How my toothbrush gave me a wonderful management lesson

Learning new methodology/tool/technology is less about learning and is more about unlearning

In Feb 2017 after completing few sessions on “Social Media hiring” and “Future ready recruiter” for my clients, now was the time to actually train my own team. Since the month of Feb-March is usually a month of financial introspection for all of us and clients usually still have not got hold of their Hiring and training budget, we were reasonably free to upskill ourselves.
It all began with the agenda of training. The agenda was to train my Level 1 team of Recruiters with Social Media Hiring tools. It was important for this particular new team to adapt with the changing environment, considering the need for exclusivity from our clients and of course the Darwin’s Principle – Survival of the fittest. The matter was ready, modules were ready, trainer was ready and team was ready. The training was delivered successfully in 3 workshops. After a week, I observed, my team is still stuck with job boards, clicking and spamming and mass emailing. I checked their LinkedIn accounts, Twitter accounts, and various other social accounts. Conclusion: Nothing changed, I failed as a trainer.
To hire through various social media tools, you need to be on social media platforms. The team was very much on Social media platforms but hardly active, despite the fact, that there is no restrictions on any website in our office. In fact, that’s what we did the very first day of the workshop. We did an activity of creating a social profile and understood the importance of staying active and how we can actually synchronize all the platforms and stay active. We also learnt how correct social media engagement can also help in branding and marketing. Why it’s not happening- that was the challenge.
My New Toothbrush:
My Feb month’s visit to Dentist was casual. He suggested to avoid corrosion of enamel, I must start using soft bristled toothbrush very gently in rotational mode on teeth. Who does that right? So I got myself one battery operated toothbrush. One miracle of a toothbrush. The bristles vibrate and rotate softly on their own and all you need to do is to hold it on your gums and teeth. I used it the first time, the feel was good.
The challenge:
Habit is the challenge. I am conditioned to move my hand very fast and almost like a machine inside my mouth. How do I suddenly change it to soft, still, just-place-your-brush-on-teeth motion? It’s not coming naturally. It’s too much of a task to put an effort, while you have to rush to office also. So I tried it for 2 minutes every day, but then, eventually, I ended up brushing with my own manual toothbrush. It went on like this, for almost two weeks. I tried to use only my new advanced soft easy toothbrush, but every time, I ended up brushing with my hardcore manual brush. How can I not use it? That’s the kind of brush I have used since childhood. No? Obviously, my enamel is silently paying the price, along with the price I pay to my dentist visits.
Every day, here I see on my Wash basin closet, “Mr. Advanced Toothbrush” and “Mr. Manual old time toothbrush” are standing tall side by side, together. I pick the advanced one, like every time. I like it, it’s good for me too, but, I keep going to the Mr. Ex Brush. This must end. It can’t work this way. So, I decided one fine moment, “let’s throw away the Manual Old Brush”. I threw it away. That day onwards I never used the manual brush again. Of course it took me some time to get used to the advanced toothbrush but now I am loving it. It saves my time, my energy, my money and my enamel too. So throw that old brush.
“Pull the Plug – Methodology”
I like to call it so. “Pull The Plug” The way I threw my old toothbrush away, same way I pulled the plug of job boards for my team. It scared them. They got irritated too. Why would they adapt to a new tool, when the old tool is around and is still serving the purpose. “Change is human nature but it’s not easy to change human nature”. The first thing they do, when they come to office, is to log in to their job boards. For a month they struggled with positions, struggled with data and struggled with their deadlines, but they learnt, mastered and adapted to a very important change in recruiting environment. Pulling the plug – methodology has helped me and my team to adapt to the change quickly.
We know clearly now, “Learning new methodologies/tool/technology is less about learning and is more about unlearning”. So before you learn new, get ready to unlearn.
Today the plug is back in, but they hardly visit job boards any more. They boast about the passive candidates they talk and not about the cold calls they have made. And me, I love my new toothbrush.
Follow me on twitter for more insights on Recruitment/Hiring – @Shaliniharnot

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