Saturday, May 29, 2021

Be wise with a wise mind.

Once a King was discussing life with Yogi.  

The king asked Yogi, “What do you and your disciples do in your monastery?”

The Yogi answered, “We sit, we walk, and we eat.”

The King said, “Then how are you different, from common people, for we do those things as well?”

The Yogi responded, “When we sit, we know we are sitting. When we walk, we know we are walking. When we eat, we know we are eating.”

That's mindfulness. When you are performing any act, you know exactly what you are doing. You perform with all senses. 

We become emotional and respond, or we respond based on what we believe. We are also aware about the concept of left and right brain. Left brain is logical, analytical and methodical; however the right brain is more creative, intuitive, emotional. It also means that we human beings live with mind and heart. The mind and heart will not always be the same. 

The famous movie, ‘Indian’ was released in 1996. Kamal Hasan played the double role of Father and Son. Father is a freedom fighter, very strong on his own ethics and loves India from the heart. When he comes to know about the corrupt practices, he starts killing those corrupt people.  His son is also a corrupt RTO officer. Son approves the permit of an unfit school bus by taking the bribe. After a few days, while going to school, an accident happens, taking the lives of small children.    

When the father comes to know this, he feels very sad knowing his own son is a part of a corrupt system. He decides to punish the son and punishment means death. Manisha Koirala, fiancée of the son, pleads not to kill him ‘would be husband’. Father asks her, “Do you think that he has done right by taking bribes and approving the permit for an unfit bus? Because of him 25 children died. He could have avoided the accident.”   

Manisha Koirala replies, “दिमाग मानता है, लेकिन दिल नहीं (Mind agrees but not my heart.)”

Father replies firmly, “मेरा दिमाग और दिल एक ही है (My mind and heart is the same.). Please don’t stop me”

When you have to make the choice between heart and mind, what will you choose? The difficult dilemma always. Our dominant part takes over and we make decisions accordingly. It is highly impossible to have the mind and heart the same, but balancing is a must. Emotional intelligence helps us to make better choices in life.

As per the Zen philosophy, we have 3 states of mind, Reasonable mind, Emotional mind and Wise mind. This philosophy is also used to treat borderline personality disorder. Therapy is known as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT). DBT looks at the mind in two-part, Reasonable mind and Emotional mind. You can relate this to the left brain and the right brain. We need balancing. That balancing mind is ‘Wise Mind.’ 

Common people do all things with either Reasonable or Emotional mind, however people who practice mindfulness like Yogi, use ‘Wise mind’. In simple language, your Emotional mind is your feelings, Reasonable mind is your thought based on facts and Wise mind balances both, knows which part of the mind is acting and responses wisely. 

Wise mind is the state of mind in the middle of both logical and emotional mind. In a Wise mind, we are aware of our feelings, and we decide how to act in a way to honour our feelings and goals. In a Wise mind, if we were angered, we would acknowledge our feelings and act in a way that would not create negative consequences for ourselves.  

You don’t need to be Yogi or Buddha to be in the state of Wise mind. It needs practice. Whenever you are in any situation or you have to make choices, decisions, if you are struggling with dilemmas use following tactics.

Just observe the situation, behaviour of another person and its impact and also your behaviour, feelings and thoughts.

Take a pause instead of responding and acknowledge those feelings.

Be in the present situation, experience what you are feeling, without thinking much of the past and future.

Don’t be judgemental by tagging good or bad. Just check observable facts.

And be effective without allowing your emotions to control your behaviour.   

The Wise mind will create some sort of stress, to know what it means and why they are feeling it. But this frame of mind also allows you to see a way through. It accepts reality and works to change what it believes is changeable. 

