[5-Bullet Tuesday] Have You Been Writing Love Letters to Whomsoever It May Concern?

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

What I’m reading –

A day without laughter is a day wasted - Charlie Chaplin Click To Tweet

If you’re looking to add humor in your speaking and making it part of your life, get hold of this book: The Levity Effect, by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher. It’s available in audio format from Audible as well as in hard copy from Amazon.in. I have grabbed my audio copy just today and can’t wait to listen. .

Great Leadership: Is Having Fun at Work a Myth?

Podcast I loved—

I think I was an early mover as far as listening to podcasts is concerned. It’s only recently though that it’s become more popular in India. Having heard so many international podcasts over the years, I have developed a sense of separating the wheat from the chaff. This one comes from a friend, a fellow Toastmaster from the same club, but it’s superior quality and I’m saying so while swallowing my own ego given the competitive rivalry that exists with people you’re close with. Hustle with Harmit, has a long way to go. Listen to this episode and decide yourself.

What 500 rupee or less purchase I’m proud of –

I bet you know by now what written form of gratitude can do to positively change your life forever.

But then, is it easy?

Maybe not. Life comes in the way. That’s why, we need a gratitude buddy – A buddy who is an accountability partner. One you trust and who nudges you to do it daily. My wife and I decided to be gratitude buddies for each other. We finished the 30 day gratitude challenge today. And guess what, we’re feeling lighter, may be not so much in our body but certainly so in our heads.

Quote I’m pondering —

Top 20 Simon Sinek Quotes That Reveal the Hard Truths About ...

Tip of the week –

One Public speaking tip that stuck with me was from TEDx speaker Chendil Kumar. Chendil says that audience analysis is sacrosanct while public speaking. In his own words: If you’re giving a speech without doing an audience analysis, it’s like you’re writing a love letter to whomsoever it may concern.

PS: If you like this broadcast, you may enjoy exploring more from me. You can connect with me at www.mohitsawhney.com.                                            


If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.


 

[5-Bullet Tuesday] Are You Under The Weather?

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

How I’m chilling–

During this time of the year, when the cold wave has engulfed various parts of the country, people just can’t stop complaining about the chill. The irony, though, is that instead of making you feel better, talking about it will only make you feel worse. After all, what you focus on grows.

A poem I read–

It is in chilling times like these, when this poem resonates with me:

 “As a rule,

man is a fool.

When it’s hot,

he wants it cool.

When it’s cool,

he wants it hot.

Always wanting

what is not!”

Thought I’m motivated with–

I read this story of Amitabh Bachhan years ago. He was shooting in Rajasthan in a place where the temperature had fallen down to around 4 degrees Celsius. But he had absolutely no qualms about it and was continuing shooting his scene normally. During break time, a lady asked him, “Mr. Bachhan, don’t you feel cold?” Mr. Bachhan simply replied, “When I think about cold, I feel it!” (जब ठण्ड के बारे में सोचता हूँ , तो लगती है !)

This particular dialogue is so inspiring for me whenever I feel distracted and tend to lose focus. If you have a laser sharp focus towards your goal, such minor excuses will not affect you.

Quote I’m pondering –

“Two men looked out from prison bars,

One saw the mud, the other saw stars.”

― Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

What I learnt—

My 11 year old son, Tanav, was sharing with me that we must not take our friends for granted and neither should we let them take us for a ride. Sometimes, people who look like friends, end up being the ones who bring us down and shatter our confidence. So, it’s important not to be stuck with a friend just because you once were.

He added, “Papa, there are two types of people in this world: Those who talk to you in their free time, and those who free their time to talk to you.                   


If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.


                                                                                                                                    

Motivation Theories 101 for Parents

You are a Middle Manager. You lead big teams, manage difficult people, and resolve conflicts every single day. You have this amazing Emotional Intelligence (EI). So proud you are!

You think you have the knack:

  • I can feel their pulse. They bare open their hearts in front of me!
  • We are a team of high achievers. Work is made enjoyable for all through collaborative problem solving!

