|People who make diffrence in |
our life are also like Santas!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Are you Santa?
Few years back I used to drive bike in the city. We were going back from the market, all of sudden; one youth approached us and told, “Hey, check your bike stand.” If he would have not been told me this, we would have been in big trouble at next turning.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Factual Dimension: In this dimension, the message contains factual and concrete information about particular topic. Objectivity is a given when person can make himself understood by the receiver without one of the other three sides gaining the upper-hand.
Take an example of the mother asking her child to put on the sweater. She says, “Hey child, put on your sweater, it is cold outside.” Mother is asking her child to put on the sweater. Mother is asking this because she knows the facts that there is a cold outside.
To make the communication effective, sender should think how he can communicate the factual content clearly and without misunderstanding.
Relationship Dimension: This is totally depends upon the attitude of one person towards another person. Here messages contain a statement about how one person views the other as well as about the state of their relationship. This shows itself in
a) The chosen formulation
b) Cadence or tone of voice,
c) Non-verbal expressions (e.g. mimic, gestures,)
It is impossible to discuss on the facts level without in some way coming into contact on the relationship level. The relationship level dominates the facts or information level (iceberg model). If problems in the relationship sharpen, the only thing that helps is to talk about it: the information must wait until the relationship is restored.
In the same example mother has an informal relationship with child and she knows that child may not make his own decisions on her own and hence she needs to tell her/guide her. She is authoritative in his body language.
Here sender should think how he treats other people through his style of communication.
Self-Disclosure Dimension: This dimension is really is on an emotional state of mind. Here the person communicates where he discloses something about himself. This can be his conscious decision or this can be just automatics and unconsciously. In above example, mother asks her child put on sweater because she is concerned about her child. Her child may fall ill if she is not protected. Mother is really thinking about the child and here she indirectly communicates that she cares her child.
Sender should ask the question himself to make the communication effective, what he would like to disclose.
Appeal Dimension: Here actually sender is trying to induce the receiver to do the things what sender has told. He /she expects the results here. Like mother expects that her child should put the sweater and this is a result. A message contains not only information, but also the intention to influence the other person to do, not do, think or feel something.
There can be:
Hidden Appeal: The sender tries “softly, softly” to generate some “good weather” for his undertaking, without his competitor noticing.
Paradox Appeal: The sender says the opposite of what he intends to achieve, since he knows that the receiver doubts his word anyway
Open Appeal: Here there is direct expression of wishes or demands.
(Next week: More tips on making communication effective based on four ear model of communication)
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I always surprise about the way HR professionals think and perceives their profession. I remember, few years back, I had asked the question to plant HR person in one auto Component Company about the canteen facility. My question was, “Do you provide canteen facility, food to your employees?” His answer was, “Act (Factories Act) says that you have to provide the lunch room facility. Where does it say that you have to provide the food?”
My question was purely from the HR point of view and his answer was purely compliance point of view and he was not wrong that time. He was practicing the compliances only. He never thought that how employees will be engaged if they don’t get the proper food in the organization. Shift working was 7.00 am and people had to travel from 40-50 Km away to the plant. They had to work on the machines and they were expected to bring their
from their home. Nothing wrong in it, but imagine employee point of view. Tiffin
In the developing and growing economy, your role is not only for compliance and but you need to be more focus for aligning your talent towards your organizational objectives and by implementing good HR practices.
The HR agenda is not the agenda of HR only. It is and should be the top management agenda, however typical organizations are still far away in understating the HR risk. You can not avoid the tactical HR, but strategic thinking is must. Such small issues may create big problems.
One of the friends shared with me a strange experience. When he joined the company in HR, his typical orientation was planned with some senior employees. He was welcome by one senior person in HR (GM-IR) and the interaction was frustrating. “Oh, one more person from HR to do the bossing on us.” Was the statement of that person! There was no need to show the rivalry between HR and IR functions. Both functions are important. People handling hardcore (so-called) HR and Industrial Relations required the great expertise. But sometimes people incubating the senior chairs behave strangely.
