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Exploring the concept of Consciousness further, one may say that whereas a normal organization cares for Results alone, an organization steeped in Consciousnesswould provide an equal weight to all of its three ‘R’s – Results, Relationshipsand Righteousness – in its strategic and tactical thinking.

Results could be either of the financial kind, the market share kind, or a combination of the two.

Relationships would imply a positive working atmosphere where, besides harmonious relations, dissent is not suppressed; rather, it is encouraged. Following human values is an essential part of this attribute. So is respect and dignity towards people in general.  

Righteousness would encompass such features as concern for sustainability, giving back to the society and running operations not only within the ambit of law but beyond it, wherever possible. Being pro-active, when it comes to corporate governance; taking care of the rights of the minority shareholders; ensuring that principles of natural justice get followed; and, following values and ethics.

Yes, the precise definitions of each of these sets of attributes would vary depending not only upon the kind of business an organization is in, but also on the kind of business environment it operates in.   

If each of these three dimensions of conscious organizations is taken into consideration, organizations which are committed to achieving a higher level of Consciousness could consider doing a self-assessment by using the kind of representation shown below:

Here is a scheme which can enable an organization to rate itself against each of the attributes, on a scale of 1 (low) to 9 (high).

Conscious organizations which rate themselves very close to the (Relationships: 9, Results: 9, Righteousness: 9) position in the figure could pat themselves on the back and keep up the good work they are doing, inspiring other ones to follow suit.

The ones which are in the Aspirant (5, 5, 5) category are already on the right track and would do well to start firing at all the twelve cylinders and reach a higher level of Consciousness.

The majority of organizations we come across might fit into the Arsonist Achievers (9, 9, 1) slot. To them, both Results and Relationships count, though they could not care less when it comes to following the path of Righteousness. Such enterprises end up contributing to the kind of situation where we find that during 2020, for instance, humanity needed to be supported by the planetary resources which 1.7 Earths alone can provide. (https://www.footprintnetwork.org/2021/01/19/we-do-not-need-a-pandemic-to-movethedate)

The Bureaucratic ones (9, 1, 9) are bound in red tape, caring only for Relationships and Righteousness, with poor accountability for Results. Yes-persons rule. Sycophancy prevails. Service to the public goes for a toss.

Organizations in the Doomed category (9, 1, 1) prophesize caring only for Relationships, while neither producing Results nor caring for Righteousness. For example, some of the Bretton Woods and other institutions set up after the World War II now appear to be out of sync with the global realities.     

Then we run into some Hollow ones (1, 1, 9) which profess to care only for the path of Righteousness but in reality are shams, pampering only to the ego of a self-styled guru heading a sect. Internal working conditions are akin to labour camps. The pomp and show of serving humanity is often more of a public relations exercise. 

We also have the Preachy ones (1, 9, 9), which care two hoots about Relationships but keep delivering results while making it appear as if they are also on the path of Righteousness. Their bluff is easily called because this unique feat cannot be achieved unless Relationships are given due importance in the scheme of things. Many political outfits which we find are steering their countries away from the core tenets of democracy and turning these into a dictatorship would fall in this category. Political power surely comes their way, but at a great cost to the socio-economic fabric of the nation.  

Most of us dread dealing with the Fly-By-Night (1, 9, 1) kinds, where Results alone count. Long term survival is not the aim. Just keeping the head above the water remains the sole aim. Quite a few of enterprises – mostly in the tiny and small sector – would fall in this category, simply because they can neither afford the luxury of Relationships and Righteousness, nor do they consider it necessary to do so. Ponzi schemes and financial scams fall in this category.  

Then there are mafia organizations which are blissfully ignorant of any such niceties; these continue to chug along in an Unconscious manner. Our society shall surely be better off in their absence.

Within the three ‘R’s outlined here, there may appear to be a sort of gradation. To many of our embryonic start ups, it may appear that only when a certain stage of stability has been attained can the business imagine paying attention to Relations and Righteousness. But habits, once formed, die hard. Such organizations run the risk of getting caught in a conceptual warp, evolving into pure money spinning outfits, eventually landing either in the Fly-By-Night slot or in the Arsonist Achievers slot.

The Many Lenses of Viewing Consciousness

But this is merely one way of viewing the concept of Consciousness.

Over time, our scientists, philosophers, academicians, management honchos and spiritualists of all hues, sizes and shapes have attempted to define the same. Each of these is presents a unique perspective and is worthy of consideration.

