“Dialogue means trying to understand the other with an open mind. Dialogue is a rare phenomenon and it is beautiful, because both are enriched. In fact, while you talk, either it can be a discussion – a verbal fight, trying to prove that I am right and you are wrong – or a dialogue. Dialogue is taking each other´s hand, moving together towards the truth, helping each other to find the way. It is togetherness, it is a cooperation, it is a harmonious effort to find the truth. It is not in any way a fight, not at all. It is a friendship, moving together to find the truth, helping each other to find the truth. Nobody has the truth already, but when two persons start finding out, inquiring about the truth together, that is dialogue – and both are enriched. And when truth is found, it is neither of me, nor of you. When truth is found, it is greater than both of us who participated in the inquiry, it is higher than both, it surrounds both – and both are enriched.”
I am not going to dwell on the academic definitions of organizational culture; there are a lot of books that deal with this subject. The aim of this blog is to give a few ‘tips’ on how to assess an organization quickly, say within the first 20 – 30 minutes of your interaction with it. Organizational culture is the expression of the mindset, character and attitude of all the people working in it, right from the CEO to the watchman. It is the collective mindset of an organization which reflects in each and every entity within an organization – both human and non-human, tangible and intangible. A visitor to the organization may not have the opportunity to interact, or even just observe the CEO, but certainly would have such a chance with the watch man, lift man, the receptionist and people of that cadre: The people in the lower wrung of the organization’s hierarchy. There are many types here, but can be broadly categorized into three: the rude and the intimidating type, the ‘mechanical-plastic-expression’ type, and finally the warm and the approachable type. A happy employee with the right kind of grooming from his/her management will naturally adopt a benevolent and considerate disposition towards the visitors. The same holds good for the person from the organization whom you are supposed to meet and are at a higher level in the organizational hierarchy. Even if the person is going to be a tough interviewer, he/she will not, even for an instance, breach the boundaries of professionalism and never assume an intimidating stand against you.The company’s culture will be reflected in all of the employees’ words and body languages . Considerate and ‘true’ politeness (not the ‘mechanical’ politeness), especially when reflected at the lower most level of the organization, is a sure sign of a people-oriented organization. Neatness is yet another strong indicator of an organization’s culture. The general cleanliness in the reception area and even the way newspapers and journals are arranged, speaks strongly about the culture followed there. A shabby, carelessly arranged reception area is a big giveaway of a shabby organization as well. Any organization can have wonderful vision and mission statements, because they know that these are the areas where any interested person would first check into. So, these are not the aspects you should be measuring if you want a true assessment of the company, as these can be ‘performed for the gallery’. Watch out for the small, subtle indications where careless organizations usually miss out. In my experience, it is usually these small giveaways that proved to be the accurate measuring scale of an organization’s culture. In fact, this method of assessment holds good even for assessing a home or an individual, because ‘God is in the details’.
“Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.” – Blaise Pascal
There are no straight lines nature. Everything, from land to water to air, negotiates with it self and its environs in a ‘curvy’, ‘to and fro’ manner. Ambiguity is one of the principles of creation.There won’t be mountains and valleys, and the beautiful winding rivers if they all moved in linear style from one point to the next in straight forward direction. Then why is the human being alone expected to think in straight lines? Why is so much of negativity attached to self-contradictory views? People who go back on their words because they changed their mind are judged as inconsistent people and are rarely regarded as trust worthy by the society.
Contradictory thinking occurs when the thought process changes direction either because the mind’s scope of thinking widens, or something external triggers a change in the direction of the thought process. What ever be the case – change in thinking, mindset, opinion, or contradicting ones own views – it is simply the indication of an active, dynamic mind. It’s a sign of mental growth or evolvement. At times, a self-contradicting mind may look chaotic, inconsistent and lacking in clarity, but it is in motion nevertheless, which is a better state of mind than static . It should be understood that we don’t grow with time, but with experience. With each experience, seemingly big or small, apparently significant or less significant, we grow; our mind evolves. It is not the same mind ‘now’ which took ‘that decision’ 24 hrs ago. The more a person exposes him/her to the changes and challenges of life, the more will be the growth rate of their mind; and in such cases, change of mind, change in stand and self-contradictory opinions become an inevitable part of growing up. So the next time you happen to change your mind about something, and if people judge you that you are inconsistent in your thinking and contradicting yourself , don’t hesitate….Allow yourself to grow and outgrow your past. More the twists and turns in a river, more is the music in it.
