Educated Illiterate !

The heading may look like an oxymoron. How can an educated person be an illiterate ? However, in real life we see this all around us. Educated people may assimilate educational qualifications by passing exams and obtaining degrees and diplomas. However, they fail to behave like an educated person is expected to do in their day to day life.

Let me share a few examples from every day life for us to believe that this is not an oxymoron but a reality in our lives today. Let us start with the driving on the roads. Of late, there is a lot of road rage in most metropolises and it is the so called educated elite, who are involved in most of them. They neither follow the road rules nor are willing to accept their mistakes if they do commit a violation. On the other contrary, they would like to muscle their way through or use their clout to get away.

Even if we take a basic etiquette like standing in queues in public places like bus stands, train stations or other public offices, it is the so called educated class who tend to violate the queues more than others. We the educated class do not have the courtesy to give our seats to senior citizens or women when we travel in public places.

The current pandemic is a good illustration of the illiteracy of the educated in public life. Most violations in terms not wearing masks, not maintaining physical distance or not sanitising hands are mostly done by people who are well aware and are educated and not the real illiterate.

The case study of Dharavi is a good example to illustrate this. Dharavi is probably Asia’s largest slum. I have personally visited this place. On an average, at least 8 members in a family stay within an area of 10 sq feet. Even in this densely populated space, when the local government worked with the volunteers to prevent the spread of Covid, the people living in this slum have cooperated and made it a successful eradication strategy. The average resident of Dharavi may not be the educated class in the classical sense of the word.

On the other hand, the so called elite of South Mumbai have violated all public health advisories and it spread like wildfire in many posh residential societies. So, the conclusion one could draw is that education may give a degree but may not necessarily make you literate unless you have the right attitude to life and living.

Interestingly many so called educated elite are in the false belief that the Covid virus is spread from our servants and workers. They want to wear the masks only when they are in the presence of them. This is another hypocritical belief of the educated. The virus does not discriminate based on social class or literacy and we have to wear masks whenever we are meeting anyone anywhere in the public space.

I would like to clarify that I am neither against the educated nor do I profess that all educated people are illiterate. I am only stating that the so called educated majority are violating laws more than the uneducated. It is our attitude which makes all the difference. Higher Education may be the privilege of the middle and upper class of society who can afford it. But public behaviour is the prerogative of each one of us and has no correlation to education.

We need to learn to be self disciplined. The best of efforts by the government and medical and health workers will not bear any fruit if people like us do not wear masks, maintain the physical distance or wash our hands regularly.

The lesson to be learnt from the current pandemic is that law breakers cannot build a nation. Education aids our growth and success in life only if we are willing to be disciplined. The distinction between the law abiding citizen and others is discipline and not education.

It is like my house help Sudha in the photo above, who wears her mask without fail voluntarily although she has not even a school pass out.

Let us lead by example from today at least to set the right precedent for our future generations.

S Ramesh Shankar

15th July 2020

If we can, we should…

I have always wondered as to why we don’t do what we should. It could be a simple routine of a morning walk or a more a bit more complex as completing a project on time at work. Either way, we always spend more time in finding excuses for our non performance than putting in efforts to ensure our performance.

Interestingly I have noted that this trait in us continues with us from childhood to old age. As a kid, we invent excuses for not doing our home work or for skipping school or college. We become more innovative as we grow into adolescence and take our parents and friends for a ride. We enjoy discovering excuses at this stage of our lives.

Then we we grow as adults and we start working and this trait is not left behind. We always have the traffic congestion for our late coming to office or even the internet breakdown for delay in execution of any work related project. On the other hand, we never miss a flight because of traffic when we go on a holiday or miss a movie online because the net breaks down.

So life gives us all the opportunities to excel in whatever we want to do. We find the silliest of reasons to give up on chances, which come our way without our even asking for it. So, what does this do to us and to others. We miss steps in our career growth and lose our personal credibility. Others lose their respect for us as individuals in the family and colleagues at work.

