Kuldeep Singh

Kuldeep Singh

Technology Director | Engineering Leader | Head of Innovation Practices

Story Writing

The Blackbox - A inspirational story

A good consultant, have to be a good story-teller. I feel you become a storyteller when you start making your own stories, so that you can explain the point of view in better way. I started writing stories while practicing storytelling and found that story writing is so powerful and it helps bring our imagination into reality. Here I am sharing a story of the BlackBox, a character that inspire me the most, and will inspire you too.

Let’s start the story with my friend Sreedhar, the youngest and a pampered kid from childhood, grew up in the small town of Uttarakhand (India). He was considered the brightest child in his school, and managed to get into the premier engineering institute of India for graduation.

Sreedhar and I used to enjoy attending English lectures in standing positions if not thrown out of the class. This brought us closer, and he always gave me pride that my English is better than at least one person. The brightest kid of school time was somehow lost in college. He generally kept quiet, and year on year was accumulating courses to be cleared. He used to bunk most of the classes but was famous for two things. One was smoking, he had wrapped walls of his hostel room with stacks of cigarette boxes, and the second is black screen shell programming in Unix.

He painted the room black, and most of the time we saw his lips sucking cigarettes and his fingers dancing on the keyboard. Everyone else from the computer branch was called Box (“Dabba” in Hindi) but he got the title BlackBox, who was always in search to solve the mystery of college computer networks, specially when our hostel network crashed. Just like BlackBox in aircraft keeps the record of all the flight data that is useful in troubleshooting emergencies.

Final year came, and most of us were busy preparing for campus interviews or celebrating selections, while few still had courage to go for higher studies. He was in none of them.

He used to tell me “I do things that add value to me”.
I was not sure of the value but I was sure that the number of subjects he had accumulated to clear will keep him busy for next few years. The final year passed away so quickly, we landed up in the corporate world, and left the Blackbox in his own created lost world, a black room full of cigarettes, cables and a PC.

Two years later, we got together on convocation, the blackbox was still there, playing with cables and the camera’s placed in the convocation hall. It was nothing less than magic to see him controlling all the cameras from his room at that time. He smiled after looking at my degree and said I will not find him there. He was indicating that he wasn’t there for this piece of paper. 

I did not give much attention then and left college as a proud engineer. Years passed on, we all settled in our daily life, trying to face every problem of life in the name of agility and transformation. I was at one of the biggest conferences in the Java world in the US, to present how we can automate Java migrations (a hot topic in those days). I was excited for my first talk on such a big platform but 5 minutes before the start I realized some hiccups in the network between my standard laptop and some advanced Audio/Visual system from some BeeBee company.

Unknowingly I said “Where is the BlackBox?”, a fellow next to me given some surprising look. I was thinking about the BlackBox at that moment who used to help us in such situations. A minute later, a person wearing a BeeBee T-shirt came to me asking my consent to apply a patch on my PC from their handheld device, and I had no reason to say no. It was magic, the issue is fixed before I could raise it. The BeeBee person handed me a card. I noticed that BeeBee logo was all over, from entry, id-cards, stalls/showcases, exits, and all was automated. I turned the card and I see BeeBee means “BlackBox”.

Quickly I finished my talks, started searching on yahoo! (popular search engine at that time) about BeeBee, and come to know that it is a company that produces and manages advanced A/V systems for large-scale events. I noticed a person called me from behind, holding a BeeBee tracker, I turned and guess what! I found the BlackBox again, founder of BeeBee Mr. Sridhar Kodian, holding 50 patents in the area of network and wireless communication.

And, I understood what he meant when he used to say “He does the thing that adds value”.

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Thought Writing

Coaching is not what you think!

When the word “Coaching” comes into my mind, one name always pops up, the cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and his coach Mr. Ramakant Achrekar who gave him cricket. This example also helps us break the myths that coaching is needed when there are performance issues or people who are underperforming need the most.

If Sachin Tendulkar needs a coach then we all need a coach in our life to get going. The corporate world is also realizing the importance of coaching. Organizations are focusing on coaching as one of the key parts of its cultivation culture. I am expected to coach people and I also have a coach, to get going. We do have mentors, trainers, consultants but in this article, I am restricting only to coaching.

As a part of our cultivation programs, we also go thru workshops and training to understand what effective coaching means to the corporate world.

Is it about advising people?
Is it about sharing our own experience and let them follow?
Is it about providing solutions to the problems of a coachee?
is it the same as what a sports coach does?

Recently attended a coaching skills workshop as part of our talent growth programs, we discussed a number of such questions in the workshop. Here are my key takeaways from the workshop.

1. Word “Coaching” does not come from Sports - 
Yes, it may surprise you, but coaching in the corporate world is not the same as coaching in sports. The word “coach” comes from a coach in a train, that lets you move and takes you to the destination that you have defined. So as a coach, we are not supposed to define where the coachee should go, but rather we focus on letting them go in the direction where they want to go.

2. Coaching is a “no advice” zone
Yes, coaching is purely a no advice zone, as a human this could be a difficult part, as we tend to advise people based on our rich experience, especially when someone come across a similar situation that we have already gone thru. We try to provide solutions to the problems and issues that the coachee comes with. But this is not coaching, it may come under mentoring, training, or consulting side of the cultivation based on what we do.
As a coach, we don’t need to have all the answers and let go our habit of providing fix based on our own assumptions.
One size doesn’t fit all, or our glasses may not fix the eyesight of others just because they have fixed our eyesight.