While you’re at it, your wife’s anger and 9 year old son’s retaliation catches your attention. She’s manages the kids. You don’t interfere with how she approaches their studies or behavior management.

Except that there’s one rule in the house- Anger is unacceptable, come what may! And in all shapes and forms – no personal attacks, back biting, shaming, shouting, and if you’re thinking spanking, well the rule on that is- Don’t even think about it!

But this Friday, when you’re thinking you’d chill on the weekend. You’ve got work to do. Wife’s out of bounds. She is fed up and tired. You know that there’s is a lot of talking coming your way when she says “Don’t talk to me!” or “Leave me alone!

And that’s exactly how it unfolds..

  • He doesn’t sit down to study. He just doesn’t listen to me
  • I need to check his chat messages on Clash of Clans. He could be in bad company!

You were at the receiving end of all this in more ways than one – Apparently, just a little while back, this out of control situation had led your son to hitting his football so hard in the study room that it hit your dearest, beloved bookshelf’s glass window! And yes, it broke.. along with a piece of your heart. You got to know about this after all the other so called important details. (All that really mattered to you in all these details was that your bookshelf glass broke!)

Well, but perhaps it was the broken glass of your bookshelf that brought the message home for you that you need to take the ownership for next few days. Otherwise, you would have laughed the matter off.

You use the opportunity to take this on your shoulders when your wife says “Okay fine, you do it. Try it just for two days and then we’ll see! It’s easier said than done.”

Being a great believer of Douglas McGregor’s Theory Y of Motivation, you decide taking that approach in the situation.

Douglas McGregor’s—Theory X and Theory Y:

Theory X: assumes that people need supervision and need to be pushed into doing something.

Theory Y: on the other hand is where you assume people are self-motivated and you just need to motivate them so that they pull themselves towards the goal.

Wifey dear, remember the boss with whom interactions were no less than interrogations, the daily grilling, cursing people for not completing an assigned task, and the threat to throw them out! So theory X’ish!

It’s not saying that it didn’t work – It did, at least for the time being, but didn’t it make us feel miserable, worthless and like slaves and that too every single day! Going to work was a pain in the wrong place.

We don’t want anyone to go through that. Definitely not our children.

You sense that it is your son’s over confidence bordering on complacency that’s causing this.

“Complacency is the enemy of success” – Jeff Sutherland, Co-creator of Scrum

You offer to play a game of football with him in the backyard. An offer you know he will never refuse. You usually lose to him but today you play harder and eventually beat him (well.. in order to bring his over confidence under control)

You hand him a leaf out of the daily planner you got from the US. He knows it means a lot to you. After a bit of coaching, he is able to jot down his priorities for next two days and his plan for the day (no questions asked). Surprisingly, he has included time to study for his Hindi and GK tests on Monday.

He followed the plan. Not perfect but definitely to his satisfaction and yours (and your wife’s)

You tell him about checking off the planned tasks that are done. He does that and is kicked about it. You are carried away and tell him about deriving your happiness score based on how much you got done!

The journey has been good so far on Day 1 and Day 2. However, the outcome is yet to be seen after the Monday’s test results. You are pretty confident though about the outcome too.

By the way, even offering rewards for doing something will fall under Theory X. The rationale being that it’s like bribe and makes people do things only as long as they get something in return. Theory Y is about internal motivation. People naturally like contributing and creating things even if its without a direct reward.

So, if the journey matters to you, then you better make it enjoyable. Results will ensue. Amen!

Congratulations! If you have read so far, you have understood the following concepts of Project Management:

  • McGregor’s theory of motivation– Difference between Theory X and Theory Y
  • Pop the Happy Bubble – Don’t be so happy (complacent) that you start believing your own bullshit!
  • Quantify Happiness : Happiness Score – It’s the Journey, not the Destination!
  • Happiness is a future looking metric – Get Better Every Day and Measure it! (.. the Monday test results will prove!)

