Fear and Gossip goes hand in hand!

See_No_Evil,_Hear_No_Evil,_Speak_No_Evil

Recently some hierarchy changes have happened in my team to synchronize with the organizational level goals. As it usually happens in offices, the murmuring, gossips and guess work started among the colleagues regarding the possible after effects, who benefitted and who lost from these shifts. When we are happy about some incidence, we hardly gossip about it as we have all the fact in place to share and be cherish about, but when something happens whose results we are not aware of and don’t know what it brings to ourselves, a sense of fear seeps in. To release that fear and sense of uncertainty, we gossip and try to bring in the meaning to what we heard and do an effort to read between the lines. This action gives a sense of comfort when  get similar vibes from others. In the era of internet and easy online reachability, we every day see several examples where several incomplete and unauthenticated news turns into millions of videos, GIF, and posts with hundreds of likes and shares. Out of those hundreds of thousands online posts, only very few shows the true picture. Most of them are the exaggeration of current situations and creativity of troubled minds.

A few months back, in India, plastic rice news was making headlines across all news mediums and social networking sites. You Tube and Facebook was flooded with videos on how a plastic ball from a rice bowl., how it gets manufactured and how to identify fake rice, etc. But if we go with the facts released by Government there is no consignment found till date which has plastic rice or if there is any formal confirmation of its existence in the market. But, in spite of several official releases by the government to not to spread a rumor about fake rice or fear about its existence, this news did a million dollar business just by leveraging on the people’s fear and gossip habits.  Godsman business is no exception. Every day there are some post or video which comes with a disclaimer to share to wider group else some bad luck comes back. Really! Does God affinity towards their devotees is based on the Likes and Shares on social media!

F.E.A.R-False Evidence Appearing Real. This definition of fear tells it all! The misery it creates in mind and plays with the actions of people. When we start believing the thing which lacks evidence and authentications, an aura of negativity surrounds us and gets us in the grasp of fear and worry. And, to combat the fear which we have developed, we look for the ways and means to assure that what we are feeling is obvious in that situation and this led us to do gossips. Gossips at the time of fears seem like a warm coat in a chilly winter as it confirms and satisfy us mentally that we are not the only one in the grasp of fear, there are people around us who feels the same, and it comforts us psychologically.  Hence, ultimately we get in a crab in a bucket kind of situation, where intentionally or unintentionally no one is doing good to others, and everybody is with the same messy information.

Fear is a mental illusion and hardly has any real existence, and it multiplies its presence with more negative and unauthenticated information. Gossip works like oil in the fire to this, it may give a temporary comfort by seeing the other’s fear miseries, but later it creates a fearful and anxious atmosphere for one self and make the mental state more stressful and drained. This not only leaves one’s more frustrated but makes you feel lost even when surrounded by closed ones. This also stops you from thinking constructively and see the silver lining among all the challenges.

So how to overcome the fear of losing out on important office politics/changes and avoid gossips? First, we need to understand the root cause of the fear. What are the factors which are causing the anxiety? Ask yourself if it is reasonable to give so much thought about it?  What is that you can do about it? Think how much it is going to affect your position, promotion, etc. Does it go to affect your learning curve? Can you reach out to someone reliable who can authenticate the information? If so, reach out and discuss the things clearly. Many times, we get a very mixed response from people whom we assume knows the details but hesitant to share with us. In that case, remind yourself about the confidence you carry in your sleeves and don’t forget that it was your self-confidence and guts to jump in the unknown water that has led you to the places and done wonders for you. And, be open to the changes coming your way. Any change in the pattern of our life’s symphony also bring-in new opportunities and challenges. It opens the door to meet new people, visit new places, get new experience and lead a robust, happy, and healthy life. In the end, the choice in our hand, if we want to spend our energy and time in the mind-tiring gossip activity which leads us to nowhere or to something which may open new avenues for us.

Leaving you here with a quote from Gossip Girl movie-

“They say every road comes to an end, but sometimes the end feels just like the beginning. Even you think you’ve come a long way…”

Advertisements

Office Poilitics: Do co-workers really care?

Zonaspace-coworking-collaboration

Do co-workers really care about their other colleagues? Or is it just a calculative move based on the roles, designation, and power one holds in the company. A workplace can be assumed as an artificial incubator where people from diverse backgrounds, opinions, and preferences are kept together to work towards a common business objective. And, all enjoy the same policies, process, facilities, and opportunities. But does this togetherness is a strong enough cohesive force to make people besties and genuine well-wishers? If you think, Yes, then think again!

