Dealing with diversity at work

Demographic change, the global marketplace and greater tolerance for differences are increasing the importance of diversity at the workplace. More women, minorities, and people with different ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles are today entering the workforce. Organisations that do not manage diversity effectively will not be able to utilise the full potential of their workers, nor survive and grow under increasingly complex and competitive business conditions.

Many barriers continue to restrict the opportunities of diverse groups. These barriers may be from the environment, such as discrimination or stereotyping, and from individuals, such as poor career planning or inadequate skill preparation. Both external and internal barriers can be equally detrimental to the advancement of diverse groups. External barriers may be more obvious than internal barriers, but minorities need to carefully assess and identify the barriers they set for themselves and work on resolving them.

Organisations could provide employees with skills for operating in a multicultural environment, so that employees can understand their own as well as other cultures, values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, and strengths and weaknesses. Training and education, can fill a company’s needs in areas such as awareness-building, skill building, helping employees understand the need for valuing diversity, educating employees on specific cultural differences, providing the skills necessary for working in diverse work teams, and providing skills and development activities necessary for diverse groups to do their job and have the opportunity for advancement.


Below are the Q-A sessions in Rediff chat answered by Amit Bansal, the founder and CEO of PurpleLeap.


Ashok asked, However, some of them are wiser with experience to understand, but the in experienced people…do not agree with the reason given to them or they would start arguing and crying…. How do you deal with such situation
Amit Bansal answers, Over a period of time people have to understand that a workplace has rules. I think just give it a little time, in the meanwhile reiterating the rules.

Swapnil asked, Sir, I regularly come across with colleagues who has habit of taking core information from me and then advise the same to my superior to take credit of that. How to tackle this issue?
Amit Bansal answers, Stop sharing your ideas with others if they cannot display integrity. That’s the best way.

Ashok asked, How do you manage the female employees when some strict rules have to be imposed. Like not giving leaves… Since girls / Women take it personally. I dont want the work to get affected
Amit Bansal answers, Ashok, I suggest just want you to reflect on this question. It may just be your perception. With the kind of responsibilities women are taking in any organizations, I would not generalize this. However, if you have women employees in your organization who are not very comfortable with strict policies, you may want to speak to them.

Sudhir asked, How to deal with nosy colleagues who keep asking for information about my personal life like investments for instance ?
Amit Bansal answers, While you are talking to him or with others when this colleague is around, you can casually state that you do not like discussing your personal life at work. If this person is seeking advice in financial decisions, take it on the face value. However, if the questions are interrogative to seek specific information about your personal investments, ignore and do not entertain those questions by changing the topic of discussion. Making it obvious will give the person a hint that you are not interested to talk about certain personal details.

Barada asked, Mr.Bansal in srategic things,particularly in Hr where there a cultural difference in different regions within India, how to motivate & indulge the people power to achieve the organizational or Business goal.
Amit Bansal answers, Being in HR is like being in the right place to use diversity to increase productivity and build better teams. I think within teams various activities should be conducted to bond people from diverse backgrounds. Initiating ethnic days where people dress up in their ethnic wear or even a potluck, contests etc. These are very effective ways to optimize on workplace diversity and turn it around into building a positive workplace.

Rohit asked, Sir, how do you deal with stereotypes in organizations. though i am in favour of diversity, lot of types this leads to groupism and stereotypes. what to do?
Amit Bansal answers, In the stages of team formation, there is a stage of storming. Stereotypes is usually a part of storming phase. In certain places this stage is slightly longer than the others. Each individual within a team or an organization should do their bit to beat the stereotypes. It’s not a difficult task. If you are a part of a group and you do not believe in the stereotypes they are promoting, openly oppose to it and involve other people in your group. I think that will be somewhere to start with.

gopa asked, how to deal with boss who never praise me ?.Always try to find faults in me
Amit Bansal answers, Some people usually find it difficult to appreciate people. If you can try to communicate this to your boss in a subtle manner it will be good. But if you cannot, I feel this is a great opportunity for you to condition yourself to be self motivated. Like I said some people find it difficult to appreciate other people and you cannot change that entirely. An awareness and a conscious effort is the only way that can help.

