Nurturing Brand Communities

Humans, since time immemorial, have believed in the idea of community. Evolutionarily, early men lived together in caves in groups; from the hunting of wild to staying in groups helped them protect themselves from the attacks in the night. Even today, on one side the families are becoming smaller and nuclear, people still sought out for approvals from families and friends in any important decision making, be it a marriage proposal to style to buying anything expensive, everything in us is borrowed and is further, lent.

This article is about how brands can shape, nurture, and mature indispensable communities, the kind of communities that offer worth impossible to capture anywhere else.

Any indispensable brand community are built on four pillars

  1. Members motivations for valuable contribution
  2. Define what engagement you want to create for your prospects
  3. The balance between what as a brand we want to achieve versus what members in the community want
  4. Make it easy for people to communicate with you. Communication = community

Member’s motivations for valuable contribution

What’s interesting about humans is that they cannot do without society and cannot do with society. We need our own space and despise the interference of others but we also need people to comfort us, care for us, talk and work with us and socialize with us. Even while making any decision or coming to a conclusion, we take into consideration the viewpoint of others. No matter how small or big the decision is, we have a reference group that we get in touch with and who influence our choices.

The reference group can be brand advocates, consumers who are motivated enough by the initial purchases that they ascended in the consumer journey to buy more or brands spokesperson themselves. The best place to start a brand community is by using company customer database and ranking them on their purchases. A consumer who had been buying for long and has been spending more can be taken as the master communicator in the community. A brand needs to be trying to turn members into allies by supporting them through their consumer journey of awareness, first purchase, engage, excite, repeat purchases, advocate, and promote. The best communities get their members to advocate, lead, learn, provide insights, educate others, support, and stand up for the brand when it is hit by negative commentaries.

Many renowned business schools are creating such communities in the form of clubs. For example, the IILM Graduate School of Management has over 30 offline traditional and online communities. From traditional clubs like sports and cultural clubs to more modern new age clubs like movies, digital marketing, economics, HR, and simulation clubs that connect with the students beyond classroom hours to make them learn class concepts through real-time practice and engage them more meaningfully.

Do visit IILM Graduate School of Management Facebook page (https://bit.ly/2Ywev2N) and site(http://www.iilmgsm.ac.in/) to know more about the communities inside the campus.

Define what engagement you want to create for your prospects

Every community has its own innate needs for engagement. Be it a small non-formal what’s app community of school friends or formal brand or consumer-driven social network sites like Facebook or LinkedIn communities. The innate needs of each community are so distinctive that brand engagement in each of these communities needs to be planned accordingly. Many of these consumer communities are an easy escape from the mundane impact of culture and society to follow one’s individual preferences and brands need to find these distinctive needs and position themselves strongly there. For example, in the climactic scene of the popular 2010 film, Sex and the City, the protagonist Carrie Bradshaw and her group of friends find themselves surrounded by many middle-eastern women who have kept themselves covered but they reveal they love New York and the fashion. They show their latest wardrobe which is the latest Spring Collection but keep this just among themselves as this won’t be accepted in their community. But again, these women have this close-knit community of theirs where their preferences and choices survive amongst themselves. Imagine brands like Victoria Secret, Rent the Runway, Rebag and MM.LaFleur could have got these middle-eastern women in their communities.

The balance between what as a brand we want to achieve versus what members in the community want

In 2009, the HBR published the famous story of the Harley Davidson Owners group. In the early 1980s, the besieged motorcycle company built a powerful network of Harley Davidson owners across America. This turned the company from the rim of insolvency into a company worth $7.8 bn.

Many times community members divulge into jokes and irrelevant issues over valuable content. Such communities fall from the ladder of valuable contributions and they find it very hard to climb back. Brands need to understand that the communities need to be driven towards a common purpose: The purpose of brand building, introducing new products or addressing issues.

So companies must try to find the following regularly.

  • How many community members are advocating and attracting new consumers
  • Are members buying more as a result of the community
  • Are members generating useful product ideas
  • Is the community solving other members product-driven issues
  • Is the sales increasing because of the advocates in the community
  • What is the ROI on driving such communities

Make it easy for people to communicate with you. Communication= community

Studies show consumers value human-like communication from brands.  Research shows that 57% of consumers have increased brand loyalty for the brand that shows humanistic behaviour (Andrew,2018).

Communication is the basis of all that a brand does, which means you need to make it easy for your followers to talk to you. At the same time, how a brand communicates on each networking channel needs to be different. The way you communicate on Facebook will evoke a different response if you tried the same method on Twitter. So it is important for brands that they are present in the desired network community sites where their segment audience is. Right from question stickers to stories all add up to drive a thriving community.

