Wednesday, 25 June 2014

“The Boss wants to see you…” - Shitio Shitiri, Head of Department, Political Science

Are you ever really the boss? The sad or fortunate fact of life is that everyone has a boss. Even a prime minister is ultimately answerable to parliament and the people who elect him. If you are in business then in one way or the other the customer sort of becomes your boss. A business owner needs to be at least mindful of the wants and desires of customers if they plan on staying in business for any length of time. Upward management is critical to surviving and progressing and one of them is knowing what your boss might want to say when you hear the words…

“The Boss wants to see you…”

Learning from experience of being managed, the ‘Boss wants to see you’- these can be ominous words, and, no matter how clear your conscience tends to produce anything from mild uneasiness to serious anxiety. Why should meeting with the boss make you uneasy? There are many possible reasons. You can never forget the boss has power over you. He or she can assign you interesting and pleasant work or the most uninteresting and unpleasant work.
At one extreme, a boss may behave a little more than a senior colleague-coming round to chat, asking your advice, nudging you rather than giving orders. At the other extreme, a boss may act like a distant god- keeping out of sight, yet wielding power fiercely when the occasion arises. The chances are that your boss lies between these two extremes-someone you have to know quite well, and establish reasonably friendly relations with, but still your boss. Learning to work with your boss will benefit not only you, but your boss as well, and the organization as a whole.

There are basic attitudes people adopt towards authority: aggression, submission and indirect aggression, which are all negative and simple assertiveness, which is positive.

Being Aggressive: Some employees adopt aggressive attitudes in dealing with their bosses. They will not listen to ideas and suggestions, regard reasonable instructions as harsh orders, and automatically deny responsibility if criticized. In these circumstances, dealing with the boss becomes antagonistic, and all interactions are seen as a battle to be won or lost.

Being Submissive: Some employees adopt submissive attitude towards their boss. Everything the boss says must clearly be right, all criticism must be valid, and any mistake must be of their making. Even when the boss invites their opinion, they feel unable to give ideas. So they keep quiet at meetings, keep their heads down and avoid their boss at all costs.

Being Indirectly Aggressive: Some employees react inwardly rather than outwardly. They may be clever and witty, but in a sarcastic, cynical or bitter way. Indirectly, aggressive employees are rarely honest about their feelings and views. They may say one thing to the boss, and another to their colleagues. Their energies disperse in negative feelings and carping comments.

The Positive Approach: As a subordinate, you can adopt a positive attitude to authority that allows you to be yourself, to accept praise for your strengths, and to learn from your mistakes. Assertive approach means being firm but polite, determined yet flexible in pursuing a rational course of action. Acting assertively at work involves, first of all, approaching your boss in a positive spirit.

The assertive approach is direct, honest, open and responsive, but not blunt. The fact is, employees tend to remember few unpleasant encounters far more vividly than the usual humdrum exchanges. Here are a few tips on how to get on better with the boss:

Make the most of informal meetings: Informal meetings can benefit an employee’s relationship with the boss. They include accidental get-togethers in the canteen or in some work based sport or leisure activity. Such occasions allow you to learn more about the boss as a person. Equally in a relaxed informal meeting, you may more easily let your boss discover who you are as a person. Sometimes you may get the praise and encouragement that you don’t usually get at other times. 

Don’t be afraid to ask: To get a job done properly, you often ought to seek help and advice from others. Don’t be afraid to ask for things, your request indicates that you take your work seriously.

Be prepared to accept praise: Interestingly, bosses tend to feel that they are generous in giving praise and encouragement; subordinates tend to feel that they receive less praise and encouragement than their efforts. A factor behind this discrepancy may be that subordinates refuse to accept praise properly. An honest heartfelt ‘Thank you’ for the praise, accompanied by a gratified smile would be a far more positive response. Don’t forget that your boss needs encouragement just as you do.

Always be clear: Many problems between the bosses and their subordinates arise out of misunderstandings. Subordinates fail to grasp their instructions properly, go away, and do the wrong things. Make this yardstick clear to effectively accomplish specific tasks.

Organize yourself: An employee should formulate your work goals precisely, and not be afraid to be ambitious. When assessing how well you organize yourself, consider key questions your boss might have in mind: Do you have clear objectives? How efficiently do you manage your time? Are you able to measure your progress? Are you able to manage your problems?

Listen to Criticism: Many people who are deaf to praise turn out to have acute hearing for criticism. They regard any helpful suggestion as a form of criticism, and treat any criticism as a form of personal attack. Few people actually like to be criticized, particularly by their boss. But criticism is not necessarily destructive or demeaning; it can be a valuable form of feedback to improve your work in the future. Don’t remain silent in the face of vague criticism- ask for specific examples for your alleged shortcomings. Accept fair criticism in a positive and forward-looking spirit, and ask what you can do to improve matters. Listen carefully to criticism, and suppress any impulse to react unthinkingly.

