By Tej N Dhar
Enrich Your Personality, Moid Siddiqui, Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, Pp 200 (PB), Rs 215
Moid Siddiqui has been involved with the management of organizations and training of personnel for corporations for decades. He has also written over a dozen books on issues related to them. His new book on enriching one’s personality is different from the run-of-the-mill works on personality development: for it goes beyond the exclusive focus on the externals of personality. The very opening sentence of the book says it clearly: “Personality is a way we represent ourselves through our body, mind and soul.” It has an inner and outer self, which means “physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual self.” Thus the author moves beyond the already established IQ and newly popular EQ to embrace the body, mind, and soul or spirit of personality.
Since the corporate world has for long dwelt on the external aspect of personality, Siddiqui begins by discussing aspects related to this: to dress well, to keep eye contact while talking, to maintain a balanced posture and not to shift weight on the legs while standing, to avoid putting hands in one’s pockets, and to regulate the pitch and modulation of one’s voice.
Siddiqui’s explanation of the make up of personality is detailed and interesting. It is made of three things: the “life script,” which we get from parents, seniors in the family, and teachers; once made, it is difficult to change it. The “thoughts,” which we keep on learning as we move along; and finally, our “attitude,” which can either be positive or negative. A study made in the Harvard University has established that 85% of a person’s success depends on attitude and only 15% on knowledge and skills. Our attitude is shaped by our environment, experience, and education. But the key to success is to build a positive attitude, for which Siddiqui recommends twelve techniques, which are quite workable.
To build a towering personality, we need to develop a positive perspective, to have a clear vision of meaning in life, to cultivate discipline, to have a heart that can praise, to learn the art of listening, to live with values, and to follow the eight-fold path of Buddha. Siddiqui gives great importance to teachings from different religions. He, in fact, thinks that Buddha’s eight-fold path works like “alchemy for personality enrichment.” These include right thought, right intention, right speech, right action, right means of livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. His discussion of these emphasizes that most of these are stressed in other religions as well.
Siddiqui also emphasizes the role of communication in one’s personality, but this does not involve just the art of speaking but of listening as well. He discusses the keys of good listening, quality of listening, and listening styles and attitudes. He also emphasizes the values that we live by. People should have a set of core values and these should be built in our lives. In fact, these should inform the organizations as well; efforts should be made to foster TEM (Total Ethics Management) in them.
To ensure success in life, we need to be assertive—that is, to work with consistency and constancy and not aggressiveness; proactive, which means to think ahead and act; and “finitiative,” which implies to initiate things and bring them to perfect completion. Siddiqui rounds off his discussion by providing forty-six short capsules of tips to live a Total Quality Life.
Siddiqui’s discussion of the issues related to personality is clear and lively, and interspersed with case studies, interesting stories from different sources, and references to religious figures, philosophers, psychologists, and management experts. His book should not only interest people who want to do well in corporate life but also those who wish to work towards enriching their lives.
(Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, 2/10 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi–110 002; www.macmillanpublishersindia.com)