Roles And Perceptions.

An Industrial Psychologist, member of a group of Professionals to which I belong in WhatsApp, conducted a survey among us about our experiences as employees and citizens. He is trying to draw up a profile of our group so that matters of common interest can be discussed in face to face meetings. Among the questions was one that asked – “Describe in one word or phrase your strength while in employment and as a citizen.”

This is one of the most difficult questions that I have ever had to address on my career and life. I decided to ask a cross section of my contacts the same question about me. These are the unedited responses that I received.

Guiding force.
Guardian Angel.
God father.
Strong leader.
Caring father figure.
Friend, philosopher and guide. (Two people responded with this, one 60 years old and the other 45.)
Ashutosh.(Easily satisfied}
Spiritual humorist.
Enigmatic sage.
Naughty spiritualist.
Naughty and Learned.

The friend who offered “Enigmatic Sage” has never personally met me despite living in the same city as I do but, we have been internet friends for some time now with some very interesting exchanges via blogs, WhatsApp and emails.

I was quite taken aback with two people calling me naughty. I suspect that my sense of humour comes across as naughty to them and that it is not to denote anything negative.

The last one naturally comes from a very dear friend who has had nothing to do with my career or social work but, who and whose family have been part of my life from 1985. Fortunately I did not ask his wife as I know she would have called me Anna which has two meanings. One, elder brother and the other, the local Mafia Capo.

On reflection, I have concluded that such a variety of perceptions is due to the many roles that I have played in my life and continue to. Family, friend, colleague, boss, parent, advisor etc depending on the other person’s position in my life as well as the length of time that s/he has been part of my life. For each individual, my relationship was/is tailor made to suit that person. I would say now, after having received these responses that my strength in one word would be “Flexibility”.

I however answered that question before I asked my contacts, that my strength in my view was “Effectiveness.”

I still believe that it would be the most appropriate for that particular survey as, even in relationships one must be effective.

When I discussed this with the friend who is coordinating the survey, he laughed and offered his very wise comment that I am a chameleon.

Through this post, I express my gratitude to the friends who took the trouble to think and comment and also share the perception of others of me to them.

12 thoughts on “Roles And Perceptions.”

  1. Fascinating and not at all surprising. I can not claim that I know you even if you so kindly and wisely commented on my posts for some years now. I always wondered why do I deserve it.
    I would sign up under many of the characteristic as fitting you very well. I am grateful that our blogs crossed each other path.

  2. The chameleon being a metaphor for camouflage I think a rather mixed compliment. Depending where you are coming from it can either be interpreted as being highly adaptable (“flexible” as you say) or, of course, the mark of the deceiver, cunning. For me it’s a mixed bag – if anyone called me a chameleon I’d first fear the worst before taking it as the compliment it possibly is.

    I can’t second guess your merits when in employment. Judging by many years of our exchanges, here and on my blog, and comments you leave elsewhere, I’d say you bring equilibrium to the table; your feathers are not easily ruffled if at all; you give people the benefit of the doubt; you look behind the curtain rather than taking things at face value; you are fair; you rarely give up on anyone; when you do give advice you do so unobtrusively; you allow for folly and foibles in yourself and your fellow human beings; you appear comfortable within yourself and therefore with others. Do you want me to go on? As to “naughty” – I don’t know if I’d call it that. You can be flippant at times – rarely (thank the Lord). You tend to employ that side of yours when you’d rather deflect from an issue than waste time – I hasten to add you do so most charmingly as befits those born in the year of the sheep/goat.

    So, yes, having exhausted myself with the brief character assessment/ination I’d say both “flexible” indeed “accommodating”, and “effective” fit perfectly. And not a pushover.


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