The final choice, of course, rests on our leaders. It could be based either on the nature of activity of an organization or on the leaders’ strategic vision.

The pandemic plaguing humanity since 2020 has yet again awakened us to the urgency of uplifting our state of Collective Consciousness and getting an injection of Vitamin Consciousness.

Note: Inputs from Dominique Conterno and Esther Robles, co-founders of Consciousness Enterprises Network (https://www.consciousenterprises.net), are gratefully acknowledged.

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What kind of desires would be found on the bucket list of a CEO? Perhaps due recognition, more power and pelf, special privileges, a fat expense account, rapid growth, ESOPs, a loyal and committed team comprising persons who happen to be competent in areas where she herself may be weaker, executing her business plans more effectively and efficiently, and the like.

In general, the Happiness Quotient of any professional could possibly be defined as follows: 

 HQ = [ { FD (t) / AD (t) } * f (IR, IG)]

Where HQ is Happiness Quotient, FD (t) is the number of fulfilled desires at a given point in time, AD (t) represents the sum total of all her desires at the same point in time. The notation f (IR, IG) suggests that HQ is directly proportional to her Inner Resilience and the Inner Glow of satisfaction she feels when a job is well done. A happier CEO could often be spotted in the recreation room, perfecting her aim at throwing darts!

It also follows that one’s level of happiness could be improved upon merely by enlarging the scope of FD; or, by reducing the spread of AD.

The former is a Western proposition, leading to crass commercialism. A heavy dose of advertising and public relations keeps the inner fires of desires burning brighter with each passing year, making it the classic case of our chasing an elusive rainbow in a desert. Corporates keep stoking these embers of desire and we keep falling prey to the same at regular intervals.

The latter proposition happens to be an Eastern construct. By keeping a check on one’s desires, one can attain a state of happiness. This calls for an inner awakening and a realization that one needs to outgrow one’s sensual gratification and consciously shepherd oneself to use one’s intellect and restrict the spread of desires one has. Or, to focus on desires which are either aligned with the values of the organization or which happen to be our needs.

Western experts had originally recommended Command and Control as a means to generate wealth and had gone on to imply that stark materialism is the way to seek peace and happiness. However, the Eastern approach is based on an inward blossoming, an inner growth and development which holds an inner glow of success superior to sensual gratification of an external nature. By proactively adopting a Conscious Capitalism approach, several businesses have already recognized the truth that they have a greater purpose, much beyond delivering value to their own stakeholders.

Conscious businesses have trusting, authentic, innovative and caring cultures that make working there a source of both personal growth and professional fulfilment. They endeavour to create financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical and ecological wealth for all their stakeholders.

An inward blossoming

Bhagavad Gita gives us a clue to be happy, and also to create happier working places. Consider this verse:

यदा संहरते चायं कूर्मोऽङ्गानीव सर्वश: |
इन्द्रियाणीन्द्रियार्थेभ्यस्तस्य प्रज्ञा प्रतिष्ठिता ||2.58||

One who is able to withdraw the senses from their objects, just as a tortoise withdraws its limbs into its shell, is established in steady wisdom.

What is being recommended here is not a suppression of desires but a voluntary renunciation of those desires which take us on a path of sensuous gratification, sans a higher purpose in our life and career.

In fact, this takes us back to the idea of living in the present; also, a ‘We and Us’ approach to problem solving than an ‘I and Me’ one.

In Robin S. Sharma’s famous book ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’, Julian says that goals and dreams for the future are very essential elements in every truly successful life. But he advises never to put off happiness for the sake of achievement; never to put off the things that are important for your well-being and satisfaction to a later time. ‘Today is the day to live fully…..never put off living!’ he says.

Bhagavad Gita reinforces this message as follows:

रागद्वेषवियुक्तैस्तु विषयानिन्द्रियैश्चरन् |
आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति ||2.64||

But one who controls the mind, and is free from attachment and aversion, even while using the objects of the senses, attains peace.

A CEO who exercises self-control would eventually experience a sense of inner peace. She would patiently hear out a voice of dissent and use the feedback judiciously. She would see something positive happening and share it with others, without getting attached to it. She would smell a coup in the making and take appropriate steps to defuse the situation in an objective manner. She would praise in public but reprimand in private. She would taste either the sweetness of a resounding success or the sourness of a colossal failure but would neither become complacent nor reach a stage of despondence thereafter. She would sit back and redraw her business plans and put them in motion.

