Wednesday, April 30, 2014

EC Pros & Cons

Let's discuss the "Pros and cons" of:

Childhood/Adolescence/Teenage/Adulthood/Marriage/Parenthood/Middle Age/Old Age
Being rich/poor/middle class
Being a celebrity/commoner
Being a sportsperson/musician/writer/actor/creative person/politician


EC Confessions

I confess that I used to pronounce these words wrongly before I started consulting an Oxford Learner's Pocket Dictionary:

Athlete: The right way to pronounce is - "Athleet"
Christian: The right way to pronounce is -"Krischen"
Dynasty: The right way to pronounce is - "Dinesti"
Image: The right way to pronounce is - "Imij"
Plumber: The right way to pronounce is - "Plumer"
Question: The right way to pronounce is -"Kweschen" 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


TCI stands for Theme Centered Interaction. This is a technique to engage in a group discussion on a common theme and find inclusive solutions which are acceptable to all. In this format each member of the group interacts at three levels ie., with himself/herself(I), with the group(WE) and with the theme(T). The consciousness operates at all the three levels ie., with the self, with the group and with the theme. The participants give equal respect to the "I-We-Theme Relationship" and respond accordingly. The group interaction is profound and the experience is rich with empathetic understanding and compassionate listening.



When it rains or the sun shines bright what do you do? You hold an umbrella over your head and create a shade around yourself. This is what TA does.
TA stands for Transactional Analysis. TA believes that every communication is a transaction of states i.e., when you communicate you assume a state which can be a child state, an adult state or a parent state. When you communicate being in your child state you exercise your free will, enjoy doing new things, take risks, be open minded and show good learning abilities. You don't think about the past or future. What matters most is the present. But you are vulnerable too and show dependence on somebody/something.
When you communicate being in your adult state you are independent but cautious. You don't play like a child but act with responsibility. You don't laugh much, put up a serious face and show purpose and reason in your behaviour. The risk taking is minimal and done with a lot of calculation. You are in your comfort zone and sometimes show symptoms of paralysis by analysis or learned helplessness. But this state is empowered with sound decision making, maturity of age and experience and the ego expresses itself in many ways.
In the parent state the person shows his/her moral side and talks or does things in an ideal way to present a role model for others to follow. The "You should be/should have/should do" kind of instructions are very common in this state and the receiver is expected to obey/listen and show respect to the advice given.
Now the conflict in communication happens when there is a mismatch in the assumed states for eg., the speaker is in child state and the receiver takes the adult state. This prevents the communication to progress because the adult may try to oppose the creative instincts in the child and thus the child may not explore them further in the presence of the adult. So the process of communication fails to realise its true potential.This kind of a situation may also arise between an adult and a parent. So these are contradictory states. The complementary states are child-child, adult-adult, parent-parent or when the child is respectful of the adult/parent and willing to learn from their knowledge and experience.




To understand what NLP is let's hear a story. An old man was bedridden for few months when he was visited by his grandson, a small child. The child started persuading his grandpa to come out of the bed and play with him but the old man kept complaining of his ill health and laid still. Finally the child said, "Do you remember grandpa how you played with me when I was here last time?" On hearing this the man said, "How can I forget those good days? I was so energetic and active. I played with you all the time. I carried you on my back. I was the elephant. Don't you remember? I will show you." Saying this he got up almost immediately, leaned forward and started acting like an elephant. All his health problems vanished and he became active again to play with his grandson.
This story might be difficult to believe but it is what happens when we tap into our resourceful states by means of communication. Through proper communication we can access our previously experienced states and behave like the person we were at that time.
This is the principle of NLP which stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming.
NLP focuses on intrapersonal communication ie., the way we think, the language of thoughts which could be words/images/sounds/emotions etc.
NLP is a science which can be used in counseling techniques to make the client feel better by accessing positive and resourceful mental and physiological states. It can be used in teaching, training, selling, relationship management, public speaking, negotiations etc. It has got areas like re-framing, building rapport, sub modalities, language of thinking, anchoring, using metaphors, etc.



