Women Achievers : Dr. Ushy The Right Mind Dynamo

In times when humans are connected more to machines and devices than ‘life’ itself - where the power of communication is a ‘tap’, ‘touch’ or ‘click’ away, Dr Usha Mohandas, fondly called Ushy, advocates the art and science of communication via her chosen formula of using right brain techniques that enable individuals and organisations to energise, strategise and innovate. Dr Usha Mohandas, Director Communications and Chief Coach at ‘Dr Ushy’s Wisdom Work’, Bangalore, speaks to Corporate Citizen on the belief that one can thrive in all the chosen pursuits without trading off one career for the other


CC: The idea behind ‘Ushy’s Wisdom Works

UMD: We are all at an incredible inflection point today - living and working in fast-moving, digitally-driven, globally connected societies where change is constant, and we must thrive in ambiguity. The idea is to offer a unique platform for right brain training with a series of sessions, enabling individuals and organisations to energise, strategise and innovate. The biggest challenge for leaders today is to con- stantly and rapidly evolve by keeping pace with consumers and technology alike. The pace of change is challenging as people have to deal with feelings of doubt, fear, distrust and uncertainty. I believe that passionate and positive human energy can iron out disruptive negative forces by bringing in confidence, inspiration and the power to motivate and transform things for the better.

The scope of Wisdom Works

The goal is to create a quality program in Leadership, In- spiration & Change Management that are relevant and ac- cessible to all. Each program includes a series of learning objectives specifically tailored for unique challenges that are faced at workplaces -- be it the corporate sector, education, government or public sector.

On Wisdom Work and self-help guides

I believe that despite world class technology, infrastructure, finances, qualified manpower that make for leading or-ganisations, if human capital is not focused and motivated enough, life does not flow through the organisation. . The concept of our energy coaching via ‘The Mind Work- shop’ comes from a deep core of shared values, based on BITA –Belief, Intuition, Trust and Awareness. It is all about expanding our horizons. Our specialists understand the world of the executive leader, diversity in cultures, and their impact on the organisation. We believe in facilitating posi- tive change by helping professionals improve their thinking and guide organisations in dealing with the external envi- ronment as well as introspect inwards – organisationally and individually – for achieving positive transformation. We believe that even the “Best can become Better” and in a dynamic energy state, the word competition does not fit in. We compete with none but ourselves.


How do people perceive you as a life coach?

People always understood me as being different, I was very mischievous and I still am. There is no way that I will give up all the fun in life just because I need to be somebody; which means that I am a very congruent person -- what I feel, think and what I say are 100 percent in a straight line and so I am a linear thinker. But, most of us are non-linear thinkers – especially in institutionalised environment. People need to understand that what I feel, what I think and what I say are all three different things.

On congruency thinking from an HR angle?

In a corporate set up or anywhere, I might not like someone I am working with, or hate the environment I am working in, but I pretend to like it and this way the brain is confused 24/7. At the end of the day you yourself become confused because you are a victim of your own action and a product of your own thought. Who can help you to come out of this? You yourself ! So, my job is to enable people to mirror them- selves. I don’t instruct, but suggest a lot of things. I would ask them to look at themselves so as to nurture my concept of good living by helping people to be happy and enthusiastic.

On corporate clients their employees

Yes, the companies that work with me do invest in time to motivate and build trust by connecting with the workforce and empowering them to expand their latent virtues. This enables top management and leadership to come to terms with the aspirations and challenges of their immediate team members and vice-versa.


On transformational coaching

‘The power is in your point’ and not always in PowerPoint presentations! I do not believe in using run of the mill tools and platforms alone. I rely a lot on non-verbal communi- cation, because my observation of people who constantly use devices become devices themselves in the long run. It is more about people, less about processes.

What is the role of communication?

Creatively slowing down the brain in today’s fast paced society via communication--a science that I developed to understand how the tone in a conversation matters and how non-verbal communication matters in a dialogue. I believe in exchanging ideas effectively through elements that go beyond spoken words and make you the person you are.

Qualities of a successful life coach

For a person into the business of communication for 20-30 years, I still need to learn a lot. I need to change myself to suit my listeners. Constant learning is a huge task and with great learning you become great teachers. The day we stop learning, we become redundant and are no longer dynamic. I re-kindle myself from the experiences I gain from meeting others. I meet at least a minimum 50 to 100 people in a day and try to understand them through observation – by being very peaceful and calm and just by watching more.


Your take on women at the workplace

As long as people work together and there is life on earth,we will be bound by challenges irrespective of whether one is a man or a woman. All challenges need to be navigated and cannot be avoided.

“...The only difference is that they (men and women) are wired differently when they have to let off steam -- while men bear five geysers in one socket, women have two toasters in a socket. And if you run any device at maximum load, it tends to give off – one lets off fire and the other lets off steam. But at the end of the day, you have let off something which is absolutely normal!”

Your thoughts on empowering women

Sensitize men! Men also need to understand the psychol- ogy of a woman besides women understanding them- selves. Even men do not always get along with each other or women with one another, and this is where I, as the conflict manager, have to arbitrate, negotiate and mediate to bring in synergies. Gender sensitisation for men bosses, or say, navigating politics positively in the office set-up is also an essential part of growing up for competent col- laborations. Men too deserve a hearing, especially the ones with tough female bosses or unethical women peers.

On human behaviour and gender biases

We all come with our imaginations, so the fi rst step is not to take anyone for granted. Ask when in doubt, and do not be gender-biased. At the end of the day, I still hear 72 heart- beats and know that men and women have 1200 grams of the same brain! The only difference is that they are wired differently when they have to let of steam. While men bear five geysers in one socket, women have two toasters in a socket -- and if you run any device at maximum load, it tends to give off– one lets off fire and the other lets off steam.


“Humour can help to respond to any situation in life. It is the very hinge on which life revolves and my middle name is ‘humour’,” says Ushy. She warns women not to cage up, but smile often. It is the biggest connector -- the transformer that can generate some 4000 to 6000 watts of positive en- ergy. “We think that he is giving me this, so what does he want in return -- a lousy thought in a world we live in, purely because society has been transacting for years. Sometimes we just need to give. Everything starts with giving – a twist of the wrist decides whether you give or get. The moment you twist your thinking to give, you will get,” she affirmed.


For someone who loves practicing and teaching Alpha Meditation regularly, the Hollywood flick ‘Shawshank Re-demption’ is a lifetime lust and she is never tired of watching it. “Never forget your daily dose of ‘Calmsutra’ -- meditate daily, exercise, eat and sleep well and list out at least two things that money can’t buy – and you would have achieved a good balance in life, ” signs off Ushy.

By Sangeeta Ghosh Dastidar