Many things are lost for the want of Asking

AskingI happen to read this quote more than two decade back. Since then it has been etched in my mind so strongly that I apply this whenever I have to.

For those who still remember the yesteryear movies where the lead actor would fall in love with the lead actress only to get separated by the vicious methods adopted by the villain. While in some cases the story would twist and turn for a happy ending but in many it would take a lot of pains and several years before they would realize that they lost a good time only trying to tell each other that they loved each other. Unfortunately, those days, technology was insignificant and could not help them in bridging the gap caused by the villain or the situation.

Such scenes in this era should have been reduced as the communication has been augmented by technology like never before. However in real life, we see that inspite of all the technological advancement this issue persists as it roots out of the basic human behavior.

There was a story about a group of professional diver who was from Haryana in India and his lead diver was a British national. The Indian guy had a lot of issues in understanding the leader, but he did rarely ask back in case of doubt as his belief was that he would be able to manage. He soon died in an accident doing exactly what the leader was asking them not to do.

Communication plays a key role in our success. However, the core of this communication is not “English Language” but understanding what other wants to communicate irrespective of any language being used. Research done by several individuals and groups come with similar finding that understanding a lecture is never beyond sixty percent in most of the cases. It is only revision and reading that reinforces the learning.  The difference in level of understanding depends on how much aware the listener is about the subject and the ecosystem. This is the reason that learned people are able to learn more and faster while those who have difficulty in their academics, mostly, continue to struggle.

Success depends on several factors, but effective communication is one of the most important of them. The effectiveness come out from the fact that we are questioning and trying to get more aware. Successes come from the fact that we are clear in our demands and clearly communicate to the other person.

Remember, an assuming wife would find very difficult to remain happy with her husband because her wishes remain a subject of interpretation and judgment for her husband.  In most cases her wishes would never materialize leaving a lot of scope for dispute and unhappiness. On the other hand, a wife who spells out her wants and likes clearly would be far happier.

This principle applies to our work, our families and friends and any other place where we have to communicate.

Let us not loose any more for the want of asking. Keep asking.

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Managing Partner of SRKay Consulting group, a private equity company, nurturing innovative ventures. Alok also serves on the board of ICCL (Indian Clearing Corporation Limited - A subsidiary of BSE- Bombay Stock Exchange) as an external advisor for technology and information security. Prior to this, Alok had been Managing Director of Sears IT & Management Services India Private Limited (SHI) since its inception in December 2009 and served in the same position till very recently. Having been in senior IT management positions in Fortune 500 companies, Alok has won several national and international awards. Alok is instrumental in planning and setting up SHI and thereafter growing it to a multi-locational thousand-plus people organization. Over the last five years, with his strategic vision, Alok helped SHI grow roots in India, develop and support technology applications and infrastructure across core mainframe, cutting edge e-Commerce and big data technologies. With his unique people-oriented transformational leadership style, Alok turned SHI into one of the most valued investments of Sears, garnering great ROIs, and creating value much beyond cost arbitrage. Under his tutelage, SHI has filed two patents and is recognized widely for its best practices in various areas, the latter, currently featured in Indian Institute of Management (IIM) case studies. SHI also became a CMMI Level 3, PCMM Level 3, and ISO 20000 certified organization. Alok is a widely acclaimed corporate leader in India today. He regularly participates and leads various forums as a keynote speaker and is an author of several books in different genres. Alok has several awards to his credit. He is particularly known in the industry for his people management skills and innovative ideas in improving the productivity of employees through unique people practices. He has been credited with the following industry awards: ¬ Emerging Leader of the Year award 2013 by ¬ Game Changer CEO of the Year 2013 (SHRM) ¬ CIO 100 - The Bold CIOs - 2008 (Reliance Infosolutions) ¬ CIO - Ones to Watch Award 2008 (Reliance Industries) ¬ Extended Manager Award - CIOL 2004 (Tata Teleservices) As an able leader of SHI, Alok got SHI recognized widely in the industry with the following several awards: ¬ CII Award for HR Best Practices in 2014 ¬ Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award - AIOP (Phoenix 2013) ¬ IT Innovation Award (Design & Engineering) - Computer Society of India 2012 ¬ Golden Company of the Year - Economic Times 2011-12 ¬ 7th Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Mumbai, India) 2013: • ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ Award • ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with business • HR Leadership Award • Talent Management Award by Bloomberg TV India ¬ Employer Branding Awards - World HRD Congress (Singapore, Asia) 2013: • 7th rank in ‘Asia’s Best Employer’ award • Award for ‘Best HR Strategy’ in line with the business • HR Leadership Award Other recognitions: Alok had served on the distinguished panel of NASSCOM's GIC (Global In-house Centers) National Council members. The council members play a key role in major initiatives of the industry and include the torch bearers of IT industry as panel members. Books and Papers: Alok is an established author, with three books to his credit. Alok’s third and latest book, a novel, “The Spy from Unaula” is a 2015 publication. A handwriting analysis enthusiast, Alok collaborated with his wife Nandani on the book, “Handwriting Speaks” in 2006. “Value Sourcing – Future of IT Outsourcing” was co-authored with Keith Sherwell (currently CIO, Altice USA) and was released in 2013. Alok also researched and published two whitepapers: a. “Creating next generation captives” talks about the best practices that are helping generate higher value from the IT company captives.

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