Though day by day we are turning inwards and maybe, introspecting ourselves, still we are by nature social and we like to have a sense of belongingness. Honestly, we wouldn’t even have realized it till now and now, there’s no better time than this when isolation from the community has started to look like a challenge and have started instilling  fear in us: fear of oblivion

References

https://www.thedrum.com/news/2018/11/20/study-shows-consumers-value-human-communication-brands

Authors:

Dr Sumanjit Dass

( Asst. Professor Marketing)

IILM Graduate School of Management, Greater Noida

Ms Medha Ghosh

(Management student of IILM GSM, PGDM Batch 2019-21)

 

 

 

The Beautiful Road Ahead – IILM, School of Management

Just out of school, a student enters a life, less cocooned, more puzzling, and challenging full of promises and heartbreaks. Parents also anxiously want their children to be on the right track of a steady career growth that promises a secure future. Wise decisions taken at this stage by the student and parents about the choice of course and institution will ensure good learning and focused career growth that is both rewarding and fulfilling. A beautiful road ahead is possible if one plans and decides well. Who wants a rickety ride in the graduation years?

In the market that is full of enticing offers and promises for a beautiful road ahead in education right after school, IILM, a top-ranking institute, is a name of trust running the helm of top-class education for decades. It has a unique reputation of welcome and warm ambiance with student-centric education that is in line with the demands of the market. One can see the wonderful reviews of students and parents on the internet about the quality education being offered in echelons of IILM. IILM has three imposing campuses in Delhi NCR, namely in Lodhi Road, Gurugram, and Greater Noida. IILM University, in Gurugram, offers several graduate and undergraduate courses in Management, Law, Psychology, Design, etc. apart from its rigorous Ph.D. program in different streams. All the departments boast of high-profile faculty and management, having an illustrious experience in their fields.

The School of Management

IILM University is nestled right in the heart of Gurgaon on the glistening Golf Course Road. The School of Management is one of its oldest and prestigious departments. The well-guarded campus housing the School has beautiful green manicured and well-tended gardens and lawns full of trees of mogra and pansy buds striking a contrast amidst the concrete and glass jungle of the Golf Course Road. One can see students sitting in the gardens with their laptops studying in the natural peace of nature or busy playing basketball/volleyball on the courts. Everywhere you see students, busy, happy, and secure.

The school of Management offers different undergraduate and post-graduate degrees and diplomas in varied streams of Management, Marketing, Human Resource, Entrepreneurship, Insurance, and Risk, etc. A well-equipped library that is regularly updated does not leave much for asking in terms of knowledge resources. The School of Management also aims and delivers 100% placements to the students in companies like Toyota, L’Oreal, HDFC Bank, Gartner, etc.

Faculty

‘No one should teach who is not in love with teaching.’ Margaret E. Sangster

Indeed, at the School of Management, the teachers are in love with their profession. The faculty is well-read and industrious in their efforts to impart impactful classroom teaching to the students. Many teachers have rich industry experience behind them and have research papers published in top research publications. The teaching sessions involve students and teachers in active, engrossing discussion of insights and wisdom. Case studies and role-plays, debates, quizzes, projects keep the students alert in the learning drill for a competitive future. Faculty is also deeply involved in continuous mentoring of students even after classroom sessions and students are active participants in organizing conferences, events, annual fairs, and social outreach programs.

Student life

‘The secret in education lies in respecting the student.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Student-centric education is the mantra at the School of Management. Students are involved everywhere, be it classroom, conferences, placements, etc. from day one at the school, the student feels part of the IILM family that builds his sense of responsibility and deliverance. The activities and clubs, like Marketing Club, Finance Club, Entrepreneurship Club, etc., keep the students busy in the learning mode. Yearly life skills training rendezvous to Jim Corbett Park help to relax the freshers and help them connect with their new friends and faculty and developing in the team spirit. Industrial visits and industry connect meetings and seminars help students gain exposure to the market they are readying up for. Students also participate in various competitions and social work programs with equal interest. long hours are also spent in the peaceful library. The hostel available for students is safe, secure, and hygienic. The management of the School is very cordial with the welfare and development of the student of topmost priority for them.

Good Decision

Choosing IILM University, School of Management is a wise decision to invest in a wonderful future in the business world. The teaching pedagogy is world-class and placements assured. Great global exposure is a value add with a number of student exchange programs and international visits. Guest lectures from the best in the industry help students get attuned to industry practices. They also become socially aware and responsible citizens. And of course, the beautiful green shaded campus is a big bonus.

The graduate years must be the best as they do involve the precious youth of a person’s life. A good institution will make focus on the future clear and be the mantle of guidance and support for the students. School of Management, IILM University, offers just that with passion and commitment. Students can get in touch with the IILM University admissions team on the university website and will be guided in the admission process and assisted with any queries. As the seats are limited in various programs offered by the School of Management, it will wise to submit applications as soon as possible.

So, for the prospects out there, make the right choice. Visit iilm.edu.in now to apply.

Surely, a beautiful road lies ahead!

