Human behaviour continues to fascinate me. A young lady recently told me how she had stood up to her immediate superior’s boss. She spoke disparagingly of her senior male colleagues who she felt kept quiet and didn’t raise any issues.
Perspective is defined as one’s “point of view”, “the choice of a context for opinions, beliefs and experiences”. At 23, well-educated, confident, with no immediate family responsibilities and wanting to go ahead in life, her perspective was refreshingly different. If the boss’s boss upset her, she could find another job in…a maximum of 24 hours.
She didn’t realize that her senior male collagues felt the same as her about their boss. They seemed less “daring” as they had more responsibilities! Not only at work but at home. They had wives and kids. All had taken huge loans, were heavily dependent on big compensation increases to lead the lifestyle they had got accustomed to. This made them more subservient than they themselves would like to admit.
It all depends on your “point of view”. When we drive in my city of Bangalore, the pedestrian is a nuisance crossing the road at whim. When we are pedestrians, drivers are arrogance personified as they hustle us off the roads. For the guy who is promoted, the system is one of “true meritocracy” in which performance counts. For the guy who is not promoted, the same system reeks of favouritism and partiality.
Abraham Maslow said: “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail”. Al Neuharth , founder of USA Today wrote “The difference between a mountain and a molehill is your perspective”. Such is life.