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In today’s corporate landscape, professionals face a myriad of challenges, ranging from toxic work environments to the pervasive imposter syndrome. However, amid these trials, there are insights to be gleaned from spiritual leaders like Gauranga Das Prabhu, director of ISKCON’s Govardhan Ecovillage.

Addressing the issue of toxic bosses, Prabhu emphasises the importance of open communication and mutual understanding.

“In dealing with toxic bosses, both parties must express their needs and expectations,” he told Moneycontrol.

A toxic boss is an individual in a position of authority who exhibits behaviours that are detrimental to the well-being, morale, and productivity of subordinates and the overall work environment. These behaviours can vary widely but often include traits such as micromanagement, unfair treatment, and bullying.

According to Prabhu, toxicity can manifest either if the boss does not cater to the needs of the subordinate or if the subordinate does not fulfil the expectations of the boss. To solve the problem practically, both sides must cooperate.

“Sometimes, subordinates have to bend and sometimes the boss has to bend,” he said.

Imposter syndrome

A 2022 LinkedIn report said 71 percent of professionals question their abilities at work – more than during pre-pandemic times.

Further, 63 percent said they suffer from imposter syndrome, a condition that makes people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud” despite evidence of their competence and achievements.

According to Prabhu, the syndrome stems from a lack of self-awareness and an overemphasis on external validation.

“An employee needs to be aware of his capacity and limitations and accordingly set his goals. The goals should be realistic and achievable. Besides, excess focus on oneself and over-analysis of oneself can also lead to loss of self-confidence,” he said, adding that people nowadays feel garnering attention on social media makes them happy. “They excessively focus on proving themselves to be successful.”

To overcome this, Prabhu suggested individuals must cultivate a deeper understanding of their strengths and limitations, finding fulfilment beyond material success.

Back-to-office anxiety 

As companies implement policies like longer workdays in office, Prabhu acknowledges the associated anxieties but calls for a proactive mindset.

“It is the human tendency to resent the change initially. Rejecting a change only makes sense if the change is totally undesirable. However, the intention behind change is positive – the corporates want to increase employee interaction, engagement and thus boost productivity,” he said.

According to him, the pros of the policy include more interaction, resulting in the likelihood of more professional growth for employees, which in turn can mean “more profit for the organisation and likely more remuneration” for employees.

Prabhu advocates a holistic approach to cope with the challenges of longer office hours.

“Employees can offset the cons by using time spent in travel effectively by reading books, etc. Work for home taught us the value of interaction with family – try to fix a time in the morning or evening where all family members can be present. Most of the companies will have flexible working hours,” he said.

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