Chirag Dagli, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad Alumnus : Eradicating Salutation Decree from Government Offices Would Imply More Accountability on the Officials
Chirag Dagli, the director of Communication Crafts (http://communicationcrafts.in) comprehends the need for No Sir No Madam drive in India. Communication Crafts is an Ahmedabad based creative agency that caters to an enviable clientele across sectors and geographies. Their service portfolio spans arenas as diverse as social media, films, design, and web development.
Chirag is a bachelor of commerce graduate who has earned his degree in management development program (MDP) from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A). He is passionate about solving complex problems through innovative communications that are pragmatic. Subsequently, he co-founded Communication Crafts.
He has implemented No Sir No Madam Culture in his firm as he has experienced the benefits of it. Chirag states “First-name custom lets you to communicate with anyone without any inhibitions. It is useful as it allows you to form a personal and strong bond with your peers in a short time. This also enables employees to come up with innovative ideas that may be more suitable for the organization.”
Chirag also talks about the challenges one has to face while communicating with someone on a first-name basis. He enumerates — We have grown up in a culture where we are taught to respect our elders. In English, as there is no substitute for displaying regards, people tend to equate honor with salutations.
“I remember one instance where we were working on a project with an influential entrepreneur across India. As a routine, we created a Whatsapp group, where we would share project details and all the members involved were in the group. Once, one of my junior team members addressed the entrepreneur without a salutation while talking in the group. His secretaries were quick to jump in and inform my colleague that it is disrespectful to refer their boss without any salutation.”
“They further implied that everyone ought to address the esteemed entrepreneur with ‘Shri’ followed by various other salutations. I was appalled by this incident as the secretaries seemed to be well-educated and of the same age as us.”
Likewise, government officials tend to impose salutation edict onto others to boost their ego. Chirag articulates “Bureaucrats expect multiple salutations while communicating. Everyone has unwillingly to adhere to the rules set by them in order to get their work completed. I reckon public sector employees would feel more accountable, if they are made to drop salutation conventions. The biggest problem is that they misuse their designation to enforce their authority on people. By instilling No Sir No Madam culture, there will be an equal platform for people to convene with them.”
Furthermore, he shares his thoughts on the indifferent treatment people in India have to face because of the work they do. Chirag voices — People should understand and liberate workers from salutations and social taboos. People who employ blue-collar workers should take the first initiative in instilling first-name custom while communicating with the lower staff. Subsequently, the labourers too would understand the essence of No Sir No Madam culture and follow it. This would purvey more equality and reduce the social divide within our society.
“As a part of our responsibility, we should encourage petty-job workers to step out and work towards achieving their goal. It is important to empower people from lower-economic classes so that their kids do not face the same difficulties like them. Similarly, educated and influential people in the organization should motivate the workers to take a step towards accomplishing more than their current status,” shares Chirag.
He also surmises that No Sir No Madam ideologies should be taught in schools. A lot of schools have adopted the first-name way of interaction between the students and the teachers. He is hopeful that with time, many schools would implement the same.
In conclusion, Chirag proposes, “Try communicating with your peers and people around you without any salutation for a week. You will be able to notice the benefits yourself and will want to let go ‘Sir/Madam’ culture.