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Conversation and Culture

I was away holidaying with my wife and this is why there were no blogs in the last two weeks. To be away from the heat, we had gone to Himachal Pradesh hoping for some better weather, but our hopes did not come true. Himachal was hardly less hot than Mumbai. I hope that I will be able to post even when I am on vacation from now onwards, as these blogs are not related to business culture, but to life itself.

I have talked about the role of feelings and trust in our business culture in blogs and videos in the past. They are surely a part of our day-to-day life, as well. Today I will talk about another aspect of our life that is equally applicable to business culture. This is “communication”. How we express ourselves to others is the foundation of our relationship, and if the relationship between individuals or teams is good, a positive supportive culture is an automatic result of that. Communication includes non-verbal communication also over which we don’t have much control as these are related to our emotions and feelings. However, we can at least try to choose our verbal conversation to be less hostile even in those emotional moments. #arthurcarmazzi talks about active trust where you tell others you trust them, irrespective of the situation or the logic.

As per #judithglaser conversations can be transactional, positional, or transformational. If we can try to shift our verbal communication from positional to transactional, a cultural shift is possible. Let me give an example. In an organization, when a junior makes a mistake, the senior might be hard on him/her and tell – “Why don’t you focus more on the job? Your mistakes are increasing day by day.” This is a positional conversation based on the position of these two characters in the organization. However, the same senior can choose to ask the junior in the same situation by saying – “Why don’t you focus more on the job? Is there anything troubling you? Are you ok? Any problem with the home front? Can I help you in any way?” This becomes a transformational conversation as the junior will feel that someone is concerned about him/her. Their responses will be more positive in the latter case and they will strive to do their best. However, in the previous case, the junior will feel disheartened and may lose motivation.

If everyone in the organization can choose to be careful of what they speak, how they speak and when they speak, a positive and solid foundation of a positive, fruitful culture would automatically begin. It is a matter of understanding that cultural transformation in an organization is not a result of a new policy or procedure. It is a matter of new insight in each and every member of the organization that supporting each other is more conducive to higher productivity and trying to be aware of their negative emotions with associated outcomes can change the productivity of their organization.

It is the time to be self-aware, to be meditative for the benefit of society. #chademengtan, the erstwhile jolly good fellow of Google, suggests to let meditation and self-awareness be as much promoted by one and all as physical exercises for the betterment of the society and world peace, in his bestseller book “Search inside yourself”.

Even if we start thinking about these issues of positive emotions, trust, and transformational conversations on a daily basis, there will be visible changes in our environment whether at home or at the office. The same has been explained beautifully by #earlnightingale in his famous self-development audio available on the YouTube, with the punch line - “We become what we think”.

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