Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Juniors Vs Seniors: Office Ethics, Ego Clashes, Corporate Attitude, Mutual Respect etc.

Disclaimer: This post represents my personal opinions and experiences and has nothing to do with Samsung or Microsoft.
Its a fact that my corporate life is still in an infant stage. With just 1 year of experience [ if I count my work as a Microsoft Student Partner then its going to be 4 years in total], I do not say that I am an expert to deal with the topic [ the one mentioned as the title of this article], however, I have my opinions, which although may not be as important to you, as your own honourable opinions (about me or about the topic), but there are a few points I would like to make. I am well aware of the fact that many of you are going to like it, even write to me some appreciation emails or blog-comments[ like you have always been doing, and I really appreciate that. Thank you! ], while many others will think of it as a good-for-nothing or a mis-guiding post and curse and abuse me [ I really thank you too for your critical feedback which help me improve not only as a blogger but also as a person]. However, as a believer in Karma, I am bound to write, as I consider it to be one of my duties.

I really hope this post will really give you some tips to have a good relationship in a professional environment. I recommend this post to all my readers – students, novice professionals and experienced professionals alike.

To begin with, a healthy corporate environment [or any relation for that matter whether professional or personal] are based on some very simple principles:
  1. Mutual Respect
  2. Understanding
  3. Co-operation
  4. Trust
  5. And a few other things
Fortunately, in my both roles – as a Junior and as a Senior, I find myself blessed by God as I have had some of the best Seniors who have mentored me, and some of the best Juniors with whom I had the honour of working with.
Still I have seen people complaining. Juniors complain that Seniors do not treat them properly, and Seniors complain -  “Juniors are arrogant and do not respect us”. I have often asked myself this question – “WHY! Why do people think that way?”

In my humble opinion, often the problem is nothing more than a mis-understanding. Our cultural and habitual differences and most often our talking style and body language create the confusion. For example, initially it was difficult for me to get accustomed to people speaking Punjabi and Haryanvi [no offense intended, but their language seems harsh and they use a lot of abusive words, which was something very new for me and using abusive words is considered disgraceful in my culture.]

I agree, exceptions do exist. There are many genuine cases of attitude problem. The best strategy is to always look for good qualities in any person. Always look at their good qualities. Try to become friends with the colleagues. Make a habit of honestly appreciating people’s efforts [whether juniors or seniors]. Make a habit of being grateful to people [thank them for their work and support and/or mentoring]. Avoid criticizing and blaming at all costs.

Every person has a few unique good qualities. Think of what is the best in the person, and learn from them. For example and inspiration, visit my other blog Heroes in our Our Lives.
All these confusions, problems and clashes can be avoided very easily. All we have to do is keep a few key points in our minds.

For Seniors [both - who joined company recently from some other organization and those who have been working in the company for quite sometime now ]:
  1. You have a lot of experience, but there is no need to show off. One thing should be kept in mind – Don’t demand respect, command respect.
  2. Do not underestimate your juniors. Understand that you have landed in the present organization after some hops, while a Fresher has started his/her career with the present organization.By the time they’ll reach your age, imagine the growth that they would have achieved.
  3. Yes you know more than them, but then there are  cases when they know more than you, especially about the latest technologies. Its nothing to be ashamed of. Nobody knows everything.
  4. You can implement things that you have learnt in other organizations, and you must do, but you should not trouble freshers for the same.
  5. Do not ever try to show that the Junior does not know something. Do not ever insult them. You must not measure them by your standards. They do not have as much experience as you.
  6. Just because you have experience does not mean that you are smarter than everyone else. Innovative ideas can pop-up even in in-experienced minds.
  7. Do not try to restrict freshers/juniors. They are full of ideas. Give their ideas some thought. Do not dismiss them straight away. They may have a better solution that you do.
  8. Never tell your juniors that you are too busy [unless you really are, I believe 90% of the times when people say they are busy, they mean they do not want to work, they just need rest.]
  9. Respect each and every profession – Admins, Testers, Developers, Office Secretaries, Office Boys, even Security Guards.

For Juniors [freshers and novice professionals]:
  1. Respect your seniors at all cost. They are at a senior position for some reason. They have that talent, whether you see it or not. [Unfortunately in some rarest cases exceptions do exist. ]
  2. There may be cases when they do not know few things. Nobody knows everything.You must not show off your knowledge.
  3. You may think your idea to be the best, however, you may be short-sighted w.r.t. to your judgement and the Seniors may be thinking in a broader view.
  4. Though you have started where your seniors are currently working, you are yet to face a recession, you are yet to face real competition. They stand tall in that position, because they have overcome challenges in their own lives and careers.
  5. If you think there is some problem. Talk to them, when they are in a good mood. Talk to them politely. Never ever be rude to your Seniors. I don’t think you’ll like if your junior was rude to you.
  6. Always keep in mind, the way your behave with your seniors, it will set live example for your juniors. They will follow your behaviour. So if you don’t respect your seniors, no junior is going to respect you.
  7. Give respect and take respect!
  8. Respect each and every profession – Admins, Testers, Developers, Office Secretaries, Office Boys, even Security Guards.
Always remember the following quotes; put up a Notice board in your Cabin/Chamber/Seat or anywhere you sit in your office:
”I will speak ill of no man, and speak the good I know of everybody.” – Benjamin Franklin.
“Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn of him.” – Emerson.
And I can guarantee you, you will be the happiest person in the world, just like me! Smile


  1. Vishal,

    Thanks for this wonderful post. It really helps me to mend myself into a better person.

    I really like this line - ”I will speak ill of no man, and speak the good I know of everybody.”

    Because, 'You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than what others say about him'.

    Once again, Thanks.

  2. @Satish - Thanks for taking the time out to read and give your valuable feedback.

  3. gr8 thoughts... brilliant post! :)

  4. it is reaallly great sir!!!!will definitely keep in mind all the time.....

  5. A truly well crafted guidance for all.

  6. A truly well crafted guidance for all.

  7. thank you sir for radiant thoughts.....will really gonna helps us :)

  8. Excellent guidance you have made for all... As a security guard I like to thank you for respecting security guards... Thanks..
    Missouri Security Guard