Saturday, May 21, 2022

Game of your life

Image source- Internet
In this changing world you don’t know what is there in the future but you can predict the future. We travel through life looking for success.  If we consider life as a game, We all have that choice to create a new kind of game to survive regardless of what others are doing. You can create your rules based on your values to win, you can make your strategies and design your success through your objectives and actions, however it is important to be flexible to redefine the game. 

Everybody has the power to invent the game though we don’t realize it. We don’t need to follow someone else’s rules. Only one thing we need and that is “a beginner’s mind”. A beginner’s mind means having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level. How can you do it as we all have some assumptions and a lot of baggage?

Instead of following rules we need to create those. For that you need the eye of an artist. 
My wife (Read her blog here Art and Colours In Life) is an artist by heart and doctor by profession. She has created amazing artifacts and paintings. She has only siporex blocks, blank papers or canvases, random material required, that’s it. But she knows. 
  • that the block or blank page (or empty canvas) can become anything.
  • that any drawing can be changed, erased, or thrown out at any time.
  • how to step back and shape the picture until she is happy. 
So life is like that. You can create anything in your life. If required you can change the course of action, erase earlier learnings and change everything if required. 

Everybody has the opportunity to create a new game of life. The game should have promise. Promise to be successful and winner. Every player has the potential to win however it depends upon how you design your game. During this process, you may make yourself uncomfortable with yourself and others. You may get challenges. People may force you to change the rules of the game but understand it is your game, you make your strategies and rules, of course in an ethical way, you create the masterpiece  and then you say what’s next? 

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

Author's books are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. You can buy the print copy of Vitality in Human Resources on amazon. Click >> Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes    

Royalty from books is used for social cause. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Industrial Relations

The context has been changed and hence goalpost needs to be changed too while dealing with unions and managing Industrial Relations. Please watch my interview in "Expert Talk". Link is here >> https://youtu.be/QoXB8zdg4LM


Sunday, February 20, 2022

Managers, be a coach

Image: Representative image from internet

There are only fours dimensions which keeps employees with the organization and those are 

  • Relationship with Managers,
  • Culture of the organization
  • Career opportunities available,
  • Fair compensation and benefits,

You go to any organization, any country, every employee engagement survey revolves around these four dimensions. 

First dimension is more crucial as a manager is the person who contributes in the culture of the organization, developing an employee and influencing the management to have better compensation and benefits practices in the organization and explaining the logic behind merit increase every year. The priorities may change as per the age and experience demographics of the organization. Most of the managers except few top leaders, either are not empowered or trained to coach and mentor the team properly. Managers may not have all answers but they can help to reflect and get the answers. This is possible when managers start acting as coaches. As a coach managers can contribute to developing all above four dimensions. Research shows that coaching culture creates better employee engagement, higher productivity and better customer experience. 

Managers become leaders when they start coaching their employees. Coaching styles may be different as per the leadership and personality styles, but it definitely helps. Employees expect that their managers give them the feedback on how they are doing, what their development areas are and how they can do better in their day to day jobs. There are simple coaching tools managers can learn. Coaching is no longer a specialty. In the modern, super technical and competitive business world, forming a high performing team is necessary to be successful in the business. Essential imperative of creating a high performing team is a leader who is an excellent manager and a caring coach. 

If you are a manager, find some time to learn those skills; if you are the corporate leader, invest in managers to develop them as a coach. 

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

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. You can buy the print copy of Vitality in Human Resources on amazon. Click >> Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes    

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Remote and Hybrid Workplace – Behaviours and Skills

We have started living with the corona and its different variants now. You can see the large crowd outside on the roads, market, offices etc. Though few companies are still operating work from home, most of the companies will not go fully for remote work. It also depends upon the jobs and roles. However, companies are encouraging flexible or hybrid workplace models asking employees to work 2-3 days from the office and rest from home or anywhere. Time flexibility is already given by few progressive organizations even before the pandemic. 

