Madhuvan supplement of Janmabhoomi Pravasi of 30th October, 2011 and Classic Management Literature on Human Relations

The 30th October, 2011 Madhuvan supplement of Janmabhoomi Pravasi has four articles dealing with, directly or indirectly, with the meaningful and vital importance of human relations for maintaining the health of [any type of ] organization. Incidentally, these articles cover individual-to-family-to-society-to-nation level spectrum of relationships.

The rich and poor divide story is an age old one, but the chasm seems to have reached deepest low in the recent times. The author, [“ગરીબાઇ ક્યાં સુધી” / સમાજદર્પણ // મીરા ભટ્ટ] seems to find fault with the high insensitivity – either of an individual or of a group or of the society. The supressed moan of discordant relation is more piercing than the painful [physical comforts or lack of necessities, in the context of our present article] howl of worsened relations, as epitomized by the correction ‘Happy’ in place of ‘Hungry and suffering’ in the “Hungry and suffering population shall no more tolerate…”

If the discordant or sour relationships persist for long, the violent demonstrations like that in Libya or Egypt or non-violent movements like Occupy Wall Street or bloody upheavals like French Revolution, entirely spontaneously, take place at [seemingly] blink of the eye-lid. Before one notices a spark, the flames spread like wild fire. Shri Kundan Vyas has raised the warning signal at a very opportune time, in his article ‘Challenge to Capitalism in his column ‘Political Currents’ [a.k.a. ‘રાજકીય પ્રવાહો’ કૉલમના ‘મૂડીવાદ અને પડકાર’ લેખ].

Another article lucidly explains the insensitivity factor in human relations, particularly in an organization. In fact the title of the article –‘A tail is a tail, not the head’- dramatically presents the degree of insensitivity. The article begins with story of ‘highly independent’ Sophie, who ‘never stays long enough in any organization’.  She leaves the organization in a huff because her wavelength does not match with that of her boss. Sophie’s cause of dissatisfaction is: “the worst mistake a boss can make is not to say: Well done”. The famous address -’an employee does not leave the organization, but leaves the boss’- of Shri Azim Premji of Wipro also delivers the same mesaage to the captains of the organizations.

The article ends with a poignant venting of the sense of hurt of the grass-root social worker of an NGO on account of  inadequate facilities and unequal conditions of work [[a.k.a. Hygiene factors in the classic OB literature] as well as boss’s utter disregard for their self-respect [a.k.a. Higher level needs of Maslow‘s Theory of Motivation]. The second side of this coin is insensitive high-handed attitude of the boss in his these words – ‘A Tail is a tail and the head is a head….( “પૂંછ પૂંછ હી હોતી હૈ ઔર સિર સિર્ફ સિર હોતા હૈ”) [a.k.a. Haves and Have-nots class divide], the tail should never aspire to be the head ( “પૂંછકો સિર બનનેકા સપના નહીં દેખના ચાહીએ”) [a.k.a. feudalistic mind set of ‘Leaders are born and Followers are made’].

The solution to such situations is provided in the adjoining article [જીવનનો આનંદ – ગુફ્તગૂ – રમેશ પુરોહિત]. The solution suggested is a classic ‘text-book’ solution, but perceived to be difficult to follow. The quote of a great thinker, Richard Oven Cambridge, suggested a s the solution is: ‘The real worth of anybody [or anything] lies in its ability to provide happiness.’ The author expands tis principle by inviting the readers to assume that everyone acts or communicates only when the intended deed or message would provide happiness to the target audience or else avoids that deed or communication. He has narrated a story to illustrate the point. A lady manager is assigned what she considers lower her than status task by her male boss. At first she was so much disappointed that she became quite furious and then the frustration melted away in the stream of tears. She then reacted to the boss in manner which made both quite happy. It can thus be observed that if reaction to any event is permitted after some moments of thought, then it is not difficult to find a solution that can make all concerned happy enough.

What an effective application of the ‘90:10 principle’ [10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react.], popularly propounded by Stephan Covey!

On the whole, these articles seem to suffice to convince us that it is not difficult to apply common sense in uncommon degree to practice standard application of leadership styles enumerated in the classic management literature of Organizational Behaviour.

In most of the present day organizations, except known [political] dictatorship systems, the leaders, normally, follow participative or delegated styles. As result, the type of conflicts narrated in the foregoing articles may be few and far between these days. However, these can be totally wished away since human relationship is a complex dynamic interplay of individuals, who are essentially, different. It is also quite natural that leader and followers – or any combination, like senior-juniors; employer-employees; supervisor-workers or the ruler-the ruled – is bound to look at the coin from two different sides, hence always creating two different perspectives of the same event. If this difference is allowed to persist for long without judiciously mature reconciliation, then it is quite likely that this difference may become a distance, too difficult to traverse.

In short, the bottom-line is that key to live, healthy and lasting relationship is the perpetual state of happiness of constituents. This in turn becomes the lifeblood for sustenance of vivacious organization in the long run.

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Author: ASHOK M VAISHNAV

In July 2011, I opted to retire from my active career as a practicing management professional. In the 38 years that I pursued this career, I had opportunity to work in diverse capacities, in small-to-medium-to-large engineering companies. Whether I was setting up Greenfield projects or Brownfield projects, nurturing the new start-ups or accelerating the stabilized unit to a next phase growth, I had many more occasions to take the paths uncharted. The life then was so challenging! One of the biggest casualty in that phase was my disregards towards my hobbies - Be with The Family, Enjoy Music form Films of 1940s to mid-1970s period, write on whatever I liked to read, pursue amateur photography and indulge in solving the chess problems. So I commenced my Second Innings to focus on this area of my life as the primary occupation. At the end of four years, I am now quite a regular blogger. I have been able to build a few very strong pen-relationships. I maintain contact with 38-years of my First Innings as freelance trainer and process facilitator. And yet, The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

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