Monday, September 13, 2021

Art of Self-Reflection - Dr Sangeetha Madhu and Sanjhna Shetty


Self-reflection is a process of revisiting and analyzing our past behavior. It involves diving deeper into our minds, to recognize our feelings, emotions, motivations and desires with an attempt to find the 'why' behind them.

At the micro level, we can evaluate our behavior, our responses to particular situations or circumstances and analyze them and on a macro level, we can study the trajectory of our life. This gives us a clear picture of where we are headed, and whether we are going in the right direction.

Importance of Self-Reflection

In today's time with our fast-paced lives, trying to keep up with the speed of the world around us we keep pushing through life without having a conscious thought . This often gets us in situations where we feel stuck.

·         Gaining Perspective: Hitting the pause button on life for a few minutes regularly helps us in identifying what matters and what doesn't.

·         Responding more effectively: Self-reflection helps in identifying tasks and priorities that are important to us. Which helps in allotting more time and attention to them. On the other hand tasks that are lower in importance require less mental effort.

·         Facilitates Learning and Understanding: Self-reflection enables us to decode our past experiences. By taking some time to think deeply and ponder the meaning of certain experiences and emotions, we start developing a holistic attitude towards life.


Practicing Self-Reflection

Micro level-

·         A few minutes of self-reflection practiced daily or weekly, helps us recap our recent past and review our actions in a very detailed manner. This helps in identifying several minute details of our behavior that resulted from the events that were happening around us.


Macro level-

·         Self-reflection can also be practiced at the end of every month and every year as a personal review. This helps us see the bigger picture and gain perspective towards life, ensuring that we're making the most out of our lives. Journal writing, taking a walk, listening to music, exercising, meditation, healthy self-talk. Identifying the important questions, and attempting to find answers to them is the goal. Effective and honest communication with oneself is the most important aspect of self-reflection.


Self-reflection practiced regularly, or after every new experience helps us enrich our lives in a very interesting way. Being detached from oneself, looking at the situations as a third person, or a silent observer helps us in being open to unbiased and honest insights about our behaviors in the past.



Self-Reflection 101: What is self-reflection? Why is reflection important? And how to reflect. Holstee. Retrieved 14 May 2021, from

Self-Reflection, 1. 15 Essential Ways to Practice Self-Reflection. Minimalism Made Simple. Retrieved 14 May 2021, from

The Art of Self-Reflection. Retrieved 14 May 2021, from


Monday, August 9, 2021

Marriage Matters - Dr Sangeetha Madhu and Sanjhna Shetty

 Marriage is a formal union, social and legal contract between two individuals that unities their lives legally, emotionally, and economically. It may require religious and or civil sanction whose rules and roles may differ from culture to culture, as it is society dependent. Marriage is also considered a cultural universal, meaning it to be present as a social institution across cultures.


4 Horsemen - Gottman:

Dubbed as the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Gottman stated these - Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt and Stonewalling - as being the predictors and biggest distributors of separation and divorce.

Criticism: Your partner feels attacked when “you never” or “you always” is commonly used, leading to a defensive response. Here this creates a dangerous pattern as no one feels heard tending to lower self-worth in front of each other.


Defensiveness: Keeps one from taking responsibility for their actions, by playing victim or a counter complaint, escalating negative communication fueling bad exchange.

Contempt: a way of destroying the fondness/admiration is putting yourself higher than your partner - eye rolling, name calling, even sneering are such examples.

Stonewalling: Seen as spaced out or appeared to have shut down mentally not tracking the conversation as they are trying to calm themselves down in the process due to being overwhelmed. This comes off as not being interested enough in the problem to resolve it. Best is to identify the signs of emotionally overwhelmed in a partner or to pick up the topic when calmer.

Through Gottman therapy, which is to be sought after if the individual is willing, differences can be worked upon and beneficial if both partners are involved.

Pillars of Marriage:

Love - an unconditional bond between two people, encompassing deep unity, going beyond merely just a feeling.


Trust - the most vital and nothing can be built upon it if absent, especially between individuals and that level of openness with each other.


Understanding - to have true understanding shows that communication is effective and you heed to your partner’s needs.


Respect - to have true value for each other and knowing when to battle your egos.


Future perspective:

With a change in time comes a change in perspective with diverse cultures and traditions carried over for centuries, are slowly coming to a hold and now perspectives revolve around stability, self-worth, independence.


