B +Ve !!

A site for all positive thinkers to grow together !


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THINK GLOBAL START LOCAL

In the days of Covid-19 when there is no respite and we have to live with it for a greater period of time, I’m seeking ideas for a brighter future of all living species on earth.

I am thinking on how we can contribute to stay safe, live better, become more self reliant, using local products for daily needs, less dependency on foreign goods and to boost our economy.

Many among us might have similar thoughts. Thoughts like what we can do staying home where we are when there is no scope of a new job opportunity. How to become an earning member in the family.

Looking forward to learn from your ideas.


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LET’S FIGHT TOGETHER

Amidst the speculation and probabilities of Covid-19, I am staying home. This nature of this virus is still unknown and there is no definitive cure.

It has taken most of the countries in it’s grip. It has been declared pandemic as it can’t be confined to any boundary as of now.  States imposing curfew and we observe national lockdown for a brief period. Economy slowing down but there is no choice. Economy can bounce back when we stay healthy in a safe environment as health is wealth.

Here I remember an old proverb ‘prevention is better than cure’. Prevention is a choice when there is cure available for a disease. It becomes the only option in the absence of a cure. In present situation we can stay safe only with prevention. So, we must take every measure so as not to be caught by the virus.

There is a need to adopt healthy living standards and do better financial planning for next few months. This virus has the ability to multiply itself and live for a long period even on a non living body like a metal surface.

It can catch any healthy person when the person is exposed to the surrounding environment of already infected people in close proximity. That’s the reason we are now listening terms like quarantine and social distancing.  So, we have to protect ourselves by keeping good distance from such environment.

Let’s understand social distancing well.
This is not to hate people in our neighborhood or treat them as untouchables.  This is high time to become more social than ever before to be in sound mental health alongwith all other fellow human beings. The only need is to keep ourselves in a safe environment and it’s possible when we make the distance required.

To enable this we should stop visiting neighbours and discourage guests coming home at present. This is because the chances of infection are more in a crowded place as we are not aware of the person standing next to us if already infected. It is important to keep in mind that the symptoms of infection do not appear well at first and the infected person may appear very normal in the initial days. So, we may get caught before we actually know about the infected environment unless we keep the distance. So, prevention here is the only option.

There is no restriction on use of social media and phone calls as the virus doesn’t spread using this medium. In fact we should use digital media and all long distance mode of communication staying at home to keep in touch with our dear ones. They need our support. Let’s don’t hate pet animals. They too need our support.


This is family time and we are having great time together. I urge you too do the same with your family. This is challenging time for children and the guardians too. School going children are forced to go in summer vacation in advance. This vacation is going to last for a long time now. In this period we can’t take them outside to public places like children’s park. All sort of entertainment and refreshments has to be inside the boundary wall of our home now. We have to be more innovative how to spend quality time with them at home.

Let’s keep faith and have trust on the system. We will win this battle with a responsible and more disciplined living. Our prayers will not go in vein. Let’s stop all experimentation and try to preserve nature as it was before and naturally created by God. This time will pass and we’ll experience better time in future.


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ON CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

It has always been a controversial social issue whether death penalty is a need or not for any crime.

I have little personal views on this topic. At present we have this provision for heinous crimes when the convicts under trial are found guilty of the crime.

We need to think how liberal can we be to either forgive or punish someone for a crime. The primary cause behind any crime is false education and lack of values. When people live a life not well connected with others in society they tend to develop criminal mindset as pain of others don’t affect them. They live and die for their own amusement.


Few tend to feel they are more powerful than others and what if they do something extraordinary that average people can’t think of. They can always find an escape route. They misuse when they don’t know the real use of power.

The purpose of any punishment should be to bring change in society. Change in our thoughts and action. We may look at change in others but the convicts are not allowed in this case. There is no scope for them to change and come back to society again. Have we started believing some people can’t be changed at all.

People with a criminal state of mind tend to be more inhuman by nature these days. They sometimes commit a crime to have fun without any thought of the outcome of their madly action.

