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April 24, 2017

How do you deal with trolls?

Recently, I was participating in online forum and one of the users asked a question - How do you deal with trolls - fight/flight?

The effective strategy is combination of both; flight options are very simple – block the troll, ignore, avoid responding and so on. 
Dealing with trolls is lot similar to dealing with bullies; who try to hijack in person conversations. Follow those simple rules and techniques. Never forget that trolls on social media have much bigger theatre hence highly motivated.

Begin with Clear message: Basic rules of communication are universal and apply to Social Media communication too. It’s important to have clarity about the message – What, how and why before you communicate. More so when doing it on social media where your message has wide reach even beyond its intended audience. Even while expressing your emotions or spontaneous response, remember why are you posting, what is it about and how?

Your own clarity is your best defence against trolls. At times, I have just stated – “I was expressing my anguish, joy or opinion”, because I was clear what I posted and why.

Stay focused on your message and thread: Well begin is half done, once you have clarity, your job is simple.  Stay focused on your message, audience and thread. Use facts to reiterate your message & purpose. In the picture here is an example from my own tweet. Someone tried a response totally out of context of discussion. I simply stated facts and used opportunity to reiterate the Message “Values & Culture”.

Avoid getting sucked in troll's trap: Main objective of trolls is to take discussion on a different tangent. It’s easy to get sucked into their trap because they tend to press emotional hot buttons. Strategies often used like humorous responses end up serving troll’s purpose. You may not want to be humorous in context of the message. So be careful while deciding on your flight strategy. Once again see the example how we stopped at our message of “Values & Culture” and avoided temptation of adding “not religion” (sarcasm).

Similarly few times, we experienced trolls hijacking conversation between group of friends. We avoided emotional response and outbursts; continued to focus on the message; this helped us avoid troll's trap.

Have a great time on social media !!

Warm Regards,

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January 11, 2017

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence – A Story

Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one's emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

When you have the power and every fibre of your being is urging you to act, but you chose not to react or respond – Simply put this ability to choose is Emotional Intelligence.

This story set in 1920s; goes like this –

A King of erstwhile princely states of India; during his visit to London, was walking down the Bond Street dressed casually. On seeing a Rolls Royce showroom he went to ask about the Price and Features of their cars.

Looking at an ordinary Indian citizen, British showroom salesmen (colonials days) insulted him and almost showed him the way out of the showroom. After this insult, the King came back to his Hotel room and asked his servants to call the showroom informing them that the King was interested in purchasing few Cars. Few hours later the King returned to Rolls Royce showroom with full royal manner wearing royal costume. He was given red carpet welcome at the showroom. Salesmen treated him with respect and eagerness. The King purchased all six cars that were available at the showroom and paid full amount with delivery costs. Once back in India, King ordered municipality to cut open car roofs and use them as garbage trucks for cleaning and transporting city’s waste. The moment Car Company received news of their brand being humiliated; they sacked the salesman and apologised to the King. The Company requested to return those garbage cars and offered much better cars at no extra cost in return.

In this story lack of maturity and emotional intelligence by Salesman is quite evident. So are the consequences for salesman and his organisation.

The King might seem victorious at the end of story but as a leader he doesn’t set a great example. His actions lacked maturity and foresight, key components of Emotional Intelligence. His actions were arrogant, driven by personal revenge and he abused his powers over state finances.

He spent precious funds (in context of British raj and condition of Indian people under colonial rule) from treasury on extremely expensive cars. At the same time he ended up filling the coffers of a British Company.

As leaders we need to be always beware of old cliché – “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It’s important for leaders to have people in their inner circle who can speak with candor and nudge leaders in right direction. If our network becomes dysfunctional we lose our path and focus.

As leaders (Business, political, social and spiritual) we continue to set very poor example of using Emotional Intelligence in our actions. Classic example, when in position of authority people tend to force others into doing things way below their optimum capability or area of expertise; just to make a point or teach them a lesson. Isn’t this akin to using a Rolls Royce to collect garbage? More importantly, they hurt themselves or their organisation either by increased costs or by losing good people to competition. Either way they end up filling coffers of competition.

Daniel Goleman indicated that EI accounted for 67% of the abilities deemed necessary for superior performance in leaders, and mattered twice as much as technical expertise or IQ.

“Between stimulus and response there's a space. In that space is our power to choose our response, where lies our growth and freedom" – FranklSo next time choose wisely and think before you react!!

Warm Regards,

Disclaimer: This Story neither confirms nor denies the authenticity of incidence mentioned here and simply used as an example.