Saturday, February 09, 2008

Human Dynamics

This week, I was speaking to my manager, where an official conversation slowly turned unofficial. I've been fortunate in my career, where my managers have been more of friends. I have been able to tell them what I really felt about things instead of mincing words or being diplomatic. Also, at this stage of my career, managing the needs and expectations of people is such a big challenge! To summarize - the task or art is to make every one in the team work as one single unit irrespective of differences (think "Isha")!

Anyway, back to the conversation, my manager was speaking to me about "human dynamics". Essentially, he was telling me to look deeper into the surface of things where things are always not what they seem. Human dynamics make colorful complexity. What he meant was this:

  1. No two human beings perceive the same situation the same way. In a 1001 different ways, this depends on how they have been brought up and what experiences they have gathered to the point of here and now
  2. What people would do to promote themselves (if required, demote others) - several nuances and subtleties involved in every little aspect of people's behavior!
He pulled up an email, which was very trivial and innocent looking, but was addressed to about 5-6 people. He gave me an explanation which was mind blowing. He uncovered a game hiding within the email, which if you were not careful, you would easily overlook. With 150 emails coming in every day, this is certainly not a trivial task. Add to this, what people say, do all through the day and the way the listeners minds are influenced by these. I am not saying my manager's explanation was the reality, but it certainly was a possibility.

Apparently, he was giving me feedback! He was telling me to be watchful and look below the surface of everything. "Human dynamics" is a beautiful word, but it is very easy to overlook this as a catch-phrase! Understanding human dynamics is an exercise of a life time, not just on the job, but off the job as well.

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