What mattered most for Pradeep at that moment was his own analysis of his own plus and minus points. He had joined the company just a couple of years ago and was expecting a promotion after appraisal. Last appraisal was bad and he stood stuck while his batch-mates had gone on to higher levels. Now has come the time for second appraisal, and that had made Pradeep quite nervous and anxious.
Only the previous evening, Pradeep’s boss had called him to his chamber to tell him that he needed drastic and dramatic improvement in his ways of work and conduct as a member of the team. That dressing down had unnerved Pradeep all the more and he wondered if he had any real good chance to do well and make a decent career as a qualified engineer. His academic record was good, but that did not seem to make any difference here at work.
As he drank his coffee wearily at the coffee shop in the factory premises, he saw Rajani, his batch-mate walk up to him smiling. She had just got her promotion and was happy. They had been friends for a few years through the engineering college. Here, too, they joined together. But Rajani had moved on while Pradeep was left behind. So, as she smiled on approach, Pradeep just gave a faint smile but looked grim. It did not take Rajani much to realise what was on his mind.
Rajani said, “Look, Pradeep, you don’t have to be so morose. Such things happen and one has to face those. Today, you are sad that you have been left behind. But never mind, tomorrow, you can advance and even overtake us. I am sure, if you work hard and with focus, then you will be able to achieve your goal. But you will have to get started right away – from this moment. For, your repeat appraisal is hardly two months away and you have a fair chance to try your luck.
“Be patient and try to understand from your bosses what exactly you lack. Once that is known, you can start working to remove the flaw and start building that point as your strength. There may be more than one point upon which you may be required to do some work. But that is okay. You can start trying. Come on now, smile, and let’s have coffee”.
Rajani’s words did wonders. Pradeep got up after the coffee and went straight to the boss’s office. “Help me”, he said to the boss. He then outlined what he wished to do if the boss helped. The boss was happy and drew out for Pradeep an elaborate plan of action to improve his own prospects. And, he talked of Pradeep trying to understand his own plus and minus points at that time.
That is when Pradeep got another bout of anxiety: Will he be able to do it? He remembered Rajani and called her. The vivacious young lady gave a good laugh and talked to him on the phone for a long time. Slowly, Pradeep started understanding what he needed. He needed focus on himself, something he lacked. For, over time, he had never developed the habit of discussing his own personality aspects with himself or anybody else. But his conversations with Rajani helped Pradeep realise how to analyse his own positive and negative points.
The very process was terrific, and enthralled Pradeep. In just a few days, he found himself enjoying the process. Later on, when the time came appraisal, Pradeep faced it with a rare confidence. The result was good, and the boss recommended him for a promotion six months later.
This may appear a usual, every-day story that may be happening in many cases. True, it is so. But because it is such an every-day story, very few take it seriously. That is where the difficulty is. Because many people do not take a serious look at themselves, they do not know their own positive and negative points, and that hampers their own assessment of themselves.
When young men and women approach me for help, I often tell them to learn the art of looking at their own selves correctly. They look surprised. But when I teach them how to take a good look of their own selves, they realise how important the exercise is. Unfortunately, this is one thing that we are not taught at home or at school or college. If this habit is made universal through proper educational inputs, then our youth would never find themselves helpless on many occasions.