Sunday, January 13, 2013



Let us consider the following facts:

• Man has lives 50,000 thousand years.

• Each life time 62 years.

• We are at present in the 800th life time.

• First 650 were spent in caves.

• Writing was discovered 70 life times ago.

• Printed word only 6 life times ago

• Precise measurement of time just 4 life time ago.

• Overwhelming developments are taking place in this, the 800 life time.

The well known author C.P. Snow remarks:

“Until this century social change was so slow that it would pass unnoticed in one person’s life time”. This is no longer so. The rate of change had increased so much that even once imagination cannot keep up with it.

Let’s consider some more facts:


• Before 1500 AD in Europe only 100 titles (books, research papers, pamphlets, journals) etc. Were published per annum.

• By AD 1950 these had expended to 120000 titles p.a

• A century comprised into 10 months in other words, what quantity was published earlier (450 years back) in a century begin to be published in just 10 months by 1950 AD.

• Today it is 1000 titles per day.

• Scientific literature – alone – 60 million pages p.a.

• From the time a child is born, to the time of its graduation world knowledge expands 4 times.

• By the time one graduates one is already obsolete on top of it. Teachers even more obsolete than the child itself teach the child.

• By the time, the child is 50 years old. World knowledge expands 32 times. Exponential growth of knowledge!

• Obsolescence of knowledge very rapid.

• Difficult to keep pace, one therefore takes to specialization in some branch of knowledge where one can keep reasonable pace with the latest development.

• All is not lost yet. Just as what was once a software has today been embedded into the memory of a computer chip, in the same way, knowledge acquired and digested by one generation is likely to be transferred genetically in the subsequent once, provided it keeps on assimilating as much knowledge as possible and remains sexually active as long as possible.


1600 B.C. Camel Caravans 8 m.p.h.

1610 B.C. Chariot invented 20 m.p.h.

1825 A.D. Steam locos 13 m.p.h.

1980 A.D. - Do- 100 m.p.h.

1938 A.D. Aeroplanes 400 m.p.h.

1960 A.D. Rockets 4800 m.p.h.

Space Vehicles 18000 m.p.h.


1714 A.D. Patent for Typewriter

1864 A.D. Commercial Production

1836 A.D. First Agricultural Machine

1930 A.D. Machine Marketed

The cycle from concept to commercial production to marketing the products which took 94 to 150 years earlier (as shown above) takes less than a year in case of most products these days.

Extremely rapid scientific discoveries lead to rapid obsolescence of products launched. As a result, even 1 year old discoveries become obsolete especially in the fields of:






• For 81.5 Centuries Q/2 Per Century

• By 1850 A.D. Q Per Century

• Today 10Q Per Century

In past 100 years, we have consumed 2000 years’ fuel.


• Total output of Goods and Services doubling every 15 years.

• A child surrounded by everything twice new by the time it becomes a Teenager.

• By 30 years – A second doubling

• By 75 years – Five doublings

• Compared to Birth, by end of life – 32 times new objects surround a person.


• Expectation levels have become quote high.

• Distances reduced.

• Almost real time global communications are possible.

• Advances such as Video-conferencing make it unnecessary to travel.

• Relationships have become numerous, but of shorter duration. They are increasingly based on achievement of purpose rather than on Emotion / Sentiments.

• Concept of time is instant Tea, Instant Coffee, Instant Soup, Instant pre-cooked dishes, Instant Communication and so on.

• People throw away used things. A throw-away society is coming up. Even spouses are sometimes discarded in order to acquire newer and more appropriate ones!

The problem areas:

1. Handling flux of Change,

2. Pressure of Transience,

3. Updating Skills/knowledge,

4. Growth/Stability,

5. Attitude/Behavior.


Do we ever realize how many changes keep coming in our own life? If we pause to about it, we would be surprised. The first change occurs when we are born.

In the mother’s womb, we are in a sage and secure place, floating in the uterine fluid. It is dark inside, quite soothing to the eyes; nutrition comes automatically to as via the placenta, which joins our belly button and the mother’s womb.

