Interview with Pinky N. D. Kansara, a Certified REBT Practitioner

Pinky N. D. Kansara

An exclusive interview with Ms. Pinky N. D. Kansara, REBT Practitioner, Employee Emotional Wellbeing Coach and Motivational Speaker

Welcome to an insightful interview with Pinky N. D. Kansara, a distinguished Certified REBT Practitioner (Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy), counselor, motivational speaker, and coach. With a focus on employee emotional well-being (EEW), Pinky brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the field of mental health and personal development.

Throughout this interview, we delve into her unique perspective and strategies that empower individuals to navigate their emotional landscapes, enhance their psychological resilience, and achieve holistic well-being in both personal and professional realms.

Join us as we uncover valuable insights from Pinky’s journey in promoting emotional wellness and fostering growth within individuals and organizations alike.

Can you tell us about your background and journey as an REBT practitioner specializing in employee emotional well-being?

Pinky N. D. Kansara: My journey as an REBT practitioner specializing in employee emotional well-being is deeply rooted in my upbringing and my unyielding passion for personal and professional growth. Born into a family where societal expectations and traditional gender roles held sway, my parents, particularly my father, defied convention by raising their five daughters to be strong, independent, and unapologetically themselves.

Despite the prevailing pressure to bear a male heir, my parents never allowed us to feel any less valuable as girls encouraged us to voice our opinions, and empowered us to make our own choices. In a society where marriage was often seen as the ultimate achievement for women, my parents supported my unwavering commitment to my career.

Work was, and continues to be, my greatest passion—a commitment akin to a marriage of its own. For 27 years, I navigated the demanding corporate landscape, often working long, grueling hours. And through it all, my parents never wavered in their support of my choices!

Throughout my career journey, I nurtured another passion:  about human psychology and dedicated my time to studying Rational Emotive Therapy (REBT) and eventually became a certified REBT practitioner.

It was only in 2022, after stepping away from a senior leadership role in human resources within the corporate world, after 20 years with the same organization that I decided to grant myself a much-needed break. During this hiatus, I resumed my counseling work.

In 2023, I embarked on a bold new chapter, challenging societal expectations that women my age should be contemplating retirement for family time and self-care. Instead, I chose to reinvent myself, yet again, with a new sense of purpose.

My mission is clear: to reintroduce value to the corporate world by advocating for employee’s emotional well-being. I firmly believe that emotional health plays a pivotal role in an individual’s quality of life.

My goal is to raise awareness about the profound impact of emotional well-being on employee behavior and performance. I aspire to facilitate transformative change in their lives, enrich the corporate landscape, and contribute to the broader goal of fostering a happier and healthier workforce.

What inspired you to become an emotional well-being specialist, specifically focusing on employees in the workplace?

Pinky N. D. Kansara: My path to becoming an emotional well-being specialist, particularly for employees in the workplace, was inspired by my natural sensitivity and empathy. Since childhood, I’ve been inclined to help others, even strangers, though sometimes my kindness went unappreciated.

However, a personal trauma, the loss of both my parents within a year, made me reevaluate my boundaries. Instead of seeking attention or sympathy, I adopted a more guarded approach while remaining true to my values.

This experience led me to recognize the significance of emotional well-being, often overlooked in favor of physical health. Given my 27-year journey in HR leadership and as a professional counselor, I decided to blend my REBT practice with my HR role.

My aim is to combine my personal emotional insights with professional expertise to address employee emotional well-being. I strive to create more empathetic and supportive workplaces that prioritize emotional health alongside physical well-being.

How does Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT) differ from other therapeutic approaches, and why do you find it particularly effective for employee emotional well-being?

Pinky N. D. Kansara: In the realm of therapy, a plethora of approaches, theories, and techniques exist to aid individuals in navigating life’s challenges and cultivating emotional well-being. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) stands out as a powerful methodology with the overarching goal of transforming a person’s core beliefs about themselves, others, and life itself.

REBT shines a spotlight on self-defeating behaviors such as shame, guilt, and self-pity, among various other negative thought patterns. It provides a valuable framework for reframing how an employee perceives certain situations, such as a colleague’s promotion that may have gone to someone else. Instead of attributing it to personal inadequacy, REBT encourages individuals to explore alternative explanations for their feelings.

Central to REBT is the ABC theory, which can be a game-changer in an employee’s emotional landscape:

a) Activating Event: This is the initial trigger or situation.

b) Beliefs: These are the core beliefs and interpretations individuals hold about the event.

c) Consequence: This represents the emotional and behavioral outcome of those beliefs.

