From the time a child is born, he/she has to interact with people. Whether it is in one's social or professional life, nothing comes with a guarantee. Managing human relations effectively could actually decide the course that one's life will take. Through history, outstanding persons who have had a major influence on the world have inspired and guided people. Buddha, Vivekananda, and Gandhi, are three such distinct personalities, each present at different points in time, each with a distinct approach. All three carried people with them. What did they have that made them famous? How did they deal with people? Are these guidelines that we, the so-called ordinary, can imbibe and utilise?
The lessons gleaned from what Buddha, Vivekananda, and Gandhi spoke and practised are relevant even today in our professional lives. This book contains real incidents and cases of professional people, their interactions, successes and failures, the practices they followed and those they didn't. What is interesting is that their success and failure is not about numbers or targets.lt is about human management. In human relations, things cannot remain constant because human beings are like all other people, some other people, and no other people. Eventually, the end point of our personal and professional lives reveals how well we forged personal and professional relationships.
Anonna Guha has a double doctorate—in Sociology with a fellowship from Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), and in Human Relations. She is a corporate trainer in behavioural sciences and imparts training pertaining to Human Relations, Emotion Management, Communication, Personality Development, and Stress Management. Anonna is trained in dance, music and drama and is a national level performing artiste. She is also MD, Nrityanjali Management Services.
Anonna Guha has a double doctorate—in Sociology with a fellowship from Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), and in Human Relations. She holds the National Eligibility Test (NET) degree for lecturer-ship and post graduate diploma in personality development and psychology. She is a Trustee and Jt. Managing Director of Nrityanjali—the institute of performing arts, education, personality development & management services. She has been a corporate trainer with Nrityanjali Management Services (NMS) for nineteen years, in behavioural sciences based on the pioneering research work of Founder- CMD Dr. Tushar Guha on Personality Development. She imparts training pertaining to Human Relations, Emotion Management, Communication, Personality Development, and Stress Management to young students and adults.
Anonna Guha is trained in music and drama and is a national level performing artiste in Kathak, Folk dance forms, and Western dance. She is a recipient of the Menaka Award for Kathak dance from Mumbai University and Woman of Substance Award from Young Environmentalists Group Hiranandani Foundation. She is the Dance Curator of Kalaghoda Arts Festival.
Anonna Guha lives in Mumbai with her husband and daughter.
Life offers us endless opportunities to learn. When I was around thirty-three years old I started realising and understanding life and what my role was in it. And I realised that I needed to evolve, grow and be strong.
Born and brought up in a household with a father who played professional roles of a printer—publisher, corporate trainer, psychologist, educationist, author, dancer, actor, singer, poet, teacher, and social worker, and a mother who was a homemaker, social worker and singer, my life offered me a lot to learn. The learning was sometimes conscious but mostly without realisation, but I did learn.
I learnt to sing, dance, play, participate in sports, study, and win. I saw my parents give love to people unconditionally, I saw them stand by their principles, I saw them live life courageously and be brave, I saw them weep when people they considered their own hurt them, I saw them evolve. I learnt from my parents to serve, to be spontaneous, to give without seeking in return, to cook and feed, and to give happiness to people.
I was lucky to be born in a family where I never wanted for anything, but I was taught the value of self-control. In my thirties I realised the value of what I had been learning and how I also had to evolve. I am not perfect, I seek to evolve and have noted twenty-one elements that can give us happiness and spread happiness among others. Our professional life also deserves this happiness.
In this book I have written about the different kinds of people I have interacted with in my professional life. Each one has given me food for thought. I have changed the names of the individuals and organisations in order to protect their privacy.
We spend ten-twelve hours a day at work, every day. Our professional lives start defining our identity. But we have both our professional and social lives (personal, familial, societal). The kind of person we really are will be seen in both these areas. The way we are in our social life cannot be completely divorced from the way we are in our professional life.
The exciting part of dealing with people in social or professional life is that nothing comes with a guarantee or warranty. The sum of two + two may not be four, because, individuals keep changing and so do life's situations.
