Working as a Financial Planning Analyst but introduced to the BFSI sector as a Management Trainee through the eyes of an NBFC like Clix Capital, I was exposed to abundant technical knowledge such as Operational Strategy, Product Processes, Vendor Management, etc. in the Lending world. They were followed by some mental notes about human behaviour while working with people in the Customer Service and Secured Product Departments for 6 months each.
Following are the top 7 things that I started practicing professionally while working at Clix Capital, one of the fastest growing NBFCs:
There is a human behind every function. There is a childhood, a teenage, an adulthood behind every work experience. There is a personal circle to go back home to after every networking event. Organizing and managing CSPL-2 (Clix Secured Premiere League) and seeing the people behind Clix’s PAN India Secured salesforce was truly a humbling experience for me. Thus, I felt that being empathetic of the human experiences behind the role is utmost important.
Take a step back, sometimes two:
Practicing the “step back” mantra after feedback is communicated to you (good or bad), helps in the long run. That one step back is reflective, helps one become resilient and tolerant to critically deployed criticism (if one is open to it). In a situation where it is a compliment, it helps one stay grounded. During my reviews at Clix, I was able to retain similar feedback and work towards improving on it.
Pat your own back:
Deploy a daily pat on your back – self appreciation does not require expectations from externalities. You got this. Timely hangouts with the teams I worked with, conversations during lunch breaks and the morning coffee with colleagues from other departments really felt like tiny pats during a long day.
“They’ve come from different walks of life.”:
Practicing empathy only when it is comfortable for you will not help. Being able to tell yourself that sometimes the human behind the role/function can misdirect an emotion toward you requires not only a step back but also the strength to detach. (Don’t forget to follow it with a pat).
Questions. Advise. Help. Ask. What’s the worst that could happen? I was reading “Courage” by Osho during my last stint with the Secured Product team. Not only did it keep me composed in times when financial information felt heavy on me, but it also gave me the strength to ask for help from my reporting managers who mentored me through the entire journey.
People eat, people exist:
There is a human behind the employee, an actual person that needs to consume timely food and water. Ask if they had lunch. Carry an extra cup of coffee for your desk neighbor. Leave a water reminder in your work group. People forget sometimes. Remind them what they need, when it gives off a vibe that it’s looking difficult for them to just exist. I re-read Stephen Lundin’s “Fish!” to get behind the working ethos of Clix by associating it to Lundin’s analogy of Seattle’s Pike Place of how the people make a company work.
A walk. A page of some book. A song. A conversation. A short episode. A cat or dog video. Don’t overwork your eyes until they possibly can’t be efficient. Take a step back and revisit. Deep breaths. It is not the end of the world.
All in all, the two stints as an MT and the current one as a Financial Planning Analyst have been eye-opening and a learning curve for me. Hope the 7 things I started practicing are able to touch your work life in some way. Covey’s “7 habits of highly effective people” and Thomas Harris’ “I’m Ok – You’re Ok”; will always be books I go back to and highly recommend when in need of professional guidance in any context.