PK | Mar 24, 2009
HR units and trainers are tumbling upon each other and doing great work to give yeoman’s advice to people so that they can improve themselves, execute their jobs better and fit in the working environment with success. I feel most of it goes down with no one and achieves very little. Especially all the writings and short advice columns one sees in journals of all description. It is all a lot of useless effort with the advice sounding good on the printed pages but rarely achieving anything; mainly because the theoretical aspect is related by the readers with the facts with difficulty if at all. Then if the reader has not had some experience to back up his reading he would never understand the relevance of the topic at all because he would not be able to correlate the two.
I have today picked up some gems from a journal where the writer is trying to help his readers to enhance their potential. Every word he says is right but useless too.
See what a brainy young man, who has just joined the workforce, has to say in response to the advice/suggestion/feedback/exhortaion:
Suggestion: COMMUNICATE WELL.
Response: Well what makes you say I do not communicate well to begin with? In school and college I used to even be appreciated for my language and clarity of communication. I was winning debates. I am very confident that my language is good and my grammar correct. Everyone I know in my family and friends said so. What more is needed? Then you say “Be persuasive”. What do you mean? Am I not good at getting things done? Very few people refuse me what I want. I have a string of happy clients to prove it. You say; try and adopt effective communication skills. Whatever are they and have I not explained my point already?
Suggestion: THINK THREE STEPS AHEAD.
Response: Do you think I am a seer? How do I see ahead? Everything in life is a team effort and most people just don’t put in their 100%. If things are not turning out well, am I solely to blame? OK I know that I must take this into calculations but that I already do. That is as much as I know about the game. Then, where is the problem? And if you feel I do not calculate the exigencies well then let me ask you, have you taught us what is what in this game?
Suggestion: KEEP IT SIMPLE AND SHORT.
Response: Have you tried the technique yourself? What interest do I have in talking on and on to explain my point? We are all at work, doing our jobs. The others are supposed to know what they are doing and they are equally responsible. The problem is that they never do. They know that after all it is my baby and the axe will not fall on their heads. Tell me of one person who would know how to get an ounce of seriousness into these guys. Even after crossing the Ts for them, they go and do the very thing they were told to guard against. I assume you have never tried to sell anything with a sales target quota dangling on your head?
Suggestion: STAY IN HIGH SPIRITS
Response: Frankly I miss the point entirely. With all these untrained lumber loaders around my neck putting spoke in my wheels at every stage of life it is easy to say. There is a saying: The advisors don’t have to pay for it. First I am needed to delegate, then supervise and finally end up redoing it all by myself again. At work it is a madhouse and home is no place to relax and you ask me to stay in high spirits. Have you ever worked in a team which was not of your choosing; where you have all the responsibility but no authority?
Suggestion: ADOPT A FRESH APPROACH.
Response: Shall I fire the team and get a new one? Change my job? Or do you mean I am incompetent? If I were not certain of my methods would I be following them? Why would anyone think this is purposeful advice? Where were these teachers when we were at school and they were appointed for shaping us for life? These people who now want us to change are the ones who taught us earlier or of the same ilk. Then they would not hear a word we had to say. Discussions were discouraged and insistence was taken as argument and opposition. Now when we have been certified as ready for managing our lives and the affairs of men, we are told to forget our old self and recreate into another image. For them it is mere words but have they tried to improve themselves?
Suggestion: BUILD A TEAM.
Response: I knew you would be coming to this eventually. How much choice do I have in life? Did I choose my parents, family, friends, schools, teachers then what makes you think I have any choice about the boss or the team I have? It is so easy to string a few words that mean nothing. It only shows that you have read a few books and become a trainer but with little experience of life. Get your nose to the grinding wheel and let’s meet again in a few years.
And so on and so forth.
I have yet to meet a person who would listen and admit that he has room for improvement. Just to impress the boss and the entourage they may often make a show of humility by saying yes they have faults with a lot of room for improvement. But it is all a sham. They know what they are. They are quite impressed by their selves. The world likes to find fault and criticize. That is the way of the world and best forgotten or ignored for the good of their mental health.
What sounds good and virtuous is left best alone as wonderful words on paper that will go nowhere and take nobody anywhere.
Filed Under: Miscellaneous