Monday, November 19, 2007

We will email you!

Sastry is very good at these 0ne liners and repartees!

I was talking about my deafness!
I said my left ear is working only 10% and the right ear is also going deaf. It now is working 90% and very soon there will be a day when you people have to shout to make me listen something. I meant I will be totally deaf very soon!

Sastry very simply said," Don't worry! we will email you!"
It is a fact that we all have computers before us all day!

Sastry also told one more thing the other day!

We were talking the other day about the word, co-brother.
Then some people also call this relative a " Co-son-in-law"
He is the husband of your wife's sister.
Interestingly both the words are wrong!
The right word in English for this man is 'Brother-in-law! '
We think only the brother of your wife is a Brother-in-law!

Sastry then explained that anyone who becomes a relative because of the marriage is an 'in-law!'
He continued that after the marriage, all those earlier relatives who are related to you not beacuse of the marriage but otherwise will be 'out-laws!'
That is how, father and mother become out-laws accordingly!

How is that one?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

All Yours!

Sampath borrowed my pen.
He said it will give him luck! In what ? I never asked.
He returned the pen saying thanks.
I also said "Thanks".
And then narrated these two stories.

Swami and the richman.

There was this Swamiji or is it a Zen master?
And there was this rich man.
Rich man wanted to give some money to Swamiji. He took a bagfull of money and placed it at the feet of the Swami.
Swamiji kept quiet.
Richman waited for a while.
He waited further till he lost his patience.
Then he asked the Swmiji "What is this?"
Swamiji asked "What is what?"
"You do not even thank me!"
"For what?"
"For all this money! You don't even acknowledge the gift!"
Swamiji told "Yu ahve decided to give the money. I really do not need it. You have also decided that I will accept it! Now you ahve to thank me because I am accepting it! No question of my thanking you!"
Richman now knew what it is!
I told Sampath that my thanks is for returning the pen promptly.
He asked " Can I dare take it?"
" If you asy the pen is good. I may have to gift it to you" I said and narrated the second story.

Nizam of Hyderabad and King Kothi

Nizam of Hyderabad, perhaps the last one had a habit.
If he says something is good, he expects that thing to be gifted to him.
I really heard this from some elders that it could even be a woman.
There was another rich man by name Karimuddin Khan.
He constructed a palatial building.
Foolishly he invited the Nizam for the inauguration of the place.
Building was really good.
Nizam said this openly.
Karimuddin Khan acted as if he never heard it.
At the dinner Nizam once again said the place is very good.
KK acted as if he heard nothing.
There was a third time too.
KK could not escape this time and had to say " Aap ke nazar mein pesh!"
It meant "At your service!"
The structure now belonged to the Nizam.
But, there was a hitch.
The rich man got made windows and arches in color glass.
The letters KK were engraved in all those frames.
It stood for Karimuddin Khan.
Now the building no longer belonged to the Khan.
Some wise man suggested the building be named "King Kothi!"
That is the King Kothi building which now lodges a Hospital.

I really do not know, if this is true.
People more knowledgable should tell!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Egos at Work
Managing a Co-worker's Superiority Complex

Egos – we all have them! They're part of what makes us want authority and status, and what gives us confidence. Egos drive our need to be recognized for our accomplishments. This is perfectly normal.

But what happens when someone's ego goes too far? You know the type: the colleague who will do just about anything to claim credit or gain power; the person who takes over every discussion and tries to grab the spotlight; or the team member who continually criticizes other people's ideas. These people are undermining the team's mission with their behavior.

Ego is at the root of many workplace issues. From poor communication to failed negotiation, to faulty decision making, ego can lay a dangerous path of destruction. The obnoxious and overbearing behavior that comes with it can damage creativity, undermine effective problem solving, cause stress, and adversely impact morale.

Many of us know how hard it is to work with – or for! – egotistic people. Unfortunately, there's a good chance you'll encounter this trait in a colleague, boss, or customer at some point in your career. After all, the competitive nature of the workplace can naturally cause people to look out for themselves. To protect yourself, you need to manage and contain these larger-than-life personalities.

But first, how do you know you're dealing with an oversized ego and not just a healthy dose of confidence and assertiveness? Watch for some of these common egotistical behaviors:

  • Wanting or demanding credit for every idea.
  • Using "I" and "me" (instead of "we" and "us") almost exclusively.
  • Dominating conversations and meetings.
  • Reminding others of their superiority or excellence (real or perceived).
  • Stopping others from expressing their ideas.
  • Rewarding those who support them (and perhaps punishing those who don't).
  • Bullying, or trying to exert power they don't really have.


Do you recognize yourself in any of these behaviors? Do you feel you need to prove your worth all the time? A healthy ego is part of healthy self-esteem. But egotism can emerge when you feel your accomplishments don't measure up. If you have a habit of seeking outside approval and recognition, or if you try to control everything, this can be a sign that you don't believe you can control very much. For tips on building self-esteem and confidence, see our article on Building Self-Confidence.


Be careful not to "kill the goose that lays the golden egg." You wouldn't be surprised if your star salesperson was just a bit egotistical. And your CEO may have a strong sense of the wisdom or his or her own views!

Do what you sensibly can to minimize the impact of egotism, but make sure that your actions are aligned with the interests of your organization.

OK, now you know how to recognize the signs of a big ego – but the people with out-of-control egos probably don't, so you're not likely to get them to change their behavior. Instead, focus on changing your reactions and communication style, and changing the work environment. Remember, the only one who can change the situation is you!

Changing Your Reactions and Communication Style

Try these strategies for communicating with people who have big egos.

