Friday, March 16, 2007

Practice of the art of Procrastination

3.41am: Working on Corp Fin paper..well, atleast trying to.

I am actually confused I want to run away from finance or do I want to master it? Maybe I should do neither..Just hire someone who knows all about finance and I do everything else but it. Because at a high level I understand the concepts, when it comes to the nitty grittys of building a model thats when the 'ruaway-bride' syndrome sets in.

Gobblywobblyzillywanks! There is more to life than finance! (Grapes are sour syndrome actually).

I am just writing here to procrastinate writing there (know what i mean? here = blog, there = corp fin paper).

So pretty much what I am saying here is a lot of blubbergubbermombazoo.

As you can tell if you saw my previous post, I seem to have decided to take after Captain Haddock, with the difference that he used real words and I am using gibberish.

This clearly is the most no-substance post on this blog. Not to mention the shortest. Which actually might make this more appealing to some of my readers than my other yard long posts.

Allrighty..better get back to the other writing.

Chao soon!

Oh btw, am off to Brazil in two days! :)


I love Captain Haddock!

My favourite Captain Haddock insults!
- "Billions of Bilious Blue Blistering Barnacles"
- "Lily-levered Landlubbers"
- "Fancy dress Freebooters"
- "Impersonations of Abominable Snowmen"
- "Second-rate Son of a Sword-swallower"
- " Ceryified Ignoramus"
- "Pithecanthropic Mountebanks"
- "Tin-hatted Tyrant"
- "Nitwitted Ninepin"
- "Ectoplasmic Byproduct"
- "Certified Diplodocuses"
- "Two-timing Tartar Twisters"
- "Addle-pated Lumps of Anthracites"
- "Dunderheaded Coconuts"
- "Pithecanthropic Pickpocket"
- "Oddtoed Ungulate"
- "Macrocephalic Baboon"
- "Antediluvian Bulldozer"
- "Pestilential Parakeet"
- "Miserable Molecule of Mildew"
- "Cachinnatin Cockatoo"
- "Dictatorial Duck-billed Diplodocus"
- "Puffed-up Puchinello"
- "Miserable Blundering Barbecued Blister"
- "Subtropical Sea-louse"
- Troglodytes Tramps and Toffee-noses
- Bashi-bazouks Disgraceful Pick-pockets
- Anthracite Anthropithecus Anacoluthon
- Slubberdegullions Weevils Filibusters

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Touchy Feely

Touchy Feely alias Interpersonal Dynamics.

This course is one of the highlights of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The course is all about, as it says, interpersonal dynamics. The aim to help you understand how you come across to others in your dealings with them. The idea is to be in a position to give, receive and process feedback in a conducive manner.

The premise that the class is based on is that very often in our dealings with others there is a gap in what we think we are perceived as and what we are actually perceived as. This comes down again from a difference that often times exists in what we intend in our words and actions, and what we come across to the other person as. Meaning, I say something with a particular intention in mind, but the other person takes it differently. This happens most often and we dont even realize it. All the times it is not diametrically different, and so things go fine. However, in the rare cases where we mean something and the person takes it in the exact opposite sense, thats when problems arise.

Touchy Feely aims to sensitise you to how you are perceived by the rest of the world. The best part though is that the rest of the world again is not common in its perceptions too. Each individual has his/her own perceptions about you - given the same input! Surprised eh? It is very true. A person's background, personality, feelings at the moment, idiosyncracies, everything go into these reactions. Hence each one is different. Touchy Feely makes you aware of this.

The class is primarily made up of T-Groups. Each T-Group has 14 members - 12 students and 2 facilitators. It is historically known to rake up strong emotions often times leading to tears and emotionally charged and intense moments during the course of the group meetings. T-Groups have their norms - whatever is discussed in a T-Group, stays in a T-Group. Some groups even decide not to disclose the names of the members to their other classmates. The idea is to create an environment that is safe and secure, that encourages individuals to come out, speak up, express their feelings and experiment with interpersonal dynamics. A T-Group is a sort of lab for interpersonal dynamics.

All my friends who have gone through it loved has drained them emotionally, left them raw on the emotional front, but nevertheless they stand by it. Say that they have learnt a lot about themselves in the process. I guess the dynamics of the group provides a setting for you to explore yourself and experiment with others. Even without having taken the course yet, I have been strongly influenced by the spirit of T-Group and have begun to express what I feel much more frankly and openly to others (atleast people really close to me). Unfortunately, it hasnt worked particularly well always. For one, the other person doesnt understand the cause for this sudden brazen frankness. Plus the things I said didnt go down well ;)
Well, all is well as long as the intentions are good. However I did learn that with non-GSB people who have no idea about this touchy-feely business, I do have to be more delicate while laying out my honest thoughts and feelings.

The classic Touchy Feely line is, "When you do/say this, it makes me feel....". Get it?

Another main theme is "Staying on your side of the net". Tennis?

Well, heres what they mean. You should always stay on your side of the net. Meaning you are entitled to feel a certain way due to a person's actions. You are entitled to express your feelings to that person. But you have to stop there. Meaning, you are not allowed to 'cross the net' or pass judgements on the person based on his/her actions or words. For Ex: If when you are talking to a friend, and she abruptly says she has to go and hangs up, next time you speak to her you are allowed to say (assuming you felt so), "When you hung up abruptly on me yesterday, it made me feel like I was unimportant, taken for granted types." You just say what that person's actions made YOU FEEL. You cannot say "You are a person who takes people for granted and does not give your friends any importance". This would be "crossing the net" the former would be "staying on your side of the net". Get the idea now?

The idea is that a person's actions can trigger reactions from you in a certain way because of what you feel as a result of the action. You have the right to feel. But based on the feeling alone you cannot judge the person, because your information is half-baked, one-sided (your-sided). So you can tell the person what you felt and that gives the person a chance to explain his/her side of the matter, which might very well be the exact opposite of what you thought and might make you change your entire perspective on the matter! Say in our previous example, the person says "I am so sorry you felt that way. I didnt mean it to be so at all. My son was jumping off the compound wall and I had to rush to prevent him from falling (Or something like that)" Wouldnt you then take back your prior feeling and develop a new one completely different from the previous? Yes, thats the idea. You can feel, but not conclude based on feeling alone.

Open and honest communication is the key to healthy interpersonal dynamics. However, both the parties involved should understand and appreciate this to be able to derive full benefit. What say? Worth practising eh?

Hope I get into the class next quarter and experience this intense experience first hand!