Visualization – a useful technique to prepare


424792-matthew-haydenSome of the greatest professionals (in any field) have always underlined the importance of preparation. How thinking about their work in advance helped them get in the right frame of mind and state of readiness. And one of the key techniques that many of them leveraged more often, was of Visualization. Cricket followers would recall the familiar sight of Australian legend Matthew Hayden sitting barefoot on the Wicket a day prior to the game (in the pic) and visualize the environment, the proceedings, the match, his game, his shots, his vulnerabilities. Rahul Dravid, the India cricketing great, was known to think and visualize his game in depth as he prepared for a batting stint in the middle. Many sports personalities (Golfers, Tennis players etc.) have over the years resorted to this method, to get “in the zone”.

So, what is Visualization?

It is the process of “proactively” creating a mental image of an impending activity or state – in which a player plays out the actual moment in its entirety in their mind. This helps them get into the “zone” of the game in advance and cut out surprises that may occur on the day of the game. Mind and body is warmed up to the climate of high intensity and once the reality kicks in, the readiness is heightened.

Importance of “proactive” is enormous. It helps the player to think about all eventualities in advance, thus figuring out a game plan for tackling the same. It helps is bringing a lot of composure to one’s approach, thus a healthier way to approach a rigorous task at hand.

Experts have long underlined the importance of Visualization as a method to create positive thinking. A lot of this is by thinking about the end state of success – How the world will be when we finally arrive there? How wonderful and energizing will that state be? And try and leverage that energy in influencing the process of achieving that goal.

Over the years, this practice has evolved and has been used by many practitioners in thinking about the process (to the end state) too – visualizing every step of the process, minutely detailed play out of actions, surroundings, mindset, climate etc. Aakash Chopra (Former Indian Cricketer) writes about it in this useful article about Visualization.

Is this applicable in business/organizations?

Absolutely. For any professional situation that has a lot at stake, one can leverage this. I have been leveraging Visualization (for some years now) to get myself psyched up before an important professional event – Presentation, Training, Facilitation, Conversation, Talk, Interview etc. Some of the key points that I have learnt over the years w.r.to Visualization are:

  1. Quiet moment with self: It is my moment of quietude with myself. In these times of myriad distractions, this is that sanctum sanctorum that helps me think, plan, visualize and get comfortable.  It works best if I can sit quietly and let the impending event play out fully – reaching the venue, getting settled, the start, the advocacy, the enquiry, the moments of vulnerability/disequilibrium, the silence, the dialogue, the climate etc. The vividness of the image helps me to get in to the moment better. It also, helps proactively realize elements that need a bit more preparation, fine tuning or work.
  2. Focus on both Result & the process: As much as visualizing the desired end state creates a positive energy, it’s important to visualize the process as well. It’s the imagery of the pauses I take between two pertinent points for the receiver to process the information, or the intent I demonstrate when listening to a counter opinion or alternate POV or the willingness to accept and acknowledge a feedback / suggestion from the audience – these intricacies go a long way to eradicate the nervous energy from my system and get ready for the moment. It helps me immensely to bring in Authenticity to my presence and performance.
  3. Getting used to the environment: Environment is essential. Where is the venue, how is the set up, who will be there, how am I going to be placed, whats the climate going to be like in the venue, etc. are some of the important ingredients to imagine & visualize to “be there” fully.  While in majority of the occasions I am aware of the physical environment (as these are meetings or gatherings in the office), there are times when I am not. However, that doesn’t stop me from visualizing a fictitious environment, stage and set up (from my past experience). This helps. I haven’t had many occasions when my visual has been too deviated from the actual setting. This is one of the most important part of the process, as this helps me get that “been there, done that” feeling on the big day.
  4. Breathe: Moments with a lot at stake, do have an impact on our physical, mental and physiological self. It’s these moments that architect and define our career & success paths. They are, what I call the “Clutch” moments. Our state of mind defines our approach. A calmer approach and presence goes a long way in negotiating the moment and bringing out the best in me. Visualization helps me be aware of this fact, and builds in the act of deep breathing in the overall visual. This awareness goes a long way in the way I become “comfortable” in a “Clutch” moment.
  5. Handling Disappointments: Not every clutch moment or meeting or presentation is a success. Several times, in spite of all the prep and practice, things do go southwards. It’s here I have found the real value of visualization. I have actively visualized failure – My ideas being rejected, proposals being trashed, thoughts being opposed or challenged vehemently, push backs. These have helped me in two ways:
    1. To prepare better / more to counter them – That helps with more ammunition in my arsenal.
    2. To prepare being more balanced & authentic in the moment of failure/rejection – This is a sentimental & emotional moment. And visualization helps me play out the philosophy of “its my idea that’s rejected, not me”. I am less defensive, more open to feedback, suggestions and the art of “inquiry” to explore alternate POVs. Afterall, I would have played out this part intricately the day before and I am ready.