Some manifestations of Self-control

One manifestation of self-control would be the need to accord an equitable and honourable treatment to women at the work place. Just like a cashier who is caught with his hand in the till, often we find some powerful male executives wrecking the careers and lives of relatively vulnerable female team members. If this had indeed been the case, the recent #MeToo campaign would not have gained much currency.

Hormones are surely more powerful than hierarchy. But when such incidents happen and the managements decide to look the other way, or decide to be opaque about handling such issues, they end up causing severe damage to their brand equity.

On the contrary, when business houses like Tatas are majority-owned by trusts which do pioneering philanthropic work for the society, the money with them is truly held in trust, in the true spirit of detachment.

Consider this verse from the Bhagavad Gita:

विहाय कामान्य: सर्वान्पुमांश्चरति नि:स्पृह: |
निर्ममो निरहङ्कार: स शान्तिमधिगच्छति ||2.71||

That person, who gives up all material desires and lives free from a sense of greed, proprietorship, and egoism, attains perfect peace.

Creating happier working places

What with the advent of Industrial Revolution 4.0, many HR honchos these days can be found to be twiddling their thumbs, trying to figure out how to create happier working places even while maintaining a sense of discipline, decorum and decency. Happier people make organizations thrive and prosper.

Dr. Noelle Nelson, in her book ‘Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy’, explains how progressive employers try to understand the pain points of their employees and then try to address the same. One of the several examples she quotes is that of when Paul O’Neil who took over the reins of ALCOA in 1987, the world’s leading producer of aluminium; O’Neil announced that his sole priority was to increase worker safety. This came as a shock to the company’s directors. O’Neil understood, however, that safety was a major concern for his workers. Over the next 13 years, employee productivity soared as accident rates decreased from roughly one per week per plant to some plants going years without an accident. When O’Neil stepped away just over a decade later, ALCOA’s annual income had grown 500%!

Being happy is possible when one is at peace with oneself and others. Attaining a state of harmony is imperative. Managements need to enable this. They need to provide the necessary tools to their people so as to facilitate an inner sense of peace and happiness.

What makes Starbucks a good employer? Perhaps, one of the factors which contributes towards its people being happy is the kind of training they receive to handle angry and unreasonable customers. This takes the negativity away from a potentially stressful situation, leaving space for a sense of peace and happiness to prevail within the front line staff.

People in organizations do not always look for more monetary rewards. They seek recognition. They relish a sense of fulfilment arising out of their contribution towards a greater goal. They value positive relationships with other team members. Harmony, peace and happiness comprise their inner goal.

(Related Post:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/from-an-i-and-me-approach-to-a-we-and-us-one)

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Michael Angelo Painting Creation

I decide to get offended, you decide to stay aloof,

Who will then make us stay under the same roof?

 

A fissure today may well grow into a chasm tomorrow,

Who will fill it up with a wheel cart and a handbarrow?

 

I decide to remain silent, so do you remain quiet,

Which arrow will then pierce this void with its might?

 

If every small thing you were to take to your heart,

Who will then restore the warmth and play Cupid’s part?

 

I am unhappy at this gap, nor are you feeling nice,

Who will then take the initiative of breaking the ice?

 

I am not agreeable, to be amenable you do not bother,

Who will then have the magnanimity to pardon the other?

 

When our thoughts turn to the lovely memories of the past,

Who will lead us to an oasis of happiness in the sad desert vast?

 

I operate from within my huge silo of ego, so do you from yours,

Who will give us the courage to break open the shut doors?

 

Do you think we both shall live for all times to come?

Just look into each other’s eyes and keep mum?

 

Sipping together the elixir of joy that life is yet to pour,

One left behind not to repent when the other is no more?

 

Cross the point of zero gravity between us,

Be like twin stars in each other’s orbit without much fuss?

 

Life gave us the walls of caste, creed, sex, nationality, income and wealth,

Let us break the walls of our egos and enjoy good companionship and health!

 

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/of-novelty-and-relationships

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/the-alpha-beta-and-gamma-of-interpersonal-relations

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/an-illusory-search-for-the-perfect-soul-mate-bollywood-style)

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Interpersonal relationships happen to be a key factor in achieving success in aRelationship managerial career. Even otherwise, positive relationships boost our Happiness Quotient in life.

