ethics-signStory 1

Teacher to father of a primary class student : Your son today took a pencil from his friend’s pencil box without asking him.

Father to teacher : I am so sorry teacher, I give him everything he needs so I am not sure why he would do it. I would ensure he does not do it again.  I am very sorry!

Father gets home, calls his little son and angrily reacts,

Father to son : This has been the most embarrassing day in my life. Your teacher told me that you took the pencil of your friend from his pencil box, without telling him.  This is disgusting and I am very angry and feeling ashamed my son could do this.

If you wanted, I could have got you a dozen from my workplace!

 

Story 2

Vijay has been an average person in his profession, however wanted to move on from present job for few reasons. He appears for interview of company 1, get selected, accepts the offer to join the company 1.  With no worry of staying in the current company, he starts hunting for a better offer than offer he received from company 1, due to his little knowledge, previous experience and desperate need of hiring company, he soon gets offer 2 from company 2 and soon an offer 3 from company 3.

He is very proud of his own efforts to collect and accept so many offers from different companies and finally tries to resign from his present company.  Of course, despite him having 3 offers with him, first thing he tries is to negotiate better terms with the existing company, just in case he can juice most from them.  Well, the present company is unable to match the offer made by companies outside and decides to let him go.

Still undecided where to join, he sends letter of acceptance to all three companies with the thought that he would decide whom to join later.  He feels its an honor to have options in hand till last date.  So finally on the day of joining, without informing company 1 & company 3 he joins company 2 and starts working.

He is proud of his own career, the decisions he has made while switching the job and collection of offers he could gather (in this case 3) during the transition.  He is extremely happy telling how he turned down offers from company 1 and company 3 to everyone.

Do the above stories look familiar?

If yes, do you think in our present life ‘little bit cheating’ is now part of ethics and corporates are warming up to this fact?

Do let me know.

Note – by the way the name ‘Vijay’ was the most familiar name I could remember. No pun intended towards any specific person.

 

Have you ever felt de-motivated, dejected, disappointed or down hearted after a long day’s work ? I am sure you would have at some point in your life, if not every day after the work.  Staying motivated and positive for long time is a real struggle. We are surrounded by and often assaulted by negative thinking and anxiety about the present situation and of course about the future !  We always have a phase where we start doubting ourselves and feel depressed.

Unfortunately there is no master key or a simple solution to unlock the mystery of de-motivation. Even after we feel we are over it, sometimes, it comes back to haunt us in an even bigger way. Here, in this article, I would like to mention few of the points that would help one keep up the motivation, focus and avoid the long spells of depression and dejection, especially at work !

Love music

 

music listeningThe following quote perfectly summarizes why we need to love music. Music refreshes one’s thinking and diverts the persons attention from the tiredness at work to something that is refreshing and soulful that delights the mind. 

 

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

~Berthold Auerbach

 

Whilst I am not a big fan of music collection, I do have a small collection of specific songs that I find dear to my heart. It is a decent mixture of all types of songs ranging from disco to classical and ghazals to bhajans. Depending on what emotional state I want to get, I choose the song and listen. This helps me often to get right state of mind before I proceed to do next task.

 

Have a buddy at work

Its important to have someone at work whom you can consider a best friend or a buddy. You need to have one such friend with whom you can share your work difficulties and vent out temporary frustration. Believe me, more often than not, you need some kind of instant emotional support with whom you can talk and share things.

At more stressful jobs, you often experience bursts of negativity around due to several work related matters. So it is always helpful to have someone who you can count on to help you get out of negativity and back to normal mind state.

Human is a social animal and we all have an inherent need of talking and being heard. In case you do not have anyone whom you can to and talk your heart out, it really feels like dejected and lonely at times. Spent a good time with your friend and talk on topics that interest you to get your positivity back on track. On the other hand, please extend help to your buddy when he / she is in the need of help.

 

 

passionHave a passion

In my opinion, having some passion in life is very important.  For me, my passion is watching football.  It keeps me going and helps me keep happy.  My favorite club is Manchester United and I do everything I can to watch them playing (on TV at least). Watching them play my favorite game makes me happier and feel inspired. However, if they lose then there is an equal chance of me feeling more miserable after that. I do keep recordings of certain match clips which I tend to watch when I am feeling a little low and it certainly has helped in keeping me inspired.

Passion is closely related to the emotional behavior of the human and if you see your passion fulfilled, its more of a chance that you feel inspired and motivated.

 

 

Focus on positives

Sometimes, if we experience too much negativity for a prolonged period of time and feel de-motivated for a longer spell of time, we go into a state of mind where all the thoughts start with negative options and creates negative vibes around us.  Once you fall into the negativity trap, its not very easy to come out and have any positive feeling about anything.