abc asked, sir how to deal with a bully boss?
Amit Bansal answers, I think you need to talk to your boss over a one on one. Share instances when a specific behavior was disturbing. Help him/ her understand that it affects your overall motivation to work under him. Also, highlight certain things you like about working with him/ her.

nottyn asked, sir, how do you deal with a colleague who is jealous of your achievements? what is the right way to confront the person?
Amit Bansal answers, Well, the first step is to find out whether this person is really jealous or is that an assumption you have. Sometimes we misunderstand people unnecessarily. Next step is to make friends with this person and make him comfortable with you. This will require you to make an extra effort. I am not too sure why you want to confront this person? Has this person been bad to you in anyway?

khanna asked, dear Sir, i have recently moven to mumbai frm Delhi and i find the work culture very different from delhi. could you pls provide me some basic tips on what are the most important things i should keep in ming to not upset anyone
Amit Bansal answers, I have personally not worked in Mumbai. However, in every new workplace there is a settling in time. I think rather than getting too bother about the differences, check how these people work differently from yours and adapt. Give yourself 2 to 3 months to understand a workplace. During this time, think many times before you react to people and situations. Take your time to confide in people and discuss sensitive issues. I am sure if you allow sometime, you will be able to fit into the new culture.

mamu asked, dear bansal do you deal with black americans at work…we first fo al don’t understand their heavy accents and then thye speak so to communicate with blacks?
Amit Bansal answers, I don’t think its just black Americans, southerners also speak in a very heavy accent. It’s a good idea to gently let them know because as much as you find their accent difficult they find yours. I guess letting each other know is a good start.


Chat date: November 30, 2011



Second Test Produces Faster-than-Light Particles

Last Thursday, it was reported that an experiment showing a particle traveling faster than the speed of light had been successfully repeated.  The testing was carried out by an international alliance of 160 physicists, known as OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion Tracking Apparatus) at the particle accelerator operated by CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research) along the French-Swiss border.

The neutrino particles were found to arrive at their destination 60 nanoseconds sooner than expected.

While the second trial has confirmed the results from the first, validation by a second, independent testing group will be necessary before the findings are universally accepted.  This will be welcomed by a large group of skeptical physicists who feel that there were errors in the original testing.  They believe that the neutrinos were contained in bunches too wide to be measured accurately.

However, even after tightening the packets of particles, removing some uncertainty in the measurements, the neutrinos were still found to fly faster than 186,282 miles per second, the speed of light.

This turns the world of Einsteinian physics upside down, as the theory of relativity is based on light having the ultimate speed.  However, no new laws will be written until after additional tests by a separate scientific body.


Orienting ourselves to Learn

By Celeste Dean

Lead Trainer-Business Skills, PurpleLeap

Let me carry forward my discussion on achievements from my previous article, ‘How good is good enough’. I was talking about how important it is to celebrate achievements however big or small they are. But sometimes it takes a little longer to achieve anything. As a child I had to train myself for many years to ride a bicycle whereas my brother and other friends learnt it way before I mastered riding a cycle without trainer wheels. As I grew up it took me a long time and effort to count money when a shopkeeper gave me change, so much so that there are still stories in my family about my currency counting abilities. As a young girl I remember I was demotivated and usually embarrassed when I was unable to do certain things that my peers and juniors were able to do. While there are still many things I am striving hard to achieve, when I look back I find that sometimes we just need to be patient with ourselves to learn. Pushing too hard can lead to frustration and even destruction of self-esteem.

The idea here is to shift our focus from the result to the process. The frustration is because the quality of end result is not in line with our expectations however if we shift focus to what we learn in the process of achieving this end result we can change the way we look at achievements completely. Learning orientation is what brings about this change in perspective.

The definition of the word ‘orientation’ in psychology means the knowledge of one’s own temporal, social, and practical circumstances in life. Therefore, if I put this in perspective of learning, it really means learning to compose my reactions in temporal, social and practical life circumstances. Now this is much deeper than just learning to write a software program or create a new architecture. And much worse this way of learning takes a lifetime to give results and if this was not enough, only if we are ‘oriented’ to learn we will be able to acquire knowledge and skills as well.