The problem is with the attitude and the mindset of such people. People hate HR professionals because either they are not sensible to HR issues or they run their own agenda. Even in most of the cases they don’t respect their fellow HR friends, forget about the other employees working in different profession. Compliance attitude brings the arrogance. They become so bureaucratic that they forget that they are “Human Resource” professionals and needs to be sensible about the issues. Sensible does not mean emotional, it is being sensitive about the HR issues and take the proper and relevant action.
Maharashtra, the “Varkaris” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varkari) are the people who follow “Vitthal”of Pandharpur and they have a faith on their God. Crores of “Varkaris” go at Pandharpur and worship the deity “Vitthal”. These “Varkaris” have a unique practice- When one Varkari meets another Varkari both “Varkaris” touch feet of each other, irrespective of their age. Their action indicates that when anybody becomes “Varkari”, he is equally respectable.
There will be issues, confrontations, problems but let’s respect each other.
Friday, December 02, 2011
|You will not get the power by virtue of your position, |
but by virtue of your ability to influence others.
Majority of the people has the desire to be in power center. Those who don’t want to be in power center want to follow the power. They also want to be close to the power. In families, communities, societies, organizations, there are people who either want to project themselves powerful or like to communicate that they are close to the Power-station. Low profile people also like to get the support of somebody who is powerful to get their work done.
Power and politics is much discussed and debated topic. I have given lot of references about the power in other articles on this blog. However, I also recognize that you can’t avoid the influence of the power. The million dollar question is how to get the power, how to go close to the power stations to grab more power.
How to gain the power? Some hands on tips for you…..
Efforts required at individual level
v Acquired the Knowledge and be knowledgeable.
v Be expert in your own area.
v Get the latest information about the happening in the organization.
v Work on developing your personality. It includes your assertiveness, influencing skills, and your voice.
v Creating charisma is really difficult. But you have to work on creating your brand in the organization.
v Check your reputation in the organization and work on improving the same.
v Check how your bosses and your team members perceive your professional credibility.
v You also need to get the support form your team and cross functional team members.
v Improve interpersonal skills and work actually building the concrete relationship in the organization.
v Professional life and especially leadership role has lot of uncertainties. Your life can be miserable if you don’t handle the uncertainty smartly. The whole business world in uncertain and also the positions in the organizations. The success depends upon how you cope with this uncertainty. More you are flexible and tough, more you are successful.
v You can’t be rigid. Flexibility in relationship, in learning, in decisions making helps you to take the control of the situation. However it should be at right time and not as the rule. You should know how and when to be flexible.
You can gain the power form various aspects in your life.
v Define your vision, your short term and log term goals, aligned your goals with your organizations goals.
v Participate in decision making process. Support your bosses in getting the information required in decision making
v Integrity is the best strategy to create your credibility and track record in the organization.
v Problem solving and fire fighting is the important trait of successful and influential leader.
v Working in matrix organization is the fundamental need in corporations now days and you should learn to manage various seniors and their needs. It also needs to get the work done from different teams who are not reporting you.
v Know what your boss seeks, needs, likes, prefers, is weak about, is poor at and dislikes intensely.
v Most important factor is to be sensitive to the issues of power and relationships.
It is not necessary to be political to gain the power, but yes you need to diplomatic definitely.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
It takes me 1/2 hour for going at the office. The road is always busy.
Lot of vehicles on the road make the journey little bit slow. There are certain people who do not follow the discipline of the road and then creates bedlam on the road. Mondays become sometimes anxious due to this reason. There are telcons planned and I have to reach in the office at sharp 9.00 pm. Lot of mails and calls waiting on the laptops make the day demanding.
There is a line of 4-wheelers running at the speed of 30-40 and I want it to run at the speed of at least 50-60. Long queue of vehicles and everybody is in the line. I have two options, either to follow the next vehicle and follow the pace or just overtake and try to reach next to next to next vehicle. I choose second one. There are two possibilities if I opt for second option- I reach in front of all and be on time in the office or I am responsible for creating one more chaos on the road and take the blame from others for that. I chose to be calculative. I see that pace is slow and all the vehicles are following the same pace. I don’t want to one of them but I should be careful. I increase the speed and overtake all and reach next to all. I got it. Sometimes I have to make speace for me indicating another vehicle that I am planning in your line in front of you, be carful.