As soon as we are born, we find a lot of bright light outside, that bedazzles us. A reflex action shuts our eyes. We are placed on a solid object, a soft cushion. However soft the cushion, it is still much too hard for us as compared to the fluid we were floating in. The outside world is strange, full of noises. The only vaguely familiar thing is the mother’ touch, but she is far too busy recovering for her labor pains to attend to us. In protest, we start crying little realizing that this act of crying makes us to learn breathing. Previously, even oxygen came to us through the motherly connection. In fact, if we do not breathe immediately on birth, the doctor or the mid-wife gives us a gentle hit on the buttocks to make us cry. Any delay in crying means depriving our brain of oxygen and consequent damage to the rain that may be irreversible.

The next change comes when we learn to suckle. No more Automation now! We have to come to the Manual mode! We learn to exert our mouth muscles to take in mother’s milk. Then, learning to raise our head, turning on our sides, watching the world around, recognizing objects by sight, sound, touch and taste. Our best clue to object recognition remains taste for quite some time. Then, creeping, crawling, sitting up, learning to stand up. Walking, earning from mother’s milk to outside milk or solid food etc. Changes after changes come in quick succession. Every change is painful in the beginning, full of frustration at failure to learn properly and adjust to the new situation.

But somehow at the end, we learn and even forget that we had tried to resist or delay that particular

change. We also forget the pains that were associated with each learning process. When we learn and reap the benefits of that learning, we wonder why we were trying such a wonderful thing.

Then, we go to school, learn to play games. Each new game is a change. On completion of studies, we start earning and spend at least the next 40 years in that activity. In the cycle of life, no day is the same as the preceding one.

In the job also, transfers, learning new skills, promotions, super cessions, getting a good boss, a bad boss, new colleagues joining, their getting adapted to the ob, transfers, promotions, sacking, suspensions, resignations or retirements. Even among our neighbors, so many changes keep happening. No facer of life is free from changes. There is nothing constant in life. The only thing that is constant is change itself. Except the Sun, every other object undergoes change.

Scientists tell us now that even the Sun gets magnetic storms occasionally. (Nuclear Physicist Edward Teller says “In all my scientific exploration, the mist inert material that I have come across is the human mind.” All substances can be changed faster and more easily than the human mind).

We cannot stop the march of time by holding on to the minute or hour hand of the clock. In the same way, by holding on to the old habits after the proper time for those habits is over, we cannot stop the coming changes. We merely add to our miseries. In this regard, a poem written by me sometime back is perhaps relevant.

I quote it below:


Whenever I rebel against an event

Or a phenomenon

I am only admitting that I do not

Comprehended the causes

Underlying that event

The stronger my rebellion,

The farther away am I

From truth in the matter.

When I finally understand

What caused the event.

I revolted against,

I hit upon the axiom

“What happens is right”

For what happens is

A resultant of all the

Forces of nature acting together

And since even Time, the

Fourth dimension has participated.

The result has got to be right.

Now if so many changes are going to come, whether we like it or not, would it not be wise to learn something about change it? What is change? What causes it? How many types of change are there? How to reduce losses to us on account of change? How to cope with change? How to reduce losses to is on account of change? Can we possibly take advantage of the change? Profit instead of loss? How to sense the coming changes? How to prepare ourselves to face the changes? Questions such as the above are proposed to be tackled in what follows this.

Changes can be: (a) brought about by our own selves,

(b) brought about by nature and

(c) brought about by others.

When we ourselves bring about a change, we remain very happy with the change, at least initially. Later on, sometimes we get bored of this change and bring about one more change. It may also happen that a change brought about by us may cause us to repent. Therefore we ought to think about the likely impact, its costs and so on before we bring about any change. This would ensure that the change begets us the desired result. It may not be possible even to stick this advice. We have to experiment to make sure that some aspect of the proposed change had not been taken into account.

When the change is due to natural causes, we know that we are helpless and after grieving for a while, we adjust to the new situation as soon as possible, e.g. when a relative or a dear one dies of an illness, we do mourn but we also begin to live a normal life, soon thereafter.

When other people bring about a change, we usually object to it. We may even protest vehemently in the fashion of a child playing in dirt, being forcibly taken away by mother for bathing and dressing. After dressing up, it feels fresh and is happy. But the fact remains that it did not initially want to be disturbed from whatever activity it was doing.

It is the same thing with adults. When others change something, we, who are used to a particular way of functioning, hate to be disturbed. We protest loudly and pick holes in the new system. What we are doing when we argue is nothing more than rationalizing the basic psychological objection to being disturbed. We get blinded b this psychological block and even when we know at the cerebral level that the proposed change is beneficial. We cannot stop ourselves from opposing it.

