Organisational Culture, Strategies on April 11, 2013 by MD OBSERVER

Recently I had a nice chat with a couple of newly appointed managers at Royal Bank of Canada on ‘Office Politics’ and that gave me the idea for this issue.

Before everything what is “Office Politics”? Well, every Executive Coach / Consultant might define it differently, but in my view Office Politics can be interpreted as Careful strategies that staff implement in order to gain advantage in their office!  Such strategies might be justified for personal gains or for a cause they believe in. Yes, it has negative connotation and it is often dubbed as taking advantage at the expenses of others and it certainly affects the workplace, environment and relations.

Is there such a thing as “good” Office Politics? Affirmative. Good Office Politics help you to gain promotion, gather support and get your cause realized. Good Office Politics can be called ‘networking’ and ‘managing influences’. Since such office strategy  is generally considered a negative play, staff tend to avoid it; however,  to secure success for projects, eventually one would need to find the safest way to navigate through this highly sensitive aspect of career.

If you reject Office Politics and constantly deny it, you may badly suffer, simply because others take unfair advantage of it, and if you do not learn how to practice “good” Office Politics, you might miss opportunities. So, here there are certain highlights that you should remember, learn and practice:

A) Office Politics are inevitable and can be found in any organisation regardless their size or form, private or governmental, profit or nonprofit.

B) Gaining profit, Promotion, Superiority create competition; therefore, where there is a competition, there is a need for Office Politics.

C) Resources and opportunities are not endless and often staff experience conflict in attaining and maintaining resources and their competitiveness.

Now in order to have Office Politics work for you, you need to :

1. Be a good observer and gather information to build up a proper network for yourself;

2. Study the organisational chart carefully and analyze it in practice.  In the chart of hierarchy, the person who is on the top  may not be the most influential one;

3. Pinpoint those who are truly influential, who have authority but not applying it, who are coaching and mentoring others,  and who are the brain and strategists of your organisation;

4. Understand who gets along with who, who is suffering from conflict, who is hard to please and who is easy to get on;

5. Know what fundamental factors make interrelations work or not work, what influence relations and friendship;

6. Know what the manipulative factors are, and what people see as ‘respect’.

Once you accepted A, B, C and studied 1 to 6 above, it is time to develop yourself in  Good Office Politics:

  • True powerful people are not necessarily those with highest income, who are on the top of your organisational hierarchy  with fancy titles. Do not be reluctant nor afraid of approaching those you have learnt are powerful. Approach them, get to know them better, try to be associated with them.
  • Make sure your relations and strategies do not cross over your formal line of hierarchy and that they do not shortcut your immediate supervisor, other executives or even peers.
  • Form your relations based on trust and not based on kissing up to others. And don’t forget, “Trust is givable”. 
  • Be part of several networks such as other departments, affiliated companies, suppliers and providers. This shall give you a greater and wider vision on your organisation, its system and / or its market place.
  • Avoid making or extending gossips. Be a good listener, but do not take an active role in gossips! 

Never forget: “first we try, then we trust”. Unless you do not try and trust, nobody will do that for you. Gaining others’ trust and your projection of genuine good intentions are the key elements in playing  “Good” Office Politics.

 

CHINA’S + 1

Posted in Human Resources, Strategies on February 9, 2012 by MD OBSERVER

Recently had a session with a group of highly talented new HR and Development  Consultants to ASEAN , the discussions with whom made me to think and ask this question:

Will Vietnam be China’s + 1?

‘Crowding out’ effect of China has worried many for the past years, but yet again China presents itself a big opportunity!  China could become world’s fastest growing economy by turning itself into the world’s largest factory.  While China’s dominant position on this is not a question, rising overheads and wages are driving many companies to look for alternatives and additional low-cost manufacturing in the region.

With joining WTO in 2007, lower wages and strategic location, Vietnam is a convenient bridge between Southeast Asia and China. It is so well-situated that entities are growing a “China’s + 1” approach towards this nation of  87 million people.

However Vietnamese are hostile to China and that they know running their business in the shadow of a giant dragon isn’t easy and risk free, but their ruling Communist party has maintained close ties with Beijing and opened up their economy to private sectors by similarly putting ideology aside.

