Wednesday, 14 June 2017

“I thought you being from Army had discipline”

said the learned Professor Ramdas. These words he spoke at the final feedback session after undergoing 12 days of training on soft skills at UNNATI Bengaluru ( Out of 12 days, team of SatysSparks ( had conducted one and half days of well-planned and rehearsed coaching workshop on individual discovery & development using Gallup strengths based development framework. In the feedback Prof Ramdas had commented “Yes, today’s session achieved the objective in helping me to unleash my hidden talents. These will definitely help me to convert these to my strengths”. His strengths are Achiever, Competition, Learner, Analytical and Consistency. He has graded our programme 4 out of 5.

His remarks about my discipline left me in a state of shock. I started thinking about my discipline since my childhood.  Till the age of 12 when I left for the Sainik School, I was thrashed by my father only twice. That also I did something silly on being instigated by others. One of my uncles (we lived in a joint family with three uncles) who believed in the concept of “spare the rod, spoil the child”, he used his rod liberally on all siblings and cousins. Being the eldest I got larger share. But according to me I was well disciplined. I was never late even if I had to walk bare feet for 3 miles to reach the school. I always completed the home work and scored good marks. In the school, the Head Master caned me only once in three years, because I was the football captain and was to deposit the football after the games which I did not do once.  Not a bad record of discipline. But the learned professor said that “I thought you being from Army had discipline”.
I went into another orbit. When in the Sainik School, I never violated any rule but for once in 4 years. Out on a liberty till 6 PM, we stayed put in Jhumari Tilaiya to watch an evening show (6-9 PM) movie “Phool aur Pathar”. We were five of us and I was the senior most, House Captain. At 9 PM, we did not have any means of transportation so we all ran back to the school distance being 13 KM. I immediately went to the House Master Mr SK Chandra and reported what had happened. We were about to be punished but since we had already run 13 KMs, Lt Col RL Gadeok, the Principal liked adventures, we were not punished. I retained my House Captaincy. I still thought my discipline was very good, but the learned professor said that “I thought you being from Army had discipline”.
Still further I travelled on my memory lane to the National Defence Academy. I thought I had the best discipline. Right from the day one and the first hour and the very first minute in the academy I exhibited by discipline talents predominantly. I was never punished. My drill boot always had 13 nails. My laces were always shining and straight. My drill shorts were always well starched. The orderly never had any problem in putting is hands through my shorts to pull the shirt under so that it remained well tucked in. Of course, I attended a few mass punishments called Singarh Hikes. It was good for our physical well-being. I passed my drill square in the first shot and “Drill is the bedrock of discipline”. I was the right marker of the squad. And when in file formation, I was in the centre. My drill was one of the best and drill is the bedrock of discipline still the learned professor said that “I thought you being from Army had discipline”.

Moving ahead my service with the Army and the United Nations--- I kept my high disciplined performances. I kept my values in both the organization on my head. Sometimes disobeyed unlawful commands to keep my values. I do not remember any incident of violating any rule, contrary to the Army Act, Defence Services Regulations and the Indian Penal codes, still the learned professor said that “I thought you being from Army had discipline”.
After my retirement from the UN in February 2015, I became a volunteer faculty of UNNATI and a visiting faculty of the Christ University and more recently a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. I have always been well prepared and on time. In fact, bought my own projector and speaker system to beat the hassles that we faced by interface between HDMI and VGA. And most important about my association with Prof Ramdas was of one and half days. My team was always well prepared, we had rehearsed threadbare and meticulously. Entire coaching session was like a military precision. We had anticipated and had ready answers to all probable questions that professors could ask. The feedback of 4 out 5 is 80% which I consider excellent from the overall point of view, but still the learned professor said that “I thought you being from Army had discipline”.
From the Gallup Clifton Strengths point of view my top five (signature themes) are Learner, Achiever, Strategic, Arranger and Input. Discipline is not there in my top five. My next five in sequence ie 6 to 10 are Maximizer, Responsibility, Individualization, Empathy and Developer. Discipline is not even in top 10. “Discipline” happened to be at 12th place for me. Focus being at 11th place. The learned professor can never be wrong. I do not have discipline even in my top 10 themes. Just to explain to the readers that I have discipline. The other 11 themes ie Learner, Achiever, Strategic, Arranger, Input, Maximizer, Responsibility, Individualization, Empathy, Developer and Focus are naturally occurring in my life more frequently than Discipline. These determine the way I think, feel and behave.

But still I was very curious to know the mind of Prof Ramdas. I asked him during the tea break, as to what did he find lacking in my Discipline.  He said, “Since you are from Army, I thought you will give us commands ‘sit down’ ‘get up’ ‘turn right’ ‘turn left’ ‘quick march’ and so on”. Impact of Hindi Movies and his perception of military discipline made me an indisciplined disciplined person. Discipline is the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour and it is anyway a part of my being. According to Gallup “people who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create,” but I enjoy other 11 talents more than routine structure.