Crossman, Ashley. (2021, February 16). The Definition of Marriage in Sociology. Retrieved from

Monday, July 12, 2021

Building Trust - Dr Sangeetha Madhu and Sanjhna Shetty


Rousseau and colleagues defined trust as "a psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectations of the intentions or behaviour of another."Trust arises as a need to be interdependent with others. It is a key element in conflict resolution. People depend on each other to assist each other in obtaining the outcomes they value.


Dimensions of trustworthy behaviour

Trust can be earned using two ways; practical and emotional. Practical trust is earned by meeting commitments, being punctual, reliable and dependable. Lack of practical trust leads to lack of communication, inefficient work and missed deadlines. Emotional trust is what takes teamwork to the next level. It involves treating people with respect and kindness, providing a safe for people to confess their honest thoughts, ideas and feelings.

There are three dimensions of trustworthy behaviour that are linked top each other yet contribute separately to inculcate trust in a relationship.

  1. Ability: The knowledge, competency and skill possessed by an individual
  2. Integrity: Trustee adhering to the trustor
  3. Benevolence: Open and honest communication, sharing control and delegating decisions


Ways to build trust at work

According to a few studies, trust can be built at work using the following ways:

  1. Credibility: Being able to tell the truth, accepting that you're wrong and admitting when you do not know something
  2. Reliability: Being consistent and punctual as well as loyal towards your work
  3. Intimacy: Extending trust to others including people to participate being mindful about your reactions to others' work
  4. Self-orientation: Having self-awareness and knowing when to put it in action. Listening with intent, giving others a chance to talk and accepting one's failures




The Trust Equation uses these four factors to measure trustworthiness.

T = (C + R + I) / SO

T = Trust 
C = Perception of Credibility 
R = Perception of Reliability 
I = Intimacy 
SO = Perception of Self-Orientation 


Trust plays an essential role for a productive and safe workspace. It assists in improving employee experience. The pandemic has resulted in many organisations opting to work from home, as a result of which building trust is even more vital.




Trust and Trust Building. Beyond Intractability. (2017). Retrieved 8 May 2021, from

Price, H. (2017). 12 practical ways to build trust at work. Retrieved 8 May 2021, from


Monday, June 7, 2021

The Joy of Friendship - Dr Sangeetha Madhu and Sanjhna Shetty

         The American Psychological Association defines friendship as a voluntary relationship between two or more people that is relatively long-lasting and in which those involved tend to be concerned with meeting the others’ needs and interests as well as satisfying their own desires. They develop through shared experiences, marked by interdependence and voluntary interactions. Friendships occupy a critical aspect of one’s emotional well-being. Research states that adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of health problems, which includes depression, high blood pressure and high body mass index (BMI).

The science of friendship

According to Harvard Health Publications, “social connections help relieve harmful levels of stress, which can harm the heart’s arteries, gut function, insulin regulation, and the immune system”. Friendship is influenced by individual factors such as social skills, approachability, similarity and proximity and environmental factors such as life events, geography and activities. Research states that friendships are as important as diet and exercise. One of the most crucial factors for survival and reproductive success is the strength of the social connections we make. The science of friendship states that we should invest in relationships that carry strong bonds as we are social beings who cannot do well with isolation. The basic structure of how to form friendships include open body language, good listening skills, trust and disclosure, making time for one another, forgiving and apologising when necessary, etc.

Benefits of friendship

·         Increase sense of purpose and belongingness

·         Reduce stress and boost happiness

·         Assists in improving self-confidence and self-worth

·         Encourages one to avoid or change unhealthy lifestyle patterns

·         Prevent loneliness and isolation

·         Help in attainment of goals

·         Helps cope with traumatic experiences such as death, chronic illness, divorce, etc.

Friendships, old or new, is a form of an investment which pays off in better overall health and well-being. It requires effort and nurturance. Older adults, with a rich social life live longer than those with fewer connections. No matter what age, it is never too late to form new bonds. Friendships encourage individuals to be a better version of themselves.



APA Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved 8 May 2021, from

The health benefits of good friends. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved 8 May 2021, from

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Unlimited, H. The Science of Friendship. Human Unlimited. Retrieved 8 May 2021, from

Monday, May 24, 2021

On Leadership - Dr Sangeetha Madhu and Sanjhna Shetty

 The supreme quality of leadership is integrity” -Dwight Eisenhower


Warren G. Bennis, an American scholar, author and organizational consultantregarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field ofleadership stated that "Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality."An effective leader exhibits personality trait such as ambition, sociability and curiosity and is expected to develop a vision for their colleagues, communicate goals clearly, inspire, delegate and empower others.

