Garima Mitra: Do Not Blindly Follow Sir/Madam Culture
Garima Mitra, the Co-Founder at Treelife Consulting (http://www.treelife.in) is a sincere follower of No Sir No Madam teaching. Treelife Consulting is a multi-disciplinary business consulting firm for start-ups and Small-Medium Enterprises. It primarily helps clients with tailor-made solutions in legal and financial areas.
As a law student, she has worked at various major and boutique law firms, before co-founding her own agency. The idea to set up Treelife Consulting struck to her on meeting Jitesh Agarwal, a Chartered Accountant. They realised the niche market to provide services to start-ups and instituted Treelife Consulting.
Garima has always thrived on building an organization where there is no hierarchy. “I try to inculcate a team environment so that employees with us and not for us.” She believes that workplace parity increases efficiency and improves the communication chain. No Sir No Madam practice has helped her in achieving this goal. Thus, employees feel a sense of belonging in the company when there is no salutation mandate.
She became a follower of No Sir No Madam ideology because of her past work experience. Garima articulates — while I was working/ interning, prior to Treelife Consulting, I used to address my senior associates and the boss by their first-name. This helped in creating a comfortable environment and imbibed mutual respect.
First-name practice should be followed at every organization. It is a pressing matter in the corporate offices where ‘Sir/Madam’ culture is imposed upon the employees. Employees can toil efficiently when provided with a congenial work-place surrounding.
It is deeply rooted in Indian tradition to respect our elders. Children are trained to address their teachers as Sir/Madam from a tender age. Garima suggests — No Sir No Madam creed will have a greater impact, if introduced at the college level. At this stage, students are responsible enough to understand the liability that comes with first-name practice. This will help their minds to not be hard-wired to ‘Sir/Madam’ custom. She recollects an example where she directed a bunch of students to refer her by her first-name. Despite, giving this liberty, the students adhered to exercising salutation practice. They are absorbed to ‘Sir/Madam’ decree, and any other casual custom seemed alien to them, she adds.
Respect cannot be commanded. If someone insists in calling by a salutation, you cannot stop them, but at the same time you cannot enforce it.
She ceases by vocalizing — practicing ‘Sir/Madam’ is of no use if a person does not genuinely respect their superior. As it is rightly said, “only dead fish go with flow.” Therefore, we should not be blindly following a custom, because it has been exercised since ages.