These are interesting times. Majority of our time goes in influencing others with our thoughts, ideas, POVs. Yet, the least amount of time is spent in preparing for the same. I see professionals ill-prepared for such “clutch” moments solely relying on their reactive instincts to come good at the right moment. A few people land it well – they are the geniuses. For the rest, it helps to do a little more. Visualization can do wonders, to “get in the zone” and hit the ball out of the park.

Does your feedback get rejected? Look at your mental model…


feedback-at-work_650

Recently I was speaking to a leader and discussing her feedback style. She was highly self-critical as she reflected on the same. Off late, she had been getting into too many conflict situations amounting to her feedback being rejected. As we spoke, we went over a few instances and she replayed the mental video tapes of those.

While listening I noted that she used expressions like “you were rude”, “what’s wrong with you”, “you need be show more technical depth”, “you never talk on calls”, “You have been a poor role model of being punctual to meetings” etc.… to surface all that was wrong. What followed these expressions were a bunch of refutations or negations, from the other end, as the recipients expressed their vehement disagreements. Majority of these conversations weren’t leading to any constructive result and ended adding to the increasingly deteriorating team dynamics and diminishing leadership credibility woes.

Present state:

As we sat reflecting over this situation at hand, I scribbled a diagram (being the visual person I am) on the board to depict the visual depiction of the conversation.

Feedback From

The diagram showed that the information flow was between A (feedback giver) to B (recipient), with A identifying B as the issue – the overt use of the term “you” in the above statements. While from A’s Point of view, she has expressed her displeasure clearly, from B’s point of view, what’s coming is a barrage of personal attacks. And true to human psyche when there’s an attack there needs to be a defense. Thus, the refutations and negations.

Couple of things happen here:

  1. This mental model, certainly doesn’t create a safe climate of reflecting over a developmental opportunity and operates one the foundation of A trying let their steam off on B (B is the issue).
  2. Backward focused, almost with the objective of putting the blame on the table and circling around that

Proposed Future state:

As we discussed more on how we can approach it differently and make the environment safe, I made a slight change to the above diagram by adding a third circle C.

Feedbact to

The diagram shows a third circle – the Issue. So in this state both A and B stand together on one side of the table and look at the issue with the same lens. So instead of a statement like “You have been a poor role model of being punctual…” it may sound like “last 4 meetings/calls there was a delay in your joining in. How can we ensure you are there on time?”.

Couple of things happen:

  1. This mental model clearly operates on the principle of a safe environment and respect – nothing wrong with B, however there is a situation at hand which needs attention (Issue)
  2. Forward looking – putting the issue on the table and figuring out a solution to overcome the same
  3. The high respect allows both individuals to listen more, thereby resulting in a constructive confrontation

Majority of the feedback that happens, isn’t one as there isn’t anything being fed. Most of the time the “giver” ends up expressing their dissatisfaction or anger (thinking they are delivering a feedback). A slight shift in the mental model and preparing the right language that separates issue from the person, can go a long way in boosting an inspiring culture of learning, listening and being respectful.

 

#Leadership by Fred Kofman


#Leadership

Fred Kofman is co-founder and president of Axialent, a consulting company devoted t helping organizations succeed through effectiveness, solidarity and integrity. Fed holds a doctorate in economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

He is author of “Conscious Business” – How to Build Vale Through Values , one the most Influential books That I have read in the Subject of #Leadership.

I have been fortunate to partner with Axialent in one of the deepest Organization Culture Transformation work adopting the “Conscious Business” philosophy, and certainly recommend this a remarkable for building Leadership Effectiveness, living Organization Values and Building a strong Cultural foundation.

Fielding – Is it physical or mental?


As hockey great Wayne Gretzky explains, ‘It ain’t where the puck is, it’s where the puck will be”, a quote widely used in many contexts, most recently used by Steve Ballmer in the context of Organizational Agility w.r.to the ever so dynamic macro-economic landscape. I do not intend to explore such deep waters, as I surely do not possess any safety gear to tame those turbulent tides. I would much rather stick to the wading pool of Cricket which seems to be a safer playground for me. However, in doing so I wanted to bring up a point that off late has been occupying my idle head while watching our Indian players pitted alongside their foreign counterparts i.e. Fielding.

