The current pandemic has forced us to look at a new way of life, helped us find creative ways to spend time with family and self. All those who postponed things to a later date suddenly had at least a couple of hours more to invest in.

Scene 1

On one such self-isolated evenings, both my daughters (11 and 8) were playing Pictureka.

Pictureka is the exciting game of visual hide & seek. Collect the most mission cards to win! In this game its finders keepers: you get the card if you find the object fast or first. Collect enough cards to win, and you’re the Pictureka champ!

It was a joyous moment to watch them play amicably while it lasted. This pleasure trip was cut short by a sudden scream — Pictureka! This was followed by raised voices, angered tone and eventual crying. It happened so fast, I didn’t even realize what happened.

Due to absence of Video Assisted Referee (VAR) in our home, I figured a human intervention was required. That’s when I entered the scene.

Upon hearing their version of what happened, I realized that they both found the object at the same time and each one believed that they saw it first and wanted to keep the mission card.

As a parent, I had to be unbiased in my decision so I gave my verdict — the mission card was void and no one could keep it. They thought it was fair and went back to playing, and I felt proud that I handled it well.

But they were so good at this game that they kept finding the objects almost at the same time. They would look at me to solve the problem. I would say void and the game continued. Eventually, I was not required to intervene. As soon as they found out it was a tie one would suggest the other it was void.

All’s well that ends well, isn’t it?

Scene 2

A couple of days later, the younger one insisted that I play Pictureka with her. Well, let me tell you, when playing with a child you have to keep your motivation levels high and maintain a straight face to acknowledge their victory over you. Cause hey! You want to give the right lesson to your child. You either win or you learn. You fall seven times and get up eight.

A few rounds in and she was beating me fair and square. I was slowly getting a hang of it and then suddenly the inevitable happened. We found the object at the same time.

There was silence. She knew, I wasn’t her sister. I knew the rule I had set.

So I said … you keep the card.

She looked at me amazed and said Thank You.

The game continued…

It happened again, she jumped and said Daddy, you keep the card. And we kept alternating who keeps the card whenever there was a tie.

When we wrapped up, she gave me a hug and said I enjoyed playing.

Now, here’s my reflection of what happened.

Scene 1 the problem was solved, but was a lose — lose situation.

Many times in our professional space, we end up being here. Due to our competitive nature, we do not want to let go of our side of story. We want to show our superiority, each individual thinks that their way is the right way.

We have verbal collisions, back and forth emails with emotions clearly reflecting the senders state of mind. And since nobody wants to give in, we settle for a compromise which, in no sense, is rewarding to the individuals or the organization.

Are there times when individuals or teams are following their pre-defined SOPs and standing ground to not accommodate the other party’s request? While it is essential that we operate within the realm of ethics, we also need to understand the bigger picture here.

Do the way we operate serve the dynamic market conditions that will keep our organization competitive?

Will the insistent in-fighting amongst the teams take a toll on the organizations health?

These questions are unchallenged and have higher risks involved.

Scene 2, the problem was solved and it was a win-win situation.

It highlights few essential elements in our corporate lives.

Reciprocity — People are obliged to give back to others, that they have received first. You stand up for others and you will not be alone when you need support.

Reciprocity is a deep instinct; it is the basic currency of social life. — Jonathan Haidt

Interdependence — We are dependent on one another to achieve the organizational goal. As we work amicably we build better relationships. The journey to achieve together becomes smoother and enjoyable.

Interdependence is a choice only independent people can make. — Stephen R. Covey

Fairness — If we feel we are not being taken advantage of, we contribute meaningfully to the discussion and the outcome. Dominance and power play will get you high but not far.

Win Or Lose, Do It Fairly. — Knute Rockne

While you aim to achieve all your goals first and fast, don’t forget to create a Pictureka moment together with the individuals and teams you work with.

Stay Safe!