Research shows that there may be very less percentage of co-workers in the office which has no qualms to share how they feel about you. But the major chunk prefers to play diplomatically in order to maintain their image and secure their career. Actually, everything in office revolves around the end-result. Things move from cubicles to board room based on self-interest and maths of profit and loss of alliances. Here are few examples which showcase the kind of actions or reactions we receive from our colleagues throughout the day in different scenarios, which indicates how power and position plays a major and influential role on sentiments towards our colleagues:

WhatsApp trend: Are you part of any office chat group in Whatsapp? If you are, then you may have observed the trend I am going to explain here or possibly you may have been a victim of it sometime. If a senior from the group, who holds an important position and power to influence the status and stature of other team’s members, post a message or a send a forward. Immediately all the subordinates wake up and get in a race of posting their response or showcasing their knowledge and understanding on the shared topic. Whereas, if a person who has recently joined the team at the entry level, posts a message or forward, it seems as everyone internet bandwidth goes too low to even acknowledge it.

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter acceptability: Similar to Whatsapp, any post in these social media by the team’s influential members will see a sudden surge in the likes, comments, and share, irrespective of how much relevance it makes to the one’s taste. Showing an acceptable and positive attitude toward the post becomes an obligation whereas anything posted by an “ordinary” team member gives a choice to others to express their opinions on it or simply ignore. Similarly, the acceptability of friend requests these platforms is no exception.

Sudden drift in posture, communication style: This is usually observed in the work cafes or when people are casually chit chatting at their desk. In middle of that fun sharing, if an influential member joins, you will immediately see a change in the topics, facial expressions. And, an increase in fake laughs and yes man attitude to all his/her inputs. People start behaving as they care the most for that person and in sync with what he/she is saying.

Selective information sharing: The group or people which are assumed as a close knit to the team’s influential member, act as a gate keeper of the information. In order to hold their importance as a key ally of the boss, they don’t hesitate to empathize with their honey coated words to spy on the opinions and the way things are drifting in the lower level. To ensure their acceptability at both the levels, they pass down the filtered information of higher management to gain the confidence in the lower group but with an intention to strengthen their position with the boss of the team.

More acceptability of subtle folks: Everyone in the office is working with an objective to get a decent hike and recognized at the end of financial year. But if you want to gain the acceptability, balance the aggression you have. Usually, the people who act subtly are assumed more approachable and picked more often by the bosses as they find them more acceptable compare to aggressive people. How much ever you dedicatedly work and focus on setting the things right, if you see things only black and white, it will be very difficult to make an entry in the group of influential people. So all the people who are successful in making a step closer to the leads are those who act subtle and play smart.

Conclusion: Core lesson from the office dynamics mentioned above is that all the privileges, advantages one person receive in his or her life are not for the person, but for the position he/she holds. As we grow in our career and achieve higher designations, we get honored with all the best treatments and gestures, but it is until the time we hold the position as we move on, it will be honored to the person who will replace us. But until that time, if one has to live and sail through the office politics, it is important to learn and understand the way things changes in offices with designations.

Leaving you here with a video which I receive as a Whatapp forward. It epitomizes how the world is hypnotized with the power and position. Happy to hear your views and know if you have come across something similar. Please share your experience in the comment box.

 

 

 

Identify, Connect and Be Happy!

” Talk to Yourself Once in a day…otherwise you may miss meeting an excellent person in this world”. This famous quote by Swami Vivekananda summarizes the importance of one spending time with oneself and take a much-needed pause to understand the direction where thoughts are going. Definitely, This exercise helps us to introspect the drifting mind and accordingly guide us re-channelize them in a positive direction and bring out the best of ourselves. But is this sufficient to ensure the positive and meaningful flow of thoughts in our heads, when we are so much surrounded by negative thoughts, neck to neck competitions and aggressive point of views?  Does spending time with oneself is enough to heal the pain, low self-esteem, and emotional wound? Can a person who is anyways feeling low have enough strength to pull herself/himself up and bring a smile on her/his face? Take a pause and think of a similar situation you had come across in the past, was you were able to manage to come out from the depth of uncertainty and handle the pressure bomb ready to explode in your head. Or was it someone else like a family member, friend, relative or a mentor who was with you to lift your spirits and take you out of the whirlpool of negative thoughts.

