Saturday, 31 January 2015

Communication: An aspect of it demystified

When we think of good communication, the picture that comes to mind could be that of a great orator.Yet communication is a lot more than oratory or if  you prefer communication is a lot simpler than excellent oratory skills.

It pertains to the connect with the audience. If what you have to say is in sync with what the audience is expecting, then the communication  exercise can be as smooth as butter. if not disillusionment & dissatisfaction could be the result.

Having a sense of the mood of the audience could be vital. To a hungry audience if you insist on imparting what you believe to be 'pearls of wisdom' much beyond the lunch time, you are likely to find your words falling on deaf ears.The problem is that many speakers are in love with their own voices and proud of their own knowledge or expertise and this prevents them from looking at the faces in the audience for nonverbal cues (excitement, interest, boredom or indifference).

Recently, I had organized a short training session on Kaya kalpa yoga, a technique developed by the Siddhas of Tamilnadu, simplified & propogated in recent times by Vethathiri Maharishi.The attractive aspect of this yoga is that it requires only 7 minutes of your time in a day to practice( 3 in the morning, 3 in the evening & 1 at night).For busy employees in the manufacturing sector, this is very good news and there was a big response from the employees to attend this open program of voluntary participation.

The time allotted to the speaker facilitating the session, including the practical training was around two hours, Based on our experience of organizing the same program earier through another faculty, I requested the speaker to talk about the history & theory behind the yoga for about 45 minutes and spend the remaining 1 hour and 15 minutes for the practical part of learning the yoga and allowing participants to seek clarification. Although I had repeated the request 2 to 3 times before the commencement of the session, the speaker got so carried away explaining the details that he ended up having less than half an hour for providing practical training to 100 odd participants.The exercise had to be hurried through and no time was available for clarification.The basic purpose of learning to do the yoga correctly was defeated.

On another occasion in a previos company, we were celebrating Republic day. I was compeering the program at our factory location in Mysore.Normally employees look forward to a quick & brief program that starts at 8 AM and gets over by around 10 AM.The CMD and a director had come down from Bangalore.As soon as they arrived it was hinted that CMD would like to leave as early as possible as he had another  appointment,  back in bangalore.

The program agenda included the inspection of parade, flag hoisting, minimum number of speeches, couple of   patriotic songs and distribution of a few awards to employees for long service/ contribution to quality.With an aim to be inclusive, I suggested that a lady executive of quality department announce the names of the quality award winners.It was conveyed to her and to all others concerned, the desire of CEO to leave early.

when the time came to announce the names of the awardees however, the lady chose to give a long discourse on the defenition of quality, its background, importance and so on. Her brief was simply to announce the names. As the onus was on me as the compeer, to fulfill the requirements of CMD, I tried in vain to give her hints to get on with the announcements and internally cursed myself for coming up with the idea of including her instead of just announcing the names myself. The speaker saw it as  an opportunity to get noticed and 'shine' before top management. she could'nt care less of my plight!

If we are not reponsive to the demands of a situation, communication is bound to fail.Coming across many such experiences have prompted me to keep my own talks short and sweet  while constantly looking to the faces in the audience. This lets me know whether they are with me and as to whether I need to change tack to ensure that they are...

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Application of the Law of Attraction

The Law of attraction  and other universal laws like 'cause & effect", "Law of relativity" etc have been around since ages.However, the few people who knew the law of attraction  kept it a secret and did not share it with others. In the recent times, it is Rhonda Bryne who  revived interest in LOA through her  book "The Secret."

Rhonda Byrne stumbled upon the concept amongst her late father's books.She was excited and felt that the law was too important to be kept in the know of only a few and needed to be shared with the entire world. In this connection she interviewed successful people living in the present times- doctors, entrepreneurs, writers,.social scientists and found that knowingly or unknowingly they were practicing the concepts of LOA in their lives. Thus, "The secret" was intially in the form of a movie of interviews resembling a documentary.It was later that Rhonda wrote the book.

According to the law, everything that is happening in our life is being attracted by us.We attract these things by our thoughts and feelings which is a powerful combination.what we focus on (knowingly or unknowingly) by constantly thinking about & strongly feeling the emotions associated with the thought,we attract  in to our lives.As for example, if we think over & over about getting a job in a particular dream company and also put all our feelings in to it, we are bound to attract it in to our lives.similarly, if a student frequently thinks of a particular subject as too difficult and experience corresponding feeling of failing in it, he attracts failure in the subject.