With capital punishment the scope for change is shrinking and intolerance increasing leading to a more inhumane society. While some may see it as an example for others to guard themselves and not even think of committing such a crime, in reality we observe little change in society with the attitude of people. Fear factor may not work well all the time.

People these days demand punishment and they feel happy when government fulfills their demand. I don’t understand well if it’s to give justice or under pressure. They demand to put an end to another life that caused great pain to their lives. As an outcome the possibility of false encounters can’t be ruled out.

Inhumanity at rise and government feels pressure while making decisions. As citizens we need to respect a decision and should have no say in judicial matters. Media here has great responsibility not to provoke people.

There are many constraints now because of the mindset of people and the way we have built our society that prevents us thinking about any historic decision for sustainable social change. We grew ourselves up and developed that mindset over a brief period.

We have to think seriously now whether time has come or not. When I started thinking about this sort of punishment I went back to history and read what great personalities had to say about it. Below are few of the thoughts from great indian orators as it is published in the “penguin book of modern Indian speeches…”


WINNING AS A HABIT

Success and failure are all part of life. People who understand and learn from failure can become more successful in their endeavours when they overcome the pain of failure.

I am a sports lover and a big fan of Indian cricket team. I love to watch them in action on the field. I too watch all the gesture, their body language and team communication.

I was inspired to write this blog post after watching the boys in action in the recent T20 international of the ongoing series with the Kiwis.

Winning for some is a choice, few get it by chance and for the elite few it’s a habit. There is no looking back when you are a winner. I beleive our cricket team has gained a lot of inspiration and motivation in the current series.
There is all gain and no loss. It’s not because they are unbeaten so far in the series but in many other aspects like the uplifting and ever increasing team morale.

It was a comfortable ride for the team in the first two encounters in this T20I series. The first one was a high scoring match and the boys displayed great character with both bat and ball to win it comfortably chasing second. You gain lot of courage and self belief when you successfully chase a high score in this limited over format of the game.

The second one also won with ease which was a complete team effort. The next two games were not very high scoring and our boys stretched both games to super overs that eventually won by them. The seemingly easy games for the Kiwis snatched away by our boys and our skipper admitted that. It’s a great display of character by our boys and especially the seamers with the ball.

In the super overs we won both encounter by the heroics of our boys. It’s not by chance but because of the game plan with high team morale. Fortune favours the brave. They wanted to make it right from the first ball and preferred not to wait and observe the bowler. The bowler is always on the back foot in an over when the first ball is a big hit.

I beleive our boys have made it up a habit as winners giving equal importance to win each game and not just a series win which is already with us. Today we have the last match of this T20I series. On this occasion i wish our heroes great time on the ground. Let’s witness another great game of cricket!


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FOR HIM WITH LOVE

Nice poem with great expression of human emotions…

Vrunda Chauk

i fall for him when he calls me “princess”

i fall for him when shows kindness for humans and animals alike

i fall for him when he knows me more than i understand myself

i fall for him when he genuinely shows interest in things i love

i fall for him when he is angry and then even more angry coz he can’t stay mad at me

i fall for him when he touches me without using his hands

i fall for him when he tells me he would still love me the same even when i make a mess

i fall for him when he understands the pain I’ve been through and promises me a “happily ever after”

i fall for him when he understands and supports my passion

i fall for him when he encourages me to be the best version of myself

i fall for him when…

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WHY HIERARCHY ?

 

When we say hierarchy, it has different meaning to different people though it has a common meaning. It is widely misinterpreted when somebody says my organization is non-hierarchical. To somebody it means there is no hierarchy in the organization and to some other it has a different meaning. He feels that you can call everybody here by name. There are absolutely no harm calling people by name when we know how to do that with different people according to their age group and experience but does that really mean that we are non-hierarchical? Every organization has a hierarchy. Without hierarchy, it’s just impossible to run an organization. What I understand non-hierarchical means we can communicate to all in the organization irrespective of their hierarchy and it provides a healthy and open work culture where everybody can have a feeling of equality which fosters growth. People feel at ease sharing their views and idea in a group when they don’t have a feeling of senior/sub-ordinate kind. At the same time we should maintain common courtesy in all kind of communication like email, telephonic etc. Here we should follow guidelines of corporate communication in all kinds of interaction like how to wish any of our colleagues at work when she/he is up/down in the hierarchy. There are special training sessions available in the areas like corporate communication, behavioral workplace ethics and many others.

