• 07 Feb
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    11 tips help you to negotiate a salary

    job interview and negotiation skill

    Job interviews can be anxiety provoking at times and it can be difficult to say your bit. However, research shows that being able to negotiate means you may get a better job role and higher salary, among other perks.

    When going for a job interview, the interviewers are obviously the party with more power. So, let them do their bit first, which means let them get done with their questions. When they are done, they would inform you of the role, salary and other aspects of the job. This is where you negotiate, but don’t rush. Hear them out.


    Then, start with, “If I understand you right..” and recapture a summary of what they say. It is also a good place to seek clarification of what you did not understand. This will ensure them that you heard them, are interested and also that you do respect whatever they said.


    Then, while mentioning their points of comfort, add yours too. For example, saying,

    “I agree that I am a fresher and that maybe a concern to you, but I have done excellent work in my academic projects and can easily translate that to work. Can you let me know what benefits I would have of being a fruitful employee?”

    If you observe closely, the framing of this sentence is such that you have talked as if you assumed both that you WILL be a fruitful employee and that you WILL get benefits, but are just asking what and how much. They may say something vague, like ‘let’s take it as it goes’. To which, you could say, “Oh, so you mean appraisals? Could you tell me when the first appraisal would be?”

    Therefore, the trick is not to let them get away with something vague but to give you some level of commitment. Even if you cannot get a salary hike then and there, perks, or a sure-shot appraisal is also a good deal.


    Communication experts suggest the following points in order to persuade and negotiate well:

    • Listen carefully to the arguments of the other party and assess the logic of their reasoning
    • Clarify issues you are not clear about by asking how, why, where, when and what questions.
    • List all the issues which are important to both sides and identify the key issues.
    • Identify any personal agendas. Question generalisations and challenge assumptions.
    • Identify any areas of common ground.
    • Understand any outside forces that may be affecting the problem.
    • Keep calm and use assertive rather than aggressive behaviour.
    • Use tact and diplomacy to diffuse tensions.
    • Remember :NO is a little word with big power!
    • Use both verbal and non-verbal persuasion skills.
    • Use open, encouraging body language such as mirroring, not defensive or closed.
    • Know when to compromise. Offer concessions where necessary, but minor ones at first.
    • Distinguish between needs: important points on which you can't compromise
    • and interests where you can concede ground.
    • Allow the other party to save face if necessary via small concessions.
    • Make sure there is an agreed deadline for resolution
    • Decide on a course of action and come to an agreement.
    • The final agreement needs to be summarised and written down at the conclusion of the negotiations.
    • Plan for alternative outcomes if you can't reach agreement.

    References: 1 2 3




  • 03 Feb
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    What signal does facial hair send to others?

    ranveer singh

    Facial hair is an important part of male grooming, so much so that Gillette tried to do studies on well-groomed HR professionals in order to show the importance of shaving regularly, and hence buying their products! So how important is facial hair, and what is it saying to others?

    If you have seen or witnessed the recent handlebar moustache trend started by Ranvir Singh and before that, also pushed by the MARD (Men against Rape and Discrimination), you will notice how it suddenly became fashionable to have that kind of a moustache. Therefore, fashion and social perception of our looks are quite linked, even for facial hair.


    Research over time has indicated the following:


    General social perception:

    The general social perception of beards falls into two categories. One is that bearded men may be seen as mature and wise, and the other is that they may be seen as aggressive and dominant. As opposed to this, clean shaven men are perceived as younger, well-groomed and peaceful. Stubbles get perhaps the most negative perception.

    A study found that when men with and without beard were shown with the same facial expressions, including yelling, smiling etc, those with the facial hair were perceived to be more aggressive than others. This is because facial hair is a sign of testosterone – the reason why most women don’t have that much facial hair is because of the low testosterone in women. Therefore, we automatically perceive someone with a beard as aggressive even though he may not be so.


    Jobs and Interviews:

    When it comes to jobs and interviews, there are some mixed findings. While clean shaven men are obviously preferred for entry level jobs, having a well-groomed beard can be what is being looked for in higher level positions like executives. A well-groomed beard might help in being perceived as mature, dominant and knowledgeable, thereby giving the initial impetus to the team to listen to you and trust your judgement. Again, stubbles are a sign of being unkempt unless it’s a creative profession where this is the kind of personality trait they look for.


    Romance and Dating:

    Perhaps the most confusing findings on facial hair are for mating. While some women clearly prefer clean shaven men as they seem more approachable and friendly, others tend to feel that a mature man with a well-groomed beard has seen life and will not leave them on a minute’s notice. They also feel that these well-groomed bearded men will also provide for them and take care of them. However, even stubbles which are conventionally seen as negative, may have a raunchy, bad boy appeal with some women. But these men are almost never preferred for a commitment, only for a short-timed romance. Therefore, it looks like if you are looking for a steady or life partner, it has to be either clean-shaven or well-groomed beard.

    Lastly, it turns out that beards also affect self-perception! Growing a well-groomed beard helps men to feel more self-esteem at times.