And one day, I enticed to compare the metaphor with our life. We have dreams and Goals in our life and definitely we want to achieve the same. Life is the journey and we want to reach at the destination. Sometimes we take speed and sometimes we just follow the line of vehicles.
Here are some of my takeaways from this:
1) Don’t follow always: Sometimes, following somebody is beneficial, but not always. You need to decide your own action to achieve your goals. If you try to only follow, then there are near miss opportunities of success. Perhaps if you overtake them just by increasing your speed, you may get the key to success.
2) Take calculative risks: I calculate the risk and as I told you I choose second option to increase the speed and overtake other vehicle. There are people who play the safe game and then blame their destiny. You yourself can decide your fate, destiny. Playing safe is again sometimes beneficial and not always. You know that if you increase your speed, overtake others, or choose another way, further way can be risky. There are lots of risks in the life. Overcoming the fear and taking calculative risk creates the way for the success.
3) Have the urgency: I always tell my team to imagine that if they don’t do the task on time, they would loose the job and the job what they are doing is the only job available in the market. Creating the need of urgency makes your job easy. Steve Jobs rightly asked to imagine that tomorrow you are going to die. When I commute to office, I have the urgency to go in the office, but this is not the urgency, I have lot many things to do and I have in mind that I have to finish all just today.
4) Be alert and aware about the situation and check others movement: I increase the speed of my car on the road, but I also check the situation and movements of others. I know I can be careful but others may create the problem for me. There are others guys on the road, who must be thinking the same what I am thinking and this may lead to the major accident. To avoid this I am alert to understand the situation and try to make the safe space for me by taking the control on speed.
Life is like the same. Once you like this you will enjoy the way of making it more adventurous.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
|Involuntary separations should be handled very carefully.|
There are only two reasons for involuntary separations, either you are not managing the performance well or your recruitment is wrong.
One of the manager always give the justification, he told once to employee that he took only 1 hour interview to decide on the hiring. Six month probation period is enough to decide the separation. He was absolutely right, but then his hiring or interview skill must be very poor.
2) Make expectations clear: Do you have the proper assessment system in place? Line managers should make the expectations clear. HR has to see whether the Job Description is explained, targets are set and proper orientation is conducted.
3) Document: Most of the people think that documentation taxes their time. Is it so? They do not have the priorities decided, or they just are not aware about the consequences. Documentations of expectations, (in term of KRA sheet, JD etc) should be clear and should be signed by line manager and an employee. If there are meetings on issues, minute of meeting should be documented. The letter on agreed action should be communicated to the employee on time.
4) Address the issue at early stage: Most of the issues are addressed when the assessment is due. On the last date of assessment line managers communicates HR that the person is not doing well and require certain actions. Was he sleeping? Has he communicated employee on the issue? Has this been documented? Every issue should be addressed at the early stage, you are not only being unfair to the person, but you are unfair to the organization also.
5) Don’t be unfair: Don’t push your personal agenda on people. Give time to people to think and acclimatize with the function, organization. Show empathy and always be fair with people. Believe on the law of attraction, you can not be unfair with people always; otherwise, you will be the next person.
6) Don’t victimize: As a part of organizational polices, discrimination should be strictly no. Don’t victimize the person because he is not your cheerleader. Grow up and be professional.
Involuntary separations are frustrating to employees and their families and sometimes can be financial death for them. Line Managers are the important key people to decide the fate of their subordinate. Hence the role of HR is very crucial in such cases. HR should be always the Gate Keeper for the process and see that the process is followed properly.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Some information can be misleading sometimes. When you ask question, not necessary you will get the right information. If you rely on inappropriate information, then your decision may have the adverse consequences. You can actually go into the details and ask the questions until you are satisfied. You may call this technique as Drill down approach.
What is Drill Down Approach?
The Drill Down Approach is the methodological tool to analyze the whole situation in specific conditions and situations. It is applicable everywhere in the life.
