Sona and Rupa

We use stories to break down obstacles to learning…..

The stories that we have used in this series are meant to teach us that we are ultimately responsible for our actions and ourselves. We have to take responsibility for our decisions as well as our miscalculations.
We are told that we must exceed our limitations. But in order to exceed your limitations you must first know what your limitations are.
These stories will help us become more aware of ourselves – our strengths and weaknesses, our values and beliefs, our actions and reactions – because once you become aware of something you can learn to manage it better.

Leadership competencies are leadership & management skills and behaviours that contribute to superior performance. By using a competency-based approach to leadership, organisations can better identify and develop their next generation of leaders. While some leadership competencies are essential to all firms, an organisation should also define what leadership attributes are distinctive to the particular organisation to create competitive advantage. However, skills needed for a particular position may change depending on the specific leadership level in the organisation. By using a competency approach, organisations can determine what positions at which levels require specific competencies. Competencies are the skills, knowledge and behaviours that lead to successful performance.

The following stories look at some of the leadership and management competencies (“The Value-Added Employee,” by Edward J. Cripe and Richard S. Mansfield, Copyright 2002 by Workitect Inc) that are necessary in today’s modern and successful organisation.

Once upon a time there lived 2 young girls named Sona and Rupa. The girls were best friends and did everything together. One day the girls had a fight and Sona slapped Rupa. Rupa was so upset at what had happened she decided to tell the whole world about it. So she wrote on the sand – ‘Sona slapped me’ for everyone to see. A few days later, when they had made up their fight, the girls were walking along the edge of the river where the crocodiles lived when Rupa fell in. Without a moments hesitation Sona jumped in and saved her best friend’s life. Rupa was so happy she wanted to tell the whole world about it so she took the nearest stone and carved into it ‘Sona saved my life.’
Sona was intrigued. She asked ‘when I slapped you and you were so very upset you wrote on the sand, when I saved you and you were grateful you wrote on stone. Why?’
Because, said Rupa, when you feel hurt it should always be a temporary emotion and it should be possible for the winds of time blow it away. But when someone loves you, you should hold onto that forever and never let the winds of time erase that.

Sona and Rupa - Writing in the sand | Tharoor Associates

Don’t hold grudges and focus on the negative. Focus on the positive to get positive results. Dealing with People Competency- Leading Others

Providing Motivational Support: The ability to enhance others’ commitment to their work.

  • Recognizes and rewards people for their achievements.
  • Acknowledges and thanks people for their contributions.
  • Expresses pride in the group and encourage people to feel good about their accomplishments.
  • Finds creative ways to make people’s work rewarding.
  • Signals own commitment to a process by being personally present and involved at key events.
  • Identifies and promptly tackles morale problems.
  • Gives talks or presentations that energize groups.

Fostering Teamwork: As a team member, the ability and desire to work cooperatively with others on a team; as a team leader, the ability to demonstrate interest, skill, and success in getting groups to learn to work together.

Behaviours for Team Members

  • Listens and responds constructively to other team members’ ideas.
  • Offers support for others’ ideas and proposals.
  • Is open with other team members about his/her concerns.
  • Expresses disagreement constructively (e.g., by emphasizing points of agreement, suggesting alternatives that may be acceptable to the group).
  • Reinforces team members for their contributions.
  • Gives honest and constructive feedback to other team members.
  • Provides assistance to others when they need it.
  • Works for solutions that all team members can support.
  • Shares his/her expertise with others.
  • Seeks opportunities to work on teams as a means to develop experience, and knowledge.
  • Provides assistance, information, or other support to others, to build or maintain relationships with them.

Behaviours for Team Leaders

  • Provides opportunities for people to learn to work together as a team.
  • Enlists the active participation of everyone.
  • Promotes cooperation with other work units.
  • Ensures that all team members are treated fairly.
  • Recognizes and encourages the behaviors that contribute to teamwork.

