Monday, December 29, 2014

An Interesting Situation

I was talking to a young team in a startup - the average age of which was 25. We were discussing how it is important to keep the energy up in the team and ways in which the team could keep energy high. We agreed that small victories and progresses should be shared and celebrated. I asked them to step up one by one and share their small experiences and victories in an informal manner with their team. The rest of the team was asked to appreciate, ask questions and get involved.

I told them to address their team - it was an informal sharing between them. They found it difficult to talk to their peers. The peers listened in a manner that showed low involvement. Even at times when the youngsters shared something really good there was no reaction. When the person finished, they all looked uncomfortably at each other. Some clapped hesitantly.

I asked them why they were not appreciating their colleagues small victories. Why they were not really interested in knowing how and what they did. They were silent. I realised that they were not tuned to getting or giving appreciation. Any celebration was a far cry. The words 'Wow' or 'Great' came with great difficulty. (We all had a session simply shouting 'Wow' and 'Wah Wah' and 'Great' to get used to the words.) Real victories, successes were not acknowledged and celebrated.

I wonder why.

Children grow up imitating our behaviors. I cannot see them suddenly being appreciative and interested and involved in other people if they have not been exposed to such behaviors. I cannot see them celebrating others successes, learning from them, genuinely appreciating them if we do not set the example. It was appalling to see their hesitancy, their doubt that what they did was worth sharing or celebrating.

I made my observation and then we decided to have fun. Each one of the listeners was nominated to say 'Wow' or 'Great' or celebrate the small victories of the person who was sharing every ten seconds - just for the heck of it. There was laughter, fun and energy in the room. Nothing like some fun, mischief and spirit to rev up the energy. By the end of it all we did end up having fun. The energy was good.

What I understand from this experience is that the problem lies with us - the role models - not with them.

Clearly we must lead by example. We must set forth and live the behaviors we wish to see. If we want pleasantness we must be pleasant. If we want happiness we must be happy. If we want energy we must show energy. If we want politeness and celebration we must be polite and celebrate. From us, the seniors, the youngsters will learn and imitate. Its time we quickly started living that life we want to see.

There is no point cribbing about what is not there. By doing that we promote a culture of cribbing. 

1 comment:

Rajendra said...

surprising, maybe not. Are we all gloom and doom? If so, it's time for a change.