Monday, 12 June 2017

"Really thank you for showing me myself"

Said Learned Prof Vidur Gundage (Restorative, Positivity, Developer, Focus, Strategic) of PES College of Engineering. He commented after undergoing one and half days of Strengths-Based Coaching by the Team of SatysSparks ( under the aegis of UNNATI Bengaluru (

His full comment is

The session was fantastic. I understood what I am. I got my tools from you all. Now I can do everything I am equipped with my powerful tools. I can break mountains into pieces. This much strong I am feeling. Really thank you for showing me myself. Now using this powerful tool, I am going to reach my destiny. I will make India feel proud of me.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Behave, Treat, Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope

15 Professors from PES College of Engineering went through Strengths-Based Coaching of 29 May 2017 at UNNATI Centre, Bengaluru.

It all started with their taking Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment on 22 May 2017. They were very enthusiastic and communicative and narrated their life experiences on one of their themes. The Aha moment reached within no time. They all identified themselves with their respective strengths. Most of them did not highlight the Personalized Reports because every word and sentence resonated them.

The next important aspect was that they determined their values, drew these values and presented these to the participants. The exuberance shown while presenting values was like live wire. One of them Creativity as a Value drew banana on a mango tree. One of them who had pasted his drawing on an umbrella narrated that Umbrella of Values will protect him both on a rainy day as well on a sunny day.

The final culmination of the session was with they all working with one of the signature themes and determining as with this being a dominant theme (i) How can he/she become a great professor? (ii) How will he/she treat students by leveraging his/her strengths? (iii) How will he/she leverage his/her strengths to build Trust, treat students with compassion, provide stability and hope?  Not only this, they picked up one of the themes of a student (mock up) and worked out how to leverage those magic six words to make them students a great learner. 

Post by Satyendra Kumar  of

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

challenged ourselves and participants to be at higher level of expectations

on 29 May 2017, the Team of Satyssparks conducted a Coaching Session Strengths-Based Development for the Professors of the PES Engineering College Phalton. It was conducted under the aegis of UNNATI at Bengaluru.

Here are excerpts of exchange of mails that took place after the session.

I wrote after the session

“The important aspects of our achievement were that initially when the participants were asked questions they were quite hesitant and not confident. As we moved forward their level of confidence increased exponentially. It was clearly visible during their narrations of strengths-based examples from their lives. And of course, it reached a high level during the presentation of their values. And it peaked out when they presented their behaviour as a professor and treatment they will give to students. The lessons that I drew are (i) if they present a concrete subject they will excel (ii) it will be the better if these pertain/related to their profession/exposure (iii) and the best if they have mulled over it in the form of drawing/discussion in the group.

The second aspect that we learnt is that we challenged ourselves to be at higher level of expectations and challenged participants to a higher level of expectations and both they and we performed to a level higher than expectations.

The third important aspect that we saw, the addition of flavour to the entire event by UNNATI Gurus -- Girija, Alpa, Kanthi and Charu. Quotes from their experiences were great motivators to the participants.

According to me, we all did marvellous work yesterday. It was an extra ordinary effort that Maximized the output to 99.99999 %.

Murari Responded
The session was judiciously packaged, powerfully delivered and equally well absorbed by the participants. They are on their way towards becoming Great Teachers using strengths based techniques which they learnt.

The sharing and interjections from Unnati faculty (Girija, Alpa, Kanthi and Charu) enriched the participants learning. Many thanks for your outreach.

The case exercise done in an environment of Teacher - Student development using strengths techniques was a novel way of consolidating the concepts learned and proved to be of immense benefit to the participants. Their participation was engaging and full of energy.

Enjoyed taking the sessions. The active participation from PES College faculty was the high point. Wish them well on journey towards excellence.

Girija wrote
Thanks for giving us the opportunity to share. I think the program was a success as per the feedback from the participants we got today. They all seem happy and energised and brimming with new ideas and confidence.


I wrote
Thank you. I do not know what to say on your comments. I am overwhelmed and emotionally charged. Our endeavour has always been to be the best. We are just keeping up the traditions of UNNATI to always excel. I thank UNNATI for providing us with the platform to climb as high as ...... never ending.

Leela Wrote

I loved the commitment, passion and value you great leaders bring to the session. The exercises done to engage the teams are brilliant! Am glad to be associated with master strength trainers such as you. True to your name you have sparked the lives of young profs and their outlook to their career as teachers and leaders. Am also grateful to UNNATI for their commendable work in the field of education and skill building. 