Don’t feel guilty about it. Since ages, society has conditioned us to be competitive, a doer, go getter, or a ‘die hard person’. There is a strong preconceived notion that the one who is workaholic is a worthwhile being. The one who takes the least vacation breaks or no breaks at all, which is even better, is the most trusted employee. Just go a layer deeper beneath the ‘skin’ of these so called workaholics and you will find an unhappy, desperate person trying hard to attach his or her identity with the work they do. Such an attitude is a trap. Self identification with anything external, however holy it might seem, is a trap. It is a trap to your freedom of growth. What I mean by “to do : nothing” is to do absolutely nothing. Not even partying or picnicking with friends or family. I mean to say, by doing nothing, you are spending time with YOUR SELF – The center of your universe. Unless You are conscious and healthy you cannot relate or respond to all that is around you, including your most loved ones. It’s extremely important to allot a ‘do nothing’ time for yourself and spend quality time with you and yourself. Strictly between you and yourself. You may do whatever you wish… sing, paint, listen to music, read and reflect upon a book, enjoy the nature, or anything or ‘nothing’ that cleanses your inner being and space of all the ego and emotional rust and dust that got collected during the course of the week. The more often you clean your inner self, the more neat and healthy you are, inwardly, which is the pivotal point of all your outward activities.
“We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.
We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.”
– Lao Tzu
I just took some time off my ‘To-do-nothing day’ to post this blog. Rest of the day is going to be me, myself, and Beethoven’s music.
The answer depends on the purpose of your blog. People blog for many reasons. I at least see three categories of bloggers on a broad basis. First is the business community of bloggers who want business from their blogs. For the business bloggers, number of likes and followers is a very important matter. Business always measures its success in numbers and so they have well tested tricks and technics to bring in the necessary traffic to their blog pages. It’s purely technical for them. The second category is of those people who come here for fun and time pass. I assume that they really don’t bother much about the number of likes and followers their blogs can fetch. And finally, the third category is of people who blog for the love of language and sharing. I include myself in this category. It is this section of the blogging community that gets very sensitive and vulnerable to this number game. We come here for some quality time and interaction, but eventually are lured by the glittering numbers of likes and follows, get addicted to it, and when the numbers dip, we begin to question our own ability to write. I understand that this addiction is stronger than the addiction for getting likes on our facebook profile photos, because here the like and follow is for our head and heart, something much more dear and precious than our appearance. If you belong to this sub community of bloggers who are suffering from the number problem, you need to seriously consider this question – How much does all these likes and follows really matter ? Of course , it is nice to have a big number of likes and followers, but should this be the measuring scale of your blogging talent ?
This category of bloggers seek meaningful interaction. Meaningful interaction is a thing of quality. If you try to measure quality with a set of quantitative tools like the Stats page provided by WordPress , then you will be grossly misled. It really amuses me when someone follows my blog, but does not ‘like’ the particular post which made him/her to press the follow button, and then never ever show up again, similar to those who send friend requests in facebook and then never interact once their request is accepted. I can even understand those who just ‘like’ someone’s post and move on, but what about those who follow you and then vanish into silence? If you notice, majority of such people will be having huge following and their aim is just to get your attention hoping you would reciprocate their ‘following’ by following them in return. These are business people doing their business, that is all. Such ‘followers’ will not add any value to your blogging experience. Those who want quality interaction should ‘count’ only on those people who comment on your posts, who share, appreciate or constructively criticize the ideas of your posts. That is your true community. What matters to quality seeking bloggers are interaction and the depth of interaction. And remember, more the quality, less will they be in number. That is the law of nature. It will take time to meet like minded people who are willing to communicate. So, for now, even if you have just one follower who regularly interacts with you on your blog’s subject matter, be thankful!
Don’t bother about the STAT page. Sometimes the page gives you a trophy, be glad to achieve it, but don’t get carried away. Keep calm and blog on !