Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Always Be Positive Even if you have to be Negative!!!!

I am on the Advisory Board of a few academic Institutions. When I think that the institution can do far better and keep hearing the complaints from others I feel an urge to share what I hear with the Heads of these institutions. However, as I check with others, I find that they share my views but don't want to raise any issue with the head nor even want to guide him. Some of them encourage me to raise and prompt me to bell the cat. Whenever I have shared my comments transparently my experience has been that I lost a few of the good friends I have- specially the Head of the place. It looks no one would like to hear negative things even if they are meant to help them. 15 years ago Udai Pareek and I received a complaint about how badly one of the Institutions with whom we both were associated was being managed. Many people complained. When we took up the matter and acted on it, the very people who complained vehemently about the Institution accused us of being negative for taking action on the Institution and shifting its Director and the location. The person who complained and wrote nasty mails earlier, became the best friend  of the Head on whom he took action. What lesson do I learn? Not to complain and  also not give credibility to people who complain!!!. Recently I was doing a OD exercise with another institution and the faculty were very cooperative during the exercise but privately all of them expressed serious reservation about the Head and his/her style of of functioning. they expressed their unhappiness and their inability to confront her/him. When I brought out the issue into open, none of the faculty spoke up. I am sure the Head felt that I am the villain behind these comments. I have come to the conclusion that we Indians always maintain two or more faces. We keep changing them as per our convenience. We have a private face, a public face and a changing face which changes with the context. It is so difficult to make out which face one is using when one is criticizing others. We tend to believe that their criticism is the truth. Often I am told that those who give negative comments  are the ones expecting favors or have been denied favors from the top. It is so difficult to practice openness and trust in a culture that maintains different fees and changes with the context. I am slowly learning to not to believe those who make negative comments and believe only those who make positive comments. Positive views and comments do no harm and make you as well as the other person happy. Negative comments give you sleepless nights. Perhaps soon I will resolve "never to give negative feedback and always be positive". 

1 comment:

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