Myths about Green Economy: Busted

Greenery calms down our eyes and mind. It symbolizes life, freshness, nature, harmony, energy, and fertility. The world is facing serious challenges in environmental front. To motivate people to stop contaminating the environment, Environmentalist, and environmental enthusiasts are using “Green” concepts everywhere. At IILM with a blend of management and engineering, we create Eco friendly surroundings. Same concept is used for green economy.

“An economy is the production and consumption of goods and services and flow of money. Then what is Green Economy? Is Green economy all about planting trees in the world? Let us make it short and simple by explaining Green Economy. Green Economy stands for accelerating economic activities and infrastructure that are helpful in low carbon emission, increase energy conservation, and efficient use of resources.

There are certain myths about green economy, which you will also relay on-

  • Every business around is polluting environment. Agricultural waste makes Delhi’s atmosphere  suffocating every year, chemical fertilizers contaminating underground water. Agriculture a major sector in green economy is polluting our country. Therefore, green economy is just a concept for books.
  • Everything around is driven by fossil fuel. Electricity for metro trains generated from the thermal power plants using coal. In actual we are not conserving the environment. Environmental protection, social benefits and profit making cannot go together. Again, green economy is a myth.
  • Green economy cannot grow like fossil fuel based economy. This economic model will not get acceptability of citizens. So it is a myth.
  • Shifting economy from fossil fuel to other energy sources may result in job loss. Governments won’t be able to afford this, so it’s a myth.

Let us burst the Myths about Green Economy

#Myth-1 Industry transformation in Green Economy

Businesses will get transformed into green economy. Present MSME like renewable energy, sustainable transportation, waste management, green residential areas, water management, land management, fisheries, agriculture, forestry, etc. will work on large scale. There are certain areas in the business that yet to be explored. Organic farming can make agriculture non polluting, healthy and profitable.

#Myth-2 Environmental protection, Social benefits, and profit making cannot go together

  1. J. Kurian of Amul, Shri Mahila Grh Udyog and several other Indian examples has proven that social benefit and profit making can go together. Both of them uplifted the people financially. Government of Gujarat has introduced a project of installing solar panels on 19000 Km long network of canals of Narmada River. Hence, above myth has been proven wrong

#Myth-3 Growth of Green Economy is perceive slow

Renewable energy and recycling can be the key drivers to foster green economy. Availability of energy and raw material economically is the need of industry. Renewable energy is an economic and sustainable source of energy and recycling can provide cheaper raw material. India’s 55% of energy requirement will be covered by renewable energy sources by 2030, if this sector will grow at the same pace.

#Myth-4 Career and Job Opportunities are limited

Whenever technology shifts, it affects the job market, and existing jobs transform. India’s top business schools are carving our future managers and technocrats to work in present environment and cope up with future challenges. Research will play a key role for every student.

At IILM College of Engineering, Department of Biotechnology trains students in hydroponic technology, vermin compost, bio compost etc. Our Alumnus and existing students are working with reputed brands at renewable energy sector. Civil engineers at IILM are developing methods of using non-degradable plastic in construction. This will change the future construction techniques and minimize pollution.

Coming to the end of discussion, I would like to support  Green Economy as- industries can easily shift to renewable energy sources, Green economy will grow at the same pace like fossil fuel based on our  economy there will be no dearth of career opportunities. Green economy will contribute in better health of citizens. Citizens can start practicing basic  fundamentals of green economy by using solar power, compost in kitchen gardens which are  very beneficial in  conserving energy.

For more information on green economy related readings follow my blogs on IILM Blog site https://blog.iilm.edu or write to me at ashutosh.singh@iilmgsm.ac.in

How to Make your Virtual Teaching Interesting for Learners

Change always creates anxiety and when this change is rapid then it creates panic too. Recent changes in an environment completely upset the traditional classroom teaching-learning process. It left no other choice but to move on a new platform for learning that is virtual classrooms.  This transition from traditional face to face teaching to virtual teaching was highly unexpected and too quick to absorb hence given a very strong blow on the teaching-learning process. Moreover, neither the teachers nor the students were trained for such a virtual environment. When I thought about learning through virtual teaching, I encounter two questions. Does any scientific method exist to enrich the learning process? Can learner also enhance their learning?

On the lines ‘the show must go on’, one needs to adapt to the virtual teaching-learning model and should make this interesting for learners. Learners are sitting at the comfort of their homes with too many distractions all around. Learning will only happen when they find interest in lectures and feel engaged.

To increase the productivity of the class teachers might consider the following tricks:

Lay down fundamental rules

At the beginning of the class, the teacher should inform the students about few basic etiquettes to be followed in class. Ask the students to mute their microphones to avoid any disturbance. Students will unmute themselves only if they have any questions to ask or if they are asked to do so. If possible, ask the students to switch on their camera which will increase the engagement.