Vietnam’s economy has been growing over the past decade and according to World Bank the country attained “Average/Middle Income” status in 2011. However there is macro economic instability there, but in my view Vietnam can resolve that by fostering reform in their bureaucracy, education system, infrastructure and boosting exports. Vietnam can certainly gain from China and enjoy being ‘China’s + 1’ .

Your Network is Your Net Worth!

Posted in Organisational Culture, Strategies on February 9, 2011 by MD OBSERVER

While denting and breaking off a partnership with a supplier/customer would probably take less than a few seconds, building a sound relation based on mutual benefits and understanding takes years.

In my recent observation from two companies, one in Telecommunication and the other in field of Electronics, I sadly learnt that despite of the fact that both companies have certain joint venture projects, their attitude towards maintaining relations with their suppliers and service providers are varied!

One believes relations are just defined by the market-place and economy is the nominator, while the other believes in maintaining a well-established relations, even if on a smaller scale and down sizing transactions.

Here is my point of view: if you could successfully build a mutual partnership that lasts more than 5 years, then it would be crazy not trying to hold on to your partnership, be it service or product, your customer or supplier.

If bad economy and market change are influencing your business, try at least to keep your relations on smaller scale till things recover.

Do not forget the fact of the 21st century: it is all about ‘Networking’, ‘Connection’, ‘Relation’, ‘Interaction’ and above all ‘Mutual Understanding’. The bigger your network with loyal and sound relationships, the better and more valuable cooperation.

Yes, in a competitive market, certainly it is easier to find replacement for your provider and supplier, who is probably even cheaper but the past history of the competitive market shows as well that those companies who stick with the values of the loyal partnership do better in the long run.

“A known devil is better than an unknown priest”!

GET THE ANALYSIS RIGHT!

Posted in Strategies on October 3, 2010 by MD OBSERVER

In one of my recent talks with a fresh Junior Marketing Officer, he mentioned:

“..and I could finally put together a pretty nice file on measuring our market  by only using  SWOT Analysis, I am certain that my Executives will be impressed …..”

“The SWOT Analysis for measuring the market?!” I asked.

Well, it was clear that this officer was a bit confussed with what he might have heard or learnt in some inadequate business classes or that he was not well explained and supervised on the task at hand.

What is actually required to measure a market is rather the PEST Analysis.

PEST is an acronym for Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors, which are used to assess the market for a business or an organizational unit.

The PEST Analysis headings are a framework for reviewing a situation, and similarly to SWOT Analysis, it can be used to review a strategy or a position, or the direction of a company, a marketing proposition, or an idea.

You are recommended to use PEST Analysis for business and strategic planning, marketing planning, business and product development and research reports. As PEST elements are ‘external’, completing a PEST analysis is helpful prior to completing a SWOT analysis. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, which are based on half internal and half external elements).

Note that while a ‘PEST Analysis measures a market’; a SWOT Analysis measures a business unit, a proposition or an idea.

The PEST Analysis needs to primarily address:

  1. How a company/a service is looking at its market;
  2. How a product is looking at its market;
  3. The relation of a brand to its market;
  4. A local business unit in context of its market;
  5. The strategic options, e.g entering a new market / launching a new product;
  6. The possible or potential acquisition;
  7. The potential partnerships;
  8. The investment opportunities.

Final note for Senior Executives:  Make sure you describe both ‘subjectivity’ and ‘objectivity’  for the PEST Analysis to your staff as clear as possible so that everybody who contributes to the Analysis as well as those who read it have a  clear picture and proper understanding of the outcome and its assessment.

DON’T TAKE RESEARCH LIGHT!

Posted in Strategies on September 6, 2010 by MD OBSERVER

In one of my recent talks with a CFO of a national company, she said:

” Research and Market Research are unhelpful. A waste of money”

But fact of the matter is, the investment on research is quite essential. It enlightens business strategies and helps to reduce risks.  When you want to launch a new product or even cut costs on a project, you need to get it right on at first place and stay away from any costly errors.

A good effective market research,  will address ‘needs’, ‘wants’, ‘behaviours’ and ’emotions’. It will assess both current and future problems and facilitate you to take better and cost-effective decisions.