Tricked by the Rope

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.

-Bruce Lee

As I stood listening to Jayant Kumar at the session, I realized that it is the same with efforts too. You start a task with the best of intentions, but then somehow you realize you have put in a lot of efforts and time in the initial stage, and now, there is very little time to finish the task with the same élan that you started it. Planning makes a world of difference when it comes to finishing a task that has multiple steps in it.

Whatever was said and done, we had one hell of a session – take it anyway! It was awesome and exciting because it kept us and our thinking capabilities on our toes. It was not a smooth ride for us as we simply couldn’t work ourselves out of the tangle no matter how hard we tried. So yeah! We were tricked by the rope this time.

Jayant is a newbie at work. For Jayant, planning this activity was like a treasure hunt. He searched high and low before he came up with this unique session.

The activity had two parts – one the ‘ropey’ part and the second the ‘balloony’ part. And we had to do both.

Oh! Haven’t I introduced you to Jayant?

Well, to start with he is our UI Developer. He is a movie fanatic, loves to play pool, and go bowling. An introvert, his idea of a long vacation is a trip that can get him to as many places as he can.

The first part of the game is actually a rope trick. A seemingly difficult rope trick with an easy solution. We were divided into team of 2. Two equal lengths of ropes were taken and the ends were looped into knots, which we these 2 people had to pull over their hands in such a way that the ropes were criss-cross to each and our hands were tied up. Now, we had to free our hands without loosening the knot. The second part was a continuation of the 1st part. So once you free your hands you had to run to towards balloons kept on the floor and pick them up without using our hands and then come back to the starting point – the place from where we ran for the balloons.

We tried all the tricks of trade to free our hands but couldn’t.

 Well, if we couldn’t complete the first step, how could we move to the second step to finish the activity?

 Haplessly, we turned to Jayant. He showed us how to undo the knot and free our hands. When he showed it to us, it turned out to be quite simple. All he did was form a loop, and pull out the loop through the “O” formed by the knot on the other person’s hand.

 Viola! We were free.

It was so easy, that we wanted to play the game again. But even with a solution, we couldn’t do it as easily as Jayant showed us. Actually, a few people could, but not all.

As with every game there were loads of learning. Some saw their own situation at work, the inability to continue to the second task, just because they put all their time and efforts on the first one and completely missed the second part of the task. However, the best came from Vivek. Actually, when the rules were read out, someone had suggested the same solution as given by Jayant, but Vivek had pooh-poohed at that time.

 So the first lesson was that when things are going tough, every small suggestion counts irrespective of the source.

The second lesson that complex things have simple solutions simply because, as Vivek pointed out, at work we all do the same things that many others have worked on before – so it not complex or difficult.

 The third is the planning .The entire planning needs to be on dot (especially, for a leader) and that makes a lot of difference in the way you start and finish a task.

I guess this is what we need to apply in our everyday life too. Because there is so much to learn from everyone in the team when we work together. If you lack the sense of planning, or you are not open to  every opinion from your team mates coming in, you might not reach the destination you have desired.

Jayan’s session provided us with not just learning but beautiful and fun-filled memories of why we are a team and not individuals in an organization.

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