Lets look at couple of cases in point:

It was in one of the games in the IPL I saw a ball being hit in the air towards third man. The fielder on the third man boundary watched the shot being played and then started running towards the ball (taking a start on his heel), and quite predictably the ball dropped a few feet ahead of him. He dived on the ball and did make a valiant stop, and got generous applause from his skipper – Ganguly, but a slightly dejected look from his bowler Wayne Parnell. The commentators too acknowledged the effort made and intent showed etc etc.

Couple of overs later a similar turn of events, and this time Steven Smith the fielder dashed in from a similar spot on the boundary and took the catch by sitting underneath the ball, in the end a very comfortable and clean effort. In the second case, Smith wasn’t on his heels, he was on his toes, and when the ball was delivered on a certain length he started taking a start – which is a sort of quick jump on the spot after which he could start running in whichever direction the ball was played. By the time the shot was played Smith was already running forward, and when the ball started dipping, he had comfortable slid and positioned himself underneath to write the batsman’s obituary.

What happened differently in the second case:

  1. The fielder was watching the batsman intently
  2. He also knew all possible angles the ball would come to him and was trying to cover all the angles
  3. Anticipation – Wanting the ball to come to him
  4. Proactive effort – that gave extra time to get to the ball and effect a dismissal

So, as it turns out, its much more than just watching a ball coming your way and reacting. I guess, the game has shifted from being a Reactive effort to being a Proactive initiative. And shift, that involves a lot of observation, anticipation, focus, planning and execution – all in a spur of a moment. Of course, fitness, agility and sheer athleticism notwithstanding!

Jonty Rhodes once said “At point, anticipation is important. And you need to expect every ball to come your way. I liked to read the batsman’s body language, because from point you can’t watch the ball out of the bowler’s hand at 140kph. So I like to watch the batsman for cues – if he’s driving, the ball may still come to me off the edge, or even if he is working the ball to midwicket, it could come off the leading edge. I’ve found that by cutting down the angle you give yourself an advantage. When you get closer the ball may come quicker to you, but I found that if I dived full-length I could generally reach every ball, as opposed to being five metres further back and letting the ball get past me. It’s a bit like a soccer goalkeeper defending a penalty.”

As I think about it more, I realize, how far we are. While we keep lamenting on the inferiority of our fielding (or that of the subcontinent), yet we do not realize why we lag behind compared to players from Aus, SA, Eng, NZ, Zim etc. Of course, as someone told me, Rugby has a hand to play in this. Rugby players start very early and they beat the fear of throwing themselves around much early. Of course, running hard yards and being agile and fit are ingredients almost synonymous to being a good rugby player, so those aspects become an integral element of an upcoming player’s composition.

Apart from absence of Rugby there are many derailers in the road to become world class fielders in India:

  1. The approach based out of fear – There is a belief in majority of younger cricketers that their fielding might cost them their place in the side. Hence, a lot of them do not want the ball to come to them while they are fielding. This is evident in slow movements and reactive efforts
  2. Hard grounds – Traditionally our moffussil grounds are either and pits or hard as hell made of hardened morrum (red) soil with very little grass. These grounds create fear of injury and affects the psyche of the young cricketer, who doesn’t learn to throw himself around
  3. Age-old drills – Fielding practice on Indian grounds are still limited to standing in a semi-circle and doing catching practice. In some limited units, they have started doing some energetic drills, but more or less still focused on just catching. There is very limited or no, training around – Anticipation, Movement, angles etc.
  4. Time spent on Fielding – Negligible. Coaches across the country tend to pay a lot fo attention on a player’s bowling or batting and rarely do they hone their skills around fielding. This is also because most of the coaching units are run by single ex-player who has expertise in one discipline – and Fielding was never considered to be a discipline in Indian Cricket (Traditionally this was the job of the ball boys on ground who were there to just collect the balls and return to the bowlers).
  5. Of course, the aloo paratha culture – that has scanty respect for agility and fitness. The sheer girth displayed by many young cricketers (in their twenties) in the recent IPL is testimony to the kind of fitness prevalent in the domestic cricket level. (its one odd case like Manoj tiwary who has a classic cricketer physique, and it isn’t a surprise that he does bring in a well-crafted profile of a complete cricketer)

This is a classic Adaptive challenge that has its share of mental blocks, cultural hurdles and dated beleifs that are holding us from breaking into that next level. We do have a crop of youngsters who definitely are more fit and agile than the generation that’s fading out, and we do see some outrageously supreme display of fielding exploits from time to time. But for it to become an integral part of most of the upcoming talents, a cultural habit, a loved discipline and a much sought after differentiator, our thinking and approach needs to shift.  The belief needs to be shifted, and that can happen only by making the youth experience what it means to be Agile, Proactive, display high anticipation and Cricketing Awareness.

