Adversity quotient – the power of resilience which drives productivity

Studying how our brain works, why we perceive things the way we do and how to improve one’s brain functionality has always been a challenging work since the human brain possesses a highly complex mechanism. Intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ) are the two most widely known evaluations of human brain capacity in which people invest a lot of effort building.

A fairly new concept compared to IQ and EQ called adversity quotient (AQ) which was introduced by Paul Stoltz in his book “Adversity Quotient: Turning obstacles into opportunities” has recently gained significant attention due to its proposed correlation with one’s productivity and success at work.

What is adversity quotient?

Adversity quotient measures one’s ability to cope and deal with adverse circumstances. It is also commonly referred to as resilience which demonstrates how a person responds when faced with life’s difficulties, from small hassles that come your way on a daily basis to more serious stress or pressure at work.

AQ is also frequently associated by employers with grit, stability, power, and creativity, these are highly sought-after traits of a person in many industries. Following 2020, a year full of turbulence and unprecedented challenges, AQ has proven to be more pertinent and imperative than ever since it determines one’s capability to reflect on the adversities at hand to withstand and triumph it.

AQ as one of the probable contributors of success

Understanding how a person responds to adversities is considerably useful in terms of predicting their endurance, mental capacity, perseverance, attitudes and how quickly they can adapt to changes in environment. These factors are strong indicators of the ability to succeed in many aspects of life, especially in workplace.

Possessing high AQ is analogous to being able to courageously learn and bounce back from setbacks. Whenever adversities strike, high-AQ people incline toward analysing the situation with the desire to exert a certain level of influence and control over stressful circumstances. Plus, people with higher AQ view hardships as temporary situations which will soon pass, as a result, they are more likely to soldier on and their recovery process happens relatively faster compared to those with lower AQ level.

These characteristics help high-AQ individuals gain the upper hand in most situations since they do not dwell on the negative aspects, instead, they spend more efforts on figuring out how to improve the circumstances. In the context of workplace, people with good AQ are believed to bring longer term stability and loyalty since they do not quit easily when obscurities come in way, these traits entrench their position as troubleshooters and reliable team players in any organisation.

Resilience also fuels work productivity as it is the key determinant of one’s ability to follow through and attain set goals. Unlike people with lower AQ, resilient individuals apparently overcome adversities and setbacks with relative ease, this reduce the possibility of them opting out once things derail or do not go as planned.

In addition, AQ is closely linked with mental resilience which is pivotal in sustaining one’s emotional well-being in the face of sudden issues and changes. Resilience can be of great importance in dealing with ongoing mental health issues as well as alleviating the severity of existing mental health problems.

How to develop your AQ?

More often than not, people who can navigate through the thick of adversities are the ones who survive the crest and trough of their careers. One inevitably has to face multiple hardships and setbacks along the way on their pursuit of success, the ability to surmount these challenges determines whether their attempt will come to fruition. The good news is AQ can be cultivated and improved through implementing some changes regarding one’s practice as well as perception.

  1. Take a minute to analyse the situation

Panic attacks stemming from sudden adversity can cause one to react rashly and irrationally. Instead of responding immediately, spend some time to look deep into the root cause of the problem in search for the most optimal respond.

  1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Don’t let the fear of failing get the best of you. See making mistakes as a form of approaching a problem comprehensively and adopt a learner mindset which will enable you to bounce back from mistakes and learn from them.

  1. Reach out for feedback

Don’t isolate yourself and struggle in silence once a crisis emerges. Ask others for advice and get feedback about how you can better your adversity coping methods. This process will help improve one’s self-awareness and break passive patterns of responses to problems.

  1. Have faith

Believing that every hardship has its own reason for happening is crucial in terms of dealing with them mentally and emotionally. Stress and anxiety, from a lack of faith, can severely impair our judgment as well as the ability to respond constructively. Reinforcing faith in ourselves helps mitigate the level of pressure in which difficult circumstances put us in order to implement apt solutions.

Find out more tips on how to excel at work with us here.

Growth and comfort do not coexist – Explore the stories of our Support Analyst of the Year

People are the greatest asset of any organisation. It is with the determination and dedication of our people that enables our business growth, creates long-term value and contributes to society.

At NashTech, we believe in the limitless potential of our talents and their capabilities to bring success. In celebration of the outstanding achievement and significant contribution of our Nashers, we proudly organise the annual employee of the year award.

This week will be featuring Ms. Chau Phan – the spectacular individual who has earned herself the title “support analyst of the year”  in 2019.

Chau Phan and her “growth mindset”

Chau developed her passion for becoming a support analyst through an internship at her first company where she worked on a service operations project. It has been eight years since Chau decided to focus on this career path, and two years since she joined the NashTech family as a young, ambitious support analyst.

