The Art of Treating People

Vikita Padaliya
3 min readMar 7, 2017

Beautiful Monday morning it was!

By any means, I was not feeling any Monday Blues. :D

I work with a software services company.

While my company is not too strict on office start and end timings but I belong to a school of thought where a fixed office start time is a sign of a discipline.

I believe that one should start office on time and leave also timely. Work is subset of life, not vice versa.

Today, I would like to share a recent event that happened in my company. We have an office attendant. We call him Sanjaybhai (adding “bhai” after a man’s name is a sign of respect in India).

Sanjaybhai has a record of NOT coming on time. Whenever he is asked the reason, he always has a good reason such as heavy traffic on road or other similar reason.

He was warned about 15 times but he always has his reasons ready. It was like pouring water on a stone. No matter how much water you pour, stone has no effect.

Now, here is a thing about Sanjaybhai: he is ethical, does good work and have all the skills required for his job role but his habit of coming late … was not acceptable.

Came one more Monday and he was late again. Again the same old reason. Traffic.

I thought it was important for him to understand the importance of coming on time.

Soon after he gave the reason of traffic, I asked him to sit on a couch and have tea and do not start the work.

He got little surprised but he sat on the couch and had tea.

Once his tea was over, he came to me and asked, “Ma’am, can I start my routine work or do you have any other task that I need to do first?”.

I said, “No. You don’t need to do any work today. Just sit there on couch and do whatever you would like other than your routine work.

He started laughing and said, “Please do not joke with me, ma’am.’ “

“No, Sanjaybhai. Today, you will sit on the couch and won’t do any work. Just observe what other team members are doing,” I said firmly.

After about an hour, he started feeling awkward.

“I need to clean the office,” he came to me and said. “I do not like to just sit around where everyone else is doing the work on unclean office.”

By this time he realized that he was asked to sit so he can realize the importance of his work. When other team members come before him, they would have to sit on unclean desks and office.

“From tomorrow, you won’t find me late in the office. If there is more traffic, I will leave early but reach office in time because a lot of team members’ morning becomes unclean.”

“Okay,” I said with smile.

Today is Tuesday and he came 20 minutes earlier than his regular time. and my experiment of treating people in other way got succeed.

When we work with people we need to understand their psychology as well. How people will respond to same situation can be very from people to people.

I would like to close this post with the famous saying from Maya Angelou: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

How true!

And effective.

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