Monthly Archives: April 2020

Neuroscience talks about two networks our brain switches between under different circumstances.

Neuroscience talks about two networks our brain switches between under different circumstances.

TPN (Task Positive Network) is activated when we are consciously engaged in an activity for example when working under pressure and trying to meet the deadline. Goal setting and accomplishing a task at hand are features of TPN.

DMN (Default Mode Network), like the name suggests is our “go to” mode when the mind isn’t actively involved. This is where the mind wanders as opposed to being focused in TPN. DMN is often linked to introspection, relationships, creativity and visualization.

Emotionally intelligent individuals know how to create a healthy balance between the two networks & function at an optimum level. It is a misconception that EQ is a weakness, in fact the ability to know when to focus on target completion & when to focus on relationships is a uniquely human trait often seen in Highly Successful Leaders.

This is what is truly required during such testing times from Leaders…Strike the Right Balance!!!!!!

Balancing the Right and Left Brain

Why would Tech companies want to hire people with a Humanities background? When I came across this article, I was intrigued.

The reason made complete sense. Technology has two aspects

1. One is the technical work that goes into making it such as codes and tools, and the other is the user’s end.

2. Technology is made for the use of humans, hence a thorough understanding of people is critical

Those with a background in liberal arts are seen to have a better understanding of customer needs and good communications skills.

The Left brain and the Right Brain needs to work in tandem

At Shradha HRD, we understand and acknowledged the need for going above and beyond technical degrees. We recognize the importance and centrality of the human element in every aspect of life.

Emotional intelligence and Empathy are at the heart of training designed by us. Communication skills, Conflict Management, Negotiation, Lateral thinking and many more are offshoots of the same. These help us hone and effectively utilize people skills for maximum results.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/why-tech-companies-are-hiring-people-with-humanities-degrees/articleshow/74828373.cms

Emotional Intelligence and Millennials

https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/importance-of-emotional-intelligence-for-today-s-leaders-1616580-2019-11-07

This article echoes a situation we came across just before the lockdown. We recently had a request for a training program to help Generation X Managers develop a harmonious and more productive relationship with their Millennial team members.

During our Training Need Analysis, we came across 2 interesting findings.

1. Generation (X) Managers came from an environment where they had complied with their manager’s requests, without asking too many questions. They expected the same behaviour patterns from their Direct Reports

2. Generation (X) Managers had a stickiness to their organizations and often put their work before personal commitments. They expected the same from their team members

Our program design centred around the theme of Emotional Intelligence and the ability to Listen and see things from the other person’s perspective. Emotional Intelligence is also about the ability to put aside your “mind-lens” and view things from another person’s mind-lens.

You may not agree with everything the other person feels or says but at least you understand. This ability helps good managers and leaders respond to such situations in an empathetic and emotionally intelligent manner.

Do Your Emotions Hijack Your Better Sense?

Some of us that are die-hard Football lovers, might remember the 2006 World Cup Final game. In front of 28.8 million viewers in 213 countries ZinedineZidane, a world-wide soccer role model, lost his self-control and head butted Marco Materazzi.Zidane was kicked out of the game. France lost the World Cupto Italy and Zidane’s career ended in disgrace and wonderment

 “What was he thinking?” Again, he wasn’t.

In organizations where Corporate Governance is very strong, a 10 second outburst can tarnish a leaders’ image forever. Everyone looks at their leadership do live the values that the company espouses. Self awareness of your emotions and learning how to deal with them is critical at any stage in life, more so for leaders.

Dealing with out of control emotions

When faced with danger, the primitive flight, fight or freeze response kicks in. Even though we are not faced with physical danger, anything we perceive as a threat, our mind views as danger. This releases a flood of hormones and hijacks our better sense.

Examples of threatening situations in our daily work life:

1. An angry email from a key stakeholder

2. Being put on the spot to answer an uncomfortable question in front of your team

3. A crisis that came out of the blue

Any of these common everyday situations can release a flood of hormones due to the survival mechanism kicking in. If you are unaware of this and flow with your emotions, you will take actions that will most likely be against your better judgment.

This phenomenon is known as the Amygdala Hijack!!!!!

The Amygdala,an almond-shaped mass of nuclei (mass of cells) located deep within the temporal lobes of the brain. It is involved in many of our emotions and motivations, particularly those that are related to survival.