Why is hierarchy important? I have asked this question myself several times. Hierarchy is the pillar for success and growth of any organization. Let’s don’t get confused with rank of a person when we talk about hierarchy. Rank-based organizations are different like defense departments where people get recognition with their ranks like somebody is a general, a major, a colonel, a brigadier etc. On the other hand more transparent companies like that in the IT industry are peer-based where success is shared across all levels and people are all treated equal. We respect our peers and work together for mutual success. These kind of peer-based organizations are often termed as non-hierarchical. What does that mean? Let’s understand.

The term non-hierarchical does not mean there is no hierarchy. Every organization has a hierarchy. It’s not posible to function smoothly without establishing hierarchy. Non-hierarchical means we treat people equally irrespective of their position and hierarchy. It’s not like somebody is more important and the other person is less important to us. We can’t get success without correct understanding of hierarchy as it’ll not be possible to maintain work-flow when nobody listen to their peers and they want to do everything on their own. It’ll break discipline. Everybody in the organization are equally important as long as they follow company vision and values.

 Everybody feels valued and feels to have equal opportunity for growth in non-hierarchical organizations. It’s useless if we don’t understand values. How to develop an organization where people understand the correct meaning of hierarchy and drive their growth with values? Non-hierarchical organizations can function perfectly where people understand the need to respect each other and guide themselves at work with correct values. They need not be taught who their boss is as they already understand that well and know how to keep her/him happy. There is no inferior/superior kind of culture but rather a friendly work environment and people don’t complain against one another. The person we report is always our higher authority and with this culture in place nobody (superior authority) treat their people (reporting subordinates) as inferior. It’s not easy to build such an organization where most team members are having a maturity level that of kids. Actually our value system, communication and hierarchy are all connected and inter-dependent. One can’t function well in the absense of the other.

A case study (my own case):

I got puzzled with hierarchy… how to establish hierarchy in our communication?

Do hierarchy has any connection with our day to day communication? My answer to this question is Yes. To understand it better we need to build a system where people can practice it and our medium of communication can be of great help. Let’s find out the best mode of communication where we can practice hierarchical communication everyday. What comes to my mind is our email system we use most in any official communication. It is the best media as it can reach a mass audience at once and we can review it later too at our leisure. A good official email should be able to explain our understanding of organizational hierarchy to a greater extent.

We should not write the email id of one person more than once in any email communication. It’s bad manners and treated as a form of misconduct though unintentional. People start thinking of us as careless. For example if i am sending an email, i need not write my email again in CC. Some people argue they are doing this as that want to keep that in their inbox for future reference. That is really not required as we can find the same email in our ‘sent items’ folder anytime we want. Still if we want to save it we can move that from sent items to any archive folder.

It’s possible to determine hierarchy in a larger group of employees too. We can follow some standard practice like clubbing members in a group when size is more than four. The group can have any name like TMs/Managers/Leadership etc., as per relevance. Let’s take an example where i’ve been asked to report four senior members whom i have never met before. I’ve not seen them before and don’t know them personally too. I’ve joined a new team where all are strangers to me by face and name. The challenge before me is to follow a standard practice in email communication. My knowledge here is limited and i know that i need to place all the email id’s of people up in heirarchy to me in CC field. That is the only knowledge i had and i approached a senior member among our colleagues to discuss about the same. The following paragraph is about our conversation.