    Image source

    References: 1 2 3


  • 02 Feb
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Are we inherently racist?

    inherently racist

    Racism, as understood by treating someone as inferior because they look different (because their ancestors grew up in different geographical and climate conditions, thus ‘race’) is a controversial topic.

    Some people say people who look different are meant to stay apart, and that is why we inherently dislike someone who looks different, some others say that racism is a thing of the past.

    Often, politicians use the racist tendencies of one group to garner votes and increase the divide.


    Biologically speaking, when we were going through an evolution and still living in tribes.

    For us, it was important to know which tribe can be trusted and which cannot be.

    The geographical region and climate that we stay in starts to affect our looks over time, may give us flatter or longer noses, for example. Therefore, when someone looked very different from us, we had good reason to be suspicious of them.

    We did not know whether this person who has come from elsewhere will harm us to take over our land, or not.

    This evolutionary tendency continued and was used to justify colonialism and slavery, with the claim that Indians, and Africans and almost all non-white population is somehow inferior.

    History obviously says something else, because Egypt, one of the forward civilizations of the ages, was from Egypt and India had flowing prosperity and education before any other country.

    Times have changed, but we have promoted this thinking, which though useful when we were evolving, is no longer useful in a mixed world.

    Politicians and other parties with vested interests have led to more visibility of one group over another in TV, news and so on.

    This is not limited to just black or white people.

    Our lack of diversity affects differently abled people and women too, we tend to see them as lesser people and give them less rights.

    So, yes, there is an inherent mechanism in us which helped us to survive the stone age and the tribal age.

    However, times have changed and our brain can adapt into not thinking that way, if we wanted to.

    Research suggests that giving children exposure to people and faces who look different ensures that they do not grow up as racist adults.

    Therefore, it is all a question of making ourselves familiar to the diversity out there and helping ourselves understand all the people out there.

    Although people are not openly expressing racist tendencies, they do however tend to be covertly racist with or without knowing it.

    This can lead to discrimination in the workplace and during interviews and even when selecting a marriage partner.

    This may also have law enforcement consequences, with reports that black and Indian youth are more likely to be mistrusted and arrested for crimes than white people.

    Therefore, it is obviously a dangerous bias to carry. It was useful at one time but no longer is.

    We should not let some antisocial elements use this to increase the divide. We can and should work to reduce differences and racism.

    Further reading:1 2 3




  • 01 Feb
    Dr. KV Anand

    10 Habits that help Change Your Attitude from Negative to Positive

    negative to positive attitude


    Many a times we refer to ATTITUDE. We refer to the positive attitude and negative attitude. We’ve all heard about the power of our attitude and that it is our attitude that determines how much we succeed in life. We even know positive attitude plays an important part in many attributes in our life, whereas a negative attitude shatters our life itself. Usually positive attitude leads to Success and Happiness. A negative attitude can lead to sadness, depression, stress, and giving up on life. So having an uplifting attitude is critical to success and achievement.


    How to cultivate habits which leads to positive attitude?

    First, let us know what is the attitude.

    What is an attitude?

    In psychology, "an attitude is an expression of favor or disfavor towards a person, place, thing, or event”. In other words

    “attitude is a settled way of thinking or feeling about something”.

    Positive attitude is having positive thoughts, feelings and expression.
    Negative attitude is having negative thoughts, feelings and expression.


    How to have a positive attitude?

    Here are some habits which should help you cultivate positive habits.


    1. Maintain a gratefulness diary.

    Once in a while one single occasion can destroy a whole day and an unpleasant interaction or involvement with night can dominate the enjoyable parts of our day. With this awareness that our mind tends to stick to the negative, we can deliberately concentrate on the great parts of our day to counterbalance this irregularity. Try writing down 5 things that you feel thankful for every day and see how your attitude changes. Science has found that appreciation can fundamentally increase your happiness, and shield you from anxiety, negativity, stress and depression.

    2. Reframe your challenges.
    There are no deadlocks, just re-directions. Despite the fact that we may attempt, there are not very many things in life that we have complete control over. We ought not to let wild events from the outside turn our inner to mush. What we can control is the effort that we put in and when we give our full effort, there is no reason to regret. Play around with challenges, hold onto them as adventures instead of attempting to resist an experience for growth.


    “Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.” – Robert Kiyosaki

    3. Feel good, even though you are rejected.
    Rejection is a skill. Understand the failure you went through, because no one gets to slide through life without being rejected. Don’t let it trouble you and never expect the worse to happen. If you wait for bad things to happen, chances are it will. When you worry, something worse may happen, the chances of bad happenings are more. Feel good when you are rejected. So that is alright, I always have next chance.

    4. Describe your life using positive words
    The words we use are more powerful than we think. You are what you think about yourself. How you talk about your life is how your life will be. Your mind listens to what you say, what you mean and what your brain perceives. If you use the words simple, involved, familiar or lively, you will see your life in a whole different light and find more enjoyment in the way you chose to shape your life. Always be positive with your words. For example, whenever possible say,

    “I am perfect, I am happy and I am positive”.

