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January 29, 2018

26 ways to success - B for Behavior - "“Beauty doesn’t make a better person - Behavior does" article published in The Hans India on 9th February 2016

B for Behaviour - “Beauty doesn’t make a better person -  Behaviour does”

Behaviour is the way one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others. Man is a social entity and he can’t survive by himself. He needs the society and society needs him. It is a symbiotic relationship.

We are known by our dress and address. Dress is what we wear and how we wear it. Now days the in thing is to look unkempt. Hair is untidy and if possible spiky. Students wear fluorescent T shirts; dirty torn pair of jeans and even dirtier sports shoes or flip flops. The language is also very informal. Many social evils are pardoned and even have become fashionable.

The corporate world is very different. They still swear by rules, regulations and yes, by Behaviour.  The dress has to be formal. It has to be clean and Ironed (pressed). Hair should be trimmed and combed. Footwear has to be formal and polished. Hair, personal care and odor, are all observed.  The dress especially has to be immaculate. Sleeves should always be down. It is better to wear dark trousers and light colored shirts. If a tie is worn, it should be worn right up to the collar and not slung loosely. Personal habits should be kept to one self. They can’t intrude into the workspace and cause inconvenience to others.

Women should be treated with courtesy. Indian women might not be very comfortable with a handshake. Leave the choice of the hand shake to the lady. If she is uncomfortable a Namaste is a great gesture. If a hand is offered take the hand and shake gently. When talking to a lady limit the eye contact to the V. V being the eyes and the face. Do not let your eyes wander anywhere else. First impression is always the best impression.

There is confusion among students between what are essential and what are desirable for a job. What are essential are called hygiene factors. Good communication, honesty, punctuality, professional and ethical behaviour, courtesy, cleanliness, common sense and life skills are all hygiene factors.

If the hygiene factors are present they are taken for granted. But if hygiene factors are absent then the absence will be noted and commented upon. For example if an employee is punctual to office it is considered normal. But if the employee is tardy and late, such behaviour is frowned upon and might even lead to an adverse appraisal. All other traits like attitude, leadership, team work, ability to work under pressure are all desirable factors.

Address is how we speak and communicate. It is not what we say that matters. It is how we say it that matters. That is the tone, the tenor and the confidence that matter. The subject might not be great but the way it is said carries the weight. Mark Anthony’s speech in Julius Caesar “Friends Romans countrymen, Lend me your ears. I came to bury Caesar not to praise him……..” changes the entire plot of the drama and suddenly transforms the heroes into villains. Such is the power of great communication. Key words for the Mark Anthony’s speech on “Mark Anthony Speech”

Speaking also needs to be practiced. One needs to be a great listener before he/she becomes a great speaker. The greatest ability of a good communicator is to be a good listener first. And god agrees. He has given us one mouth and two ears. Listen more and talk less. Listening to others makes us understand their view point. Listening also makes us more popular as everyone loves their own voice and good listeners are always in demand. Speech needs to be precise and to the point. Often most people are just waiting for the others to finish, so that they can start their own tirade. That is an absolute Faux Pas. We need to show interest in the topic, comment on what was said and later seamlessly move on to our own topic.

Eating is a social activity where human behaviour is on display. It is always better to research good eating habits. For instance one’s elbows should not be rested on the table. Eat slowly and do not talk while eating. Do not finish before the host. Always compliment the food. Do not open your handkerchief and noisily blow into it. Control your belches and don’t appear as if you are hogging.

The advertisement that perfectly encapsulates good behaviour is the ad for ICICI Prudential. Right from the family man checking the strength of the plank for his family, to the father covering the dirty tracks of his tiny daughter to the bashful husband adroitly stepping into the traffic throwing a protective arm around his young wife, the ad tells what good behaviour is all about. Good behaviour leaves an indelible mark.  Key word for the ‘ICICI Prudential TVC Bande Ache Hai’. 

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