One more 8th March

It’s pure chance that you are born a woman as you played no role in it!  Read it again, please. Yes, it’s a matter of fact and I intend to highlight it to ensure we all should remember this reality when we lead our lives. Let this reality help all of us irrespective of the stage we are in and look at how do we support other women to preserve this perspective while leading their lives.

Preadolescence: (Under 10 years) Yes, the environment all around is disappointing with so many child abuse cases and molestations. Still we need to instil hope in her that there is no dearth of kind people in this world and this life is surely an opportunity.

Adolescence: (Under 14 years) The biological clock has shifted and the open environment around her offers big exposure. Teach her to accept these changes as she will have to manage this for most part of her life! Help her to handle peer pressure and lay the foundation of self-care, be it nutrition, health and general choices she makes.

Young Adult: (Under 20 years) The new generations are blessed with intelligence, and we need to show her the value of emotional intelligence (EI). Boyfriends would be a common feature of life, just like growing up is. Talk to her about handling relationships as an equal and the importance of not taking advantage of being a girl – not only pay the bills when she goes out but also be sensitive to boy’s feelings.

Adult: (Under 25 years) From here on she makes her own decisions and we address her directly. As a career woman, if you choose to be, assert yourself and work for your success, and avoid playing the card of being a woman. Let the men not be afraid of being around you. Also, it’s your choice to smoke, drink, or be a teetotaller, don’t fall prey to the equality myth.

Mature Adult: (Under 30 years) You decide your preference for getting married or having a live-in, or motherhood. But make those choices wisely, nature has its own biological clock, and you should be aware of the consequences and have the courage to face them when required.

Mature Adult Part 2: (Under 50 years) All fronts in your life are open and challenging, career in demanding phase, expectations of relations, kids are in a critical phase and you try to be a super woman -10 on 10 on all roles. Don’t., Take it easy. Its ok to excel in some and barely pass in some areas!

Mature Adult Part 3: (Under 80 years) Empty nest where kids are busy in their own world, new dimensions of life and career for you and it’s the start of second innings, take out that wish list you always wanted to pursue and go for it to avoid cynicism!

Some Musts to remember:  Inculcate the Habit of doing your personal audit and have the courage to bring that desired change.

  • Irrespective of the stage, responsibility of your health and fitness is only yours.
  • Know how to be happy and comfortable, it means even when you feel low or down, you should figure out how to manage yourself.
  • Keep on investing in friends, they help you in all phases.
  • Help other women and men also.
  • At any age, looking good and beautiful is optional not mandatory.
  • And finally, be friends with men as there will never be a world only for women, so learn to coexist.

On second thought, are these points are not meant for men? They are equally relevant for them as well!

So, let’s create a world of humanists and not just feminists.

Happy Women’s Day!

– Dr. Supriya Dhongde

Age stages of a woman

Age categories of women. Childhood, adolescence, adolescence, maturity and old age. The aging process. Vector illustration


Last 100 Rs..

The app in my mobile was showing no cab for last 10 minutes and as a last resort, I reluctantly stopped a rick to go home. Reluctant, as I was aware of the fact that I have last 100 Rs. in my wallet and fare would be more than 100. I sat in a rick and opened my cards ‘bhaiya, I have Rs.100 and you can drop me, when meter shows 100 or give me change of Rs.2000.

Either my honesty or his belief (whatever is greater) the driver said “Madam, it’s ok, even if you don’t pay me. Aapko pata hai, ye sab hamare bhale ke liye hi ho raha hai, bas thode dino ki taklif hai!!”

Was surprised to hear his positivity and the readiness to sacrifice his hard earned money for a change unexplained to many! As expected the consultant in me started analyzing his behaviour.

It is a classic example of VUCA world; an acronym stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, commonly used to describe business scenarios! Till 8th November midnight our prized possessions of five hundreds and thousands were suddenly of no use and more over it brought varied apprehensions and speculations around us.

