Friday, 19 October 2012

Mind Reprogramming

Dear fellow HRDians

In this blog I would like to rewind to my first post and take off   from there..How do we HRdians make a mark? One  working  in sales, on selling  'X'  numbers of a product knows that he has done well.In case he is far off the target, he knows he hasn't made it. Similar is the case with those working in production. However dealing with people is a different ball game altogether. Opinions may differ as to how  effectively a situation was handled. If blue collared employees strike work or the  incidence of  the  white collared leaving is increasing, the HR person is in in trouble. Not only does his own behavior impact his success or failure but also the behavior of other people. It is for this reason that the HRDian is insecure and tends to control people and circumstances.As a result, he is less liked and more feared or avoided by the others.

Many years ago in the late 80s  one of the interviewers asked me in an internal promotion interview " How do we tell that you HR guys have done a good job." I was for a moment taken aback by this unexpected question.Gathering my wits, I said " if there is no IR issues and people are working normally and contributing normally to production, then we have done well." He laughed out aloud and said "oh so, if things are normal all credit goes to you!"

In other words, in view of disputes on the manner of assessing an HRDian's contribution, he/ she is always on the backfoot.Added to this, the requirement of  being able to influence another's behaviour in exactly the way that is held acceptable by the management is another tall order. It is very difficult to predict exactly how another human being will behave.

Yet an employee'sbehaviour is all the time influenced by what he is  constantly thinking.When he has just joined a company, the spirits are high and thoughts are mostly positive at that point of time. Subsequently he comes across  discouraging  comments from those who are already working  there and wonder whether  he has taken the right decision- " What prompted you leave  a big/ nice  company like ............. and join this company!"More & more of this coupled with abusive or unacceptable behaviour from superiors results in the employee dwelling on negativity most of the time resulting  in  his overall behaviour being away from what the HR or management may hold 'acceptable'.

The fact is that programmingof the mind is going on all the time whether we like it or not. Programming occurs from our experiences at work, experiences at home, messages from TV channels, comments of social acquaintences and so on.The only problem is that these days our exposure to the negative is much more than the positive and we end up with low self esteem and negativity in repect of work & life in general.As a result,  doubts enter into the minds of the average individual as to his ability and possibility of success. In fact it was a shock for me to learn that a beautiful inteligent actor whom we would today call successful, had self doubts and even believed at one point of time that she is not good looking.If this can happen to the successful, what is the position of the average person bombarded with messages of not being 'enough.' everday ?.
By mind reprogramming ie by changing the thoughts in our mind( consequently our beliefs), we can change our life.Having changed it to what we desire , we can sustain it by constantly giving positive messages to our subconscious mind . As this is done in an altered state of consciousness, it is powerful enough to offset the many number of negative messages received by us in the waking state.

Mind reprograming can be done by the method  of  self Hypnosis  wherein  we can alter our state of awareness and  focus upon issues or ideas of our choosing. We can use this tool to build self-esteem and confidence, add clarity and a sense of control to our lives. In the hypnotic state we can access the subconscious mind to implement, at the most effective level, the changes we desire.

As the HOD of learning & Development department in my present assignment, I experimented with mind reprogramming in the early stages of joining the company.At the outset, our team listed down the  realities of the present situation with which we were not satisfied and what it is that is that we really wanted. As for example one big challenge in a manufacturing plant is to get minimum number of paricipants to attend the training program.Getting an external trainer is not viable if we are stuggling to get  even 15 participants to attend.

The technique adopted was to sit with my team of six, initiate them to an altered state of consciousness or alpha state and in this meditative state recite positive affirmations of the things desired by our department followed by visualisation of these things actually happening. This is followed by repeating the positive affirmations before coming out of the alppha state. We did this continuously for about 30 days since studies have shown that practicing anything for 21 days becomes a part of our system.

The above exercise was  modelled on the learning acquired by me in a twoday workshop conducted by  Dr Pradeep Agarwal of the Institute of mind control & Development ,Hyderabad. and from the book "Richer life through hypnomeditation" by Dr Sanjoy Mukherjee.

The method of entering in to an alpha state is to  first relax individually different parts of the body from top of the head to tip of the toes and  then relax the mind also while taking 3 deep breaths.After the whole body & mind has relaxed , the participants imagine as if the body has become very light-"just drifting & floating, totally relaxed" When this condition has been achieved positive affirmations are spoken in the mind in respect of all those issues in respect of which improvement is desired.

Some of the positive affirmations that we made are the following:

1)  All our class rooms are filled with participants
2)  We are a harmonious team
3)  We help each other win & take pride in each other's success
4)  Every one appreciates our contribution and sees us as important to the the success of the organisation
5)  All our proposals are readily accepted by the management

In a week's time since we started the exercise a class which was to be handled by our L&D team member as faculty  was attended by 40 participants at a time when we were struggling to get 15 participants. The face of our faculty lighted up like that of a 1000 watt bulb. Such was the the enthusiasm & excitement generated. Today if we do have a synergy amongst our team members, I believe that a good part for the credit for it should go to the mind programming exercise we did then.

I am also using the mind programming techniques after handling a Law of Attraction (LOA) class. At the end we go into an alpha state and make positive affirmations in areas of prosperity, health, harmonious relationships and peace of mind. Having learnt the technique participants are encouraged  to use it for their individual requirements such as getting a BE degree/ promotion/ dream job or purchasing dream house or car.
I have made an offer to  team leaders of shop floor that I can go down to their departments and make a customised exercise  focusing on the challenges of individual departments- quality, safety, harmonious work relationships. These can be affirmed and followed by visualisations of each & every artcle going out of their department with zero defect or top quality. I am sure that they will accept my offer in the near future and that I will be able to share with you experiences of application on the shop floor.

Mind programming can be profitably used by us HR professionals to instill positive messages in an alpha state so that it is more likely to stay with the employee as against the messages given in a waking or beta stage which could get lost in the thousands of messages he is receiving from various quarters. I hope your interest is kindled dear HRDians and you will experiment in this regard.
Rest in my next
Warm Regards

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