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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 Student Teacher Relationship at IILM University

The bond I share with my students is an incredibly special one. This is a relationship which continues for life and, IILM University has given us teachers this flexibility to not only interact with our students inside the classroom but also outside.

At IILM University, this is a relationship of respect, love and trust. The foundation of this relationship gets laid on day one when a student takes admission. It gets nurtured during the tenure of the student, continuing even after the completion of their program. The teacher is a mentor, a friend, philosopher and guide in the true spirit. The students have long conversations with their teacher – whether it is in a professional area or an academic concern or connecting on a personal level or just generally talking on any topic under the sun. There is seamless communication between the teachers and their students. At IILM University, teachers not only guide them to make informed choices about their careers, but also motivate them to bring out their true potential. They give them feedback so that they improve themselves. The teachers enhance their confidence levels so that they are prepared to face the challenging corporate world. Most importantly, they spend time with their teachers at IILM University. This relationship transcends the boundaries of formalities and the teacher acts as a mentor for the students.

At IILM University, we understand that students are at the cusp of an important juncture in their life, and they need the support of their teachers to hand-hold them in order to take judicious career decisions. IILM ensures that they have a smooth transition from being happy-go-lucky students to sincere and serious corporate professionals. The role of a teacher in shaping the life of the students at IILM is far more critical and serious business than anywhere else. At an age when most of the students are unable to take professional guidance from their parents, the teachers act as an anchor in their lives, giving them the direction they are seeking.

IILM encourages its students to come out of their comfort zones. As teachers, we persuade them to take challenging tasks and set tough goals for themselves. In the process, they emerge as winners, because they also learn the art of accepting failure and moving on in life, even if they are not successful.

On my part, I feel, it is this bond with the students that completes me as a teacher. It does not matter what time they call or send a message on WhatsApp. It is my commitment to them that they will get a response at the earliest, if not immediate. I do not believe in scolding them. In fact, I do not remember shouting at any of them ever. But it certainly does not imply that I accept whatever they do and say. It also does not mean that I am a lenient teacher. Throughout these 13 years in academics, students have always listened to me and complied to what I would have said. The students of my first teaching batch of 2007 still get back to me for help and guidance. And the reason for it is only one – I treat them as adults and very gracefully put across my point. I do not hurt them, nor do I say anything that I would regret later. I do not believe in taunting them, nor do I ever expose their weaknesses in front of others. I have never embarrassed them by sharing their personal experiences to other colleagues or students.

I conduct myself in such a way, that it gives them the confidence that they can connect with me and take my help any time they want to. This attitude has never let me down. It has made students connect with me, even if I would not have taught them in class. And not surprisingly, I am in touch with all the student batches that I have taught in these years, in some way or the other. I attribute this to the mutual love and respect that exists in my student-teacher relationship. I believe that if we want our students to become good human beings, we must treat them as one.

Mentoring at IILM

The word ‘mentor’ may be described in simple terms as a person who gives a younger or less experienced person help and advice over a period of time, especially at work or school. In this context, ‘mentor’ is understood as a person who provides assistance and guidance to his or her ‘mentee’- the person who is being guided, and the objective of ‘mentoring’ is to bring out and nurture the best possible abilities in the ‘mentee’.

It may sound clichéd, but the fact is that in current times we do not want our leaders to be a knowledge bank. Instead, we want them to manifest themselves as dynamic individuals who are capable of handling various situations and people at work. IILM has the tradition of implementing a robust mentoring program for each and every student in order to ensure that its graduate and post-graduate students are prepared to handle the world outside.

The various aspects of the mentoring program at IILM are:

  • Academic and Career Counselling: When a student is selected to pursue studies at IILM, s/he is also allocated a dedicated mentor, considering the fact that young and fresh undergraduates and graduates have numerous expectations related to their academics, career and future plans. The mentor remains in regular contact with the student providing guidance and insights to the mentee. The focus is on academic and professional planning, in addition to personal development.
  • Direction and Guidance: At IILM, the objective is to not only to focus on the core job of guaranteeing academic learning to the students, but also ensuring that within the framework of the mentoring program, mentees share their aspirations and areas of interest with their mentor. The mentor then extends to them all the necessary direction and guidance, which may shape them as effective and successful leaders of tomorrow.
  • Identification of Strengths and Opportunities: The mentor helps the mentee identify his or her strengths and areas of opportunities and development in order to create a nurturing environment. This allows the mentee to achieve his or her academic and career goals through regular interactions between the two.

To quote a few examples:

  • There are students who need help in expanding their family business. In such a situation, the mentor usually connects them to the faculty who has specialized in family business studies or the Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) that caters to nurturing young entrepreneurs.
  • Similarly, there are students who wish to work with leading organizations. With the rich pool of faculty at IILM, who come from industry as well academic backgrounds, the mentor helps provide an understanding of the industry operations to the mentee. The Career Development Cell (CDC) works closely with the mentor to make the students employable.

