In defense of Individual Differences


Differences between people are generally considered to be a bad thing. When we see someone who is somehow different from us we are suspicious of them. We tend to celebrate what we have in common, not what makes us different as people

There is a tendency to emphasize more on the unity rather than the diversity aspect of people’s personalities.

“At the end of the day, we are all the same”

But are we really? If we were really all the same, wouldn’t the world just be a boring mass of the same person replicated over and over again. What a lackluster world that would be! One shudders to even think about it.

The truth is that human beings are different. We react to situations differently, we like different kinds of music, we cope with stress differently, we organize things differently, we approach the same problem from various perspectives differently. And it is these individual differences that make us interesting.

Imagine if the world was only full of creative, artistic people, no schedules, no deadlines, “Art for Art’s sake? Wouldn’t that be fun? Fun, it certainly would be but would it be functional? Who would keep records? Who would raise funds for making art? Who would feed the artists? Sometimes, as irritating as the stick-in-the-mud types may be, the world needs them to rescue it from spiraling into chaos.

On the other hand, what would happen to the world if it were only full of routine builders? Like clockwork, they would go to office, work all day, come back home and go to bed. The world would have no cheer, no art, no music. Every day would be the same dreary mess.

The point is that is takes all kinds to make the world. And it is a good thing that we are all different. Each of us has something new and unique to bring into the world.

What we must do however, is to be aware of individual differences and make our difference our strength. We need to figure out where we can contribute, to our family, to our job, to our organization and make sure that we are in the right place.

Let’s celebrate our differences and make the most of them.

To KNOW MORE about YOUR Personality



Self-awareness need not be a spiritual thing.


Self- Awareness is a high and mighty sounding word. You probably thought of some sort of a spiritual Guru or the Gautam Buddha himself when you read it. It’s true though. Self-awareness is more often than not associated with meditation and yoga and a bunch of rigorous spiritual practices that most of us are not acquainted with or not interested in.

If you do like them, well good for you but let’s face it. For most of us meditation and trying to climb to a higher spiritual level isn’t really our cup of tea. We lead busy lives and often want to leave out these higher pursuits for the post-retirement blues.

Meditation is not for us. But Self-awareness just might be. It’s a common misconception that self-awareness has something to do with chanting mantras and finding answers to life’s difficult question.

That might be one way of doing it. But self-awareness can simply mean being aware of one’s own personality.  There are always aspects of our own personality that we are often completely unaware of.

We know our favorite foods, our beloved songs, we might know the color we like to wear on a bad day but we aren’t often aware of what makes us tick. We don’t know what kind of situations we are good at handling, we aren’t aware of aspects of our personality that help us cope with stress, we aren’t sure of what kind of social situations make us feel uncomfortable, and the list goes on.

But imagine if we were aware of these things. Just imagine if we already knew what we’re good at. We’d step forward with confidence and take charge of the situation without hesitation. We’d be able to avoid situations that we aren’t good at. Or if those situations were unavoidable we’d be able to avoid our own pitfalls.

It would make us better workers, parents, students and, in general, more efficient human beings. This is the power that self-awareness can give us.

But you might ask, how does one attain this kind of self-awareness? Well, the trick is to reflect and study your own personality in such a way that one can use one’s strengths and weaknesses to one’s advantage.

It helps to take some self-evaluation tests like the CB5 to help gauge what kind of person you are and what makes you work the way you do. Combining this with a little bit more self –reflection can make a huge difference to the everyday. So why not try a little non-spiritual self-awareness. You never know how much it might help.

To KNOW MORE about YOUR Personality



Know Your Superpowers!


Imagine if Superman had no idea that he could fly. Or if Sherlock Holmes wasn’t aware of his powers of deduction. What use would their amazing powers be if they weren’t aware of them themselves?

Personalities are complex things. When we aren’t aware of certain aspects of our own personality, those aspects remain dormant. But when we do become aware of these aspects they are nothing short of superpowers that can help us in every walk of life.

When we think of careers, we talk about aptitude, we talk about marks, and we talk about colleges and institutes. It is sad that we rarely talk about personality. Our personality traits are things we carry with us throughout our lives. Our decisions are often based on them, our daily work is shaped on them, and our future is decided by them. And yet we ignore these superpowers that all of us have.

CB5 is a personality test that helps you become more aware of your own superpowers.