For example, if I always had someone in my family to tell me which subject to choose, which bike will be better for me, which shirt color suits me; my learning to compose my reaction to life circumstances will come from what others’ decide for me. Therefore, when I am learning a new skill I will be dependent on others to create an environment and force me to acquire a particular skill. This may be true for some of us in some areas of life if not all. Some of us may be good at researching which motorbike is best as far as the technology and pricing is concerned on Indian roads, yet we may find it a daunting task to select a shirt off the shelf. Some of us may be really good in advising people how to run their lives but we may find it difficult to organize a few books on our book shelf. Such instances in our lives will tell us more about our individual learning orientation in one or more life circumstances.

The most conducive environment to test our learning orientation is to see ourselves react in difficult situations. Yesterday’s newspaper read, ‘14yr-old kills herself over study pressure’. It’s disturbing to see how many of us will react in extreme ways to stress and pressure. There will be others who will look at difficult times as an opportunity to learn something new. The difference in the way we look at circumstances and situations is based on how we have been able to ‘compose our reactions’. The same rule applies to learning a new skill or acquiring new knowledge.

Sometimes composing our reactions may take us a little longer than what we expect of ourselves. Like in my case, I still do not trust myself while counting currency change but yet, I have become better than before and devised innovative ways to add and subtract.

Learning is a process and so is the orientation to learn. Usually learning has little to do with what is achieved at the end because in its essence achievement is the process of learning itself. As a student or even as a professional, while we are extremely worried about the quality of result in the form of numbers on the score card or the pay cheque, we need to give more thought to how this process has added more to our ability to learn.


Benefits of Mock Interviews

So, what kind of questions can be asked in an interview ? How can you prepare for those  interview questions that are very specific? Maybe you have been at your employer for several years and have recently been displaced. interview may be nightmare since you are a fresher. you may be very nervous after having a bad interview experience in your past. Jumping back in the interview games might appear a bit scary for you. As the saying goes ” practice makes a man perfect”; same mantra can be used in case of facing interviews too but in a little different way. thus the solution is ” Mock Interview”.  A mock interview, although not strictly “real,” is a very real investment in your future. You may be putting loads of effort into the research part of your job search, or into your resume, but have you spent the necessary time preparing your interview skills?

A good resume will get you in the door. But a good interview will get you on the payroll. Some of the main advantages of the mock interview are:

  • It will reduce interview anxiety by familiarizing you with the situation.
  • It will boost your confidence about the things you are doing well.
  • It will allow you to preview any interviewing weaknesses you have.
  • It gives you the opportunity to receive constructive feedback from an interviewing professional.

Preparation is another one of the many benefits of mock interviews. The goal of a mock or practice interview is to help you prepare for an upcoming job interview. This preparation may include answering common interview questions in a timely matter, giving a proper greeting, as well as departing properly from a job interview. If this is your first job interview or if you haven’t attended a job interview in a while now, you may be unsure as to how the process will proceed. Mock interviews are not only a great way to calm your nerves, but they can also give you guidance, which can help you sail through your next job interview like a breeze.

If you are able to do a mock interview with a close friend or family member, you may get a number of pointers. Using other individuals, especially those who are known for their unbiased opinions is the best way to examine your job interview approach. If your friends or family members have any suggestions, like tips on how you can improve your answers, you may want to consider their suggestions. In, fact, you may learn something new or important by doing a mock interview with your friends or family members.

Mock interviews will energise you to be confident and have a better hold on your answers. So keep practicing and you’ll succeed. All the best for job seekers 🙂

Source: Internet

VVT – Very Very Talented Automobile Technology

By Amitkumar

Trainer, Mechanical Engineering Department- PurpleLeap


I had a student, Deepak (name masked), who was an automobile enthusiast. Not really! During our casual conversation by the road side a vehicle zoomed past us. He immediately squealed “Do you know that it’s a SX4, it’s been recently rolled out by Maruti Suzuki and blahblahblahblah?” He was excited to offload the information to me and was firing on all cylinders. I gazed at him for some time and bowled a googly, I asked him “do you know that the vehicle’s engine is equipped with the VVT technology?” Of course, I wanted to remind him that I am his Sir and not the other way. He was stumped and appeared like a dog with its tail between the legs, totally petrified and surrendered. Anyways, that wasn’t the intention.

After a moment of silence, he gently whispered, “What is VVT, Sir?” Now, it was my turn to fire on all cylinders. You know, every dog has its day!

