Category Archive: Random

Dec 04 2017

Everyday MUSINGS 1: ‘EMPATHY’ – A missing People Skill

 

‘EMPATHY – a missing People Skill these days’

 

It was a usual weekend outing with family to a newly built shopping mall (extension of one of the best hotels in the city). It wasn’t a mad rush but still, there were a good amount of people around.

 

manavlalotra.com

 

The mall management has done a good job in creating a lounge area with comfy chairs, ottomans and big couches – made for people to just hang around and chill.

 

The place was packed with people and I somehow could get my hands on a chair in one corner – while the family was busy shopping.

 

I was killing time on my phone when I saw a group of people walking in with cameras & other gears. They stood in a corner, scanning the entire area and looking a little worried In about a couple of minutes, some people from mall concierge joined them, then some folks from mall’s security team joined and the group just swelled.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that they were there to do some video shoot kind of thing and were worried about the people occupying their shooting location (I was one of them).

 

Next, I saw one of the security guys walking up to a group sitting in the lounge and started talking to them. I couldn’t hear him but could figure that he was asking them to vacate the place for the shoot to take place.

 

Well, quite expectedly – he got rebutted badly by the group and rightfully so as they were really having a good time. ‘How can you ask someone to just leave?’ – am assuming that’s what they might have said! The poor guy went back to his group, dejected and the group got even more tensed and worried. All this went on for some time while I sat in the corner watching everything.

 

In that moment, it hit me that these guys are missing a very vital aspect of People Skills i.e. EMPATHY. They certainly had to do what they had come for and for that they had to move those people from the area – but certainly not the way they were trying to do it.

 

So, being a Samaritan – I walked up to the leader of the group (you can always tell who it is) and shared a piece of advice. I suggested that they should personally go and talk to each group in the area – explaining the reason. I also suggested that they should first get the tables in the coffee shop on the lower floor arranged for these guys to make them comfortable.

 

Amazingly, the leader took my advice positively and spoke to his team about that. They quickly divided themselves into 3-4 smaller groups and started talking to the guests one-by-one. I was very happy & satisfied to see the results – in less than 3 minutes the entire area was vacated and people were relocated to the lower floor coffee shop.

The whole team was delighted and they came one and all to thank me – it felt really nice. I spoke to them for a couple of minutes on the magic that EMPATHY can do and then they went on to do their thing, happily.

 

Lesson learned: 

People are usually WILLING to HELP, you need to ASK appropriately!

 

EMPATHY can do what AUTHORITY cannot, EVERY-TIME.

 

manavlalotra.com

 

Do you think there could have been a better way to handle the situation? How do you feel about EMPATHY as a People Skill? Would you want to share any personal experience? Share in comments.

 

Facebook Page: Manav’s Space

 

Dec 09 2013

Delhi Assembly Elections 2013 – Why AAP should not support anyone to form government?

I have been glued to the screen yesterday for the whole day; following every update, every comment which was aired related to the results of Delhi Assembly elections.

I could not resist myself from sharing my view on the political scenario in Delhi after strong emergence of AAP in recently concluded Assembly elections and ended up writing this up.

There are a few things which I personally have felt during the day yesterday and of course after the results were declared:

