Episode # 130 – Why should we do our duty without unwanted resistance? Vidura candid explanation of “Organisational Psychology”!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed a detailed discussion on why we should inculcate the habit of taking the positives from any situation in life. Vidura clearly explains that just like how precious metals like gold, silver, etc. is always found amidst innumerable unwanted other elements; precious messages of “Dharma” would always be present even amidst a mad person’s junk talk. Thus, irrespective of whoever talks whatever matter, we should always take the positives out of it. Thus we should develop the “Viveka-Gnyaana” to understand, differentiate between the good and the bad in whatever we see and listen to in everyday life. Irrespective of who talks what, we should be able to grasp the good messages from it.

Hence, the message is very clear here. Let us try to introspect this important message of Vidura and figure out ways how to implement them in our everyday life. Now moving on further, Vidura goes on to explain why should we perform any action without showing out much of our resistence against it. If we start exhibiting too much of resistance for every task that is assigned to us, we would only be pressurised more and more by our top bosses to execute those tasks. Vidura says thus,

“Bhooyaamsam labhathe klesham yaa gaur bhavati dhurduha!

Athayaa suruhaa raajan naivam thaam vitudantyapi!!”

Thus through the above sloka Vidura explains that we should not keep on exhibiting too much of resistance while performing any task at work. If we do so, others might start exerting tremendous and unwanted pressure and difficulty, so that we abide by their words and instructions. Here Vidura explains this point with an analogy again – A cow’s main job is to give milk. However sometimes we might observe that a few of the cows might keep kicking the person who is trying to milk it. What would happen in this case? Will the milkman stop milking from the cow just because the cow is kicking him? No! The milkman would tie the legs of the cow and try to control its actions and then continue milking it. Similarly, whatever work is given to us in hands, we should perform it without showing stiff resistance. If we’ve to keep on talking ill against it or our instructor, he would make sure that you obey his instructions by using various “pressure tactics”. Thus Vidura explains that we need to do our duty correctly and sincerely.

How is this applicable to the modern day? In an organization where we work, we are assigned certain set of tasks and roles as an employee in any given position. Unless and until we keep fulfilling all the expectations of the employer with respect to our tasks and roles, there wouldn’t be much of a problem. This is where the modern day concepts of Organizational Psychology, “Mutual Expectations” and “Psychological Contract” come into picture. What do we mean by these two terms? “Mutual Expectations” is a term that signifies the level of expectations that are present between the employer and the employee that are mutual in nature – Employer expects the employee to fulfil all the duties, roles and responsibilities associated with his/her job in the organization. Similarly, employees expect the employer to reward and recognize their contributions to the organization in the form of salary, incentives, bonus, etc. “Psychological Contract” is nothing but an “unwritten” contract within the employer and the employee with an understanding on the behavior towards each other at all times during the tenure of employment.

This is exactly what Vidura is explaining here – We should abide by these “expectations” from the employer’s side at all times during the tenure of our employment with the organization. However, if we start to protest against doing our duties and start to “bad-mouth” the organization outside, the problems would start. First and foremost, we would be straining our relationship between the organization and ourself. Because of this strained relationship, there is always going to be a friction, which might either result in a war of words or disciplinary action that might be taken against us by the organization. Hence we need to be careful here – Our focus should be on our job and to fulfil our duties as part of being in this particular job.

Of course I’m not saying here that we shouldn’t raise our protests or concerns. But we need to understand when this should be done. If the “Psychological Contract” is breached by some way by the employer, or in other words, if the expectations from the employer to the employee are not satisfied in some way, we can definitely stand up and claim it. But even in this case, there should always be a structured way of registering our protest with the organization. Thus it is clear that we can raise the flag towards the organization, but only at a point when the expectations are not met.

On the whole thus the message here is that, we should at any time be focused on our duty towards our workplace and should not deviate unnecessarily from the track. If we do that, we should also be prepared to face flak from the organization in some way or the other. So for today let us introspect on this important point explained by Vidura and also by the present day “Organiztional Behavior” science and act accordingly. We shall continue this discussion further in the next episode with some interesting examples that Vidura is going to narrate, so as to drive home this discussion better! Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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