In past, when I had fallen into the trap of negativity, I used to feel negative for no real reason and sometimes a mere presence of few people around used to make me start feel de-motivated. However, the wiser I got, I tend to avoid feeling on this trap by concentrating more on the positives that are coming out from the situation.

  • Look at the scenario holistically rather than what is only seen to you
  • Thank God for not making things any worse
  • Find out one positive thing that you can take out of the situation.

As I often mention in many of my conversations, “there are always 100s of negative things that can be made out of the situation, but if you find at least one positive thing out of it, consider it a learning for life and thank GOD”.

Positivity is a habit, and once you get it, you can easily overcome situations that are trying to put you back in the hole of negativity and de-motivation. 

 

Praise others

appreciate_thankyou Appreciation and recognition is one very important aspect of the professional life. Although the nature differs, it is equally important and applicable to all the levels of a profession.  It does not necessary that only the lower levels of hierarchy should be praised and not the middle or upper levels.

Spreading good words makes one feel positive and help others feel good about themselves. This, in turn make change in people’s behavior towards you in a better way, making you feel better. Believe me, speaking positive about someone else’s work and personality is the best way to connect with the person in a right way.

I remember a specific incident when I was given to work with a so-called difficult person. All the people who worked with that person earlier, warned me about the boring and micro-management behavior of the person. While I too felt a little bit strange with his work methods, the more I started to talk to him and praise him about some real good work he had done in past (in some cases without anyone’s real help), it made him really comfortable with me and I could see an immediate behavior change in him towards me allowing me freedom to work the way I want.  Ultimately this led to work satisfaction for both of us and a little bit more positive at work for me !

However, one thing that you need to keep in mind is when to praise someone and how much to praise. There is fine line between real appreciative person and feet-licking bastard !  You need to ensure that you do not cross to the other side ..

 

Open your mind

I always feel that one need to share what he / she feels about the situation in a right way. Its not often very motivating to work in uneasy, unconvincing situations or scenarios where you are in a confused state or feel half-committed to the cause.

Learn a bit about emotional intelligence and try to be aware of your state of mind. One very important, but often neglected, fact is to know our state of mind and understand our emotions. We go through so many emotions such as happiness, inspired, dejection, unhappy, nervousness etc., at work place during various hours of the day and due to several causes, it almost becomes a habit to suppress them and continue with the job we are doing.

Can you stay in a meeting where you do not feel like being, and contribute productively ?  Can you give right suggestions and solutions to a problem, when you are in a state of anger or frustration ?  Definitely not !

The more you suppress your emotions, the more you feel out of control and start losing your own focus.

Its important to let others know what state of mind you are and help yourself in getting back to where you should be. Believe me, the more I tried this, the more I felt in control of the situation and my responses were getting better, in turn making me feel positive and motivated.

 

Think big and have faith

thinkbig Most of the times, frustration grows or increases because we can not see beyond a certain point in current situation and the situation does not really look promising in nature.

When you get the questions, such as “why does it always happen with me”, “why am I being pushed to do something that I do not want to do”, “no one seems to help me here” start flowing in your mind, think of is as time to take a step back and consider the bigger picture and look at the intention behind the situation. 

When such situation occurs, look at the big picture and find out the intentions behind this situation.  In case you are wondering how to do this, I recommend reading a story in my leadership series.

 

You can safely bank on the thumb rule of “intentions of people at work place are never bad, sometimes behaviors are” to sail through this period.

 

On the other hand, if you are unable to trace the intentions and get any positivity of the big picture, think of it as the lowest point and be happy that things can only improve on this point onwards.

Just have faith !

 

Hello folks, I am back on writing my blog after a very long time. Too many things have happened during last two months since I was active on blogosphere.  Some of them are shareable and some, definitely not.

One such thing that I can definitely share was the experience I had when I participated in the Innovation forum in my company to do some more structured learning around innovation techniques.  Although it was a half day session, it has definitely left a mark on my perception on how the innovation could be done and a change of thinking is brought within the team.

We discussed quite a few methods on how the innovation could be introduced and more importantly sustained in a company, where innovation is a mandatory requirement for sustaining and thriving in the competitive market.

One of the most important aspect of innovation is the “Idea Generation”.  Unless ideas are generated, innovation can not fly.

There are quite a few idea generation techniques that would help generate large number of ideas to find new solutions and different ways of achieving the purpose.  Here in this article, we are going to have a look at three common techniques of idea generation.