The above stated quote of Swami Vivekananda’s is one side of the coin in today’s fast paced world, another side of the coin is to stay connected with the loved ones. If I say the quote for today can be “Talk to your loved ones once in a day…otherwise, you may miss an excellent opportunity to reenergize and bounce back in this world”. In this progressive and competitive world where technology and the virtual world has occupied a major portion of our attention. And, families are becoming nuclear. This becomes more important than ever to identify someone and keep them close to our heart all the times. Virtual friends are good, its looks really good to see over 500 friends on Facebook and 100’s of contacts on Whatsapp. But what’s important is to keep a vigilance of how many of them are close and out of that how many we can call as 3 AM friends. The online world is important to keep ourselves updated with the world’s trend, break the boredom, share virals, etc. But if everything from the online is getting poured into your head without any filter then it is harmful.  The virtual world is always on the wheels and has only “like” and “share” buttons as a medium to empathize with any situations. That’s why to avoid any void feelings, it’s important to identify and be connected with the bunch of really close people,  who have all the time in the world when you need them.

 

Photo Courtesy: MrNguyen

Photo Courtsey: MrNguyen

 

Friends and family are an important and inevitable part of one’s life. They are the one who defines you, nurture you, ignore your faults, feel happy with your success and encourage you during your failures. The virtual world may know us from the day we signed up, but friends and family know us even before we get to know the online world etiquettes. When we cry they try to cheer us, when we feel low, they hold our hands to pull us from it, when we are out of our mind, they listen to us. In spite of unlimited benefits one can avail by being in touch with the family and friends, the common challenge we feel today is that because of studies, jobs or other commitments, kids usually leave home in their 20s. This physical distance with the loved ones who ones were the most knowledgeable and dear to us. Later, we start questioning their understanding of our situation and slowly drift ourselves. Maybe our parents are not from the internet boom generation, but the heartache we get is never because of the complexity of the codes, but because of about the emotional distress we face due to some negative situation(s), which is no code dependent. And, no one can understand it better than a close-knit family and friends.

After a long day at work, coming back to home and calling parents or family sitting thousands of miles away and talking to them about anything you feel like will definitely give a  refreshed feeling and make us feel worthful, above and beyond the office reward and recognitions. This gives a realization that the work we were worried about is a very small portion of our life and there is much more exciting and endearing in this world. It helps us to bounce back with new enthusiasm for new challenges and uncertainties.

Do you agree? What are your experiences? Happy to hear from you. Drop your feedback, suggestions, experiences in the comment box!

Working Women’s Dilemma: Pregnancy and Professional Conflict

“The biological clock and career clock are in complete conflict with each other,” this famous saying by PepsiCo CEO Indira Nooyi highlights the crisis most of the women professionals face in the early or mid years of their career.

Last summer when I was expecting my promotion, I also discovered that God had planned some other promotion for me. In spite of being aware that be a mother is a significant milestone I have planned for myself, and have to cross at some point in my life. It was an exciting yet quirky moment for me.

As it happens in most of the multinational companies, my organization also have a system in place where there is a 3-4 months gap between updating the appraisal sheet and actual announcement of the result. That is the time when our managers, based on best of their capabilities tries to put their team in Bell curve. I was fearful that my first trimester is bang-on with the most critical window of the company’s financial year, where our manager’s radars are highly receptive to catch all activities of the team, big or small, official or unofficial.

Morning sickness and nausea were new normal for me, including asking for work from home. In spite of being participative and involved in my routine work, I was fearful of the concept called “Out of sight, Out of mind”. And, to an extent, it was making me paranoid.

The blame is not on the management; it is how the companies have created the dynamics of teams to churn out the best from their employees, and accordingly, it impacts the recognition, bonus, and promotions. This simulated competitive environment is a double edge sword. It motivates the employees to put more efforts, work smartly and think innovatively. But it also creates hidden envy, unhealthy rivalry, and stress.

So my imagination of possible equations and bondings taking place in the office and how it would have been different in my presence were making me feel lost and adding to my first-trimester weakness. How much ever we are prepared for such intersections and setbacks, our trained competitive mind always pushes us in the denial mode and compel us to question whether was this the right time? Will we fall behind the group and may loose on the perks we were thinking for quite some time and for which we have put so many efforts.

Whether you love it or hate it, but you cannot ignore the pregnancy cycle. My pregnancy journey was going on at its pace, and the first turning point came when I went for the 12th-week scan. It was the first time I heard the heartbeat of the little one inside me (looked like a bean structure in the scan). I was awestruck and felt how much power God has given to women. We are capable of bringing another life into this mighty world. That moment made me feel empowered and energized.