The CB5 report when coupled with an Aptitude Test and a consultation with a trained Career Counsellor, gives you an idea of the obvious as well as subtle aspects of your personality that can become assets to your career. Moreover, the Career Shakti report can add a deeper understanding of how one’s personality helps us choose the right work environment keeping our interests in mind.

The benefits of this assessment are manifold. When you know yourself better you can use your strengths better as well as work on things that might be your weaknesses.

This helps you deal with stress better, it helps increase confidence in your personality, it helps you deal with peers and teachers better because it gives you clarity about what you are like yourself.

So being more self-aware need not be restricted to being a spiritual or religious thing. It can be a practical process that helps you choose, decide and advance in your career even better.

Self-awareness as they say leads to progress. So, why not realize one’s inner superpowers and unleash the Superman or Sherlock Holmes today!

To KNOW MORE about YOUR Personality



Does Personality Matter?


In the last three Posts we observed the possible behaviours of Fire Deparment Chief.

Let us explore how Personality impacts Behaviour in another Interesting Role – Quality Control Engineer; in a brick manufacturing unit; although we believe that the following can be applied to any QC position in any INDUSTRY!!!

The QC Engineer is expected to ensure quality checks at various manufacturing segments. Co-ordinate with various members of other teams. Ensure zero defect in manufactured bricks as per standards of the company/industry (6 sigma quality). Hold people accountable. Document and report appropriately in time. Make clear decision on rejections.

What could be great attributes for a Brick manufacturing QC Engineer/Auditor?

Let us list out the various facets that we have explored from an earlier POST

Knowledge : Must have mastered the relevant know-how of the Brick Technology including Materials, Mechanics, Manufacturing processes, Brick Kiln technologies and possibly various other elements relating to Brick Manufacturing.

Skills : Must have experience over several cycles of the process of manufacturing bricks. Must be skilled on using the testing equipment for brick size (Vernier calipers?) Must have knowledge on Stress testing equipment. Must have experience in recording the information and sampling statistics. Must have experience in spotting defects and ensuring appropriate systemic reporting takes place.

Intelligence : Must have above average Logical and Analytical ability.

Physique : Should be able to work in an office environment and also on the shop floor.

and very importantly …

PERSONALITY!!   This person needs to be Goal Focused, Organised, Planful, Very Detail Oriented, Meticulous,  Rule abiding (ie adhering to standards as defined) Not accommodative (ie unwilling to bend rules), be assertive and willing to state facts as they are and be forthright.

Let us realize that the QC Engineer / Auditor’s job is fundamentally a difficult ROLE. This person is expected to find faults of OTHERS!!!

Inherently the performer of this job is likely to be disliked! So the incumbent ideally should be thick skinned and able to absorb pressures and stress and NOT be reactive.

If we have two persons who have similar themes in the Knowledge, Ability, Skills and Experience but are different in their personalities.  HOW would this impact the outcomes in the QC ROLE?

Let us assume we have PERSON ONE – who is exactly as described above and another person who is as talented and experienced as PERSON ONE. Let us call this one the NICE GUY!! This person is friendly and tactful, somewhat detail oriented and organised; also service oriented and comfortable with multi tasking.

What could be the potential outcomes of the two persons given that both are similar except their personalities and therefore behaviours.

While we strongly believe that Personality cannot be classified as Good or Bad; given a context, Personality can have supportive energy or stress created.

PERSON ONE in our opinion, as described above, will be BETTER suited for doing the job of a Quality Control Engineer.

This person will ensure that the quality standards laid down in the RULE book are always adhered to. He may appear steadfast, unrelenting and uncompromising and will tend not be bend norms or the rules established and unrelenting.

And ….This person is likely to get into conflict and arguments with others whose work he is auditing.

The other person – NICE GUY will be more liked and possibly get selected for the role as he is likely to be more affable and liked.His knowledge, ability and skills will be supportive in getting outcomes.

On the other hand, his Personality is likely to have a contrarian effect!!

His need to be affable, service oriented will push him to look for solutions and find pleasant outcomes. His comfort with multi tasking may create slippages in quality monitoring due to his propensity to be more distractable than the PERSON ONE. 


As while he delivers high levels of Quality, he is likely to feel pressured as the job will expect him to be focused, critical, not necessarily bend to the demands of others and be forthright and hold his ground. Having to do so would go against his personality and this would eventually impact outcomes on the job and the health of the Suitable Person!!

