Does the culture of your company matter?

woman sharing her presentation with her colleagues

Today I saw a dance video of a friend of mine. She apparently was dancing with her college gang. Their energy, sync in moves, facial expressions and body language – revealed more than words ever could.

Here’s what my little knowledge of psychology tells me:

  • The people we surround ourselves with determine who we become.
  • Even they didn’t know that their friends play so important role in their happiness.
  • It is the best thing if we choose our people wisely, and if we don’t that’s a doom on us.

But why are we talking about this?

Because I was a star player in my first job because I was nurtured that way.

In my second job, things changed drastically because:

  • I asked a lot of questions, which made my manager believe I am getting too excited and I don’t know anything.
  • I was always happy and booming with joy, which was also perceived as a sign of dumbness.
  • Most importantly, there was once a trainer who was invited to our office. Those days my manager wasn’t talking to me (yes, that also happened!) because I had taken two days off owing to ill health. My work was in sync, so I attended the one-hour zumba session that the trainer conducted.

And damn, after that session it was a guilty feeling that encircled me. The feeling that I should have sat stuck at my desk because my boss would like it – I just didn’t want to be limited by that feeling so I attended the Zumba session. And more than anything else, it was organized by the HR of the company, and I, inter alia, received a formal email from her for attending the session.

This was just one instance, I could lay at least ten such instances that made me feel small in the organisation. Btw, instead of teaching me how to solve difficult problems, my manager used to ask me: “Will you be able to do it?” This wasn’t because I had proved my inability to him, it was because in our informal conversations he always highlighted how he felt men were more apt to doing this job.)

Was I wrong? Yes, in the desire of joining that organisation, I was wrong. Was I wrong in my stint at that workplace? Well, only if curiosity and cheerfulness are wrong.

In a fortunate tale of events, my leader did not like me and asked me to “look for further opportunities” because I didn’t fit the bill of fitting in.

I did get out of the organisation, and it was the best thing that happened to me.

Now, before we conclude, there were some good things in the organisation:

  • They did provide me bread and butter
  • The operations and sales team were driven to meet the customer needs, always
  • We had a break of one month after working for two months (good as well as not so good as all drive was lost).
  • My manager (yes the one who stopped talking to me) was cool and calm (sadly not driving me to performance.)
  • He said he felt bad about the leader asking me to leave, and it was all in good intent. He treated me like his daughter and perhaps because of which never bothered enough to make me bold enough to face the muddy waters of the job which is of the most importance to perform.

But this post isn’t necessarily about what was good in the organisation that I worked with, and what wasn’t. It was more about the culture. All organisations are the best – if they hire the right people

My friend was dancing along with her friends and they all enjoyed it. I danced with my colleagues and my non-communicative manager felt worse because of this. Of course that guilt slid into me. Of course that did affect me.

That is why it is important to review the company and the culture you are working with.

It is going to be hard, but so is it hard for the company to find the right fit for them. If they could do the emotional labour of being patient and going through the difficult stuff, so is it your responsibility to move the needle and go to the place you would be proud to say in your first page interview.

When bad happens with someone else

How do you feel when the person you don’t like goes through something difficult?

Before that, two questions: Does “disliking” someone feel good? Does “bad” happening with them feel good?

If you answered “yes” to either of the questions, our goal is to reach “no” here.

Do you know why? Because what you give to others comes back to you in a river. What you don’t expect others to do to you, begin at your home first.

It’s difficult. Yet, having resistance from others as a result of your own karmas is more difficult.