Tag Archives: Emotions

Six leadership lessons highly worth learning from psychology of a physician

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Be your own physician?

We all know that medical practice in any field is a noble profession; but what is little known are unique lessons that we should learn from the mindset of a medical practitioner. We are talking about just a good physician, leave alone successful ones.

Let us look at what does psychology of a physician teach us:

  1. Managing conflict of interest
    Getting into medical profession entails lot of efforts, time and money worldwide. It is natural that motto of getting into this field for most is earning name, fame and wealth.
    It is also clear that every visit to or by a physician fetches a fee for him/her.
    Now, a physician is faced with conflict of interest – treat his/her patients or customers for self-interest or serve them selflessly. Good doctors would always manage this conflict by rising above self and greed, and serve customers keeping in mind their interests. They prescribe minimum medicines and pathological tests and discourage patients to make frequent visits. Many have grace to charge less fees from those, who can’t afford.
    Let us draw a parallel to above the stock options scheme in corporates for employees and top management. Such options have a singular motive of driving employees to perform well, so that company profitability improves, which in turn would reward employees with more options. But, when it comes to top management, conflict of interest creeps in – should company performance improve to increase value of his/her substantial stocks or should it improve to increase values for customers and employees, even if it means slight dent in company’s profitability? Many CEOs allegedly and subtly act in favor of the former – serving self-interest.
  2. Maximum availability
    A physician is available 24×7 to his/her patients, at least in India. Their work-life balance is heavily tilted towards work.
    I am not suggesting that it is good for them, although it is good for their customers. What is more significant lesson is that they don’t make any excuse for non-availability. Their dedication for duties is total.
  3. Memory management
    Did you notice that a good doctor’s memory is very good. He/she would remember history of his/her patients correctly, correct medicines’ name, spelling (usually complex), potency and names of manufacturers for innumerable number of ailments and case histories of other patients.
    What is the key – inbuilt sharper brain or they pop up some pills to sharpen their memory? Not any of these. It is registering the information without any conflict in mind and recalling it without any stress.
  4. Motto of service to customers
    A physician’s actions are completely oriented towards his/her customers and obtaining the results for which they have approached him/her. They never compromise their attitude to serve.
  5. Maximum confidence and concentration
    Successful practitioners give their advice or prescription with total confidence and rarely side or back track. Their focus on duties is deep.
    They are never shaken by patient’s condition, however adverse and do maintain their composure effortlessly. They are attached to their duties but detached from their customers while serving them unflinchingly.
  6. Marvelous understanding of their own body
    In leadership programs or schools, reference to this quality is by and large missing. It is extremely important to understand how you or your body would react to different situations, what triggers your emotions and how to manage the same.
    Doctors do very well on above count and hence, rarely fall sick or fall prey to sickening situations.
    A good leader needs to understand his/her body (including mind) well in order to be robust, consistent and persistent in his/her pursuits.

So, a good physician is a great case study at business schools and organizations!

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Why likes of Trump would not only survive but always thrive

Portrait of angry boss shouting at his secretary through megaphone who is indifferent to it

How not to get bulldozed by bully! Image source – flickr.com

Look at any country, company, community or family – difficult person or people always dominate and decent ones lie low. In a school classroom, naughty students are always noticeable and receive teachers’ most attention; but nice ones find themselves neglected.

In just concluded US Presidential race, it is widely believed that both of main contenders were difficult personalities; but then what made Donald to trump Hillary?

Few days back, a respectable Indian newspaper carried an article penned by a well-known writer about 2 drug lords – Pablo Escobar of Colombia in real life and Walter White in reel life. She narrated how impressed she was by their sheer dynamism and determination, sharp minds and wished that such unmatched talent could be channelized for good cause of our society. She is not alone in her thoughts of compassion and sympathy. Most of us are very fascinated by villain-heroes, who are on relentless pursuit and ruthless run for a cause they believe as fair but by flouting every law. What most or masses always mistake in understanding that massive energy and enigma of such heroes exist only because they are villains!

The seed for power and popularity

The seed for power, position and publicity is in man’s Ego. If level of ego in a person is above certain threshold, it creates uncontrolled desire and drive for name and fame, nurtures blind belief – “I am the one, who alone can be right and can do it.” Mind of such person gets shut from realities and respect for others.

If you have watched Donald Trump, he enjoys extra high level of ego, much beyond the threshold, when compared with his rival/s.