Either ways the outcome is likely to be negative for the person as well as the job outcome.

Personality is a very Important facet which contributes to outcomes in ones life both at Home and in Work related situations.

How can you relate your PERSONALITY to your own situation at home or at work?

Which activities ENERGISE you as they are aligned with your Personality?

Please share your experiences when your Personality has contributed to good or bad outcomes!

Comments, Suggestions and Story/Theme Contributions are always WELCOME!

Read the earlier POSTS, FOLLOW for NEW and SHARE with OTHERS

To KNOW MORE about YOUR Personality







Are you the LEADER?

Are you the LEADER?

To continue the story ….

As THE CHIEF  of Fire Fighters of the Town  what should be your behaviour in the given context?

Maybe all he needs to do is be in the background and watch as the Team of Fire fighters and their UNIT head engage in fire fighting.

He only needs to be the extra pair of eyes and ears watching over his Team.

Being the enabler, ensuring that his team of fire fighters has all the means to execute well. Using the opportunity to see for himself how action takes place on the ground.

Knowing that his presence itself can create HUGE pressure on the TEAM efficacy and performance, he needs to pull himself back out of the spotlight and try to become invisible. Let his men do the job because otherwise despite his best intentions he will become NOISE and a NUISANCE!

After the job is done ENGAGE, PRAISE, Review, CHALLENGE for even better PERFORMANCE and MOTIVATE, give feedback to his TEAM LEADS team members, develop and improve systems; engage to explore the 5 Ws and 1 H on how his Fire Department can minimize incidence of FIRE; and even if FIRE happens; how the systems can ensure that it is doused with minimum damage and loss. He needs to share his vision and communicate and motivate all around to align and execute the VISION.

Do you see the difference in the Attitude and BEHAVIOURs of a FIRE FIGHTER, UNIT HEAD and a LEADER?

Do you see differences in the SKILLS and Knowledge of each ROLE?

What would you add change or remove from the list of RIGHT BEHAVIOURS in EACH ROLE?

It would also be a good idea to reflect on your current roles at HOME or at the WORKPLACE with the above examples.

Comments, Suggestions and Story/Theme Contributions are always WELCOME!

Read the earlier POSTS, FOLLOW for NEW and SHARE with OTHERS

Check out your Manager Shakti on 



Right behaviour – Be the Manager!

Right behaviour – Be the Manager!

To continue the story of the Chief Fire Fighter of the City….

As a Head of the UNIT of Fire Fighters how would/could his behavior be different?

As a Fire fighter he needs to be the extra pair of eyes,hands and ears watching over his Team. Co-ordinating within and outside the team. Reaching out to other teams,the law enforcement, paramedics and maybe media! and also keep his bosses informed.

He also needs to protect and motivate his team and support and ensure that the right resources are used for the right Fire Fighting. He needs to call in for additional resources if required.

And after the job is done review, write reports, give feedback to team members, ensure that his team has the right resources and training and that they are always battle ready as a TEAM for the next FIRE!


WHAT would YOU add or do differently as the Head of the FIRE FIGHTING UNIT or as a MANAGER ??

We will wait for sometime to hear from you and then the THIRD one!

How should the CHIEF OF FIRE FIGHTERS of TOWN behave??

Comments, Suggestions and Story/Theme Contributions are always WELCOME!

Read the earlier POSTS, FOLLOW for NEW and SHARE with OTHERS

Check out for mapping YOUR Personality preferences.



Right behaviour – Fight the Fire!

Right behaviour – Fight the Fire!

Right behaviour-Fight the Fire!!!

To continue the story of the Chief Fire Fighter of the City….

There are various ways to view his behaviour

a. As a Fire Fighter

b. As the Head of the UNIT of Fire Fighters

c. As Chief Fire Fighter of the City

As a Fire fighter he needs to respond to call of duty, take ownership and selflessly step in immediately and get into FIRE FIGHTING mode.  Join and Help his colleagues, work in the team by following the set protocol/standard operating procedure (SOP??)…

Use his experience, skills, knowledge and ability to FIGHT the Fire…

(see the following POST : Successs Factors for details)

And as a Head of the UNIT of Fire Fighters how would/could his behavior be different?

We will try to seek alternatives in 24 hours!!

comments, suggestions and contributions are always WELCOME!