 

Brainstorming / Brain writing

group-discussion One of the most often known and used IG technique is ‘Brainstorming’.  ‘Brain writing’ is another form of brainstorming where most of the thinking is done by writing your ideas on the piece of paper rather than discussing with the group initially.

 

  • For the brainstorming or brain writing session, we need to gather a group of participants who are familiar with the challenge statement. 
  • Create a challenge statement and the attribute list and make them visible to the team.
  • For the purpose of brain storming, it is recommended that the group of participants is typically less than 7 people.  If you have more than 7 people in the room, then you should go for Brain writing technique.
  • Ideas should be put up spontaneously verbally during brainstorming session and written on a piece of paper during brain writing session.
  • During the brain writing session, after each idea is written on a piece of paper, it is recommended to crumple the paper and throw in the middle and pick up someone else’s crumpled paper to write next idea.
  • Ensure that some rules such as non-criticism of any idea, welcoming unusual ideas and encouraging other participants to build on other’s ideas should strictly adhered to.
  • Encourage ‘quantity’ of ideas. For the purpose of idea generation, quality follows quantity.
  • Overall ideas should be rated based on the benefits it can give and easiness of achieving them.
  • All the ideas should be properly documented for future reference.

 

Scamper

SCAMPER is a checklist of lateral thought technique that can expand one’s creativity.

SCAMPER is a acronym of the following words,

  • Substitute – Try and see what can be substituted in the current situation in order to improve upon the scenario. Ask the questions on what can be substituted, how, when, why ?
  • Combine – Try to enhance the synergy by combining, merging, attaching, adding and uniting separate attributes together for the issue.  This might give a different solution altogether.
  • Adapt – Try and make adjustments to certain aspects and attributes of a product or process
  • Modify/Magnify/Minify – Try and change the size, quantity or quality of the attributes. Try to make things later or smaller, faster or slower and see what difference it can make to the situation.
  • Put to other use – Try and change the place or purpose for which an object or a process is currently being used.
  • Eliminate – Try and remove, omit or get rid of a quantity, part or whole object from the situation and see how it happens.
  • Rearrange/Reduce/Reverse – Try and place attributes against each other, pit them opposite or contrary to, turn around; to change order or adjust, different plan, layout or scheme.

 

Think like a child

thinklikeachild The purpose of this technique is to look at the challenge through the eyes of a six year old child to get a different perspective of the problem.

Whilst, I understand that changing the perspective from an adult to the child itself can be challenging but believe me it can be a fun.  In order to try and generate ideas using this technique, make your mind set similar to that of a child by thinking of a children you know and you can anticipate the reaction of.

Try and see the situation through their eyes and feel what they would like about the situation, what they would be proud of, what they would dislike, feel funny or useful about and note down the reactions. 

Consider the simple example of a muddy puddle. When we adults see it, we try and step over or step around it.  We imagine muddy shoes, dirty clothes and filthy carpets at home if we step into the puddle.  However, if you ask the same to kids, they would call it fun and imagine to build bridges and dams to cross it !!

 

The following post is not my creation, I found it on http://www.psychologytoday.com/ and found it very very interesting and worth sharing with you all here again. 

All credit goes to the author on the blog on the above site !

The image is courtesy of http://la-la-land.aminus3.com/image/2007-07-29.html

 


 

#1 Have a reason. "Prisons are filled with bad liars," says psychologist Charles Ford, author of the book Lies! Lies! Lies!. "The good liars are out running HMOs." So what’s the big difference? Basically, says Ford, the trick is to lie as little as possible – only when you actually have something to gain. "Pathological liars can’t stop themselves from lying, so they tell a lot of little lies and wind up getting caught," he says. Truly expert fabricators, on the other hand, save their ammunition – they don’t bother to lie unless it’s going to get them something they really want.

#2 Lay your groundwork. Don’t wait until you’re under the interrogation lamp to start putting your story together. A 1990 study by psychologist Bill Flanagan showed that liars who had worked out the details of their stories beforehand had significantly more success than those who hadn’t. As in everything, practice makes perfect. "It’s easier to catch someone in lie the first time they tell it," says psychologist Dr. Cynthia Cohen

#3 Tell the truth, misleadingly. The hardest lies to catch are those which aren’t actually lies. You’re telling the truth, but in a way that leaves a false impression. Technically, it’s only a prevarication – about half a sin. A 1990 study of pathological liars in New York City found that those who could avoid follow-up questions were significantly more successful at their deceptions.

