On the Way - Stop for a fill and a leak!We drove to Hyderabad during this Dushera vacation. During this drive with the kids, I learnt the power of distraction. I learnt how distraction can be used successfully, in relationships, at work, between countries negotiating nuclear treaties…just any situation… to emerge unscathed and successful.

Distraction Ploy 1 : Look, see that… point to a gigantic, ludicrous object which cannot be true…’

This technique can be used when the kids have just begun one of their arguments which normally lead to a fist-fight. You point outside the car and say ‘Look, see that huge orange dinosaur riding a bicycle’ or ‘Look, see that truck is perched on a camel’ or ‘Look, see Mayawati..’

This distraction causes the kids to stop in their tracks, search outside, and even if they do not spot the above-mentioned scenario, claim they did. For instance, there is no Mayawati, but they claim they saw her in the wandering herd near the waterhole. The argument is forgotten.

Application Example

Boss : ‘Where is the work I gave you…?’

You : ‘Boss, remember that call I was on last week. Apparently, there seems to be something big on the cards…’

Boss : ‘Really, tell me more…” (earlier query forgotten, begins to believe there is really something big in the offing).

Distraction Ploy 2 : ‘Assign a long-winding and meaningless task which has unusable results..’

This technique works when they are bored and tired and have started whining. Give them a long task which produces no useful results, but keeps them engaged.

‘Tell us the names of all characters in all those silly TV shows you watch..’

‘Kiteretsu, Perman, Doremon, Bhoota Gorilla, Rakhi Sawant…

Application Example

Peace Talks with certain neighbouring countries

Distraction Ploy 3 : Use them to entertain you

We gave Nikki and Prithvi the task to create a puppet show with the 2 ‘alien monsters toys’ they had got in with their happy meal.

They huddle in the last seat of the car, and plan in whispers for the act. Here is how it unfolds:-

Puppeteer 1 (in an affected, badly-disguised voice) . . . ‘Hello, my friend, I am Bob. What is your name?’

Puppeteer 2 (tentatively) : ‘Bob…’

Show cancelled. Emergency huddle happens…’You have to say your name is Rob…I just told you…stupid….’

Show resumes.

Puppeteer 1 (in an affected, badly-disguised voice) . . . ‘Hello, my friend, I am Bob. What is your name?’

Puppeteer 2 (evidently no improvement) : ‘Bob…’

Puppeteer 1 (great mid-course correction) . . . ‘Oh Bob, actually, my name is Nob and I have only one eye. I cannot read what is written on this

Puppeteer 2 (excited, recognizing his favourite candy and snatching it) : ‘Candyman!!!’

Puppeteer 1 : ‘You are so smart Bob! Let’s party’

Rendition of ‘Tan Tanda ….’ by the puppeteers as the 2 monsters dance. Exuent Bob and Bob/Nob.

Application Example

Six Sigma Projects