But certain core sensibilities need to remain constant. My grandfather Sudhendhu Kiran Guha was the Head of Century Rayon, a part of the Basant Kumar Birla group. He was an engineer. He continued to be the advisor to BK Babu (that's how B.K. Birla was addressed) till he retired and moved to the central suburbs in Mumbai, far from Century Rayon which was located in Shahad. He died more than a decade after his retirement. That was in 1987. I was ten years old. I remember seeing busloads of people coming to pay their respects.
My grandfather, I knew, was not very sociable. He was quiet, very strict, a disciplinarian, and a stickler for time—traits we think as "not apt" to become popular. Many years later realisation dawned on me that even though he wasn't very active in his professional life, and his nature was not that of an "overfriendly" person, there must have been something he did right to have so many visit him on his death.
Then I saw my father Tushar Guha. He started Nrityanjali, a public charitable trust, when he was fifteen years old. Today the institute is fifty-four years old with a socio-cultural-corporate culture. Scores of people are members and many have been motivated to dance, sing, act, achieve brilliance in the fields of engineering, medicine, sales, marketing, and so on. His students still throng Nrityanjali and seek him out. He is dynamic, talkative, and passionate about his pioneering work in personality development in India. I thought, he must be doing something right too.
Two different personas—one quiet, the other talkative and the life of a conversation—both leaders. One had a following, one still does.
As I grew up in Nrityanjali, the institute of performing arts, education, personality development & management services, finished my studies, and began my unplanned professional life, I started realising more and more the importance of managing the people I was with. Managing the emotions of all the people around was crucial.
From the time a child is born, he/she enters the life of human beings and human relations. Human relations start with the baby's involvement with the mother. How the mother cuddles the baby, the cooing sounds she makes, the warmth she gives the baby while holding her/him, adds to the comfort of the baby. That is the baby's entry into the network of human relations.
As human behaviour is essentially learnt behaviour, it struck me that managing human relations effectively could actually become a way of life. We have had stalwarts and people who have influenced the world while inspiring many, such as Gautama Buddha, M.K. Gandhi, and Swami Vivekananda. Three distinct personalities, each present at different points in time, with an approach distinct to each one. But all three carried people with them.
They are personalities who had their own unique traits but they all had mass appeal and interacted with human beings at large and gained their approval.
I met Anonna Guha about three and a half years ago. She had heard that the Kala Ghoda Association was looking for a new Dance Curator for the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
She sat across me at the table... and almost immediately convinced me that she was the right person for this job.
Of course! Her credentials were impressive. But what I liked most about her was that Anonna had a modest and humble demeanorabout her. To find a practical and dependable Arts person who could also be a creative mind had never been easy to find - for our prestigious festival. Anonna obviously had the right combination . . . an artistic lineage plus a management background.
Anonna is a lot like me. She has somewhat similar family roots... famous and achieving grandparents and parents. Her interest in the Arts is very much in her genes, and like all successful women, she is an able multitasker. She and I think alike... and we agree on most things.
Being a danseuse, with a background of Sociology, Psychology and Management, Anonna easily senses other people’s emotional weaknesses and strengths. She is no doubt imaginative, emotional and yet extremely logical. It is rare to see someone like her from her field, who is so much in control, and yet cares so much about her family as well as her peers.
After reading some of her writings, one can sense the strong sense of spirituality that Anonna has. Her long standing experience in the various fields that she has chosen to handle, has made her the strong person that she is today. She is obviously well-read and has deeply studied the thoughts of Buddha, Swami Vivekananda, and Gandhi. She has interlaced her own thoughts into the writings, and these down in simple words, making it easy to read and enjoy.
All of us understand the importance of human interactions and relationships in our lives. Personal relationships, social relationships, and professional relationships require certain skills to endure. Anonna has very succinctly underlined the qualities required to make a success of managing people. The 21 mantras prescribed by her in this book will certainly ensure that we are able to maintain healthy and productive human networks in the personal and professional space.
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