Image: Google

There are different personalities and mindsets at the workplace. Few people emotionally get attached to the workplace and they customize the workplace with family pics and some mementos on the table. This gives them a sense of belonging and attachment to the organization. Few people like to create charisma by walking around. Few people want to understand everything about the organization, few take interest in gossiping and few need to interact with people which gives them energy and so on… workplace is the need of those people to interact, be creative, be communicative to demonstrate the impact. This may not be possible during remote models and hence hybrid models are more relevant considering the different personalities and their mindset towards the work. 

Here the discussion is not about work from office, home, anywhere or hybrid; organizations have decided this based on their priorities. We need to come up with some characteristics and skills required in those environments. 

Chris Dyer & Kim Shepherd in their book “Remote Work” mention a few things which are necessary skills people should have for remote work. But I think those skills are necessary during even hybrid or work from anywhere models. When you have the flexibility to operate as an ease of performing, then accountability and taking ownership of your own actions is very important. 

Further following are few behaviours and skills which are imperatives to make the model successful. 

Strong critical thinking skills: Critical thinking is the analysis of an issue or situation and the facts, data or evidence related to something. Every employee should prioritize learning these skills now. This includes observation, analysis, inferences, interpretation, relevance, curiosity and so on.   

Collaboration: Because collaboration is harder in a remote or hybrid model, those who are thoughtful and deliberate collaborators will stand out.

Professional drive, or the motivation to build one’s talents, both horizontally and vertically. 

A results orientation and sense of urgency are also important, and a remote model will reveal those who lack these traits faster than a sticks-and-bricks model will.

Communication is another skill which we need to focus on. In the normal course 7% communication happens through only verbal communication, voice 38% and 55% by body language. It also means that nonverbal communication is around 93%. Now the question is how to bring this 93% communication through virtual calls while communicating with the teams. It is not just communication but using the voice, tune, modulations, presentation tools effectively. 

One of the characteristics we should not ignore is work ethics and values. You must have read a lot of news where employees are moonlighting and doing multiple jobs with different companies. Organizations need to create a strong ecosystem where people are trained and educated on ethical standards, track and take appropriate actions. 

Remote work, work from anywhere or hybrid working is beneficial for employer and employees, but organizations need to come with strong standards and rules where employees are clear what is expected from them on a professional level. Further there should be clear guidelines on it means a breach of contract as per the rule books.    

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

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. You can buy the print copy of Vitality in Human Resources on amazon. Click >> Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes    

Royalty from books is used for social cause. 

Monday, February 07, 2022

Vaccination

Everybody speaks about vaccination unlike earlier days. Thanks to Covid19. However during my childhood vaccination drives were painful events. Mostly such drives used to happen in schools and innocent kids were the victims. My school was not different. Every year, government medical officers and their staff from the district place used to come for the drive in our school for different vaccinations.

Parents were not aware about the necessity of timely vaccinations. The government was playing this role. When those doctors were coming for vaccination drives, it was a different atmosphere around. Few students were tense, few were happy; Tense because of the fear of injection and happy because of breaks to classes.  From then on, we understood the meaning of the phrase, "Tears of joy in one eye and tears of sorrow in the other." however both eyes used to fill up with tears. Afterall we were primary students. Some of the children would cry loudly just sensing the next action of doctors. Few would demonstrate the courage to say, “What am I afraid of?” However the whole atmosphere used to be serious overall. Glass syringes and needles would start boiling in water. I am sure there will be no difference between the state of mind of the goats who were dragged by the killer.

Reference Image from the internet

The doctor used to rub the spirit on the arms with a smiling face, sometimes with a serious face. And a needle would be inserted inside. In the first, the children would scream in pain, some would just shed tears, while some strong children would pretend to be brave. It was like a war-like situation where small kids were fighting against their common enemy which were doctors, nurses and assistants. I was also among them. 

Once during such a vaccination drive, my father was passing by near the school. Out of curiosity, he peeked into the school to see what was going on inside. When I saw him, I started crying. I had held the tears, but after seeing him my eyes were tearful. Seeing that, he came straight inside, picked me up, wiped away my tears. My father's reassuring touch and words made me run away from my fears.

Parents do not want to see their child's tears. I remember, despite my wife being a doctor, she had tears when my son was pierced for blood for the tests. We may not realize the importance of our parents and their caring for their children. We realize that when we become parents and we start missing our parents. Take care of them when they are with you today. 

