Visualize this scenario.
An official meeting with all the department members was under progress. The head of the department proposed a new initiative, which requires some additional effort from the members. After explaining the details of the initiative, he openly asked, “Who would like to volunteer to drive this initiative?” Even before any individual opted, there was an instant uproar among the team. All the voices unanimously and loudly proposed one name – Mini Menon. They kept repeating the name till she nodded her head and said ‘yes’ to the initiative. Everyone loudly cheered and laughed.
Mini was certainly confused with all that happened. Did they appreciate her? Did they trap her? Did they rag her? Not sure. Incidentally, it is not the first time that Mini experienced this type of reaction from the team. Even in serious meetings, when she makes a point, others treat it like a joke and don’t take her seriously. They always wait for an opportunity to mock her. She didn’t understand why it ends up that way – only with her!
Now, let us take another example.
Half a dozen colleagues were having an informal chat over a cup of coffee in the cafeteria. The topics of discussion ranged widely across office politics to personal affairs and upcoming long weekends. When the discussion was in full flow, Ravindra entered the group and occupied a vacant chair. Instantly, he could feel the drop in decibel levels and the entire team turned formal. The discussions were rapped up in a few minutes and everyone returned to work. Ravindra could sense that his presence made them more conscious. And it is not the first time. Though he took initiative several times, team was not very comfortable with his presence. He wondered why does it happen. What does the team think of him?
While the above two examples may sound negative, there could be other instances where the team’s response is positive with someone’s presence. Or some members are perceived to be soft and are not taken seriously at all.
Whatever might be its nature, do we realize that we create an image among the team members at workplace? What contributes to such image building? Does it happen automatically or is there something that we can do about it? Can we alter the image that is once created? Let us try addressing some of these questions in our coming blog.
Article – “What image are you creating for yourself at workplace?”
Published in HR Mirror, Hans India.
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