Tag Archive: Psychology

Feedback To Do’s

We all must have talked about the word ‘feedback’ sometime or the other–be it feedback to our bosses, our subordinates or our relatives–even our kids. But more often than not, it goes wrong or we fail miserably in doing so. Why? The journey of feedback is more important than the end result.

Imagine yourself in a situation wherein you know that something is not right (please pay attention to the words..’something is not right’ & not ‘something is wrong’). Its something you want to talk about, discuss, maybe you perceive it as a problem which needs a solution. But the ‘frustrating’ part is that the other has a completely different outlook. But until you talk about it, you will end up in a vicious circle of thinking and then over thinking about it–but with no solution thus making it a never ending process.

One might feel that its easier to say and advise than be in a situation. Lets take a common situation that parents come across “My kid doesn’t take up any responsibility”. Isn’t it ironic? On one hand you are calling your child a ‘kid’ and on the other you also expect them tFeedbacko take ‘responsibility’. Here, we need to define, what responsibility? Are you expecting your older child to take the responsibility of your younger child? If yes, then that would reflect that you trust their thinking and decision making capacities. If yes, then when you are defining their schedules, asking them to join certain courses, defining their time limits etc. etc. etc. why not include them?

Children have the most amazing thinking capacities. They come up with better solutions than you can imagine! The reason being that their experiences are wider and more open contrary to thought that ‘they don’t know what life is’. The fact that they don’t know much is their strength. They don’t get confounded by the cultural what to do’s and open up their minds to imaginations beyond what is constricting you. Here are a few ‘feedback to do’s’ …

  • Its best to keep the communication channels open with your children. Feedback is a two way communication. If you want to give feedback, then learn & ask to feedback from your children as well.
  • Its best to trust them so that they can trust you.
  • Its best to make them smart but not at the cost of their innocence, imagination or creativity.
  • Let them participate in their own lives. So next time you are building their schedule, please ask them to do it and extend your helping hand instead of telling them.
  • Use certain words like ” I want to discuss something with you” or ” I need your suggestion”; and then participate.
  • Build some communication rules such as neither you nor you children will use gadgets such as phones or ”whatapp” while discussing something with you. Children will leave their phones, but remember YOU also have to leave them for the ten minutes you are spending with them for a good quality discussion.
  • Let them explore and explore with them.
  • Don’t punish yourself or feel guilty. You are as old a parent as your child is. So you are learning along with them. They are born in different times than you so their environment is different. And the different environment is being provided by you only! So learn and grow with them.

The environment that children grow up in greatly affects their personalities. Parents always give it their best. So add one more thing to your ‘to do list’–Open up to share the experiences of your children.




The Little Scientists : Personality Development

Personality Development “Children think differently than adults”–its a famous quote by Jean Piaget, who mostly influenced the modern thought in cognitive and developmental psychology.

According to Piaget, children go through four key process or changes which spans into adulthood and greatly shapes their cognitive thoughts and thus helps in personality development. Children actively explore the world and environment around them. Therefore, they are little scientists on a voyage of observation and assimilation.

The Sensorimotor stage (from infancy to 2 years): The environment is explored and knowledge is gained by infants through their sensory experiences and manipulation of objects around them.

The Preoperational stage ( from 2 years to 7 years):  At this stage, children learn through ‘free play’. They are aware of the rules of the game but struggle with logical explanations for changing rules and being open to the idea that others can have a different point of view or different opinions

The Concrete Operational stage (from 7 years to 11 years): At this stage, continuing from the previous stage, children find it difficult to change the rules and methodologies. But at the same time, they begin to understand that there are different logical explanations to same experience. The understanding of the abstract and hypothetical starts.

The Formal Operational stage (from adolescence to adulthood): Logic is assimilated and given as an explanation to events and experiences. Children begin to understand the hypothetical and gain the abilities to understand deductive reasonings understanding of abstracts ideas.

Children also acquire important adaptive and cognitive concepts such as schemas, assimilation, accommodation. 

Schemas refer to categories that children form of knowledge and information that help them interpret the environment, objects, people and events. It includes both category of knowledge and process of acquisition of knowledge.

Assimilation is a process taking or adding new information to the set schemas. It is subjective in nature because children modify the information or experience to fit in the already existing schemas.

Accommodation is the process in which children modify or alter the existing schemas because they have received some new/very different information which does not fit any existing schemas.

Equilibration –all children aim to acquire a balance between the process of assimilation and accommodation.

Equilibration is an important concept since children want to strike a balance between using existing knowledge, acquiring new knowledge and forming new schemas. It is the state of equilibration that helps them move from one stage to another.