I asked him, “Deepak, do you breathe?” He looked puzzled and replied, uhh, yup. Then, VVT is all about breathing of an engine. This time, he was completely taken aback. “#%%%&&###!!$$$!!!$&*#@@!!+++”, precisely, this was going-on in his mind, looked utterly confused.

With a deep voice, like a frog in his throat, he said, “I am not able to understand this breating-veathing of engines, would you be clearer?”

I thought, before things get worse with him let me break the ice.

I explained.

VVT is the technology all about breathing of an engine efficiently. Like human beings the engines also breathe. After this statement of mine, he appeared as though he had a close brush with death.

I continued….

Engines inhale the fresh charge i.e. air-fuel mixture for gasoline engines and air for diesel engines. In humans, the inhaled air enters the lungs through nostrils and in engines the fresh charge enters the cylinder through inlet valves. The way we exhale the air again through nostrils to evacuate the lungs to accommodate the next cycle of fresh air, the engine also exhales the burnt gases through the outlet valves to receive the next cycle of fresh charge. This cycle of inhale-exhale continues for ever. Not literally! The confused soul was getting convinced and was settling down like a fizz of the soda after some time.

To give a personal touch to the explanation I asked him a simple question. “Will the rate at which you inhale and exhale the same during watching a movie, jogging and desperately being chased by a dog?”

He replied “Obviously, no”. I could see the gleam in his eyes when he answered. I said “That’s right!” The rate of inhaling and exhaling is the least while watching a movie, it becomes faster when we are jogging and becomes the fastest when being aggressively chased. In the same sense, engine also performs a similar activity i.e. watching a movie can be compared to the idling state of the engine   at the traffic signal, jogging is similar to a vehicle moving at some 20 to 30 KMPH   (not precisely) and aggressive spring is similar to a vehicle cruising at 100 KMPH (not exactly) over a high way.

In a nut shell, depending on the speed of the engine the charge that is sent to the engine needs to be maneuvered and that is done by varying the timing of the inlet and outlet valves. The technology which maneuvers the timing of the valves depending on the speed is called as Variable Valve Timing i.e. VVT.

By the time my explanation was done, his 6 O’clock face turned to 10:10 face. He suddenly uttered “Sir, you are also VVT.” This time he bowled a googly, to retaliate my earlier ones. I gave a blank stare. With lot of reverence, head bowed down with his sight on the third button of his shirt he said “VVT, I meant, Very Very Talented.” I couldn’t hold myself and busted out with a boisterous laughter and departed with a happy ending!


I hope this conversation must have elicited the meaning of VVT technology in the vehicles.

I have a small quiz for the readers which is rewarding. Reward?? Yes, I’ll come to that a bit later. First things first, what is a VTEC technology? Is it similar to VVT?

The reward would a best-selling e-copy of an Automobile book.

In the next series I’ll bring the technical details of VVT. Misotechnologist,please excuse.


Till then, bye. Take Care.








NASSCOM says 50% of engg graduates unemployable

The country might be feeling proud about churning out maximum number of engineering graduates every year in the world, but if one goes by a recent Nasscom study, it is a case of quantity over quality. According to the report by the apex body of software firms, almost 50% of the engineering output in India is unemployable.” In India, there are many engineering colleges of different ranks. There are IITs and NITs on one hand and also many private engineering colleges in different cities and states. The employability problem does not lie as much with the former as it is with private colleges in Tier II and Tier III cities,” said Sangita Gupta, senior vice-president, Nasscom.

Read more


Number of tech graduates swells; salaries at IT firms stay stagnant

Right in the middle of the placement season in 2010, at one of the popular Tier 2 engineering colleges in Mumbai, Rohith, 21, decided not to sit for any placement tests. In 2008, when his sister passed out of the same college, she was recruited by one of the top IT services companies and was offered an annual package of Rs 3 lakh. Three years down the line, Rohith and other aspiring software engineers of his batch were offered the same package to be part of what they considered the most exciting industry.