He also suggested the same as standard practice and told me what better you can do is ‘place them all in CC in some order say ascending as per their hierarchy’. I asked how can i know that when all are new to me. He replied just apply your great thoughts in action and still if you can’t find a great solution, come back to me. I took some time and thought about it. The only information i had was their email id’s and i had an email client pre-configured where i can write email to them. I just typed emails of all in the new email compose window with the hope of finding some more information about them and it worked for me. When i double-clicked on an email i found information about the person like alias name, email, office, phone, job title, department etc. These information really could not help me solving my problem and the challenge was still there how to determine hierarchy among these four people. I could not sleep well in the night as time was running out and i had to send an email (with correct standards) anyhow before start of lunch hours tomorrow. I just waited the night to pass and approached my mentor early morning next day around 7 AM at his home. I explained him everything and told him i could see only indivisual employee information for all of them but i still could not determine the order. One among them is a vice president and the other people having designations as vice president, senior director and senior vice president. I never got a chance to know them personally and i don’t know their hierarchy and reporting structure. How to determine an hierarchical order to email. My mentor suggsted, they are all in the leadership team and vice president position is up in the hierarchy to a manager or director. So, it’s simple. Likewise you can find out the hierarchy between a manager, senior manager and director. I’ve nodded and told him i was also thinking in a similar fashion but i still have ambiguity. To add more to my pity and turmoil (a state of mental agitation i was going through) i found two people in the group having same designation as vice president. What to do?

 My mentor took some time and was staring at me straight to my eyes. he replied… can you find out information like their employee id and whom they report. I replied, what will i do with that i only need to be concerned about my reporting manager and team. Why should i collect that information? That is none of my job responsibility. People will think of me as a non-sense fellow having no work to do. As more and more negative thoughts crippled my mind, i forgot all basics and asked him ‘are you really helping me…?’ He just put a gentle smile at me and asked me to cool down. He told, i understand you are under pressure but we need to come up with a solution. So, take my words at ease and i will tell you why? He again started thinking for a while and as usual strated conversation with a smile.

See Debasis… I know you are a very talented person who cares to check for minute details in all your activities. Thats good and we should not do something without correct understanding where there is a scope to learn things better. Wih my suggestion, i had no intention to treat you as a fool or make people laugh at you with your gestures. You are quite correct, asking these questions may create a bad circle for you. It may prove good to you too if you find few optimists who cares for all. It’s upto you how you want to conduct the experiment. The easy way is to approach somebody you trust having correct information who can provide you employee id or any unique id and manager details. I’ll tell you why you need to know that. Listen to me patiently for a while. The second choice is for those who are new to the team like you and who find it very difficult to approach somebody to ask these questions. If you can’t ask anybody, still there is a way to find these information. My hint and suggestion would be to dig deeper into the information available in your company intranet and email client. You can definitely find these information there.

 Now, what to do with these information? Do you have an idea? I hope you ahve already started thinking about it. Take few minutes more and then talk to me. Now it’s 7.30 AM and i am sure we can find a better solution by 8 AM today. You can reach you office in time by 9 AM with renewed and vibrant thoughts that will make you whole day filled with energy. I was quite impatient to find a solution in a hurry and also i had fear in mind what will happen if i failed to send the email correctly in time. I just replied in five minutes .. No IDEA Sir ! He told me i can read your face that you are in a hurry and looking for shortcuts. You have not put your thoughts into action.

Anyway, let’s start walking and we will discuss more on the way to your home. You can reach your home in time having the solution and i too can enjoy my morning walk. So, tell me what you think you can find from the employee ids of the two vice presidents that you need to report. Tell me anything abstract coming to your mind as everybody have some idea and there is nothing like ‘No IDEA’. We have twenty more minutes to discuss during our walk and i can tell you my thoughts in just two minutes before you leave. So, don’t worry and put your thoghts in action.

