Psychological safety in organizations is an oft discussed subject today. A key element of psychological safety is the ability to freely share a contrarian thought or idea; disagree with our co-workers, manager, or seniors. To build a psychologically safe workplace, we expect our co-workers and seniors to be open, not wedded to their ideas and … Continue reading The HOW and WHEN of Psychological Safety
“Are you in learning mode or performing mode?” I recollect our master facilitator call out every time we began a practice session. We had to say aloud, “I am in learning mode” Initially, I wondered about the difference it would make. Gradually, it became obvious; while in learning mode, we were willing to experiment and … Continue reading Learning or Performing Mode
We all want to be respected and valued! It’s an inherent desire of most human beings. I still remember the day I became a team lead, a manager for the first time. I was elated and rushed to share the good news with my father. He was already gravely ill but was fully conscious and … Continue reading What commands respect – you or your position?
There is a clamor for meaningful roles today. Meaning in work seems like the magic pill for all problems organizations are facing today. Employees are looking for meaning in their roles and Leaders want to offer meaningful roles to their employees Couple of days back I was writing speech for a leader, and lo behold… … Continue reading The Secret of Meaningful roles
On this mental wellbeing day, I would like to share an act of kindness I experienced few months back. I was traveling to Amsterdam for work via Dubai. While boarding the Emirates flight, I realized that the ramp wasn’t going to the upper deck of Airbus 380. We had to take the stairway from the … Continue reading Magic of kindness
Pick up any journal or business magazine or paper today; we will find at least few pieces on the expectations from managers. They clamour, “In times of quiet quitting, great resignations, a manager must Energize and inspireContinuously develop, show career optionsAssign roles that will motivate employees to contributeBe empathetic, care for wellbeingEncourage flexible working … Continue reading Lopsided Expectations
https://www.istockphoto.com/illustrations/intrinsic Think of a time you received a coveted recognition, or a promotion or a salary increase you were aspiring for? Close your eyes and recollect your emotions at that moment, on that day. Exhilarated? On cloud nine? What happens few days or weeks later? You still take pride in your achievement, but the joy … Continue reading What fuels us?
You take up a new area of work; you are excited about the challenges, opportunities, and the learning. You work on it and over time you learn the ropes. What happens after few weeks or months, depending on the nature of the work? Does the same work which excited you a short while back begins … Continue reading When work becomes boring
An incident from yesteryears remains etched in my memory. It was late in the evening; I was on a call. My son, who was barely 7-8 years at that time, needed something urgently from me. But he patiently waited for the call to finish. He said, “I knew you were speaking to your boss, so … Continue reading Micro hierarchy
Today is my father’s 25 death anniversary.He passed away alone with no one holding his hand as he made his final journey; despite living with his whole family in a 700 sq ft 2-BHK flat, despite we being fully aware that his soul is ready to leave the cancer devoured body any moment! He even called … Continue reading A moment lost is gone forever!
An experience – be it professional or personal – is a strong conduit to individual growth. We all go through experiences like assignments, new projects, leading or being part of a cross-functional team, or even a difficult conversation or negotiation. Irrespective of its outcome, every experience adds to our capability. An honest reflection on three … Continue reading Three questions to leverage the most from an experience￼
Learning 1 Irrespective of how fast we drive, there will be people ahead of us. Irrespective of how slow we drive, there will be people behind us. It's pointless competing with others on a road! Compete we must, but with self, not others! Learning 2 There are stretches of road that are smooth, like carpeted … Continue reading Life is akin to a road….
Every waking moment of our lives, we involuntarily weave stories; stories about people around us, about our context, problems / challenges and even stories about ourselves. Stories are powerful, they influence our behaviors, actions and decisions. This in turn impacts our reality. When we tell ourselves a positive story, our actions are affirmative and energizing, … Continue reading Incessant Stories We Tell
World around us is changing fast. The only way to excel, or may be even survive in times like this, is to continuously learn. When I reflect on times when I stopped or paused my learning, I observe two common themes: I thought I know a lot about the subjectOr I got disheartened that it’s … Continue reading Paradox of Continuous Learning
Last few weeks, I have been intrigued by the hibiscus flowers in our terrace garden. In the first sun rays, I would see the buds hanging low, slightly bent under their weight. As I returned from my morning walk, the bright red hibiscus smiled cheerfully at the world. I wondered how long does it … Continue reading Culture shift – lessons from nature
How we think of our work influences how we approach it. Do we think of it as a ‘task’ or as ‘impact’? Any task will create an impact. So, does it really matter as to how we view it? It does, let’s see how…. Task is specific, its finite and neatly fits into our weekly … Continue reading How we approach our work: Task or Impact
Internet has truly democratized information. In today’s world of information overload, what differentiates individuals, teams and organizations is the ability to learn, the willingness to learn to learn. Four interconnected aspects that make a difference are: • Am I CURIOUS to understand things that I don’t know, or never knew existed? • Do I OBSERVE others in action, be leaders or co-workers (or even children, family, friends)? • How do I APPLY it to my context –what works, doesn’t work, why so? • Do I have the courage to engage in honest SELF-REFLECTION?
It’s human to fall into Visibility Trap – not to take chances when putting together a team for key project or an important task. It’s natural to include people whom we trust, who have contributed in the past. It needs conscious effort to go beyond the obvious and continuously look for new people who can be included.
I remember having lunch with a gentleman few months back. It was our first meeting. After a round of pleasantries, our conversation turned towards his work which quickly became a downpour of grievances – how he had slogged for more than a decade in the organization, but never got recognition, how his career stagnated, how … Continue reading Disengaged, yet hanging on!
Few centuries back, careers used to run in families. A famer’s child would mostly take up farming, an artisan’s children would take up the profession, so would an apothecary’s progeny. This changed with access to higher education, industrialisation, and faster, easier modes of travel. People started going into professions different from that of their parents. … Continue reading Reinventing our Careers
Learning from my recent visit to forest continues…. Here’s the picture of a tree enveloped by a strangler vine. A strangler vine, while starting as small plant in the beginning, quickly envelops large trees, sucks up the nutrients and eventually causes the death of the host tree. I have seen several strangler vines and trees … Continue reading What are our strangler vines?
Last week I was in Bandhavgarh National Forest Reserve.. seeking few days of tranquillity and indulging in forest bathing - the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku or taking in the forest atmosphere… the elixir for psychological and physiological well-being. Fortunately, my cellphone was useless without signal or internet connection…it gave space for nature to enter through … Continue reading Forest bathing – the elixir to wellbeing
Trust – be it for products, organizations, government, or people – is soft; yet it’s presence or absence can be distinctly felt…. When we trust an organization, we buy more product or services from it and recommend it to others. When we trust something or someone, we tend to engage and bond more with them. … Continue reading Iceberg of Trust