The P Factor – 27 July 2010

When Vinod joined the company upon completing his MBA, he was seen as a promising young man. He was simply brilliant, and could impress anyone with his smartness. His first quick promotion in less than two years created a legend around him — of his efficiency and utility. On a personal level, Vinod  was on cloud nine having just married to his college day sweet heart. Life seemed to move in an upward swing for him. 

Two years later, however, things did not remain all that rosy. He felt, he had got stuck up in a groove, unable to make any sense out of his career. Frankly, a period of around four years was not a big time to feel ‘grooved in’. Yet, many of Vinod’s colleagues went ahead with one more promotion and he was left behind. That hurt. Vinod was simply confused. What was happening to him? Was he a spent force? Did he not have a future in this company? All such questions dogged him now.   Rashmi, his pretty and smart wife, was not confused. She said, “Look dear, why don’t you calm down a bit and think? You have the intelligence, but perhaps you lack guidance. Why don’t you talk to somebody in your office?”
“With whom to talk? There is nobody with whom I can confide!”, Vinod whined. 

That clicked. Rashmi realised that her husband had not made friends in office. She, too, was working in another company and was doing well. She had got one promotion and was being considered for another lateral shift as a precursor to another promotion. She had many friends and well wishers in her company. If she had a problem, she talked to some one and found out a solution. 

In contrast, Vinod had no such help in his office. Rashmi realised what her husband lacked — People skills. 
She gave him a formula of the ‘P’ Factor.  She said, “Follow this, and you will realise a new power building in you.” 

1. Personality: Build a pleasant, acceptable, warm personality so that people want to be friends with you. Do not live in a cocoon. Open up. Start communicating with others frequently. 
2. Proximity: Build bonds. Develop good relations with people who matter. Let them understand what kind of person you are. Let them know what values you hold dear to your heart.
3. Projection: Start showing your good points to the people smartly, unobtrusively. Unless you project yourself well, people will never know what you have achieved and what you can achieve. Do not brag, but tell others what your achievements are. 
4. Politics: Don’t play politics, but understand what is happening. Unless you understand power-equations in your company, you will never really make sense out of your career. If you understand politics correctly, you will never find yourself perched on the wrong end of the branch. 

“This is not my advice to you, dear,” Rashmi said. “This is my suggestion. See if you find any substance in the ‘P’ Factor.” 
For Vinod, taking that wisdom from his wife was rather difficult. He was not a male chauvinist, but somehow felt superior to his wife. And now here she was telling a thing or two.

Yet somehow, Vinod was impressed silently by Rashmi’s ‘P’ Factor. He decided to use it. The start was slow and staggered. He persisted. And slowly, results started coming in. That was one year ago. Vinod still has not got his next promotion, but he is well on his way, with a greater people skill at his command. The way was arduous, but it paid.

This is also a true story, for, I know this young and charming couple.

Published in The Hitavada Future

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