Empowering Others: The ability to convey confidence in employees’ ability to be successful, especially at challenging new tasks; delegating significant responsibility and authority; allowing employees freedom to decide how they will accomplish their goals and resolve issues.

  • Gives people latitude to make decisions in their own sphere of work.
  • Is able to let others make decisions and take charge.
  • Encourages individuals and groups to set their own goals, consistent with business goals.
  • Expresses confidence in the ability of others to be successful.
  • Empowering Others: The ability to convey confidence in employees’ ability to be successful, especially at challenging new tasks; delegating significant responsibility and authority; allowing employees freedom to decide how they will accomplish their goals and resolve issues.
  • Gives people latitude to make decisions in their own sphere of work.
  • Is able to let others make decisions and take charge.
  • Encourages individuals and groups to set their own goals, consistent with business goals.
  • Expresses confidence in the ability of others to be successful.

Building Collaborative Relationships: The ability to develop, maintain, and strengthen partnerships with others inside or outside the organisation who can provide information, assistance, and support.

  • Asks about the other person’s personal experiences, interests, and family.
  • Asks questions to identify shared interest, experiences, or other common ground.
  • Shows an interest in what others have to say; acknowledges their perspectives and ideas.
  • Recognizes the business concerns and perspectives of others.
  • Expresses gratitude and appreciation to others who have provided information, assistance, or support.
  • Takes time to get to know coworkers, to build rapport and establish a common bond.
  • Tries to build relationships with people whose assistance, cooperation, and support may be needed.
  • Provides assistance, information, and support to others to build a basis for future reciprocity.

2 monks were walking down a very muddy road. One was quite old and one very young. On the way they saw a beautiful girl. She needed to cross a particularly muddy puddle but didn’t want to get her clothes dirty. As the young monk looked on disapprovingly the old monk picked her up in his arms and deposited her safely on the other side and then carried on down his path. The young monk was horrified at the elder monk’s actions and continued to tell him so for a good long time – ‘how could you do that? It was a young beautiful girl! You picked her up in your arms! How could you….’ And so on! Till finally the old monk said to him with s gentle smile ‘you know I put her down 2 miles back, but you are still carrying her’!

What emotional and mental baggage are you carrying?
The mind is an extraordinarily powerful entity. If you carry negativity past a point it becomes cemented. Do you have a method in place to rid yourself of that destructive negativity?

3 Comments

  • Saorabh Modi

    Hello mam…. This is my first message to you…. I would like to sincerely mention that your way of story telling is outstanding.. I really admire and appreciate it… About your sona and Rupa story… I understood that if this concept we can apply in our lives in all our relationships.. Life would become much easier and earth would be a much happy place to stay… Looking forward for more stories and learning from you… Best wishes with you….

  • Nandan Chaturbhuj

    Hello,

    I just heard the story about Sona and Rupa. It was a delight.

    Can a simple story like this have plenty to think about ? 🙂
    I think more one thinks about, more interpretations pour in. From an industry persceptive, we are in a time where media and social media both are very active. Making a slap public would be very easy.
    It’s nice that Sona wrote “Rupa slapped me” but didnt add reason or elaboration. Also, to a lot extent she maintained a mutual respect. And later when she got the chance, not only she passed a rock-solid message but as well showed her intent to preserve the gesture forever.

    Nice story.

    Thank you

    Note: In blog, “Sona slapped Rupa” and in video “Rupa slapped Sona”. Good that both girls had their share of fun.

  • Anish

    Hello! This should be counted as my first message to your blog though I am a huge fan of Seemaji and her technique of expressing a story is in deep appriciate.

    From the story Sona and Rupa, I understand that different emotions should have valid time period is oneself.

    Anger, hate, Ego…should not be entertained or cultivated for a longer period where as emotions like Thankfulness, Joy, Peace, Help, Honestly, Trust…..must be there for a prolonged phase.

    This helps one to understand what life is about, how to tackle various tasks that we all face in day to day life.

    Thanks,
    Anish Nair
    +971557027127

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