Letter 6: Your colleagues are not your friends

Dear Chinmay,

Modern management theories propose that team members perform at their optimal best when they are committed to realizing the team’s goals and are comfortable working with each other. From experience, I can vouch for the truth of this statement. Competition, and the friction it creates, will vanish when you excel at your work. This means that your colleagues are not your competitors. But, more importantly, they are not your friends either. Be there for the team; at the same time, look out for yourself and your work.

This matters whether you are depressed or not (I was going to say ‘whether you are depressed or normal’, but depression is a condition, not an abnormality. And again, who can define what is normal?).

Of all the terrible things that can happen to you when you are depressed, getting bullied must be one of the worst. Depression weakens a person at every level and bullies can smell weakness like dogs smell fear. Bullying is as common within the corporate office walls as it is in the school playground. Such people are usually insecure and fl awed, craving attention and acceptance and trying to grab them the wrong way.

While you don’t have to be frightened of bullies, it is vital to realize when you are being bullied and learn to stand up to them or, at least, avoid them.

Here are a few tales around this. File them away in your mind so that you can defend yourself in case you meet any of these types as you adapt to life in the corporate jungle.

Book Excerpt: ‘The Reengineers’ by Indu Muralidharan – Excerpted withpermission from Harper Collins India

To be continued…