 When i observed there is no route to escape, i replied… Sir, probably a person with smaller employee number have joined the organization earlier to a person having a higher number. That’s correct and that’s the way we do the numbering. We never reuse an existing employee id even long after separation. So, a person who joins later will get a new employee number which is plus one to the employee number of the person joined us last. So, what next? So, probably this person (older employee) is having more industry experience and senior to the other person. He replied .. Not necessarily always. That could be true in this case of two vice presidents but you need to check another area. What is that Sir.. i am getting confused. Check their managers whether they are reporting to the same manager and different people having a different hierarchy. Please give an example i asked. He told, one among them could be reporting to a senior vice president and the other person to Executive vice president and EVP position is higher up in hierarchy to an SVP. A person reporting to SVP has a position lower in hierarchy to a person who direcly reports to EVP and likewise you can find hierarchy for n number of people. If they report to the same person, the person having smaller employee number is senior to the other person. I hope this can help you. Yes, Sir. Thank a lot i replied and left the place with great smile in my face as if i won a contract.

How to establish hierarchy in an organization? What to gain with it and what to lose without it?

By demonstrating these values at work and at every other place of need we can become role models for our younger generation. They will again act as catalyst for their offsprings and the cycle will go on with everlasting values. This is basically a top-down approach which is a proven methodology. Some people feel if we want to achieve great success we need to think out of the box and do different things. Does that mean to prove ourselves different we should do all as we think that to be correct without respecting viewpoint of others? Don’t you think it may end up with all non-sense activities if not driven by values?

 During a discussion i came to know about a person who feels she should not read too many books as she aspire to become a writer. The big question is “Shall we think like good readers can’t become good writers”. When i argued there is no harm in reading books to build your career as a writer i got strange response. I even suggested you may not read too many books at random but can choose among selected categories you like. Her response was when you read books/thoughts of others, you tend to be like them and can’t produce great thoughts of your own. how strange? I am still thinking about it. Learning from others is no issue when you are unique having the required self-discipline and control. With this approach you will not get biased but can always generate great thoughts and judiciously plan an action.

 There are absolutely no loss in this approach but without hierarchy established we’ll completely lose our value system. Establishing hierarchy appears as a loss at first to some people as they feel it’s against our corporate philosophy as we are non-hierarchical. I am again saying it’s highly mis-interpreted and it’s because of our lack of understanding. Non-hierarchical does not mean we don’t have or we don’t need hierarchy. Hierarchy coupled with values can do wonders for anybody aspiring to be successful. When we give respect to others we gain that in return. A strong value system can transform our society.

 Let’s build a peer-based organization where hierarchy exists for good of all and everybody understand it well. There will be no discrimination and equal opportunity for all those who respect others. Road is always open for all who have lost their original track but want to come back to the main stream with proper learning/understanding. We can grow when we accept and learn from our mistake.

 I was just thinking what i could do better improving my communication skills with this awesome idea. Believe me i won many hearts and i am quite hopeful i’ll wear many hats in coming times as i learn more from you and do better at work. Do you have a challenge before you and do you have an IDEA to confront with it! Please discuss with me if i can share some information with my past/present experience. Also, share with me how you have dealt well with the challenge from you personal experince. Help me learn better from your case studies. Tt does not matter whether they are true stories of your life experience or as you learnt that from others. I’ll be very happy to find your personal comments and email. Let’s start sharing our stories!!

 

 ** You may share thoughts by your valuable comments or can send me email too.


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MODE OF COMMUNICATION

All living beings communicate by some mode or the other every day. If we observe closely we will discover some unique mode of communication among animals. I have been observing few animals from my childhood including our pet dogs, cats, parrots and white mouse. My mother is a great lover of animals. We used to discuss about the likes, dislikes and needs of our pets. One thing that we found common among all our pets is that all of them need love, care and affection. We will think more about them later. Let’s now focus on the most important species on earth – The Human Being.

As children, we start communicating to our parents, elders from the beginning even before understanding what communication is. A baby cries when she/he feels hungry. Crying is an effective mode of communication that a mother understands better as no body else. Very few people understand this fact including the father himself when a baby cries. As elders we cry at times for different reasons. We express our grief, sorrow and sometimes anger by crying. Some people cry out of happiness. Sometime we are so happy that we could not control suppressing our happiness before others and tears come out of our eyes. Especially we feel like this when we get surprise happiness after a long fight with our sorrow that we’re not expecting.