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

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. You can buy the print copy of Vitality in Human Resources on amazon. Click >> Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes    

Royalty from books is used for social cause. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Pen

It must have been eight o'clock at night. There was a terrifying silence around. The sound made by night insects was irritating. One bullock cart passed by. The sound of a bell ringing in a bull's neck could be heard in the middle of the distant road. The reflection of the crescent in the sky was visible in river water. A little wave was forming as the fish moved in the water. Smoke billowed from the earthen stoves in the distant houses could be seen. Some lights were seen flickering.

I was sitting alone on the riverbank outside the village for about an hour. Time was running out and my mind was full of thoughts. I was convinced that no one in the family loved me. Although it was a little late to go home, my worried parents did not come to search for me. 

Now I was slowly getting hungry. I started to miss my elder sister very much. She got married six months ago. If she had been home today, she would surely have come to find me. She loves me very much.

I didn’t know what to do. I started thinking whether I should go home without waiting for anyone. But how was it possible? With great courage, I had left home after being angry with my mother. If I had gone back home easily, my 'ego' would have been horribly hurt. I was expecting that my mother would come or send somebody to find me. 

As time went on, my patience was running out. I was feeling that I would starve to death. Hunger, disturbing silence and the terrible surroundings made me cry.  “Let's go home.  Mother must have cooked a meal. Let's eat that and come back again.” My mind told me. Finally I came to the conclusion that I have made a mistake by being angry at my mother and leaving home at odd hours.  

You must be curious why I was brooded over the mother? Right? 

It so happened that after coming home from school, I asked my mother for a new fountain pen. I had a pen; however the nib of that pen was worn out and the ink started oozing out. Some of my friends had nice pens. Seeing that, it was natural for me to dream of a new pen now. Mom asked me to change the nib and run on the same pen for a few more days.

“We'll get a new pen next month,” she said. But I wanted a pen right away. Of course, the old pen could have been pushed for a few days. But I persisted. Finally, mother declared that I would not get any new pen. 

I got disappointed and I said, “If you don't give me the pen, I'll leave the house.” 

She responded back angrily, “Are you blackmailing me? I will not tolerate your behaviour. If you wish to leave a home, you may.”   I felt bad and I went straight out of the house.

After a while, I heard a known call.  He was my father. I saw him and ran to him without much hesitation. My father looked at me angrily for the first time. But then he got mellowed down when he saw my face.

“Let’s buy a pen.”  He took me to the market which was across the river.

When I came home, I hugged my mother. She was angry. "Few things shouldn’t be pushed beyond," she said. “Did I say that I will not buy a pen for you? I was going to give a pen, right? But you were to adamant.  It was too much to leave the house for such a petty thing.”  She said,

“Sorry mother.” I wiped my eyes and sat down to study.

Today I have many costly and different types of pens. Pens sold in any shop attracts me and whenever I see any different type of pen, I can't resist buying it. However the pen purchased by my father on that day is not comparable with any pen in the world.  

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

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. You can buy the print copy of Vitality in Human Resources on amazon. Click >> Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes    

Income from books is used for social cause. 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Love yourself

Self Compassion

We all have some expectations from ourselves, however when those expectations are not fulfilled, we become angry and disappointed. Sometimes we curse ourselves. If this happens repeatedly, we start self-doubting. We are all taught to respect others, listen to others, understand others and so on…human being is a social animal; and hence most of the times, its need is recognition. Recognition of any form works for him. Recognition of being a respected person in the society, recognition of good human being. If the person behaves badly, still it wants the recognition for being bad. Human beings expect a good tag for him, and the person will do anything to get it. Good people try to get the recognition of being good and bad people get it by being bad. Good people try to get acceptance from society. 

The whole award industry is using those professionals where every 1 professional out of 10 is getting some achiever, top professional, top leader award. Why this? Because to be likable and respectable. But when they try to be more likable and compromise with their values then conflict occurs. To get an award, to make others happy, to make a boss happy, to make peers happy, we go beyond boundaries which they don't care.  In this process, we do injustice to ourselves. 

Bad people try to create the impression by being worse and dangerous. That’s why the gangsters, scamsters, mafias proudly publicize their work. Once I was interacting one of the union leaders and he was proudly telling me how many half murders he has done and how many court cases are against him.  

