Chief Secretary of Bihar asks officers to listen
If silence is gold, speech is silver, what is listening? It's diamond. The ability to listen well is absolutely indispensable for success in all human relationships. Vijay Swaroop reports.patna Updated: Oct 23, 2009 14:49 IST
If silence is gold, speech is silver, what is listening? It's diamond. The ability to listen well is absolutely indispensable for success in all human relationships. This is the mantra which IAS officers in the state are learning, courtesy Chief Secretary Anoop Mukherjee.
Management by Listening the book presented to each IAS officer of the state by the Secretary, emphasises, that appreciating things around in silence could go a long way in doing their work better. Listening is something that most managers - both in public and private sectors believe they do well. But in reality, one is not a good listener than he thinks, the Chief Secretary opines.
The book, written by a former IAS, R Poornalingam, was presented by him at the District magistrates' conference held in the state capital recently.
The timing of the distribution of the book, brought out by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, assumes added significance in the state, in the wake of numerous public complaints against the bureaucracy for not paying heed to people's grievances. This despite the fact that over the years, numerous measures have been taken for public satisfaction by the government. Far from being redressed, the grievances have only increased though also indicating that the opportunities provided by the government through Janata durbars and magistrate courts are doing better.
The Chief Secretary, himself, has helped the author in editing the draft. "The idea of distributing the book is very good. It will surely benefit not only young IAS recruits but senior officers who have to interact with public daily," said former secretary of IAS Association (Bihar chapter), Vivek Singh. "It will also help in capacity building. The book is worth reading. It shows how listening can enhance one's output, lead to satisfaction among public and enhance performance in meeting targets," said Secretary, Road Construction Department, Pratyay Amrit.
The 183-page book, says that listening is harder than most people realize. That's why Zeno of Citium said, more than 2,000 years ago - "The reason why we have two ears and only one mouth is that we may listen the more and talk the less. The reward for listening, then, is wisdom."
The book, narrates the experience, desperation and disgust of a fictitious IAS officer, Ram, who joins as a collector at Thiruchi. Then he goes on to hold different posts, including, Secretary (food and Corporation Department), Administrator in Chennai Corporation, Health Secretary, Chief Executive of Electricity Board before finally moving on to Government of India.
So, better start listening.