  • AAP is no underdog and they have it in them to efficiently organise elections and come out as winners.
  • The number of seats won by AAP and the amount of voteshare it had in its favour has surpassed every single Exit Poll that was done in the country but their own.
  • Mr. Yogendra Yadav gave very blunt response to the above point when was asked that they have been over-ambitious in claiming 40 out of 70 seats in their Exit Poll (before the elections. He accepted that they are proven wrong in their assumptions (without mocking any other party for proving their assumptions wrong as well) and clearly pointed out the fact that since their party is new and all the volunteers come from basic sections of society with no know-how of the last day tactic before the election, they could not make the most of it. That, as per him cost them a few votes which led them to lose a few seats that were expected to be won.
  • When the BIG names of other parties were busy spreading their WISDOM on the brigade of news channels, either sitting in the cozy newsrooms or their offices – AAP leaders were doing what they have always done – were amidst the public sharing their joy and hopes.
  • There is certain news doing rounds in political corridors and normal households today that AAP will not support any party and will sit in opposition – which would result in a HUNG assembly for Delhi. LG might have to impose presidential rule in Delhi and the state might go into another election in next 4 months. To me – that is another TESTAMENT of the philosophy of AAP that they will not support the corrupt whom they have been fighting against for last 2 years. They do have a golden opportunity to join hands with either of the big parties and form the government. They can be given high positions and portfolios as well – but if you read the manifesto of AAP, it is not in favour of these perks anyway!!
  • So, what does this bring us to? What is going to be the future of Delhi and AAP? Well, I will take the liberty of sharing my view (I am no political pandit or a social scientist – but am an AAM AADMI for sure) so please bear with it till the time you read it through and then share your comments for sure please.
    1. First and the most important thing that these elections have done is clearing all the apprehensions that AAP is a bubble and will burst. On the contrary, it actually punctured the inflated EGOs of the biggest parties in the country by squashing their dreams of making it big in the capital of the country. I still remember a few of their members writing AAP completely down by saying – “the Delhi election is a contest between traditional rival parties of the country – INC & BJP. AAP is nowhere in the competition!” I do feel sorry for those gentlemen today! (I do see AAP going beyond Delhi and becoming a national party in coming years with a strong support that it is drawing from all parts of the country.)
    2. I am also riding high on the assumption that none of the 28 elected members of AAP will fall for the dirty tactics (which I am sure will be played by BJP) to take them along by all means – buying them, trick them or even scare them. If it happens contrary to
    3. About AAP’s decision of not supporting anyone and sit in opposition, in turn leaving Delhi with nothing but a HUNG assembly –  in my view, it is a very good move; politically. It might lead to re-elections  in the state in next 4-5 months and then AAP can target to bag more seats than this time with correcting the errors its made this time. It will also bring back those voters who did not vote for AAP just in apprehension that there vote might go waste as AAP is not sure of winning good number of seats.

Let’s look at some numbers to understand better that what actually have happened this time in Delhi elections in terms of votes in various constituencies. I have done some number crunching on my own and allow me to present that in form of some basic charts and tables.

Analysis of Total seats:

WON“, “LOST but Second in tally” & “Remaining where AAP finished 3rd or lower“:

A)     Analysis of WON Seats:

Below chart shows the no of seats won by AAP from the second party in the tally. It clearly shows that most of the seats that AAP have managed to win was closely followed by a BJP candidate.

Below chart and table shows the margin with which AAP has managed to win the seats with name of the constituency and the party.

This is a mixed bag where 7 seats were won in very tough competition (below 200 votes gap) and at the same time almost 35% of total seats won by AAP are with a margin of above 1000 votes, which includes the biggest victory of New Delhi in terms of vote difference – 25864 votes, which was more than total that Mrs. Sheila Dixit could manage (18,405).

Let’s look at the names of the constituencies for above analysis:

The above analysis indicates that it was a tough fight in a good amount of constituencies for AAP and that becomes area of focus for AAP if they go into election again.

Now, let’s look at the seats where AAP did lose, but they were the second in the tally:

B)     Analysis of LOST Seats with Second position in the tally:

In the below chart as well one thing is common and that is BJP next to AAP. AAP has lost most of its seats to a BJP candidate (not very amusing though as per the decimation that Congress has gone through).

The details of the vote gap and the constituencies is again a mixed one here with almost half of the lost seats are below a gap of 5,000, but it’s also true that in elections a handful of votes can change the game.

Let’s have a look at the actual numbers of votes by which AAP has lost these seats and which are those constituencies:

 

The above list of below 2,000 votes contains the seat of RK Puram where Shazia Ilmi Malik of AAP lost to Anil Sharma of Congress by mere 326 votes! Very close – isn’t it!!

This brings me to the last leg of the data crunching – seats lost totally by AAP where it was either on 3rd or lower level in the tally, though it’s just a couple of cases where it is below 3rd position.

C)     Analysis of LOST Seats with Third or lower position in the tally:

 AAP candidates lost on 22 seats without  a Silver and again 60% of those seats were bagged by BJP. However, this chart is more colourful than earlier two 😉

One thing to analyse in these numbers is that almost all of the seats that AAP has lost with 3rd or lower position are losses with huge margins. So, I am not very sure if AAP can work some magic in these constituencies and steal a couple of seats from BJP or Congress in case there are elections again in the capital.

