Article (July-2017)


Need to co-exist and reach out to each other

Oindrila Chakraborty

Designation : -   Director HR

Organization : -  South East Asia & South Asia, Getinge, Mumbai


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"Become friends with people who aren't your age. Hangout with people whose first language isn't the same as yours. Get to know someone who doesn't come from your social class. This is how you see the world. This is how you grow."

When I read this, I resonated. As if someone wrote this for me. I have a habit of easing into any new environment. I owe it to my dad and his nature of job. He held marketing positions in a government holding company, which made him, move his base to various cities in India. I feel very proud to say that I have lived in the North, South, East & West of India in my growing up years. Have friends, who are like family speak different languages & sometimes same language but different dialect, staying all around the nation. I grew up in very cosmopolitan environment learning and respecting every culture. What priorities does a south India born hold close to her and what is dear to a person who lived his entire life in the North. It is so varied and this diversity in my life made me who I am. The diverse culture and I co-existed seamlessly. I am the most comfortable when different situations arise and the need is adaptability. I started exploring work designs that had to deal with cultural sensitivities of human behavior. My understanding and grasping of this subject made me interested in people development aspects and currently I explore the cultural index of the world to integrate them in our learning plans. Knowing what the world has to offer with respect to human behaviors and their conditioning patterns keeps me yearning for more knowing.

Of course, I do not say that I took up human resources as a subject because of what I said above. It is only on hindsight that I want to join the dots.
Thirteen years of pure human behavior related work experience post my MBA, has made me look at different perspectives and that is where I strongly believe the human resources department enables business. In organizations, there is always one agenda and it is about investment in human resources that impact the business & industry. I have been fortunate enough to have crossed paths with those HR leaders & functional leaders who believed in this philosophy. 
Worked in various industries, one stark different from the other - from a broadcast media industry to a specialty chemical space to a medical equipment's & device organization. Does that change anything? No, just gives me a fresh perspective.

I joined the HR world when the shift to HR partnering was the buzz word and was in its absolute infant stage. HR saw itself as the business partner and the 'business' partners didn't really know what to expect from the new partners they suddenly had to work with. But together they smiled and thought, let's make something out of this. The zeal to make that impact is my greatest motivator.

Few years down the HRBP role that I was donning, I get this frantic call from a high potential of the organization. The call was a help cry to fill her performance appraisal form. I stopped there and asked her, really? I still went up to her and asked her the right questions, so that she herself could write what made her performance extra ordinary that year. And, how she would really like to have her review discussions? Did I steer her towards the right direction? May be, yes.

More of such instances that happened during my formative years makes me so grateful today that it happened. I look back at those times, smilingly today and retrospect on those situations. This moved me from there to where I am now. I went on to take a course on coaching. A process that, I thoroughly enjoy and love. I truly believe in that Aha! Moments. I believe that today's VUCA world will benefit a lot from the coaching mindset. Exploring the existing potential in the teams.

Over the years, I have worked as an enabler to the business & have been a part of the entire lifecycle of an employee. Here are some few take-away that I have collected on my way.

1. If you believe in it, give it your genuine shot towards achieving it.

2. There always is a more fun and creative way of finding a solution. And not always, your solution is the right one. It can come your way from anyone. Keep your eyes & ears open.

3. Gratitude took me a long way. Every crisis had learning in it and a big leap of growth personally.

4. There is always a constructive way of adding value to the human resources, all one has to do is. Pause, think and then move ahead.

5. Listening to the other is not that difficult.
6. Don't stop learning and picking up hobbies. There is this childlike excitement which fills you up.

Over these years of exciting journey with business and the impact created by the human resources that I have closely seen. There is a new interesting aspect I have either been a part of or have been in discussion on.

The need is for "Feminine Leadership". No, it is not "women" leadership. Feminine leadership talks about the feminine traits that can exist in both man & a woman.

I have witnessed women in leadership and a process lab around it. The results were mind-blowing. It was such a deep dive for each women sitting there. They were not talking about any glass ceilings, inequality, not at par pay etc. They were aghast at the results which nudged them to look at their need to aware of their own leadership styles & strengths. Their own limitations. Their own need to use (mostly) the masculine traits in corporate world. In turn, quicker burnout as there is always an extra effort and a constant pushing the boundaries in that area.

I have heard, men and women can exhibit the same results and accomplishments and the perception of their effectiveness is different. There exists feminine & masculine (don't read female & male) traits of leaderships and it is important for an organization to have a balance of it.

There is a need to co-exist and we reach out to each other.

About the Author

Currently handling South East Asia & South Asia for Getinge, a leading global medical technology company.