Management with a Human Face: An Indian Perspective - Part 1

Management implies being human – meaning conducting business transactions with a human face. Physically, bodies may be at a distance but one must never deny the internal connection and relation. For example, in one’s room, there may be cockroaches, ants and rats, but one does not feel concerned about them. There may be neighbours, but one may not feel about them. However, if one’s brother is staying in America and if there has been no message from him for over a week, one gets anxious. Thus, even if the physical bodies are not in contact owing to geographical distance, the ties create intimacy, anguish and concern.


External relations on the contrary are based on one’s likes and dislikes. One may know the address of a celebrity staying in a metropolitan city in another country across continents, but may not even greet one’s own neighbour. However, if the relation is both intrinsic and extrinsic, it would be very valuable. For example, before marriage, a girl may be staying in a certain person’s neighbourhood. If she were sick, the person may not be aware of it and would not be concerned because of absence of relationship between them. Besides, if the neighbours lament emotionally, he may consider it as irritating and a nuisance. But later, if he happens to marry the same girl, and in due course if she falls sick, he applies for casual leave and attends to her. This occurs, as there happens to be both intrinsic and extrinsic relationship. After marriage, the same person views the same woman as his spouse and develops an emotional bonding with her because of which concern and empathy develop.

1. Mind of Man

The first requisite for a manager is having the ‘Mind of Man’. One should always think ‘I am a human’. This involves empathising with others. ‘If someone troubles me, I feel upset. Similarly, if I trouble another person, he would also feel hurt like me.’ This is the meaning of having the ‘Mind of Man’. Considering that I should be concerned with my own problems and he should be bothered about his own is the nature of ‘animal mind’. The doctrines of mind are of similar nature for all. If your boss ill-treats you, you feel upset. Similarly, your subordinate also would be hurt if you ill-treat him. As such, one should use one’s authority only in relation to official matters, but not at the individual level in order to settle personal scores. This is possible only if one has ‘Awareness of Atman’. 

Everything is encompassed by this awareness. For example, in a building there are electric lamps in each room, which are controlled by different switches.  However, there would be a main switch, which controls the current flow to all these lamps and other appliances through these switches. If you turn the main switch off, nothing happens by switching on/off the switches in different rooms. On the other hand, if the main switch is on, the switches in different rooms could be switched on or off depending on the requirement. Similarly, Atman is akin to the main switch. If you ignore Atman and keep meddling with the individuals alone, it will be of no use. So, one must understand the significance of Atman, which dwells in all beings. Gunas (qualities) present in individuals may be different, but Atman is the same. What is Atma Tatwa or the principle of Atman? Atman is the conscience residing inside. Whatever activity one does, it must please the conscience. One’s conscience points out if there are any slip-ups. One may cover up one’s own flaws and bicker with others, but if his conscience tells, “Yes there are flaws”, then argumentation and concealment would be futile. Thus, it should be borne in mind that conscience always presents the truth. 

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