In all this chaos how this behaviour of rick driver can be explained who showed unflinching faith and conviction to extend his unconditional support! For sure this driver doesn’t even know the term Demonetization nor heard Arnab’s show to hear different perspectives! Never met the man behind this decision but experienced his intentions by his actions.

Don’t organisations face VUCA day in and day out? Change in leadership (From one nationality to another), decisions to withdraw pillar brands or products, stringent guidelines, delayed projects and much more beyond our imagination.

To sail through such tough times, organisations need capable and competent leaders who can create credibility through their actions and can influence larger audience to accept change. So can we train leaders to enhance their influencing skills and thus generate trust amongst people to believe light at the end of the tunnel?

I agree that long queues outside ATMs and banks are considerably reduced and very soon it will be a forgotten matter!

Let’s learn from this that any change takes time and keeping patience is still not out of fashion!

Dr. Supriya Dhongde (


Alignment in Leadership for Successful Change Management

Yesterday I was waiting at the traffic signal where  I saw a mother, her son and daughter next to me on a two wheeler.

Red light turned into yellow and mother started driving. Immediately the son said “No mom, you cannot start driving until you see the yellow light turned into green. The small daughter who was standing in front laughed at her brother and said “Bhaiya doesn’t know. Mumma always starts driving when there is yellow light.” “But dad always tells me that you should not do that untill it is green!” Son sounded little confused about what is right and what is not right.

This small conversation between children made me think that how will these children be able to cultivate correct and homogeneous attitude towards any aspect of life when their parents are not aligned and they train children differently!

Today organizations are also facing a similar situation.

Change management is a continual swing movement currently across the industries. The question which is critical for all the organizations is, “ Are our leaders prepared to collaborate to act and operationalize the requirements for change to avoid business disruption and make the change process successful?

For many organizations, preparedness begins at the top which means that the leadership across all levels must have an absolute clarity of purpose and focus; and should include alignment of strategic philosophy in line with resolution goals.

Many organizations unknowingly fail to build this momentum for change management as they fail to adapt, manage and drive the change fast and allow the marketplace and competitors to walk past them. Success of change management is dependent on how leaders who drive the change are aligned with each other during the process from start till end.

If any organization fails in successfully driving change, one of the main reasons is lack of alignment in leadership which leads to failure in institutionalizing change across the organization.

Following parameters would help determine the alignment amongst leaders who are change drivers:

  1. Clear Vision : Leaders must develop common understanding about the picture of outcome of change process. They must begin driving the change with the end result in mind and the clarity about result should be the same for everyone at leadership level.
  2. Formulations of Success Criteria : Leaders must have common understanding about what will determine the success of change management in our organization. These criterias should be aligned with the organizational goal.
  3. Strategy alignment : The strategy to drive change should be designed by inviting everyone’s views but at the same time should be finalized with consensus
  4. Clear Roles : Leaders must have clarity about their roles in driving change. The same clarity of their roles should be known by all the employees across organization.
  5. Systematic and regular Monitoring: A monitoring system must be in place which would help all leaders to understand impact of the strategy implementation by all leaders. Any gap should be considered as an alert and the strategy should be revisited.

-Nikita Shah (


My Journey with Mr. Ratan Tata

Dear Friends,

This is my first blog.

Thanks to my association with various professional and not-for-profit organizations, I get opportunities to interact with many luminaries. I normally do not write or publish about those opportunities.

However, today when I received several birthday wishes, I got overwhelmed. Struck by their love & affection, I thought of sharing my most important wealth – treasure of learning from those opportunities.

The most recent opportunity was to be with Mr. Ratan Tata for 8 full hours on 1st December 2015 when he visited Vadodara to receive Sayaji Ratna Award. While his answers and speeches are available in public domain, I had all those personal conversations with him in the car while moving from one event to another. Since, it is very fresh – just 2 days old, I thought of this maiden attempt of sharing my learning with all of you.