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves”: Buddha

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 
Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga 

Vitality in Human Resource is now available in paperback edition. Please click here to buy

Buy Industrial Relations Strategy Framework For Every Manager on amazon. Click IR Strategy Framework.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Psychological safety nets

Psychological Safety Nets are important to create the effective culture 

You can smell the organizational culture by entering the office. You sense it through the approach of the security guard, receptionist, the behaviour of office boys and the overall atmosphere you feel. If you keep observing, you may get more clues about the organization. I know that we should not judgmental based on our primary interactions, but unfortunately the culture that you observe is cascaded down by the top management. Sometimes you sense the invisible pressure among employees, sometimes, you sense a vibrant and cheerful atmosphere. In some organizations, laughing, joking is not allowed, however in some organizations work is fun. It is upto the management what culture they want to create. One of the friends shared that in his organization being active on social media is not considered positively. However, in most of the organizations social media is a tool of branding, marketing and increasing the business. Different people will have different perspectives but being logical is the key to success.

"Some Managers believe that employees should be controlled to get the maximum benefits. However, they forget that the presence of fear in an organization is the first sign of weak leadership. After working with different Indian and multinational organizations and working closely with the leadership team, I can co-relate human being’s basic needs.

My observations are

Human beings want to be included. They are productive when they feel that they are the part of the team, group, tribe, and overall ecosystem.

They want to grow: Human beings want to grow in life in two ways, financially and in their career. In this process they want to learn to earn both, salary increase and career development.    

They want to contribute to the organization if you keep them motivated towards their purpose. If their purpose is aligned, they will go the extra mile.

And finally, they want change when they believe things need to change. They will come up with suggestions, solutions on how we can change. They will be the part of change. 

Now to do this we need to create the ecosystem in the organization where employees feel safe while doing any legitimate activities in the organization. They expect psychological safety. It is organizational responsibility to create such safety nets within the organization.  

"When psychological safety is secured, people take more accountability and ownership. They use their discretionary effort, resulting in learning and problem solving. When there is a fear people use their energy thinking risks and hardly opening their mouth. They choose to be selective and only speak that managers and top management like to listen to.

How do you create such an ecosystem?  

Inclusion: Organizations who were serving strictly veg food because of owners’ values, started serving non-veg food when they expanded in different geographies and continents. It was necessary to be inclusive and by doing this they exercised the inclusion where employees felt that their needs were taken care of.            

Allow to fail: When organizations stimulate learning by any means and reward the learning, employees try to take risk by doing different things. Learning means not necessary just having training programmes. It also means doing things differently, working on change, and taking risks. During this process, there are possibilities of failures, and when people fail, leaders need to reward the failure. Failure stories and learning from those should be encouraged.

Empowerment: Getting people on board and empowering them is necessary to get the contribution from them. Empowerment and freedom of doing the job makes the environment more productive.

LinkedIn conducted a study to identify the most important soft skills. One of the top skills is creativity. But creativity doesn’t come when people are under pressure and have the fear to express. When people feel free and are empowered to apply their creativity, they make wonders. If they are not allowed to challenge, they will never speak; they will not be creative. During this process healthy conflicts need to be allowed. When there’s censure or punishment, when intellectual conflict turns into interpersonal conflict, when fear becomes a motivator, the process collapses, and people go silent.

Safety nets are necessary in any ecosystem to create the psychological safety in the organizations. If you want results, give freedom and make the environment safe.  

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga 

Vitality in Human Resource is now available in paperback edition. Please click here to buy

Buy Industrial Relations Strategy Framework For Every Manager on amazon. Click IR Strategy Framework.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Caught between a croc and a hard place.

Yesterday, I was watching the show “Animals Gone Wild” on Nat Geo. The show is about animals and their instincts which helps them survive in the wild.

9-10 dangerous hungry wild dogs were chasing a warthog. They cornered it at once and were ready to attack it. The situation was unexpected for the warthog. Few yards away, there was a pond. Perhaps the warthog thought it was a safe place to be in the water. The water looked safe without any movement. Dogs were more smart to sense the danger in the water. Somehow the warthog escaped and ran toward the pond. It jumped in the water. Dogs gathered around the water and started barking. An older dog was trying to attack it safely to pull him but could not succeed. Finally, they realised that they could not do much. They were tired. Warthog also now relaxed just standing in the water. Facing what he thinks are his only predators, he slowly sips the water as the pack of nine dogs patiently waits for him to finish, thinking he's safe if he remains in position, the hog takes his time.