I realized that with each passing month, things were in much more control and were getting beautiful. Each week showed the new phase in the life of the little one and definitely of ours. I gradually realized that it all starts in our head if we want things to get worse and heavy on us, it will. But if we realize that this slowdown helps us to introspect the power we carry, the beautiful relationship we have in our lives and the grace God is showering on us, this journey will be one of the most beautiful phase of our life. Also, unless the doctor does not indicate any complexities, there is no reason we cannot continue going to the office and be as normal as we were in our work before.

Usually, we are ignorant about the power of relationships with family, friends and colleagues which we have cultivated and nourished over the year, this is the time to look up to them and seek necessary support. We often hear “SuperWomen” tag for multitasking women, but think do you need to be a superwoman, who is on her own and handling all crisis alone when you have people around you who are happy to help you and be with you whenever you want. One of my Indian friend, who was when doing her PhD from an American University had a one-year-old daughter to take care. She was alone in the US (unfortunately her husband died in an accident), and was not earning enough to pay baby care centre fees. That time her friend were her big support systems, they assured a healthy and safe environment to her daughter, which made my friend focus on her studies and complete her degree smoothly.

We are surrounded by lots of people some of them inspire us, accept us the way we are, ignore our mistakes and appreciate our success. Filter those people, reach out to them unhesitantly and share your loads. In addition to people we know, there are many people whom we don’t know and met them through an acquaintance or some work agency, with time many of these people also become part our family and help us to manage our life well, as they find joy in our happiness. But never forget to feel gratitude and grateful to them and make yourselves available when they need you. It will not be blunt to say that any relationship works on a barter system.

After delivery of my little one and post my maternity leave, it was my friends and family who helped me to bounce back in my work routine in no time and move ahead in my professional journey. Motherhood is a memorable phase which continues life long. So without any fear of losing, lagging behind in our professional life, we all should embrace it, as it has lot more incentives, appreciations and promotions than we expect from our profession.

Pregnancy and Profession are two completely different phases. But at the end, they are an integral part of our life. Like two sides of one coin!

 

“Miles to Go Before I Sleep”

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

  But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

  And miles to go before I sleep.”

 

Above lines of the last stanza of the famous poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” written by Robert Frost in the year 1922 is the essence of the success recipe which we need to achieve all the good things we desire for ourselves.

content image

In a literal sense, it explains the rider’s desire to stop by in the woods on a snowy evening, tempting the rider to stay little longer and enjoy the beauty of nature. But the inner thrust of the rider pushes him to continue his journey before he reaches his destination. Isn’t it sounds like an analogy to our real life situations? How many times do we desire to procrastinate and look for excuses to accommodate stuff on the priority list? How many times we later complain about not being able to meet up the targets? Each one of us has come through this pattern at least once. And, what we do on realizing that we are running against time, either we rework on our priority list, try to adjust the delayed stuff somehow or maybe just redefine as insignificant. And, that’s the moment when we bucket ourselves either in achiever or dreamer category.

What made Muhammad Ali, The Muhammad Ali; Michael Jordan, The Michael Jordan; Deepa Malik, The Deepa Malik and Bachendri Pal, The Bachendri Pal. The list is unending, all the people who have shown the guts, grits and determination have reached the top. You cannot control what you are, but you can control what want to be.

content image

Dushun Wang, an 80 year’s old actor and model famously known as China’s Hottest Grandpa, is an inspiration to many who think that 40 is the age when you have already lost the battle. In an interview, Dunshun mentioned “Many people started noticing me after a catwalk show; some people called me “the hottest grandpa.” Some also said that I am an instant internet sensation. But do you know what? To prepare for this day, I have been getting ready for 60 years.”

All the achievers we see around ourselves have walked the bed of thorns and burned the lamps when the world was sleeping. For them, anything minus goal is a distraction. In today’s world, where we are surrounded by so many distractions around for all age group, it becomes even more important to keep the headlamp on and focused on what we want to achieve.

Have you realized why the social pyramid base is heavy whereas top can accommodate only a few because as the steepness increases, many falls and never tries to push themselves. The choice is yours, but remember whatever you choose today, will make your destiny tomorrow.

content image

Making a destiny you always desire is a 3D approach: Decide, Discipline and Determination. Decide the goal you wants to achieve. Be disciplined, consider everything else as a distraction, make a rigorous routine. And, be determined to follow it in any circumstances till you reach the goal you have thought.