Read the earlier POSTS on the MENU at the TOP LEFT corner.

Check out for mapping YOUR Personality preferences.




Right Behaviour – in a given situation??

Right Behaviour – in a given situation??

Right Behaviour – in a given situation??

Here is another parable

It is the story of the head of a fire fighting department of a midsized town in North America.

One day as he was travelling back home from work he came across a house which appeared to have just caught fire. As with most houses in North American towns the house was largely wooden and the fire appeared to be in spreading rather quickly.

Within minutes as he reached the house there was a Fire Engine with a team of fire fighters arriving at the scene just as he got out of the car.

Now the question really is …. What could be the right behaviour of this Chief of Fire Fighters at that moment?

This story will continue and new elements added every day for the next couple of days with a 24 hour gap…

comments, suggestions and contributions are always WELCOME!

Read the earlier POSTS on the MENU at the TOP LEFT corner.

Check out for mapping YOUR Personality preferences.



Right behaviour? Wrong behaviour!!

Right behaviour? Wrong behaviour!!

Here is an interesting parable…

There was once a family of farmers with two brothers and their wives living together.

Both had sons about the same age.

Their upbringing was almost identical with the same schooling and peer group  friend circle.

Since childhood one of them was very interested in the farm. He would help his father and uncle to plough, sow, harvest. Work with the animals and spend most of his time with others in the farm. Let us call him BOY ONE!

He was very physical, boisterous and aggressive since childhood. He enjoyed physical  team sports of all kinds and would always participate and infact lead the teams. His friends always looked up to him and he was the STAR of the farmer household.

The OTHER BOY too was hard working and helped whenever he was assigned a task. He usually preferred to be on his own and would wander away in the woods to spend time with himself. He was lean and lanky; strong but very gentle and mild mannered, soft spoken and polite. He loved to play the flute and enjoyed reading. He would usually avoid participating in many of the group activities with his school friends. Many teased him and called him a loner, but was always protected by BOY ONE. His family would always goad him to be like BOY ONE!!

How do you think the two boys turned out as Adults?

Whose behaviour is RIGHT – BOY ONE or the OTHER BOY’s?

Why? What parameters would  you use to make your judgment?

Comments, Suggestions and Contributions are always WELCOME!



What Is In It For Me (WIIFM)?

What Is In It For Me (WIIFM)?

Why should I engage in any activity?

Recently a gentleman about 50 shared an interesting experience.

He was a charming person who I met after about 2 years, who had transformed himself. At first I did not recognize him until he introduced himself! He had changed. He looked trim and fit and ready to take on the world.

On enquiry, he shared that he had a transformation about a year ago and had started a regime of weight loss and healthy living habits. He was determined to become healthy! He used to smoke,had poor eating habits and there was no exercise in his daily routine.

Having undergone a routine medical examination the doctor whom he consulted, after looking at his stress test, reports, history and life style details told him that he had a maximum of 10 years to live if he continued to live the way he currently was…. He could also expect to get a heart attack within the next 2 years.

Now over the last 12 months this person has moved from 100kgs to 80kgs purely on determination and motivation to loose weight and has set a target to maintain his weight below 75 kgs over the next 2 years

He has stopped smoking, eats three meals a day; with at least 1 fruit, 6 glasses of water; walks 5kms in the morning and bikes 10 every evening. and does breathing exercises for 10minutes thrice a day! and interestingly enjoys this lifestyle. He feels happier,more energetic and his family and children want to spend more time with him.

He casually mentioned that he knew in his 30s and 40s that all the lifestyle elements that he was following were good habits and every year for the last 10 years he would make a resolution to start an exercise regime, go to a gym and work out etc… but the resolutions were short lived. There was nothing to motivate him to follow the discipline required.

However, the doctors prognosis gave him a kick on his pants to feel really MOTIVATED to get his act together this time. His “What Is In It for Me”  was too powerful…. A healthier lifestyle would mean increase in life span, more energy, better mindset and energy levels.

Knowing and having the skill to walk and bike and eat healthy was not enough!

He needed the motivation to do what had to be done… and strangely it appeared through a HEALTH SCARE!

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU ? Find out the WIIFM that triggers your full involvement towards completion of tasks and enables SUCCESS!

From the next POST we will look at BEHAVIOURAL ENABLER as the ultimate facet leading to success …until then

comments, suggestions and contributions will always be WELCOME!