Engage students

On online platform, students have a shorter time span for concentration. By asking questions to random students in every 5-6 minutes will keep them engaged and hence increase the productivity of the class. At every 5-6 minutes keep asking simple questions and for answers ask students to type in the chatbox. Answers could be just ‘yes/no’ type.

Give control to the students

Generally, in classes teachers speak a lot, and students felt left out and learning stops. It is better to give control to students at times and ask them to interact in the form of discussing with each other in class.

Share content in advance

Possibly, share the content to be discussed in class with all the students in advance so that they are prepared well in advance.

Use easily available, copyright-free online resources

Share content with the students which are copyright free and easily available. Although, too many contents are available freely for all but do not expect that students will search on their own. It is better to mention the URL for the resource material as click and use the material for them.

Avoid information overload

Plan your sessions well in advance such that students will not be overloaded and they have time to practice problems on the topic discussed.

Make use of Multimedia

To avoid boredom in the classroom, use multimedia tools to make the classroom interesting enough so that students’ engagement increases and so productivity.

Record live sessions and share

Don’t forget to record your sessions for the benefit of those students who live in the area with bandwidth issues and not able to attend live sessions. Share these videos with all the students so all can revisit in case of doubts.

There are certain basic rules for students also to make learning effective and efficient. First and foremost, students need to have a reliable and stable internet connection to attend the classes in virtual mode. They must find a quiet corner at their respective places to avoid any disturbance during sessions. If possible, they can use headphones instead of earphones to reduce the noise level. Prepare for your class well in advance. Go through with all the resources shared by teachers. Be interactive during sessions but do not disturb the flow of the class. Either raise a hand or use a chat box in case of any query.

The productivity of the teaching-learning process in the management program will surely be enhanced if both the stakeholders follow the aforementioned tricks. Faculty and students of IILM will surely make teaching-learning much more interesting and productive on a virtual platform.

9 Tips to Write a Great Literature Review

Students from business schools and MBA aspirants around the world are keen to join the internship. Having an Internship is not enough, documentation of work is also necessary. Internship Research Report is a document that tells what you did during your internship and your productive approach towards the process. An intern needs to create the report carefully. The purpose of a literature review is to make the foundation of any report strong enough. You can define research as a criminal investigation, where you need to prove and justify your approach with tools of research.
A literature review is a process of appraising the studies conducted till date on a specific topic. Let us take an example of an intern working for the recruitment of an organization where their job is to analyze the recruitment process of an organization before hiring. Now during their analysis, it’s important for the intern to check how past researchers studied the recruitment process. What were the benefits of the processes they followed? Which strategy helped them understand the job requirements and better assessment of the candidates? This detailed review of the literature would help the intern to work on the current organizational recruitment process and forecast changes if necessary.

While reviewing various sources it is very important that students and researchers look into the following areas of the literature that they wish to review-

  1. Methodology – Awareness of methodology, and analysis instruments are necessary for the researcher to get familiar with the way research conducted by researchers. It further guides that research is going in the right direction or not.
  2. Research Problem – It gives clarity to the problem being address in the research. The Researcher can compare and contrast the findings of prior researches conducted.
  3. Research Gap – Research gap is the missing piece of the puzzle. It’s an area not yet explored by researchers. An example, the number of physically disabled candidates applying for IT jobs and the number of selection of such candidates. Systematic literature reviews help to identify the research gap. If you would be able to cover such a research gap your report will be worthy of the industry.
  4. Writer’s skills – A well-written literature review gives an insight into critical thinking and writing abilities to the audience.
  5. Limiting researcher’s biases – Human decisions are always affected by psychological biases. Prior research review direct researcher towards an unbiased view.

Writing a literature review is an art. There are certain guidelines that make Review of Literature stronger for any Research-

  1. Define The Problem Statement – It’s a herculean task to create the objectives or problem of research. Being a student of a business school, you can consult your mentor or project guide. It must not be too narrow or too wide as prior researches are available. A wide problem statement makes the research tuff to be justified and analyze.
  2. Locating the Literature Survey – Online resources like google scholar, Microsoft Academic, Base, Core, Semantic Scholar, ERIC database, and many more can help you to locate and review the related literature. A proper citation must be there in the report.
  3. Analysis of Literature – While analyzing literature you need to consider (a) the objective of the study, (b) statistical or analytical techniques used to analyse the literature, (c) result or conclusion of the research made.
  4. Structure a literature review – The chapter must start with an introduction that will define why the topic picked, trends of research. Contribution of researchers in the area, and in the end conclusion explains the gap which you wish to fill and further opportunities of the future studies in the area.

