Monday, November 16, 2009

Laughter - is n’t it indeed beautiful?

Dear Friend / Colleague,
These days i am on an accumulation mode - for taking a view on lighter side of life. One such takes is enclosed below :
Two venerable academicians returning from Nagpur Science congress were travelling in the same coupe. The one on the upper birth snored like a lion in distress and the other spent the night turning on his berth cursing.
When morning came the snorer got down, yawned and asked him companion, “Professor did you have a sound sleep”?
“Well” retored the victim bitterly, I had the sound and you had the sleep.
As my wife these days has been complaining with lot more “sound” about my “sleep” or rather my snoring, this joke made an instant connection with me :-).
As a practice i normally cite all my references and this extract came from “Academic Jokes” by S M Mathur.
Jagan a.k.a J2M

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Humour in (and as) medicine by Dr K P Misra

Dear Friend/Colleage,

Somehow stumbled upon this little joke book and sure there are few rib tickling while thought provoking takes in this book. Already tweating a couple of jokes on this - but doing a plain mail as well, in the beginning of the week. Hope it brightens your week ahead .. have a great week :-)

1. What is the epitaph on a Dentist's grave?
"This is the last cavity he filled"

2. Dr Misra being a senior consultant and cardiologist gives many lectures on hypertension and obesity etc and he frequent take in his lectures is
"Lifeline is inversely proportional to the WaistLine" :-).
The expression in Hindi is even better. "Jitni badi kamar hai - utni kam umar hai"

3. Expectedly Dr Misra talks a lot of benefits of regular exercise and in particular walking regularly as its beneficial effect in reducing blood pressure and reducing heart attack.

Then he adds that now-a-days nobody is walking regularly except for Opposition members in the parliament or respective assemblies. On the same thread one of his friends, once countered him - who said the art of walking is lost. How else i go from my house to the car garage? :)

It is just a Rs 60 book available from Flipkart :

Jagan a.k.a J2M

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Making Employees Better by Helping Them Get Worse

Dear Friend / Colleague,
Yes, you have read the title right. Don't freak out just as yet :). And don't think this is merely a title, that is using an unexpected caption just to get your attention, although this is also true to some extent. This ChangeThis manifesto - which is a fair peek into new book by a David Rendall, that you might want to check out, if you think you want want to explore newer ways of working with your employees/directs in order to derive the best from them. The key point is ofcourse, we need to leverage people's strengths rather than harp on weaknesses, is ofcourse well understood. But this message is delivered rather effectively (in my view) in a refreshingly new light. The concept of re-framing as talked in the book is really an interesting way to look at the overall big picture.
Thank you
Jagan a.k.a J2M
The Freak Factory: Making Employees Better by Helping Them Get Worse - by David Rendall
"If conventional approaches aren’t working, then what should we do? Instead of attacking people’s weaknesses, we need to find the strength that is hidden inside their apparently negative characteristics. It is time to stop trying to create well-rounded and balanced employees. We need employees that are unbalanced.
We need employees that are freaks. It is time to build a freak factory."

Coping with grief and loss ..

Dear you,
There was a death in my family last week :( . My mousaji(i.e. my mother’s only sister’s husband) died on the evening of 3rd Nov’09. He was 62 and was quite healthy but unfortunately died due to a case of undetected jaundice and due his own insistence that he is all well despite some warning signs.
After personally experiencing the sense of grief my aunt and her only son(aged 26) going thru, while i tried my best to comfort them, i was quite disturbed by the whole episode. I was in native place for around 3 days over last week doing the best i could - while musing over the topic of “Death - which is ofcourse inevitable for anyone”. But my thoughts are more focussed on “How one should cope with grief and a sense of loss“.
Death of someone near and dear is nothing but a massive change that falls upon an individual - so i was quite clear that it is a special case for Change Management although i was clear that there is definitely more to it. I was looking up for references on Coping with grief and sense of loss. Mostly such emotions occur only during loss of loves ones - while it is also possible incase other painful situations like divorce or even say a job loss - but may be with less intensity. While understandably it is change management at a generic level - grief will go through it’s own unique stages.
Some people always do better than others in terms of dealing with grief, here are the various stages talked about and i could find so much parallel - with each of the stages in terms of what i witnessed in close quarters. While the stages are represented to be somewhat sequential in nature - how much time a mourner spends in a phase can considerably vary from one another. Also a particular phase that is already past can easily resurface upon a trigger.
Reference is below - but after having read thru phases and finding much parallel in terms of what i had witnessed in close quarters - i am choosing the restate the content phases in my own words. Part of the reason is that this link is blocked by proxy as well and as i am writing this note i am unable to refer to the link myself and hence the need to restate the content based on my recollection.
1. Numbness and shock - This is what usually describes the initial reaction when the news is first broken to close relative - particularly when the death is least expected out of the loved one.
2. Denial and disbelief - After the initial reaction, the most usual reaction is deny that the event has not happened as it is quite easy thing to do - than face the reality and the consequences.
3. Pain and anguish - While first few phases may last only few minutes once the event registers well into the mind, one has to deal with inevitable pain associated with the loss. Usually it is in this phase all the wailing and brow-beating takes place and it can be quite painful for a close observer as it was for me.
4. Anger - In this phase we find outbursts from the grieving person onto anyone who can be blamed or held accountable for the loss of the dear one. It is in this phase they vent out their frustration and this phase can be difficult to bear for people in close quarters. This phase is particularly difficult one - as inevitable some of the the near and dear ones will be subjected to lot of outbursts as it was the case in my family. My old grand parents who are still alive have unfortunately got some flak from my mousi and it is a very difficult phase.
5. Bargaining - This is the phase where the mourner starts getting into a What if kind of analysis and the associated thoughts. If only i get a second chance - how would i approach the situation is the most common refrain. The plea is mostly with the God - to be given a second chance where some kind of avoidance measure could have been adopted. While an observer knows that there is absolutely no use with this kind of what if analysis - which goes again and again - apparently it is an important grief coping mechanism nevertheless.
6. Depression and guilt - During this phase, the mourner is consumed by guilt for not having acted such and such way because there is realization that the inevitable has already happened. All things that could have been done by either the mourner herself or some other person is agonizingly thought and over analyzed during this time.
7. Acceptance - By the very term this phase means the mourner is ready to accept the loss of the loved one and ready to move with what needs to be done. Reaching this phase can be agonizing long - ofcourse there is never a gaurantee that a relapse into an earlier phase does not happen, because for that all it needs is a small trigger and there are always enough triggers ready to go off all around you.
8. Hope - By this phase we are indicating that the mourner is now future focussed and hopeful having dealt with most of the grief and sense of loss. How much one would wish that mourner really fast forwards to get into this phase? Is n’t it ?
Note: Well - i am not quite sure, why i wanted to write this particular note. May be it is my way of dealing with the grief and also leaving a something as a reference - for anyone needing to do their own coping bit. Not that i would wish it for anyone even in my dreams - but simply because such experiences can not be simply ‘wished away’
-J2M (Journey to Mastery) - Hopefully it is not a Mystery