Pawan is working as an officer in the State Government for the last ten years. As a part of the routine transfer, he was posted to another department. He joined a new office along with five other colleagues. The head of the office was a senior officer conversant with the functioning of the office. As a part of general inquiry, Pawan gathered that his senior officer carries the reputation of being a difficult and insensitive person having his own disturbed family life. Initially, all seem to go well. However, after some time Pawan felt that the senior officer was belittling him and at times unreasonable. Whatever suggestions given or views expressed by Pawan in the meetings were summarily rejected and the senior officer would express displeasure in the presence of others. It became a pattern of the boss’s style of functioning to show him in bad light highlighting his shortcomings and humiliating him publicly. It became apparent that though there are no serious work-related problems/shortcomings, the senior officer was always on one pretext or the other and would scold and shout at him. The continuous harassment and public criticism of Pawan resulted in the loss of confidence, self-esteem and equanimity. Pawan realized that his relations with his senior officer are becoming more toxic and due to this, he perpetually tensed, anxious and stressed. His mind was occupied with negativity and caused him mental torture, anguish and agony. Eventually, it badly affected his personal and family life. He was no longer joyous, happy and contented even at home. Rather without any reason, he would lose his temper with his wife and other family members. The family environment was no longer pleasant and congenial. His wife who was always supportive of him also became a victim of his negativity and hostile behaviour. Due to harassment and humiliation suffering by him in the office, comfort and happiness virtually vanished from his life. Thus, it damaged his physical and mental health.

a) What are the options available with Pawan to cope up with the situation?

b) What approach Pawan should adopt for bringing, peace, tranquillity and a congenial environment in the office and home?

c) As an outsider, what are your suggestions for both boss and subordinate to overcome this situation and for improving the work performance, mental and emotional hygiene?

d) In the above scenario, what type of training would you suggest for officers at various levels in the government offices?

(Answer in 250 words)

a) Some options available to Pawan to cope with the situation could include speaking with a supervisor or HR representative about the harassment and seeking their assistance in addressing the issue, seeking support from colleagues or seeking support from a therapist or counselor to help him cope with the negative effects of the harassment.

b) To bring peace, tranquility, and a congenial environment in the office and home, Pawan could try to communicate with his senior officer and express his concerns about the treatment he is receiving. He could also try to focus on his own personal and professional development, and seek out opportunities for growth and learning. Additionally, he could try to maintain a positive outlook and focus on the things that are going well in his life, rather than dwelling on the negative aspects.

c) As an outsider, some suggestions for both the boss and subordinate to overcome the situation and improve work performance and mental and emotional hygiene could include seeking support from a mediator or third party to facilitate communication and resolution of the conflict, participating in team building activities or training to improve communication and interpersonal skills, and seeking support from a therapist or counselor to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the conflict.

d) For officers at various levels in government offices, training in conflict resolution, communication skills, and stress management could be helpful in preventing and addressing situations like the one faced by Pawan. Additionally, training in workplace harassment and discrimination policies and procedures could help to create a more positive and respectful work environment for all employees.

Mind map notes for UPSC
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