Be humble in victory, Graceful in defeat….Be a sport….

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 Football World cup 2018 is on and West Germany, the No 1 ranking football team of the world has been eliminated in the initial round having lost to Mexico (ranked No 15) and South Korea (ranked No 57). Iceland, smallest nation to qualify in the World cup, and Switzerland holding their mighty opponents Argentina and Brazil to one all draw in their respective games are the other major upsets. There have been many games where the winner has been decided in the very last minute. This clearly indicates that the ranking you enjoy doesn’t matter in the game, what matters is how much you have progressed, the hard work/ preparation and the ‘Never Give up’ attitude. The opponent’s history and ranking should not bother you, what matters is your belief in your own skill. The match is not over till the final whistle has been blown, a goal can be scored in the very last second and the entire narrative changes. 

Every team, irrespective of the ranking they enjoy, is stepping out on the field with the will to win. This is what life is exactly all about. People with a ‘never say die attitude’, always willing to learn, improve their skills and work hard are bound to be the winners. Once you enter the field, do not bother about the reputation of opponents, enter with a fresh mind and belief in your own skills and you will succeed. Yes, do not forget to carry out a detailed study of the skills and abilities of the opponents; this will certainly help you in preparing well. Learn from them, use their strength and weakness to your advantage. Do not ever let the past victories go to your head or make you complacent. Every game is a new game, every team is there to win. Do not ever take any opponent lightly. 

Another big takeaway from the World cup results thus far has been the sportsman spirit on display. Aptly described in Wikipedia, Sportsman spirit is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or an activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors. One got to be a ‘good sport’ meaning accepting victory with humility and being graceful in defeat. This is so true in life as such. If the victories get to your head or you keep brooding over the losses for too long you are bound to fail in the long run. 

“To succeed in life be a ‘good player’; Humble in victory, graceful in defeat (failure), learning from every experience and moving on” 

“It’s the team which matters, individuals should work to make the team strong; When ‘Me’ becomes ‘Us’ success is bound to follow”

Developing and sustaining Relationships…

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Friendship is the only relationship a person selects as per his / her choice. All other relationships are based on birth and marriage. Relations like Parent- child, Uncle, aunts are all based on birth and are beyond the realms of choice. Relationships in Indian sub-continent, whether by birth or choice, have generally all lasted the test of time, however, cases of strained relations in marriage are on the rise now. 

What makes a relation sustain? Is it love, respect (family or self), trust, or peer and family pressure. All are very valid reasons, however, in my view two main factors that bind any relationship are love and respect. Love is the bedrock of any relation, irrespective of whether it is by birth or by choice. The main factor which bonds two people in a relationship / friend is love. Though, it is argued that a boy and a girl cannot be ‘just’ friends. The use of word ‘just’, in friendship , itself is wrong. Friendship between two persons should not need any justification or scrutiny. In fact, use of the word ‘just’ to justify a relationship, itself raises doubts on the nature of relation. The main reason two person would like to be in each other’s company is love. Whether this love is for the hobbies, habits, subjects is a matter of choice. It is not just love for each other but also love / liking for common things which may act as a source of attraction between two people. Love, one of the most sacred words used to describe a relation is one of the most misunderstood today. 

The important aspects of love are commitment & nurturing without which it is just infatuation and will wither down in no time. Even in the 21st century India, the society does not accept that a boy and a girl can be only friends, they may have no intent of marrying each other nor have a sexual relation. Even if they have a sexual relation…… so what? Is the love between parent- child, between siblings different from the one, between two friends of opposite sex? Love cannot be defined differently depending on situations and the personalities involved. It is same in every relation, only difference being that love between two persons related by blood develops naturally due to strong sense of belonging and responsibility, whereas in case of two strangers it develops slowly as they meet and understand each other and develop liking for each other’s traits, habits etc. Having a great friend from opposite sex, at whatever age, is an amazing experience. You got to have one, to understand this. 

Respect is another reason which bind two persons together and is responsible for the longevity of a relation. Respect, for each other’s values, views, likes and dislikes, habits, emotions, friends, relatives all goes towards making a relation strong. One of the main reasons which makes marriages last in India is the respect husband and wife have for each other and their respective relatives. Respect for each other’s values is a must .Each one of us , is generally , brought up differently and probably may have a different way of doing a thing and have diverse beliefs. These differences have to be understood and respected by the partners. I am a Hindu from Uttar Pradesh whereas my wife comes from a staunch Sikh family of Punjab. Both, naturally, have been brought up in different environments. We met by chance, developed a liking for each other and married with the blessings of our parents but what has kept us together, despite our different upbringing and habits is the love and respect not just for each other but also for the values our parents have imbibed in us. 

