Rajashri Rajashekar: ‘Sir/Madam’ Culture Procreates Arrogance
Rajashri Rajashekar, the Founder of Poornam, (http://poornam.co) is a steadfast follower of No Sir No Madam doctrine. Poornam is a Gender Neutrality consulting firm that catalyzes holistic change in the lives of people and organizations. Poornam creates a platform for both genders to be more productive by realizing their innate potential. Trains companies on Gender Smart Solution for POSH.
Rajashri is an industry expert on building employee morale and matters related to Human Resources & Gender Neutrality. She has spent around twenty-five years working in the corporate sector as an HR professional.
She has implemented No Sir No Madam in her office. Rajashri believes, referring each other on a first-name basis maintains parity at the workplace. Whereas, ‘Sir/Madam’ culture is authoritarian and implies that one individual is superior to the rest because of his or her designation. Furthermore, she opines that the usage of salutations devoid a person of his or her identity and brings conflict in relationship.
Even while working as a corporate professional, she was fortunate enough to work with companies that followed first-name tradition. Rajashri narrates “I have been extremely lucky for being able to work with global organizations, where they were strictly following No Sir No Madam culture in the organizations. There would not be any barrier between two people. Anyone could approach their colleagues or superiors to bring work success. Moreover, the discussions would always be goal-oriented, work oriented and task oriented. This too allowed a freedom of expression.
Further, she feels in India there are companies who have large canvass have been able to adopt such progressive thought processes and have enjoyed the fruits of it but traditionally driven companies with authoritarian culture are still into such salutation.
Rajashri ponders over the prevalence of ‘Sir/Madam’ tradition in government offices. She remarks — bureaucrats are habituated to salutation decree because of their lack of awareness. They have been instructed and made to follow ‘Sir/Madam’ edict since the time of British. Therefore, they must be informed about the core values of No Sir No Madam teachings and made to follow it as well. I believe that No Sir No Madam drive can improve the relation between the citizens and government officials. However, she appreciates the culture of defense organizations. There is a culture of Sir and Madam in the defense but the base of their interaction with each other is not the salutation but Love, Respect and Dignity.
Additionally, she empathizes with the plight of blue-collar workers in India. Rajashri enunciates “It is really saddening that there is no concept of dignity of labour in India. The classism has entered due to such discrimination’s. Rajashri states that school is the first place where we learn to greet others with salutation. Ergo, she suggests schools to inculcate No Sir No Madam idea into their syllabus. Moreover, Rajashri cites an example of schools that have now started routine for students to converse with teachers, without any restraints. Similarly, No Sir No Madam habit would allow students to talk over their problems more boldly.
She also mentions that parents ought to teach their kids to respect people irrespective of their positions in the society or class. For a kid, his or her parents are the first role models. Thus, it is the responsibility to the parents to ensure that their child understands the concept of mutual respect.
Wrapping-up, Rajashri quotes, “Be comfortable and proud of self. The clarity of your own identity within you will help you understand the other person better. This will bring you on par with other person, without any discrimination, conflict and you will enjoy the harmony.”