As a competent support analyst, Chau spends a good amount of time improving her skills. From her perspective, a great support analyst needs to have a passion for growth.

The technology world is constantly changing and clients demand up-to-date solutions for their business. In order to satisfy their needs and support them all the way to success, you must be eager to learn and willing to acquire new knowledge – Chau shared.

A “growth mindset” is about learning from mistakes, turning stress into productivity and turning obstacles into opportunities. Instead of hiding in her comfort zone, Chau faces every challenge with confidence, knowing that she will learn something valuable from these experiences and move on to even greater accomplishments. For Chau, the path of a “growth mindset” is never easy but it motivates her to step forward and become a better version of herself.

A meaningful time at NashTech

Before becoming a Nasher, Chau learned through her friends and colleagues that NashTech is one of the leading companies in the information technology field. Chau was impressed by the enthusiastic working spirit and the motivational culture at NashTech, which inspires people to challenge themselves and go extra mile to bring  value. She also said that the flexible working time is the most unique element of NashTech as it helps her balance between her professional and personal life.

We asked Chau to share her most remarkable achievement of working at NashTech, and she humbly shared that it is bringing satisfaction to clients from her past and present projects. With a proud smile on her face, Chau shared that she received so many compliments and praise from clients in every project that she worked on. 

Talking about the future, Chau shares with us her plan for her personal development:

I am looking forward to advancing myself and bringing more value to the company. I will also spend time gaining new technical knowledge and catch up with the latest IT trends to bring more practical solutions for clients – said Chau.

The world of information technology is changing day by day and it is increasingly important to be familiar with the global pace while being adaptive to changes and adversities. With a forward-thinking mindset and superb expertise, Chau is ready to take on new challenges and to further advance in her career.

How to embrace cultural diversity in the workplace?

The trend of cultural difference management

Business are becoming increasingly global, and cultural difference has become an issue that people face daily. While diversity may lead to fantastic outcomes, misunderstandings and conflicts still exist everyday around the world as people may lack awareness of cultural differences. But instead of running away from this problem, it must be viewed as a challenge and opportunity for the company. Learning to manage cultural differences helps us understand various perspectives within the world we are living in and encourages the elimination of negative stereotypes and biases.

According to the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion journal¹, diverse teams are normally up to 20% more productive than non-diverse ones; and companies with diverse teams have 10-12% more market value than those who do not. Today’s successful companies are critically realized by their mindset of diversity. From a recruitment perspective, an organisation that embraces cultural differences can attract many applicants for job vacancies; hence, increasing the chances of finding an exceptional candidate. In addition, it helps with employee retention as people want to work in an open and equally promoted environment.

For any companies that plan to do business on a global level, cultural difference management is undoubtedly pivotal to the bottom line. Culture is complex, it lives in words, actions and thoughts and workplace culture is something that needs to be continuously nurtured, shaped and managed throughout the organisation.

How to successfully implement cultural difference management

Despite the importance, cultural difference management can be difficult to implement as it is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and each company has their own unique circumstances. Below are three of the most effective approaches to successfully managing cultural difference, according to some of the most seasoned managers at NashTech:

The “intuition”

At NashTech, we see ourselves in a situation where simply speaking the same languages is not enough to manage the cultural-diverse gap between people. Instead, you need “good intuition”. The trickiest part of cultural difference management is that there are no clear guidelines to follow. For instance, according to the The Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic (Im)politeness, the British are relatively indirect communicators, they may act politely and strongly avoid any conflict while the Americans prefer clear and direct communication. Using your senses to read the room, identify the signal and clues and react accordingly to each working style are considered an effective way to manage the impact of cultural difference in the workplace.

Be observant

One of the techniques that NashTech managers use to deal with cultural differences is observation. Being observant is more than just looking, it means you are aware of yourself and your surroundings. When you take time to observe people and changes in the environment, you are one step ahead to detect any misunderstandings or conflicts, and also find ways to help others out. For instance, you may realise when someone feels uncomfortable by observing their attitudes, actions and provide them comfort. Observation enables you to analyse how people react, what types of behaviour get results and what does not in different cultural context, which creates valuable lessons to embrace and put into action. Many managers admitted that being a good observer translates into being an empathetic person, someone who can adapt quickly to differences and show respect to other people’s culture.

Common goals

Many of the managers we spoke to at NashTech agreed that one of the pillars of effective culture difference management is aligning culture and success. When people share a common set of values and goals, it helps transcend the cultural borders and allows them to overcome any cultural barriers, whether with colleagues or clients.

At the end of the day, our ultimate goal is to succeed in our professional lives and find meaningful working relationships with others. Learning, managing and embracing cultural differences is considered invaluable experience leading to personal growth, lifelong collaborations and even friendships, both inside and outside of the organisation.