Read more

Source: The Economic Times

379 IIM-A students get internship offers

With the fourth and final cluster for summer internship closing on Friday evening, the entire first year batch of 379 students at the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) got placed with internship offers, an official said here. More than 20 companies conducted interviews in Cluster 4 held on Friday, which included Tata Steel, Aviva Insurance and Samsonite, according to an IIM-A release. The first cluster was held on November 11. Tata Steel made the highest number of offers for the Post-Graduate Diploma (PGP) summer placement for 2011-12, Prof Saral Mukherjee, Placement Chairperson, said. More than 115 recruiters visited the Institute to hire summer interns in four clusters this year, as against 102 last year. In accordance with the Indian Placement Reporting Standards (IPRS), the IIM-A will publish audited report for summer placements of PGP and PGP-AGM program.

Read more:

sourec: Business Line


India’s missing jobs

So many job positions open, so many people unemployed. This is a peculiar conundrum that dogs the Indian economy today. The fact remains that these are symptomatic of the opportunities for employment that are going abegging. Our collective understanding of the labour market in India has made marked progress over the last several years. Most agree that the labyrinthine and obsolete web of labour regulations need to be simplified. Received wisdom today correctly identifies better matching, improved skills, financing for training and ultimately universal primary education as underlying drivers of an improved labour market. The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) that I critiqued for speed in a column a year ago has materially increased its pace in handing out loans (though not equity). Slowly but surely some things are happening across labour market verticals.

Read more

Job Interview Strategies

Now that you have completed your education and are ready to set foot in the real world and would like to earn some money, the idea of job-hunting can be pretty intimidating for some. If you’re feeling shy and lacking confidence about getting out there and talking to employers, you are far from alone, according to many career counselors.

Job interviews have a lot in common with having a first date. You really want one, and you are thrilled when you get one, but then you start worrying about everything like, what to wear, what to say, what not to say and how not to act like an idiot! Though Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, they can also be wonderful opportunities. If you are well prepared, confident and do everything right, you will make a winning impression and obtain your goal.


Below are the Q-A sessions in Rediff chat answered by Amit Bansal, the founder and CEO of PurpleLeap.


Trainee asked, Mr.Bansal Recently we had an internal job opening. Three people applied including self. After application scrutinizing the HR announced that the criteria s are being revised, which is really strange and out of the policy frame work. Some people say that expected person whom the seniors want to promote has not applied, hence this drama. I have been waiting for such an opportunity for last 4 years, now i feel completely lost to the corporate politics. How should one deal with tis ?
Amit Bansal answers, I understand your concern… dynamics of every organization is different. However, before giving in to rumors i suggest please contact your HR and find out the real issue. Maybe you can reapply.

Yogi asked, Hello sir, I m working as a manager in marketing department.I have given interview for one company.I have to change my job location.But for that,new company negotiated me for salary 30 % less than my currently drawn.SHall I accept that proposal due to job location change.
Amit Bansal answers, I suggest look at your priority. However 30% is a huge chunk to negotiate with. You may find difficult to cover this gap in future. Give it a thought before you decide.

mandy asked, What sould be min years we should work in 1 company on same position?
Amit Bansal answers, 1 to 2 yrs.

gop asked, is it necessary to talk always in english during the interview?
Amit Bansal answers, Yes absolutely unless your job requires you to interact in regional language only.

mandy asked, Every Time I face tough Technical Questions that I dont know the answers…what to do in these situations?
Amit Bansal answers, You can accept that you do not know the answer. Ideally if you do not know one or two answers in an interview it is acceptable as long as you show good subject knowledge otherwise.

gop asked, how can i approach them i.e.naukri,timesjobs etc.
Amit Bansal answers, There are always phone numbers, email IDs and even website addresses mentioned. Please contact on those.

klk asked, Is there a right answer to the question “Where do you see yourself 3 years from now?” Is it ok to answer something like “I see myself leading a team or I see myself as a Senior engineer ”
Amit Bansal answers, It’s okay but besides leading a team is there a goal for self development as well?

sriniold asked, Currently I am a Tech Lead, planning to move towards Management. What is my first step towards that?
Amit Bansal answers, Well look for an internal job posting. Getting an experience in the current organization will be better than moving into a new place and then learning.

gop asked, i have been applying jobs through portals for last 1 year.but i have not got single response from them. could you please help me in this regard?
Amit Bansal answers, Just applying will not help, please follow up with the respective people through phone.