A common refrain nowadays is that we are forgetting our values. By values most of us mean the moral values like honesty, truthfulness, loyalty, simplicity, sharing and caring, respect for elders, protection and preservation of natural resources, helping the poor and needy etc. Actually values can be anything which is given priority and acted upon. For eg. when a person says "Time is money" they mean that they are very conscious of the importance of time. For them it is as precious as money. People who are driven by value for time are always punctual for work, family occasions, social functions etc. because of this internal consciousness for time. Similarly those who believe in "Health is wealth" are always fitness conscious and all their actions are governed by their desire to stay fit. So the values which top our priority list drive our consciousness, emotional states and actions. But most of the time we are not aware of our cherished values. Due to this lack of awareness we play into the hands of circumstances and lose control over our thoughts and actions. So let's be aware of the values that we uphold by following a certain thought/belief/action. Let's also rate our values on a scale of one to ten and then program our thoughts/feelings/actions on the basis of our value preferences. This would help us in getting rid of value conflicts which many a time pull us in different directions and create confusion while taking decisions thus leading to a lot of frustration and helplessness.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Happy Ending.

I hope this blog helps in making EC more interesting to people...more easy...more familiar. So let your thoughts get a new voice in EC....for a new sunrise in your life.


All our actions are because of motivation. Now the question is, what motivates us? Is it a GOAL, or a PURPOSE or our EMOTIONS(FEELINGS)? Actually most of the time we act (or just don't act) because we want to FEEL good about doing something or having something or being something. But then this kind of motivation has no particular direction. It leads us nowhere. It's a waste of time and efforts. When we are motivated by a particular GOAL it gives us a sense of direction. For eg. A person thinks that -I am watching TV not because I want to feel good but because I want to improve my communication skills in English. Here the viewer has a clear goal in watching TV ie., to better EC skills. His/Her actions are not led by emotions but they are GOAL ORIENTED. But here also there is something missing and that is the reason for that goal. Why does the person want to improve his/her EC skills? A likely answer is for a better job/ a better profession/ a better life (by articulating my thoughts, beliefs,ideas and doubts) or for having better conversations with people. So the goals should have a purpose. But the most important thing is to be HERE and NOW ie., to enjoy and focus on the work you are doing.
When I thought of making a blog on English Communication skills my focus was fully on how it would help my vacation batch students to learn EC in a better way. Similarly when I went to have a discussion about the blog with the editor of a leading newspaper I focused on how the blog would help EC learners. In both these cases I was not focusing on any particular result or I had no fixed ideas of success/failure. So the motivation was inherent in the action. There was neither a fear nor a desire. So the demotivational factors were absent.

"If you are motivated by wrong reasons, you would also be demotivated by wrong reasons."
Suppose you are an actor and after a performance you get a lot of good comments. You feel very happy and energetic. But the next performance is not liked by many people and the comments are very discouraging. And you become unhappy and demotivated.
So it is important to get motivated by the right reasons, for the right reasons and in the right way. 



In state govt. job recruitment exams like PSC the pattern of questions in the verbal ability section(English) consists of basically two types of questions: Type A)Testing the knowledge in English-sentence-structures & Type B) Testing the knowledge in English words(vocabulary).

A sample of Type A questions:
He is the best speaker____ is available. (which/that/whom/what)....Ans. that
I would hurry up if I ____ you. (were/was/is/am)....Ans. were

A sample of Type B questions:
One word for a collection of ships: (pack/cluster/fleet/group)....Ans. fleet
The opposite of  'Ascend' is: (detract/derange/retreat/descend)....Ans. descend

A good strategy for exam preparation is:
  • Read English newspapers daily; make a list of new words and get their meanings then and there with the help of a dictionary.
  • Making a habit of reading English books and newspapers will make one familiar with different sentences and words. This practice will help in spotting the answers of multiple choice questions very easy, almost spontaneous.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

EC Expressions

Life is beautiful !

It's OK.

Wow! What an idea!

Sorry, I am really very sorry. Please forgive me...

Thank you very much indeed.

Are you happy now?