The detailed figures of the tall standing towers in above chart would show the areas where AAP’s magic did not work – and the answers need to found by team Kejriwal because it is a huge number that has not given a verdict against his party, therefore rejecting his model of clean & corruption free politics.

I do not know Delhi that well to comment on demographic differences of the above localities but I am sure that the people of Delhi can sure relate to these numbers and see for themselves as to where all did AAP do well and where it slipped! It is also for those people who voted for someone else at the last moment in the polling booth because they were in two minds, who believed in AAP principles but were not sure if it will be able to deliver as per the hype and win as many seats to form government – see for yourselves now!

AAP not supporting any party to form government is the best political move and in case Delhi goes into election again – AAP must try to come out as a clean winner and form government of its own.

Though, it has already given enough reasons to Common Man like me to be hopeful of a cleaner, better and progressive governance in this country and now I can also dream of a better and prosperous India.

P.S: The above figures have been taken from the official site of Election Commission of India and some basic calculations have been done by me to present it here. I do not claim for 100% accuracy of the numbers, though I have taken utmost care to ensure that the figures are correct. Please review for yourself T http://eciresults.nic.in in case you need more information.

Looking forward to comments from many of the seasoned or amateur Political Scientists on how they see the situation in Delhi!

Have a great time and thanks for reading!

Jan 26 2013

Are you planning to ask your manager for PROMOTION?

Before you even think about asking your boss for a promotion or a pay rise one of the key questions you need to ask yourself is do I know exactly how much I am worth?

We are obviously operating in a very challenging economic environment and for a company to give a member of staff a promotion or a pay increase there have to be some compelling reasons to do so.

At the same time it can be incredibly demoralizing and frustrating to feel that you are not being properly recognized or valued.

Don’t be too quick to knock on your boss’s door! First, take a look at the market and understand what others are earning, this will give you a rough benchmark to compare. Next, take a close look at your role and the contribution you make to your organisation. Where do you add value and how do you measure and define this?

It could be in terms of how much business you bring into your company or it could be in terms of the size of the department you run and how many people you manage.

If, after carrying out the analysis, you feel that you are not being rewarded sufficiently then I think it is reasonable to go ahead and ask for a pay rise or a promotion.

If you have got to the stage of looking to improve your situation then don’t play games with your employers. Tell them how you feel and point out the contribution you make and always be honest and open.

You also have to remember that employers have a responsibility to the rest of their staff. It’s a fact of life that people in the workplace always get to know how much others are earning.

The reasons for not getting that pay rise may not always be that clear but you have to remember it is the management’s job to ensure there is parity in the workplace and that everyone is treated fairly.

If you are good at your job then competitors will be aware of that. Firms run a big risk of losing their most valuable and productive members of staff if they fail to pay them a fair salary for the work they do. That is something you should bear in mind if you are thinking of asking for that promotion.

I liked this particular note from James Cann (CEO – Hamilton Bradshaw) and wanted to share.

Jan 23 2013

Creating the right culture

As read from a post by JAMES CAAN – CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw

ONE of the things that people often don’t understand or realize about companies is that their culture and style of working is not created by accident.

Creating the right atmosphere or vibe around a company is not something that happens by chance and often a great deal of effort and thought goes into the process.

Any large organisation or company has to think carefully about the culture or ambiance it creates if it is going to get the most out of its workforce.

If you take a look at digital and internet firms such as Google they are operating in an incredibly competitive market-place where attracting the right caliber of staff is key to driving the business forward.

When the rewards are roughly similar in industry sectors then it becomes even more important to create the right kind of culture in the work-place especially if you want to attract the best candidates. People perform better when they are working alongside like-minded souls in a setting where they feel comfortable, appreciated and most important of all part of a team.

Obviously every business culture is different and finding the right approach can take time. The truth is most people would not choose to go to work but that does not mean it has to be an unpleasant experience. And you can create the right atmosphere with just a little bit of thought and effort and with very little expense.

Just a few simple steps like supplying staff with a kettle, microwave, daily fruit and drinks, as well as, comfortable chairs and breakout areas can make a big difference. If people are going to spend a large part of their lives in the workplace then it is only fair that you make them feel as comfortable and valued as possible.

