Monday, December 4, 2017

Yes Sir!

Sir, one of the most common words of corporate India. As per Wikipedia, it is used as a formal prefix for males who have been given certain honors or titles, such as Knights.

India inherited it from the British rule. Though initially it was used mostly for showing respect to senior bureaucrats, government officials, teachers, professors et al. Slowly, it spread to the corporate world also.

In many public or private offices, a salute to higher official is mandatory, especially by the watchman or security guard. At many offices, junior folks address seniors as Sir or Madam (or Ma'am). The seniors, supervisors, managers, and all the people higher in the hierarchy were either Sir or Madam. People in authority liked it. They felt elated and more powerful.

It gave a rise to mediocrity. Whether talented or not, the one called Sir is more powerful. It gave rise to Boss is always right and Yes Sir! culture. This created a professional divide. The focus shifted from efficient work to please the boss. This discrimination led to a lower self-esteem, lower morale, lower confidence and lower productivity.

As technology changed the world and tech-savvy generation joined the workplace, many seniors realized that despite being more experienced, the fresh brains understood and used technology better than them. Now it was on the bosses to adapt and change with the changing times. Many realized that they need to have better professional connect with the junior workforce. Junior workforce needed more autonomy and friendly atmosphere for better productivity. Fail fast and fail often was the new mantra!

With the rising startup culture, many people started preferring to be addressed by their first name only. It allows people to be comfortable and relaxed. It does not mean showing disrespect to the senior. Rather it helps create a better professional bond. It allows people to have the courage to talk about critical issues instead of focusing on power games.

Calling someone sir or ma'am is not the only way to show respect. The tone, attitude, and body language convey that respect which Sir may not.

Call people in your office by their first name, with all due respect.

Tell us in comments what do you think about this!
- Vivek

There is a campaign No Sir No Madam for creating awareness on this subject.


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