Reference:
  1. Bernstein, R.S., Crary, C. and Billimoria, D. (2015) “Working effectively across differences – diversity and inclusion at the individual, team and organisational levels”, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol.34 No.5. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-04-2015-0030
  2. Culpeper, J., Haugh, M. and Kádár, D., n.d. (2017) The Palgrave Handbook Of Linguistic (Im)Politeness. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-37508-7

Tough situations build strong people – an inspiring story from our tech lead of the year

Throughout 20 years of development, NashTech has always taken pride in the people-oriented approach where our Nashers are encouraged to advance their expertise and excel in their career.

In celebration of our talents and their excellence during the year 2019, NashTech is delighted to hold the annual award “employee of the year” to express gratitude for individuals who achieve outstanding levels of performance.

In this article, we would like to introduce Thinh Tran – the talented Nasher who made his name in the “tech lead of the year” award.

Two years of learning and growing at NashTech

Thinh started his journey with NashTech in 2018 and officially took on the role of technical lead just a year ago. A day at work in the life of Thinh consists of meeting and supporting clients, managing the team, monitoring the workflow, as well as overseeing any potential technical issues. Sharing about his job, Thinh said it was restless and fulfilling at the same time. From the beginning, it took him a good amount of time to familiarize himself with the whole “new” situation – new environment, new requirements, new colleagues. Despite all of the exchange, Thinh finds his career and journey at NashTech especially rewarding. Side by side with his team members, he has been able to build a brand-new project entirely from the ground, which he proudly calls “his most remarkable achievement”. Thinh shared with a smile, “I enjoy every second of it, I love what I do and I am happy that I have a chance to work hard for it.”  “Although it was tiring and confusing sometimes, I am grateful that it happened. Our life is full of ups and downs, but unexpected adversities may become the greatest opportunities in the future. I believe in the old saying no pain, no gain – everyone goes through difficulties in life, but what matters is how you learn from it” – Thinh said.

The story behind the title “tech lead of the year”

We asked Thinh to share the secret that has led to his ‘tech lead of the year’ award and he thinks it is down to his initiative spirit and carefulness. Being a responsible tech lead, Thinh has to ensure that the requirements and scope of a project are communicated clearly with different stakeholders to prevent any potential misunderstandings that could de-rail the project. Therefore, it is critical for Thinh to carefully oversee the work process, as well as initiatively converse with several parties. “I think it is important to raise questions and express your thoughts when needed, those are the qualities of a competent technical lead.” – he advised.

How the culture at NashTech has inspired Thinh to learn and grow

When being asked about the reason behind choosing NashTech, Thinh pointed out that the professional working environment and the corporate benefits are the most vital factors that make NashTech the perfect workplace for him and many of his friends.

It is fascinating for Thinh to see how employees at NashTech are appreciated and encouraged. The motivational spirit is well-spread among the people and the energy never runs out.

During his time working at NashTech, Thinh has been able to excel in his professional life and more importantly, develop meaningful and lifelong relationships with others – which he considers priceless to his personal growth. “I was able to overcome all the challenges and stay true to myself all thanks to the great support of my dear colleagues. I truly hope we can keep working hard together and creating valuable outcomes for our clients and the company” – Thinh shared.

Looking forward to a bright future

As a technical professional, Thinh always strives to become a better version of himself. He has several plans to advance his competences, particularly in the area of coding and honing his expertise in technical areas.

With the upcoming future full of ambition and plans, Thinh remains positive for the promising future ahead as he steps into a new phase of his career with a confident mind.

The Art of Project Management: What does it take to become successful?

How would you respond when asked to define project management or explain what a project is? 

We face projects every day, both at work and at home. You might be contributing to a deliverable deadline on a new sprint release for a client at work or planning a trip with your family at home. These are both examples of projects that have a defined start and end date, a goal, a scope, and resources. And, they all require some level of management.

It takes great effort to effectively manage projects, while ultimately benefitting the company, the project’s stakeholders and you. In this article, you will find useful tips that could significantly contribute to your career development from some of the most outstanding project managers at NashTech.

The “true colour” of project management

In the IT world, we normally call a project manager a “ninja warrior”. A person who constantly stays on top of all aspects of his/her project and is able to fully anticipate demand and maintain control. The art of project management is not only the ability to plan, execute and track, but also to communicate, persuade and motivate. These abilities are gleaned from experience and can take years to master.

NashTech-projectimage

To understand more about the essence of project management, we had chat with several project manager’s at NashTech. They all agreed that the best image to visualize project management is a bridge – a solid connection between parties. It is the job of project managers to keep in touch with different stakeholders, make sure they are on the same page, while constantly exchanging requirements and demands. Just like the bridge that provide a continuous passage over obstacles, a project manager can inspire the team to find solutions to cross the problems and get the work done.