Blog by Satyendra Kumar of

What did 15 Participating Professors of Engineering College write?   In the nest blog

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Dispatch from Mr LN Sharma

Mr LN Sharma is 75 years of age and is a volunteer faculty of UNNATI. He took Clifton Strengths Finder Assessment on 27 April 2017 and attended the group coaching on 02 May 2017. His Strengths are Strategic, Includer, Positivity, Communication, Connectedness. He graded the programme with 5 out of 5 and wrote in the FeedForward (Feed Back) ”
The workshop conducted on this day is very very effective, inspiring and interesting. Hats off to the Facilitators who are well experienced in convincing that participants by explaining each and every point on the subject
Today, 14 May 2017 I have received a mail from him which is reproduced below
Dear Brig.S.K,SM,
I AM VERY MUCH DELIGHTED in going through your beautiful  Leadership Reports based on my Strengths and Values I submitted to you during your first session conducted on 21/4/2017. Apart from enjoying the fantastic lectures from you as an Exemplary Facilitator,I could learn and understand immense values and strengths which I have never come across from any of the facilitators with whom I have contacts.Above all on going through your reports I am very much astonished to note that most of your reports based on my values and strengths are a reality in the sense that in my day today life (as well as considering the past and ,the present) things are taking place. In this regard I feel a gratification. and proud of you in intimating that apart from your effecient researches there are some intuitional values embedded on you which I feel one of the greatest Gifts/Achievements in you. In Toto I am very happy and proud of to have a great companion with you. My sincere Prayer to Almighty for your very very long life and cherishing in imparting your valued Techniques to all.
With warm Regards. Sharma.L.N

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Do you live in a glass house? Turn on the lights.

Yes, all leaders, managers of any organisation, military, civilians, political, business, government, professors and teachers, live in their respective glass houses.

How did Mr Ramesh Swamy, Trustee of UNNATI ( and Mr Prithviraj Karai, Founder of NGO Thread India ( increased their Open Areas on the well known Johari Window?

Mr Ramesh Swamy is heading the NGO UNNATIBLR and has established 50 institutions all over India to empower youth. UNNATI has two types of staff and teachers, volunteers and permanent employed. On 02 May 2017, during the Strengths-Based Workshop, he attended for the entire duration along with his 11 Staff and Volunteers. He let the team know his strengths and values. This increased the open space on the Johari Window. He revealed certain other unknown aspects of his personality- which became like an open book. He also learnt about values and strengths of his team members.

Mr Prithviraj Karai is a young College Graduate who started an NGO with 5 like-minded young Graduates. They went through the Strengths-Based Workshop on 02 May 2017 and them all emulated Mr Ramesh Swamy.

One written report given to them about the Team Strengths, they shared these with their team members.
They turned on the lights of their glass houses and this will be able to build trust, compassion, stability and hope.

By Satyendra Kumar & Murari Thayi of Satyssparks

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Age is just a number even at 78

Age is just a number even at 78

This has been proved by Mrs Nirmala Srinivasan. We the team of SatysSparks ( planned a Strengths-Based Development workshop for the 11 UNNATI ( Volunteers and Permanent Teachers; and 5 members of another NGO ThreadIndia ( Mrs Nirmala heard about this new programme and she volunteered to take this programme. It was a group coaching basically for two teams.
A brief introduction about her: she is 78 years of age. She is a mathematics teacher. Years ago, she retired as Principal from a prestigious school of Bangalore. Now she is teaching English at UNNATI as a Volunteer.

UNNATI is an NGO having 50 centres all over India. They empower youth to become self-assured and an earning member of the family. Their motto is LEARN! EARN! STAND TALL. Details can be found in their website.
I met her in the UNNATI Premises where she comes for her classes. That day she was 30 minutes early to get briefing from me. It was a very absorbing and “asking questions session”. The next day she took the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment and commenced asking questions about each of signature themes. It was real pleasure for me to interact with her initially on telephones, later face to face and finally during the group coaching. Out of 16 participants she was the only one with “Context” theme and she narrated as to how did she leverage this theme for the education of children and to motivate them. She also highlighted her “Positivity” theme and recalled this theme of her which saved the life of a class X student who was about to commit suicide. Now he is 29 year of man and doing very well in life. Her wealth of knowledge and long experiences in the field of education were of great learning for all participants.
For testimonial, we invited a family of three who had gone through this programme: Cdr Rajeshwar SM, Mrs Meenakshi SM and their daughter, Sunidhi. They gave out their experiences and changes after undergoing Strengths-Based Development coaching. Mrs Nirmala Srinivas very inquisitively asked questions to Mrs Meenakshi as to how the awareness of her strengths has affected her family as a Home Maker. 

Finally, Mrs Nirmala Srinivasan graded our programme as 5 out of 5 and wrote:

“It was lively and most interesting. The two facilitators were so down to earth and explained the various concepts very clearly. I’m sure I will be able to use what I’ve learnt today. Getting the Guest Family of three tell us about their experience was a very good idea. The presentation was terrific”