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The best resolution
This new year, instead of trying to "do" things better, should we resolve to "be" better people? being better often leads to more happiness and success at work
In our quest to get more and more done, we forget that the quality of our lives depends on the kind of personalities we have cultivated for ourselves. Genetics might play a role when it comes to one's basic disposition, but the major portion of our attitudes and behaviour are influenced by the choices we make. So, in 2016, should you resolve to learn new languages, make more money and travel more frequently, while underneath it all, you continue to be the same grumpy, impatient soul you always were? Or should you seek to refine your character and focus on nuances like how you treat people, react to challenges and deal with stress situations? For some, the latter would spawn much richer rewards.
Mary Thomas, head, HR, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance agrees, “Usually, New Year resolutions remain unachieved as we try to achieve the impossible, or sometimes just add goals we wish to accomplish to the list of resolutions, but do not value them enough to be completed. Hence, we always end up trying to "do" things. You could address something fundamental to who you are, without making any drastic resolution. You could resolve to be a better person by having a positive attitude towards people you come across in your life. This could be the lady who cleans your house or your colleague who sits near you, but you never interact with. Acknowledging people for the value they add to your personal or professional life is a good start. Personally, I believe in extending basic courtesies to people around me as each person adds value to our life and it pays off in the long run," she adds.
Sometimes, we know that there is room for improvement, as far as our personalities are concerned, but we have little idea where to start. Neeraj Mittal, joint managing director, Bonita India feels that adopting a positive view towards life is the best starting point. "Being a better person at work means treating everyone with respect. Not only should you interact politely, but you should also value each person's ideas and opinions and consider them as an integral part of the organisation no matter what their contribution at the workplace is. Inculcating this habit of taking the effort to talk to people you would normally not have to interact with on a daily basis, will make you a better person at the workplace. Just greeting or smiling at your colleagues when you see them the first thing in the morning can always brighten someone's day. These are simple things that we are taught growing up, but forget as we move through life," suggests Thomas.
So essentially, being better is an exercise in learning to be 'nice'. And you will see that playing nice gets work done much more smoothly than an aggressive stance would. Sanjay Vats, vice president (HR), Insecticides (India) Limited offers a handy tip, "By articulating an intention and repeating it every day, you can accomplish two things. First, you will train your brain to adapt to a new way of thinking. Second, you will begin to identify with a higher vision of your life. A purposeful life should contain skills that lead to practical changes." He also illustrates points from a Harvard Business Review study on what makes a dream organisation, "It's a company where individual differences are nurtured; information is not suppressed or spun; the company adds value to employees, rather than merely extracting it from them; and the work itself is intrinsically rewarding."
It's strange that training modules rarely focus on the behavioural aspect, instead only focusing on skill building and success mantras, which are not efficient in isolation. "It's imperative that co-workers and partners share a camaraderie that transcends mere professional conduct and delivery. It's imperative that India Inc makes that switch from just having "me too" standardised training and development programmes trying to enable personnel to do things better by drilling in soft, business, management or technical skills, to working on programmes that would influence or change mindsets to create and inculcate a brave, open, intuitive and collaborative approach," remarks Shamsher Gorawara, head of corporate communications, Lupin.
Thus, it's as valuable to spend time on nurturing qualities like courage and consideration as it is to spend it on acquiring skills and knowledge.
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