Monday, February 6, 2012

The Golden Buddha in you

By Jayadev Menon

Yesterday I listed some reasons for how training can end up not achieving the desired impact! Let me now tell you how training can be a roaring success when Management steps in and supports it vocally and openly.

A few years back I was conducting a 3-day workshop at Reliance Communications. The program was into the 2nd day and had been going fairly well because it was experiential in nature and had numerous activities, discussions and presentations involving the participants – the trainer was only facilitating the experience; it wasn’t the typical PPT, Trainer Drone, Zzzzz! … kind of program.

And then the Head – H.R. for that vertical (consisting of over 12,000 employees) walked in – Dr. Rakesh Mehta was an M.B.B.S. doctor turned H.R. Manager, with over 30 years of professional experience. He sat down in the back row and listened intently for a while and when I reached the end of a module he requested for some time – I moved over and let him take charge. There was none of the usual management Gyan from him – he plunged directly into the story of the Golden Buddha, which has also featured in one of the Chicken Soup books! At the end of the story he said:

“All of us are talented, we are all born to succeed; but as we grow up our inhibitions, fears and the environment we are brought up in often suppresses our talents and covers it under layers of mud, like the Buddha statue; for a lucky few someone like Mr. Menon comes along, removes the layers of mud and makes the real Golden Buddha in us shine once again.”

The energy in the room grew manifold after that – people participated with more enthusiasm. He had used the power of story-telling and symbolism so well and the message had been driven home. He was wise enough not to waste time with a typical Senior Management speech – which people rarely enjoy or accept.

I don’t have to say here that I was floored by his speech. It made me realize that we can raise people to great heights with the power of positive reinforcement.

When Management focuses on Learning & Development and put it across in the right perspective in all communication the next level managers too will be enthused to implement it correctly. And when the management starts participating in the process and engage people in conversation at every opportunity the programs will achieve the desired goals.

Training is not about compliance, it’s about achieving Corporate Goals and finding the Gold that lay hidden in the organization's Human Capital.

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