By-products of ego are arrogance and reckless run for one-upmanship and showmanship. On a larger platform in a country or company, ego and its by-products are often misunderstood – ego is perceived as esteem or pride; arrogance is projected as great confidence and reckless pursuit is pronounced as passion. It is more prevalent in developed societies, who like to gloss over qualities in preference to quantities. I have been privy to host of such incidences during my tenure with a US multinational company.

Spreading negativity and then making positive promises

It is very easy to declare things are bad; but it is difficult to say things are good since that would need intelligence and patience to substantiate. People easily get alarmed when they are told that things are going to be bad. It evokes their emotions and creates confusion.

Likes of Trump master the art of painting a dismal picture of present even if it is rosy, exploiting people’s emotions and manipulating those with positive promises. Therefore, the slogan “I would make America great again” has gone down pretty well with public, not knowing by which account USA has indeed gone down!

People sympathize with who they perceive as victim or powerless

We often misunderstand mindset of masses.

If you have noticed, throughout election campaign in USA (and that happens even elsewhere), rivals and media were busy exposing (bad) truths about Trump but never brought his myths in focus. He was smart enough to project himself as victim in the hands of media and party in power. He could translate it into public sympathy. On other hand, Hillary could never be seen as victim of allegations by her rivals, as she was once in powerful position and now backed up party in power.

Virtues of one in power can easily be translated into vices by the one who is powerless.

So, as long as we succumb to our ego and negativity especially fears, likes of Trump would always succeed and we will not be able to wield our true strength!

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It’s great to be good; but getting addicted to it is worse than addiction to bad

 

When leader turns a laggard!

When leader turns a laggard!

Highly successful individuals, industries or institutions suddenly come in limelight for a lame reason and their character or credentials take a severe beating. Among innumerable instances, current ones are Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for their marital issues, Volkswagen for emission scandal and past ones are golf legend Tiger Woods, soccer star Diego Maradona, iconic companies like Dell and BlackBerry. In all of these cases, success brought successes and fame bought more feathers in their caps, but only to fall or fly apart.

Why is such story is so sacrosanct is every case?

When going is good, everyone has natural urge to have more of it. You see your success as vindication or validation of what you do. There is nothing wrong in this but slowly your mind abstains to see adverse implications of blind pursuit of good. I call this as “addiction to good”.

Why addiction to bad is a lesser evil

If you get addicted to anything that is bad, you would get early warning signals. Your bad behavior would raise eyebrows of your boss and buddies alike. Your bad habits would show up on your health and happiness. So, you receive lot of alarms when you do something that is not good and get opportunity to correct. If you don’t correct, you would end up with bigger crisis. That gives you last opportunity to resurrect or else ruin.

Why addiction to good is an enormous evil

When you do it right, everyone around you is there to endorse and enamor what you do. You start to get results. It turns into your passion. When you keep pursuing, it potentially turns into your obsession. Two things happen at this stage – (1) you build a blind belief on the approach that gave you success. Often there are errors in interpreting the parameters of this successful approach like picking emotions in place of inspiration, hard work instead of smart work and like and (2) you see your stakes soaring high socially and professionally.

You start to firmly believe, once right, you would always be right. You refuse to see incoming arrogance and overconfidence. Unsuccessful or unaware colleagues or masses start to idolize you, fueling your obsession further. This is the stage, you begin to inflict severe damage to social or corporate fabric with intelligence and resources that you have gathered. Your blessings turn into banes and you become victim of your own victories. Unless you face a severe setback, you are actually at a point of no return.

Are advanced societies becoming victim of addiction to good?

It very much seems so.

Advanced societies or countries in our world have had good run for substantial time, during which knowingly or unknowingly, they seem to taken decisions, adopted practices and policies, which helped them earlier but hurting them now. They are failing to fathom developing scenario. Addiction to good does give rise to right wing individuals, leaders and parties, if Brexit or US presidential election is any indication!

So, it is great to be good but gruesome to get addicted to it.

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World seems to promote random thinking and remembering; but that actually demotes you!

Random thinking! Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Pick up popular articles on personality development. One of the traits they encourage you to develop is to entertain random thoughts for innovativeness and creativity. Mentors or coaches would surmise that uncontrolled thoughts are pre-requisite to out-of-box thinking!

Godmen, gurus and preachers would exhort you to keep god’s name on your tongue and picturize him in your mind throughout the day.

We love to remember who are dear to us repeatedly, even when we are engaged in our work. Those, who hurt us or we are biased against, never go away from our mind. We feel compelled to recall images of our role models all the time. Things we are passionate about, are just hooked in our imagination. In the name of dedication and diligence, scientists, researchers or technocrats eat, drink and dream their work.