#4 Know your target. Good liars have the same gift as good communicators: the ability to get inside the listener’s head. Empathy not only clues you in to what your subject wants to hear, it will help you avoid stepping onto trip wires that will trigger their suspicions. "To make a credible lie, you need to take into account the perspective of your target," says Carolyn Saarni, co-editor of the book Lying and Deception in Everyday Life. "Know what they know. Be aware of their interests and activities so you can cover your tracks."

#5 Keep your facts straight. "One of the problems of successful lying is that it’s hard work," says psychologist Michael Lewis. "You have to be very consistent in doing it." That means nailing down the details. Write down notes if you have to. "One of the things that trips people up is that they give different information to different people, who then start talking about it and comparing notes," says Dr. Gini Graham Scott, author of The Truth About Lying.

#6 Stay focused. "When I’m trying to catch a liar, I watch to see how committed they are to what they’re telling me," says Sgt. John Yarbrough, interrogation expert with the LA Sheriff Department’s homicide bureau. "If I accuse someone of lying, and they’re not very committed to the statement they just made, a red flag goes up." One of the reasons most people make bad liars is that they find lying a deeply unpleasant activity. Fear and guilt are evident in their facial expressions. They want to get the process over as quickly as possible, so they show relief when their interrogator changes the topic. That’s a dead giveaway. Really good liars, on the other hand, actually enjoy the process of deceiving other people. "The best liars don’t show any shame or remorse because they don’t feel it," says Cohen. "They get a thrill out of actively misleading others. They’re good at it, and they enjoy the challenge."

#7: Watch your signals. It’s folk wisdom that people fidget, touch their noses, stutter, and break eye contact when they lie – the proverbial "shifty-eyed" look. But research has shown that just isn’t so. In his 1999 study of high school students, Feldman found that nonverbal signals were crucial in determining who got away with telling lies. "The successful kinds were better at controlling their nonverbal signals, things like the the amount of eye contact and how much they gestured," he says.

#8: Turn up the pressure. If your target has clearly become suspicious, it’s time to raise the emotional stakes. "The best liars are natural manipulators," says Sgt. Yarbrough. He cites as a perfect example the scene in Basic Instinct where Sharon Stone is brought to the cop station for questioning and winds up flashing everyone a glimpse of her Lesser Antilles. "She was turning them on," Yarbrough explains, "and that’s a form of manipulation – using sexual or emotional arousal to distract the interviewer."

#9: Counterattack. The fact is, just as most of us are uncomfortable telling lies, most are uncomfortable accusing others. This discomfort can be used in the liar’s favor. "You’ll often see politicians respond to accusations with aggression," says Stan Walters, author of The Truth About Lying: Everyday Techniques for Dealing with Deception. "What they’ll do is drive critics away from the issue, so they’re forced to gather up their resources to fight another scrimmage."

#10: Bargain. Even when the jig is up, liars can often escape the worst by using a process psychologists call bargaining. "You want to soften, alleviate, or totally eliminate feelings of responsibility for the lie," explains researcher Mary DePalma. "If you can decrease responsibility for blame and the anger that goes with it, you’re really looking at a much better outcome."

This is something I have been thinking for a while during this festival season.  Really, what do you think ? How social are today’s festivals ?

diwali_lamps I remember the days when I was a kid and the way we used to celebrate the festivals. Every festival, be it a Sankranti, Holi, Ganesh Chathuthi, Durga puj, Dussehra or Diwali.  It was always a fun with the family and friends where all of us used to really make an effort to ensure we meet and wish each other in person.  In case it was not possible to meet in person, we actually did try and ensure we at least spoke with them on phone. 

I really miss the days when we, as young kids, with the group of friends used to celebrate each festival with so much joy, passion and happiness. Somehow, I feel that the feeling is lost really !  Do you also feel the same ?

In today’s world, although we claim that the technology has brought the world closer and distances are shorter, unfortunately, I sincerely feel that it has distanced the friends and families. Although the convenience of technology helps us reach hundreds of people across the world in one message, it has made it very hard for us to walk down the aisle and greet our neighbor on this festival.

I feel sad and nostalgic when I remember the good old days when we still had the urge to personally reach out to each other just to say hello.  Today, a simple anonymous Facebook status update, or a tweet makes us feel our job is done.  To put this in cruel way, it feels like putting your wishes on the table and asking people whoever wants to take it, please accept, otherwise don’t care.  Also, there are so many people who ‘show’ you care by wishing you via email in BCC. I wrote about how I feel about them in a quick article last year too.

I am, honestly, not sure about the reasons behind the change in the behavior of individuals over the year, but really can’t help to think and put my thoughts on this topic here.

What are your views on this ?  How much social are today’s festivals really ?