Now, let us look at what happens if we do what we can. This may appear simple but may be one of the most difficult things to accomplish in life. I find people not keeping their word to their kids to take them for a movie. Imagine you meet people who will always keep their word. I have met many of them in my life – both at work and in my personal life.

First, you have high respect for such people because once they commit, they deliver. Secondly, they infuse this positive energy in others. If you work for a leader who is always on time and always delivers on all her commitments, you tend to become like them. This is natural. If my parents were courteous to everyone around, I learn to be that way. Similarly if my manager does what he can, then I do whatever I can too.

Even in our personal lives we love people who keep their word and deliver. When our parents always get us what they have promised, we respect them. On the other hand, we have scant regard for friends or relatives who always forget what they can do and find reasons for their non delivery.

Interestingly this phenomenon is universal. It is not linked to state, country, religion, ethnicity, culture or language. Having worked in multinational organisations, I have experienced it across the globe. So the choice is simple. If we are determined to do we what should, we can.

Even in the current Covid times, they are asking us to do 3 simple things. Wearing a mask , keeping a metre distance and washing our hands. We can and we should if we want to prevent the virus attacking us.

As in the photo above, if we can relax, we should. Gautam Buddha teaches us relaxation is possible at all times.

Life could be different from today if we make this small change.

Lets give it a try.

S Ramesh Shankar

14th June 2020

How big is our heart ?

Spot your heart

I have always wondered as to how big is our heart ? Is it linked to the wealth we accumulate in life or is it the other way around. The current Covid crisis has proved to me that in most cases generosity of our heart is inversely proportional to the wealth we have in life.

I would like to share a few stories to validate my hypothesis. First the heart breaking story of an expat staying in a gated community who asked as to why we should pay salaries for housekeeping staff when they could not turn up during the lockout ? I was stunned. An expat who may be paying almost a lakh of rupees even as rent every month to stay in a villa is questioning a few thousands as monthly salary for a house keeping staff in a gated community.

Interestingly, he is not alone in this attitude to life. I have heard that a lot of residents staying in posh localities in Mumbai and Bangalore have not paid their domestic maids not only for the period of the lockout but even for March when would have worked for most of the month. My wife and me called all the staff who worked with us in Mumbai and this is what they shared. The best thing was they did not ask for any help and on the contrary enquired about our well being and were reluctant to take any voluntary support from our side for their sustenance.

Another senior consultant who works for a top consulting firm and possibly earns in crores a year did not pay Rs. 1000 collected for staff recognition from each villa to reward them for their yeoman and selfless service during the lockdown. This gentleman ( although I am reluctant to call him a gentleman) is a religious fanatic and invites Godmen and God women to his residence once in a year to show to the community how religious he is. Is this what all our religions teach us ? A true question to ponder !

On the other end of the spectrum, I hear and read of countless inspiring men and women from ordinary walks of life who are willing to give their life earnings to serve others during this crisis. The story of an auto driver in Pune who used his life long savings of Rs. 2 lacs ( saved for his marriage) to feed migrant workers in his city and even postponed his marriage and equally supported by his fiancé for this noble cause.

You hear of the farmer in Kerala who donates all his produce of vegetables and fruits every day to the needy as he feels he can do his little bit for the under privileged.

A temple pujari in Chennai is making masks and distributing free to the common people since he does not have any work as temples are closed and he feels he can contribute a bit to serve others.

You hear the children in a society in Mumbai cleaning all the cars every day and contributing their earnings to the well being of those who need that money. Every such story teaches me a simple lesson in life. You do not need money to be generous and caring to others in life. What you need is a big heart ? Our heart size is not determined by the wealth we accumulate in life but but the love and care we get and we give others.

A small deed to even one person around you without expecting anything in return will do a world of good to us. We need not share photos or selfies in social media for the little things we do in life. It is like the famous quote of Oscar Wild who said – ” We are not born in this world to keep account of the small things we do.”