Then, there are some people who are likely to be hurt as they have a vested interest in the old system – Usually politicians and sometimes even Union leaders or lately even the Media Moghuls. These people may be working for themselves or for others whose interests are being hurt but who are too clever to protest themselves. Funny thing is that we, the long-term beneficiaries are taken in by their talk. We scarcely realize that they are merely taking advantage of the normal human weakness of initial opposition to any change, whatsoever. If a change is warranted in the nature’s scheme of things, it is going to happen irrespective of the opposition, we can only protest and delay the change; for, delay is all that happens. Naturally, the consequential benefits are also delayed.

Now, let us examine the properties or the attributes to a change:

First, change has a magnitude. Some changes are small while some are big. Some are even profound. A transfer from one section to another is a small change while a transfer to an altogether different department is a big change. A change of job from one company to another on a salary twice or thrice the earlier one is indeed a profound change.

Second, change has direction. /some changes are for the better; they take you up. Some are for the worse; they take you down. Some are neither worse nor better. They merely shift you sideways. From doing filing work is merely a lateral shift. No change in salary, status or even the table. Only the type of work is changed.

Third, change has speed. Some changes come very fast, some very slow. Weakness caused by old age is a slow change. A heart attack comes suddenly. Old age comes creepingly. Both bring weakness. One is sudden; the other slowly creeps in.

Fourth, sometimes we become unhappy when the change expected by us does not come about. When a girl begins to cross the marriageable age and nothing happens she starts muttering that her parents do not care much for her. She forgets that when the very first marriage proposal was mooted, she had coyly opposed it.

When a change comes in someone else’s life, we see it, but do we ever think about that person’s state of mind? Let us take the example of a girl marrying our son and entering our household as bride. The father-in-law, the mother-in-law, the brother-in-law, the sister-in-law – all have varied expectations of her. She is supposed to prove herself as a competent and caring person. Nobody asks her what are her expectations. Nobody realizes that she has left her parents, brothers and sisters, friends, neighbors, a particular life style and has come to an alien world. What she is going through is nobody’s business. Not even the mother-in-law who too had been in a similar position some 25-30 years back. The daughter-in –law who too has dreams, aspirations when we, especially the menfolk, face even a small change, how disturbed do we become? However, we do not show sympathy; leave alone, empathy, for what the daughter-in-law is passing through.

The same thing happens when changes occur in others’ lives. We remain mute witnesses, quite a few times. Sometimes we even laugh at the discomfort felt by the victim of change.

Thus, we have seen that changes would keep coming. Nothing is permanent. In fact, these days, changes are coming at an ever increasing pace. We have to try to sense the coming changes. For this purpose, we should make it a habit to reflect on what is happening now, link it with what happened in the past, work out a trend and predict what could happen in the future. When that particular future comes, review our prediction and analyze causes of variance, if any. If this habit is formed, in course of time, we can learn to predict changes.

If we can sense the coming changes, understand them and try to adjust to them, we could concentrate on reducing any possible losses due to the change. In fact, we could even find out ways of benefiting from the change.

Does that mean that we become a pawn in someone’s hands? Certainly not I am reminded of a Christian prayer in this regard. It says something like this:

“Oh! Lord! Help me to change the things that I can,

Help me not to try to change the things that I cannot,

And above all dear God! Please help me to understand,

What I can what I cannot change in this world of yours!”

We have to learn to discriminate between changes that we need not adjust to and changes that we must bow to. Most trees do not react to a weak wind except to flutter their leaves. When there is a strong wind, some trees bend and are able to come back to their original position, as soon as te wind weakens. Some other trees do not bend and end up losing a few branches but survive. They may even mistakenly ne acclaimed as heroes! Continuing this policy, both types of trees react in the same way when a gust of wind of the proportions of a Typhoon comes the trees that bend to the Typhoon, get de-shaped and are not able to come back to their original position. They continue, to grow, even if in a different pattern. On the other hand trees that did not bend and stood steadfast are uprooted completely and thrown away. They die.