In fact I have found in my experience that spending lots of money on large events is not always the best way forward. The big corporate gatherings can work for training days and celebrations, but I much prefer the smaller informal gatherings for the team, which give people a chance to relax and enjoy themselves.

As I said it really doesn’t take a great deal of effort to create the right culture but the rewards in terms of staff loyalty and performance can make it even more worthwhile.

Dec 26 2012

DELHI GANG RAPE CASE – Whom are WE protesting against?

I have been following this grievous and appalling story of the 23 year old girl brutally molested and inhumanly treated only to be left to die. It gives me shivers when I think about what she might have gone through and might be going through right at this moment when I am writing this down. I pray for her well being and wish that she succeeds in her fight and lives!

However, I also have started to wonder about the way we deal with issues in our country. From the first AAM AADMI ANDOLAN by ANNA HAZARE in Delhi, we have come a long way in expressing our anger and dissent.

Is what is happening in Delhi now the right thing or is that we are being RIGHTEOUS?

When I see thousands of people gathered at India Gate or Raisina Hills, shouting slogans and pelting stones, asking for Death sentence for the culprits – one thing that comes to my mind is ‘WOW’ – what a performance!!

Pardon me if I hurt anyone’s sentiments here but to me its another performance of self-proclaimed crusaders of our society who go on hurling abuses and destroying public property “when something grave has happened”.

If someone is already boiling in rage at my comment – one polite question for them: How many times ever have you dealt some EVE-TEASER strongly? Never right!! Yes, I know. It never happened in front of you – isn’t it? Oh I understand! These things never happen in front of any of you – roadside romeos whistling at girls, making obscene gestures, trying to touch and grope girls in buses and trains – no, not in front of you, right! Give me a break, will you? These would be responses of a hypocrite who could very conveniently turn all guns on everyone else but himself in taking responsibility for sheltering the culprits of molestation.

2 young boys stabbed to death in Mumbai – for saving 2 girls from getting molested! Remember that case. Yes, you do now!

What do you think how many people would be standing around, as spectators of the horrendous murders? Many, right? Now, how many of the same SPECTATORS you think would be marching with a candle in their hand and a slogan on their lips on some street along with a herd of protesters! Again many, right? Do I need to explain any further??

I also wonder why people are asking the culprits of the recent rape case in Delhi to be handed over to public for punishment!! Every time its PUBLIC only which decides to play the SPECTATOR when some girl is getting molested in some bus or while walking on road!!

Oh Yes, I see – just whistling or making some comment or making some nasty gesture is not MOLESTATION – but only to you!! Not to the same goon who is doing all that. It gives him courage to go a step further and attempt something much grave. And when that happens, the same SOCIETY takes it to roads with banners and candle march! SORRY!

Wake up people! No government, no police force, no law can help the people of a country who do not help themselves. The criminals also come from the same SOCIETY where you and I come from! We have to do something to –

A) Not let such people become what they are – sounds impossible, I know.

B) Identify such faces and deal with them before they destroy some life and soul.

The question is are we brave enough to STAND for the RIGHT? Are we convinced that we as a society can make most of the difference to what GOOD or BAD happens around us?

I remember seeing a poster put by protesters which said ” Shame! Delhi Police allows RAPE”. Can anyone in sane mind tell me what that message actually mean? Do all duties lie with a handful of people just because they don KHAKHIs and are designated as POLICEMEN? Do we feel ASHAMED of ourselves as SOCIETY when key witnesses to a crime turn hostile due to god-known reasons? Or do we feel ASHAMED when no one turns up to even file complaint against culprits in thousand of cases of rape, domestic violence and molestation? No, we don’t. And this banner, to me is another part of a wonderful performance!!

Another appeal of the protesters – Death sentence for a RAPIST? Fair enough – but who can ensure that no case will come up in future where a revengeful girl accuses an innocent man of rape just to take revenge for some stupid reason? Sounds imprudent? All the crimes are imprudent. Remember, as per law – One is innocent until proven Guilty; but in our country, ONE is GUILTY until proven otherwise.

