So what?!

So I find myself becoming a prolific writer. So what?!

So it means..

i’m in my angst mode

i don’t have much to do

i’m introspecting more than i usually do

i think people bother reading what i write

i’m experiencing new situations and finding new solutions

……

actually yes to all of these but there is more…

this fortuitous article seems heaven sent but it got me browsing through the site and a few others i had lost track of. it also got me talking to people around, ‘why do you work for someone, so long when you can work for yourself.’ ‘Why do you work for an org for so many years when you could skip jobs and earn a lot more.’

gratification at seeing the monthly paycheck even if not so many zer0-s as you would like it to have; gratification at not having to beg/borrow/steal/murder for the few rupees that will tide you through the month; gratification that you know the processes and the people and  can steer your way through all the potholes and stink; gratification that you are looked up and not down since you have mastered, well nearly, all that there has to/etc..etc…//YOU GET THE DRIFT

now, what i was also offered were 2 different perspectives:

‘Would you leave your family because you got bored after 2 years? No, you stay on and you learn and you find new things that strengthen the bond. You buy a house, build a fence, plant a garden and whatever else that nurtures the team or rather, we are family spirit. You do the same thing at work. You don’t have a task list that you tick off daily but a slightly bigger picture that tells you what needs to be achieved over 3 months/6 months/whatever works.’

‘You learn all you can in 2 years but after 2 years you apply that learning. You give back, you nurture and you are confident of having mentored/groomed something or someone. Than look around there must be something else within the organisation, perhaps, a different department that has something of interest. Be open and be willing.’

Anecdote: A gentleman has been working with a leading hardware firm for 20 years with the same designation but progressively higher pay (I’m hoping). After 20 years when he was asked he said, ‘I don’t care about the designation it is all that I got to learn and all that i have to learn that motivates me. I find that even after 20 years in this organisation there is still something(s) that can be done better or improvised.’

Hmmmmm… Really…. Wow,  I thought to myself. I googled the gentleman’s name and he is a remarkably prolific patent holder. WOW!!

Tall order indeed.

Now, I have probably read hundreds of articles and self-help books on staying happy and motivated at work to go back to the same office and same faces day in and day out. I’m sure so have you. None of those help (ed) me since I find myself at the crossroads sooner rather than later.

These chance conversations and this write up gave me food for thought.

I realise and finally accept that familiarity is a deal breaker. Perhaps, that is why I stayed on with journalism for more than a decade, which too me is a rather lengthy time. I met new people, explored new topics, mentored and got mentored, probed and analysed…there was always a story around the corner.

Ask yourself, what gets you going…. you will realise you are closer than you think to finding what you want.

 

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How do you hit the jackpot

After more than a decade of working, mostly being part of the print media I have come across less than a handful of people who I look up to. While one was a great mentor the other two were great managers who knew when to pull the leash in and when to leave it loose.

Most of the people who were in the supervisory or higher-up roles were routinely bad, pathetic in fact. Reasons varied from:

  • Indifference to creating a motivational environment for the team to work with
  • Lack of mentoring skills
  • Scheming to serve one’s own ends; even using subordinates/co-workers as pawn
  • Inability to foster a spirit of bonding & build team work
  • Discouraging youngsters/co-workers from trying new ideas/methods
  • Having a MY WAY or THE HIGHWAY attitude
  • Defeatist when confronted with a problem/new situation/challenge

and so on and so forth…While I’m trying to understand what makes a person stay on with the same organisation for reasons other than job security & not wanting to get out of a comfort zone; what I’m also trying to understand is why do people, especially youngsters job hop. Surely, monetary benefits can’t be the only reason since a pay hike of 1000-2500 rupees really doesn’t matter. Would be great to get your thoughts on both counts.

Meanwhile, here is my pick of the lot for being a REALLY COOL boss.

  • Give your employee the end-goal and allow them to navigate their way towards that goal
  • Create a sense of working towards a purpose as a TEAM
  • Make each member of the TEAM accountable for their responsibilities, actions and achievements
  • Applaud good work in public and reprimand bad moves in private
  • Mentor the team or put a buddy system in place
  • Be a friend but only when asked for
  • The Boss is the (wo)man with a vision so be CLEAR in all communications & set expectations

I’m working with one such……

 

Office Bullies

Ever been in meetings where one person hogs the meeting and it soon becomes a monologue instead of a meaningful discussion

or where you try presenting your views only to be met with sarcasm and barbed comments belittling your ideas and intelligence

or where you go all pepped up to present this great idea which may take the company forward, no guarantees of course, but it just may..and even before you are through with the intro of “Heh I think..” there are a whole bunch of gloomy gusses waiting to water down that great idea or a single person single-handedly injecting vitriol

or your young colleague who has slogged hard at a presentation sees it receiving token acknowledgment

Been in any of these ARGHhhhhhhhhhhh situations, than I bet you know what an office bully is!!!

Surprisingly office bullies don’t have to be your heavyweights – the old has been done that who has become a part of the office furniture it could even be that mild-mannered ever-smiling friend who just likes to get a kick every time he sees a colleague fume or turn red with embarassment. So how does one deal with an office bully???

1st acknowledge the fact there is one, and it isn’t you that is acting like a magnet attracting slug (that slimey greeney thingie under the fridge)

2nd, introspect; analyse the situation; identify what triggers this bullying behaviour

3rd, initiate a dialogue with the bully without getting into a mud-slinging contest to see if you work together, after all that bully may be good at something where you need help (most bullies have low confidence levels and this is their way of giving a boost to their ego)

4th, if the above fails rope in a colleague who could act as a buffer till you come up with an alternate plan

5th, confront the bully. Remember, a bully always backs down when cornered (remember your school playground, well being in a corporate game is almost akin to a playground)

6th, that doesn’t work. SOS help-ur HR personnel or your boss, depending on who is sensible and has their head screwed on right and tight

Finally all else fails get yourself moved to another team or division where you don’t have to face the bully…



Camaraderie

I know several people who love to say “We are not here to make friends” when they are in the workplace facing an antagonistic colleague or someone they probably upset by being hyper-assertive.

Somewhere during the span of my over decade-long career I have bought that logic. “We are not here to make friends”

I have seen peers and friends use this stance at work to intimidate an under-performing subordinate or coerce co-operation from colleagues who refuse to tow the line of a corporate agenda or a personal mandate. And do this quite successfully too.

But what about those underlings frustrated at being treated like Man Fridays and Girl Fridays with never a thought about their career aspirations. I have seen many a closed door fights with resignations thrown and water poured over heads; HR playing referee or peacemaker and temporary peace reigning till the next time this stance rises its head again.

So how can camaraderie and work go along hand in hand, would love to hear your thoughts on this……….