In an age when self help books have flooded the market and Gen Y have become quite used to the concept, Rashmi Datt’s “And the Lion Smiled at the Rabbit – Manage Emotions to Win” steers clear from its ilks and draws lessons from Indian folklore, ‘Panchatantra’ and the wisdom of Indian philosophy.
The thought provoking lessons from the two have been weaved together with modern management theory to provide practical solutions to everyday issues faced by young professionals be it hard negotiations, office politics or never-ending deadlines. Elaborating on the idea behind the book, Rashmi says, “This book is about dealing with everyday work problems with emotional intelligence, rather than swinging from fight to flight. When situations make us uncomfortable, we go into silence or violence, which doesn't help us move towards our goals. But we can teach ourselves to regulate our impulses, and respond to difficult situations consciously and rationally.” In essence the message of the book is to pause, reflect and respond rather than reacting thoughtlessly and impulsively.
The book dwells upon five components of emotion intelligence: self-acceptance and self-belief, self motivation, building rapport and managing important relationships and handling conflicts and difficult situations, which are further divided into fourteen interesting and intriguing chapters. Innate human traits such as greed, fear, pride and anger are illustrated through the characters of the Panchatantra; and thus the author connects with the readers better and allows them to view the situations with a certain degree of comfort. While anger is natural and inevitable, the author stresses upon the fact that these must be expressed in such a manner that it does not belittle others. Negative feedbacks too must be given with sensitivity, in a supportive environment so as to get the desired results. With specific reference to handling of conflict and difficult situations the book suggests that one should come up with an indigenous style of conflict management, which requires mastering skills and strategies for conflict resolution and dealing with complex situations flexibly.
The cut-throat, competitive corporate world is full of stress. What is the best way to manage them? Deep Kalra, Founder and CEO, MakeMyTrip.com, says that one needs to accept that there is stress and that, “the best way to deal with work stress is to surround yourself with good people. What is also important is to let go and let someone else take big decisions without you watching over their shoulder.” Adding more insight on the significance of letting go, Atul Punj, Chairman & Founder, Punj Lloyd, said that, “One needs to encourage people to think and take decisions on their own. One also needs to accept and be open to criticism. The most imperative quality of a leader is to accept criticism.” Participating in the panel discussion to mark the release of the book, Tiger Tyagarajan, President & CEO, Genpact , said that he is often blamed for being over objective and rational and remarked that, “Good leaders are those who do not have any set rules but who change according to the demands of the situation.”
The book is a clear, coherent and logical read which tries to demystify human behavior and addresses the importance of managing emotions from the perspective of managers in the formative stages of their careers. The book inarguably helps choose battles to win the war and reiterates the power of logic.