With all this extensive information on how to Review the Literature in Research Projects many educationists, students and professionals have benefitted. Giving it away forward we at IILM University help students at every step in their internships where they work on Research Projects and Proposals. This process might sound rigorous initially but once our students master the basics about Research it opens wide horizons of Creativity, growth & Innovation for them. It gives them a professional edge while being a student they get exposure to learning things the right way.
There is a lot that goes into Research. A true Researcher Lives his Research every moment. Note that during your placement interviews maximum questions are Project-based where your research skills and your dissertation report speak a lot about your analytical skills. Cracking your interviews with critical research gives you an edge over other students. Only a few Universities stress on a Strong Research Foundation and IILM being one benchmarks its Research Teachings on many platforms
Does it end here? No. We keep learning our entire life but to learn it is necessary to read and practice. Keep reading and exploring to uncover the deeper insights about the great findings and researches being done every moment.

For research related guidance, follow my blogs here or write to me at ashutosh.singh@iilmgsm.ac.in

Dancing Market: Optimism or Insanity?

In the era of COVID-19 when WHO has declared it as a pandemic. India is under the lockdown for more than sixty days like all other nations in the world. All the economic activities were shuttered down till lockdown 3.0. The future outlook for the Indian economy is not pleasant. Analysts are expecting negative growth for Financial Year 2021. Almost all medium and small-scale businesses are in crisis. Most of them have shut their shops and laid off their employees. Big business houses have announced a salary cut for their employees. For April, the Auto industry first time have observed zero production output. The unemployment rate is at an all-time high. Scores of migrant laborers have moved back to their native places.

In this gloomy scenario across the nation stock market is dancing like anything. Though, it is not at the record height as it was during February but it is not that bad either. Eventually, soon after the announcement of the lockdown market slumped to almost half but this state did not last long. At present, the market is hovering around the level of 2017 which under the present circumstances is quite amazing.

Barometer of Economy?

It is time to evaluate the phrase ‘SENSEX is the barometer of Indian Economy‘. Is it a barometer to gauge the economic activities anymore? The stock market is considered a leading indicator of the economy. It was believed that there is a high correlation exist between the stock market and economy but this correlation does persist?

Fool’s Paradise!

Though the stock market is not a true representative of the economy nowadays it seems like the market has divorced the economy especially to all whatever is happening around us; whatever is the reality of economic activities. The stock market is not showing any concern to the more than fifty-nine lacs corona positive cases around the world and more than forty-seven hundred deaths in India. Stock market and particularly investors are living in paradise.

Future Outlook

There are various explanations for this insane behavior of stock investors. First and foremost, the explanation is that stock prices are always based on the future outlook, not the present. Present stock prices are the discounted cash flows expected from stock in the future. So, the present stock prices reflect that investors believe that economy will have a speedy recovery shortly.

Expectations from Government

Investor’s expectation of a substantially large stimulus package from the government went in vain. Investors have a strong feeling that the government will be able to overcome all difficulties in the economic front. The historic decision of reducing the corporate tax rates and conceptualizing the idea of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ is giving hope to the investors.

The central government, as well as Reserve Bank, has already taken measures in terms of various fiscal and monetary policies to infuse the liquidity in the system. The financial year which generally ends on March 31 has been extended till June 30 exhibits commitment of government toward economic measures. Investors are betting on such strong interventions of government to boost the profitability of corporate houses in the future. The first year of NDA 2.0 is rated positively by various analysts which is enough to boost the confidence of investors.

Investment Options

Even more, now investors have not left with more options to invest as the prevailing interest rate on government bonds and all small saving schemes have been reduced. If we adjust the returns from these schemes with inflation, we will get negative returns for almost all investment products. So, the stock market is the only option left for investors to park their excess money with.

Optimism for Vaccine

Stock investors are at present feeling more optimistic about the future than the doctors and scientists who are working on the development of a cure for the Corona virus. Investors are expecting that soon enough a vaccine for the same will be discovered on which the whole world is working.

Black-box Theory

Another theory argues that all investors are operating as a black-box process. No one knows about the future of investments or till when this pandemic end and the road to normality be back. It is just the mere expectations which are leading the market at present. Investors are also active because they fear being left behind. New investors are considering this time as an opportunity to enter into the market at this level which may not come around again.

Parallel with Lehman Crisis

If we draw a parallel between the current crisis with the financial crisis of 2009, we get a hint from there also about this euphoria in the market. In November 2009 when the future of economies was pathetic even then the stock market across the world was mostly up by more than 50 percent from the past year while the economies were only growing by 1 percent for that particular one-year period. People were investing based on their expectations not based on ground reality. So, again history is repeating itself in the market.

Advice for Novice Investors

It can be inferred that expectation of the majority is driving the market than reality. Investors are not acting insane rather they have optimist future outlook. For investors, market timing is really important. For a novice investor, it is time to get into the market with a long horizon. If you have missed the wagon in 2017 then prices are again around that level. ‘Buy with caution’ is the mantra for success.

At IILM, students are being prepared to analyse the economic situation and to identify the trend for investments to be successful. We conduct live trading sessions for better understanding of the same. For more information on stock market one can approach at kumar.saurabh@iilmgsm.ac.in.