In a customer friendly economy, production schedules may have to change frequently and at short notice. Production facilities may have to be re-fashioned. In fact, the Japanese install many of their machines on rubber pads rather than keep them fixed on concrete. This helps them to quickly change the lay-out of the factory when warranted by the orders they receive. Like in the case of machines, in the matter of organization structure too, re-structuring may be required quite frequently. This necessarily means relocation of people manning the organization structure.

If we do not learn to adjust to powerful changes, we in our individual cases and the company, in our collective capacity, may become outdated and thrown in the dustbins. It is thus a better proposition to change ourselves in time rather than blindly oppose any and every change. We would get less pain and less loss. We might even gain something.

What advance preparations can be done to face changes of any type? We can continuously develop ourselves in a diversified manner. Newer skills, newer crafts, newer competencies mist be learnt to be able to succeed in any field that is in vogue at any given time. We never remain jobless.

Let me give you my own example. There was a huge demand for civil engineers in A.D. 1956 when I passed me B.E. (Civil) examination. I got 16 job offers in 15 days’ time! There was the question of choosing one out of them. 25 years later, the situation had changed considerably. No new projects and no need for civil engineers. Being an employee of the public sector at that time, I did lose my job (To-day I might!). I had no work, however. I found to my surprise that doing nothing was more strenuous than being actively engaged.

I use the time to develop myself in other directions. Did Public Relations work for a while before landing up as a head of the Training Department. I had hardly received ant training myself nut fortunately or because I had been doing a lot of thinking, reading and writing apart from having an innate desire to develop others, I succeeded. I liked this job so much that I decided to settle down permanently in the field of Human Resources Development. I realized that as a civil engineer, I got my kicks by watching structures with which I was professionally involved, grow into useful buildings or a desolate piece of land transform itself into a beautiful township and a sprawling factory. On switching over to H.R.D., the same kicks were now got by watching young boys and girls grow into confident and competent professionals and older people acquiring new insights, new skills and grow in a variety of directions. I found that my vision viz. growth had endured. Only the objects of growth had changed. From lifeless objects to lively people. On retirement, I found myself as a Director of a Management Institute even though I was not an MBA! Here too, I did reasonably well. After resting for a few years, I did a crazy thing I appeared at a competitive examination for admission to the MBA course, passed and completed a 3 year evening program. T- day, I am profitably and usefully engaged in teaching at the local unit of the Productivity Council.

Thus when we find that times have changed and we find ourselves obsolete and redundant, it is time for self-renewal, for self-development into diverse fields so that we can be useful somewhere or the other. For this it is necessary to learn as many skills as possible. We must learn the skills of developing our own selves so that we are totally self-reliant. For self-development, it is essential to have self-awareness as well as learn how to manage our own selves.

Friday, January 4, 2013



Objectives of the Program:

1. To understand ourselves in entirety – our physical, mental, emotional, social, professional & spiritual selves.

2. Having understood our own selves, to manage ourselves in such a manner as to achieve our life’s goals – both long term and short term.

3. To develop ourselves in areas that need improvement in a continuous manner with help from the environment around us.

How important is Self-awareness?

The MUNDAKA UPANISHAD opens with a question put by the householder Shaunaka to the sage Angras – “What is that, by knowing which, all can be known?”

Can we aspire to an all-embracing knowledge of the Universe in which the limitations of our individual viewpoints are dissolved and our necessarily partial awareness transcended? Do we have to study all the VEDAS, all the UPNISHADS and the various SHASTRAS? Isn’t there a short cut? Isn’t there an instant kind of learning?

In response, the sage Angiras said that there were two levels of knowledge. “The enlightened sages hold that knowledge is of two kinds – a lower one and a higher one. The study of the VEDAS, UPNISHADS and SHASTRAS can be called lower knowledge. The higher one is that which leads to the realization of the SELF i.e. Self-awareness, Self-Management and Self-Development.


Before we go into self-awareness, let us find out what is meant by self? Is it one’s name? Is it how one looks? Is it one’s social skills? Is it the value by which one lives? Or is it a combination of all these, that go to make up self? Self can also be described as one’s Personality, the totality of all of one’s personal characteristics.

What makes people different from each other? One is the culture that we are born in.. Maharashtra-Rural or Delhi-Cosmopolitan or Orissa-Tribal and so on. We are affected by how people around us talk, behave and eat and so on. We tend to copy them.

Next, we are affected by the caste, the family we are born in.. Is it high Caste or low Caste? Is it a big family or a small family? Are you the youngest, eldest or somewhere in the middle? All these determine how we turn out to be, as we grow up.

