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This is for all those who wish to gear up their organizations to bring about an environment of trust, cooperation, growth, and a purpose in the business.
When we look at any organization, it is people and their operations. We are essentially discussing six layers at which they operate. These layers are the various areas, which define the individual and the organization. In this article, I shall limit my scope to the human factor. The problems in any organization are of two kinds. The major problem is the systems and the operations problem. The other problem, grossly neglected is the ‘people’ problem. When you fix the people’s problems other problems are automatically fixed.
The first layer is the environment. People have essentially four needs from the environment they operate in. The environment is everything outside of you. The four expectations are financial stability, social bonding, learning and scope of contribution to the environment and from the environment. Our environment comprises of people and the space we live in. So our contribution is to and from the space and people. Members of the organization need to choose the environment they operate in. This is something that caters to all the needs defined above. You cannot only work for money when there is an environmental problem. When all these factors are taken care of, one feels motivated. People have the choice of choosing the environment they wish to work in, which is, the market and the particular department in the organization. This is in line with their mission and the unique capability they have. In return for their contribution, they get the money, love and appreciation of the people. The learning is part of the various jobs they take up. It is the contribution of the environment to them. So it is critical that people choose the right environment they want to make their career in. The right environment keeps motivation high. Organizations need to devote considerable time to this, especially during the induction of new recruits. In the ‘Vedas’ and the ‘Gita’, working in line with your unique capability is referred to as ‘Swadharma’.
The second and the third layer, define the personality of the individual. These are the behavioral traits and capabilities of the person. Behaviour is the response that we demonstrate to the environment. This is a two-way process. The law of the ‘cause and effect’ governs this. The way the environment behaves, people are forced to behave and vice a versa. If there is a behavioral issue, it pertains to the attitudes or the filters and perceptions that people carry. Attitude is the underlying factor for any behavior pattern. When the relationship is symbiotic, then the behavior is towards growth. The best way to change the pattern of behavior is to bring about a change in the attitude of the entire workplace. Behavioral and attitudinal training is the solution here. However, the work should continue beyond this layer also to ensure a permanent change. Because the law is that – any change will try to return to its original form till it becomes permanent after overcoming the inertia.
Every negative behavior seeks approval, and that is the truth. The entire game of politics and mistrust is that a certain section of people lacks the capabilities to deliver and hence cover it up to seek approval. For a change in this pattern, people need to learn to face their darker sides and also chose the right environment in line with their unique capability. This is what the feedback system is all about. The beauty is, once the feedback process becomes a part of the organization it is no longer facing the darker side, but a process of continuous improvement. The initial force is required to implement it, with the ‘inertia’ to be overcome. It is uncomfortable initially to face feedback, and you need to develop requisite skills for it. The process is to give feedback on the behavior and not directed to the identity of the person. When it is directed towards the person, it can cause severe hurt. So before the implementation of the feedback, the skills need to be developed, and a stage needs to be set for. Feedback is the process of implementing win/win situations.
Feedback helps people learn and goes a long way in improving and acquiring capabilities. Capabilities are of two types, one you are born with and the other that you acquire which are the professional skills. The idea is to become aware of these, especially the ones you are born with. Personality development programmes target the behavior and the soft and hard skills. The capabilities you are born with a need to be discovered for which there are experiential learning labs.
Thus at the first two layers, one is working at the personality level of the person, and after this, you need to work deeper at the character level to bring about lasting change and connection to the ‘higher self’. We shall discuss the higher layers and the work on them in the subsequent articles.
At these two layers, the work is on impacting the environment rather than waiting for the environment to provide opportunities. The wait for the environment to effect good things for us in life is endless and painful. The success lies in you creating a niche for yourself through the right choice of work in line with your capabilities.
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