Zulfi asked, Hi, I’m 31 & A Finance Professional. Since 23 Years, I Have Been Only In Telecom Industry Where I Have Grown From Executive To A Manager. 2 Questions: 1. Right Time To Shift To Another Upcoming Industry 2. Any Other Industry Which Is As Vibrant As Telecom? Thanks.
Amit Bansal answers, Zulfi, all depends on what you want to do. I think if it’s your interest any industry will look vibrant.

amitbansal asked,  I know someone who keeps on changing job every 1 or 1.5 years. In his 14-15 year career, he has changed 10 or 11 jobs. I am not able to understand why he is able to get a new job? Ordinary qualifications and job in IT sector. Doesn’t prospective employer look for stability in a candidate? According to me, it takes 6 months to settle in a job and another 3-4 months for looking for a new job. So for 1 year tenure, you would be productive only for 1-2 months.
Amit Bansal answers, Well I know your concern here, however I am not sure what kind of companies this person has usually applied for and it also depends on this person’s ability to prove his worth for the organization. There can be various parameters.

rahul asked, what if i dont know the answer??
Amit Bansal answers, Say you do not know it right now, if you are given time you can find it out. But in no case you should give a wrong reply.

priyanka asked, i am a masters in design and work as design manager in a design consultancy firm. i work in projects where innovation in product and business, marketing strategies is to be studied. how do i enter core marketing/ strategies field…i do the same things but for lack of an mba, can make a breakthrough in interviews
Amit Bansal answers, I think knowledge and experience counts. So if you are able to substantiate a job experience in that area maybe you can get a breakthrough. I know that some companies have a basic eligibility as MBA.. in those cases I am not sure if you will be able to make it. So look for lower options and then progress to better ones if you want to change your domain.

rahul asked, i am not much confident when m answering
Amit Bansal answers, I suggest practice before you go for interviews.

Riju asked, I am working as Manager in MNC.. i recently had interview… interview went well and it was there for close to 1 hr…Interview was completly Management related questions.. I answered almost everything.. at end of interview two interviewers went out for 10 mins discussion and came to room again and said.. It was nice talking to you.. how long is your notice period and gave me overview of job waiting for me and how they plan to train me etc… does it show i am selected?
Amit Bansal answers, Looks positive… all the best!

gop asked, is there any difference between MNC and Indian companies interview pattern?
Amit Bansal answers, Companies follow their own interview procedures. I suggest each time you get a call from the HR, please clarify the interview process so that you are ready.

abc asked, How do we handle a PI where on a panel 3-4 individuals are sitting and shooting Questins one after the another?
Amit Bansal answers, Handle all the questions, address the entire panel while you are answering, do not look nervous and keep a pleasant smile.

Chand asked, Hi, when we go to an interview the first question they usually ask is tell me something about yourself. Since my whole resume is already there with them, what else can i tell them?
Amit Bansal answers, Well you need to talk about your highlights. Keep three things in mind, what you did, what you are doing and what do you want to do in future. Create a response based on these three things.

asdasmd asked, how to negotiate salary? if the interviewer asks to quote a number then should we quote?
Amit Bansal answers, Salary negotiation should be based on your previous drawn and industry standards.

sur asked, Normally what questions , candidate can face during interview for SENIOR MANAGEMENT POSTs like VP/CEO/CTO
Amit Bansal answers, For senior management positions, the interview is usually based on sharing real time experiences and business projects. More than the qualifications the implementation of projects, business and revenue impact will be scrutinized.

sss asked, If employer says we will call you back and doesnt it advisable to call HR and ask for Interview status
Amit Bansal answers, Yes you may call the HR to give you a clear response on your selection. Most professional organizations will send you an email reply but if they don’t you can ask the HR about the status.

a asked, Is there any thumb rule for preparation of Interview?
Amit Bansal answers, The thumb rule is to refer to the job description while preparing for an interview.

Amit Bansal says, There can be various types of interviews, like the one on one, group interview, panel interview, stress interview, behavioral interview, telephonic interview… there can be many other types also depending on an organization.

Mangesh asked, What does interviewer actually expects from candidate..???
Amit Bansal answers, All interviewers expect you to talk about your skills, knowledge and attitude required at the job you are applying for. All interview questions will be based on this description.


Chat Date: November 23, 2011