A CACTUS IS REALLY JUST AN AGGRESSIVE CUCUMBER

Introduction:

As a cool cucumber can turn into a savaged looking cactus, all of us can indeed turn our calm selves to something ferocious because of anger which at times triggers violent responses. Reactions ranging from rash driving to banging doors to actually getting into a physical altercation and verbal aggression are seen most commonly with people who are apparently aggressive.

Social Psychologists cleave the concept of aggression into emotional and instrumental aggression which is to say that former results from unhappy/negative emotions (carried out in the heat of the moment like slapping in a fit of rage) whereas the latter is intended, a well-planned move (to hurt someone purposely like a bully in school or at work).

Aggression is exhibited in physical aspects – hitting, kicking to non-physical aspects like verbal (yelling), social (bad-mouthing, excluding others), racial (micro aggression), sexual (misogyny, homophobic jokes) that are intended to harm others.

Following Liberal education at IILM University, we teach life skills in out everyday classes in the form of role plays or class discussion to help them accept, understand and manage negative emotions.

But why do we aggress? Is it like a life skill that we all need so that we don’t look meek?

Evolutionary Scientists explain that we have an innate ability to protect as well as seek continual survival of our genes. Human beings need to be able to aggress in certain situations, and nature has provided us with this skill which means that under the right situation, almost all of us will aggress (Buss & Duntley, 2006).

Physiologists’ support evolutionary perspective as it is known to mankind that aggression is controlled by Amygdala i.e. limbic system inside the cortex controlling emotions. This further controls our autonomic nervous system which in stress activates flight-or-fight mechanism.  What science is trying to explain to us is that under stress, we will either fight the stressor or run away from it. Not only this, some imperative chemical substances in our body like serotonin which when found to be at low levels predict aggression (Kruesi, Hibbs, Zahn, & Keysor, 1992; Virkkunen, de Jong, Bartko, & Linnoila, 1989).

Behavioral scientists feel that what we see in our environment is how we condition ourselves to be; so if children see their parents act out aggression by hitting, to them it’s OK to do the same. It’s no rocket science to explain that aggression would harbor aggression and the more we see it, the easier it is for us to repeat it.

It is imperative to say that one’s social situation also makes it critical for a response like aggression. As it is commonly noticed that we may react violently in situations where we are uncomfortable/ fearful or provoked (with friends or subordinates) but may react more calmly in others (in front of an authority).

On hindsight, it is easy to recall that when we were aggressive, we were likely to be experiencing a negative emotion (example- unhappy thoughts, pain or discomfort) that’s why it became so easy to react aggressively. In general, it could be the feeling of being ill or undergoing emotional disturbance that makes one vulnerable to frustration which further provokes violent behaviour.

At IILM University which is considered one of the best private universities for Psychology around Delhi/NCR, we teach critical thinking and communication skills along with other courses where we discuss how anger does not become an issue till you keep ignoring it. Reaching to the core of an internal conflict and addressing concerns is half battle won without inflicting pain to self or others.

 

How to if not stop, control aggression?

The answer to this is Catharsis which is a process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotion. For reducing negative affect and its arousal, if we can actively distract ourselves from that emotion it can help break the cycle of being provoked to react in anger. Catharsis can be any form of meaningful engagement like talking it out, exercising, listening to music and is most useful when done alone.

At undergrad and master’s courses in Psychology at IILM University we teach positive and social psychology and most importantly emotional intelligence. We endeavour to help our students with a thorough understanding of psychology, its components and how aggression is a symptom of repressed issues which through therapy and counselling can be managed.

Conclusion:

Aggression is seen more an emotional than instrumental response needs to be managed by first checking on our feelings. We need to assess what caused this emotion and why? At times aggression is directed at something different than what actually provoked it. When we think carefully about our situation, rather than simply responding in an emotional way, we can carefully choose the most effective responses when we are angry (Berkowitz, 1993).

To conclude, aggression is not a disease we need to fight, lets comes to terms with how normal an aggressed response is; but accept that it cannot be typified into personality. We need to address cause before the management for a long-term goal.

 

The Community Identity, a Sense of Belonging

A community is an identity, an entity. And therefore, it is important.

Community is a group of people in a shared interest or loving space and have similar characteristics. When it comes to human civilisation, a community is a thriving ecosystem having its unique DNA, social and legal structure, beliefs, and practices. Threads of reliance and togetherness among the community members keep it alive. Community is an important facilitating agent of influence and change as it consists of people who share common thought processes and camaraderie. We usually talk about urban, suburban, and rural communities. But communities are varied and formed based on shared lifestyle and beliefs, like religious communities, occupational communities, political ideological communities etc.  All this make the concept of a community very relevant and important for businesses and government and whoever intends to sell an idea, service, product, or positive behaviours.