I am not sure – how much it would help you all. But, it has started helping me…



It was 1.32 in the afternoon. I was with my 13 years old son Naman and still 7 minutes away from airport. I got call from Mr. Tata’s assistant Mr. Srini. Wondering how his call at this time, because by last message they would have still been airborne. Srini called and said: “Mr. Parikh, we have landed”. I got tense and to some extent worried of giving wrong first impression to Mr. Tata. Hurriedly, we entered in VIP lounge at Vadodara airport with very apologetic look. I introduced and before I could say anything – Mr. Tata said: “Mr. Parikh, we are sorry. We landed quite early.” I had heard a lot about his humility. I started experiencing that from the very first interaction.

When we were in last lag of car journey from Lukshmi Vilas Palace (LVP) to airport, he told me – “Mr. Parikh, I hope I did not let you down.” Oh gosh… I wanted a moment to cry… I wanted a moment to share with others… I wanted a moment for myself….Had it not been a car, I would have fallen on the floor…. After spending full 8 hours with close to 2000+ people, acceding all our requests of meeting young and old people from all walks of life – here is a legend who still asks me about my satisfaction. He made me BIG in just one statement…. I realized the power of humility.



When you are in company of great people, your behavior also changes. I realized that. My impatience and restlessness was visible and at its peak – while walking, taking bouquet from BMA CEO outside airport, getting formal photographs, moving in the hotel, etc… As the day passed by and I saw him and experienced his talks on the way, I started calming down. When I saw him allowing everyone for picture even while he was leaving outside the airport, I realized would he ever be getting irritated or angry?

In fact, when I apologized to him for photo-op grabbers, he said: “No, Mr. Parikh. All of them have cameras nowadays. So, everyone wants to capture memories.”


Attention to Details:

“So, you like Aston Martin?” Mr. Tata asked my son at the airport. He took both of us by surprise. We were wondering as to how he knows. We did not have to wait for 2 seconds. He clarified showing emblem of Aston Martin Racing on my son’s T-shirt. Now that is called observation…

Outside auditorium after award ceremony, one person could break the cordon trying to handover an envelope containing some representation. I took that envelope, thinking it was of no use. On the way to LVP from Taj Gateway, he said: “there was someone who handed over representation, I will reply to it”. In fact, every individual who met him (and there were close to 300+ people who met him individually) shared something – probably in India, everyone is able to connect with TATA group so easily – and he paid full attention to each one of them. Everyone was satisfied. CEO of one company said – “I became emotional after meeting him. I was with TATA Motors for 12 years and probably he could recall me.”



I always thought it is difficult for one to show genuineness with everyone. I always thought that, pretention is often used in place of genuineness. I always thought you do not need to show genuineness in all situations. I always thought, people will take you in wrong direction due to your genuineness. No, I am wrong. Genuineness could be virtue and not just play stick. Look at all these interactions:

Although he is no longer holding any official position for TATA business, he attributed award to all employees of TATA group. There was a thunderous applause in the hall.

While spending exclusive 10 minutes time with my family – my wife and my son, he took keen interest in Shilpa’s not-for-profit work on LEAAD and asked some very interesting questions about assessment tools. When, Naman was asking that he gets lot of ideas and he wants to create something, he gave his business card immediately and told him to mail his ideas. Naman was speechless. He always had a different impression of highly successful leaders.

During his interactions spared over 4 programs packed in one day, several quotes were used by many…. On the way he said: “None of those quotes shared by people today belong to me. But, I do not blame them. They must have seen on multiple internet sites and hence they must have quoted. What is important is I get opportunity to derive some useful messages from those quotes”.



“You do not get entrepreneurship education in the classroom. If you are running business, enterprise management or relationship management or ethics management are the key elements. You get them only by experience or by meeting right kind of people.”  I realized how important it is for me to reflect after each such experience of meeting right people and derive learning.

While having conversation about business, he said: “Mr. Parikh, you need to do business which could positively impact community around you and not just create wealth.”

Hesitantly, I asked his permission for allowing young boy who has just started his start-up to be in our car. He said: Of course, yes. For Rahil, it was the momentous occasion, as next 10 minutes Mr. Tata asked him several questions, which were enough for him to get directions. I could see his love to nurture entrepreneurship in our country.


