When Sushmita joined the company, she was fresh from the B-school, and brimming with ideas. What was fascinating about her was that she did not suffer from any self-doubt. She always felt assured of herself, but was not arrogant. Very quickly, she became very popular with peers as well as bosses. Another speciality of hers was her unique quality of enjoying everybody’s success in anything — work-skills, life-skills, dress and address, sports, arts and what not! Whenever somebody did a fine job of any assignment, Sushmita looked very pleased and gave the person a profuse dose of appreciation. So open was she when she praised others that she almost became a subject of ridicule.
That was, of course, very unfair to that smart girl who did a good job of all her assignments. When a friend in the office asked her what she felt about the criticism and fun at her goodness, she wondered innocently, “Perhaps, Didi, they may not be laughing at me. They all are so good.”
Her friend was askance. She did not know whether it was innocence or ignorance or foolishness in this bad, mad world, to be so simple. Sushmita, of course, did not mind any comment. She continued to be what she was — open, and ready to appreciate goodness in any person.
About two years later, all those good qualities of the young executive started paying off splendidly. Because the MD hand-picked her to be on the 20-member Level II Core Management Team that would be responsible for tactical operations.
And what happened once the team started functioning was something like those things they write in novels and depict in movies. Sushmita’s positive attitude started rubbing off on others. For, the Core Team started experiencing a very positive atmosphere that eliminated unnecessary competition among members. Everybody felt good appreciating others. And naturally, that positivism reflected itself on the work of the Core Team. Our company’s tactical operations started making all the difference.
And then at the Founder’s Day, the MD stepped up to the podium and announced annual awards. There was one new award, however, named as Driver Award. It was meant for somebody who had acted as a driver of some good move or operation. And the first Driver Award went to Sushmita.
The MD said in his speech, “Yes friends, let me share with you the selectors’ thoughts while choosing the awardee for the first Driver Award. Sushmita acted as the driver of the team though she was the junior most there. Her positivism, her sense of appreciation of every good things, forged the Core Team as one person — 20 persons but one mind. This is a great achievement. She presented a glowing example of positivism multiplies itself. Hence the first Driver Award to her.”
As a psychologist, I realise the importance of the contribution Sushmita made to the Core Team as well as to the overall company. It is not easy to praise others unreservedly. It is not easy to appreciate others with utmost sincerity. Yet, there are people, like Sushmita who go out of the way in appreciating goodness everywhere. And they can do that because they are generous in nature, and have experienced in their childhood the appreciation and trust of their family elders in full measure. It is that part of their grooming that makes all the difference.
Those who experience ridicule or senseless criticism in childhood learn to be miserly while appreciating others. If a child experiences appreciation, she learns to appreciate others later in life. If a child experiences unnecessary ridicule all the time, she learns to be jealous and critical of others.
It is common knowledge that childhood influences cannot be erased easily: they last nearly all the life. Only, those, who make special efforts to rise above the negative influences of childhood, can experience true growth.
Sushmita’s was one example of how her family elders had groomed her into a positive person. As a child, she got appreciation in the right measure. As an adult, she was giving it back to everybody. In the process, she emerged the winner despite the overall ridicule of her colleagues. Sushmita’s example also proves how positive attitude helps at the work-place.