Sunday, 3 July 2016


Above View Of Business Team Sitting Around Table And Working

 "If someone can do it, anyone can do it. That is the basis of modelling. ..Modelling is a state of curiosity...It is a desire to listen, watch, respect, and learn from others as well as ourselves."[1] Learning from others is our second nature. Consciously or unconsciously everyone of us models after someone to some extent. We observe others - our parents,  teachers, seniors and heroes, and try to imbue those qualities in them which we believe made them successful. Imbuing those qualities may help us in many ways. But many management trainers take modelling a step further and urge aspiring leaders and managers to model after those whom they admire consciously and deliberately. This is based on the theory that  that what we observe in others from outside represents their inner qualities and capabilities. So, if we model after their observable qualities, actions and behaviours we can imbibe some of their inner qualities. This makes us  as effective as them. These experts call this 'pacing'. This is true to some extent.
Useful as it is, modelling is an incomplete process. It is akin to building ourselves after someone else. The extreme form of modelling may even be some kind of imitating. Yet, modelling helps us learn capabilities, skills and behaviour. But our personality is beyond our capabilities, skills and behaviour. Our values, beliefs, convictions and world-view are important parts of our personality. These influence our effectiveness - they make us who we are. Modelling does not help us in shaping us and strengthening us based on what we already are. Our is a model. The person after whom you model does not know he is your model. Therefore, he does not convey any message to you directly or consciously.
It is to overcome this limitation that we need to look at an alternate way of getting inspiration from others. We do talk of mentors. The mentor guides the mentee, helps in finding his way, provides him support. This is the way of accepting someone as one's Guru. The word Guru describes the concept better than 'mentor'. The Guru means all that we mean by mentor. Like the mentor, the Guru is someone you have accepted as your guiding light. He or she has direct contact with you. The Guru knows that you depend on him or her for enlightenment.
Unlike the model, the Guru leads you on the path to find the answers you seek; but to seek it in your own way and not in his way. The Guru or mentor shows ways of acquiring knowledge. Does not ask one to follow him. Enlightens but does not preach. Sheds light but does not walk you through. Reflects and helps one to reflect but does  
pic of guru - Guru Master Mentor Leader Professional Concept - JPG not teach.  
The Guru may not tell you what to do; but he will pose before you the challenges and some of the responses. In the end the Guru expects you to find your own responses to your challenges. Modelling helps you to learn skills and behaviours. Guru influences you to think deeper issues which matter to you. When you accept a Guru you do not model after the Guru. You accept that person as your preceptor. He guides you, shows you the path to better life or resolution of your challenges. He enables you to reflect to find your own responses to your challenges. Unlike the person after who one models, a Guru is the source of wisdom and enlightenment. The Guru is not a prophet. He or she is a wise person. What the Guru can do for you is to make you wise. He can give you only what he has, and since what he has is limited, he stimulates you to exploit your potential to the maximum limit, and helps you get much more than what you had. He [provides the anchor to your life and career. By guiding you to think beyond skills and behaviour, he enhances your potential. Modelling is the anti-thesis of innovation, creativity and originality. The Guru is the fountain of new ideas. He nourishes ideas. He does not put the seeds, but prepares the bed for you to put the seeds and nourish the plant. Your model chains you; but the Guru unleashes your individuality and creativity.
Therefore, while you will model yourself after someone willy-nilly, you need to look for someone who will play the Guru for you. He needs to be one who inspires confidence, who listens, shares his thoughts with you, enables you to reflect not only on issues of immediate concern but also your values, career, ideals and world-view

[1] NLP At Work by Sue Knight.


On 7/03/2016


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