Saturday, December 24, 2011

Santa Claus in our life

Are you Santa?
People who make diffrence in
our life are also like Santas!
This incident happened almost 14 years back. One of the bikers hit my mother and she felt on the road. It was an accident where most of the people on the road ran towards her. However everybody was just discussing what to do. One of the youth came forward from the crowd; he stopped one rickshaw and authoritatively asked driver to take rickshaw at the hospital. Meanwhile, I along with my elder brother reached at the spot.  She suffered a head injury and was in the hospital for one month. She had lot of problem in future but her life was saved.

The youth who helped her and supported us to take her in hospital was working in nearby Cinema Theater as a door-boy. He was just passing by the road and showed his responsiveness.

I never forget him and his gesture.  

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.

I also recognize the responsiveness of second youth who saved us from injury, minor or major.

Giving joy and happiness also make
you the secret Santa!

On this Christmas, when I look back, I recognize both of above as Santa Claus. They gifted us something. There are lot many people in our life who come and support us, help us interntionally and unintentionally. Of course the first in the list is our family members, our parents, siblings and spouse, who may have sacrifice for us to make us grow and successful. Children make us happy. Their love relieves our stress and gives the hope of the future. This is one of the precise gifts to any parents.  They give the love without expecting something for us.

They are also Santa for us. Their gift is always long living.       
We need to take a wider and balcony view of the people in our life. The person who interviews you and gives you the opportunity to work is also a Santa. Of course, you are selected due to your talent, but then there are lot many talented candidates in the row and still you are selected. That person has the vision to identify your talent and not others.  

In my life, I also recognize all such people who gave me the opportunity to grow as a professional. They are also Santa for me.

I was watching the reality show, Bigg Boss on TV. One of the participants, Rajesawari, told a very good philosophy to the show anchor, Sanjay Datta while entering in the house.  She states, “We need to see the happy moments through the magnifying glasses so that they appear big and sad moments through the microscope to make appear them small.”  I fully support her metaphor. We also need to identify and recognize the people who may have contributed not in a big way, but make your life happy for this.  The moments, they brought are the gifts like given by Santa.  

At the end of the day, we also can play the role of Santa in the life of others. No big deal; only small gestures will help…

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and wish for a wonderful new year ahead….

Monday, December 19, 2011

Four Ear Dimensions of Communication…

I really like the Four Ear Model of communication. This model is very effective. There are different styles and different methods adopted to communicate by people. Communication is the fundamental in influencing and persuading people. I will not go in detail in theory of communication, but definitely I would like to tell something about Four Ear model.

There are four components in 4-Ear model, these principle are based on Facts, Relationship, Self-disclosure, and appeal. If you believe on these dimensions, you need special ear to understand each dimension.
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.

Sender should think how he induces someone to behave in a particular way due to his style of communication, without realizing it.

Let’s understand the four dimension of a message in following example.  Here wife is driving a vehicle and husband is seating besides her.  

(Next week: More tips on making communication effective based on four ear model of communication)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

“Varkaris” of the HR Profession…

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 Tiffin from their home. Nothing wrong in it, but imagine employee point of view.    

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.

In Maharashtra, the “Varkaris” ( 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

How to gain the Power…

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.  

Organizational level
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.

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