Then, we are affected by the atmosphere in which we are brought up.. neighbours, friends, teachers, relatives, etc. and the type and amount of exposure to various places and events. All these affect us.

We have so far talked about external factors; but there are personal factors as well. That is why even a pair of twins who have many commonalities have distinct personalities. One proof of this is the Iranian girls Ladeh & Lalan, joined at the head. They wanted to go their separate ways, even if the operation that did it had the risk of death. The fingerprints of each were different.

Each person – each self is different. Each is unique. That is what we mean when we say that the personality of Atal Bihari Bajpayee is differentfrom that of Lal Krishna Adavni and so on.



Personality may be seen as a “Sum total” of an individual which includes his physical appearance, health, intelligence, prominent emotional range, profession, social relations and spiritual make-up.


Who am I? What am I? What motivates me? What do I like? What do I dislike? How do I feel? What is the difference between thinking & feeling? What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? What are my energizares? What are my de-energizares? What angers me? Why does it anger me? What makes me sad? Why does it make me happy? What excites me? Why does it excite me? What are my values? What is my attitude to various aspects of life?

It is after finding correct answers to the above questions, that we become aware of our own selves.

Advantages of Self Awareness

1. One can reduce one’s losses by not crossing one’s own limitations.

2. Next, One can reduce one’s limitations with help from others as well as by one’s own efforts.

3. One can increase one’s gains by using more of one’s own strengths.

4. Next, One can increase one’s own strengths.

5. One can also turn one’s weaknesses into strengths.

6. One can develop better relations with others.

7. One can become healthy mentally, emotionally and lead a happy life.

8. One can manage one’s own self better a step necessary before managing others.

9. One can, in short, develop oneself without undergoing undue pains.

Johri Window



This is a technique for becoming more aware of one’s own self. In the above figure are shown four windows. This is called The Johri Window.

Window no. I is Transparent:

It is an area of one-self which is open to one’s own self as well as to others. Here one knows one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Others also know the same.

Window no. II:

This is a window of hidden self, which is an area that is open to one’s own self but which is closed to others. Here one knows certain things about one’s self which others do not know.

Window no. III:

This is a window which is closed to one’s own self but it is open to others. This is an area where one is not conscious of certain things in one’s own self which others can see as if by X-ray.

If we want to develop ourselves, we should try to increase Window no. I. We should also try to decrease the area of Window no. IV. While we can increase the area of Window no. I by one’s own efforts or with help from friends and relatives; for decreasing the area of Window no. IV help of a competent psycho – analyst is required.

Increasing Self-Awareness

There are two methods of increasing Self-awareness. One is Self-Disclosure after introspection. As one makes things about oneself public, one picks up more and more courage. A space is also created for more introspection i.e. Atma-Manthan, leading to more self-awareness. Window No. I is widened. One becomes more transparent and feels light as if some burden is removed.

The other method is to get feedback from others about one’s own self. Feedback is a way of helping another person to consider changing his behaviour. It is communication to a person which gives him information about some aspects of his behaviour and its efforts on you – some things that the person himself/herself has perhaps not noticed. As in a guided missile system, feedback helps an individual to know whether his behaviour is having the effect that he wants. It tells him whether he is “On target”, as he strives to achieve his goals.

Criteria for useful feedback:

The giving and receiving of feedback is a skill that can be acquired. When feedback is attempted at the wrong time in the wrong way, the results will be, at best, useless and may be disastrous. Therefore, developing feedback skills can be important. Here are some criteria for useful feedback:

• It is descriptive, rather than evaluative. It is helpful to focus on what the individual did rather than to translate his behaviour into a statement about what he is – “You have interrupted three people in the last half hour” is probably not something that a person really wants to hear, but it is likely to be more helpful than – “You are a bad mannered oaf”.

• It focuses on the feelings generated in the person who has experienced the behaviour and who is offering feedback – “When you interrupt me, I feel frustrated” gives the individual clear information about the effect of his behaviour, while at the same time leaving him free to decide what he wants to do about that effect.

• It is specific rather than general. For example, it is probably useful to learn that you “Talk too much” than to have someone describe you as “dominating”.

• It is directed towards behaviour which the receiver can do something about Frustration is increased when a person is reminded of some short-coming over which he has no control.