3.Get insights
It is important to first get insights of the ask, before really getting into the actions. It requires building a good rapport with the coachee so that they open up, the coach has to listen actively and emphatically. Some time most undervalued tool “paraphrasing” helps a lot. It boosts the confidence of the coachee that they are doing fine, and they can do it. Body language does play a great role here.

Remember, or believe in that the coachee already has all resources and skills to handle the situation. We just need to ask the powerful questions that the coachee get provoked to find more ways to solve their problems on their own. Let them take time to understand the questions well and come up with answers.

4. Coaching framework and tools
There are some good coaching frameworks such as “GROW” — Goal, Reality, Options, and Will (or Way forward). It gives more structure to the conversations and may make the coaching more effective.
We can also use a spider chart, scale (0–10) to give weightage to different options or facts.

5. Roleplay for GROW model
All the situations can not be solved by Coaching
Remember we can not solve all the situations with our coaching skills, we may need to switch between the other side of mentoring or training, managerial conversation based on the situation. For example, you may not want to discuss the promotion or salary review concerns with your coaching skills. So, It is important to set the right expectation before the conversations from both sides.

In the conclusion, I would like to say that everyone needs a good coach that can provoke us to find ways, and choose the optimal way out. A coach also needs to practice effective coaching, there are some good tools that can help and structure the coaching conversations. It is in the best interest of the coachee and coach to set the right expectation for the conversations.
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२०२० में इच्छा शक्ति बढ़ाने के कुछ अनुभव

वर्ष 2020 परिवर्तन का वर्ष था, यह कुछ लोगों के लिए दर्दनाक हो सकता है, लेकिन साथ ही इसने हमें जीवन में सबक भी सिखाया है। मैंने इसके बारे में पहले भी लिखा है कि हमें इसे स्वीकार करना होगा, और यह साल याद किया जाएगा हमारे पूरे जीवन में और उसके बाद भी, चाहे हम कुछ भी करें, पर इसका प्रभाव पड़ेगा। इसलिए यह महत्वपूर्ण है कि हम वर्तमान को पूरी तरह से जीएं। यहाँ पढ़े -

परिवर्तन या बदलाव ही एकमात्र स्थिर है, इसे हम जितना जल्दी स्वीकार करते हैं, उतना ही जल्दी हम भविष्य के लिए तैयार होते हैं - २०२० - बदलाव का वर्ष

मैं इस वर्ष को फ्रैंक चनिंग हैडॉक द्वारा लिखित किताब “Power of Will” पढ़कर पूरा कर रहा हूँ । लेखक सुदृढ़ इच्छा शक्ति की आवशयकता पर जोर देता है;

दृढ़ इच्छा शक्ति ही शरीर का स्वामी है। यदि हम अपने कार्यों को मजबूत और सही इच्छाशक्ति से निर्देशित करते हैं तो हम बहुत कुछ प्राप्त कर सकते हैं।

लेखक स्मृति, कल्पना, धारणा और आत्म-नियंत्रण से इच्छाशक्ति का प्रशिक्षण करने की बात करता है। पुस्तक में कुछ अभ्यासों का उल्लेख है जो इच्छाशक्ति को प्रशिक्षित करने में मदद कर सकते हैं। मैं इस किताब को वर्ष 2020 के कुछ अनुभवों से संबंधित हो सकता हूं, जहां मेरी इच्छाशक्ति ने एक बड़ी भूमिका निभाई है, और अनजाने में मैं अपनी इच्छाशक्ति को टिप्पणियों, कल्पनाओं, कार्यों, तर्क, शारीरिक इंद्रियों और कार्यों से प्रशिक्षित कर रहा था। इस लेख में, मैं उन अनुभवों को लिखता हूँ और 2021 में, मैं सचेत रूप से अपनी इच्छाशक्ति प्रशिक्षण पर ध्यान केंद्रित करूंगा। मेरा मानना ​​है कि हम सभी के पास ऐसे अनुभव हैं, उन्हें सूचीबद्ध करें, और इच्छाशक्ति का विकास करें। इच्छाशक्ति अच्छी हो तो हम जितना सोचते हैं उससे कहीं अधिक प्राप्त कर सकते हैं, और बिना इच्छाशक्ति के हम सरल से सरल काम भी नहीं कर पाते।

Read more here - https://thinkuldeep.com/hi/post/will-cultivation-2020/
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Uncovering the human potential

Covid19 has challenged the way work,  and here I have penned down our shift toward new ways of working. Covid19 has impacted not just the way we work, but also our lives. All-day, we keep hearing how it is hitting hard on humanity and it has brought so much negativity around us.

Enough of negativity, let’s uncover human potential to cop with it. In this article, I will cover how the ways of our regular life are shifting, and uncovering new human potentials to try out new things and performing our chores own our own. This shift is important for us, not just to fulfill the need, but also to keep our mind busy, active, and be positive toward life. The kind of human mind shift I am talking about here will also impact various related businesses, and they need to think thru again to survive.

Read my article here, the change you are looking can start from your home, it covers how we can uncover potential which we never knew we can do ourselves.     - 


So always trying, always improving.

"We can always do much more than what we think" - Kuldeep
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