We need to see beyond just becoming a rowdy society which knows of creating equal chaos than what it protests against. The victim is alive and fighting for life, culprits are behind bars and alive, but an INNOCENT policeman, who was just doing his duty has been KILLED! Who takes the ownership for that? Do we also appeal for a FAST TRACK court for his case? Do we demand for DEATH SENTENCE for his MURDERERS? Or was he COLLATERAL DAMAGE?

I leave you with a thought about the role of SOCIETY in – not creating a hue and cry after a crime has been committed, but in becoming a deterrent in letting such things happen in the first place. Think about it, talk to yourself and share your thoughts!! I am not against the protest; in-fact I am glad that e have learnt to raise our voice, but WE need to carefully examine our own case as well before we hold everyone else responsible.

God bless!

Dec 03 2012

OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE – In my view

The design and performance of integrated systems and processes that create superior strategic, competitive and operational value through speed, flexibility and cross-purpose adaptability – can define Operational Excellence in any given organisation.

Operational Excellence is a methodical approach used to drive an organization toward world-class execution, integrating Operational Excellence concepts, methods and tools into an organization’s operating model, principles, and culture.

Operational Excellence, at the conceptual level can be understood as methodical designing of systems and processes that are integrated to deliver competitive and world class operational value by providing flexible and adaptable methods and tools for functioning.

It might be a bit perplexing to understand the right meaning of Operational Excellence. Let’s try to understand it from the perspective of an organization.

Every organization in the business world has the core focus on delivering quality product/services in time to earn maximum revenue. To achieve more, organizations need to scale and with scaling come the challenge of high level of management. Imagine an organization that wishes to grow many times its revenue and customer base but is completely ignorant about the maturity of its operations! Do you think it can achieve its goals? NO would be the obvious answer to this question.

The way an organization is designed to function defines the scope of growth. An organization with poor structure, systems and processes is destined to find it troublesome to grow beyond a certain point. By any chance if any such organization happens to grow to certain level of success, it will not be able to sustain it without improving the operational capabilities.

The key partners in achieving the operational maturity in any organization are People, Processes and Technology. These three working together can build sustainable and profitable organizations.

Nov 09 2012

Tips to be successful at your JOB

I came across a piece while browsing through some of the work of global leaders, who have been steering some of the greatest  establishments in the world.

Below is the extract of the same, which primarily was addressed to ‘New Employees’ in any organisation; however to me it seems to be mantra that everyone should apply – new or old!

These are a few tips to succeed as an employee at your workplace and it is applicable through the length breadth of any organisation’s chart.

  1. If you want to get ahead in the world, become a highly-concerned observer of the passing scene.
  2. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN – Don’t try to show off your knowledge – it will become known as you use it – if your mount is open, you are not learning
  3. Mentally challenge everything – not vocally – particularly the assumptions that are build into the situation
  4. Really listen to your peers – make them to like you – they are your best resources
  5. Do all possible to help your boss raise his/her status
  6. Develop a business plan for every assignment you are given – allocate your time and resources – develop calendar checkpoints
  7. Your availability is your most important asset – it should be directed UP, DOWN and SIDEWAYS
  8. Work at giving the perception and the fact that you are aware of the feelings and goals of others
  9. On entering a new situation, get an organization chart of your department showing names and responsibilities of your peers – walk the halls and let others see you
  10. Ask for help and show that you appreciate it, it is the best way to make friends
  11. Do not try to impress others by relating your education, travels or accomplishments – they will all become known in due time
  12. Do what you say you will do – if you can’t, let that be known
  13. Your first assignment is to become part of the team and not its leader

I, for sure, do relate to these words and can find a lot of meaning to all that has been said. Most of us always feel that we know all these things, but the big question is: Is just knowing it good enough? Are we applying these in our work life?

If your answer is YES, then you must be a successful person in professional life. Else, you know what you have to do!! Right!!

All the best!

Disclaimer: The above is not my creation and I do not intend to claim any right on it. I could not trace the source of this information, hence am not able to mention the same. 

Oct 14 2012

SMART and EFFECTIVE – At the same time!

 

It was just yesterday that I decided to put down my thoughts on a very common phenomenon  –  “SMARTER PEOPLE being INEFFECTIVE”. I personally have been a victim of this issue. Efficiency, as discussed here is not about BEING RIGHT but is about BEING ABLE TO GET THINGS DONE!

I will start with a short narration of an incidence.