Here are few insights on relationships based on some well-known scientific principles.

FB and the Roentgen Effect

Never take a person at face value. Be ruthless in acting like a X-ray machine, Scientist Roentgenascertaining the inner motives of the party of the other part.

Create your own Facebook – a filtered version of the bosses, peers and subordinates you come across. Categorize them into, say, Close Friends, Friends, Acquaintances, Foes and those Vehemently Opposed to whatever you say or do. Deal with them at their respective wavelengths. You would vibe well.

Be sceptical of sudden unwarranted praise. A very tough project could be coming your way. The lynching mob could be sharpening its arsenal by the time you gleefully accept to drive a car all the way to the Moon.

Relativity and Relationships

The longevity of a relationship is directly proportional to the match between the Frames of Reference of two individuals.

The closer the two persons or organizations in their shared values andScientist Albert_Einstein principles, the longer the relationship would last. The more complimentary their needs happen to be, the better the longevity of the relationship.

All teams work on this principle. With each member bringing a unique strength to the table, the team emerges stronger.

The speed of Time in Relationships

The more you like a person’s company, the higher the speed of time spent together.

The more you hate a person, the lesser the speed of time spent together.

Laws of Motion of Relationships

Newton was dead right when he said that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Hate a colleague. She would catch your negative vibes and return the same.Scientist IsaacNewton-1689

Be fond of a colleague and she could reciprocate the sentiment. Both of you could then produce some great results together.

The Optics of a Relationship

The way a relationship looks on the surface is often an optical illusion. Dive below the surface and you could be in for a surprise. Principles of reflection, refraction and diffusion work in the realm of relationships as well.

Take the case of a spouse. A perfect one cannot make us complete. He/she can only act as a mirror and help us in discovering ourselves and in becoming the right person.

The Orbit Effect

Those who happen to be Yes-men electrons with a negative charge can be readily seen orbiting around a boss who has a few protons of positivity up his sleeve and behaves like a pompous nucleus.

Once the nucleus gets hit by powerful rays of adversity, the Yes-men are forced to scurry for cover and look for another nucleus.

The Half-life of Relationships

Much like radioactive substances, almost all relationships suffer fromScientist Marie_Curie exponential decay. Constant emission of alpha particles of Anger, beta particles of Badmouthing and gamma rays of Greed lowers the warmth in a relationship.

At a personal level, infusing the relationship with innovative ideas often helps to arrest the trend.

In case of organizations, dealing with gifted high-performers can be a ticklish challenge. Prompt steps need to be taken to stem the rot. Job-rotation, job-enrichment, flexible working hours, higher level of empathy and engagement with the family members can be some of the techniques deployed by HR professionals to address this issue.

The Valency Factor

Two individuals whose Valency happens to be the same would intrinsically vibe well with each other. The compound they make together is bound to become a formidable team.

One risk here is that they could end up becoming a Mutual Appreciation Team,Gilbert_N_Lewis leading to lofty expectations and a self-belief which could be misleading in critical situations. Their bosses need to worry about this.

Another risk is of a more sinister nature. If one party is from amongst the tribe of the delicately nurtured and another from the so-called sterner sex, an amorous alliance could emerge. This could have even more serious implications if there is a hierarchical gap between the two individuals.

The boss has to then act like an anti-catalyst to defuse the reaction so the reputation as well as the work of the organization does not suffer.

The algorithm of Relationships

Relationships are a complex non-linear function of Expectations, Realizations and Time.

Expectations evolve over a period of time. If not matched with realizations in aSrinivasa_Ramanujan dynamic manner, deterioration in the quality of the relationship is bound to follow.

Having clawed your way up in an organization, do not expect to be treated the way you were treated the very first day when you walked in.

Do not rest on your laurels. Let successes not make you complacent.

The Warmth of a Relationship

The Coefficient of Warmth of any relationship is directly proportional to the love and trust put in to nurture the same; it is inversely proportional to the benefit expected in return.

Organizations which value their Brand Equity ensure they treat separations with kid gloves. An employee speaking well of her previous employer is a great asset to have. Here is a relationship which has a lingering warmth and sweetness.

Laws of Thermodynamics

Zero-th Law

If two persons/entities are in the equilibrium of a good relationship with aJosiah_Willard_Gibbs Thermodynamics third person/entity, it follows that they must be in a good relationship with each other as well.

