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Topic : Leading and Managing People
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By : Teddy Jacob, Freelance Designer, Teddy Jacob
Activity:  7 comments  418 views  last activity : 07 06 2010 20:18:04 +0000

This question has been bugging me for quite a while. “Why are Indians afraid of change!” most of the time, when change comes knocking they get all defensive. I have worked with corporate, MNC and also with start-up companies and during my years of tenure I have found that majority Indians are very resistive to change. To tell you the truth I don’t see the point in blaming them because it is not only their managers it’s our society and our mindset which has taught them to be that way.

I work in Bangalore, the IT capital of India. That’s about it, it’s just the name! Nothing more! The mannerism, ethics and common workplace manners is some of the things that we as Indians don’t practice. Sure, this article is going to hurt some Indian sentiments but somebody is got to say it. Most of the examples or concepts mentioned here are scripts from friends, personal experiences and please note names and instances have not mentioned intentionally.

MNC Recruiting division doesnt have the courtesy to reply to candidates who have completed the first round of Interviews, that they haven’t been shortlisted. The natural assumption is if you don’t get a call please understand! That you haven’t been selected, No Reasons why, what or where it went wrong for the candidate, there are no instances where he could learn what are his weakness. Therefore he goes on an assumption on varied number of reason. These are not tough tasks for the recruiters especially if the candidate has completed the first interview; a two line explanation is all that is needed. Giving the reasons usually helps a candidate to understand his weakness and help he/she work on it.

 I have also seen instances where if the candidate knew a little more than the person he is interviewing the Interviewer instinctively creates a situation to make the candidates fail. The interviewer had no idea he was doing such things, he was acting from his subconscious mind. I remember my elders saying when they were working, teaching me of the ways of the workplace. They said to me: “Never release your full potential, lest someone close to you learn all your tricks and then one day he would take over your job and you would be thrown out”. Can you believe it! These are the type of advices which most of the parents are telling their kids. My first two years of my tenure, it happened exactly how they predicted. This act gets recorded in the subconscious mind. These are lessons that the society teaching the children’s of today. Making life a competition from the time he steps into schools. The Pressure is ON! What the parents should have done is by teaching him to work on things that are more away from his comfort zone, once he overcomes the first problem, he will have the courage to take more challenges in his life and that is the time when a little competition turns out to be healthy. We have always been taught to win and we have never been taught on how to loose or even how to get up again after we lose.

I have friends who have seen things much worse than what I have narrated here. Society as whole should think of it collectively and not as individual. We can become the best, if we can adapt or copy the leaders or heroes we want to be. This article is not about who to blame! this is about CHANGE, and this is not whole population of India these are about a few some who are out there who dont know that they are doing this. This is about how to face changes and still be the star of the workplace. Some of points mentioned below, might bring out a sense of déjà vu when you read it.

  1. If a candidate has sent you a mail about the progress of position, Please make sure you have the time to respond positively why he didn’t make the  grade and how he can apply later
  2. At the time of the interview, keep the candidate calm and yourself arrogant free. Because one day this role could be reversed and humans have the tendency to most likely remember an insult no matter how long that be.
  3. Keep yourself updated when it comes to work related to your field and always encourage your team to aspire for better career. Not only will you win their respect, but become a true leader.
  4. Always own up if you have made mistake, that brings honour and trust from your superiors – that also doesn’t mean you keep on making mistakes :)
  5. Team Lunches should always be proper and etiquette. Never eat like a Viking for that shows you in bad light.
  6. It is bad manners to interrupt in between when a person is talking to you or to another person that just shows your lack of patience and cutting he/she thought pattern. It’s just Plain Rude
  7. Having Ideas is great! It is even better when you act on them. If someone takes your idea, works on it and shows it has his idea then please applaud that person, because he acted on that idea faster. While you were just sitting on it.
  8. As you climb the ladder in your career, never believe for once that it is over and it is time to rest. Retirement is when you are dead!
  9. If more than two people tell you that you are terrible at something! That means you need pause to take a step back and look at what you are doing. There might be something actually there.
  10. If someone from your team would like to learn something new then teach them with all your heart and don’t make it too complicated for them, trust this effort will only help you in all the ways.

Are there any more points that you would like to collaborate then please state it in your comments?

 Top Comment : Raghvendra Tripathi   | 05 04 2010 13:53:33 +0000
Dear Jacob,its quite right but only indians are not afraid of change its the human tendency so its applicable for all other nation too. WHO MOVED MY CHEESE is one of the book which contribute so much regarding that matter. We all have to understand that "ONLY CHANGE IS THE PERMANENT THING IN THIS WORLD" And we have to accept it in any ways.......
7 comments on "Why are Indians afraid of change!"
  Commented by  Nikhil, Senior Manager, Insurance    | 05 06 2010 08:43:05 +0000
We humans are accusotmed to that are we live in suddenly if you are shifted from your present residence to new residence liek aposh locality you will take time to get accustomed.
Most of the time there is no knowledge of the new area you are venturing into, eg you are given a new job profile you will feel aprrehensive as you will have to deal with a new team , these insecurity makes people avoid change as there are chances you may have to lose some present benefit of today 
  Commented by  Makrand Bhave, Marketing & MICE, WIZCRAFT International    | 05 06 2010 05:40:18 +0000
Rating : +1 
I hink humans particularly are afraid of change, globally. Simplest exampl is that we have three seasons: Summer, Rains and Winter. Everytime we move to summer, we always speak about it as though we have never experienced it!! Its moreor less the same year after year. The change is constant and so is our reaction to it!!

Change ha to be recognised as a parameter in everyones environment. Raghvendra your example of "who moved my cheese?" very apt.I would in fact go ahead and say that "CHAGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT"
  Commented by  Raghvendra Tripathi, Area Executive, ITC Ltd,Bhopal    | 05 05 2010 14:52:38 +0000
thanks alot dear Srinivasa.........for ur appreciation
  Commented by  Ravali, Sub Editor/Reporter, Creative Advertising    | 05 05 2010 12:25:57 +0000
I agree with muralidharan, todays pain is tomorrow's gain......

Indian have set their mind resistant not to change, it does not mean we are afraid but we not willing. But we need to change to grow.... 
  Commented by  S. Muralidharan, Head, Project Planning/Strategy, August Foundation & All India Human Rights Association    | 05 04 2010 17:55:53 +0000
Rating : +2 
Change is resistanble - that is psychology.  Every change has a natural fear - a fear psychosis - attached to it!  The fear could be one of shift from comfort zone to a non-comfort zone, etc.  You can't expect every one to be a philosopher or a far-sighted personality.  "Today's pain is tomorrow's pleasure" is the mantra that should be adopted to effect change.
  Commented by  Srinivasa Varrey, Sr Architect, Peak Technologies    | 05 04 2010 14:58:23 +0000
Rating : +2 
Jacob, You put your thoughts very well but you need to differentiate between leadership skills and management skills. As well your observation does happen all over world and that is human tendency like Ragvendra Tripathi said. That is the reason why we have Change Management professionals who help companies. Companies need to provide change management training for insiders as well as outsiders. 
  Commented by  Raghvendra Tripathi, Area Executive, ITC Ltd,Bhopal    | 05 04 2010 13:53:33 +0000
Rating : +4 
Dear Jacob,its quite right but only indians are not afraid of change its the human tendency so its applicable for all other nation too.

WHO MOVED MY CHEESE is one of the book which contribute so much regarding that matter.


And we have to accept it in any ways.......
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