Today’s blog and #sketchnote encompasses my reflections of the 5 most meaningful days invested in the Human Interaction Lab (HIL), as a part of my 14 months course – Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Organization Development and Change (EPGDODC) at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Centre for Social and Organizational Leadership (CSOL).
The reflections and the lifetime realizations were catered through the lab process of t-group, at the Intra-psychic level (with Self), at the Intragroup level (through my group of 10 people), at the inter-group level (which is the larger class of 30 of us, who were in the lab) and at the OD Consulting Process.
- Servicing your Identity: As a Change agent, both at the self level and at the OD Consultant level, it is necessary to service my own identity. I need to be able to help myself before being able to help others. This comes when you make efforts to constantly stay in touch with your needs, and feelings. No OD is effective without individual effectiveness!
- Sensemaking: This has to be ongoing for a lifetime! Sensemaking contributes to servicing your identity when you find answers to questions like- Who am I? What is my Role? Where have I come from? Where do I want to go to? How am I doing what I am doing? Why do I do what I do? What is my self-constructed self-image? Who am I becoming? Sensemaking is about being able to connect these dots through constant reflections, recalibration of self, and calls for a lot of inner engineering.
- Shift from Binary to All Inclusive: Binary is no more an option available. There is no more you vs. I, or us vs. them! No labels of Power, Authority etc. OD is about abundance, and is all inclusive, at all times.
- Facilitative Presence: OD is about facilitative presence. How can we facilitate the process for the other/ others. How do we prescribe choices and how do we enable implementation of prescribed choices, by sensing the need of the other?
- Connect the dots, Identify patterns: Nothing is obvious. Diagnosis is about finding relationships between variables in the Phenomena. Our sensemaking ability enables us to see beyond problems and observe the larger phenomena that plays out.
- Awareness: Beyond the perfect image that everyone portrays, there are layers of fear, vulnerabilities, imprisoning mindsets. Awareness is all about getting in touch with our imperfect self!
- Authenticity: Allows us to be more acceptive. Authenticity is about complete congruence in the way in which we think, feel and act.I love myself as I am, only then I can love others for who they are and who they wish to be! Authenticity is about being true to yourself and speaking the truth, being ethical and confronting where required.
- Power of Dialogue in OD: This lab journey affirmed my belief on the power of dialogue, which is a discovery process, which cuts through the content, in the process you are also learning from the other discussions are convergent and generative and allows room for the other to open up. And to be able to do this seamlessly, as an OD consultant we need to build the muscles of deep listening, open ended and possibility creation questions, and a fundamental understanding of whose needs are we addressing.
- Human Values and OD Values: Conflicts always arise from values. Human values are subjective while OD values are objective. OD values such as Humanism, Scientism, Actionability, Justicism, etc. allow us to Co-Create. As a practicing OD consultant, its important to emanate the OD values at all times.
- Language: Analyze your language to address your bias! Pay attention to the language you use, and to the language you get to hear from the clients. All beliefs are embedded in people’s language.
- Art of Feedback: Dont prescribe, dont pontificate. Generate choices as a consultant, which can be actionable to the client. Its never about you, its always about the client.
- Learning Style and Consulting Style: If you have a dominant learning style, then you tend to have a dominant consulting style. Therefore there is a need to constantly reflect, and reengineer self!
- Lifetime Journey: Working on self is a lifetime journey. There is no end to this. There are only new beginnings and new possibilities!
Consultant client relationship is like a rhythmic jazz performance, which is built on trust, which thrives on improvisation and rhythmic urgency and eventually there is so much congruence, that you hear one single melody!
Towards the end of these 5 days, metaphorically, I feel like a toddler, who is ready to take her first steps, who has the fear of falling down, but at the same time she is assured that she has people around her who love her enough to pick her everytime she falls, and who will encourage her to take her first step, no matter what! She is aware that once that first step is taken, the fear is conquered and the journey is hers to walk for a lifetime!
My heartfelt gratitude to CSOL TISS for this holistic experience, to my Professor Dr.P.Vijayakumar, to the amazing facilitators from ISABS and Resonate Consulting – Ms.Sushma Sharma.PCC, Payal Gupta and Gauri Nigudkar, to the 10 wonderful fellow classmates in my t-group! The seeds that you planted is going to change my life forever!
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