This may result in few bloody noses, few dislocated knees…what the hell! we will be there – where the Puck will be !

Handling Terminations: When changing a career is a necessity


I have been reading a lot recently about layoffs in companies, to cut flab. And that set me into this process of introspection through putting myself in the shoes of the managers who have to do this challenging and tough job of asking an employee to search for a job elsewhere. After putting some thought I did realise that if done the right way this job of executing terminations can be less strenuous than what it appears to be now.

Being a firm believer in the importance of choosing the right words in all situations, I often find myself studying the impact of things I hear. I think about how the words make me feel. Then, I try to turn the situation around to where I capture an understanding of the person who said them and what they really meant. Not many people do this. Few invest the time and effort into studying words, even though how you use them dictates nearly everything about life, relationships and business.

When you reach the level of manager, executive or business owner, you really have to watch what you say and how you say it. You now have a group of people whose lifestyles depend on your business. They will always be on the alert for any sign of challenge in the business that could negatively impact them. You must learn to be crystal clear in your communications, yet use words that evoke the emotional impact you desire.

If you must tell your team about changes in the wind, always do so from their perspective. Let them hear the benefit to them of the change first. Then, get into the details once you know they’re in a positive frame of mind about it. If you begin talking about change from the company perspective first, it’s likely to set off emotional alarms. People will start wondering about how they fit into the new situation, possibly discussing it with someone sitting near them, and not listen intently to the balance of your message.

One of the most common situations top people find themselves in is where someone in the company hasn’t done their job well and needs to be removed from the payroll. They need to find employment elsewhere. That’s a nice way of saying they’re being fired. You would not likely come right out and tell someone they were being fired. The term fired can fire people up and take things to a confrontational mode before you even get the rest of your message across. Termination is another one of those emotionally negative terms. It brings to my mind something a gangster or other bad guy would say. Being terminated can deliver quite a shock to anyone’s system.

Both of those words can create a certain amount of stress in the person doing the terminating or firing as well. No one wants to be that bad guy, putting someone out on the street as you’ve seen in the movies or even on the news.

Ending someone’s employment can be even more stressful to the person doing it than it is to the person being let go. First of all, you know about it in advance where the recipient only finds out during your pronouncement. You may be the one making the decision. You have to choose the time and place for delivering the message. And sometimes, there’s an awkward waiting period before it’s the right time to do it. A waiting period after the decision is made allows time for certain fears to arise, if you let them. There’s a fear of confrontation. There’s a certain amount of guilt. And, in today’s times, a fear of saying just the wrong thing and ending up in a legal dispute about the situation.

Before you ever get to the point of telling someone they must find employment elsewhere, be certain you have documented their performance properly. If you’re in a position to do so, have you offered training for them to improve their skills? Have you counseled them to let them know they’re not performing up to par and offered advice or assistance? Do they have a goal or quota they must meet? Are they tracking their personal productivity toward the goal? If they’ve failed at any of the second-chances you’ve provided, don’t be guilty! They knew what was expected of them and they made their choices. Now, they get to handle the consequences of those choices.
Why do we, as managers, terminate? We have to terminate people for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons is if a person has blatantly broken any company policies. The breaking of company policies can often lead to ruining your reputation in the community, lowering the standards of the company, or even leading to decreased morale among the other people who work for you. You cannot allow someone who does those things to negatively influence your reputation or the other fine people working for you—the ones you want to keep.

Termination is also necessary if you have someone who is using unethical business practices. Lying to the public will ruin the growth of the company. Negatively impacting your company’s reputation steals opportunities from the rest of your team. The rule of thumb about this goes like this: If someone has a good experience with your company, they’re likely to tell three people about it. If they have a bad experience, they’ll share it with eleven. You just can’t risk bad PR if you want to keep your business stable and allow it room to grow.

