Management to Know Yourself

A quotation from Robert Burn poem, 'To A louse', has become very famous: O wad some Power the gifted gee us. To see outsells as others see us!

But the next line, for some reason, is usually forgotten and yet it is significant because self knowledge is not sought from pure vanity but for very practical reasons, especially for a manager.

Management is about encouraging and controlling the behavior of others. We cannot do that unless we understand, encourage and control our own behavior first and if we wish positively to develop the attributes of those whom we manage, then self-knowledge is even more important. The two basic reasons for this are that:
1. Attitudes and prejudices learned throughout our lives, sometimes in totally different contexts, influence what we do and say now, even without our knowing it.
2. What we do and say can have lasting impact upon others, and usually determines the response we get in return.

One of the greatest influences on how we behave to other people is the image we huge of out selves, which acts as a filter, interpreting all the other information our senses feed to us.

Zen understand very well that dealing effectively with the outside world begins with understanding ourselves and there is a simple little story which graphically portrays this:

Wandering disciples of Zen can claim food and shelter if they initiate and win an argument. Late one evening a travelling monk arrived where two bothers lived. The elder was very clever, but the younger was rather stupid and had only one eye. The elder brother was tired from much study and told his younger brother to meet their visitor, but advised him to request the discussion be in silence. The traveler and the younger brother went off together to the shrine.

A few minutes later the visitor sought out the elder brother to tell him that the young man had so cleverly beaten him in argument that he would have to leave and seek shelter elsewhere. Tel me what happened, said the elder brother.
The visitor explained: I held up one finger representing, the enlightened one. he held up two fingers signifying and his teachings. So I held up three fingers, his teachings and his followers in harmony.

Then he shook his clenched fist in my face indicating that all three come from one realization. Just as the wandering monk had gone on his way, the younger brother came rush gin, angry with the discourteous treatment he had received at the hands of the visitor.
His brother asked him what had taken place. No sooner had he sat down than the boorish fellow insulated me by holding up one finger, drawing attention to the fact that I have only one eye. Responding with constraint and courtesy, I held up two fingers, congratulating him on his two eyes.

He then insulted me again by holding up three fingers indicating that between us we had only three eyes. I lost my car at this point and went to punch him in the face but he got up and left.
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