• It is solicited rather than imposed. Feedback is most useful when the receiver feels that he needs and wants it; when he himself has formulated the kind of question which those observing him can answer.

• It is well-timed. In general, feedback is most useful at the earliest opportunity after the given behaviour, depending of course on the receiver’s readiness to hear it, support available from others, and so on.

• It is checked to ensure clear communication. One way of doing this is to have the receiver try to rephrase the feedback in question to see whether the receiver’s version corresponds with what the sender meant.

• When feedback is given in a training group, both giver and receiver have opportunity to check its accuracy with others in the group. Thus, the receiver will know whether this is one person’s opinion or an impression shared by others.

• Feedback should not be given primarily to “dump” or “unload” on another. If you feel you have to say this to the other person, then ask yourself who it is you are trying to “help”.

• Feedback does not ask “why”. It stays within the bounds of behaviour and one’s reactions to that behaviour. To theorize about or ask why a person does a certain things is to plumb the depths of motivation and perhaps, of the unconscious. Avoiding the “whys” will help one to avoid the error of amateur psychologising.

Why do we resist it?

Given the premise that properly given feedback can be a fine way to learn about one self, what are the reasons that we resist it? For one thing, it is hard to admit our difficulties to ourselves. It is even harder to admit them to someone else. We are not sure that the other person can be trusted or that his observations are valid. We may be afraid of learning what others think of us. We often expect to hear only negative opinions about ourselves, tending to overlook our positive qualities. Or we only like to hear praises and do not want to hear unpleasant truths about ourselves.

We may have struggled so hard to make ourselves independent that the thought of depending on another individual seems to violate something within us. Or we may, during all our lives have looked for someone on whom to depend, and we try to repeat this pattern in our relationship with that helping person only.

We may be looking for sympathy and support rather than help in seeing our difficulty more clearly. When the helper tries to point out some of the ways we are contributing to the problem, which might suggest that we as well as others will have to change, we may stop listening. Solving a problem may mean uncovering some of the sides of ourselves which we have avoided or wished to avoid thinking about.

We may feel our problem is so unique, no one could ever understand it and certainly not an outsider.

On the other side of the interchange, it is not always easy to give feedback to others. Most of us like to give advice. Doing so suggests that we are competent and important. We get caught up in a telling role easily enough, without testing whether our advice is appropriate to the total issue or to the abilities, the fears or the powers of the person we are trying to help.

If the person whom we are trying to help becomes defensive, we may try to argue or pressure him. Defensiveness or denial on the part of the receiver is a clear indication that we are going about trying to be helpful in a wrong way. Our timing is off or we may be simply mistaken about his behaviour, but in any case, it is best to desist until we can re-evaluate the situation. If we respond to the receiver’s resistance with more pressure, resistance will only increase.

To be fruitful, the helping situation needs these characteristics:

1. Mutual trust

2. Perceiving the helping situation as a joint exploration

3. Careful listening with the helper’s listening more than the individual receiving help

4. Behaviour from the helper which will make it easier for the receiver of help to walk

Feedback takes into account the genuine needs of the receiver. If feedback is given in a training laboratory under the conditions described here, it can become one of primary means of learning about self.


Once you are aware of your own self, the next step before Self-Development is that of Self-Management or Self-Regulation. If you want to manage others, should you not first be managing your own self? Can one, who cannot manage even his own self, manage others? There is one other reason for Self-Management - for those who are able to manage their own selves, the boss has very little to instruct. The boss remains happy with a subordinate who manages himself and as we shall see later, even the self managing subordinate remains happy himself. It is a win-win situation. Both boss and subordinate are happy. So is the organization.

Now let us see what is involved in Self-Management. Basically the following:-

1. Self-Control

2. Trustworthiness

3. Conscientiousness

4. Adaptability

5. Innovation

6. Self-Motivation, consisting of –

i. Achievement drive

ii. Commitment

iii. Initiative

iv. Optimism

Let us see each of these, one by one.

Self Control:

Keeping self control means keeping in check disruptive tendencies which take one away from one’s own goals and regulating one’s Self-Talk (what one says to one’s own self in one’s own mind) so as to check impulsive emotions as the outset itself. Self-Talk is said to be the engine of the subsequent train of one’s behaviour. One can also use relaxation techniques, Yoga,etc. for checking one’s impulses.

