Welcome to the Deploy Yourself Newsletter. Every two weeks I share what impactful leadership looks like to show your own power. I also share the most insightful lessons and stories I encountered in the last two weeks. You can also read this issue online.


Be Like The Lake. Not Like The Pond. To Transform People

If we are alive, we all need to influence, persuade, and transform people and their views from time to time. This is one of the most common challenges business leaders face on a daily basis. During my coaching sessions with them, I often share this simple analogy with them.

If you pour salt into a small pond, very soon the water gets salty and undrinkable. However, if you put the salt into a large lake or a river, people can continue to drink the water. In a way, the lake (or river) has a huge capacity to withstand and embrace salt (read “people challenges”) without impacting the quality of the water.

Similarly for us, when we get lost in an argument, we become like the pond. We can get frustrated and offended easily and this stops us from listening to others and where they might be coming from.

Instead, if we expand our hearts like a big lake and embrace others and their views with compassion, we can accept them for who they are. We can do this without abdicating our point of view and our responsibilities. This reduces friction in communication, the suffering reduces for both sides, and mutual understanding of each other’s point of view increases.

And this gives all of us a chance to transform, influence, and move people. Genuinely. Honestly. And as friends not foes.

How do people communicate in your place of work? Do they talk like friends or foes? Reply to this email right now if you would like to know how this plays out in practice. I read and respond to every reply.

Articles and Stories Which Have Fascinated Me


How to Answer People’s Questions To Serve Them Best

Very often we answer people just to get out whatever is in our heads, without thinking about formatting our answers to suit the person’s needs. Learning how to answer questions can be very useful. Below are some strategies to do so:

  1. Go Deeper to Understand the Real Issue
  2. Paraphrase to Make Sure you Got it Right
  3. Request to Offer Different Perspectives
  4. Share Your Own or Other People’s Stories and Experiences
  5. Refer Them to a Reliable Source
  6. Check if You Answered Satisfactorily

Before answering any question, ensure you are responding to the right one. Understanding the reason behind it could also help you address the real concern. If possible, you should point the questioner to additional documentation and sources that answer their questions in depth. Additionally, stories, including personal experiences, are always a good option. Finally, you should always request feedback to find out whether you did the question justice with your answer.

From an article from my desk titled How to Answer People’s Questions To Serve Them Best


A 4 Step Way To Give Feedback

Only 26% of employees say that the feedback they get actually improve their work. Here is a 4 step process to give feedback in a way that it lands well for the person receiving it – without triggering defensiveness and denial.

  1. Ask a question that is short and important and triggers a “Micro Yes”
  2. Give a data point. Be specific. Not Vague.
  3. Specify how the data point above impacted you – positively or negatively.
  4. End with a curious question to trigger a conversation.

From a TED video by LeeAnn Renniger


A Quote by Mahatma Gandhi

Don’t listen to friends when the Friend inside you says Do this.

Mahatma Gandhi

That’s it for now. If you have any questions or feedback, or just want to introduce yourself, hit reply. I read and respond to every reply. All the best,


(Twitter) @SumitGupta
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