But little does it know that a gigantic crocodile is creeping up in the water behind him, which then leaps out and drags him back into the water for the kill. This happened within a fraction of a second.

Sometimes animals sense the danger but sometimes not. Sometimes coming out alive is not always possible. Predators may not take any chance. There is always a life and death situation. Most of the time the animal senses it is a safe place, but predators may come from anywhere. To save itself an animal may find a place, which is safe, but the perceived ‘safe place’ might be more dangerous.

Our life is also like this. In any case there is a threat. Life is afterall taking risks and fighting with every odd and hurdle which comes along during the journey.  There is a dangerous situation and there is a more dangerous situation. We don’t have the option to choose but as an instinct, we chose a less dangerous situation. We don’t think of different options. We choose the option which we perceive to be safe like the warthog. But we don’t know if the predator may attack from any side. When we think we are safe, actually we are not.

In businesses, most of the time, corporates spend their time fighting with the competition. Few go ahead further by announcing to kill the competition and focus their full energy towards the competition. However sometimes the threat is from within and not from the competition. We need to look at what is within and understand what are those dangerous situations and elements behind us; e.g. our cost, our qualities, capabilities, dysfunctional organizations, lack of change, not being relevant in the market etc, etc. Those elements are more dangerous like that crocodile.       

We need to be ready to face the predator from all sides and make a plan to save ourselves.

Please watch the Nat Gio video on Youtube

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga 

Vitality in Human Resource is now available in paperback edition. Please click here to buy

Buy Industrial Relations Strategy Framework For Every Manager on amazon. Click IR Strategy Framework.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Trust Capital

Everybody is aware about different capital employed in organisations like man, machine money etc. But do you know that there is another type of capital which is imperative in any organisation. And that is “trust capital”. This can’t be created by anybody else, but it is created by the leaders. But the fundamental question remains, ‘how to create that trust capital?’ We all know what trust means. Trust is one of the important elements in leadership. But how are we going to create that trust among employees? Employees expect that the organisations and specifically leadership team and managers trust their employees, they are respected, valued and their contribution is recognised. They reciprocate it by demonstrating their trust in the leadership. 

Trust capital is directly proportional to the cultural index of the organization and your leadership mindset. The more transparent, genuine, and empathetic your leadership is, the more trust by the employees.  During this pandemic few organizations are going the extra mile to support employees, however there are few other organizations who are asking employees to work from office and reducing their salaries. In the first case, organizations are creating the trust capital, in later it is just a business. Employees would keep this in mind always.

If you don't have trust in your team, you tend to micromanage your team, hold the knowledge within yourself, become insecure. This is again reciprocated by employees. When people don’t trust you, it becomes obvious in their behaviour.

The fundamental question is how to create the trust capital?

Trust capital has the following vital elements.

Elements of Trust Capital

Credibility: Every leader has to establish his/her credibility in the organization. Credibility is pursued by employees and by the people at large based on their experience with you, based on the behaviour you demonstrated in the past. It also means while communicating, how genuine you are with the people, how transparent you are in your behaviour. When you are credible, people trust what you say.  

Reliability: Cambridge dictionary has defined the meaning of reliability as “the quality of being able to be trusted or believed because of working or behaving well”. Employees are always watching their leaders, when they observe the gap between saying and doing, they would not trust you.

Consistency: Consistency is referred to as adherence to the same principles in a steadfast way. It also means your behaviour is the same for similar actions where employees believe that the leader is not unfair. S/he is consistent. If you want to be trustworthy, then you need to be consistent in your efforts towards creating the trust capital.

