November 12, 2008
Yesterday, we had a team exercise at work…it was fun, interesting, and technical and most importantly gave me a new perspective of thought!!
Let me give u the analogy with respect to the non-professional world.
With the advent of new technologies, Internet etc, the world is more and more becoming a global village. If you are reading this…you are fortunate enough to have a platform to express your views, discuss, debate with global citizens. It’s about the diversities we have among ourselves…All through the world, there are laws, legislations, reservations etc that aim at eliminating or corporately speaking ‘Managing’ these diversities and treating everyone equally or rather trying to. Well, first basic question I got was “Is it possible to manage something which is a fact?? Already existing and very much evident??” Yes…I am talking about various discriminations that were and are there based on silly things like colour, place, gender etc… My answer would be clearly “NO”….how can we manage something we don’t have control on?? [my experience in root cause analysis helped me here] Its like telling managing time…When we say we are not able to manage our time…. we imply we are not able manage our work with time!! Isn’t it?? So my argument is that when we say we are managing diversity…we actually mean ‘Managing Inclusion’!! Its about accepting the diversities in others and if possible finding out similarities among ourselves!! So I found the name very apt for the course… Coming to the exercise again, It was rightly pointed out that Diversity is not based on ethnic background, culture or color etc…Diversity is just various points in which we differ….[we meaning all of us], some may be evident physically and some may not….. We had very good exercises like stereotypes by which we commonly tend to form opinion about…generally negative! One of the best things of the day was the video shown. It was a video popularly called “Blue eyes, brown eyes” ….I suggest you should definitely watch it. It tells us about a teacher (Jane Elliot) trying to teach and make the students in the class understand about disparities in America based on color….It was first shot and developed by her when Martin Luther King died [30 years ago]. Through this exercise, She tries to make small kids in their primary school understand why it’s a silly thing to discriminate based on color [as in context then]. Though the video shows mainly about color discrimination, it could well be applied to others. Infact it’s a fact that everyone knows – “To discriminate based on color/gender is as silly as to discriminate on color of eyes” – but many don’t tend to realize that fact!! Don’t you agree?? So, its all about accepting diversities and working accordingly. A good team leader/manager would try and make his team understand this I think…so that’s a take home point. My most important inference and thing which I felt at the end of the day is : It does not apply to only your proffessional life….does it??? Each individual is unique and is different and diversities exist…..its all about how well you can accept one another …… My mom used to say, “loving someone knowing all their weakenesses and drawbacks (imprefections) and is loving truly ….Pure love that we find among kids….kids coz of their innocence….If one can evolve and grow preserving such innocence….they would be happy eternally….as i said in my previous post….happiness is within you!! And as Axinia said “Love is the water of Life”