You can use this approach in HR to solve your day-to-day HR issues including employment interviews, exit interviews, employment conditions, compensation etc.
Drill Down Approach in professional life?
A) Interviews: when you hire any employee, you can use this tool to uncover his past performance by asking simple questions. Behavioural Interview Technique (BEI) is the effective method to do this. “Past performance in similar circumstances is the best prediction of future performance” is the principle used in BEI.
We have heard about Fake CVs and subsequent termination of these employees by top IT companies. Candidates can be drilled down on the information given in resume. This will uncover his achievements during first phase of the interview.
B) Exit Interviews: You can apply same tool to uncover the facts.
C) Employee-Employer Relations: An IR person can easily comment on this issue. How horrible cases he has to handle in his day-to-day work. The approach can be used. When you have to investigate any misconduct or you are involved in any enquiry you can use this drill down approach to investigate the matter.
D) Management issues: Besides above you can use this approach everywhere in your life including market analysis.
Investigations done by police or other investigating agencies are based on this approach. But when you use this technique in your professional or personal life, we should be very careful about the style of investigations. You should be smart enough to get the information by drilling on the questions without using your position and power in the organization. Otherwise the information may be misleading.
Friday, November 04, 2011
|Albert Einstein on Intuition|
I had one manager in past who was very critical on the data and use to take time to take decisions. He would ask so many questions on the data. He was fully relied on the data. But it would take so much time and the issues would be solved by another person or would hang till somebody else would enter into the same. He was neither an effective decision maker nor an effective leader.
In another case, the manager was taking fast decisions. He also would use the data but was more relied on actual fact and related gut feelings. In some cases you have huge data mined by your team for you and have a little time. How you would take a decision in such situation?
If you follow the rational and theoretical process of decision, then you would not be able to take half of the decision in day to day life due to time constraints.
Imagine, you are walking on the road and suddenly stray dog comes in front you. You become consciously alert of the danger. Your mind acts accordingly and you try to avoid the stray dog by distancing yourself from the dog. What you do here? Your mind process the data and you take a decision. In decision making process, you find out the danger and then you take a decision depending on your intuition. When there is no data, or data is huge and you have a little time or just your data is not working, your intuition helps you. You need to develop your intuition. Great decisions by great industry leaders are taken. Take an example of Dhirubhai Ambani. The foundation of the
refinery was decided by Dhirubhai and not by engineers. (Engineers had assured that time that Jamnagar was not the seismic region (based on the data). You know the results, during earthquake, it remain safe. Jamnagar
Successful professionals do not make a great many decisions. They concentrate on what is important. They try to make the few important decisions on the highest level of conceptual understanding. For this they need to be able to withdraw from within themselves intuitive, subjective information to help them in their decisions.
Intuition is the ability to tap your feelings to make better decisions. Throughout our formal education we receive instructions on how to follow guidelines. We learn methodologies and acquire information. This creates the basis for deductive reasoning.
The ultimate expression of deductive reasoning is intuition. Through reason we can make a decision based on numbers, however, logical reasoning is not enough in today’s complex world.
Intuition is what distinguishes the mature professional from just the manager. To do this effectively, professionals have to understand the substance of themselves and their rolls and that of the people under them. They must understand the essence of this work and visualize the future. Intuition is what enables them to do this.
But, how do we find intuition? One way to look for it is to follow our common sense, what feels right to us. Intuition occurs spontaneously. When executives are controlled by their egos or their intellect, they don’t let their minds free to use their intuition. Using your intuition is like having a sixth sense. It is like lighting up the mind to enable executives to make the best decisions.
Monday, October 31, 2011
I have seen one manager who was very political in the organization. He would create his opinions based on his perceptions. He also would make his opinions based on the feedback given by his cheerleaders. Facts were far away from the reality. Once one of my colleagues expressed her opinion contradictory to the feedback of this person; he changed his opinion about the girl. He told me, “My secretary is better than your subordinate.” The manager was even not ready to recognize the right of others.
