On life…and learning

Archive for November 2013

How I Learnt to Conduct Positive Arguments…

with 6 comments

imagesAs an organization and human resources professional, my job involves conducting a lot of conversations, discussion & arguments and managing conflicts therein. As any other well-meaning professional, I have made my fair share of mistakes during such conversations; introspection told me that many such discussions could have been conducted in a more fruitful manner. Having said that, I would like to believe that I am better off today by making such mistakes and learning from them.

After all these years of being a true argumentative Indian, often straight-worded and carrying ‘When right, say it hot’ mindset, I wanted 2013 to be a better year. So, I took as one of my guiding principles/quotes of 2013 as – “I will not attend every argument I am invited to” (Author Unknown). I sat down in early Jan, dug deep into my experience and wrote down all the errors I tend to make during a discussion or an argument. And from that exercise, I learnt these two invaluable lessons, which now help me conduct a positive argument.

Now, during every discussion-turn-argument, I continually remind myself:

  • “I need to share my thoughts, without building a perception that the other person’s thoughts are incorrect. I may have my well-intentioned and valid reasons to state my views firmly, AND that does not make the views of the other person any inferior.” I keep telling myself that I am not trying to win over a personal victory here, I am just bringing my views and thoughts to the table.

  • “I must end the conversation purely on the merits of the two sides of arguments AND do not bring THE person in between the debate.” I keep reminding myself that if I state all my views with necessary facts, share my thought process clearly, I need not push or act aggressive. Not raising voice, and improving the argument is what I do – with a belief that the argument on its own merits will end up winning, if it is worth it, i.e..

How it helped? Well, I do not bring along my ego as an additional participant to a discussion any more. I listen with an intent to listen and not with an immediate urge to respond right back; to share with you, that was tough and I am indeed doing better by learning this art. I try not to allow my smile and/or my positive exterior to fade, even amidst the most trying arguments. And best of all, I do not end up making the other person feel being gunned down by the volley of arguments.

And I must tell you, I have started enjoying arguments even more now, they are a lot more harmonious and outcome-oriented! I still make some mistakes; few arguments still could have ended better… and that is the key, I now quickly scan my own self post every such conversation and reprimand self for any uncalled-for step. Next discussion turns out even better!

This was my experience. Now it is your turn. How do you conduct arguments? Do you follow any rules to conduct positive arguments? Do share…

Modern(?) Mindset On Single Mothers…Tanishq’s New Advertisement

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tanishq_660_102813010058Just watched the NDTV’s report on the new advertisement by Tanishq, leading jewellery retailer brand of India. In case you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P76E6b7SQs8).

The television presenter praised the concept behind the TV commercial, which picturizes the wedding ceremony of a single mother,  as the backdrop for Tanishq’s contemporary range of wedding jewellery. Social media is abuzz with the bold and modern concept of ‘remarriage‘ of a ‘divorced‘ or a ‘widowed‘ mother, I heard the news-anchor saying. She mentioned how progressive the ad is and also described at length how social media is going berserk with praises penned by the viewers of this ad.

Hearing these comments, Neha, my wife, remarked with disgust,“Well, what about a ‘single’ mother? Is it necessary for a single mother to be either a divorcee or a widow? Can she not be just a single mother, someone who is not married, or someone who adopted a kid?”

I could not agree more. While everyone can hail this advertisement and we both certainly belong to the tribe, which salutes the concept of a single mother proudly marrying in the company of her daughter celebrating the ceremony, and where the groom accepts the young girl with open arms, I am rather disappointed with the media reports, TV commentaries and social media’s buzz, hailing this advertisement as ‘celebrating modernity of remarriage’ and how a progressive brand like Tanishq has broken new ground with this bold concept.

Watch the commercial carefully and you would note that NOWHERE during the ceremony  it is revealed that the young girl is the woman’s biological daughter or that it is her second marriage.

Sushmita Sen and her daughterWonder what would Sushmita Sen be thinking at this moment! She is a proud single mother of a lovely, adopted daughter. And mind you, she is neither a divorcee nor a widow… She is what she is, just a proud single mother.

So much for the modern(?) and open(?) outlook and its celebration… I am closing this blog post with what Carl Sagan said about open minds:

“It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”


Photo-credit I: indiatoday.intoday.in 

Photo-credit II: fillum.com

Written by RRGwrites

November 13, 2013 at 11:12 PM

The New ‘GUY’ On The Block…

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RRG and Brute

Just completed 1500 kilometers on my new Mahindra Thar. And what a ride it has been…

For the road-traveller in me, driving a normal car is just not exciting – hatchbacks, sedans, even the ubiquitous SUVs don’t excite me. This marvel of a jeep was on my mind for some years now; yet, one or the other thing kept delaying the purchase. Every time I would see myself in a car and someone else driving this brute force on the roads, something in me used to crave.

So, just like in the case of Truemy prized Royal Enfield, wify Neha persisted and kept pushing me to buy this one too.

Guy_2About a month ago, Thar finally came home. Another ten days spent in refurbishing the raw body that Mahindra & Mahindra sells, this black beauty now looks like a prized possession.

Having driven it all over Delhi & NCR now, I am getting used to heads turning my way, or, shall I admit, the Guy’s way. Yes, that is the name it has been christened with. After all, its a guys’ thing!

With this new Guy on the block,  I am looking forward to many more kilometers on the road… far and beyond.

TruePS: Don’t mistake me for changing my first and original love… at heart, I remain a True biker…

Written by RRGwrites

November 2, 2013 at 7:35 PM

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