An excellent session on “Excellence in Interpersonal Relationships” for mid-level managers in the automobile sector


An excellent session on “Excellence in Interpersonal Relationships” for mid-level managers in the automobile sector.

We had a hugely engaged audience who were very keen to discover new ways of building more meaningful relationships with colleagues, stakeholders and clients. The theme of inter-personal relationships is relevant for most industries; it has acquired a special significance, given the downturn we have seen recently due to the pandemic.

Some themes the program explored were:

1. How to structure communication so that the receiver understands the message clearly, without any distortions

2. What are some strategies you can apply at the workplace that will help build  meaningful relationships?

3. How can you easily influence stakeholders, even if you don’t have authority over them ?

4. What are some simple techniques to apply to effectively manage Difficult/Escalated Conversations?

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Is it possible to serve society & shareholders interests at the same time?

I came across this remarkable story of the turnaround of Denmark’s biggest energy company. They moved from Black to Green energy,during a crisis&are one of Europe’s most valuable energy companies.

In 2012, Danish Oil & Natural Gas, slid into financial crisis as the price of natural gas plunged by 90%. The board hired Henrik Poulsen, as the new CEO. Some leaders would go into a crisis-management mode, lay off workers till prices recover, Poulsen recognized the moment as an opportunity for fundamental change.

“We saw the need to build an entirely new company,” says Poulsen. He renamed the firm Ørsted. “It had to be a radical transformation; we needed to build a new core business & find new areas of sustainable growth. We looked at the shift to combat climate change& we became one of the few companies to wholeheartedly make this profound decision, to be one of the first to go from black to green energy.”

Today, Ørsted is the leader in offshore wind power.The transformation has propelled the company’s market value to US$30 billion.

The lesson for me is: it is possible to serve both interests of shareholders &society; you just need to have the vision &the determination to see it through

What are your lessons?

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40 Years of Stanford Research Found That People with This One Quality Are More Likely to Succeed

In the 1960s, a Stanford professor named Walter Mischel conducted the Marshmallow Experiment. It went like this.

Children (aged 4-9) were left in a room with 1 Marshmallow. The researcher said, if they waited 15 minutes, they would receive 2 Marshmallows. The researcher left the children alone in the room for 15 minutes.

Some children waited for 15 minutes to receive the 2 Marshmallows, some did not.

The interesting part of the study came several years later, when these children grew up as adults. The researchers conducted follow up studies for over 40 years and tracked each child’s progress in a number of areas.

The results showed that the children who were willing to delay gratification and waited to receive the second marshmallow ended up having

1. higher academic scores,

2. lower levels of substance abuse,

3. lesser marriages ending in divorce,

4. better responses to stress,

5. more job stability and higher career trajectories

6. generally better scores in a range of other life measures.

Resilience is defined by the ability to remain patient, stay the course & continue working, even when the going is tough.

Important question to ask ourselves:

1. Are we able to resist the first Marshmallow and reap the rewards of delayed gratification?

2. Do we have the patience to stay the course for the grand prize?

3. Are we resilient to the pressures of instant gratification that will often tempt us?

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Can you imagine taking an exam a day after giving birth?

I recently came across this story of a final year student B. Sc. Student from Bangalore that took her final exams, a day after she gave birth to a baby boy.

Giving birth is one of the most painful, joyful, challenging, life changing experiences that a woman goes though. For most of us, just surviving the first week is an achievement.

After reading this article, I marvelled at the determination and the sheer grit of the 20 year old that did this.

As the gritty girl sat to write her examination, her mother and new born infant were housed in the next room. She got up every 30 minutes, accompanied by an attendant to feed the baby.

To me, it was a story about “How I can do it?” as opposed to “How difficult it is?”. Often I have seen, when we decide to DO something, larger than ourselves, in pursuit of an inspiring goal, the entire eco-system comes out in support

What was heartening to see was the support she received from the college & her family.

It’s the story of exemplary willpower and unwavering support that her family and the college authorities gave, to keep alive the dreams of this extraordinary woman.

Read on…

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How should a leader behave in the face of a team failure?

When the chips are down, teams look towards their leaders for direction. How a leader responds determines the future of the organization and its defining culture.

I saw Mission Mangal recently & realized the opening scene is modelled around a famous incident that took place when Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was faced with the SLV-3 failure.

Prof. Satish Dhawan took upon himself the failure of theSLV-3 Mission at a public Press conference. A year later, after a successful launch heattributed the success of the subsequent Mission to his team.

Dr Kalam said “I learned a very important lesson that day. When failure occurred, the leader of the organisation owned that failure. When success came, he gave it to his team. The best management lesson I have learned did not come to me from reading a book; it came from that experience,”

To my mind, this is a brilliant example of leading from the front and of Emotionally Intelligent Leadership at work.

This incident had a huge impact on Dr. Kalam’s mind and shaped his persona as a leader. He referred to this incident several times during his Presidency and subsequently too.

This is a favourite anecdote at Shradha HRD. One we quote quite often during our programs on Emotional Intelligence for Leaders. It is rare to have a leader that is secure enough to give credit to the team for successes and accept responsibility for failures himself.

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Planning Prioritization and multi-tasking was the topic of the Webinar we recently conducted for officers of a Navratna Public Sector Undertaking

Planning Prioritization and multi-tasking was the topic of the Webinar we recently conducted for officers of a Navratna Public Sector Undertaking.

Engaging an audience of a 100 participants required us to use several on-line tools to build engagement and keep the dialogue going. It’s interesting to see how much technology can add to the overall learning experience. Learning is an exciting and on-going process

The broad session flow included:

1. Setting SMART goals

2. A structured approach to stress free productivity

3. Tools for efficient time management

4. Multi-tasking and how it can be implemented in life

It is always heartening for us to receive feedback from participants where they talk about feeling empowered, after attending the webinar, to make meaningful changes in their lives.

As facilitators, we enjoy the bonhomie and bonding that takes place during a face-to-face session. The pandemic and the new normal has necessitated changes in the way we reach out to participants. Every webinar is different as the needs of the audience are different. It’s challenging and keeps us in the “innovation” mode.

For us it’s been a time of immense learning and we have loved the process of creation!!!

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