Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Live an Let Live ! – Mantra for Communication with focus on leadership

One of the first instincts of human-beings soon after birth is Communication, and yet,
as mature adults we have a myriad of problems Communicating! Strange! One might
argue that the purpose of communication of a baby is different from that of an adult. It
is multipurpose, multidimensional etc. etc. and hence it is challenging. We go through
some of the best and tested corporate training and grooming to COMMUNICATE. I
would instead take a leaf from our ancient Indian scriptures and make it simple. We can deal effectively with differing social styles in people; Handle problems without harming
relationships; address challenges in collaboration; Cross cultural communication;
communicate effectively to establish and maintain mutual purpose and mutual respect
  • with just one mantra - Live and Let Live! Wondering how? Read on ….
What is the essence of this mantra? No matter what technique you use, if the underlying intentions are not noble, it will show through. Noble?? I can already see eyes rolling. What has noble got to do with effective communication? Can we have noble cause and intentions and still survive in this world? I am convinced it is.
Irrespective of the differing social styles, culture, religion, “survival” instinct is the
basis of human race. And anything that seemingly threatens this instinct leads to
conflicts - harms relationships, destroys trust, destroys mutual purpose and mutual
Self preservation is the behavior that ensures survival instinct. Everyone wants to
preserve their views / opinion, their respect, their interests. It is instinctive to put
mine” before the others – my views, my opinion, my respect, my interest…
Everyone tries to put theirs first and then think of mutual purpose and interest.
I for example, would start with … I need to finish task A in my project, I can do x,
y, z, but need help with two other activities, which can be done by Betty, so let me
talk to her. Now, when I go with this intention and mind-set, I would try to make it
mutually beneficial, but still my priorities and interests would be placed above Betty’s
and that’s when I will have to try putting it in a way that is attractive to her social
style, and might still sometimes end up harming our relationship.
Communication would become much simpler and effective, if we are
genuinely interested in others. This is the essence of “Live and Let Live”. Live and
Let Live means, genuine, unadulterated interest in people, which lets us grow as a
person and professional and lets others grow as well. This I can promise will lead to a
fulfilling life both personally and professionally.
Let me take the same example above, and walk through it, following Live and Let
Live mantra. I would not talk to Betty just because I need to complete task A, and I cannot complete a few activities. I would ask Betty to help me out, only if it is going to bring some benefit to Betty. Benefit could be in terms of visibility, growth, reward / recognition etc. Here I am being genuinely interested in Betty, while also trying to get my task done. If I do not see anything truly beneficial for Betty, I will not ask her.
But, can this be applied to all situations? What about communicating for your own
growth? Let me walk through this scenario. It is natural to want to grow in the Organization. But, what is the Organization going to get out of it? My thoughts
should be, what can I bring to the Organization if I take up the new role? How can it
benefit the organization and my management? If you can answer these, and then
communicate about your growth, it would be very effective.

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