Thus, the process functions on the basis of regular interactions, expressing and meeting expectations and sharing experiences and follow ups with the mentees. The outcome of mentoring program is, hence, transformation of undergraduates into responsible business professionals.

Mentoring Plan for Staff and Faculty Members

It is noteworthy to mention that the mentoring program is structured not only for the students but also for the all the faculty and staff members. When a new joinee becomes a part of the IILM family, the senior faculty and staff members, including the Deans and the Directors mentor them to understand the modus operandi of the system. During this process, which may be defined as the learning curve, the new joinees understand the dynamics of the system, the process flow of their job profile and are provided continuous inputs and feedback to handle their roles independently.

In a nutshell, the mentoring program is an integral part of the IILM system, which enables each and every individual to define their goals and expectations, draft a plan and then work on the accomplishment of those goals.

Ideation , Innovation & Creativity in Business

If you want to study business, launch your own startup or manage your family business, IILM is the place for you !

Requirements in the job market are dynamic and change constantly.  At IILM we have introduced an exceptional programme to incorporate the trend of startups and entrepreneurship. We have collaborated with the SBS Swiss Business School to bring to our students the change to earn a BBA in Entrepreneurship. The degree is awarded by the Swiss Business School and teaches modules that are aimed to equip students with the skills need to start their own ventures ,take on the responsibilities of entrepreneurship or manage their family business..

The programme spans over 3 years or 6 semesters and covers a variety of topics starting from the basics and moving up in difficulty. The initial semesters have introductory modules that introduce students to concepts of Accounting, Marketing, Management, Information Systems, Economics, Finance, Statistics and Law. These basics are aimed at bringing all students on the same platform as we have students from varied backgrounds applying to this course. Similarly, Foreign Language is also offered to students over the 3 years in order to diversify their knowledge base and give them an edge in the job market.

After the basics students study modules like Small Business Field Studies, Venture Capital and Private Equity, Entrepreneurship Case Studies and Mergers and Acquisitions – topics related to managing real world situations. These modules as well as the others offered are not only case study based but also incorporate learning through simulations in order to effectively instill the theories involved.Case studies used are from the Harvard Business School so that our students have access to the very best resources.

Experiential learning is also encouraged through Company Visits as a module students visit various companies belonging to various industries and interact with staff and department representatives to gain understanding of the working of the companies and respective departments. In tandem with the aim of experiential learning is the module of Internships. Students are attached to a company for a month long internship during their breaks and learn what it is like to be on the job in real life from experts.

Mentoring is a unique aspect of student life at IILM. Faculty and industry mentors are assigned to the students to guide them through the course of the programme. They advise the students so that effective decisions are taken with regards to modules, internships and careers. Students gain a lot from their expertise and experience.

Our programme is exceptional because of the unique mix of theory and practical application. We have understood the need for dynamism in curriculum and have molded our modules based on the requirements of the time. Our students study with the best resources, the best faculty and the best industry mentors, making them a cut above the rest when it comes to taking on the roles of an entrepreneur or top management of their family business.

Learn more about our exceptional programme at www.ubs.iilm.edu


Ms. Lekha Mukherjee

AICTE approved Fellow Progarm in Management at IILM Gurgaon

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IILM, Gurgaon has launched an AICTE approved Fellow Program in Management for which applications are invited. This is a four year full time/part time progarm offering specialization in the area of Finance, Marketing,OB & HR, Operations Management, International Business and Strategic Management.

Enhancing Workplace Learning: Role of Coaching and Mentoring

Swiss Re, a Zurich-based global re-insurance firm achieved an impressive turnaround moving from a loss of $ 663 million in 2008 to a net income of $4.2 billion in 2012. By 2015 the company aims to generate 20-25 per cent revenues from high growth markets. This requires talented people with right skills and languages as well as agility and passion to perform. In response to this, the company has embraced the 70-20-10 learning and development model to support the targeted business growth. In this model, 70 per cent is geared to learning on the job through rotations and stretch assignments, 20 per cent is focused on learning from coaching and mentoring and 10 per cent is invested in formal training methods such as seminars and e-training. Thus the company is using a range of means to strengthen continuous learning and development with strategic investment and focus on workplace learning.

Today, organisations are working in an environment that is increasingly disrupted by consumers, technology and regulatory shifts. In such a scenario the traditional classroom model of learning is doomed. As a result, organisations are exploring new approaches for employee development that are not tied to the formal structured methods around the classes, courses and curricula model. In part this interest has been driven by economic consideration. Pressures to lower training costs and reduce budgets for travel have been a major factor. But this focus is also driven by the realization that a majority of adult learning occurs not through formal learning but through experience, practice, conversations and reflection in the workplace. Added to this is the emerging appreciation of the important role the context plays in learning. Focus on workplace learning has not been confined to any particular business sector or to specific group of employees but is being adopted across wide range of industries, agencies and government departments.