Remember, you have the right to be treated with respect, express your feelings and wishes, ask for what you want, say no without feeling guilty, make mistakes, ask for information, change your mind and make suggestions. Depending on your particular relationship with the boss, you can add some other important rights to the list. Remember, positive behaviour on your part makes your relation with your boss more positive.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Show Them You Care - Anubhav Tiakaba Kar, 2nd Semester, English Honours

A parent is not necessarily the one who gave birth to you or has a genetic relationship. A real father and mother is actually the one that loves their children and the one that has taken care of them. Sometimes the ones who love their kids the most are also the ones who need to punish them. This week, as we go into celebrating father’s day on 15th June 2014 lets reflect on the importance of our parents and the role they play in our lives.

Show Them You Care

As I sat here, thinking of how to start this article, I look back at my life; I see all those moments when I could not stop laughing and those days when the tears wouldn’t stop rolling. But through all these times, I have loved and I have lost, friends have come and gone, people I knew once I don’t know now, but then suddenly it hits me at times when I have been in need, and I have always seen my parents being there for me, waiting for me, with ever open arms.

Many of us don’t realize the importance of our parents and soon enough we end up regretting it years later, when it’s just too late. Since the time when we were small, our parents have been guiding us, feeding us, washing us, carrying us -the list can go on and on. It just never ends. That’s what our parents are, noble creatures with so much love and they expect nothing in return.

We are here today in this world only because of our loving and noble parents, and we should never forget this. From the time we are born, our parents take care of us. They forsake their comfort and luxury only to make us more comfortable and give us a better life, full of love. They take care of us with so much love and patience like no other person would do for us in this whole world. They teach us right from wrong, good from bad. They are always there for us, being our back bone, encouraging us, loving us, and helping us in every possible way. They always forgive us no matter how we are, or what we do. At times we don’t appreciate their kind and loving hearts, and only blame them for our failures.

We often take our parents for granted. Instead of loving and respecting them more with each passing day, we instead push them away and create a huge distance between us. We start criticizing their thoughts, their actions, and even their noble deeds. We forget who they are and what they have done for us. We forget that they gave their present for our future. We, no doubt live in the post modern world, but can we justify our actions towards our parents? I don’t think so and if you ask your heart for an honest answer, the answer you will get will make you shudder.

We should always remember that when we were helpless little infants, they gave us everything they could and even more, without even cribbing or complaining and without a second thought. They did all they could in order to make us smile. The question that arises here is that, are we willing to do the same for them when their time comes or will we shy away from our responsibilities and duties? This is a question that every son or daughter needs to ask himself or herself with a true heart. Today, the word ‘family’ is just another word and nothing more. I see families where children no longer care, love, or respect their parents. Their parents are a burden to them. They offer them no love, care, money, or respect. What is the difference between our parents and our pets? Most families of today treat their parents the same way. At least they give their pets some love, but do we see this love for their parents? Most parents are put in old age homes when they age and need help. Most of them even pray that they die soon.

The Bible teaches us that we should honour our parents. Sometimes our parents need us, but we ignore them and try to keep them out of their lives. We refuse to take their advice and hurt them mentally and physically. Yet, we know that they still love us unconditionally, a love so pure, like the whitest of snow. No matter how much we hate, we will only receive love in return. No matter how hard we try to push them away from our lives, they still don’t stop loving and caring for us. The love they have for us in their hearts will never end. It keeps growing with every passing moment.

Sometimes our parents embarrass us. Still, we should know that, all that they do, they do it for our own good. There are times when they would go to bed hungry just so that we can sleep satisfied, they give up their wants just to fulfil our wants or desires, and they give up their luxuries just to see us smile. Like every human being, even our parents have their wants and needs, but they are often left unfulfilled because of us. They give up their own dreams just for us. I remember a certain mother who always wanted to visit Goa, but she never got the opportunity to do so because she always put the needs of her children first, before her dreams or desires.

We are young now, stepping into the prime of our lives. As we become stronger and older, our parents are nearing the end with each passing day. Our parents are getting older and weaker and that is the time when they need us. On the other hand, we don’t even stop for a moment and think whether our parents are happy or do they need something more? How many of us ever wake up in the morning and ask our parents if they are fine or if they need anything?

