Monday, September 10th, 2007
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Power of Context
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People behave differently under different stituations. There is no point in putting a lable of “aggresive”, “dominating”, “meak”, “Friendly” etc to any person. This is one message that got stuck with me from this book “Tipping Point”.
There are many examples, many psychological tests and many research quoted in this book.
Point is not the book. But about understading the importance of this aspect of human behaviour. While reading the book I was constantly scanning my own behaviour under different situations. The study could not have been more apt for me.
Similarly when I look at the important aspect of an organisation - i.e. getting best out of the people, making them feel responsible and accountable to the growth, I realised this is most important aspect that we as a leader should keep in mind.
I always belived in the saying that “Every sales man should be a CEO before he goes out to the customer”. What does this mean is that if the Sales-man is put under the situation of CEO, he would be more effective in his role. He would be able to communicate with his customer much more authoritively, much more convincingly.
I have experienced it myself. When given a responsibility, a larger vision, I have performed much more than my role demanded. And it is true that if the sense of responsibility is too narrow or limited, the output has been just equivalent of what is asked. This is a typical employee - manager situation. If we turn employee into the owner - in the sense of responsibility - we get dramatic results.
When I was in my 2nd job, just 3 years into my professional career, I was given a responsibility of setting up and running a whole new centre. It was the sense of responsibility that was driving me and brining more than the best out of me.
On the other hand when I was in a big company and was known more by the emloyee number to my finance people than by the name, I knew I was giving just what was expected of me.
I know when I made my juniormost team member responsible and owner of the project, he/she used to give better than the best. It has always helped me to empthies with the people becuase I always looked athe situation that they were in and not lable them by their past behaviour. My team members have always felt that they have learned and grown in their profile. They have shown hightest committment while working with me.
But to get these results require huge involvement, close working with the team and sense of caring about them.
When you apply the thinking of “Context”, you actually understand people better. The challenge is to create those situations which would make people give their best.