Time and day to start is today and now. A small gesture to even one person around you will change their world. Try it.

S Ramesh Shankar

21st May 2020

Addiction or de-addiction – choice is ours always ?

All the liquor shops were closed across the country during the lockdown and the lovers of the spirit had a difficult time.  They had stocked enough but it was not good enough as they could not anticipate the two extensions.  This may be equally true for the smokers.  While I am told that both alcohol and cigarettes were available in the black market but it was almost unaffordable for the common man.

The question I ask myself as to why people get addicted to alcohol or cigarettes ?  Being a teetotaller and a non smoker, some may wonder whether I am competent to write on this subject. Luckily for me there are many in my family and friends’ circles who swear by alcohol and the cigarette.  My wife has been a counsellor in a de-addiction centre at the beginning of her career.

I would like to reflect on why people get addicted to alcohol, cigarettes or drugs ?  It is not that people who are born in families addicted to any of these only fall victims to this addiction.  It is common people coming from all walks of life who fall prey to this disease called addiction.

We all go through crests and troughs in life.  Some of us are able to cope with it while others get stressed out.  It may be for reasons beyond their control or their ability to bear the stress.  It is not easy to deal with stresses of life at different stages.  As an adolescent, one tends to be rebellious and wants to prove to the world how one is different and can stand out in society.

As we grow up as adults, we are ashamed to share our stress with anyone and thus find it difficult to cope with it.  In today’s world, where joint families have paved their way to nuclear families and neighbourhoods are no longer a wall of social support, it the the individual alienation in society which is the root cause of the problem.  While we have become comfortable to go to a doctor to discuss all our medical issues, it is still a stigma to go to a psychiatrist or a counsellor to discuss about our stresses and strains in life.

In today’s digital world, human connections are diminishing.  We do not even know our neighbours leave alone distant friends or relatives.  We do not live in joint families and hence do not have parents, elders, uncles or aunts to share our agonies.  The virtual world is a make believe world and we do not realise it unless reality strikes us hard.  We are proud to think that we have hundreds of friends on social media but realise that there is nobody around us when we get admitted to a hospital to attend to us.

It is in this state of mind, we believe that alcohol, cigarettes or drugs can cure us of depression.  We imagine that a drink in the weekend or a smoke at the end of a stressful day will relive us of all pains in life.  This may be psychologically true for the individual concerned but the reality is different.  The best of alcohol or cigarettes or drugs do not have any magic properties to help us get over our miseries in life.  We take time to realise that we are the creators of own miseries in life.

It is our attitude to life and living, which can make a difference.  The day we realise that we do not need spirits to lift us up in life, we can bring a change.  All of us go through similar trials and tribulations in life.  While some of us are able to cope with it, others succumb to the addiction of these artificial support systems.  The spirit, cigarette or drug is like a ventilator to a patient in distress.  The day the patient realises that their life is over the day the ventilator plug is pulled out is the day, they are willing to fight back in lie.

The day we are willing to give up any form of addiction in life is the day we realise that we are the makers of own destiny.  No force on earth can make us happy or sad in any situation.  No stress in life can make us crumble like ashes.  It is our attitude to life, which makes all the difference.  The day anyone realises the harmful effects of any addiction is the beginning of their journey to freedom from addiciton.

I am not trying to be a moralist here.  I have nothing against people drinking or smoking.  What I am against is the belief that drinking or smoking can cure us of all our stresses in life.  It never can.  It is our ability to face a crisis head on and deal with it, which will make all the difference to our lives.  It is like a smoker can give up smoking one day in a fraction of a second when they decide they want. to.  On the other hand, a smoker who pledges to give up slowly and gradually ends up smoking all his life.

It can be addiction to coffee or tea as in the photo above and not necessarily cigarettes or alcohol.

