A problem-solver, a skilled-communicator, Mandeep Sodhi refused to be confined to a single job profile when life could present a new opportunity each day.
In an exclusive conversation with DKODING Media, Mandeep Sodhi, Founder, The Gyani Says reveals his learnings and ponders on the transformations in personal and professional life for all of us in the post-COVID-19 world. Finally, he imparts wisdom on how to bounce back from the crisis and taste success.
Q: Briefly tell us about your journey from accomplished banker to success with The Gyani Says?
I was good at problem-solving. Being in a job, I felt confined by limited possibilities. I felt: why limit myself to helping a few when I could impact many? However, my journey from working for corporations to working with corporations happened gradually.
It started and has remained over the course of 25 years, with consistently tasting success at work. Whether it was during my stint at The Standard Chartered Bank where my intervention helped grow insurance sales by 109%, or successfully restructuring the candidate section for timesjobs.com, or creating operational efficiency/profitability at Digicall Teleservices. Knowing my suggested interventions helped the teams create breakthroughs that instilled in me the confidence to start consulting as a business coach.
I have always enjoyed connecting and communicating with people. The Gyani Says gave me that opportunity through meaningful conversation, helping people solve work and life-related problems/situations, which otherwise would have stayed within them (a major reason for anxiety and depression).
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Most times I am called in when my clients are unable to resolve issues on their own or need to ideate. I say this as a good thing; a business coach is like a specialist who brings values to other’s life. Just as a doctor is important for an individual’s wellbeing, or a lawyer for solving legal matters, or a CA for managing your financial matters, a business coach aids personal or professional growth.
One should not become a business coach simply to profit monetarily. A business coach is more about giving and helping businesses grow as a result of your added value. Having worked in this space for over 15 years, there has been so much to learn and share. I feel that I am just getting started.
Q: How does the pandemic-induced new normal redefine the art of communication?
If we have learned one thing from this pandemic, it is the importance of bringing authenticity into our interactions. More than ever, we need to focus on building trust in our communication.
While we are fast adopting new and different methods of communication with our audiences, while we do this, we need to keep in mind the following 4 points:
Keep your communication honest and actionable: There is so much bombardment in the name of communication, we only have a brief window to get the customer’s attention and keep them there. There could be times when you face supply/vendor challenges that could affect customer service. Don’t hold back or try to manage it, tell your clients.
We are in an unprecedented time, clients will understand, be transparent and honest, this will go a long way in building trust.Mandeep Sodhi, Founder, The Gyani Says
Partner with the community: People will be inclined to focus their spend on corporations that are more human than others, therefore we need to create community-specific programs in order to create a captive audience.
Clear & consistent communication: As an organization, we are using multiple channels for communication, therefore it is essential that your message is clear and consistent across every channel that you use.
Communicate persistently: In order to maintain trust and relationships you’ve built over time, it’s important to remain present throughout this period, whether it’s business as usual on your end or not.
If I were to summarise the new mantra or art of communication, it is to build authenticity, trust & stay persistent.
Q: For individuals to excel as we head back to our professional life, what type of changes should they inculcate in their personalities?
We have to accept the fact that what worked earlier, may not work now. Therefore, as professionals we will need to do the following:
Stay Positive, re-evaluate/reset/restructure your goals: Building trust will be an important part. This goes both ways – our ability to trust others and others being able to trust me.
Be Patient: Everyone has been affected by this pandemic. Each person will adjust to the changes differently. The old playbook on approaching work requires changes from all. Therefore, we need to keep our anxiety levels under control.
Another thing we need to accept is the shift towards a GIG economy. Therefore, professionals in the future will be the ones who are comfortable with multiple jobs/projects to survive/thrive.
Q: Similarly, what type of changes should organizations bring in their brand messaging and outlook?
We have observed an unprecedented shift in the way people are carrying on their daily activities. Because these changes have been so sudden, it has left most of us with huge levels of anxiety. With no clear vaccine or cure in sight, more than the actual change, we are responding more to the uncertainty caused by it.
There are three clear premises we need to consider when discussing brand messaging as the consumers become more mindful.
- COVID has made every organization into a health business.
- How customers take financial decisions have changed
- Digital consumption of information has gone up
Therefore, we will see a change in the narrative. More than ever, the phrase ‘service with a smile’ has become the norm, literally.
Corporations are hardwired to analyse every measurable market and business metric, which often results in a hard-sell approach. Today, when everyone is feeling vulnerable, building trust through acting empathetically will create a lasting bond with your brand.
Some experts feel that it would be difficult for small businesses to survive this change. On the contrary, I feel it is easier for small businesses to restructure/realign their business as per the customer needs. The BIG focus will be on building confidence through every possible channel.
Resilience will be the key: being mindful of the above, market gain will slowly start to revive. The next 12 months will test the true resilience of brands and their ability to scale. As I have said above as well, our messaging has to be broadcasted to every possible channel. Second, it has to remain consistent and has to build authenticity and trust and build the ability to align quickly to market strategies.