I got into Engineering because all of my friends were opting for it. I flunked in my first year, and almost went into a depression.
I remember one incident which involved my HOD – We all had to choose one subject as our elective. However, the power of choice was available only to the students with higher grades. I felt that this was unfair and I, very politely, requested my HOD to reconsider it. The HOD asked me to get out of the room, and said, “Maybe you need to focus on your academics first.”
Somehow, with scores of 40, I managed to complete my Engineering. My confidence was obviously very shattered by the end of it.
I was jobless for a few months. Finally, I got into this start-up and started working as a Developer. The first month was okay, but later I started struggling. My boss wasn’t really a nice guy. In the second month, he circulated a mail to congratulate the ‘Best Employee of the Month’ and also the ‘Worst Employee of the Month’.
I am not making this up; he actually sent this mail.
Guess who was the worst employee of the month?
I was the worst employee of the month.
While all of this makes for a great story, the point is not to gain sympathy. When I look back, these incidents are painful… but I am super grateful that they happened to me, as they shaped up the kind of a person I am today.
The key word here is “Recognition”.
I struggled for ‘Recognition’ everywhere, in my college… and also at work. I was the ugly duckling, who was craving to be a Swan.
Through this struggle, I realised how necessary ‘Recognition’ is for a human being. Subconsciously, I made it one of my missions – “To give Recognition to the people I interact with”.
When I teach, I started making an attempt to listen to the students. I told them that I didn’t care about marks and academics. I abolished the written exams whenever I could. I tried to remember everyone’s names. I started calling them by their first name, instead of their surnames. I made an attempt to believe in them when they were having a hard time believing in themselves.
All because, I had been through a phase without Recognition. Noone has to go through that.
Did it work? Well, yes. There is always a scope of improvement, but the results were quite fascinating.
I could see their curiosity, amazement and the confidence reaching to a new level! I could see them getting to know a possibility. I could see them pushing themselves more. I could see them becoming better humans.
If you are a Boss, a Teacher, a Parent or even a Doctor, I urge you to give Recognition to the people you serve. It will fulfil you. It will fulfil them. They will become better versions of themselves.