Hundreds of people congratulated BMA and all of us. In fact, while I am writing this blog today on my birthday, congratulatory messages are still pouring in. I realized the love and affection people have about this great legend of our times – this great young man – this great matured statesman and above all this great human being.


 – Samir Parikh (

“Bullet Points”

Rock climbing

  • Venue: Mount Abu, India
  • Event: Outbound Leadership Training
  • Activity: Rock Climbing and Rappelling
  • Height: 40 Feet Granite Slab
  • Target Achieved: Yes

After reading these bullet points I am sure we all can understand the story and its outcome, life would have been very boring and dull if we will use bullets to describe the events! Because lots worth sharing happens between those bullet points.

I was with group of high pots on an outbound training and was responsible to observe my team of 6 people. My task was to note their behaviour for two competencies decided to cover- Decision making and result delivery.

As we say that any training program is an opportunity to grow and evolve even if you are a trainer and not a participant! And that’s what happened: I ended up this outbound with lot of insights for myself!

On the day of rock climbing there were two rocks named A (Easy) and B (Difficult) and team was asked to decide A or B as their individual goal and it was noted by the behaviour facilitator. Next level was to decide as a team A or B as it has scoring attached to it. You score if you achieve your target and you lose if you fail. My team decided all B and achieved it so it was full score.

I was comfortably sitting on the side rock and was recording my observations with some kind of expert look on my face!

Out of curiosity one participant asked me “have you done this before?” and I said “not recently but I know how it is”.

Suddenly something triggered inside me and I said to the activity expert that I want to climb and want to climb the difficult rock B.

All set with my harness and helmet in place I was ready. Activity expert looked at me and said “I know you will do it as I know you have tough heart and good smile (he knew me just a day before as we travelled together!)” I wanted to believe him as wanted that confidence to climb on that granite hard rock.

Somewhere in the middle when difficulty level increased I started losing my confidence, dropped my shoe and also lost my grip. Told my belay that I want to come down and I gave up.

Thousands of thoughts or feelings (I don’t know!) rushed in my mind: who asked you to select B? You think you are Bond! Etc…

Then I heard the voice of activity expert who was shouting: “No she can’t come down and she has to go on top” Don’t know what was the magic of this statement and I pulled myself with all my strength and I was there waving my hand at 40 feet height!!

This incident made an impact on me and some of the insights it brought to me about decision making and result delivery:

  • You need trigger to do something out of your comfort zone
  • You need coach and her belief in echoing the statement “I can do it”
  • You still fail and you again need that extra push to achieve that result you set for yourself

But finally you are the starting point and you have to start, then people are ready to guide you and help you!

– Ms. Supriya Dhongde (Head, Leadership Interventions)

To know more, please contact

The Mini Me Syndrome & Other Bias – How They Play a Role in Your Decisions?

Stop Bias Logo; Full color; Vertical strap line.   Minimum print size 3.25" x 2.5" Do not  ungroup.

We all think that we are fair and objective. But the truth is we are governed by our biases and we as humans are inherently biased. The only difference is some people are biased consciously whereas some are subconsciously biased.

There is an unconscious instinct for us all to favour those who remind us of ourselves. This phenomenon is known as “MINI ME Syndrome”.  Many a times it is seen that the manager or the recruiter during the recruitment process selects and hires an employee who are similar to themselves. But, in the corporate world would this inclination of leaders to recruit mini – me’s going to help the organization?  The answer is “NO”.

