Points of view

Filed on October 9, 2016 | Last updated on October 9, 2016 at 06.56 pm
Picture used for illustrative purposes alone
Picture used for illustrative purposes alone

(Alamy Image)

A space to share your feedback. Over to you.

Best Letter

I love weekends, mainly because I love the wknd. magazine you put together week after week. This week, I was particularly impressed by the interview with Anil Sachdev on work place management ("Realised capacities are 'competencies'; unrealised ones are 'potential'", Sept 30). In my experience (after 31 years in Dubai), quite a few companies consider their furniture and stock as assets and their employees as liabilities. But great organisations are the ones that develop their people. When you treat your people well, they will treat your customers better.

Too many companies carry out yearly employee performance evaluations to satisfy ISO standards. To be honest, in an age of instant gratification and recognition, I feel that evaluating people yearly is an absolute waste of time. They say feedback is the breakfast of champions, so have constant dialogues with your employees and work towards collecting regular feedback instead.

In today's disruptive environment, we need to find ways to retain existing trained employees because studies say it costs far more, by comparison, to identify new people and train them for the same job instead.

PUSHING THE BARRIERS

Kudos to Tom Otton and wknd. on the wonderfully inspiring article, "Mental strength is extremely underrated" (Sept 30). It reminds me of an earlier write-up in the magazine about another amazing personality: extreme adventurer Richard Parks. Otton and Parks are testimony to the fact that it truly is all in the mind. It is all about mental toughness - your body won't go where the mind doesn't push it. It is when you can silence the little voice that tells you to stop, that you find fuel in an empty tank to go the extra distance.

In 2014, I attempted my first 21k. It started off well, but I hit the proverbial wall at about 16k without the energy or the will to go on. My legs began to feel like jelly and I wondered if I would complete the race at all. But, I then realised that that was exactly the reason I had chosen to attempt it. As Otton says, it's because you're not sure you can complete it that you want to do it! It was about the challenge, about pushing beyond my comfort zone, going where I hadn't gone before, and testing the limits of my mental resilience. And, boy, the sheer exhilaration of completing the race was indefinable.

The ultramarathons and Ironman races, the Marathon des Sables and the Three Pole Challenges, are just some of the challenges that put human endurance to the test - but more than that, they are a true assessment of a strong will. As the saying goes, "The biggest wall you've gotta climb is the one you build in your mind." Good luck to Otton and his team for a successful climb!

Valiny Rodrigues, by email

DIGITAL DUMPING

I felt that the article on ghosting (Exorcising the ghosts of being ghosted, Sept 30) was simply making a mountain out of a molehill. The basic human behaviour of being put off by people and becoming indifferent to them has always existed - and it has not emerged from the tools of the virtual world, since social media and electronics have only recently come into our lives.

I don't think ghosting is as devastating as it has been made out to be. If one is upset with another, it is considered quite acceptable to cease communication instead of drifting into the conflict zone, which could end up being far more painful, and leave a bitter taste behind. It is a bit disturbing initially but one tends to move on. It's not the end of the world. I have trodden this planet across 70+ countries and interacted with people of all cultures and ages but I have yet to come across anyone who experienced grief or trauma as a result of being blocked. Let's not get carried away. 'Ghosts' are a part of our lives.

Siraj Khan, by email

Broken friendships are nothing new, but technology has made it easier and more torturous for the victims. Ghosting, the digital lingo for dumping, was chosen as one of the top 10 words of the year in 2015 by Collins dictionary - proof of its prevalence in the world today (Exorcising the ghosts of being ghosted, Sept 30).

I feel youngsters today are more engrossed in posting details of their latest escapades, and hardly have time to indulge in normal, friendly talk. This lack of empathy can result in them cutting off links at the slightest provocation and causing subsequent bereavement to the ghosted friends. Nothing is permanent, including friendship. In case we do get ghosted, let's take comfort in the wise words of St Jerome: "A friendship that can cease has never been real."

John, by email


 
 
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