 It is about a SMART guy who was pursuing his PG in Management. It was a great time for him since he was learning new things, was shaping himself for future and was looking for all the opportunities that he could get to improve himself. During the first few weeks at college he could make his place in the good books of professors as a SMART student. Many of his fellow batch-mates also had the same view about him. It was a good time and he was in high spirits! He was counted as one of the SMARTER people in the lot. But, the truth was way above his understanding and perception of it. Very soon, it hit him straight in the face. Read on to know how!

 The college (just like any other) had a practice of having one student as representative of the class for all internal matters – interaction with staff, management, getting things done etc. Since it was a bunch of SMART people, they wanted to have a fair process of selection of the Class Rep. The professor (a very SMART and EFFICIENT lady) came out with a plan of VOTING to select the CR from a bunch of nominees. Well, the idea got accepted by all and a consensus was built to go ahead for voting.

 Our guy, on the contrary had his own reservations on the process of selection since he felt that it would not be an unanimous selection. He suggested an alternative way of doing the voting which could be more effective. His idea was accepted by all and the professor also looked happy.

 Nomination process began – 3 of the fellow students (out of a batch of 60) expressed their interest to contest for the position and gave their nominations. Suddenly, people started shouting a name in chorus! Who was that? What? They all wanted him also to be nominated for the voting!! He could hear10-12 people proposing his to run for the post.

 “Ok” he said! ‘I give my name for the voting.”

 He felt good of the fact that people find him suitable to take up the responsibility. He was under an impression that people out there think of him as a SMART guy who can run the show well and can be really effective in the role.

 The voting started and ended as well in a jiffy. There were the results at the end of it!

 Well, not dramatizing it much – HE got just 2 votes out of 60! And guess what – 1 was his own (obviously he had to vote for himself – right!!).

That was a revelation for him. He was SMART but not EFFECTIVE.

He could not be effective – in making people sure about him being a good choice as their leader, in giving them confidence that if they choose him it will be in their good.  The same bunch who pushed him for nomination didn’t vote for him. Maybe they didn’t find him that good – or should I say that EFFECTIVE!

He still was the same SMART guy – but the batch had rejected him as a leader. He might know what was right but he always ended up explaining it to others as to why he was right. All of that was very infuriating for him.

Today, when I look back many years in my own life, I realize that no one can do everything alone. We all need help of other people at some point in time. We have to ensure that we can make it work when the time comes.

I could have been 100% RIGHT at times – but what about being EFFECTIVE? I had seen people getting annoyed when I was just stating facts. Maybe I was not able to take them ALONG or they were actually not following what I was trying to point out!

It precisely means that I was not able to INFLUENCE them! Yes, that’s the key word – INFLUENCE. If I can’t influence my audience (in any conversation); I will always face issues and will not succeed in making people work as per my plan, in turn making me ineffective.

Here are a few thoughts which came from self learning and from other’s experience that can help in working on this issue:

Mind (or Mend) the attitude:

Attitude plays a vital role in being effective. If you always assume that you know all the answers, you are very likely going to feel frustrated. Instead, you should let others share their views. You never know you might hear some great idea that would surprise you. Develop a learning attitude and respect inputs of others. Remember one thing, everyone likes to be consulted and asked.

Being the LISTENER (also) :

During conversations or meetings try to listen to others instead of arguing or cutting them in between. Do not try to impose your views about any issue but try to listen what others have to say about your ideas. Encourage others to share their ideas and pay complete attention to what they are saying. This might sound a strenuous activity but will win you support of the people.

No meaning in being ‘MEAN’ :

You might be surrounded by people who do not understand things in the first go and you might just try to be straightforward in telling them the right thing and help them. But it’s important to ensure that you are not being rude in an attempt to be practical. People might take you to be MEAN when you are just trying to correct them. They would see you as someone who is ignoring their thoughts and is looking to have an argument to justify himself. Instead, handle the conversations more amiably, respect other’s thoughts, have short arguments and build a consensus on the solution. ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ work wonder in this process.

Learn to stay quiet when it needs to:

When you are in a situation where you are up against many such people whom you think are not as smart as you but are trying to speak and put their thoughts; it’s always better to keep quiet and just observe. If you actually are the SMARTER one, they will anyhow turn towards you for solution. Speak then and make the difference. You don’t always have to TALK to show that you are SMART.