The “Happiness” concepts have been referenced from SCRUM: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Jeff Sutherland, Co-creator of Scrum.

Some questions you should be able to answer:

  1. Name one future looking work metric which can be a great indicator for successful outcomes. (Bonus question: Can you think of another one?)
  2. Theory Y works by addressing which type of human need from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (Tip: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a five-stage model – i. Physiological needs ii. Safety needs iii. Love and belonging needs iv. Esteem needs v. Self-actualization needs)

Please do share your thoughts and any questions you may have regarding the Motivational theories. Until next time, Adios!

‘D’ for Dance

Everyone has heard of the BIG FAT Indian wedding. And it’s even more so, if it is a Punjabi one.

We recently celebrated my brother-in-law’s wedding. There was a lot of excitement in the family and although the parent’s did most work, we thought we were busy too.

Amidst all this, my wife, Deepti, had an idea, “We should do a dance performance for the newly-wed couple.”

I affirmed that this was a superb idea.

Dinky and I-2

A few days passed and then, reality set in. It now appeared like a daunting task. One that would involve so many decisions, – hire a trainer or prepare on our own, which dance form given our body’s (in-) flexibility levels and so on.. 

Besides, we would be working and have two kids to manage. I was very skeptical about being able to pull this off. This idea had every chance of dying prematurely just like most ideas do. 

Thankfully, something changed.

Deepti asked me to take charge. “Manage it like a project and just make it work”, she said. I felt a sense of ownership. Giving up was not an option any more. I started asking, “How to make it happen?” rather than “Whether it would work or not?”.

Ask the right questions, for our questions create a mindspace where we spend all our time

Deepti, of course, helped in every way possible – from searching for the trainers, to doing the cost-benefit, to selecting the songs. We decided that a trainer closer home would suit us better. It was December and it’d be tough to go to a distant place in the chill. Our trainer made it even easier by suggesting that he could come to our place instead. That was so Wow.

But there were several other occasions too when we wanted to give up. It is so easy to give up.

I was not even feeling well at one point and the last thing I wanted to do was practice my dance moves. We still kept going, slowly but steadily. I think it was our motivation that kept us going: We would be so proud to have danced for the couple that is so dear to us. It would make fond memories that we will cherish forever.

There was another roadblock of getting the song clip from our trainer. We had moved to my bro-in-law’s place and were busy with other aspects of the wedding. Once again, our trainer came to our rescue. Then, a techie friend of mine figured a way to carry the songs to the venue where we were supposed to perform.

At the time when we were supposed to shake a leg, we got busy with the guests and having our photographs clicked. I don’t know about Deepti but something kept telling me even then to forget about our dance

  • We haven’t rehearsed enough!
  • What if we forgot the steps?
  • It’s embarrassing to face such a large audience. 

But then, there was a motivating inner voice too, which told me the opposite –

  • Don’t even think of giving up after having come so far!
  • Do everything possible to make your idea a success!
  • Remember your motivation.

It dawned on me that it didn’t matter how perfectly we danced. All that mattered was that we danced and made it entertaining. We were prepared enough to do that.

A good plan today is better than a perfect one tomorrow. 

Our good plan was in place. I mustered some courage (read: gulped down my drink) and whispered into Deepti’s ear, “Let’s do it!”

She said, “Okay!”

It was as if she was waiting for me to ask. We were all set. An announcement was made. We were on the stage, yes, dancing. We were having a lot of fun. I remembered our trainer’s tip, “Just enjoy and sing along and it’ll be easy.”

When our dance ended, we hugged. I heard an applause. We had inspired a few other performances too, including our five year old son, Tanav’s.

Some appreciations followed.

I am not sure if people liked our show or if they were just being nice. But I am sure we will look back at this and it will always bring smiles.

They say that “If you desire something with all your heart, the whole world conspires to fulfill your desire.” That proved to be true in this case too.  

Our best wishes to the newly-wed couple: Your love is beautiful and inspiring and we look forward to seeing it grow. Always.