Let’s see some other Bias that could hinder selecting the right candidate during the selection process:

  1. Status Bias: We treat and behave with some people differently based on how “important” we perceive the status to be. Eg: The tag Dr., Vice President of a company or the mere fact that Mr. X is the child of some well renowned person would change your attitude towards them.
  2. Perception Bias: We categorize certain people and label them. Eg: People who are good at communication are good public speakers or people who are thin are energetic.
  3. Beauty Bias: We get smitten by the people who are attractive and hire them only cause of their beauty and not because of the skills or qualities they possess. Eg: Selecting a candidate over another for a role of the receptionist on the basis of their attractiveness only with the intention that they would be “eye candy” for the clients (It does happen!)
  4. Anchoring Effect: We would have only certain parameters which would act as an anchor and would scale the person only around those parameters set by us regardless of what the other parameters are.
  5. Gamblers fallacy: We tend to put enormous amount of weight on the previous event and conclude that somehow they would influence future outcomes. Eg: Mr X behaved in a certain way 5 times so Mr Y would behave in the same fashion.
  6. Conformity Bias: We would often interpret information in a way that only supports our existing beliefs, and only remembering details that uphold these beliefs. Eg: If one supports a particular political party not only would one seek information that supports their beliefs, they will also interpret stories in a way that upholds their existing ideas.

The impact of Bias apart from Recruitment and hiring at workplace is seen during:

  1. Promotion and sponsorship of talent, and succession planning.
  2. Performance evaluations.
  3. Team and project assignments, including opportunities to build relationships across the organization and/or with clients.

How to deal with such Biases?

1. Be aware: Bias awareness and acceptance helps you challenge and change your attitude.

2. Analyze: Analyze the impact of the conscious of unconscious bias would have on the organization.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I have the tendency to hire the people who have same personality type?
  • When I feel the candidate is not the right fit, what do I mean?
  • Which of my past hires were successful, and what can I learn from those choices?
  • Who do I like to assign the work on all projects?
  • Do I keep on giving importance and work to only one person?
  • Do I have the same go to person most of the time?
  • Do I give equal responsibility to people?
  • Am I taking only one person to important clients and meetings?
  • Do I give chance to only one person to lead or speak in meetings?
  • Am I taking only some people’s views into consideration even though the other person had valid data?
  • Am I creating equal opportunities for everyone to demonstrate their capabilities in front of the team or client?
  • How do I identify candidates for promotion? Is it performance based?

3. Ask others: Ask other people if they thought your decisions/ behavior were biased

4. Take Actions: Come up with an action plan that suits you to manage the biases. Ask yourself every time if your behavior was objective. Evaluate yourself daily.

5. Encourage others: Encourage others to be honest about their biases

We can’t help others with their bias; we can only help our own. Try to evolve and reduce your bias by challenging your thoughts so that they become more objective in nature. We all like people who are like us. But hiring MINI ME’s would probably work in your defense but not work in the organizations defense.  Choose a candidate based on established clearly-defined, measurable criteria apart from the parameters set aside to see if the candidate is the best cultural fit keep in mind that no one is perfect (desire of perfection is something that we create). Choose a candidate who can Think differently and Learn differently.

– Ms. Archana Murthy

To know more, please contact

Driven By Intrinsic Motivation – A Key For Being An Engaged Employee

Engaging employees at various levels has been a great need of any organization. Organizations invest huge resources to carry out employee engagement surveys or employee opinion surveys to assess employee engagement and motivation levels. Organizations exert lot of efforts to work on enhancing employees’ enthusiasm by thriving to improve various organizational drivers. All these efforts led to some positive shift in employees’ perception regarding organizational drivers and enablers.

This is like a double edged sword. On one side it can create some positive impact towards employees’ engagement and motivation. On the other side it leads towards increasing employees expectations. Over the years these expectations keep increasing which at times might be difficult to meet. After all the efforts the organizations make, there still are employees who may not be enthused or driven.

There are some organizations who share these concerns for their employees at various levels. Recently while interacting with few heads of the organizations, they shared similar concern with me i.e. the organization is doing sufficient (as seen by organization) yet the employees are not motivated or engaged and retention is a challenge.

This brings us to think about the core of it i.e. inspiring and driving individuals/ employees.

Based on theoretical framework, there are various engagement models that have been developed over a period of time to address this aspect.

As I see, what the organizations are working on is influencing individuals through external motivators in form of various organizational drivers and initiatives like; talent management and career advancement, learning and development, open and transparent communication, quality of leadership, recognition for achievement, facilitative work environment and HR practices, freedom & autonomy, healthy workplace relationship, managing workload, role clarity, fairness of rewards, competitive pay and benefits, performance feedback, work life balance, work security, etc.