After love and respect comes understanding of each other. This includes understanding of views, requirements, priorities in life. Maturity and understanding are two interdependent factors which have a long-term effect on any relation. If one is mature enough, he / she will understand the issue well and deal with it in a balanced manner or it can be also said , if one understands then any issue can be handled in a mature manner. Maturity is not as much dependent on age as it is on experience and off course the type of experience; good or bad. 

Trust is another factor which is vital for success of any relation be it friendship, siblings or marriage. Lack of trust can mar any relation in no time .Trust is built over a period of time and can help overcome any obstacle which may threaten a relation .Transparency in activities is what trust is based on . The actions over a period of time build or breaches trust. 

Space , yes I mean space, is a must in any relation . Even a husband and wife require some independent space, at times; Space for work , friends and may be relatives. Space , at crucial juncture , also helps in healing hurts and setting the perceived wrongs, right . 

Communication, is another factor which binds two people together. As long as smooth communication exists between two person, the relation cannot be easily affected by smooth talks of anyone else and any issues or problems can be easily resolved. 

Another factor, which keeps a relation going is the willingness on the part of partners to sustain the relation. Each individual has a different emotional and intelligence threshold and accordingly his / her understanding of a perceived problem differs. What also affects this threshold, is the environment, both present and the one the individual has been brought up in. During our growing years we observe our parents and elders doing a thing in a particular way, and that becomes the only way of doing that thing, for us.  Any variation, even if logical, is initially resisted and may lead to heart burns / arguments. This is where time ‘space’ and communication matters most in a relation. Take your time and if required maintain space but don’t forget to keep the communication alive, in whatever way. It’s a matter of time, and one will get to a right solution. Fortunately, Indians have patience and willingness to sustain a relation, in abundance. I remember, as a child once telling my mother not to maintain relation with one of our relatives because of his continuous ability to cause problems for us(my perception) but my mother just said, Breaking anything, even a relation is not difficult but what is difficult is building, maintaining and sustaining a relation. Hiccups, differences of perception and thoughts will be there in any relation, what matters in life is the ability of understanding the difference and finding the solution. Isn’t Human Resource management, more about this and less about evaluations and dismissals. Indian culture and traditions have stood the test of time based on our strong family values and bonding. Family bonding is seen in all our relations including professional. When even in professional field we do not dismiss employees easily  (this may not be true in some new corporate/business houses) , how can relations break easily. Whereas if u see, some western cultures have a system of hire and fire and this can be seen not just in professional life but also in personal relations, where even institution of marriage has no value, you get married one day and divorce the next day…heights of Hire and fire concept. 

Listening is also an ability, most of us lack. If we can listen to each other with patience half the problems won’t arise in life. Even if some problems do arise, these can be resolved by effective communication and listening. 

These are some of the factors, which if adhered to, help in making a relation healthy and prosperous. In part 2 of the article I will deal with some of the factors which, if not taken care of, are capable in harming a relation ,at times irretrievably. 

“A happy marriage perhaps represents the ideal of human relationships A setting in which each partner, while acknowledging the need of other, feels free to what be what he or she by nature is……A relationship in which instinct as well as intellect can find expression , in which giving and taking are equal, in which each accepts the other and I confronts thou”         

                                                                                                                    Anthony Starr                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

                                                                                                             

 

Understanding Human Relations…..

 

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“Understanding is key. People can find the strength to carry on simply knowing that there is someone out there that understands them unconditionally”                                                                                                                                                 Daisaku Ikeda


Developing , understanding and maintaining relationship is as important a factor in the success of an organisation as it is for the professional and personal growth of an individual. Any organisat
ion is like a family and just as the relationships or bonding in a family reflects the happiness quotient ,  good relations between members of  the organisation will ensure its growth. Any organisation which fails to understand and take care of the physical , psychological, spiritual and emotional needs of its members will find the move on path to success very difficult.  Relation between organisation (management) and employees is not just of work and salaries , it is much more than that. 

Relations based on appointments or seniority may not last for long .To be long lasting the relations have to be based on understanding , beliefs and mutual respect. Bonding between a senior and a junior may be difficult to develop and sustain but between an elder and a younger based on mutual respect , beliefs and faith is easier to develop and is normally long lasting. However , the younger in any relation should always cater for the space for age , experience , responsibility and maturity. 

Interpersonal relations / bonding in any organisation has a direct bearing on the productivity /outcome. Management and employees, both have to understand each other’s constraints, needs / necessities / requirements and emotions . Understanding human behaviour also helps in conflict resolutions , if any. It helps to understand/ analyse the reason for conflict between two individuals / group. 

Management has to cater for the physical needs like the working environment / comfort , safety and physiological requirement of the employees like breaks / food arrangements and medical needs to keep them well motivated. The organisation which reaches out beyond and caters for the welfare of the families of the employee will always achieve better results. An employee assured of the safety , security , well being of his family including good education for children will give his best in the profession. 