Rationale for workplace learning

The publication of research and survey data over the past decade indicates that workplace and informal learning offer an effective and efficient solutions to improved workplace performance. People learn 70 per cent of what they know about their jobs informally (Loewensteinn and Spletzer,1996). This has been validated in the body of research in the ensuing years. Capital Works study reports that approximately 75 per cent of the skills employee use on the job were learned informally through discussions with co workers, self study, mentoring by managers and similar methods. Casebow and Ferguson (2010) found that most frequent and effective approaches to learning used were informal chats with colleagues (80 per cent) and on the job instruction from managers and colleagues (45 per cent). Exact percentages may vary from study to study but it indicates the importance of workplace learning . Some of the most critical skills to workplace success, communication, collaboration, teamwork and even technical skills, are cultivated through invaluable and ongoing informal workplace learning: mentoring, coaching, peer reviews and job shadowing.

Coaching and mentoring

Workplace coaching is a collaborative, solution-focused, result-oriented and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance and the selfdirected learning and personal growth of individual (Greene & Grant, 2003). Mentoring is an interactive process occurring between individuals of differing levels of experience and expertise which incorporates interpersonal or psycho-social development, career and/or educational development, and socialisation functions into the relationship (Carmin, 1988). Broadly speaking, coaching supports individuals and teams in building skills that increase performance while mentoring is primarily about developing capability and potential. (CIPD,2009). Coaching has a short term focus vis-a- vis mentoring which focuses on long term development.

Most companies position coaching as an investment in high-performers. Individual coaching often focuses on the top layers of the firm. Team coaching is offered using experiential learning such as business simulations and team exercises. Mentoring is offered to emerging talents as a relationship outside the regular reporting line that helps them develop and move successfully through times of change and transition. A more experienced person is matched with another less experienced one and acts as a listener and guide in questions of business and personal development. Interaction with senior managers helps develop a more sophisticated and strategic perspective on the firm and its direction, values and ways of working (Day 2001). Coaching and mentoring help accelerate learning to create impact at the individual, group and business level as they are geared to people and teams with significant involvement in organisational change process (Vera&Crossan,2004).

UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel Management reports that 51 per cent of companies (sample of 500) ‘consider coaching as a key part of learning development’ and ‘crucial to their strategy’, with 90 per cent reporting that they use coaching. More recent research in 2011 by Qa Research found that 80 per cent of organisations surveyed had used or are now using coaching. According to Toyota’s philosophy, the responsibility to develop people falls squarely on the line manager, not on the HR department or the trainer in the classroom. The next generation is developed through coaching of daily work. Employees are given challenging assignments by managers. The development lies in the stretch between their current ability and the learning they need to go through to complete the assignment successfully. In addition to defining the right stretch to each member, the manager must also coach and support the member throughout the assignment to help him or her succeed, all the while leaving enough room to think, allowing mistakes and using each one as a stepping stone to development.

Companies like Smithkline Beecham, Cadbury, Hewlett Packard, Mckinsey & Co, Infosys to name a few are using mentoring to develop their employees from initial stage Mariott International and Bank of America have formal mentoring programmes. Here, more senior professionals and mangers team up with less experienced protegees with the aim of assisting the protegee to improve their performance and career progress. The accounting firm KPMG made ‘online mentoring program’ part of its employer of choice initiative . Nestlé has launched several mentoring schemes at different levels in the organisation. Credit risk company Experian has since 2008 been running a global talent development forum and internal mentoring initiative the Experian Business Network for its high potential and diverse emerging talent.

Benefits of coaching and mentoring

Coaching and mentoring help employees to

► To adjust to the culture in an organization: The Coach/Mentor can provide the new worker with information on the corporate culture, organizational structure and procedures that will help the younger professional settle into his role in the business.
► Help in employee growth and development: Coaching and mentoring programmes provide the mentee with real-world knowledge that bridges the gap between educational theory and actual business practices.
► Those serving as coaches and mentors within an organization gain personal and professional satisfaction by sharing their expertise with other employees.
► A supportive atmosphere can improve employee morale and loyalty, thereby helping to reduce turnover and boost productivity.
► Companies can align the goals of the business with a mentoring programme to gain a competitive edge.

Conclusion

Coaching and mentoring, whether formal or informal, provide a simple and cost-effective way to enhance enterprise learning and provide direct and specific learning and development to employees. They help employees improve their essential skills, reinforce strong relationships among employees, support a learning culture in the workplace, and increase productivity.