I had always a question about the maturity of this manager. Being 20 years in the organization, he was loyal to his personal agenda of sticking to his position, but he was fully away from the maturity. People grow but not necessary they would exhibit the “professional maturity”.
I would like emphasis most of the important dimension of the personality, “Maturity- Professional maturity.”
We always used the term, “Maturity”. Based on our perceptions we labeled “maturity” to the people. We used statements like “Mr. X is much matured professional” or “Mr. Y is effective, but not so much matured, he needs to be developed.” But then how we measure the maturity.
What is the maturity? According to me the maturity can be defined as the acceptance of your role in life which gives you an inner sense of security. Executives need to be constantly aware of this purpose and their state of consciousness. They need to do work to become their mature self.
Mature executives are tolerant of others and respect people’s rights because they realize that one needs talents of a whole team to compete effectively in today’s marketplace.
In the same organization, one senior HR professional, alumni of top b-school was hired so that she would build the strong HR processes. However instead of focusing on the processes, she firstly used the tactic of being popular in the organization by working on increment and paying performance bonus. The rational of paying this was too mechanical and too old which most of the organizations use. When there is not legacy of such things, you are in a better condition to work on concrete processes. She did not. Somehow her tenure didn’t go well and poor HR Head had to resign. The above manager knew the facts but then he started putting the onus of everything to that lady. He was an advocate of formulating processes; he was senior management representative, but still he never supported any initiatives. He was the victim of his ego and his own personal agenda.
He blamed others for their mistakes. When everything was going good, he used to take credits. If somebody would do best, he was jealous and if somebody would argue with him he was revengeful. Immature executives do the same things.
Immature executives blame others for their mistakes. They have a need to take credit for new ideas, set up rivalry, are jealous, angry and revengeful. Immature executives have the desire to dominate simply to feed their ego. They don’t have the ability to handle negative feedback or criticism, and have the need to appear intelligent to others.
Beware of these dimensions of immature personality. It will never help you. Professionalism also counts your maturity.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
There is a cost of ignorance. If you are in the business, you can not be ignorant about, no matter which. The Managing Director of one company had a great vision of being number one in his sector. He tried to implement best processes in the organization. Top international consultancy companies were hired for building business strategy, operational excellence, Human Resource processes and so on. People were charged to make the difference. However the leadership development was the crucial factor. He appointed a core team to lead the organization under his leadership. Unfortunately he was ignorant the ground level fact of competencies of these people. Just philosophical lectures in the meeting don’t make you successful. You need to act and lead from the front. The members of his core team (they use to call them as “a steering committee” and employees used to call this committee as “steering committee without steering”) never worked on the ground or shop floor or in the market. These people were philosophers in the organization and were more interested to push their own agenda.
The leader was fully reliable on his core team members. He never tried to listen the voice of common employees in the organization. It does not mean what top leader has to spend his time on shop floor, but at least he should have the method, tool to understand the pulse of the organization, market etc.
Top to down communication is always easy but most of the times selective. Same applies to the down to top communication where most of the communication is convenient. People have a tendency to keep the issues under the carpet or to be ignorant to the same. In above case company lost a big revenue, market share and core employees. These all were very much ignorant about the market, issues and people dimensions.
|Iceberg of ignorance|
The gap between knowing and doing is definitely responsible for such cases. But the major reason is being ignorant to the situation; the gap between the shop floor view and the balcony view. Balcony view helps you to act on a vide spectrum of the business, however shop-floor view helps you to detect and correct errors. Problem known the senior management is only 4%. 96% problems are hidden from the senior management. This big iceberg of ignorance sometimes hits to the whole ship, the organization.
You may get lot of stories why you lost the market share, revenue etc, not necessary that are facts.
Learning, knowing from the circumstances, people, and being close to the ground, either market or shop floor will help you to remove your ignorance. Learning facts is important scenario. In knowledge society, where lot of data flows, you have to work out on the factual scenario. This will help you to change your existing response, challenge your assumptions and reframe your knowledge.
“Let’s remove our ignorance and be more knowledgeable from this Diwali. Wish you all Happy Diwali.”