Management should always work towards empowering the employee by way of continuous refresher training , keeping him abreast with the latest technological changes , involving him in decision making at the required level. An employee should also understand the need for personal and professional growth .A sense of belonging and the feeling that he / she is wanted in the organisation will go a long way in increasing the motivation level. Fostering of team spirit is vital for achieving the end result helps in enhancing the sense of belonging. 

Each member of the team has to have trust in each other’s abilities and intent. Trust is built over a period of time based on successive actions and responses/ reactions of individuals in varied environments / conditions. 

Promotion and incentives at regular period, based on capabilities and without discrimination or favours will develop faith of the employee in the management motivate him to work selflessly. 

Spiritual needs of the employee , also have to be well understood and respected by the management. Discrimination on grounds of religion , caste and community cannot be tolerated. The beliefs and values systems of the workers must be respected but at the same time the employee should not allow the religious needs and values to interfere in the work . 

Management should be able to empathise with the employees. Team members do not look for sympathy but for empathy and understanding of their problems and provision of workable solution. To achieve empathy the people in management have to understand/experience the working conditions of the team . 

To achieve success ,in any field / task ,a strong bond between the management and workers or better put ; between team members, based on mutual trust , respect , beliefs is an absolute must. The advent and extensive usage of technology that voice mails , video conferencing may save time my help you in working from the comfort of your chosen office space / home but to understand human relations and to bond better your feet should be on the move ( when required )and the mind should always be ticking. Nothing can bond a team better than personal touch , understanding and empathy for each other. And lastly business /or production is not just dependent on the production team but it also depends on the understanding of need, desires of the client /consumer.          

          If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of  human relationships – the ability of all people, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.”

                                                                                  Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Respond or React ……It’s your choice…. 

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Respond , not react, to any situation calmly , that is what every Guru (Teacher) tells. We all know the basic difference Reaction and Response. Reaction being more of an impulsive action (theoretically speaking) taken without much thought in a given situation and Response being a more logical , rational / calm action taken in a similar situation.

When we all are aware of the differences and the apparent advantages and disadvantages then why do we still react under some situations if not all?? The second logical question which arises is that should all actions taken without much apparent thought be termed as reaction or to put in simple words can’t a snap action be termed as response ?

My experience has been that we generally react when we are dealing with a junior (or our child ) or a person we consider / perceive is weaker than us, someone we have nothing to fear from or someone we think will not react back. Whereas we respond very calmly while dealing with our seniors ( the boss) or people in power or someone we perceive is stronger than us. Someone who can cause harm to us physically or can harm our career prospects . We often come across people in our professional life who very forcefully state that they don’t take nonsense and blow their top at the smallest reason on the juniors but their behaviour is dramatically totally opposite in front of their seniors or people more powerful than them. In short , our angry reactions are generally reserved for the juniors or the weaker. I always narrate this example to the youngsters in the organisation to explain response and reaction. If my boss comes to my home and accidentally drops and breaks a glass, the action I take thereafter will fall in the realms of response ( I will be very polite and get the place cleaned and offer another glass to the boss) whereas if my child drops and breaks the same glass my follow up action may be totally opposite and termed as reaction . I may give her my piece of mind , a lesson on her absent mindedness and carelessness may follow. A different reaction or response to the same loss.

Our reaction and response also depends on the situation and the place. In most cases when we think we have something to lose we may respond calmly and diffuse the situation / resolve the issue whereas at a different place our reaction may be ‘louder’.

The best example of Response vs Reaction can be seen on social networking site where some people choose to react in whatever way they want because of their perceived notion of immunity since they are hidden behind a fake name / identity and their face is not on screen. Then there are others who just choose to stay quite and ignore .

Our experience may also help in invoking good responses even in snap situations. Since we have already been through a similar situation before hence we may not take much time in giving an adequate and appropriate response. This is so true for juniors , they get so used to the behaviour pattern/ reactions of their team leader that they develop auto response system.

People in the Defence ( Defense ) / Police services do feel that at times situations develop so fast that they have no option other than reacting fastest with whatever they have , to control it. Well I will term that reaction as Response because the Defence officers have a progressive and tough training regimen. They practice dealing with every possible war like situation, which can be visualised , during the training . It is this training which empowers them to make quick mental appreciation of a developing situation and helps in responding in a very fast time frame. (Some may say – in a fraction of a second). Same will be true for any professional, provided a constant endeavour is made to upgrade skills and gain knowledge.

Response is what is needed. “With so much of stress already in the environment, why add to it with our unreasonable reactions. Response is to a situation irrespective of who all our involved in it”.

“It should not matter whether the glass was broken by the Boss or the child , the action to resolve the issue should be same”.