Do such random thoughts and remembrances help or hurt?

Implications of random thinking and remembering

  1. Thoughts for who you love
    It is most fascinating to keep thoughts in mind for who you love – your spouse, children or friend/s. You keep thinking repetitively how much you love them or how much they love you.
    What you don’t seem to notice is:
    1. Does repeat thinking of love enhances or endangers it?
      Studies have shown it slowly turns into obsession or revulsion!
    2. It builds up your expectations from who you love. When expectations are not met, you feel disenchanted.
    3. You tend to compare who you love more and who less, as also keep a watch on your loved ones, thereby encouraging a conflict in mind. 
    4. If your loved ones have committed mistake or misbehaved with you, your random thoughts exaggerate same.
    5. Your love could turn into lust.
    6. You tend to find flaws with loved one and that sows seed to grow your biases.
      This is how most relationships come on the rock!
  2. Thoughts for whom you respect
    There is a notion developed by most us albeit without noticing it that people we respect should be remembered frequently. Implications are:
    1. Your personality would be overshadowed by who you respect and develop a kind of blind faith in him/her.
      If he/she does good to you, you would be extra grateful; but, if he/she does wrong, you would gloss over. This is your big gaffe!
    2. Because of your respect, you would tend to suppress your feelings or dissent with the person.
    3. When your faith that the person is flawless fractures, you would be crest fallen and drift away from him/her furiously!
  3. Remembering god randomly
    We all believe that remembering god randomly and most time does good to us.
    1. What do you do by remembering god randomly – recall his image, offer prayers or gratefulness or ask for favors? You can either do it casually or seriously. If you are doing it casually, your faith is actually superficial and doing it seriously has always selfish motives attached.
    2. When you make god privy to your work, you set your expectations on him to give you results, regardless of qualitative aspect. Is not it hypocrisy?
    3. God is too great to get a credit from you; but you would conveniently discredit him for your distress or ills! 
  4. Remembering your bête noire!
    This is most easily done! Like it or not, your rivals or baiters occupy maximum space in your mind. You think randomly against whom you are biased and keep building your negative emotions. You would rarely think of them for a right purpose – align with or win over them!
  5. Random thoughts for creativity
    Common conviction is creativity needs random thoughts. But that is only partly true.
    If you think thousand different things, some are bound to be creative or off-beat. But, what we are not thinking is how much time, energy and efforts are required to think those thousand things. Is there is an easier and effective way?
    There is indeed one – your mind is most creative, when it is fully focused and has no conflict of thoughts! 

A careful thought on above would reveal that random thought/remembering promotes prejudices, pessimism, egotism, obsession or depression. It is also a huge distraction.

Thinking or remembering for a right or rational reason!

No doubt, everyone thinks or remember things for a reason; but what is regressive is mixing it with too much of random thoughts. Usual chore is – it is harmless! No, research has revealed that it is quite harmful and hurts your mental and even physical being, apart from maladies mentioned above!

When you evoke your thoughts and memories for love, respect, faith or beliefs for a right or rational reason, their value enhances and you actually take them to elevated level. If you do same randomly without purpose, you grope in past and goof in present. Your productivity, creativity and innovativeness are at peak, when you think and remember just for a rational reason!

Dropping random thinking is not easy; but practice and focused mind would minimize it. Reminding yourself regularly that random thinking creates huge problems over time would dissuade you from same. 

Thinking for a right reason means – when there is occasion to express your love to the loved one, you do it consciously and with no inhibition. Bring respect by heart when you deal with respected ones. When someone is in pains or trouble, don’t get mired in repeated thinking over his/her state. Think consciously how you can help alleviate his/her problems and provide that help; otherwise just have kind feelings for that person and stop. When it comes to work or developing innovative ideas, think and concentrate only when you are on it and not haphazardly. As regards god, be clear why and when you want to remember – want to offer prayers, do that but don’t couple that with random thoughts of ulterior motives. Expecting anything from god makes it a wrong reason to remember him!

So, thinking and remembering things for a right reason help you realize your true potential and save huge energy, which you spend unknowingly, on irrational, inefficient and inert thoughts!

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Whom to listen and follow – your heart or head?

Follow head or heart? Source: http://www.flickr.com/

Your spontaneous response probably would be – I should follow my heart! This is what you have heard, read or been told time and again by your role models, mentors, teachers or gurus, well known authors or leaders!! But, can you exactly pin point – this is the voice or thought from my heart and that one is from my head? Everyone agrees that head speaks to you all the time; but does heart also do so or it speaks selectively?