So what are the guidelines to terminating when it does need to be done? First of all, don’t tell anybody else in the company, other than those who might prepare a final check or other paperwork, that you are going to terminate someone. Even then, only tell them when you need the paperwork done. Don’t tell them weeks in advance that the termination is coming. When others know, you often lose control of a situation that you may never have felt comfortable with in the first place.

When you are ready to terminate, it is best to do it prior to a company meeting, if you have them regularly. This is so after the dismissal you can inform your staff of the change and that you are there to continue leading them. Never knock the person you have just terminated. Never discuss the details of their termination with other staff members. Once the announcement is made, move onto more positive business to get their focus back on today’s business and their part in it.
Always terminate with their file in front of you. Refer to everything you’ve done for them (or the company has done). If at all possible, bring them to the point of admitting that they haven’t fulfilled the goals. They haven’t internalized the training. Or, that they haven’t met the standards they were given. Don’t let this go on and on. Simply tell them of the decision to make the change. Wish them the best of success with their “employment change” and get the necessary paperwork completed. Allow them to save face by leaving the premises at a somewhat normal time—at the mid-day lunch time or just before closing time. Terminations are never enjoyable and lengthy discussions aren’t necessary when handling a termination. Develop your own style, but keep in mind that they should be handled quickly and professionally.

Think carefully about the words you choose to use in discussing the termination. Here are just a few to consider as replacements for firing and termination : make a career adjustment, seek employment elsewhere, move on to another employment situation outside of our company, or no longer work for our company. These phrases are kinder and gentler, yet convey the message clearly. We’ve found their use to decrease the number of defensive confrontations encountered by employers who must end someone’s involvement with their company.

Consider making the study of the words you use in your everyday communications your hobby, even for a day. You’ll be amazed at how different things could turn out with just a few minor changes.

On a lighter note….world is full of exotic cuisines………….why eat your own words !!!!

Is Your Vocabulary Costing You Money?


This one is for all you sales people out there !!!!

When we give a presentation to a future client not only do our appearance, visual aids, and body language relay a message, but the words we use create pictures in their minds. When we hear a word, we often picture a symbol of what that word represents. We may even attach emotions to some of these words. For example, let’s consider the words, SPRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN, WINTER. Depending on your particular experience, each of those words can generate positive or negative emotions in you, right?

The same applies to the words you use in your contacts with customers. You don’t know in advance which words will generate positive feelings in your clients about you, your product and your company. That’s why people in selling must become extra sensitive to the use of words if they want to have successful careers or businesses.

One of the most commonly used words in sales is the term “contract.” What type of mental image does that term bring to your mind especially when you picture yourself as a consumer? For most of us, it’s negative. We have an image of fine print, legalities and being locked into something that requires legal action to get out of. For this reason, I recommend that salespeople stop using that term, unless your particular line of business requires it. Instead, use the terms paperwork, agreement or form. Think about each of those terms for a moment. Do they bring to mind threatening images? If they do, I’ll bet those images are a lot less threatening than those created by the term contract. Do yourself a favor and eliminate that term from your vocabulary. Use paperwork, agreement or form instead.

What about the words “cost” and “price?” What pictures do they bring to your mind? If you’re like me, I see my hard-earned cash leaving my pocket. Substitute the terms investment or amount in place of cost or price. When most people hear investment, they envision getting a return on their money which is something positive. Now, there are products for which the term investment would not be appropriate so let’s use the term amount for them. That word has been proven to be less threatening to most consumers than the terms cost and price.

The same idea goes for the next terms, “down payment” and “monthly payment.” Most people envision down payments as large deposits that lock them into many smaller monthly payments for a considerable time period. They may see themselves receiving bills and writing checks every month. Not too positive a picture, is it? Replace those phrases with these: initial investment or initial amount and monthly investment or monthly amount.

The next terms I’d recommend you change are “sell” and “sold.” Many salespeople will tell prospective customers about how many units of their product they have sold. Or, they’ll brag about having sold the same product to another customer. What are the mental images here? No one likes the idea of or the feeling derived from being sold anything. It sounds as if the customer didn’t really have much say in the matter. Replace sell or sold with helped them acquire or got them involved.

Another term I feel is over-used by salespeople is the term “deal.” What does this bring to mind? Something we’ve always wanted, but never found. Top salespeople never offer deals to their clients. They offer opportunities or get them involved in transactions.

The last, but definitely not the least important term I recommend you change is “sign”. Never again ask a customer to sign your agreement, form or paperwork. We’ve all had it drilled into us from early childhood never to sign anything without careful consideration, haven’t we? So, why would you want to create that emotion in anyone you were trying to get happily involved in your product or service? Instead of asking them to sign, ask them to approve, authorize, endorse or OK your paperwork, agreement or form.