I have another short story to share here. Same bunch of management grads (in the last story ) were once sitting together, deciding on having a party. The preps were being discussed and lot of arguments were put regarding the place, food menu, music to be played, list of invitees etc etc. Our guy was also a part of the discussion and since he had been involved in many such plans earlier he was talking the most. Suddenly, one of the fellow members lost it over him and shouted, “What the hell you think of yourself? Why always it has to be you to decide everything? Don’t forget, we all are equally smart. We all are also good managers”

Her reference of being EQUALLY SMART was on the premise of being of the same batch. Our guy felt odd and decided in his own good to be quiet. The discussion went on and on for couple of hours but no decision was being made. Then the interesting thing happened. The same lady who had slammed our guy some time back reverted to him. She wanted him to help them reach to some decision. He obliged her and shared his views with the group. Everyone liked his idea and after iterations, it was finalized.

If you try to accomplish everything alone when you have to work with people, you will always face hindrances and difficulties. Instead, try to bring everyone along and focus on the effectiveness. You will be amazed with the results in getting the job done with better efficiency and to everyone’s satisfaction. By employing these methods you will get much more done from the same set of people without getting frustrated or opposed to.

Good luck!

Sep 27 2012

SHARING: The more you GIVE – the more you GET

I have been thinking about this since ever as to why people are such misers when it comes to sharing something with others. It need not be money or tangible assets always, but immortal possessions like knowledge, love, care, concern, empathy – these all should be shared in abundance. Or is it that we have become so self-centered that these words do not ring any bell in our mind any more when we hear them!

I recall an incidence when I was talking to a couple of aspiring students who since hailed from country side, did not have any direction about which path to tread on in terms of higher education. I liked their enthusiasm and drive so much that I sat with them to discuss about the options that they could look at.

The discussion went on for almost half an hour and we all were completely into it, with me asking them questions ranging from their current school to their interest areas in general. They were very excited talking to me, answering all my queries; may be with a feeling that it might take them a bit closer to defining their careers.

In the meanwhile, one of my relative was watching us closely for past 30 mins and was not very comfortable (all I could read from his face). Suddenly he called for me saying he wanted to talk to me about something urgent. When I walked up to him, he said some very strange words to me. He said, ” I know you are knowledgeable, but why are you wasting your knowledge like that. This way anyone will walk up to you and you will end up talking to many people for that much of time”.

That didn’t go very well with me internally and I somehow started feeling sorry for the poor fellow. It was later that I realized that he was actually POOR – poor because he didn’t have the knowledge to be shared and most of all he did not have the empathy towards fellow humans.

This brings me to sharing more insight into the art of SHARING, which is also preached by many saints and spiritual leaders. These words to some extent do depict my personal view about CHARITY vs SHARING.

We always hear them preaching that if you have love, share it. WHATSOEVER you have, share it, spread it all over; let it spread like the fragrance of a flower going to the winds.

They talk about sharing – and with a totally different quality in it. If you have, you share. Not because by sharing you will be helping others, but by sharing you will be growing. The more you share, the more you grow.

And the more you share, the more you have  whatsoever it is. It is not only a question of money. If you have knowledge, share it. If you have meditation, share it! If you have love, share it. WHATSOEVER you have, share it, spread it all over; let it spread like the fragrance of a flower going to the winds. It has nothing to do particularly with poor people. Share with anybody that is available, and there are different types of poor people.

A rich man may be poor because he has never known any love. Share love with him. A poor man may have known love but has not known good food – share food with him. A rich man may have everything and has no understanding – share your understanding with him; he is also poor. There are a thousand and one types of poverty. Whatsoever you have, share it.

But remember, it does not mean that this is a virtue and God is going to give you a special place in heaven, that you will be specially treated. By sharing here now you will be happier. A hoarder is never a happy man. A hoarder is basically constipated. He goes on hoarding; he cannot relax; he cannot give. He goes on hoarding; whatsoever he gets, he simply hoards it. He never enjoys it, because even in enjoying it you have to share it – because all enjoyment is a sort of sharing.

Joy is always a sharing. Joy does not exist alone.