Empathy: Emotional intelligence is the crucial leadership trait. You can learn it with some effort. One of the elements of emotional intelligence is empathy. Unless you don’t put yourself in the shoes of others, you will not understand their emotions. If you demonstrate empathy, it is easy to connect and decide your strategy to deal with the person.   

Insight- Self vs Others: While you are demonstrating above all behaviours, it is very important you do it with right intentions. The first question you should ask is, am I doing with right intentions? Is my focus primarily on ‘myself’ or ‘others’? Am I self-centered and thinking more about only myself? Your trust index will be impacted if your focus while dealing with people is more on you and less on others.  

When every leader, every manager and every employee demonstrates above behaviours, it creates collective trust capital in the organization. If you want to calculate the trust capital index, just rate the behaviour on the scale of 1 to 5 on Credibility, Reliability, Consistency and Empathy; divide the sum total by Insight score. Insight score can be given high (5) when intentions focuses towards more on self, (it means you have limited insight of others, you are more self -centered) and minimum (1), when it is towards others, (it means you focus others also and have the insight of their feelings).

Trust Capital Index

Trust is an important part of any relationship. You can build your trust capital individually. If all come together, then you along with others can create the trust capital in the organization, society, or family. You jointly can create the collective trust capital by being authentic and demonstrating the right behaviours.      

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga 

Vitality in Human Resource is now available in paperback edition. Please click here to buy

Buy Industrial Relations Strategy Framework For Every Manager on amazon. Click IR Strategy Framework.

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Intentional Leadership

Do you know what is the requirement of business today during and even after the pandemic? Requirement is leaders, we need more leaders. Yes, you read it correctly. We need more leaders, not only one leader who has the title of CEO, title of Manger MD, title of CXO, title of Manager of some function etc etc. We need leaders, those who rise to the occasion to lead without an official title. More leaders are needed, but not just any type of leader. We need great leaders who positively influence others toward a common purpose and vision. Great leaders are needed in business, in schools, in NGOs, governments, and in homes. Unfortunately, there are very few such leaders, because we rely more on leaders who have the official title and expect them to do everything.

We expect that everything should be done by the Prime or Chief Minister, but don’t want to follow our own responsibilities. In the corporate world we follow leaders, follow their instructions, but seldomly take the responsibility to set up the expectations from them as a leader.

If you wish to establish the credibility of the leader without any official position, you can do it by having the right intent. First thing first, you should be authentic in your areas. Nowadays, we focus only on presentations. There are people who are hyperbolic. They have less content, but their branding is solid. However, this doesn’t last long. Your authenticity is when your knowledge in respective areas is strong, but you are also open to learn from others and have the courage to say that “I don’t know.”       

Everything works when you have the right intention and no hidden agenda. If your intentions are to support the team, the team will support you. Only you have to demonstrate that you have the right intentions. On a few occasions, I had to communicate very strong messages to the team or employees, sometimes it was asking them to leave the organization because of the compatibility issues with the organization. Those discussions need practice; Sometimes it is emotionally draining. However, while communicating, I used to practice empathic words, positive body language and straight eye contact. Discussion which I had thought would be more complex, were in fact very easy. This is possible when the next person connects with you and feels your intention.

Intention is not just a word; it is a feeling. While communicating the next person should feel that you have the right intention. That’s a difficult task of course.  

To demonstrate that you have the right intention, you have to lift the people up with your words. We don’t focus on our language, words we use and tone of voice, however it is the most important key in demonstrating the right behaviour as a leader. You should speak kind, encouraging, and uplifting words to those you talk with. Your words have the power to raise a person to an entirely new level of confidence, self-worth, and can help them see how great they are.

The key is to create the directory of such words which can be used on different occasions   and develop the vocabulary.

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga 

Vitality in Human Resource is now available in paperback edition. Please click here to buy

Buy Industrial Relations Strategy Framework For Every Manager on amazon. Click IR Strategy Framework.

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