Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Be thee modest

The other day, I had an interesting experience. I was hearing an important person speak about his organisation. Out of his allotted time of thirty minutes, he spoke for about fifteen minutes about his contribution to the growth of the organisation. The speech was peppered with "I" and "me". I could hear the audience snicker and grumble. The token applause from them encouraged the speaker to boast some more.

At the end of the speech everyone was unanimous in condemning the speaker. They wondered why he had to blow his own trumpet this way. Was it his insecurity? Or was it a wrong value system? In any case, his speech had an exact reverse effect from what he intended.

Many a times, we tend to fall in this trap. We feel that our services are not recognised and we need to publicise it. We feel that others who promote themselves end up getting all the accolades and the rewards. We feel that unless we talk about our achievements, it will be missed out or forgotten.

However, in my view, this is absolutely unnecessary. People do notice even though they may not openly acknowledge or praise the doer. Someone who is actively performing is always recognised. Modestly is a virtue that we should all cultivate. If someone praises us openly the correct response would be to down play our achievement and include others for the recognition. Such a response is agreeable and positive. The more one demurs, the more is the value given to that person.

What are your thoughts?