“In a life out of harmony itself, events seem to conspire to go wrong, by the same token they mesh wondrously when you start to live your bliss… as you begin living your life, taking the risk to do what you really want to do, you will find all things fall in place and you just happen to be in the right place at the right time.” (Bernie Sigel in Love, Medicine and Miracles). It follows that to achieve success, one has to harmonise with the given habitat or environment. Any action that are not in alignment with the environment (corporate included) will fail to give expected results.
Britannica dictionary defines harmony as the combination of different musical notes or sung at the same time to produce a pleasing sound. No organisation can have only a handful individuals wanting to be by themselves; no individual can perform as an isolationist, all units of energy are dependent upon each other. There cannot be lone ranger, or lone battle and no such thing as a lone vision or hope. All of these have to be shared as common objectives, only then does the team gel and glue together, its efforts for success, this putting of individual unit of energy together is the job of the leader, to harmonise and cluster together these lone thoughts and initiatives into an entity’s or group’s objectives.
Life itself is a crazy web of interconnections. Each thought has consequences and the emerging consequences will result in more consequences, each different and unique; hence, the need to harmonise the ‘thoughts’ of each member of the team, into a wholesome thought, that would spur action.
All actions, good or otherwise, emerge first as a thought. And thoughts have no visibility, they remain in the ambit of the unknown to others, and; hence, is known only to the mind that conjures the thought. To the sculptor, a rock presents itself as an opportunity to chisel the finest sculpture that is imagined and resides only in his mind. Similarly, a blank canvas is an inspiration for a painter to draw and plant his imagination upon it. In both cases of the sculptor and the painter, it is the ‘thought’ that gets harmonised into action with results. The leaders must possess the trait to harmonise thought and effort of all the team members. In isolation, the individual thought may not be implementable but when clubbed together with others, it can emerge as a great effort.
All leaders and managers by their action represent what the nature is of their condition of the mind, most get to be, what they think, they are capable of. A leader’s job is to remove discord and differences; further they must convert these into attractiveness of the world of harmony. Harmony in obscurity is a desired condition. The promotion of peaceful coexistence between individuals and teams must rank high on the priority list of the manager.
The leaders must remain inclusive individuals, avoidance of exclusion of any individual, for whatever reason, must triumph over bias and prejudice. Instead, the managers must bring about cohesiveness. To achieve harmony in workforce, there is no room for favouritism, it must be avoided at all costs and it must show in actions.
Whenever words of respect and recognition are uttered, they create an amazing sense of ownership by all constituents of an entity. Doing job to the best of their abilities and showing commitment to work are elements that will provoke the inspiration to induce workplace, policies and systems that are friendly.
Such actions by the leader will make the workplace vibrant and full of energy, and for this to happen, the organisation must have quality people, who are not only talented, technically proficient but also must have in them great human qualities.
The open door policy must be equally matched by an open mind; there are managers, who do keep their cabin doors open, but this policy is thwarted by a closed mind approach. For harmony to emerge and survive, accessibility and sound communication lines between hierarchies are an absolute essential.
The managers would do best to avoid words or actions that will sap the energy out of the workforce, which may lead to toxic work environment. The team members get despaired and agonised when the leader demonstrates miserliness in appreciation of good performance. Appreciation is a great tool for harmonising efforts. The laggards must not be mowed down; instead their hand should be held, while taking the institution to newer and better heights of performance. A leader must have the skill to take together the A++ (pluses) and the C- (minuses) of the team towards the common goal.
In a harmonious environment, everyone will be treated with dignity and respect, no room for harassment by either word or conduct. A leader should shows zero tolerance to the behaviour that challenges the principles, customs, traditions, values, morals and standards of integrity. All must be treated alike for harmony to prevail. Action sometimes that in general may not be palatable, has to be done and must be done, with no exceptions.
Harmonious environment is the responsibility of the corporate, as well as of the individuals working therein. Corporates do so by instilling enlightened policies, procedures and systems; individuals can do so by embracing the cherished objectives and ideals incorporated in these very policies. The environment is created by having motivated and turbo-charged members, who are always willing to go the extra mile. The expression of gratitude to each other for facilitating each other’s work is a very good prompter for camaraderie to prevail.
The strategic plan of any organisation must define the steps that are necessary for installing harmonious working environment. Leaders must not curse darkness, it is more profitable to instead light a candle.
The leaders do not carry bitterness for that will spoil the environment. There is no room for ill will or malice towards any. Harmony will prevail only where leaders are truthful beyond suspicion. They must think and behave in ‘crystal clear’ manner. The responsibility for action must invariably rest with the individual concerned. The action should be direct with no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’; they must avoid going around in circles, they must get off their grove.
The leaders for the sake of genuine harmony within their team must never react on information that lies within the realm of anonymity. Lending ears to sound counsel, advice will help generate an environment of togetherness. No action on gossip or hearsay must be recognised as the first piece of any dialogue.
The leaders must remain idealistic with taking their eyes off realism. Solo flights are not virtuous, in fact, they are full of danger and a perilous to one’s own existence.
The managers should be trained to handle the middle-level executives and their related conflicts. If there is a discord between the members of a team, it just cannot be brushed under the carpet; it has to be attended to; failure to do so will be cancerous. Often, when individuals work together they develop differences in the development or even execution of plans and strategies.
The job of the leader is to take into account the views of all and then merge them into a single opinion. The tact and ability to harness divergent views and present them to the team members, as their own, is a major demand upon leadership, at all times. Many achieve it by the power of their sound understanding, technical knowledge and above all personal charisma as the leader of the people.