Image- internet

Forget those bad people, but let’s speak about those people who want to always be likable. They care a lot for other people, but not themselves. The pressure of performance, the pressure of earning meals for the family, relationship conflicts and workplace stress create an unnecessary burden on human beings. The pandemic has put everyone in a very odd situation like this. However, it is also the time to take care of yourself. During the air travel the safety instructions are given before the take off. While doing this crew members emphasize on putting the oxygen mask first and then to the child and others. This means that you should survive first and be able to help others. Unless you don’t care about yourself, nobody will help you. If you love your family and friends, first be able to help them by caring for yourself. And to do that you have to be compassionate towards yourself. Self-compassion is crucial for your survival in a real sense. Self-compassion is more powerful than your self-esteem. People who are compassionate toward their struggles, feelings, failings and imperfections experience greater well-being than those who repeatedly criticize themselves. Self-compassion increases the feeling of security and net worth. This is more powerful when you get a setback, and your self-esteem is low. 

Whenever there is negative thought, self-compassion helps to think deeply and come out from the setbacks. When we love ourselves, we are kind with self, it brings positivity. This positivity is important to be resilient. When you accept yourself as it is then only you can think to change. In that case, being vulnerable, taking critical feedback and recognizing development areas becomes easy.  

Accept yourself as it is and be compassionate with yourself. 

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

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. You can buy the print copy of Vitality in Human Resources on amazon. Click >> Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes    

Income from books is used for social cause. 

Saturday, January 08, 2022

Are you stuck up?

Imposter syndrome

Image: Pixabay

Are you stuck up in your current job and you are experiencing that you are not performing as per the expectations? Do you feel that you are not as capable as others perceive and your success is because of your boss, or external factors and not because of your performance? Do you feel that you are not included in the team, and nobody supports you? Are you trying to please everybody and have the feeling that you are making a lot of mistakes? If your answer is ‘yes’, perhaps you are going through an “imposter experience” also known as “imposter syndrome”. Sometimes in the career we are stuck up; there are challenges, but we are not in a position to take any action. This is a natural phenomena, however, when you feel helpless and want to withdraw, then definitely there is something wrong with you. This also leads to taking things personally and not taking the critical feedback positively. The person with these feelings starts doubting herself/himself. This leads to negative self-image.

The life here is not in the person’s control, s/he tries to set high goals, please others, try to be perfectionist and never satisfied with his/her level of understanding and try to learn many things.

Most of the time, the roots of our behaviours are in our background, upbringings and the way we are grown by parents. Studies suggest that people who come from families characterized by high levels of conflict with low amounts of support may be more likely to experience imposter syndrome. Sometimes it is possible when the person gets the new role and doesn’t believe that s/he has the right skill sets to perform. People also experience the imposter experience, when they are going through transitions. There are certain reasons like the way we think, the self-image we have developed, poor ability to manage stress & anxiety and having more expectations from self and others.   

Imposter syndrome is not the lifelong syndrome. You can overcome this experience by being positive and developing the belief in yourself. It is important to reflect on some hard-hitting questions like do you really need approval from others? Are you practical with your strengths and weaknesses?  And what are those experiences which you can reverse positively?

Few strategies to cope with imposter syndrome are:

  • Self-reflect: Take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t become personal when somebody is giving you the feedback for the improvement. We all have blind spots and working on those is crucial in development.
  • Challenge your thought process, identify, and recognize positive experiences where you perform and feel good. Believe that, if you did good in the past, you would do better in the future.   
  • Share your feelings to whom you believe. Take their opinion and suggestions. Asking for help and support is not bad. If required, ask for the support you need from others.
  • Learn emotional intelligence skills. Try to recognize the feeling and reason behind those. There may be some belief behind those emotions and feelings. Then try to convert those feelings into some rational thought process and positive feelings, sometimes finding the silver lining and creating new beliefs.
  • Most important is accept yourself as it is. Think rationally about yourself. Don’t look at yourself through the eyes of others. Think or rate your behaviour and not self.

The belief that what we carry is not necessarily right, hence it is important to work on those beliefs and develop new ones based on new experiences.  

