|Me in a training session|
This is one of the winning post for #IAmCapable at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals : http://blog.blogadda.com/2016/04/02/winner-announcement-i-am-capable-breaking-stereotypesThank u BlogAdda !!!
We as human
beings form opinions about others in probably 30 seconds of meeting them. And researchers
say that these opinions or as we call it, first impressions are formed
basically on the appearance. But the point which I want to talk here is that we
should judge our own judgments about an individual. Just forming opinions,
without any communication, simply on the basis of physical appearance, looks,
or even the dressing sense other than ours can be disastrous and wrong at
times. Having said this, I agree that, we shall definitely take care of our
personal grooming. How we carry ourselves is very important. What we wear, how
we wear, and our appearance everything is very important. It is indeed great to
be updated about the fashion trends, but one must choose the attire as per one’s
comfort and also on the basis of what suits.
has happened many times during different phases of life that I have been judged
on the basis of my looks, appearance and my attire. One such incident I remember
which happened a decade back i.e. in 2006. It was in 2003 that I started my entrepreneurial
journey as a corporate trainer. Being a Keralite, I was always fond of sarees.
So, whenever I went for a training programme, sarees became my formal attire. And
I must admit that wearing sarees enhanced my confidence. So, it was like any
other day of a training programme. I had to speak on personal and professional
excellence in an IT-enabled service organization. I chose one of my good bright
cotton saree. As always, when I looked into the mirror, I felt confident in
saree and got all set to conduct the session.
association with this organization. I reached 45 minutes prior to the programme
and after reaching the training hall at the client site, I ensured to fix my
laptop, projector etc. And slowly participants started coming. This
organization had a casual attire culture and being a Friday specially, young
professionals were dressed up in more casual bright colours. Being fond of
colours, I was thoroughly enjoying young bright energy around me. Slowly the
training hall was occupied with participants. Out of 25 participants, 20 of
them were boys.
the training programme, I got very lukewarm response from the participants,
which was absolutely contrary to my anticipation. My gut feeling was that these
young professionals would be actively participating, but in spite of
introducing the topic in a broader perspective and to my satisfaction, energy was
missing in the room. Although I was unable to figure out the reason, I thought
to challenge myself and went ahead with the training programme. I learnt their
name at one go during this introductory ice-breaker, which definitely did magic
and the connect between us started happening. Slowly I saw the participants
opening up. I took the advantage of the
new environment setting in, I shared with them a shayari:
earned me a big applause. Slowly, the session became more and more interactive.
Free flow of conversations happened. They had lots of queries on success,
excellence, balancing personal and professional lives etc. These questions made
the session very interesting. The whole learning session became a great
experience with lot of fun and activities. To my surprise, even the lunch table
turned out to be interactive.
for the verbal feedback at the end of 6-hours session. To explore what made
them give me such a lukewarm response in the beginning, I asked them to give me
response and feedback for the following three questions:
thought when they came for the training programme.
end of the day, what was their thought pattern?
which touched their heart.
and 2 girls shared honestly that they had come to the training expecting the
facilitator to be dressed in western attire. Though they liked me in saree,
their perception was that my training programme also would be conventional one.
They confessed that their perception was absolutely wrong. They were amazed at
the unconventional mode of conducting training with audio-visual slides, stories,
activities, jokes, shayari. Most of them said that the very shayari, which I
have mentioned above, touched their hearts.
overwhelmed with their feedback. I was also very satisfied.
one typical experience of mine, where I was judged on the basis of attire. I
was in traditional attire in an organization where the culture was different. I
still continue to wear sarees for my training programmes, though I do take care
of the fact that if I have to go to such organizations, where the culture is
informal, I do try to fit myself into my comfortable formal western attire too.
It is not a matter that which is the right approach, but the point which I want
to highlight is that do we judge others specially women on the basis of what
feel that it is not only men judging women on the basis of what women choose to
wear, but at times, even women judge other women.
survey done says that women get judged based on what look like, more than on
what they do. Women don’t just have to worry about looking presentable, but
also to worry about how they will be perceived. Every outfit carries a subtle
message for people who pass judgments, and women are forced to adhere to the
image that their appearance creates. Not just experience, but even statistics
say the same. Please take a look at some of the startling figures that the
Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
|Image Courtesy: from BlogAdda page|
fact that one needs to look presentable and dignified. At the same time, one
also needs to be careful about forming opinions about others. I also want to
convey a message to us, the women fraternity, that we need to be sure and
confident of ourselves and challenge the wrong perception and judgments of
others. Let our performance and work speak against these unjust criticisms /
false judgments and let us try to outperform ourselves. It is time for us women
to excel beyond one’s own expectations and be an optimum performer in various
spheres of lives rather than succumbing to these judgments.