Aman Chandra: Building Relationships by Breaking Sir/Madam Barriers
Aman Chandra, Founder and CEO of ‘The Silver Lining’ (www.thesilverlining.co.in) firmly supports No Sir No Madam crusade. ‘The Silver Lining’ is a Delhi based start-up, which ensures the holistic well-being of a person. It provides healing therapies, focusing on building healthy mind, body, and relationships.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, Noida. Furthermore, he pursued his post graduate degree from International Management Institute (IMI). He has held key positions at Asahi India Glass Limited and talkinthetown.com, before venturing out with ‘The Silver Lining’.
Aman is highly enthusiastic about No Sir No Madam initiative. He portrays that it is imperative to annihilate the Sir/Madam culture. Being a part of the corporate world, he has also encountered this menace of addressing seniors as Sir/Madam. Aman articulates – “In my previous workplace, everyone was obliged to call his or her superiors as Sir/Madam”.
He admires the western culture of using first-name rather than Sir/Madam nomenclature. Aman talks about the transparency in the system when addressing someone by first-name. It is the Indian mentality that people tend to use Sir/Madam as a terminology for respect, he believes. Senior employees feel that they are superiors, without understanding that they do not own their juniors.
Moreover, an employee works for the organization and not for the employer. Sir/Madam is a taboo, especially, for the people lower in hierarchical order. He states that – “at a workplace, there is no need to address other employees as Sir/Madam because they are a team.”
Aman remembers his experience during his tenure at a Japanese firm. “I addressed a senior team member with his first-name. The senior was disappointed as I did not meet with his expectations.” In Japan, individuals use the suffix ‘San’ to address each other. In contrast to Sir/Madam, which is a one-way respect, San is based on mutual respect. “I understood the significance of mutual respect and tried not to bow down to Sir/Madam”.
At his current start-up, every individual is considered as a co-worker. Each employee has equal status and respect. However, still there are a few employees who tend to use this nomenclature out of respect. Aman believes that this culture has become a habit for people. Thus, he encourages his employees to use first-name culture while addressing anyone.
Furthermore, Aman conjectures that the senior government officers feel irritated when not designated as Sir/Madam. They do not realize that it is their obligation to complete our work. However, they think they are doing a favor to the general public. He strongly believes that first-name culture builds the correspondence between two individuals. Subsequently, pulverizing the Sir/Madam obstruction will be an initial move towards the expulsion of corruption.
Moreover, he indicates, first-name communication can brighten up relationships professionally as well as personally. He portrays, “My mother belongs to a Parsi community, which follows first-name culture. I feel at ease communicating with my maternal relatives in contrast to my father’s side.” Comfort enhances the bond he shares with them. A connection is made through heart.
Thus, he considers the youthful era to be more comfortable with accepting the No Sir No Madam culture. Nevertheless, he insists that we should never overlook respect while addressing the aged. Hence, we must respect each other, as we respect ourselves.
Aman suggests that the change should begin from schools and educational institutes. Furthermore, family members should take a step towards teaching their child professional etiquette. Since, family is the first school, and parents, the preliminary teachers. Children should be nurtured with morals and values of giving respect rather than imposing Sir/Madam prefixes on them.
Overall, Aman advises, it is smarter to reveal in advance, that you are a first-name culture believer. We can even ask them ‘Can I call you Sharma Ji’ to avoid any conflicts, he says. He hopes that soon everyone will feel the advantages of adjusting to the first-name culture.
Lastly, Aman concludes – “I follow the No Sir No Madam culture as I believe in empowerment, transparency, and communication. This facilitates everyone to approach me without hesitation, irrespective of their position and profile.” Thus, acknowledging and implementing No Sir No Madam culture can bring equality and harmony in the workplace.