Its so difficult to say a "Hello"


Employee Engagement !!! Wow..what a fancy term !!! What does it mean, Engaging with employees to develop better working relationships in today’s environment. And what it takes …well frankly nothing but an attitude of reaching out to people irrespective of their external traits like attire, looks, body odour, proficiency in Enlgish Language etc…. But are we adept to this philosophy….Quite frankly …to answer in short …NO.

Now, why am I writing this. Just for the background for this whining scribe, let me explain whats on my plate now and how much I abhor this work.

I have been entrusted with this mammoth so called Organizational Awakening project of creating Employee Engagement in this Calendar Year. And have been entrusted with the task of putting together a Blue Book (why do they call it that…why not White, or Red or Say Burgundy…how does it matter), for this. So here I am sitting on a Technologically faulty chair which is extremely comfortable to my posterior, and trying to tickle the remotest corners of my CPU (read Brain), to get this EUREKA idea of how to “Create” Employee Engagement. And I am irritatet, frustrated, exasperated to no end about it. You may ask why…of course you are entitled to ask that ….!!! Because, my common sense tickles me in the ribs as if to mock me and ask me, “Hey can you create employee engagement, isnt it supposed to be a given hygiene factor of Modern Corporate world?”. And am speechless. So its a battle of Organizational Requirement and my Conscience. Somewhere we have to meet and patch up.

But, come to think of it I am not angry with the system or people, but I am perplexed with the entire phenomenon, as to why should we drive such a fundamental thing which every people manager should do first before even opening their emails.

Lets see where I am coming from. I go to a wedding. Meet new people. Completely alien atmosphere. How do I get myself comfortable? Well, exchange pleasantries…Hello, Hi..How Are you ..the works. Then chat up w.r.to work, life, family et al. After some time, we find ourselves surrounded by at least a couple of known faces and before we can say Jack Robinson, we are at home, laughing gregariously and having a good time…in short…we have been accepted by the larger group. Typically thats a pattern.

So why should this mode be different in the corporate jungle. Why do we take so much time to say “Hello, Good Morning, How are you? How was yesterday? How was your weekend…what did you do?”. We are completely awestruck with Phirungs who do this so effortlessly but our culture or stiffness stops us short of doing the same towards our own colleagues. One person who is so jovial, caring, understanding, witty, and informal in Domestic Family life….undergoes a complete personality transformation when he / she is in the Work place. Then to say “Hello” he needs a calendar invite or a structures 1X1.

Sometimes I wonder have we forgotten the essence of the olden days when neighbours used to wake up and share a warm Hello with everyone in neighbourhood and the trend used to continue throughout the day. The local shopkeeper used to remember even the small occassions like birthdays in every house in the locality, the postman use to know everyone by name, the local ferrywalla used to know how to sell his wares, because he knew exactly what will work with each of the housewives in the locality…such was the society then. We never needed a formal invite to say “Hello, How do you do?”.

But today, the Gated Community has given us a secured and luxurious lifestyle but taken us away from our next door neighbours, We have emails, and the phallacy is we communicate with the person on the neighbouring desk in our using emails and IM or Con Calls, We have fully lit supermarkets in the neighbourhood and we are happy to go and pick out of many snazzy brands however impersonal the sales staff is…..and sadly all these have made us “PROFESSIONAL” which has been misinterpreted into being mechanical, unemotional, unempathetic, cold and formal. Today, we feel its too soft to smile at everyone in the office. Today we feel, asking someone about their well being can be misread as being too mild…..Where have we landed ourselves?

And so here I am ….making a Blue Book to spend some million dollars over a project whose main idea is to give certain tools to the managers to make their subordinates feel good and special so that they choose to spend more time in the org…so that the ever spiralling attrition numbers can be arrested…so that we can have a better employee satisfaction scores.

Might sound strange and awkward and a bit gawky amidst a serious organizational article…but what the heck …who cares …I think its time to draw a leaf out of the Tales of Munnabhai !!! Give your people a mental hug (Physical might border too thin on the boundaries of Sexual Harrassment), whenever they feel low….Ask them “What happenned….What Can I do For you” when they feel hassled…I think thats a much better method of making someone feel special rather than a blue book.

Cmon managers, open those firmly clasped arms, and exercise those stiff upper lips…the Cure of engagement is in your pocket…..spare me from the agony of writing a blue book !!!!