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Geetanjali Pandit

Geetanjali Pandit

Geetanjali Pandit

Your book ‘Buddha at Work’ has an interesting title. What was the though behind it?

Many people were intrigued with this title and wanted to know who exactly is the Buddha I am talking about. The Buddha in the title signifies me, you as well as every person. This book encapsulates tangible ways to inculcate principles of Buddhism in our daily lives. Initially I started off with writing the principles of Buddhism, but it became too technical.

Then out of the blue, I had a moment when I realised I could use the character of Gautama to bring out the principles of Buddhism. This book includes my life experiences along with the principles of Buddhism and along the way this book metamorphosed from a voice in my head to my guide. This book talks about the application of Buddhism to attain solace and calm at workplaces, so hence this title.

What inspired you to write this book?

I have many experiences professionally as well as on personal grounds, which decided the course of the book. My attitude towards stuff started transforming once I started applying the principles of Buddhism in every life situation. Once I embraced the principles, my life was transformed. As a person working in the HR department, I witness many people having professional sufferings and the lucky ones who didn’t, consciously or unconsciously were applying the philosophies of Shakyamuni Buddha. I wanted to show people that Buddhism is a tool which can be used in modern times as well to eradicate issues at workplaces.

Please tell us about the issues faced by women at work places.

There is no denying the fact that women face more issues as compared to men in the work place. Women lead a more complex life as compared to their male counterparts owing to the burden of managing home side by side. A woman now a days cannot depend on her family to look after the household, let alone the husband, as families have become nuclear. So I think women need even more calmness and wisdom to work efficiently. The book Buddha at Work offers practical solutions to women at workplaces to lower down the issues. It offers practical solutions to deal with them and I think a reader after finishing this book will say ‘I am not alone in this experience’.

How best to deal with toxic people at work places?

When we deal with toxic people we are actually dealing with the underlying cause. Although we cannot do much to eradicate the toxicity but we can grow as a person which would even reflect in the work places. If we grow as a person, we would deal with the negativity in a much better way. Once you read the book you will come across practical solutions to deal with the negativity and maybe you could even befriend a toxic colleague. I know this path isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible either.

How important is taking a break from this mundane life and having some ‘me time’ ?

As we are so caught up in our busy schedules, it is so important to spare some time for ourselves before insanity swallows us. This book highlights setting time aside, everyday for physical activity, meditation, reading and a hobby. This habit instils in us a balance and happiness. The rarest virtue in today’s world is carving time for oneself. Lastly I would like to quote, ‘You will always find time for what is an absolute priority for you. But if you haven’t learned to identify it, you will never find time for it’.

Lastly, 5 essential things to follow to lead a happy professional life.

First and foremost, never start your day with internet, mails or WhatsApp; instead focus on yourself while starting the day. Secondly, always spare time for meditation and to connect to yourself. Third is to always respect and appreciate your talents. Fourth, always practice gratitude and last but not the least, chalk out and understand your life purpose, it is truly ‘the wind beneath your wings’.

About the Interviewee:

Geetanjali Pandit is an alumnus of XLRI, Jamshedpur and Lesley University, Cambridge, USA, where she worked with the legendary Professor John Kenneth Galbraith. Her career in Human Resources spans over twenty-two years, during which time she has been the CHRO for the India Today Group and the CPO for Zee Media Corporation Limited. At EIH Limited, Geetanjali played a global role in employer branding and in hospitality HR practices. An articulate speaker and an incisive thinker, she has written two books on career management and several articles in the Economic Times, the Financial Express and DNA. Currently she has forayed into skill-building and is a board member for a large organization. She credits her success to the application of Buddhist principles at the workplace.