    5. Replace “have” with “get”.
    I have to do something? We use this sentence many a times in a day. . I have to go to work. I have to go grocery shopping. I have to pay my rent. You need to learn to rephrase. Replace the word ‘’have’’ to ‘’get’’. I get to go to work. I get to go grocery shopping. Even, I get to pay my rent. Your attitude rapidly changes from expecting to satisfy commitments to being appreciative of the things that we get to be usual to have.

    6. Try not to give yourself a chance to get dragged into other individuals' complaints.
    Your day was going really well and afterward you get the opportunity to work and your colleague can't quit griping about the cool climate. You didn't generally consider it before he/she brought it up and now you wind up concurring and joining in on the complain fest of how tired you are of this cool climate. In a month you'll be maneuvered into protests about how it's excessively hot. Try not to fall into the trap. A study done at the Warsaw School of Social Psychology demonstrates that grumbling prompts lower states of mind and negative feelings, diminished life fulfillment and idealism, and passionate and motivational deficiencies. You may find that your collaborator will whine less without the approval of another person having the same protest.

    7. Breathe.
    Our breath is specifically associated with our feelings. Have you seen we hold our breath at times when we are focusing on something? Will you feel your breath change when you are furious or on edge? Our breath changes relying upon how we feel. The great news is that the association goes the other much as well. We can likewise change how we feel utilizing our breath! Take ten deep, shallow breaths whenever you are free.

    8. Notice the “right” in times of “wrong”(tragedy).
    It's difficult to have a trust and stay positive when scorn and viciousness is everywhere throughout the media. What we don't see as much is that in each example of normal catastrophes, war, traumatic experience, you will discover individuals ascending, connecting with one another and indicating crude empathy and affection. Learn to see the right news, articles, writings, etc. among wrong / bad news.

    9. Have solutions when pointing out problems.
    Being positive doesn't imply that you must be unaware of the issues. Constructive individuals have useful reactions to enhance conditions. On the off chance that you are going to call attention to issues in individuals or circumstances, put the same amount of exertion into proposing arrangements. Rather than indicating out everything that aren't right, offer ways improve it. Have a solution ready when you point out problems.

    10. Make someone else smile.
    Who do you consider more often than not? In the event that we addressed truly, a large portion of us would say them. It's great to consider ourselves responsible, assume liability for our life parts, cleanliness, sustenance, and so forth, however set an objective for every day to make another person grin. Consider another person's joy and it will help us to understand our monstrous effect that our mentality and expression has on the general population around us.

    Author: Dr KV Anand

    Image source

  • 01 Feb
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Why laughter is contagious?

    laughter therapy



    “Laugh and the world laughs with you” may be more than just a saying that we learnt in childhood. It turns out that there is scientific evidence that laughter is contagious. Research suggests that when we see emotional expressions of any kind on other people’s faces, our brain will try to mirror them so that we can have a shared reality with the other person, helping us to bond with them. Bonding with group members was important from an evolutionary perspective and still continues to be, and that is why the brain acts this way. This ability helps us to survive in our social environment.


    However, it turns out that for positive emotions, our brain responds a lot more and much faster. This is because more bonding is likely to happen over positive emotions. These are also considered to strengthen the immunity system, and so the brain responds more to them. Therefore, when we see someone laugh or when we hear a joke, our brain involuntarily prepares the facial muscles to laugh, but forming a smile.

    Dr. Sophie Scott, head of this research project, commented:

    "We usually encounter positive emotions, such as laughter or cheering, in group situations, whether watching a comedy programme with family or a football game with friends. This response in the brain, automatically priming us to smile or laugh, provides a way of mirroring the behaviour of others, something which helps us interact socially. It could play an important role in building strong bonds between individuals in a group."


    This is perhaps the reason why humour is used as an ice-breaker in most situations where two unknown people are interacting. This could also be why one of the most important social skills rated over time in both formal and informal situations.


    Laughter therapy helps depressed to feel good.

    For depression and other psychological disorders, laughter therapy tends to help a lot for the same reason. In laughter therapy, no jokes are used, but simple laughing of the instructor tends to induce laughter from the participants.

    This is where the brain mechanisms of mimicking a positive state of emotions tends to kick in and be useful. In depression, it can be very difficult to find anything pleasant, however, laughter therapy works on the automatic systems of the brain and tends to trigger positive emotions and a release of the feel good emotion, dopamine. The effect multiplies as one sees the whole group laughing.


    Your minus points ignored if you have ability to make us laugh

    Laughter also promotes liking. For example, children tend to like adults and teachers that can make them laugh. It makes it easy for us to ignore the person’s minus points if they have an ability to make us laugh and put us at ease.


    Laughing boost our immune system

    There is also research which suggests that the reason some of yoga’s facial exercises include laughing poses and expressions, is because our ancient ancestors had already discovered the health benefits of laughing. Along with it being contagious, it is also healthy. Even using the same facial muscles as those which are used in laughing tend to make us feel good, boost our immunity and promote our health.



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