Stereotyping people and what it is worth
Often, teachers, doctors and lawyers are considered a “special species” and I used to categorize them in one way or the other into stereotypes. In fact, several outbound marketing companies do not have doctors, teachers and lawyers on their target list as the call center agents are never successful (they simply seem to know it better or can’t listen).
My life has proven different. After a really bad experience with my math teachers back at school, I decided to never again get close to any representative of this group. It happens that one of my friends is a teacher, on top a math teacher. I also spend a lot of time with some very nice doctors. And most recently, I am enjoying right now that lawyers can be different as well.
Sharda Balaji the founder of NovoJuris, a legal consulting company, proves to be different in many aspects. During daytime, she is the best ever consulting customer, consultants can have. In a small team of three SAP colleagues we are consulting her and her team during a social sabbatical on how she can grow her business. She is so open, accessible, and receptive of ideas and enjoys long and deep discussions we have, on potential ideas how she can grow long term, have some quick fixes, and how to manage a team all with a big sense of humor.
Outside office hours Sharda has a big heart as she very actively supports Baale Mane, a girls orphan home outside of Bangalore. Rather than “just paying money” she spends lot of time with the girls teaching them, mentoring them but she also dedicates her law knowledge to the orphanage by advising them on legal questions.
The SAP Social Sabbatical team joined her on a visit to the orphanage and had the great honor and pleasure to enjoy the hospitality of the 50 girls. I was expecting some shy girls and was totally taken by surprise of how open and outgoing these girls where, let it be while playing memory game with us, or during their dance, singing and acting performance or just hanging out with them in the court-yard of the orphanage. It was amazing how the girls hang onto Sharda, hugging her, being around and close to her.
Back in the NovoJuris office, Sharda again proves different. Last week, a small injured puppy came to the office and stayed at the court yard of the office house. All at NovoJuris are now taking care and Sharda made sure that the puppy had food over the weekend. This Monday the dog was no longer limping and is greeting us with a big portion of puppy curiosity.
I wonder what other surprises I will detect over the next two weeks here in India.