Though these extrinsic factors are important, it may not always be the one which can instill zeal and passion among individuals.

So what can stimulate motivation within individual?

Looking at some of my personal experiences and my observations about individuals that I have directly/ indirectly worked with indicates that it is the intrinsic motivation that drives the person.

Intrinsic motivation is the internal desire, urge or the internal guiding force that moves the person. It creates zeal and passion to exert that extra effort or go an extra mile to achieve ones goals and purposes.

Intrinsic motivation comes from the awareness of self – what one values, believes in, lives for or pays most attention to – be it in personal or professional life and living upto it. This acts as a guiding principle for various decisions, actions, priorities or choices one makes in life. Often living by these values, beliefs and purpose helps individual to remain committed and engaged at work or in personal life; besides guiding the person when dealing with dilemma or conflicting situations.

How to stir the intrinsic motivation?

So who should work towards driving internal motivation of the person? Well, it is in interest of both – the individual himself and the organization that one be intrinsically motivated. Hence both the individual and the organization (with help of mentors and leaders) may initiate the process of driving intrinsic motivation of the individual.

Inorder to be driven intrinsically, an individual himself or a mentor and a leader can facilitate an individual by helping one to reflect and act on following aspects;

  1. Being aware of self and identifying one’s values and purpose:

There is a quest that one has to find answer to ‘Who am I’. This may look like a spiritual aspect however, at the core every one of us seeks for this answer. Who am I may cover various aspects like ones’ personality, strengths and limitations, values (e.g. make a difference, responsibility, commitment, speed, accuracy, freedom, excellence, fairness), purpose, etc. In this, our values guide our actions and decisions. They are like our mental compass which provides us the direction, helps us to plan for and move towards our goals be it personal or professional life.

The values and purpose also aid us in dealing with dilemma at different points in time and go beyond to meet the need of those values. In our everyday life, this element gets diluted at times as we tend to focus on accomplishing regular tasks (which are important though) without remaining aware about our core.

An individual himself or a mentor and a leader can help the individual to explore and answer following;

  • How do I describe myself? What kind of person am I? What are my strengths or limitations?
  • What do I value in life? Which values I strive to live for most of the time? Which values I may not/ do not compromise with, irrespective of situations?
  • What do I want to live for? What purpose drives me?
  1. Finding opportunities and ways to honour values and purpose:

Conscious awareness about oneself, especially about ones’ purpose and drive, makes the actions more meaningful and enjoyable. This evokes passion and zeal to achieve more meaningful outcome. It is thus useful and needed that one finds opportunities and approaches to honour ones’ values.

An individual who is self-driven actively seeks for situations and ways to use the values and live for the purpose. To drive individuals, mentors and leaders can help them by providing assignments and task that relate with ones values. Besides, they can as well help individuals to leverage on their strengths and values in their existing tasks and responsibilities.

Many times individuals look for such opportunities outside their current job. However, all this can be done in one’s existing tasks, assignments and job.

Reflecting on following questions may help move closer to values and purpose;

  • Which actions of mine would help me move closer to my purpose and goal?
  • What do I do to honour/ live by my values and purpose in my current job or conditions?
  • What do I do to live by my purpose and values in my day to day work?
  • How do I fulfill my current tasks, assignments or job by leveraging my strengths and values?
  1. Taking actions to live by values and purpose:

Just thinking or planning does not get desired outcome. One needs to exert sustained effort to live upto the purpose and the values. A well planned approach supported with action is what is required for achieving goals that are in line with ones’ purpose and values. The internal driving force to keep moving closer to the goal and the continuous and, steady focus is what tends to inspire the individual to keep going.