Essential project management skills

Project management skills are becoming a crucial commodity for all kinds of businesses.

An essential skill is communication. Every project manager is expected to be a clear and concise communicator.  According to Mr. Bang Truong – Project Manager at NashTech, a project is constantly evolving so there is huge importance in communicating what has happened, what is being done and what is to come in the timeline of deliverables. “When communicating with others, always be brave and selfless, confidently express yourself but do not forget to show empathy and attention as well” – he advised. Being accessible, open and direct is critical for a project management role. Having the ability to persuade team members to perform certain tasks differently, or work overtime when needed, is crucial. Overall, the effectiveness of project management is often realized by the communicative competence.

Of equal importanance  is having solid people management skills. A massive part of project management role is working with individuals from all walks of life and with varying skills and expertise. It is important to bring people together and move them in one direction, while aligning their personal goals with those of the organisation. In the increasingly changing environment, a project manager with great people management skills helps the team engage and sail the strong winds easily.

The secret to project management success

A project manager is undoubtedly required to have good knowledge of project management processes, tools and techniques, and needs to be able to apply across a range of projects.

However, it is necessary to develop certain soft skills, simultaneously because things do not always go as planned, assumptions fail, uncertainties creep in and changes do happen. As someone who works in project management, it is vital to be well-equipped with suitable skills as well as having an initiative learning mindset in order to thrive.

Development opportunities at NashTech – insightful remarks from our line manager of the year

Annually, NashTech facilitates an employee highlight series to honor and appreciate those with exemplary performance. We are constantly astonished by our employees’ efforts to go to the extra mile and excel in their field of work, as such, this program is curated to acknowledge and shed light on their journey to excellence at work.

In this article, we are thrilled to feature Cuong Ly – who has attained the “line manager of year” award. Aside from sharing with us his own story, Cuong will also give us his thoughts on NashTech’s faith and unfaltering commitment in ensuring our employees’ development.

What does it take to be a line manager of three different competencies?

As the only line manager at NashTech who is currently in charge of three distinct domains, Cuong is often required to juggle workloads across different competencies; frontend, mobile and UI/UX.  Cuong’s main responsibilities are to support, provide guidance and search for ways that best engage those within his direct line of management.

Managing three different competencies also means Cuong has to support and engage three different groups of people with different approaches to execution and operation. He seeks to ensure that people in these teams can navigate any situation or requirement with ease to smooth the way for project execution.

His scope of work also involves other duties such as ascertaining the numbers of qualified candidates for projects demand, developing talents eligibility to serve the future needs as well as assisting with talent acquisition process.

The responsibilities are definitely substantial and the heavy workloads sometimes stress him out, however, through Cuong’s sharing, we get to uncover how rewarding it is to help NashTech shape and manage a robust system of talents. The inconvertible challenges in his job are what keep him intrigued, Cuong added.

When we tried to dig a little deeper into his experience at NashTech, Cuong fascinatingly shared with us that he also holds a special role whenever holiday season rolls around, which is to dress as Santa Claus and hand out gifts to everyone in his office. This special role landed on his lap by chance but at the end of the day, Cuong opened up that the most unexpected opportunity could bring about greatest amount of joy.

Cuong Ly’s thoughts on NashTech’s talent development vision

NashTech’s talent development programs, and the vision we embrace as an employer brand, are highly sought-after topics for aspiring Nashers. As someone who is directly involved in, and contribute to, the talent acquisition and training process, Cuong Ly has shared with us some of his thoughts on what we have in store for young minds out there who wish to upskill and join NashTech.

Candidates asking their interviewer about the working condition, career development opportunities, environment and benefits that the company offers has long been a common practice in a job interview. As someone who has been in the position of an interviewer at NashTech, Cuong recounted with us the wide array of concerns and questions from interviewees that have been raised to him during the interviews, where most of the concerns revolve around room for growth and development.

At NashTech, we are fully aware of the fact each of our current, and future, employees holds different visions in terms of career development and we want to ensure that they can have the ideal environment, opportunities and sufficient support to thrive, Cuong added. Especially, in the world of technology, with rapid shifts and modifications happen every day, the need to curate room for growth and development is even more important.

According to Cuong, NashTech’s diverse range of projects will enable young talents to participate in large-scale projects with international clients to gain empirical and hands-on experience. Plus, with a department dedicated to training and upskilling employees, all tech employees will be kept up-to-date and well-equipped with emerging technologies.

Lastly, Cuong is confident that with 20 years of capabilities and skills, NashTech has proven itself as the ideal destination for tech talents, where they can strive for excellence with the help of experts in the field and a professional environment.

Been inspired by Cuong’s sharing? Read more articles in our employee highlight series here.