Leveraging 'People' Power of Sustainability

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Mrs. Preeja Sreedhar

Preeja Sreedhar currently works as a LEADERSHIP COACH at Mu Sigma apart from her stint as an OD Consultant and Behavioural skill trainer. Preeja is a well- known name in the arena of Corporate Training. Her sessions exclusively under the umbrella of SOFT SKILLS are a sought after program in the Bangalore based IT hub.

Training Corporate in the area of BEHAVIORAL SKILLS for the past twenty two years she has been instrumental in conceptualizing and conducting quality programs for the entry level, middle and top level professionals. Preeja has trained more than 20,000 individuals as of now and is still very active in the space of training.

Currently as a capability development Coach with Mu Sigma  she works closely  with Apprentice Leaders with more than five years of experience using coaching models and career anchors thus helping them define their personal reflection and learning agenda, and helping them craft personal vision and a story-board for themselves.

A prolific writer and keen Researcher, Her publication includes several research papers, articles in the area of human resource management, organizational behaviour and communication. She has presented research papers at IIM (K), IIM (L) and IIM (Indore). Preeja has a Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism, Masters in Psychology and also a Post-Graduation in Human Resource Management.

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Order/Chaos & The Evolutionary Change Within Oneself A Self Reflection

Chaotic, confusing, depressive, scary, quarantine, cough, cold virus, pandemic, Corona……the keywords of 2020. Of course, the volatile, uncertain, complex and agile world was witnessed as we remained the mute spectators. Here, as I revisit those harrowing times, my mind construes an analogy or rather a story.

It is the story of rats, they had a gala time as the scavengers moved around relishing and ransacking whatever they could. Never did they worry about anything because food was in plenty, companions, merriment made them incorrigible champions of destruction. They gnawed at everything they could lay hands on. The rats loved to see the desperateness around. There was absolute filth and dirt scattered. Nothing good only rot and rut. Now, the rats were totally in the space of meaningless life so started a plot to attack one another. Thus, started the war of rats. Neither reason nor rhyme was needed to attack one another. They jumped over and bit each other, pulled out the flesh and snapped the tails. Thus killing spree started. The carcass lay there floating and rotting. Until one day, slowly emerged a new creature. He happened to be the aftermath of destruction and rampage created by the rats. And this creature started to grow day-by-day.

The creature started to embrace the rats into its clutches. The rats started to get finicky, tried to escape and jump over. However, nothing could escape the eyes of the creature which had started its horrible mission.  There was ultimate chaos because the death was fast approaching. There started the thread towards destruction of the rat community. Does it sound threatening?? Yes, exactly this is also the plight of mankind if we don’t take enough precautions. Enough of destruction has been created by us. Now it’s the turn of the virus.

The change curve has been too fast, business landscape and client demands have changed over a period of time. The zoom fatigue and the virtual offices are going to stay eternally. The layoff has put off many a kitchen fire. Like rats, we have absconded into our holes. How long is this hibernation?

The world is spinning on an axis of complete unexpected turn of events. To understand the reality and to equip ourselves for the 21st century workplace there is an absolute need to identify a framework and would like to emphasize on it.

Assuming that the world is continuing to have the chaos and confusion in the pipeline, as believers of Positive psychology let us explore the frame work PERMA as an intervention. Martin Seligman, one of the founders of positive psychology developed a five core element of psychological well-being and happiness. Seligman believes that these five elements can help people work towards a life of fulfillment, happiness, and meaning. The world can choose to convert the chaotic environment using this toll to bring a change in individual’s cognitive and emotional perspectives. Let us explore each of these elements-

POSITIVE EMOTIONS: Yes, we do understand that there is crippling challenges in the environment. However, trying to incorporate a task or a goal that builds happiness is the need of the hour. For instance, in the god- given vacation of Covid times one can work on simple things like pursuing a hobby or cooking a meal for the family or giving some charity to the much needed. Such an exercise would pump the oxytocin, the positive hormone thus creating a flow of positivity for oneself.

ENGAGEMENT: The next element is the engagement which is needed for the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals. So, if the uncontrollable environment cannot be changed overnight however, as an individual, we can engage in something fun and new. It could be like a therapy, join a Zumba session or Yoga or anything that can release Endorphins in the body. Live in the moment and engage in a fruitful task.

RELATIONSHIP:  The most important thread of sustenance for all of us, because we are gregarious in nature. Social beings need threshold of connections; it could be friends, family, kith and kin. This situation has driven us into our holes (read as Homes) let’s revive our relationships. Let us take time to rework on all the grouse we had for people at home. Yes, time to break the walls and build bridges.

MEANING: The whole purpose of life is termed here as meaning. In Japanese Philosophy they beautifully refer it as IKIGAI. Can we also find our ikigai during this hour of crisis? The very purpose of our existence, attitude of gratitude for the life and all the blessing that the universe has endowed us with. Send a silent prayer for the food, air and water- it indeed matters.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Oh God, should we count our blessings. Please check out on the goodies and brownie points you have received over the years. Let us be mindful of the goals we have achieved. Also many a goal posts we have reached successfully. The vision, and plan of action is still crystal clear while still trotting on to reach better destination.

As an Individual, this write up is my self –reflection, the compass I chose during the hour of crisis. And I invite the reader in you to just introspect and feel the bliss. Learn to CHOOSE PERMA IN THE CHOAS.