In Corporate and elsewhere, we always talk of barriers and the need to overcome these. But unfortunately, in none of the debates, discussions or development programs it is brought out what makes barriers to surface and how to manage those. The main source for barriers is your own Notions, Perceptions and Traits (NPT). Are you surprised?
It is a simple nature’s law that “What Helps could also Hurt”.
Notion, Perception and Trait belong to same family of human characteristics, which is responsible to build up our understanding or belief and helps us to respond /act. If we were to put these on a scale, then notion would be on the left end and can undergo change easily and trait would be right end, which is hard to change like our habits. Perception resides in the middle and plays the most significant role in our behavior and responses.
How N-P-Ts are born or built?
There is general agreement among experts in field of psychology, psychiatry, philosophy etc. that notions and perceptions are created and built by situational comprehensions. But, the traits are fixed from birth and genes; this may be only partially true. Following factors and situations play strong role in giving birth or building human NPT:
- Comprehension from routine observations, communications and discussions – reading, hearing, viewing and all such activities, which activate our sensory responses.
- Influence from whom you feel the awe – your role model, mentor, leader, boss, one you respect most or are obsessed with. Mind it, opposite is also true – you also get impacted by whom you indeed hate or feel repulsive!
- Factors, you believe have given you success, ecstasy, fun or failure.
- Crisis, conflicts or controversies at any stage of your life or time play a critical role to build your NPT.
- Childhood memories, in particular, provide strong dosage to build NPT!
An individual would have several notions, perceptions and traits, some of which may be right or others wrong, may be in synchronization with realities or against. Right N/P/T would give right results. The ones, which are wrong and out of sync with realities, create barriers.
All of above sources are essentially observations, which always translate into your memories (including images). These then branch out into your notions, perceptions and traits, apart from knowledge, information, emotions etc. We can draw strong analogy of NPT with how a computer memory works:
Main memory – RAM <—> Cognitive part of human memory, channeling info between senses and memory stored in brain
Hard disc memory <—> Knowledge and information storage in brain
Cache memory <—> Emotions (happiness, pleasure, anger frustration, ego..)
Read-only memory – ROM <—> Genetic info, which partly contributes to traits and habits
You can, now, comprehend that:
- Notions are your “repetitive and reinforced” knowledge/info and stored like on Hard Disc in brain. Hence, these can be over written or changed with new observations; but do need efforts!
- Perceptions are actually combination of your “notions, emotions and traits”. The emotions part of perceptions is stored like Cache memory and notions as above. To some extent, perceptions are influenced by traits, which are stored as mentioned below.
It is because of “emotions + trait” part, which makes it harder for you to change your perceptions as compared to notions.
- Traits are combination of “some part of genetic info and emotions”. The genetic part of info is stored like ROM and emotions like Cache memory.
This is the most difficult combination to change; but not impossible.
Revisit and rediscover some of very common NPTs
- Employee friendly approach would only raise their expectations to unmanageable level.
But, someone shows you can be friendly, which motivates them; yet manage their expectations at reasonable level.
- Working long and hard is dedication and sincerity to company.
However, a true leader says this is bunk! It is all about working smart, efficient and with ownership!
- People get influenced and impacted by forceful expressions and plentiful explanations.
But, people are actually swayed by short and simple sentences, and savvy manners.
- Keep a distance from difficult bosses or colleagues.
When you get in more difficulties, you realize that you can only manage by narrowing distances.
- You can’t change others!
Next day, you hear your leader or celebrity saying “Change is the only constant in Universe” and decide to drive a change. What would you change, if you have already erected a barrier??
- Mind and soul are 2 separate entities in our body.
No branch of science has any clue what and where these are in our body.
- Heaven and Hell are located somewhere in Universe.
Science has no evidence; but have experimentally found out everything – galaxies, stars etc, are moving away from us. Are Heaven and Hell also moving away from us?
- My destiny is fixed by date and time of my birth and traits by my Zodiac sign.
Where and in what form/ language (there are many in our world!) the destiny has been written and what makes it fixed when everything is in dynamic state in Universe!
- I can do my best; but if I do not get results, it is my bad luck!
You believe that you are doing your best; but it is actually not! Reality is if you do really best, you just cannot fail!
- God is everywhere!
Then, why we keep seeking Him at specific places and keep fracturing above very belief?
- Suspicious in nature and hence your 1st reaction or response is to doubt.
On leadership platform, you boast the relevance of trust!
- Negativism and pessimism – 1st thoughts always around possibility of failure and what is if things go wrong.
And you believe leading by example and motivating your team?
- Highlight virtues and hide vices!
But, preach honesty and transparency to employees/public?
- Pick on what is not done or not there, instead of praising what is done or appreciate what is there.
But, lose no time to boast of being broad-minded and request people to be rational and reasonable!
- Throw towel in the face of difficulties!
And advocate managerial courage and conviction to win?
Towards the End
One can, now, understand how your own Notions, Perceptions and Traits not merely create barriers; actually can block and choke your way forward.
Puzzling paradox is that as long as you hang around with your N-P-Ts, there no way for you to realize that there is something wrong and needs to change!
So, how to figure out what is right or wrong, real or unreal of your N-P-Ts, please wait for my next Post.