All children go through these stages naturally. But when given the right training and exposure to right concepts, the schemas they form are more facilitative and broader in quality. This helps enhance their problem solving skills, becoming more creative as well as attaining a higher understanding of logic.

Parents play an important role in this process. A facilitative environment by parents is a must in appropriate acquisition of these stages.


When asked to define Leadership, Peter Drucker famously said, “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”. The most successful leaders have a vision and an insight into the needs of the environment. But what is the right recipe of a successful leader? None. Every child has a unique personality that gives an ability to perceive the environment from a certain vantage point. When we can develop is the self awareness, social awareness and how to make effective use of communication and personality capabilities.

There are many different leadership styles. Each style will be most appropriate for different audiences, followers and situations. The goal is the most important for an effective leader. To achieve the goal successfully, it is as important that the trajectory for the achievement of growth path is right.LEadership

Most recently, researchers have pointed out that while at one end of the spectrum lies having complete authority and control over people and situation, the other end signifies too much of freedom to followers (which often leads to chaos). There needs to be a balance on this spectrum and what is known as command and collaborate style of leadership. Command and collaborate are contradictory terms,  but each leader today needs to engage in both. According to the situation, there must be a flexibility to either become a hard wired, authoritative leader who resolves the problem and presents the solution, collaboration would entail brain storming and being a good listener to reach the most creative solution to any problem and taking the final decision.

Leaders must be consistent with their espoused values and visible traits. Successful leaders need to have a balance EQ, SQ and IQ. A good leader would work on his/her strengths and accept weak points, so that the followers or the group fill the gaps.

Leadership can be learnt and trained. A good leadership is not only needed during corporate situation, but every day life. Communication, collaboration, persistence, commitment, self awareness and motivation are some of the leadership traits that, when acquired at the right age, lead to a more effective leadership personality.

Communication-Transaction Analysis

The model of Transaction Analysis was first given by Eric Berne–a theory for analyzing the interaction between human behavior and communication. While many would believe that its most important implication lies in professional life, but nevertheless, pre-adolescents and -adolescents already show a preference to one kind or way of communication over another.

The assumptions behind the model are:

  • Everyone is both OK
  • Each person should be accepted as they are
  • People take responsibility of self
  • People modify their behavior to seek physical and emotional nurturing from others

According to the PAC model, based on the childhood experiences and role models, personality can have three ego states (ego states are one of the sources of behavior):

  • Parent Ego state (Nurturing Parent Ego State & Critical Parent Ego State)
  • Adult Ego State (Objective, Ethical in character)
  • Child Ego State ( Free Child/Natural Child Ego state & Adaptive Ego State)

Transaction Analysis takes into account the interaction between different ego states in people. There can be multiple ways or types of interactions that determine the behavior.

It is not only verbal, but non verbal or body language (known as ‘strokes’) also that form a part of interaction or communication.

An individual always works from different ego states in a lifespan or in different situations. Being aware about ego states. both of one’s own as well as others, helps determines the relevant mode of ego state communication/interaction to attain the final purpose of communication.

Happiness and Optimism

Remembered happiness is different from experienced happiness.
—Daniel Kahneman

Happiness is mostly the ultimate goal of each individual. But the question is what makes us happy? or what is it about happiness that it becomes such an important goal?  in the meanwhile, we usually focus on something that is lacking, or misery or something which is causing us grief. If our goal is to attain maximum happiness, then why do we get attracted towards the negative? It is equally (if not more)  important to focus on the strengths and building them and ultimately having engaged and fulfilling lives. This is the focus of science of positive psychology.

Knowing what is one’s biggest strength and then building upon it, planning your life so that you are able to utilize it to the maximum potential will provide you with constant flow of happiness. Pursuit of meaning and pursuit of engagement, thus become important for a fulfilling life.

 But can being happy be learnt? One might suppose no! But researches have found that happiness is an emotion that one also synthesizes–a concept known as Synthetic Happiness. According to Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist who has done immense research on happiness and optimism, synthetic happiness can very much be a learned concept. And it is no less than natural happiness. For his research findings, view the groundbreaking research talk on  


So far, there are various ways to learn to be happy! Just as there is learned helplessness, there is learned happiness. Happier people have been found to be much more successful and leading more fulfilling lives including being more successful in their relationships across!

This also requires a change in perspective and is no doubt contingent on the environment and other cultural factors! But nevertheless, there is a chance to make your child less prone to anxiety and fear, and more prone to happiness and a whole life!