People having the competence of Self Control are able to

a. Manage their impulsive feelings and distressing emotions well

b. Stay composed, positive and unflappable even in trying moments

c. Think clearly and stay focused under pressure


This competence can be achieved by establishing and maintaining personal standards of Honesty and Integrity. This makes others comfortable and confident of what they can expect of you.

People having the competence of Trustworthiness do the following –

a. Act ethically and are above reproach

b. Build trust through their reliability & authenticity.

c. Admit their own mistakes and confront others for their unethical actions.

d. Take tough and principled stands even if they are unpopular


This competence means responsibility for personal performance (rather than blaming others).

People with this competence do the following –

a. Meet commitments made by them and keep their promises.

b. Hold their own selves accountable for meeting their own objectives.

c. Remain organized and careful in their work.


For this quality it is necessary to have –

a. Flexibility of mind, body & emotions

b. Ability to bend oneself physically, mentally and emotionally in the direction desired by one’s own self depending on circumstances.

People with this competence are able to –

a. Handle smoothly multiple demands, shifting priorities and rapid changes.

b. Adapt their responses and tactics to fit fluid circumstances

c. Remain flexible in how they see events

d. Respond appropriately to changes without losing sleep


Innovation involves being comfortable with novel ideas, approaches and new information. It requires one to remove the fear of the strange.

a. Seek out fresh ideas from a wide variety of sources

b. Entertain original solutions to problems

c. Generate new ideas

d. Take fresh perspectives and risks in their thinking

Self Motivation:

The best motivation is Self Motivation. Nobody can make us do a job better than the one we want to do and the one which we enjoy doing

For Self Motivation to occur, the following are essential –

A. Achievement drive

Desire and action involved in striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence and to feel motivated intrinsically by the achievement itself constitutes self-motivation.

People having the competence of Achievement drive are –

i. Results-oriented with high drive to meet their own objectives and standards

ii. Those who set challenging goals for themselves and take calculated risks

iii. Pursuing information to reduce uncertainty and find ways to do better than before

iv. Continuously learning how to improve their performance

B. Commitment

Commitment is aligning one self and one’s personal goals with the goals of the group, organization or society at large, that one belongs to and sticking to them till fruition.

People with this competence –

i. Readily make sacrifices to meet a larger organizational goal

ii. Find a sense of purpose in the larger mission

iii. Use the group’s core values in making decisions and clarifying values

iv. Actually seek out opportunities to fulfil the group’s mission

C. Initiative

Initiative is the readiness to act on opportunities including the ability to sense opportunities.

People with the competence of Initiative are –

I. Ready to seize opportunities

II. Pursuing goals beyond what is required or expected of them

III. Cutting through Red Tape and bending the rules when necessary to get the job done

IV. Mobilizing others through unusual, enterprising efforts

V. Proactive rather than reactive

D. Optimism

Optimism is persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and hurdles.

People possessing this competence –

i. Persist in seeking goals despite obstacles & setbacks

ii. Operate from hope of success rather than fear of failure

iii. See setback as due to manageable circumstances rather than as a personal flaw

When we are able to do complete Self Management, we are in a position to develop ourselves with whatever help is available from our environment. We become what is called emotionally intelligent. Then sky is the limit. There is no reason why we cannot transform ourselves into an Ambani or a Mahatma Gandhi, a Swami Vivekanand or a Ramana Maharshi.


Dimensions of development:

What does one mean by development of an individual? There are various interpretations. Some of these are very limited in scope. They are restricted to the level of material achievements, such as income and wealth, or social climbing in terms of status & visibility.

A more comprehensive conception of human development includes the following four elements:

i. Knowledge: of concepts, theories, economy, market, etc.

ii. Skills: the ability to use knowledge as appropriate, exhibiting different mix of skills at different levels of responsibility, consisting of technical, behavioural and conceptual skills.

iii. Attitudes: towards work, quality, service, relationships, groups, authority, discipline, influence, etc. Behind attitudes are underlying values and beliefs about one’s role in the family, institution and society.

iv. Habits: work habits of order, punctuality, follow-up, time management, etc. and personal life habits for physical health, joy & tranquillity.

It will be appreciated that there is hardly any upper limit on the scope for one’s development. In fact, each level of progression is development with respect to the earlier level, but is only the base from which to strive for the next higher level.