So, it is upto us to decide what we want to be.  Every human being is capable of dealing with their own stresses and strains in life.  It is upto us to wake up one morning and say that ” I am in control of myself and I can lead a life of my own”.  It is then addiction can transform into de-addiction.

The day to start is today and the time is now.

Why delay ?

S Ramesh Shankar

6th May 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crisis or opportunity ?

Multi-skilling our security guards

Every crisis is an opportunity. That is the way to look at life. If we can find ways and means to convert every crisis or challenge in our lives into an opportunity, we will be better of. It is better to look at life as a chain of possibilities rather than a string of problems.

The lockout in India and many countries around the world is a necessary condition for us to fight a virus, which we do not know much about. While many of us are cursing the government and everyone around us for the situation, some of us are converting this crisis into an opportunity.

Some may ask how do we convert every crisis into an opportunity ? Let me illustrate my point with a few examples – both from my personal life and work life so that we look at possibilities rather than challenges. Let me start with the personal life first.

While we have all the time in the world, some of us are getting bored with it. Some others are wondering what to do. I decided that I will use this time to do housekeeping in our entire house. Every nook and corner of the house got cleaned. All our documents were put in place and arranged systematically. Our clothes were sorted, junk identified and disposed and surplus things segregated to be donated to people who need them more than us.

Similarly at the workplace, we have an opportunity to look at how do we reduce the cost of our operations. We can form teams to innovate and give ideas to cut process delays, make improvements in the way we have been doing things. We can challenge existing systems and processes and get rid of all waste in the system.

In most organisations, material cost accounts to 70% of total cost. How do we reduce this cost ? Even in labour cost, we can think innovative and reduce the same by trimming salaries rather than manpower. For eg. we can reduce senior management salaries by 20%, middle management by 10% and even workmen by 5% in consultation with the unions. This may reduce our overall cost by 10% without having to make people lose jobs. This requires proactive discussions with the unions and preparing employees to face the challenge together. The CEO and senior management could lead this effort by voluntarily taking a 20% cut so that they lead by example.

I am willing to volunteer to partner with any organisation to share ideas and see through till implementation for optimising their costs, especially employee costs without manpower reduction. My services will be honorary and if you achieve your goals, you can contribute to my cause of “preventing blindness amongst children by donating directly to my partner organisation.”

We are in a war like situation in India and most of the countries of the world. We in India are lucky that we are a democratic state. We have an elected government at the centre and in the states. We need to trust our leaders and believe they have more information and wisdom than we have in dealing with this crisis. In a war, we need to trust our leader and follow her or him like a true follower. Followership is more important than leadership in any crisis situation. Many of us are using social media to spread rumours and negativity. This will not help us in any way. Let us spread positivity and salute the front line warriors who are sacrificing their lives to save us.

Each of us can contribute in our little ways by staying at home and be self disciplined. We can support the poor daily wagers by helping them with food, shelter or any other means. Even if each of us take care of the servants who work with us and other low paid employees in our community or workplace, we would be doing our bit to get over this crisis.

As in the photo above, our security guards are supporting us in distributing newspapers, watering the garden, collecting wet waste, housekeeping and many other errands, which is much beyond their job descriptions. This will make them multi-skilled, which will help them in their career too and earn more than they otherwise would.

Let us be happy and proud that India is much better off than most nations in the world. The good news is that the governments at the centre and the states are working together to fight this crisis. We as individuals and communities need to support the government in fighting this war against the virus together.

Let us contribute our little bit every day.

S Ramesh Shankar

14th April 2020

Featured

Relearning from childhood…

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Learning is a life long journey. I was sitting with my grandson, who is 7 years old. He asked me if I knew how to use Instagram on my phone. I said yes. He asked me if I could take a photo of his with the whiskers of a rabbit. I told him that I did know how to do it. He readily agreed to teach me.

He advised me to open the app on my phone. He then showed me as to how change the setting on the phone and then take a selfie as in the photo above. I was quite stunned. It was great learning to use a mobile app from a 7 year old.

