Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Life Philosophies at Work

For the longest time ever, I handled myself at work rather abominably. I relied totally on the experience & guidance of the organisation to mould my approach to work, and towards people at work. I was taught to believe that if I made work my everything, I would prosper like no man's business! I did exactly that. Until I realized that something was amiss.

It's only recently that I have realized that work isn't everything. There is something else called Life. There is a beautiful world outside of work calling, and I do not intend to ignore that call anymore!

Recent cogitation on life and it's deeper mysteries has brought on some kind of a mild spiritual awakening. I am suddenly aware of the true meaning of what the Quran & the Gita say about how one should conduct oneself.

The Quran likens criticism to "eating the flesh of one's brother". So how does one manage conflict in the organisation? How does one provide feedback?
I'm sure some philosophy somewhere asks us not to judge our fellow man. How then does one conduct appraisals? How does one fit employees into the bell-curve?

The Gita says that your right is to your labour alone, not to the fruit of that labour. The next time my boss asks me why the desired outcome wasn't achieved, I am going to quote this to him. And I would like to watch his/her expression change.

So what does this tell us? Does it mean that we must conduct ourselves at work the way we would conduct ourselves in life? Or does it mean that there is a marked difference between what we must do at work & what we must do in Life? I believe that the latter is the pragmatic approach. This is what I believe the essence of "work-Life balance" to be. And this is where I differ radically from Shyam Vishwanathan (a man I admire immensely on all other counts).

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