Mistakes leaders make

·         Being unavailable/inaccessible

·         Not giving or taking feedbacks

·         Ineffective conflict management

·         Not taking emotions into account

·         Becoming overconfident about their abilities and judgments due to the powers vested in them

·         Not providing the group members the space to challenge their decisions

·         Involving in unnecessary risks

Leadership styles

Kurt Lewin along with his associates identified different styles of leadership:

·         Democratic Leadership: includes offering guidance to others at the same time participating in the group and allowing input from other members.

·         Transformational leadership: This style of leadership involves not only working towards fulfilling organisation goals, but also assist group members reach their potential. Such leaders are termed energetic and passionate.

·         Situational Leadership: This style is based on the leaders’ ability to modify the style of management to suit the organisational requirements.


Global Leadership and Development (GLAD) strives towards promoting positive mental health across organisations. Our core values lie in providing a safe space forcultivatingleadership presence through self-awareness, in the service of others & achieving life satisfaction.

Ø  Self-awareness - accurately assessing one's feelings, interests, values and strengths

Ø  Self-management – recognizing and regulating one's emotions to handle stress.

Ø  Social Influence - establishing and maintaining healthy and rewarding relationships.

Sustaining Leadership qualities

·         Efficient decision making: Ability to take make decisions without hesitation and make a choice under stressful situations

·         Effective communication skills: Setting clear expectations, giving opinions and directions and listening to their associates

·         Leading by example: A leader setting an example promotes a positive culture at workplace

·         Motivating others: The passion and energy carried by a leader motivates others to deliver their best

·         Positive reinforcement: Understanding others’ strengths, weaknesses and constantly providing feedback about their work

Leadership is a skill of influencing, guiding or leading a group of members or an organisation in order to achieve a desired outcome. Our hope for an innovative and authentic approach to leadership starts with self-awareness sowe can collectively harness our true potential to positively impact our families, organizations and communities

You must be the change that you wish to see in the world ‘– Mahatma Gandhi








Cherry, K. (2020). What Are Prominent Leadership Styles and Frameworks You Should Know?.Verywell Mind. Retrieved 5 May 2021, from

Leadership. Psychology Today. Retrieved 5 May 2021, from

Top 10 Leadership Mistakes - What NOT to do as a leader. IMD business school. Retrieved 5 May 2021, from

Monday, May 10, 2021

Healthy Habits - Dr Sangeetha Madhu and Sanjhna Shetty

      “Healthy habits are learned the same way as unhealthy ones-through practice.” While healthy habits improve the overall well-being of individuals, it may feel difficult for some of us to inculcate these habits due to various reasons. The American Journal of Psychology defines habit as a more or less fixed way of thinking, willing, or feeling acquired through previous repetition of a mental experience. Leading a healthy lifestyle is not only suitable for the physical health but also the emotional as well as mental health of individuals.

While habit and routine involve repeated behaviour, routine is not a response to a deep-rooted impulse. In other words, routine is followed when an individual feels the need to do it, without an impulse.

A few tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Writing the goals down
  2. Start small
  3. Keeping a check on mental health and stress levels
  4. Staying hydrated
  5. Planning one’s meals
  6. Sustainable health diet
  7. Planning a physical workout (any form of exercise)
  8. Cutting back on screen time
  9. Adequate sleep
  10. Heading outdoors to absorb sunlight
  11. Avoid alcohol, smoking and other forms of drugs
  12. Keeping a check on dental hygiene
  13. Repetition of behaviours until they turn into habit
  14. Reaching out to someone for support

Habit Formation (Habit loop)

       The process of habit formation consists of four elements namely the cue, craving, the routine, and the reward.

       The Cue refers to a trigger that encourages the behaviour (a person, event, feeling, etc.)

       Craving is the motivation or desire behind habit

        Routine refers to what comes before and after the habit

       Reward refers to the outcome achieved.

Habit formation has shown that behaviour is likely to become habitual when it is frequently and consistently performed in the same context. It is easier to set smaller goals and reminders in comparison with longer goals in maintaining good habits.


Making Healthy Habits That Last. Psychology Today. (2020). Psychologytoday.

How to build a healthy habit. Verywell Mind. (2020). Verywellmind.

Habit Formation. Psychology Today. (n.d.). Psychologytoday.

Gardner, B., Lally, P., & Wardle, J. (2012). Making health habitual: the psychology of ‘habit-formation’ and general practice. British Journal Of General Practice62(605), 664-666.

The Psychology of Habit Formation (And How to Hack it). Lifehack. (2020).