Saturday, May 24, 2008

Theory X and Theory Y

As I was going through the Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y, I was astonished to map it to my own life. Let me start from my childhood days. Those days I was really afraid of Mathematics. I could not do well in the maths exam. Then my Mom came to my rescue and she did a little bit of hand holding. She encouraged me and asked me not to be afraid of it and told me that practice makes a man perfect. From that day maths became one of my favourite subjects.

This happened in my professional career as well. After few years of work I was almost on the verge of breaking down. I loved software, but somehow I was not getting the urge from my inner self. Then my wife did that magic. She gave me all the encouragement I needed. From that point of time I came back in the industry again.

I cited these two examples to tell you how a positive attitude and a little pat in the back work wonders.

Probably theory Y was long back described in the Indian Philosophy. It says that every soul has divine potential. Here I would like to quote Mother Teresa - "There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread".

Being in the software industry for quite some time, I can understand how it feels when someone new in this world faces the wrath of a foul mouthed manager for not being able to fix the bugs or not being able to understand the compilation and linking error messages. For a newcomer, these may not be easy, but when someone, instead of emphathising that poor guy, starts castigating him, it becomes more difficult.

According to the Geeta, one of the holiest books of the Hindu religion, a person has four stages in life. First he will suffer, then he will be thirsty for knowledge, then he will go in pursuit of truth and then he will attain wisdom.

I think in the software industry as well, a software engineer's first few years are the years of suffering. But this period of sufferings can be lessened and the thirst for knowledge can be injected by wise organizations. However, for that to happen we need mentors who themselves had gone through these phases.

I would like to conclude with the following words "Praise more and criticise less".....

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