Building Community

Community building is a field of practice that aims to connect with a target group of people with a message in an effective way. Sometimes also called community development, it is a communication strategy and has time and again proved successful for the enhancement of a community. Community building exercises are important especially in a developing and populous country like India having a huge stratum of poor and rural population with high illiteracy and traditional belief system. Many social development policies and interventions of government and non-government agencies use community centric implementation strategies to bring about positive change. Social marketing of public policies and interventions are most effective when designed in a community specific manner, e.g, ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ interventions will be different for a tribal community in Rajasthan or Haryana which are areas steeped in patriarchy and religious beliefs than rest of India where female infanticide problems are not so grave. Health insurance concept can be promoted in a better way through community-based health insurance schemes (CBHI) to bring more adoption and utilisation of the concept, eg. VimoSewa of Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in Gujarat that built a community of poor and self-employed women. Community buildings help the government in achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In a similar way, the power of community has been leveraged in many other development interventions like immunization, mother and child nutrition, disease or pandemic management, awareness programmes etc. The community members look up to community influencers and their peers to adopt to change rather than a plain reason to change.

Marketer Relevance

The community has always been attractive to the marketer who targets specific markets or niches to sell its products and services. A new whey protein manufacturer targets the gym going and vegan community specifically as it makes more sense to gain ground and a steady revenue stream. Lakers team in basketball is a world-famous brand that has built its own community of Laker fans to whom it sells its Laker merchandise. When Harley Davidson was incurring losses and had reached on the verge of shutting its shop, it tried the community building method (HOG-Harley Owners Group) for its bikes and accessories through its community building strategy.  Podcast uses community building and marketing strategies successfully to run its business in the face of tough competition from video-centric content. Mobile companies like Oneplus and Apple use community building and marketing strategies to promote their products and new launches.

A business can build its community through face to face personal contact, social media presence where the page google analytics can help the business check the leverage. Campaigns, events, theatre plays, festivals, fairs, social work and relevant, quality offerings that connect with the members help to build communities for the products where members feel involved. Marketing efforts for any product or service to the communities is easier and fruitful.

IILM and Community Building

Community building efforts help maintain lifelong connects. Many educational institutions, for example, IILM University, lays a lot of stress in harbouring its alumni community, roping them in for guest lectures, motivational talks and placements and highlighting them on a pedestal pf inspiration for future students. Every student feels part of the IILM family long after he/she has left the organisation. for its social work and CSR initiatives, IILM University also adopts villages in its vicinity and promotes education, healthcare, and other programmes of social upliftment for the poor communities. Students actively participate with full zeal in such programmes and develop a commitment towards community building for the larger good of the nation

Therefore, community building and marketing is important for organisations and businesses to remain relevant and in the competition. It not only empowers the business but also the customer. A thriving community ensures a happy society. Community building will also help in reducing social disintegration, harmful behaviours and will knit fabric of social support, social justice, and economic development along with brand loyalties.

The trend of community building and marketing is getting more prevalent and more niches will be created. It will not be exaggerating to say that community will be the future of marketing. Future marketers and policymakers should concentrate their efforts towards community building to remain relevant in the new age business and marketing scenario. It will be very beneficial for students to opt for Institutions like IILM that have dedicated community building programs which give ample exposure to students in this domain and help with their placements and career development. Students need to take up skills like interpersonal communication, blogging, public speaking, communication design etc. very seriously to gain competitive advantage. such skills are much in demand and will bring an added shine to their personality to make them stand out in the crowd. In this regard, students can further follow the author’s blog on IILM blog site or connect personally for queries and guidance on the email given.

Follow my blogs or write to me at shahana.qutab.phd2019@iilm.edu

A Psychologist’s Guide to Coping in Uncertain Times

“Always Expect the Unexpected Because the Only Certainty Is Uncertainty”

Uncertainty in life has many forms. Changes at workplaces, change in priorities, change in rules and regulations. Even if things are safe right now you never know when they would change and you need to be ready to handle that change.

Change is usually not the problem; it’s the discomfort that often bothers us as we are so strongly attached to a particular outcome in life.

When certainty is questioned we usually have a fight or flight reaction and try to safeguard ourselves. Our brain prefers to find a sure shot outcome to the uncertainty we are experiencing. Research proves that anticipating pain soothes us to be calm than anticipating uncertainty only because we know that pain is certain. For example, uncertainty about getting a job is more stressful than actually losing a job.

Now, the question arises what should we do to tackle uncertainty in a way that it doesn’t impact our overall health and well-being.

This is very important for students aspiring to work with multinationals, professionals struggling with changing roles, people disheartened with their job.