 Dealing with the Amygdala Hijack

1. Become aware of your “hot buttons”: Recognize the situations that cause you to lose your cool. This will help you respond effectively as opposed to react

2. Name the emotion: When faced with threatening situations, research has shown that naming/labelling the emotion helps calm you down

3. Practice using this technique regularly until it becomes a part of your mental routine

Is it possible to conduct training for Participants logged in Virtually and for Participants in the classroom…. Simultaneously?

 

This was an interesting question that popped up while we were designing an intervention to train ICC members on the finer elements of the POSH act, for a Global IT & Outsourcing company.

The answer that emerged was a learning that will stay with us…..forever. If you are willing to “Stretch” and move out of your comfort zone, you can achieve things that you never thought possible at first glance.

The challenging part for these interventions was to design a methodology that would keep participants engaged at both locations. We had to integrate the methodologies we use for Classroom training and Virtual training. The results were heartening!!!!!

We trained over 120 ICC members on the POSH Act, through 4 separate interventions, across India. During each of the interventions we had participants logged in from remote locations and participants sitting in class

If you don’t come out of the Quarantine with – You never lacked the Time…You possibly lack the Will

If you don’t come out of the Quarantine with

 1.  A New Skill

2.  Some New Knowledge

3.  Something that adds Value to your Life

You never lacked the Time…You possibly lack the Will

For all of us that are working from home due to the corona lockdown, it’s a completely new and unknown situation.  One that we have never previously encountered.  For a lot of us, this situation brings with it, stress and anxiety about the immediate future & what it holds in store for us.

To feel anxious during uncertain times is natural. However, what is important is how we deal with this and emerge stronger. This requires Self Awareness & Self Management: essential components of Emotional Intelligence. If we look back on previous experiences when we went through a rough time, a lot of us emerged More Resilient, Stronger & Wiser.

Challenging times = Learning Times

It’s a time to draw strength from coping strategies that have worked in the past & utilize them to make this a time of learning, reflection & adding value to our lives.

When we entered the lockdown, our first thought at Shradha HRD was, we are going into a downturn & we don’t know how long it will take for the upturn to begin. However, our 2nd thought was: how can we turn this into a time into an opportunity to add value to ourselves and our clients.

We looked at it as a time we had been given to pause, think, reflect and possibly learn something that will contribute to us in the future. We used this time in the following ways:

 1. Research on different competencies that we do not get the time to, in a Business as Usual environment

 2. Reach out to clients and understand pain points. Everyone being at home, allowed us more time to catch up with clients that are normally busy with ongoing projects.

3. Use insights gathered as an opportunity for new business. We realized that HR teams wanted to reach out to their employees and boost morale during the lockdown.

We leveraged Virtual Platforms to run several bite sized learning programs on dealing with anxiety, stress etc. Even though we have conducted several trainings virtually for our clients, this was the first time we designed Virtual programs as a special offering for our clients.

From being a difficult time where training in general was put on hold, we moved to a space where we could offer our clients a viable solution to build engagement with their teams.

The ability to look at situations with the Solutions Mindset (as in what is the opportunity that can emerge) as opposed a Problem mind-set (now we are in trouble) definitely requires Emotional Intelligence and pays rich dividends in Life!!!

Mindfulness at the Workplace: do we really need it?

A couple of years ago, I attended a Learning & Development seminar. There were over a hundred senior professionals from the industry attending the seminar. The themes largely revolved around how to make learning more effective at the workplace.

The challenges most professionals articulated were the shortening attention spans for learning, especially amongst the millennial population. Increasing difficulty in getting learners engaged with learning. Coupled with this, the increasingly difficult VUCA environment & the need to be constantly evolving.

The solution, some participants felt, lay in introducing bite sized learning, using technology innovatively and similar strategies to enhance the learning experience. The inherent assumption here was, if learning was made more interesting, it would draw more people towards learning and make learning more effective.

Looking at ways to enhance the learning experience is always a great idea. At Shradha HRD, clients that we have worked with over 15 years come back to us because of the innovation we continuously introduce into the learning process.

However, I felt we were missing a crucial piece over here. The first step in learning is to make participants aware of the need for the training. Learning should ideally involve contemplation around where we currently are, where we would like to go and the journey in general. If we are able to move participants to become mindful about these processes, learning will automatically become much easier. Once participants sit back and view the bigger picture, they will automatically recognize the importance of learning for them to achieve their goals.

Technology and bite sized learning have their own utility in the learning process. However, to my mind if we are able to encourage mindfulness, stepping back & reflecting, the impact will be higher.

We are now slowly seeing the theme of mindfulness gain traction. It is a slow process but there is a definite movement towards reflection, being in the moment & recognition of the benefits that being mindful bring.