As children, we are inquisitive and curious. We learn continually by observing others and things around us. When I asked him as to how did he learn it – he said that he saw my son doing the same on his phone. As we grow up in life, we possibly forget to be curious. Our inquisitiveness is buried within us. We feel shy to ask questions and thereby our learning retards.

It is time to look back and learn from childhood. If we cannot turn the clock back, we can observe young kids around us and learn from them. Another incident made me realise how simple observation can be of great learning value. My grand son was at home for his school vacation. We were playing with each other. Then he wanted to download a few games on my iPad.

I gave him my iPad and enquired which games he would like download. He glanced through the app and shortlisted a few. When I was about to download, he told not to do so. He informed me that every app has a preview. We should preview the game and only if it is interesting, we should download the app. It would otherwise be waste of money. I could not believe that a young kid of 7 years could be so knowledgable on how to carefully download game apps from the internet without wasting money.

To be honest I was not aware of it. This helps learn an important lesson in life. We all are good learners as kids. We observer everything around us and learn. We do not hesitate to ask questions when in doubt. As we grow up our observations skills fades away and hence may be our learning ability also diminishes. We are scared of asking questions when we do not know so as to hide our ignorance rather than learn from others who know.

It is time to reflect. It is time rekindle the child in us. It is time ask questions of curiosity from everyone around us including kids. It is never too late to change. It is also never too late to unlearn, learn and relearn.

Time to restart is today ?

S Ramesh Shankar

Moods & Modes

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We go through different moods and through different modes. Our moods could be determined by our attitude and also that of others. As in the photo above, a kid can keep you energised right through the day with his playfulness and spontaneity.

A mother could teach you lessons of selflessness through her actions every day. She does everything at home and is the ultimate caregiver. She may then spend a tough day at work and yet never forget to care for her family. Her moods are not impacted by her pressures at work alone but her selfless nature to give more than she gets.

Most of us conveniently blame the environment around us for our moods. We believe the mode determines our moods. If we have a challenging day at work or our boss is upset with us, we pass it on to our spouse or kids. We do not realise that they may also have had a tough day at school or work and have equal impact ot mode on their moods.

I have tried to examine the cause and effect and moods and mode. While it may appear logical to relate a mode to the state of the mood, in reality it may be the other way around. After a lot of reflection I have come to the conclusion that I alone am responsible for my moods right through the day.

I may conveniently pass on the cause of my bad mood to my family or colleagues at work. It is possible that a family member or a colleague at work may have spoilt your mood by their bad mode. But it is up to us to keep our cool and maintain our mood. This may easier said than lived.

However, on deep reflection I have realised that the really good people are not impacted by the mode of others. They keep a happy mood all the time. Their attitude to life makes all the difference. They make you realise that to be in a good mood or bad mood is more dependant on ourselves than other people around us.

We have start each day with the belief that this is the best day of my life. We have to grateful to God and all the people around ourselves to have helped us where we are. If we live life with this attitude, I believe our mood will always be positive. As I said earlier, it may be more difficult to practise than write about it. But I have met real people in my life who live it every day.

Time to change is now.

S Ramesh Shankar

Belittling

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Each of us have a place in our society. Each of us has a role we play. We all try our best to live up to the expectations of our role. It is like every player in a football team has a specific role to play and they try their best to play their role to the best of their ability. Life is no different. Let us look at our daily life. We see people play different roles right through the day. It could be the newspaper boy who drops your morning paper. It could be the security guard, who guards your community premises. It could be your maid, your driver or even your cook. We cannot imagine our life to be complete without each of them playing their role.

Some of us have a tendency to belittle some roles in life. Even in the professional field, some people may consider their jobs more valuable than others. This is more of perception than reality. The best example are the fingers or toes in our arms. All the fingers have the same value although may play different functions in our daily chores. But, imagine the thumb thinking that she is superior to the little finger and makes us believe so. Then we realise the value of the little finger only when it is injured in an accident and we are unable to use it for doing our routine tasks.