Once I saw a young father sitting and listening to his one and a half year daughter talking. Her words didn’t even make sense yet he sat patiently listening to her, trying to make sense of what she was saying. He held her tiny little fingers and encouraged her to continue talking. I have seen parents help their children take their first steps and I wonder if, years from now when they are old and weak and need someone to help them move, their children will be there for them? There will be a time in everyone’s life when we cry, wish and beg that we had our parents around us but it may be too late and they won’t be there for us at that time and we will be filled with regret and that will cut us to our bones. So, as long as we have parents around us, we should love and care for them, keep them close to us, so that years from now when they are gone we won’t have to regret the things we didn’t or did do but would rather be able to smile and say that we were with them until the end.

Therefore, the next time we pray, we should thank God for giving us such wonderful parents. Remember all they have done for us, all the sacrifices they have made and their blessings in our life. Love so true and pure can only be found in no place other than in the hearts of our parents.
“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email:”. 

Living as One - by Ester E 2nd Semester ( History hons)

The World Cup has kicked off and if we were in Brazil watching it live right now, then we would be meeting people from all over the world, each of them with their own unique identity, language, culture and food. The world becomes a much more beautiful place to live when we can all gather together, sit down and unite because of a common love. However, many times, instead of our similarities as human beings, we tend to focus on our differences and start harbouring feelings of superiority which can sometimes turn into racism without us even realising it. It maybe something as simple as saying “Nagas are superior to Indians” or vice versa. It’s time to look beyond a person’s genes, the colour of their skin or the slant of their eyes and instead see the brother, sister and friend that each one of us can be.

Living as One
Ester E, 2nd Semester( History hons)
Racism is the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race. It is also a belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to another. Racism has existed throughout human history. In simple words, racism is the feeling of hatred towards one another on the basis of caste, creed, colour, religion, race, etc.

India is one country where racism is widely prevalent. So far nobody dare  voice out or is able to tackle racism. People stay in behind closed doors, though everyone knows that it should be wisely tackled or discussed.

There comes a moment in our life when we feel it is time to awaken ourselves enough to struggle, enough of pessimism, of fighting and enough of crying. At this stage, we blink our tears and through a mantle of wet lashes we begin to look at the world through new eyes. We then awaken to the fact that it is time to stop hoping and wanting for something to change.

India today needs change more than anything else, in several areas. She has to eradicate her narrow concepts and see things with broader minds and accept challenges with open arms. Racism is one of the burning issues  in our country. As an Indian, it is our sole responsibility to take the initiative in tackling problems of racism that prevail around us.

Racism is very common in our country. People discriminate one another on the basis of caste, creed or colour differences. We notice one caste or group possessing a sense of superiority over others. In many instances North East Indians are widely discriminated because they look different from the mainland Indians. . Differences in complex or appearance don’t necessarily mean that people should create a wide gap in between.

Racism can be tackled in an efficient way by profound and deep understanding. People need not stay aloof from this awareness but should come together and work hand in hand in eradicating racism. Awareness campaign or information through media must be carried out. People should renew their thoughts, ideologies and concepts regarding racism. The most important thing that people need to do is have a broad mind and develop their thoughts. Indians need not discriminate one another rather love one another and co-operate with each other. They need not discriminate but rather unite themselves and work together as one. The feeling of oneness should be encouraged and developed from deep within.

Indians should accept the fact that people differ in race, culture, caste, creed, religion and customs. They need not pin point others or look down on each other. Instead of building a barrier between the other Indians and North East Indians, they need to break down the barrier and encourage equality.

Once Indians overcome this racism, there can be tremendous changes in the country where people live harmoniously together as one. Indians need not disregard or disrespect the culture, tradition and custom of other regions in India. We consider our country as the largest democratic country. People have every right to enjoy democracy and liberty without hindering other’s freedom.

In India, while the tri-colour Indian flag flutters atop the hills of the North-East, her Mongoloid inhabitants cannot conceptually connect to  the notion of being ‘Indian’. The recent incident of young Nido Tania’s death in the national capital has witnessed mixed reactions s from people all around India-in a way that such activities are considered as anti-national activities. Now the question that arises is why can’t the people of North-East enjoy their own rights, which means - freedom to reside anywhere in the country, study in any institution, work in any company and pursue higher knowledge without any sort of discrimination? Infact, Indians should be happy to have different types of people with their unique heritage. We should stand together and stronger under the same umbrella so that we gain more knowledge from each other and develop positive aspects of life when under the same shade.