 From this it is very clear that we need to watch our thoughts and move it to positive if they tend to be ngative. Our thoughts would be positive if we are feeling good. For feeling good we need to identify those activities that enable us to feel good & engage in those activities more often ( could be as simple an activity as eating favourite ice cream, reading, writing poetry, travelling, cooking, listening to music, watching sunrise/ sunset, walking in the rain) Secret, the movie has several snippets of how the process happens and readers may like to watch it.

I developed a one and half hour presentation on the subject and started sharing the concept with new employees as a part of new employee orientation program and also included it as a part of my training program on  "motivation for best results" This is also shared with students who visit the company for unertaking projects as part fulfillment of their curriculum. At the end of the session, marrying the concepts of mind programmimg and LOA, I do an exercise of going into an alpha state and installing in the subconscious mind 3 to 4 things the participants would like to attract in to their lives, such as wealth, success at work, health or peace of mind.( In an earlier post in 2012, mind programming was explained in detail- ( . )

In order to get the best results of applying LOA, the power of visualization and the power of gratitude needs to be kept in mind.Here visualization refers to visualizing thepicture of what we want with all the five senses- seeing, hearing, feeling,smelling, tasting. For example if my ardent desire is to visit the cool hill station simla, I visualize sitting in hot chennai, the picture of myself wearing woolen clothes.Some children, in the picture are making a snow man while others are throwing snow balls at each other and I am ducking to save myself from being hit by the snow balls!This is a feeling universe.the more intense the feeling with which one visualizes, the faster it is attracted.

Another important aspect of LOA application, is Gratitude.It is only when we are thankful for the many things that we have already received, will the window be opened for more things to enter in to our lives.The Good God has already given us so  many things- Loving parents/ spouse/ children, good job etc.Generally there is a tendency to complain & focus on what we don't have rather than being grateful for what we already have. Grateful people are happier, less depressed, less stressed and more satisfied with their lives and relationships.Infact the third book of  Rhonda Bryne is devoted exclusively to the "Magiic"( title of book) that arises from an attitude of gratitude!

In her second book, "The Power", Rhonda  points out that if a relationship between two persons is not good, when one thinks of the other, the number of negative things that come to mind are much more than the number of positive things/ if at all it comes to mind. She gives a tip of listing down the good qualities of the person with whom you wish to improve relationship and reading them for the next 10 days without a break and your relationship will transform.I tell my participants not to wait until a relationship has soured- Make a list of the good qualities of all the people with whom you have regular transactions- parents,siblings, spouse, children, friends, boss, juniors, peers and read them regularly.

Applying LOA

There are some areas in our life where things are going great.We are happy and satisfied. In these areas, continue to have more of those thoughts as they are working for us.However, in areas which we are not satisfied, changing the thought & focus could give us better results.doing it in alpha state is so much more powerful. .I did the exercise first in my own department of training & devlopment (see mind programming post ) and later offered to do it in the production departments. I met those team leaders personally who were likely to be open to the idea. Finally, with the consent and support of the team leaders I did the exercise for 21days in press shop, Engine-3 and two maintenance departments.

The affirmations (short positive statements) to be installed through the mind programming was prepared in line with needs of each department and visualized during the exercise by around 10 team members who participated. As for example, for the affirmation-"We consistently achieve & exceed our targets each time,everytime",  a writing board was visualized  with the production target written on the left and the actual achievement on the right.At the end of the month, the team is looking at the board and the figure on the right is much more than on the left.After reading it with pleasure & pride, they shake hands and congratulate each other for once again exceeding targets!

In conclusion. I would like to reiterate that feeling good is the key! From feeling good will emerge positive thoughts & the corresponding feelings enabling us to attract the things we want. It is suggested that a nice thick bound book be maintained seperating it in to 3 parts.In the first part, record all the things that make you feel good and happy.In the second part, write down the good qualities of all the people with whom you have regular transactions and in the last part of the book record all the things for which you are grateful and thankful to the universe/ God.

As the concept of LOA should no longer be a secret and needs to be spread far and wide,  I have encouraged V.Saravanan, Asst Manager in my team to take the sessions for project students.Eventually, we need more people in the company to spread the message of "feeling good" for a great life- both work life & personal life. The message needs to continue long  after I am no longer  in the organization.....