Sometimes negativities are so much around us that we suspect people even our well wishers. We don’t take care much about their words and try to find negative meaning out of it. We understand later when we realize the truth behind their words why it’s being told to us repeatedly. Particularly these things happen with children and at times with elders too. Why do we find it so difficult to live with others without sacrificing or prioritizing our personal needs?

Direct communication can be helpful to meet urgent requirements even if we have doubt over its long term benefits. Indirect communication is more helpful while there is no urgency and we want to meet our long term objectives. Let’s analyze a situation where we love two people who have conflict among themselves and we don’t want to lose anybody in our life because of their personal conflicts. A very common example of such a situation could be with a child whose parents often quarrel with each other and he could only witness the event keeping his mouth shut. He could not communicate his thoughts to them directly because of the fear of losing one or both of them eventually and at the same time finds it difficult to digest the fact.

Indirect mode of communication may help here. She/he has to play dual role here, sometimes as a daughter/son and sometime as a mother/father. Do I say the son/daughter has to be the father/mother of his/her father/mother? Yes. It may seem absurd and immature to at first glance but there is a real possibility of success if we can conduct such an experiment where the son/daughter has outgrown himself/herself in terms of life’s experience. How can I write this, is it from my personal experience? No. I have reached here partly from my discussion with people and significantly from a simple fact. That is “children are the best people to bond a family rather that any other friends/relatives”. This could be true with ‘n’ number of people in love even if outside our family if we can extend our love and empathy for others. Children can solve few problems effectively where a counselor fails using indirect mode of communication.

To understand human beings better we must develop effective communication skills in us. Sometime we pass wrong message to others through our notes or speech because of our uncontrolled thoughts and mood even though we don’t have any bad intention. I sometime try to recover something from my past memory and provide some information without analyzing the facts properly resulting in insufficient and incorrect information even though not false. These things happen because of improper analysis of our act prior to it and when we are in a hurry and fail to gain control over our emotions because of anger.

Sometimes we don’t want to provide personal information to strangers or people with whom we are not very familiar and in order to protect ourselves and trying to escape from a situation we provide wrong information to them intentionally so that the person will not feel neglected. Actually it causes more harm than good to us. It’s really very difficult to say no about something we don’t like effectively because of the fear of losing friends and relatives in our life. Indirect mode of communication helps where a direct mode fails.

There could be a situation where I want to make a person understand something and find it difficult to communicate directly because of the fear of its consequences. I may lose him/her in the process. This is often true where the receiver is a pessimist. Can we change pessimists to optimists? How can effective communication help here? This is a real challenge for managers. Personally I like comments and criticism as it helps me in my personal growth to become a better human being first before everything else. But how’ll the other person know about it unless I communicate?

Is it a good idea to use negative mode of communication? I don’t know. It has a double impact. It could be disastrous and it could be fruitful. When it’s fruitful it has long term benefits. Sometimes we use this with people whom we don’t trust to know more about them. Nobody can hear unpleasant words about their loved ones in any mode of communication. When we hear such words our perception changes about the person who talks like this and we think negative about her/him even though she/he is our well wisher as we don’t realize the truth at first.

This often happens because we occupy the entire space in our life for our own thoughts and fail to think about others or provide some space for others in our life. But why do we hear such words from others. We may be the source and root cause behind it without our knowledge even though we are innocent. So, let’s analyze ourselves first before we start questioning others. Sometimes I don’t know right or wrong about much of my own writings that comes from my thoughts. We understand late only when it reaches us through comments and criticism. This is a very effective mode of communication. Personally I like direct mode of communication even if I fail to evaluate a situation well at first. It is beneficial to me as it corrects me without much delay and I find enough time to analyze the issue later. Be it direct or be it indirect, any mode of communication has some benefits and few drawbacks. These are all situational. The same mode of communication may be helpful for one person while irritating for the other. I am thankful to all who use a direct mode of communication while interacting with me.

* First published at http://writersatchatterati.blogspot.in/ on Friday, 23 May 2008