It is now high time to wake up from our deep slumber and develop a positive outlook towards racism. Respect and regard should be given to each and every race regardless of their status, backwardness or difference. We live, at present, where there is an intense need for us Indians to enjoy the harmonious relationship with one another.
Our future depends on how we prepare for it today and that is by learning lessons from past mistakes. Therefore, now is the right time to prepare a racism free India through mending and learning from the past failures and errors. Racism is ugly as it divides people from
 ‘us’ to ‘them’, but it can ultimately be put to an end by overcoming prejudices and discrimination towards each other. Universal brotherhood and a feeling of oneness should be planted in each and every individual’s heart so as to put an end to any sort of racist tendencies. Racism has never been a pleasant experience and we should put enough effort to eradicate it completely.

“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email:”.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Save Our Planet - Toshimenla, B.A 4th Semester (English Honours)

Margaret Mead said, “We won't have a society if we destroy the environment.” As the world celebrates World Environment Day on 5th June, it is a good time to reflect on the environment in Nagaland today. Invariably, the environmental problems that afflict Nagaland such as pollution, destruction of public property and having civic sense have far reaching consequences that prohibit the progress of our society. Let’s work together to save our State and our planet Earth.

Happy World Environment Day!

World Environment Day is celebrated each year on 5th June. It was established in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly to honour the memory of the opening of the ceremony of the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Environment Day is hosted every year by different cities and celebrated with an international exhibition throughout the first week of June. It is used by the United Nations to encourage awareness of environment and to garner political attention and public action. The first World Environment Day was held at Stockholm where, for the first time political, social, and economic problems of the global environment were discussed at great length in view of taking some definite action.

From history till date, the environment has been the backbone of mankind. In the field of literature, Romantic poets like William Wordsworth and Robert Frost gave environment greater importance because they penned down many poems describing nature. One such poem is Daffodils by William Wordsworth. It is a beautifully written poem. Here, we see how the poet draws inspiration after watching a big group of beautiful yellow daffodils when he was walking in a lonely valley. Through this poem, we learn the important role environment plays in mankind’s life. Just like the poet, who was all alone with a low spirit and an unhappy mind, when a person is standing low, it is nature which remains an inexhaustible source and a priceless treasure of joy and inspiration.

The need to save the environment is important as it acts as a uniting agent among the diversity of people living in a society. We see it in the first famous Chipko Movement in Gujurat in April 1973. The name of the movement came from a word meaning ‘embrace’. The villagers hugged the trees saving them by interposing their bodies between them and the contractor’s axes. The movement achieved a major victory through the Gandhian method of non-violent resistance. Increasingly, the resistance to destruction of forests, spread throughout India. Men, women, and children, all took part in this movement. Hundreds of decentralised and locally autonomous initiatives resulted in uniting the people.

Even in the most common phrase of the student, it is said that, “In order to study, we need a good environment around us”, without which learning is incomplete. Environment not only provides the necessities we need, but it also teaches us how to be hygienic and civilised. An unstable environment leads to floods, draughts, spread of diseases and other such travesties.

In South India, a married couple by the name of Thimmakka and her husband Bikkalu Chikkaiah, adopted 284 saplings of Banyan trees as their children, since they were childless. Though the couple were working in a quarry for their hand to mouth existence, they put in ceaseless effort in nurturing the saplings planted along National Highway 48 in Karnataka. Today, the trees not only provide shelter to humans, but also serve as a habitat for birds, protect soil erosion, maintain the climate temperature, etc. Just recently, Thimmakka received the National Citizen’s Award for Social Forestry. At present the trees are also worth an estimate of 85 crores, resulting in not only the benefit for the couple, but also for the whole country’s resources.
World Environment Day is a day that stimulates awareness of the environment and enhances political attention. It is to spread worldwide awareness of plantation in order to make the environment neat and clean. Various awareness campaigns like beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibitions, film festivals, community events, and much more are organised around the world to spread the message which is carried out to bring about equal awareness and increase green footprint. Each year, the theme of the World Environment Day is selected along with a slogan emphasising the importance of protecting our planet and promoting an understanding that each individual can play a significant and effective role in tackling environment issues.
Besides all the awareness programmes and slogans, the individual’s contribution depends on his/her own alertness of the environment’s needs. In the present scenario, the need to protect environment has become the first and foremost duty of every individual. We need to change our mindset. It is not only the duty of poets, social workers or NGO’s to conserve the environment. We should also learn from them. Perhaps, we can start off with some of the most basic actions like switching off the fans when not in use, saving water by closing the taps after use, maintaining cleanliness in and around us, planting trees, etc. We should perform all these actions not only on World Environment Day, but make it a regular habit without being laidback. Our actions may seem small, but at the end, it is through our little contributions that we make the world a better place to live in. After all, every action counts.

The Missing Principles in Naga Society - Zuchano Khuvung, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

Moral and ethical values as social categories are crucial for generating a sound culture in any given society. However, people tend t...