Of the above four components, perhaps knowledge is the easiest to acquire. It can be acquired somewhat mechanically. Skills need greater efforts to develop. So much knowledge remains unexploited for lack of skills. Discarding destructive attitudes and developing constructive ones is more stressful to the individual in the short run, but potentially of great benefit in the long run. The human paradox and the tragedy is that bad habits are easy to form and good habits are easy to break. It has been observed that part of the learning from formal training courses remains unutilized because habits of work and social behaviour of the individual are slow to change.

Blocks to development:

Every individual has potential. Human resources development systems and experiences are capable of developing and utilizing this potential. But they cannot guarantee development. They are necessary, but not sufficient conditions for human development. It is necessary for the individual himself to remove the following blocks in the path of his own development.

Self image:

Our behaviour is more influenced by self-image, rather than by self-concept. The image is how we think of ourselves, The concept is how others perceive us. The latter is often more realistic. The gap between the two – image and concept, if substantial, will tend to act as a block to the individual’s development.


The difference is called “fantasy”. It can either be an over-valuation of himself, by the individual, or an under-estimate. It is more often the former. If so, it can lead to complacency, inaction, over-confidence and possibly superiority complex. In case of under rating oneself, it manifests itself in withdrawal, dependence, lack of initiative and possibly inferiority complex.


Either way the fantasy element in self-image acts as filter on experience. It prevents the individuals from perceiving his experiences correctly. He tends to selectively perceive that part which agrees with his fantasy. So, unsatisfactory results may be seen as high performance by the individual. Conversely, another individual may be discouraged or even depressed by good results.

Feedback Distortion:

Learning is a process of absorbing feedback from the environment. The distortion is due to the fact that most individuals have a preference for positive feedback. Praise is highly agreeable. One tends to exaggerate it further. Negative feedback is irksome. One tends to ignore it completely or at least to minimize it. In saner moments, the individual may appreciate that constructive criticism is helpful. But even when it is couched in mild language, it evolves a defensive response. One tends to underplay it. The temptation is to find explanations and scapegoats.


Let us suppose an individual has crossed some of these hurdles and realized that learning is the path to development. A further block is a narrow view of development, primarily as the accumulation of more knowledge, with inadequate emphasis on skills, attitudes and habits.

Steps in Self Development:

Are these insurmountable? Is there hope for the individual? Yes, of course, there is. We can draw the following guidelines, by observing highly developed individuals in different walks of life.

Self Awareness:

The first is to be constantly aware of the possibility of a fantasy element in one’s self perception. It is a commitment to be interested in how others perceive one self, and to evolve a better understanding and estimate of oneself not as a one-time exercise but for all time.

Seeking Feedback:

The second step is to be open to feedback from one’s environment of events, objects and people. We have seen the difficulties in “receiving” feedback. The individual needs to remind himself constantly to modestly underplay praise, but take even mild criticism seriously & examine it for the underlying message and learning. He can go further and “perceive” feedback on his own. He can do this by increasing his sensitivity, picking up all verbal and non-verbal reactions to his words and deeds. Such perceptual ability liberates him to that extent from dependence on others, who feel adequately concerned enough to observe him and take risks in giving him negative feedback.


The third step is to identify the realistic elements in the fantasy and convert them into future visions, fully realizing that they are yet to be achieved and cannot be assumed away.

Growth Plan:

It is then possible to identify the gap between the self-vision and today’s state of development of the self-concept. A self development action plan can be worked out in order to bridge the gap.


In such a growth plan, one needs to reduce the lopsided emphasis on knowledge alone. The necessary stress can be put on the other components of learning, namely attitudes, skills and habits. Specific behavioural strategies can be pursued for each element of learning.

i. Curiosity - for knowledge accumulation

ii. Practice - for sharpening skills

iii. Introspection - for modifying unhelpful attitudes

iv. Self-Discipline – for weeding out unwanted habits & acquiring or strengthening desired habits

Without these steps, an individual will not develop much even with the best of appraisal, counselling, training and development systems. Through these steps, the individual can develop on his own effort, even if his enterprise is not progressive enough to have a HRD system. By these steps, the individual can interact optimally with a HRD system, to the mutual benefit of himself and the institution. With such growing individuals, the institution can become a great instrument for social good.