Priyanka Amar Shah: Personal Connections are Formed Only When Formal Salutations are Dropped
Priyanka Amar Shah, the founder at ‘iKheti’ (http://www.ikheti.co.in) passionately follows No Sir No Madam movement. ‘iKheti’ creates a platform for individuals and communities to grow healthy consumable crops within their premises and promotes sustainable lifestyles.
She has received her bachelors in management studies from Jai Hind College, Mumbai. Priyanka has also earned MBA degree from Welingkar Institute of Management Studies. Moreover, she has completed her Masters in Commerce from Mumbai University.
Priyanka gestated ‘iKheti’, as a project for her B-school’s concept show. It was among the top three ideas @ UTV Bloomberg’s Business Reality show, “The Pitch”. Furthermore, the workable eco-friendly venture was showcased to Smt. Pratibha Patil, the Ex-President of India.
She is a TEDx Speaker and was recently selected for The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) by the U.S. Department of States. It is the States premier professional exchange program to nurture emerging leaders and to address global issues & challenges.
Priyanka ensures that her team adheres to No Sir No Madam doctrine at the workplace. Her employees refer to her as ‘bhabhi’ or ‘didi’. She confesses, this has helped in forming a much more personal connection with her employees. Nonetheless, she does face difficulty while interacting with clients. “Some of the clients expect a salutation while being addressed or feel uncomfortable,” she adds.
Furthermore, she states — It is confusing when and when not to refer someone by their name. I, at times, feel apprehensive while communicating with my clients as it’s the standard protocol in India to call people Sir or Madam. It would be really helpful, if everyone understood that respect has nothing to do with a salutation. Respect can be shown in many ways, including body language. You can easily recognize, if the other person really respects you by his or her gesture.
On the other hand, Priyanka also emphasises on the obligations one needs to remember while practicing the first-name habit. She mentions, “People should not take advantage of the fact that just by addressing someone by their first name, they can break the line of respect. They need to remember to show respect and not take the other person for granted.” For No Sir No Madam drive to work, both the parties should understand its pre-conditions.
In addition, a salutation diktat is cheerfully encouraged by people working in the public sector. They often take it as a sign of pride to be addressed as ‘Sir/Madam’. Priyanka opines,“sometimes it is our fault that we generalize and follow edicts set by officials.”
While interacting with bureaucrats, a majority of the public feel uneasy and cling to a ‘Sir/Madam’ culture. This puts people in a position of inferiority from day one and continues to remain so, until the end. Individuals need to preach about first-name exercise by setting up examples themselves.
Indians until today are bound by social stigmas and customs. Even in the 21st century, people consider a wife taking her husband’s name as taboo. To stop referring people “Sir or Madam” is going to be even more difficult exclaims Priyanka. To break such traditions, we will require a lot of efforts & awareness.
Priyanka mentions, following No Sir No Madam creed has helped her to foster mutual-respect and encourage her employees. “I work with gardeners who come from small-time villages. On my birthday, I take them out to treat them or once a while take them to Salman Khan movies to motivate them. They are an integral part of my company hence it becomes important on my part to make them feel so. You can notice that they acknowledge these courtesies in their work. They pay back their appreciation by working hard and being sincere in their efforts.”
In today’s world, people are motivated more by respect and not just by money. No Sir No Madam practice has helped management to encourage their employees in the similar manner.
Priyanka suggests for remodeling the way people think, No Sir No Madam initiative has to be implemented in schools. If children are educated about it, they will grow up be to less submissive and will not follow any odious custom. She also recommends making corporate sector aware about first-name addressal by celebrating “No Sir No Madam” Day. It will help the senior management, and employees break the ice.
In the end, she suggests every individual to follow No Sir No Madam in their daily life. “Exercising first-name culture with people whom you interact on a day-to-day basis.” This would assist in spreading awareness about No Sir No Madam crusade.