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

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. Income from books is used for social cause. 

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Trend to watch in 2022

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” Brad Paisley

After completion of 365/366 days, the year ends, and the new year comes. every year gives a different experience, different learning. Year 2020 was difficult for us because of Covid19. Many people lost their loved ones. We expected that 2021 would be good, however it was more challenging. The positive side is that we got the vaccine, however again there is a fear of the spread of Omicron variant 2022. Life has been tough for us for the last 2 years and 2022 will not be a different year. However, there is a silver lining in everything. 

Time acts like a great teacher, mentor, and guru. 

Every year gives some perspective to life. 2020 taught us to be human, being minimalist. Year 2021 taught us the value of life. Every human being is impacted by the covid19 during 2021. Crisis like oxygen and unavailability of hospital beds tested our patience. The good news was getting vaccinated, and India has done a remarkably wonderful job by vaccinating people. 144 crores doses are administered till date.

Another positive thing happened is domestic consumption has gone up and the economy is doing great in India. Talent market is picking up. This will definitely have a boost to the economy and growth will continue in 2022 too.

We also need to be positive in 2022 considering the spread of the Omicron variant. Few trends we should watch in 2022 are explained here.

More focus on health & wellness: Though the people adapted to live with the Covid19 virus, awareness on health and wellness will be a major agenda for government and private organizations. Employers will have to prioritize mental health at work. They will have to set boundaries to create a healthy work-life balance for employees. With Hybrid and flexible work practices, work life integration will be crucial for everybody.    

Great Resignation: We have seen some trailers in H2-2021 about high employee turnover in different sectors. IT professionals are in demand but other professions like Talent Acquisition Expert, HRBPs, Business controllers, Data Analyst, Data Science Engineers, Marketing professional are also in demand. This will continue in 2022 too. The Talent Market in India will be hot next year.

Sustainability and social commitment: Speaking about sustainability and social responsibilities was cool a few years back. Covid has forced citizens and organizations to act on. People realized that now it is the time to give back to society. Organizations will continue to be committed to social responsibilities along with few concrete actions to have a positive impact on people and the planet.

Entrepreneurship: Many people adventured into entrepreneurship, some by choice and some were forced as they lost their jobs. Government is also supporting start-ups and new innovations, Universities, Colleges, and Institutes started incubation labs to foster new ideas. Year 2022 will see the birth of more Entrepreneurs.

Political polarization and regional instability: Political world will continue to be insane. The definition of terrorists, freedom of speech will be decided as per the political and social agenda. Regional instability because some countries will be disturbed. Taliban and their supporters will interfere on the instructions of their masters. Polarization in European countries has already started. NGOs, political leaders, so called activists, journalists will run their own agenda based on their interest and it will be more visible. However, those people will lose their credibility as citizens are becoming more aware about the situations           

Women and Gender: During the pandemic women in lower strata were impacted a lot. It is the need to bring them back in the flow and do something for them. It is the time to think about the poor and design some programmes to make them employable. The government, and industries will continue to focus on Inclusion and Diversity. 

Technology: Metaverse, 5G, Virtual Reality, connected equipment, EV, space travel etc. etc. is the talk of every conference. This will continue in 2022. Personally, I feel that these will be discussed a lot instead of actually coming into reality. The tests and standalone experimentation will continue but it will not be normal for at least next 2-3 years.  

Something about Millennial and Gen Z: Another trend is about millennials and Gen Z. Sometimes we stereotype them by calling millennials and Gen Z. Every generation is different and that's human evolution. Every generation learns new things, excel, and progress and use the new opportunities to their advantage. This is their choice; however, every generation has their own challenges, and we should recognize those. The new generation is using technology to their advantage, they want to take challenges, they want to be influencers, they want to impact the world and create their own identity. After a long 2 years, students will start attending offline classes. Pandemic has impacted them and their mental health. Going back to offline mode will be a bigger challenge to them. Teachers, Parents, Society, and employers (during campus selections) should be more empathic with them.    

Year 2022 will be challenging but I am sure that this year will also be a great teacher for us bringing more positive news.

Wish you all a happy new year 2022.  

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

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. Income from books is used for social cause. 

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