Don't Let Them Bait You

It's tempting to fight back with an even bigger ego of your own. But you probably won't win that battle, and you can look bad in the process. If people insist on always being right, let them express themselves. In fact, let them exhaust themselves and run out of steam. Then, when they're finished puffing their feathers, state your points calmly and confidently.

This can be especially effective if the egotist is your boss or in a position of authority. You want to ease the situation, not make things worse. By remaining calm and listening to what the person has to say, you can avoid further conflict. Then you can come back to discuss the issue, later in the meeting or at another time.

Use Their Names

This is a subtle tactic that can really work. When you address people by their names, you take control and command their attention. When you speak to an egotist, use the person's first name as often as you sensibly can.

Assert Your Needs

Egotistic people can be bullies, but don't allow them to walk all over you. Establish your boundaries, and define what is and is not acceptable. Then make sure you follow up. Don't give an egocentric person any room to manipulate or dominate you.

If the egotist is your boss, this is critical. Clearly communicate what you need (support, resources, direction, feedback) to get the job done. When you make requests, talk about wanting to do your best and creating a great working relationship.


If bullying is an issue, see our article on handling bullying in the workplace.

Speak Your Mind

People with big egos may not expect to be challenged. They can be so full of their self-importance that they don't think anyone could possibly oppose them. If you clearly state why you object to something, or if you make a solid counter-argument, you'll weaken the egotist's armor. However, don't go in for the kill or embarrass the person. Just reveal the weakness in the argument, and clear the way for your ideas to be heard.


Depending on your relationship with the egotist, you may be able to offer constructive feedback to help the person understand the impact of his or her behavior. Be sensitive and compassionate, and remember that a big ego can be a sign of deeper personal insecurity.

Focus on the Team's Mission

Where the egotist's behavior is negatively affecting the team's mission, bring everyone's focus back onto the mission, and – subtly or otherwise – challenge the behavior in this context.

Changing the Work Environment

If you don't get results by changing your reactions and communication style, try to change the workplace itself. If you're a manager or supervisor, you may have this authority. Otherwise, you'll need your manager's support to make the necessary changes to promote workplace harmony.

Reduce the Emphasis on Workplace Competition

Ego tends to surface when someone's reward and recognition are tied to being better than the rest of the team. If you reward teamwork instead individual performance, you may reduce the incentive for egotistic behavior.

Force Cooperation

Put the egotist in situations where he or she must rely on a colleague's input and direction to perform successfully. The nature of working together tends to foster respect and understanding. It may force the egotistic person to realize the value of other people's contributions. Remember to provide adequate support to the people who are working with the egotist, since doing so may not be easy.

Minimize Team Involvement

This is a last resort, but if the egotistic behavior continues to cause problems, you may need to keep the person away from the team as much as possible. Delegate specific tasks that can be accomplished separately, and then include the egotist in team discussions only when necessary.

Key Points

Egotism in the workplace is common, and it can be very challenging for everyone involved. Whether the egotist is your team member or your boss, the person's arrogance and know-it-all attitude can harm morale and team spirit.

To protect yourself and the team, you need to first recognize the egotistic behavior for what it is. You then have two choices: to change the way you relate to the person, or to change the work environment. With either approach, use gentle reminders of what is and is not appropriate behavior; this can effectively plant the seeds of change. Eventually, the egotist should get the message….

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Not you!

There was this Puranam programme in the temple premises.
Puranam, if you do not know , is a programme of narrating stories from epics.
There were not many people to listen.
Those present also went away after few minutes of the programme.
There were only these two people left.
The Pundit who was narrating the story, passionately commented that these two are real devotees.
One of them told, it is not the story that is of hos interested.
The mat on which the Pundit is sitting belonged to him.
He is ther only because the mat is there, under him.

( This story in this form is known to many people.
Sastry garu, my good friend added a bit to it.)

Pundit asked the other man why he was still there.
The second man said " I am not interested in you or your story! I am only looking for the man who commissioned you for this programme. I will settle my score with him!"

(Stories can be extended like this if we are imaginative)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Do it now!

Yes, Do it now!

It is now or never.
Yesterday was a sunday.
We were all in a good mood perhaps.
Mother has returned from hospital.
Lot of cleaning happened.
During the course of some discussion I narrated couple of jokes to my wife.
We are usually a silent family.

These days we dont even laugh much.
For the jokes I told, all laughed.
They were some philosphical kind of jokes.
The kind that make you think.
Immediately I thought I should write them in the blog.
Computer was not on. I was doing somthing else.
So, I thought I will do it later.
Evening we went out.
Not exactly an outing, but for grocery shopping.
The trip became a big fiasco.
Even before we started, asked my wife whether the car will fail again.
She said she is using another car.
It would not fail.
We went some distance and came back to the usual shop.
Just before parking the car stopped. It wouldn't start again. My wife had call my brother who came with some petrol.
The car started. We did our shpping. We even bought and ate some chocolate.
Came home and did some usual kind of things and slept off.
This morning when I want to recollect the jokes that I wanted to include in the blog, I am just not able to remember.
This is only an example.
You may like some thing. You have to tell the matter then and there.
If you wait for an opportune moment, that may never come.
Even when you are unhappy about some thing, I used to tell then and there.
Many took it amiss.
I told, that if I wait till another time, the feeling may change.
I may rethink and water down the whole idea.
If you think of doing something, better do it then and there.
Wait, and the idea may disppear.
Even if it is ther, it may change, at least the intensity of it.
My wife decided that she will buy a new car.
She is buying one today.
How do you like it?