Harappa organized a Habit Hour webinar series to understand how to prepare for the brave new world. Last week we wrapped up the special 5H5H, or 5 Hours 5 Habits, series.

Each day, we tackled one Harappa Habit—Think, Solve, Communicate, Collaborate, and Lead—and gave friends of Harappa a glimpse into the ideas, concepts, and frameworks offered in the Harappa curriculum. 

We invited leading professionals to share their opinions on why these 5 Habits are essential for professional growth and success. The series was hosted by Seema Chowdhry, Vice-President, Curriculum, Harappa Education. 

Here’s a quick recap of each session.

Day 1: THINK with leadership coach Joseph Jawahar

Joseph conducted a power-packed session on the human brain’s two systems of thinking—System 1 and System 2—found in Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast And Slow

He talked about how these systems of thinking are affected by our biases, or errors in judgment, and fallacies, or errors in reasoning. He shared numerous examples of how this plays out in the real world. The key takeaway from this course was identifying the tough situations that System 1 thinking sometimes puts us in, and how considered and measured thinking helps us avoid making mistakes.

One example of this was of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli who walked off the pitch during a World Cup 2019 match against Pakistan. He thought his bat had nicked the ball, causing him to get out. In fact, it turned out that he had misread the situation, and that the ball had bounced off his helmet, and not touched his bat at all. This was a mistake Kohli made because of his quick System 1 thinking. Had be employed his System 2 thinking faculties, he would not have walked off the pitch, and his performance in the match would have been different.

Day 2: SOLVE with Harappa Chairperson and Co-founder Pramath Raj Sinha

Pramath helmed this session that focused on the problem-solving process and handy tools for solving problems. The session began by stressing the importance of defining a problem statement before looking for solutions. The tool that stood out the most was the Issue Tree, that Pramath explained through a case study on the shift to online teaching at most universities. This is what the final Issue Tree looked like.

The session also covered frameworks such as Barbara Minto’s MECE principle, Groupthink, and the Quality-Time-Cost Triangle which deal with breaking down problems into clean buckets, understanding the mindset of the group and gauging various parameters that go into finding solutions.

Day 3: COMMUNICATE with storyteller and executive coach Ravishankar Iyer

Ravishankar Iyer took charge of the third session in which he stressed on the importance of storytelling for effective communication. He touched upon the three frameworks of Aristotle’s Appeals, the Minto Pyramid Principle, and the SCQR framework from Joseph Campbell’s theory on the Hero’s Journey.  Simply put, Aristotle’s Appeals focus on the importance of using logic, the credibility of the speaker, and forming an emotional connection with the audience for effective communication. The Minto Pyramid Principle lays down a solid way of structuring information so that the main point is mentioned right at the beginning, followed by points that substantiate the main point. And finally, the SCQR framework stands for Situation-Complication-Question-Resolution, and is another way to structure communication to employ the art of storytelling even in professional communication.

Often, it is thought that communication is a skill that is relevant for someone whose work takes them into the public eye. However, this session and the interaction between Ravi and the audience proved how essential it is to develop this skill for professional success in all fields.

Day 4: COLLABORATE with organizational development consultant Shalini Lal

Shalini addressed one of the most sought after buzzwords in professional development today—teamwork. Through the concept of establishing trust, the paradox of giving, and the Thomas-Kilmann and Bruce Tuckman models, she drew a path to understanding and forming efficient ways of working together in a team for increased organizational productivity. 

Day 5: LEAD with writer and leadership coach Sousan Abadian

Finally, leadership coach Sousan took up the issue of how to lead one’s self. Sousan has had an illustrious career as an academic and writer, and now focuses on managing conflict. Given her background and theoretical interests, she took the audience through the importance of having the right mindset, establishing a vision and aspirations for one’s own self, and using the balcony and dance floor framework to understand the broader picture of a situation. All these together can be used to enable an individual to launch themselves onto their personal and professional leadership journey. 

One example was Mahatma Gandhi who at various points in his life exhibited aspects of self-leadership. Be it his fight against racism in South Africa, his vision of an independent India, or his plan for fighting the British through a non-violent protest, Gandhi first led himself, before he could lead a nation. 

We have many more webinars in store for you. For more information on the upcoming webinars, and Harappa’s other offerings, keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn accounts.

Suha Gangopadhyay is a Specialist in the Curriculum team at Harappa Education. A postgraduate from University of Oxford, she wants to contribute to the growth of education studies in India, and dwells in a world where books are almighty.


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