How can you be happy alone? Absolutely alone! Joy is a relationship. It is togetherness. In fact, even those people who have moved to the mountains and have lived an alone life, they also share with existence – not alone. They share with the stars and the mountains and the birds and the trees – they are not alone.

For twelve years Lord Mahavir was standing in the jungles alone – but he was not alone. The birds were coming and playing around, the animals would come and sit around, the trees would shower their flowers on him, the stars would come and the sun would rise. The day and the night, the summers and winters the whole year around; it was joy! Yes, he was away from human beings.. He had to be, because human beings had done so much damage to him that he needed to be away from them so that he could be healed. It was just to avoid human beings for a certain period so they didn’t go on damaging him.

freedigitalphotos.netFor all those years Lord Mahavir was silent – standing, sitting, with the rocks and the trees, but he was not alone – he was crowded by the whole existence. The whole existence was merging upon him. Then the day came when he was healed, his wounds cured, and now he knew nobody could harm him. He had gone beyond. No human being could hurt him anymore. He came back to relate to human beings, to SHARE the joy that he had attained there.

Lord Buddha went into the forest, but he came back. How can you go on being there when you HAVE it? You will have to come back and share it. They HAD to come back! to the world, to human beings, to share their joy, their bliss, their ecstasy.

‘Charity’ is not a good word. It is a very loaded word. In the word ‘charity’ there is some ugliness also: it seems that you are having the upper hand and the other is lower than you, that the other is a beggar; that you are helping the other, that he is in need. That is not good. To look at the other as if he is lower than you — you have and he has not — is not good; it is inhuman.

Sharing gives a totally different perspective. It is not a question of whether the other has it or not. The question is that you have got it too much – you have to share. When you give charity, you expect the other to thank you. When you share, you thank him that he allowed you to pour your energy – which was getting too much upon you, it was getting heavy. You feel grateful.

Sharing is out of your abundance.

Charity is for others’ poverty, Sharing is out of your richness. There is a qualitative difference.

So, its not about charity, but sharing.

Share! Whatsoever you have, share… and it will grow. That is a fundamental law: the more you give, the more you get. Never be a miser in giving.

Sep 16 2012

Employee Engagement – Are they truly ENGAGED?

freedigitalphotos.netMost of us, at some point in our professional careers must have been in a situation where we question ourselves – What am I doing? Is there a purpose in doing that? Why am I doing what I am doing?

I recently spoke to one of my newly assigned subordinates, who after putting in long enough years into service was not satisfied with what he was doing. He asked me a very open yet powerful question – Is there any meaning to what I am being asked to do or is it only to keep me occupied?

That one question made me ponder upon how we are mistreating the notion of ENGAGEMENT in the organizations today. The question itself was sufficient for me to realize that this fellow was not really engaged!!

Now, when I talk about ENGAGEMENT, what does it actually mean?

Let me put up a short story here (as told by David Nour, managing partner of The Nour Group, Inc.)

In a small village in Persia, a group of villagers is weaving a basket together. A wise man walks by and asks them what they are doing. The first says, “I am pushing one straw against another.” The second says, “I am making a basket.” The third answers, “I’m helping a family carry food to feed his family.”

Though they were all three working on the same project, they each saw their jobs very differently. It is about how people see their jobs. Is it as the same mundane pushing of one woven strip against another, or do they see a little bigger than that – which is the basket itself – or do they see a purpose for why they are doing what they are doing?

The clear difference here is that the last villager was ENGAGED.

Organizations that have been able to ENGAGE the employees have seen sustainable growth over the years. Employees feel energetic, motivated and more productive when they are engaged. They feel very strong sense of belonging and connection when they know what they are doing and more importantly WHY they are doing so!

I always believe that people genuinely want to play an important role. No matter how trivial any task may be, but it contributes to the bigger picture anyhow. Everyone wants to have the sense of accomplishment by being attached to real results.

Most organizations fail at engaging its employees by giving them clarity on the bigger picture and how they can contribute to it.

Every individual wants to be a part of something BIG – BIG Successes, BIG accomplishments! It also gives a sense that one is as BIG as the effort!

There is a huge difference in SAYING that you are a part of the BIG picture and actually ENGAGING people. I feel that today’s leaders and HR folks need to give a serious attention to this issue if they want their people to stay with the organization in thick and thin.

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