The individual should in this case keep taking actions in the planned direction and intermittently review/ monitor oneself against the plan. A mentor or a leader should be observant about individuals’ actions and help review actions if required. It would be helpful to reflect on following questions to see if one is moving in desired direction;

  • How much effort am I exerting to meet the goal related to my values and purpose?
  • Am I moving in the direction of what I had planned to honour my values and purpose?
  • Are my actions in line with my values and purpose?
  1. Reviewing manifestations and outcome of actions:

To see the value of ones’ actions, it is essential that one reviews the outcome and manifestations of the same. This would help to see if the actions are yielding the fruits that one wanted to accomplish. When actions are in line with the desired outcome, it further triggers motivation to work towards those aspects.

An individual and a mentor or a leader may help the individual to review outcome based on actions taken using following questions;

  • What has it lead to when I have lived by my values, goals and purpose?
  • What would it mean to move away from my purpose and what would it do to me?

To share a personal experience, ‘Make a Difference’ is one of my top 10 values. This one value has aided me in selection of a career I am in, make specific career transitions and remain engaged in it, deal with dilemma at different points in time and go beyond to meet the need of this value. This has resulted in immense satisfaction and joy of the work I do.

Awareness, insight and actions based on these reflections and actions help an individual to be more intrinsically driven. It is thought that living by values and purpose is difficult and is an ideal situation which is difficult to achieve. Well, it may be difficult but not impossible. Besides, if it leads to more internal satisfaction and joy, it is worth working in this direction.

Happy reflection!

– Ms. Uravi Raichandani (Head, Assessment & Coaching)

To know more, please contact

Gender Equality – Dare to be Fair

Men shouldntMy colleague was on the driving seat and he was struggling as it was his wife’s car. Finally when he tried to park he took a good ten minutes and came out huffing and puffing.

When I checked with him he said ‘I should park like a man or what you will think about me!’ I was surprised to hear his answer that as man he is expected to park the car perfectly. It got me thinking: do we ever think about pressures men undergo or about those stereo-type behaviors expected from men.

Provoked, I decided to check from the horse’s mouth. I asked my twitter (men) friends – “To park a car perfectly; is it one of the expectations?!” “What all such pressures/expectations do you feel on yourself as men?”

Prashant tweeted: “The list runs long, can’t envelope using 140 characters!” And he is ‘in minority at home as he lives with his two daughters and one wife!’

Rahul tweeted:  “Take offence & be ready to fight because it’s macho even if it’s senseless and not cry even when we want to”

Another witty tweet was from Brillian “Eat what has been cooked even if you don’t like the item!!”

It goes deeper, as our conditioning plays an important role here and men are expected to many things, not expected from women:

Pressure to earn: quite early in life, boys are expected to choose a career which will enable them to be the primary earner in their families. We women have a choice to take some time off while men are usually expected to earn all their life, and yes decent earning is the underline expectation.

Pressure to look masculine: There are certain musts for men when it comes to looks; they can’t afford to look delicate and many a times they are ridiculed for it during their teens or late adult hood (growth of moustache and beard)

Pressure to be tough: We criticize the famous statement: “don’t cry like girls” by interpreting it that it projects women as the weaker sex but actually it brings a lot of pressure on boys ‘To be tough” all the time. When Kapil Dev cried on national television he made life a little easy for men and also reduced their chances of heart attacks! Researches have proved that men are more susceptible to heart attacks due to fewer chances to express their emotions.

Pressure to be Fearless: asked about fears and a woman can comfortably produce a long list of insects she is afraid of! Men are expected to not only kill those ugly insects but are not allowed to have any other fears.

Pressure to indulge in outdoor games: They are expected to go out and play rough and tough games and anything less is a challenge for their manhood.

Pressure to have money: during courtship, majority of girls expect their boyfriends to pay the bill.

Pressure to perform in bed: Nature is not so fair with men over here; they can’t fake it like women! It is a big anxiety for majority of men.

In a recent ‘relationship’ special issue of Femina magazine a couple of interviews ‘when he works for her’ are worth reading: famous Sunny Leone’s hubby Daniel Weber, Kunal Khemu, husband of Soha Ali Khan and famous cricketer Venkatesh Prasad to name a few. Some ordinary men but extraordinary partners also shared their story, one husband decided to take his wife’s surname in order to change the stereo-types, another sits comfortably when his wife takes the driving seat as he says ‘my wife is the best driver, in fact better than my male friends.’