  1. Firstly, don’t panic, remain calm and level headed. Living in uncertain times can be discomforting but you can control how to respond to such situations.
  2. Avoid dwelling on things you can’t control. Try changing the habit of ruminating on negative events of life. Why only visualize worst case scenarios. If there is a fear of not getting a job think of ways to enhance your skills. Think positive and believe in yourself. Remember it’s your life and you have the potential to change it.
  3. Add Value to your skills. It’s important to align your skill set to what is currently the need of the industry. Make sure you have those skills that the current time is demanding. Act upon it. Visualize possibilities.
  4. Market Yourself. Do not think I am asking you to boast about yourself; but how would people know your calibre if you don’t tell them about yourself. Get the recognition you deserve. Go for it.
  5. Ensure your profile is updated. Have an eye-catching LinkedIn profile. Express your interest in companies that you aspire to work with. What you post on your profile should be interesting in content and original in nature to attract organizations towards you.
  6. Focus on Financial Well-Being. One tip for life is always having a financial saving of at least six months worth your livelihood. This will be your support during rainy days and you’ll always have time to choose the best opportunity and will never settle for something less in life. Savings are very essential.
  1. Engage in Self care. Healthy routines are magical. Eat well, exercise regularly, just like body needs stimulation so does our mind and thoughts. So feed your intellect with good literature. Practice mindfulness, it makes life a better place and opens doors that you thought were closed.
  1. Risk is real and Fear is optional. Risk assessed is risk management. Understand the uncertainty take calculated risks and overcome your fears to innovate the new you.
  2. Control what you can. We often run for things that are beyond our control. Try making a slight change by focusing on stuff that is within your control. It can be as basic as setting your clothes a night before a strenuous day. Try comforting your days.

If you see your Today. Job insecurity is the “New Reality,” why respond or perceive it as Negative. It might offer better opportunities for your growth and career enhancement.

Take that Extra Mile and prove your worth. Show the world your True Potential. Don’t Stress and rather Invest in this time to uplift your skills and embrace the new shift that the Industries are offering.

This is the only way you can see the New Positive and Let go the doubt and uncertainty around. Be prepared to change with the times instead of resisting to a change. Life’s most treasured moments come unannounced. Instead of being threatened by unexpected outcomes we should learn that they can be hidden seeds of opportunities.

For best professional practices and how to deal with professional challenges follow my blogs on IILM Blogs and LinkedIn or write to me at megha.kochhar@iilm.edu

We at IILM train students to handle complex situations and be proactive professionals in every situation by focusing on multiple skill development, developing emotional intelligence. There is a Center for Emotional Intelligence at IILM University where training programs help students build self awareness, emotional regulation that helps them deal with uncertainty in personal and professional life.

FUTURE OF WORK-FROM HOME

Introduction

Most of my employed friends have seen this paradigm shift of working from home at the time when pandemic is hovering on our heads. With this cloud of constant worry and panic, I noticed a silver lining and that has been remote working. As much as thoughts about driving to work in traffic and chores to complete at home, seems like a lost memory; we all know it will take some time for us to go back to that mindless driving routine once the lockdown gets lifted.

Effective Diversion at the time of crisis

So, has this shift from “physically” being at work impacted performance for people? If it is to believed home-based jobs has been an effective diversion from anxious thoughts as well as keeping peace at home. Working from home has created a sense of purpose for the day along with balancing home and work commitments. This fine balance we all have evolved to is our future in 2020. IILM University which is excelling in blended modules for its students, aspires to teach innovatively while using latest web tools so that students keep pace with virtual learning while being at home.

Benefits to the Company

Companies post lockdown would be looking at securing future where cost savings leading to productivity gains and convenience of both employer and employees will be implemented. As expected, this year only we will see many of us having flexible workplace as we have learnt how to manage both aspects of life.

Ease for women to be at work while at home

WFH will encourage more women to join the workforce as the hassles of travelling daily would disappear. “In the US, about 25% of the workforce works out of home,” says Rohit Kapoor, vice-chairman & CEO of EXL Service. “In India, we will move to that kind of level over time. This option will also help women, especially mothers, a lot as it will make it easier for them to join the workforce.”

Is it just positive thinking or are we actually missing “going” to work?

Some say that the absence of meeting colleagues and dressing up for work would be missed and sometimes brainstorming sessions on calls may not work for everyone. People will or already are missing the human touch and at times, work from office becomes a form of diversion from personal problems back at home. No dedicated space at home can also be one major challenge and yes, not all professions can “fit in” this newest modal of working.

Mother Nature says yes to WFH

However to look at the bright side, WFH will help in reducing carbon emissions, will bring in flexible working hours, people will be able to manage time to do things they enjoy and pursue some for which they couldn’t find time and most importantly to be able to slow down the pace of life.

Conclusion

All of us given in the past with hectic routines have now become attentive to our environment, our relations and how much we miss the good times. WFH if taken in a positive way is a step closer to saving our environment, building economy, being creative at work, able to pursue vocational aspirations and most importantly being able to multi-task with ease; it’s that change which will be for the better.

“When you put yourself in an uncomfortable position; is when you grow the most”

Gary Swart CEO oDesk