Let us take examples of goons, gurus and gods. Do goons have heart as well as head? Off course they do! If you read real stories of goons or gangsters, they do have compassion, albeit for certain class of people – their dear ones or those for whose cause they have become trouble makers or cruel. So, when they show compassion, our conventional wisdom would say they are driven by their heart. But, what happens when they demonstrate cruelty or terror? It may be convenient for most of us to think that it’s because of their head! What happens to their heart at that time? Does it go sleeping; it does not prevent them to perpetrate pains to others? There seems to be a contradiction! Can heart or head switch off and on, depending upon one’s comfort or convenience?

Now, take example of gurus or even successful corporate leaders. A good guru or leader is supposed to be highly balanced and treat all of his followers or fellows on equal footing. He or she would reject any advance by his/her follower/s to come closer; otherwise, he/she runs the risk of falling from grace like it happened with Bill Clinton former US President, Tiger Woods famous golfer or David Petraeus former CIA Director in US. So, a successful guru or leader would never be drawn into emotions! Does that mean gurus or leaders don’t have heart? If no, then from where come their kind and congenial behavior? Yet; most believe that gurus and leaders work through only their heads; that is why they are dispassionate and even desert their comforts and families for their pursuits.

Now for god; in all religions, Gods have been projected to operate through their meta-physical powers or enlightened mind like Buddha. There is nothing like separate voices of their heads or hearts!

How do we differentiate what comes from heart and one from head?

What we tend to relate to heart!

Most consider following feelings and functions belong only to heart:

  1. Love
    We connect every form of love to our heart; but not respect!
  2. Kindness and compassion
    We believe an act of kindness can only come from heart. Only heart is capable of being compassionate; but being considerate, inconsiderate or impersonate is handiwork of our head.
  3. Empathy and sympathy
    Same as in point 2 above; supposed to ooze out of our heart!
  4. Passion and devotion
    We don’t believe that passion for a person or profession, devotion for god, nature, nation or duties can come from head; it is heart!
  5. Positive emotions
    All positive emotions as above and others like happiness, fun, fervor or excitement have been perceived by us as regime of heart!

So, coming from heart, everything is considered right! Heart can’t commit any crime or mistake!!

The rest goes to head!

That seems to be a blatant truth!!

  1. Rationale and reasoning
    Only our head has competence to rationalize and understand the realities – this is what all believe!
  2. Judgement and justice
    That is the job reserved for our head.
  3. Anticipation and analysis
    We believe these functions exclusively belong to our head!
  4. Knowledge and niches
    Our head or brain is the repository of our knowledge, specialties, talents, traits, information, intelligence and habits!
  5. Duties and discipline
    All ideas about our duties and discipline are comprehended by our head.
  6. Convictions
    All of our beliefs, faith and principles get developed and executed by our head.
  7. Negative emotions
    Our brain (head) also takes the brunt of every negative feelings and/or actions – reactions, obsession, anger, anxiety, greed, gaffe and more!

Does our heart function independent of our head?
Remember that we are not talking of our biological heart here! So, what do we mean when we say our heart talking and we listening? 

Factually speaking, we experience the functions of head and heart only through our mind. Then, how a line gets drawn between voices of heart and head?

If you carefully look at above points, you would soon discover that:

  • We relate all of our positive emotions to heart; but negative emotions to head!
  • We perceive that all “spontaneous but right” thoughts emanate from heart; however, “systematic but right” thoughts and “spontaneous or systematic but wrong” thoughts come from head! 
  • Our heart has only virtues; but head can have both virtues and vices!
  • Our heart operates randomly; but head works on rationale, reasoning or realities!
  • Our heart receives only compliments and credits; but head receives both credit and discredit!

Secret of how heart differs from head!

Whatever you want to call it – scientific, material or spiritual fact is both heart (emotional not biological) and head resides in one and same mind!

There is only one and singular situation, when your thoughts are very appealing to you; those are positive and right and that situation comes “When you are thinking purely in present time forgetting the past”. 

When you think in present but keeping reference to past memory however old or fresh (like a second before), then you can go either right or wrong! This is what all of us do all the time and that is actually our head speaking. But thinking is just present, when our mind merge with current moment, is what we have accidentally come to understand – “That’s my heart speaking”! 

So, it is correct to follow your heart. But, you now have a new perspective – what exactly it means when your heart speaks. It can speak as often as you try! Remember, it is very subtle but gives you superlative power for correct decision making and revolutionizing your life/career!

 

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