Saturday, May 24, 2008

Choice - Wildflowers Vs Ulcers

Was it Gandhiji who wrote - My experiments with truth!

Well...what an apt title for my new book or short story or essay.... oh heck... just a small write up ...but like all good things its already good ol' GJi

I notice that whenever I am in a new situation, the urge to ape someone else whom I may have seen in a similar spot takes over. So hypothetically speaking- Say I am in conversation with someone in my team. And we have a disagreement on an issue, what are our options.... (1) I recall my first boss five years ago and step into her shoes and then I yell on top my lungs coz I am the boss and get my way (2) I behave like yet another boss and don't even bother about the disagreement and let it go ... coz I don't bother either way. (3) My ego kicks in and I behave exactly like a ***ch that female bosses are anyway made out to be and get my way.

And then there was the last option... (4) to be just me.

Its a scary decision but I was glad I took it. I realise that if you don't work with your team and just like playing boss coz you happen to be, your team will align themselves to that. But if you can shed that picture that bosses don't make mistakes, well... its a lot of fun. Everybody learns together. I also think that you don't really have to be the mystery boss who doesn't share the reason behind their decisions. Its a good thing to share the logic with your team, who knows they might after all come up with a better alternative. I am proud of myself, particularly when I realise that I can handle situational feelings ... anger, frustration, even extreme happiness. Patience is a good thing. Destructive ego - very bad. Keep it in check and you'd steer clear of half the miseries.

The people I work with teach me a lot about myself. They give feedback - verbal, non-verbal.

I recently attended a meeting with a very senior manager at a firm. Ten minutes into the meeting, I realised that I was sitting with all my muscles taut. And I asked myself, what about this person in front of you is making you tense. And suddenly, that changed. It was silly but his designation was scaring me and I could see the other people respond similarly. They were all super attentive and very tense too. I sat back in my chair and just treated him at a human level then on. Funny how designations can elevate people in other peoples minds. I could concentrate more on what I had to say and thattt! I couldn't afford to mess up!

At yet another place I was dealing with an old gentleman from the fauji background. Being from a similar background, I always feel at home with such people. They are the best people to be on a negotiating table with. They have patience. They mostly look at your face when they talk. They treat you like a lady. They usually aren't shrewd. So, here's another insight, for some reason of my own, since I feel comfortable with these people, I automatically am less guarded with them, which means that there is more trust which further means that I bring positive energy to the negotiating table. And the other side can always sense positivity and its usually contagious. So maybe I should practice trusting my opponent a little and see where it goes. hmmmmmmmmmmm.

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