It is like in the age old caste system in India. Some castes considered themselves upper castes and others were considered lower in the social strata. This is more of a mindset issue. In my view all human beings irrespective of their caste are equal in every possible way. They ability to add value to society depends on their knowledge, skill and attitude rather than caste. Modernisation has proved that caste has nothing to do with the growth of the human kind. But, traditionally people belonging to the upper castes did belittle the lower castes in society. This is a more psychological limitation of the upper castes in their mind rather than a reality based on scientific facts.

I sometimes wonder why do we belittle people around us. A child sometimes ends up even belittling his mother because she may not be as educated as the kid. The child believes that being more educated gives him the right to underestimate his mother. Time and experience teaches the child that education cannot make you superior to others. It could add value to your knowledge but cannot necessarily substitute experience or hone your attitude to life.

We see this behaviour within the precincts of the organisation too. People in particular positions think that they are superior to the people doing others jobs. It is like a white collared staff thinking that he is superior to the blue collared workman. The staff does not realise that he can never make the product a workman produces ever in his life even if he tries his best. This is not because he cannot ever but does not have the skills to do the same. It is true for all professions and all roles. We may be highly qualified from the best Universities but cannot compare ourselves with someone else, who has skills we do not have.

The truth is that societies also tend to value roles differently. Every society values some roles more than others. This could be due to historic reasons or due lack of adequate awareness of the different roles. But I do believe that evolved societies respect all roles with equal reverence. This is the true reflection for human development. This can be seen in developed societies where nobody is hesitant to share what they do since every role in the community is equally respected.

We need to learn to respect every role in life. There is no justification of belittling others and then justifying it. I would say that is human limitation to belittle others. It reflects more in our inability than ability to know others and their value in society. We need to learn to respect each and every person around us and their contributions to life. This is the only we learn and grow in life.

It may be belittling to dinosaurs to compare them with humans as in the photo above.

Let us start to respect everyone around us from today.

S Ramesh Shankar

How to kill boredom..

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It is natural to feel bored sometimes. It happens with all of us. It could happen at work, at home or even when you are travelling. When you go through such a phase, you feel as if the clock has stopped ticking. You feel life is not interesting any more and you also wonder how to kill your time ?. I have also gone through this experience many times in my life.

We all go through boredom and find our own innovative ways to kill it. Some of us enjoy reading a book. Others find joy in writing a blog or a poem. Some others may just like to gaze through the window and admire the beauty of nature. Some listen to music and others shake their leg when time stands still for them. I feel each of us is bestowed with some unique way of killing boredom.

Some of us find it difficult to deal with boredom, while others don’t. The key to find a way is the belief that we can. If we believe, we can, we will. If we believe, we cannot, we never will. Everything in life begins with the basic belief in oneself and one’s capabilities. Many of us tend to give up even before we try. It may be a good idea to try something and accept failure even if that thing does not click. This way we will surely find ways to kill boredom.

It is also important that what clicks for you may not excite someone else. I love to listen to music when bored. My son enjoys watching movies on TV and daughter enjoys writing articles. My wife keeps weaving her words through poetry when she wants to kill boredom. So each of us in the same family may find different ways to achieve the same goal. There is nothing right or wrong about anybody’s way.

It is also interesting to note that each of us also may find unique ways at different points of time in our own lives. Even that is fine. I enjoyed listening to music and going for walks when bored. Nowadays, I enjoy writing blogs and travelling. Tomorrow, I may watch birds and enjoy the music of nature. There is nothing wrong or right in any of these activities. Each of them is by choice and what gives me most joy at a particular point of time.