First Law

The Law of Conservation of Energy applies. There is a limit to which you may work on improving a relationship. If the party of the other part fails to reciprocate, it is perhaps time to move on.

Second Law

Entropy or disorder is bound to increase in a relationship. The only way out is to keep cleansing your system of negative thoughts at regular intervals. Talking to the party of the other part about your areas of discomfort, and encouraging the other one to share her thoughts likewise alone helps.

The Botany of Relationships

Relationships happen to be like tender saplings. Given the right soil conditionsPlants relationships of our own character, regular exposure to the sunlit warmth of care, routine watering by the elixir of affection, and occasional nourishment by pleasant surprises, the plant grows. Its roots become stronger. Its branches and leaves provide the perfect shelter.

A relationship which is either not nurtured thus, or is planted on the soil of fear and necessity alone, tends to wither away over a period of time.

All these laws govern professional as well as personal relationships. Smart managers utilize these to grow in the organization they work for. They also deploy the same to keep the boss at home happy and grinning.

Post script

How about the relationship that we have with our own inner self? Do weTechnology MEDITATION-ENTREPRENEUR-SUCCEED under-rate ourselves? Or do we end up dominating those around us? When was the last time we patted ourselves on the back?

An introspection of this nature improves our inner resilience and reduces stress. Our dependence on others to determine our state of happiness comes down. Our chances of having positive interpersonal relations improve.

(Note: Published in New Race, the e-journal of Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research:

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When we visit a new place, everything looks sparkling and bright. As we zip through the streets,  the sign boards look shinier. The way side eateries appear to be serving items which smell much better than the ones in the place where we live.

Likewise, when we meet a new person whom we have liked at first sight, we get swayed. We look for matching vibrations. We look for a resonance in our thoughts. We try to find common interests. Everything about that person just sounds perfect at that point in time.

For most of us, the appetite for novelty is virtually inexhaustible. We are always seeking something new. Whether it is career or home, books or movies, clothes or food, we are eagerly looking forward to a change of scene. When our routine lives bog us down, we go off on a vacation. The wanderers and explorers within us ensure that our interest in our own lives is always alive and kicking.

In most relationships, we soon reach a pleateu of sorts. We start noticing warts. We start discovering the other person’s weaknesses. Much like the new place which starts looking jaded, the new relationship no longer holds us enamoured.

Boredom soon follows. The sheen of novelty gets completely worn off. It gets replaced by contempt. We start detesting the person. Traits which appealed to us some time back assume a negative hue. At times, one has to take a call whether to continue with the relationship. This is the time when we are likely to take a more balanced view of the relationship.

Life continues throwing challenges. These test the strength and the tenacity of the relationship. If we find that the other person has been faithful, frank and sacrificing, we realize his/her real value in our lives. If the overall contribution of the other person has been significant, we continue with the relationship.

We could also continue with a relationship based on either necessity or fear. But such bonds become vitiated over a period of time and the real joy of togetherness is lost. Love is not about keeping someone chained to us; it is more about letting go.

For any relationship to be truly healthy and sustainable, a degree of freedom for each one is a must.  The bond might imply exclusivity, but not of a kind which becomes suffocating for the other person. The respect we have for the wishes and likes of the other person needs to get reciprocated.

Relationships happen to be like tender saplings. Given the right soil conditions of our own character, regular exposure to the sunlit warmth of care, routine watering by the elixir of affection, and occasional nourishment by pleasant surprises, the plant grows. Its roots become stronger. Its branches and leaves provide the perfect shelter. A relationship which is not nurtured thus tends to wither away over a period of time.

How does one tackle relationships which have gone stale over a period of time? How does one reinvigorate them?

A brief period of separation helps. A surprise helps. Getting back spontaneity helps. Imagining the absence of the other person helps. A frank dialogue helps. A warm hug, or even a touch, helps. Putting ourselves in the shoes of the other person helps. Doing something together of mutual interest helps. Even enquiring about the progress of the other person’s pet project helps. Cutting down on cynicism helps.

The main challenge in keeping relationships healthy and vibrant is posed by the novelty we are always seeking. The good news is that novelty has many facets. An innovative approach can put the pep back into most of our relationships.

How do you overcome the challenge of novelty to keep your relationships charged? Would you like to share your recipe for attaining everlasting happiness in a relationship?

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