Lot has been written about pressures women face, this was a small efforts to look at the other gender and give ‘hu’ to ‘man’! And treat them as humans, first.

At the end of the day we are striving to create gender equality in this beautiful world!!

Ms. Supriya Dhongde (Head, Leadership Interventions)

To know more, please contact

Manifestations of CONNECTEDNESS Talent Theme

Today I had visited one my key client and 4 of us started discussing our work life with each other. During discussion, all of them gave me one feedback that ‘You are crazy and too much into your work.  We receive your mails at 3am, or sometimes 6am…. How do you do that? From where do you get the motivation?’

I always receive similar feedback from most of the people I have worked closely with, be it family, work or my friends. Every time I receive this feedback, I feel good, very energetic and top of it feel very motivated & responsible to do more work. In fact, at times, I get so exhausted at the end of the day, still I push myself to do work at odd hours and the satisfaction I get from this is out of the world.

I am still smiling after doing 14-16 hours of work and just 3-4 hours of sleep and 3 hours of household chores. I am still ready for the next day of work with same enthusiasm and zeal. People at home are worried that I am not taking enough care of my health, but I ignore them and tell them that I am fine. Though at hind sight I know that I am not feeling good, want to sleep and just rest at one place. Still the one in me wants to do more and do not want to leave any opportunity to do good quality work – be it at family or work.

The question that I would always ask myself is – WHY I DO THIS? WHAT I GET OUT OF IT?

The answer to this is – I get immense satisfaction and I feel that I am growing more responsible as a person. I feel I am part of this society, I am part of the family, I am part of the organization – there is a strong reason for me being part of all these communities. There is a purpose behind it and I need to serve the purpose by doing whatever I can do to the best of my abilities.

I can go to any extent to serve the purpose…but the PURPOSE has to be there for me to do things, I need to see the ROLE I and others are playing.

People always feel that I am a highly responsible and accountable person, which I am, no doubt about it however not to the extent that they believe. The responsibility is not actually responsibility in itself, it is more of that purpose fulfilment that gets me going and I do things truly, madly and deeply.

But where does this energy come from and what I play onto? I actually play on to my Strength of CONNECTEDNESS…

individuals talented in connectedness believe that things happen for reason and everything is connected in some larger space. They are sensitive to the world around and things related to it. They are inspired by the belief that they are not alone in the world and understand the responsibility to the world and future generations of human kind.

Whatever I do I need to see that clear picture and feel strong desire that how am I contributing to the larger picture and how am I representing the things around me. Those things that I am attending to are appropriate in nature. That’s the strength of Connectedness…..

The flip side is that I just get into thinking mode too much and sometimes become unable to articulate to others what I am seeing in totality. However having gained knowledge on StrengthsFinder® 2.0 Talent Theme and with much reading on Connectedness, I started connecting dots of my life’s past events in terms of the way I do things, communicate with others, build relation with others etc.

I brought my talent theme of Connectedness to consciousness and started making investments into the talent theme to make it my Strength. The investment I made were in terms of –

  1. Gaining knowledge on Talent Theme – Connectedness. Its meaning and features.
  2. Realizing its manifestation in different aspects of my life.
  3. Exploring what Connectedness means to me…
  4. Getting the theme in to consciousness i.e. being conscious of the fact that I am playing out of my connectedness talent theme – the How part of the theme.
  5. Recognizing my needs of being clear of ‘WHY’ am I doing things? Searching the purpose for doing things.
  6. Learnt the art of questioning to seek clarification from others– WHY and at the same time giving answers to others questions, if there are any.
  7. Discussing with other individuals who share the same theme and also more about their behavior, feelings etc.
  8. Taking the feedback from others as to – how do they see me playing out of Connectedness talent theme?
  9. Being calmer and sincere in my work and trying to see things from bigger picture.

– Ms. Shruti Nayak (Head, Strengths Based Development Programs)

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