Life is no different. Even at work, we can always find ways and means to kill boredom. Some young colleagues have approached me as to how I am not bored working in my chosen field for almost four decades. I tell them that every morning when I get to work, I think of doing something different and creative at work. I challenge my thoughts and those of my colleagues. It may be a good idea to challenge ideas and ways of working of everyone around us and not challenge people. This ensures that you are not creating conflicts but finding ways and means to improve our way of working every day.

Even in our personal lives, a routine life of work-home-work makes it dull and dry. It may be good idea to explore what gives you joy and then try to do the same. I travel whenever I can and explore nature , art and culture around us. I sometimes try out new things and play with gadgets. God has given each of us enough mental capacities to challenge ourselves and learn from people around us. Learning is a journey and exciting always as there is not a destination you cannot reach.

A child can teach us as to how kill boredom without much efforts as in the photo above.

It is time to be adventurous to kill boredom. We need to take risks. We need to try out new things without worrying about failure. So what if we fail. After all the best sportspersons have not won Olympic medals without failing hundreds of times in their lives. The key is to keep trying out new things all the time. The path to fun in life is variety. The road to kill boredom is not well laid out all the time. It is up to us to explore and carve the path ourselves.

Time to begin is now.

S Ramesh Shankar

How you say is more important than What you say ?

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I have met employees in different organisations who have shared stories about how they were hurt with the way their managers communicated with them. I used to initially think that this may be because all of us as employees do not like to hear the bad news from our managers. For eg. Who will like a negative feedback from his or her manager ? . But, I was surprised that when I dug deep into it, I found that many employees were okay with the content of the message but were upset the way it was delivered by their managers.

This made me think as to why this happens. I assume all managers are responsible and hence will be careful in preparing their messages and more so when it is a negative message. If a manager has to sit with his employee to give a performance feedback, he will prepare his content and then deliver the message. This may be true in most of the cases. But, the real impact is not content but delivery and mode of delivery.

If a manager takes her employee to a canteen and over a cup of tea and casually makes a comment that the employee has to improve his interpersonal relations and does not substantiate with examples, it could have a negative effect. In this instance, the employee is shattered both by the content and the delivery of the message. First the employee is not prepared for the feedback. Next he feels his manager has been very frivolous and insensitive in the way it was conveyed. So, the lesson learnt is delivery is as important if not more than content of the message.

The situation is no different at home. We as parents tend to convey a negative message to our kid as if we have no ownership to it. We may say your mom feels you are reckless in behaviour though I don’t agree. This can not only harm the child more than before but also create a lack of credibility of yours in the mind space of your kid. We do not realize how a child gets impacted if the message is not conveyed in the right way.

Even in a play field, a coach can motivate a player by ensuring the message is conveyed to the player in the correct manner. A coach is respected, who is not only fair but is perceived to be fair. Perception is based in real experiences of the players. If a player is dropped for a game, the coach needs to plan and deliver this bad news to the player concerned in a proper way. If this is done much before the match and the player is explained the reasons for his dropping by the coach and the captain, this message is taken in the right spirit. On the contrary, if this is conveyed in the last minute just at the start of play, the player gets demotivated.

The same thing happens in organisations too. Employees are open to feedback. I have experienced that they respect leaders who give authentic feedback. Authenticity means that there is no gap between what I say and what I do. If I say you are good at something and then do not give you an opportunity to do that thing, then I lose respect. On the contrary if I tell you that you will not be considered for this project because you do not have the skills but will be considered for the next which will match with your strengths and keep that promise, then I am respected.

Your love and affection can be experienced by the receiver as in the photo above as long as you behave affectionately.

I think it is human to realise that “how we say” something is more important than “what we say “. We are all human and we get hurt as individuals when we are conveyed a message by our family, friends, colleagues or by our manager in an inappropriate manner. Hence, we do realise it . But, it is time to convert that realisation to practise. While we have every right to feel hurt in being conveyed a message wrongly, we have an equal responsibility to ensure that we do not hurt others by similar behaviour while we convey messages to others.

Lets be human.

S Ramesh Shankar