You have been so good to me. be continued

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Before coming to the main topic ie., the law of attraction let's first address ourselves as KINGS, QUEENS, EMPERORS, PRIME MINISTERS,PRESIDENTS etc. Why? Because that's precisely what we are in real life. Aren't we the rulers of our LAND OF THOUGHTS or MINDS? If not, then what is or rather who is stopping us from being so? We, ourselves...aren't we?
Now this Law of Attraction says that the matter in our thoughts ie., the key content, can attract the matter from the universe. 

Here we can imagine a thought as an electrical signal that has a particular frequency or a particular amount of energy. So what do we need for a particular thing/action/situation to materialize? Again energy of a particular type. So isn't there any connection in what is thought and what is materialized? This is what is called Law of Attraction.This law operates in Communication too. In this case our THOUGHTS, CONVERSATIONS and DISCUSSIONS are what drive the situations around us and thereby change/create/sustain the world outside.
So Law of Attraction in its most simple form says that the changes in the outside world begins with a change, even a small change, a slight change in your world, ie., in your world of thoughts or to be more exact, in your world of thoughts having a pattern which is also called BELIEF.

So ACTION in the mind forms BELIEFS which COMMUNICATE with the DYNAMIC ENERGY in the outer world and things happen like magic. This is the ABCDE of Law of Attraction.  

For those who don't believe in the Law of Attraction, there is another option..


Saturday, April 5, 2014


Movies like The Dirty Picture, Hinglish Vinglish, Queen etc. have heralded a new era in Bollywood, that of women-centric films. Hinglish Vinglish stands apart from such movies for the reason that in this the protagonist is a middle aged, housewife always in sarees and never tries to outwit the other person using her bold language or manners. She is calm, graceful and understanding. She is the woman next door who can be seen in any part of the world.
Hinglish Vinglish directed by Gauri Shinde is a very simple movie with a very simple story told in a simple way. Simplicity is the trademark here. It's the story of a homemaker Shashi(Sreedevi) who is very good at making sweets and also selling them. But the family mainly her husband and her elder daughter think very low of her and treat her with disrespect. The reason for their superiority complex is their ability in English communication and the protagonist's perceived disability in EC. Shashi is going through a very low self esteem phase in her life when the movie begins because of her family's judgmental attitude towards her and then there is a twist in the tale. An opportunity comes her way to go to USA, all alone. She undertakes this mission also in her stride as a true Indian woman with a never-say-die attitude. And from this point the journey to self discovery and empowerment begins for Shashi, the human being (not Shashi, the mother/wife/housewife)
What is great about this small film is that the main character strikes a rapport with every viewer who has had to go through a similar "low in self respect" life because of a lack of confidence and power in their English Communication. And the problem worsens mainly because the people who are supposed to give a helping hand take it as an opportunity to run down the victim(of circumstances).
Every character grows through the movie. The underlying message is -let's stop being judgemental when someone tries to speak English or does something which he/she is not good at and also let's acknowledge, appreciate and at least say a few good words when someone shows a talent at something which lack in short, let's try to be humane... 




The participants write on the board/paper three things they like and three things they dislike but the keywords should all be mixed up in such a way that the audience or the other person(s) taking part in the conversation doesn't have any idea about what the speaker likes or dislikes. So the person asking a question about the keywords has to guess well and ask a question tag for eg. You like ICE CREAMS, don't you? or You dislike coffee, don't you? (In this case ICE CREAM and COFFEE being the keywords)
This game works very well with children. Adults I have noticed take a long time to write keywords about things they dislike. Some people say - I dislike nothing!


I am ____. I am not ____ (About your STATE)
I have ___. I don't have ____( About your POSSESSION)
I have ____. I haven't ____(About a PAST ACTION)
I can ____. I can't ____(About an ABILITY)


Tuesday, April 1, 2014





Where there is a bill, there is a way to stop it from having its way!


WORDS(Indian) vs WORDS(English)

Let's see some Indian words and their English counterparts:


(The exact meaning of the Vidyabhysam is practicing skills)


(The exact meaning of the Vyaktitvam is clarity about one's true identity)


(The exact meaning of the Viswasam is belief as vital to sustain life as the power to breath)