REBT empowers individuals to recognize and challenge their beliefs (B) to ultimately influence the emotional consequences (C). By employing this ABC model, employees can gain greater control over their emotional responses and enhance their overall well-being.

And also for Authorities to understand the reason WHY their employee is performing in a particular manner and WHAT needs to be changed to bring a shift in their thought process for them to be more efficient and competent.

In the context of the workplace, what are some common emotional challenges employees face, and how does your approach address these issues?

Pinky N. D. Kansara: Let’s delve into two fundamental issues at the executive level, where clarity is essential:

Case 1: Gender Differentiation

In this scenario, a male employee is seemingly favored for working late or due to his popularity and support among male colleagues. However, we must prioritize the safety of female employees when it comes to late work hours. Rather than excluding female staff from challenging roles, this situation should be approached with genuine care for their safety.

Labelling it as “caring” and depriving them is, in fact, a form of gender differentiation. Women should have equal opportunities for larger roles, with the organization taking steps to ensure their safety during late hours.

Case 2: Self-Esteem

Here, an employee reports to a supervisor who is relatively new in terms of tenure and knowledge. The employee feels unjust as they were not considered for the position, and the organization brought in external talent. It’s crucial to help the employee understand that there might be aspects they are overlooking.

The new supervisor may possess higher education or specific skills required for the role. Additionally, differences in behavior patterns, like patience and interpersonal skills, could be at play.

The perception of the supervisor’s capability might be due to a lack of understanding of the organization’s culture, particularly by someone new to the company. In such cases, the employee would benefit from counselling by a neutral senior colleague who can share their own experiences.

This not only helps the employee accept the situation but also motivates them to perform better for future opportunities. It’s about fostering growth and development rather than dwelling on perceived injustices.

In high-stress work environments, how do you assist employees in building resilience and coping skills to handle challenging situations effectively?

Pinky N. D. Kansara: Thriving amidst high-stress situations demands a deliberate cultivation of awareness and consciousness. To steer through this relentless storm, it’s imperative to decipher where we stand and what must change to sustain unwavering performance, even in the face of unrelenting pressure.

The first step is to fathom the origins of this stress: Is it a consequence of inadequate infrastructure support, unrealistically lofty expectations, or perhaps a shortage of skills and resources?

Solutions, in turn, must align with the unique contours of the challenge, recognizing that stress can wear many faces, from short-term task-related pressures to persistent, long-haul stressors.

Our approach is personalized, recognizing the individuality of each member in the same environment. Here’s how we navigate the tempest of high-stress environments:

  • Acknowledgment and Appreciation: Recognizing and applauding their tireless efforts
  • Compassion Over Discipline: Granting compassionate leniency, momentarily shelving rigid rules.
  • Providing Relief: Offering substitutes when feasible, allowing for much-needed respite.
  • Igniting Motivation: Reviving their spirits by recounting past triumphs.
  • Nurturing Self-Care: Enabling them to rejuvenate through proper nutrition and, if possible, altering their environment with soothing music, a potent emotional booster.
  • Morning Inspiration: Commencing each day with an inspiring tale of a role model.
  • Anticipating Celebration: Fuelling their drive by making the finish line a grand celebration
  • Moments of Silence and Inner Strength: Integrating short intervals of reflection to gather inner fortitude
  • Spotlight on Excellence: Showcasing exceptional performance, inspiring others through exemplary models.
  • A Gratitude Gesture: Closing the day by reaffirming their value and role in our collective success.

In the furnace of high-stress work environments, our mission is to empower individuals to not only endure but emerge stronger, united, and ever-committed to our shared journey.

How do you work with organizations to implement and promote a culture of emotional well-being among their employees?

Pinky N. D. Kansara: We are crafting a transformative program set to debut in 2024. This initiative is not limited to nurturing the well-being of our team members alone; it extends its caring embrace to our mentors and leaders.

Recognizing that emotional well-being knows no hierarchy, we are dedicated to empowering our mentors and leaders to become pillars of support, capable of nurturing their teams’ emotional landscapes, my philosophy of empowerment is applicable even here where corporates can have the tools in place to help their team and find solutions within by being experts in themselves.

Why focus solely on those further down the line? We believe that for leaders to truly excel, they must first tend to their own emotional well-being, ensuring they remain resilient, empathetic, and steadfast in their commitment to their teams.

Our program acknowledges this holistic approach, reinforcing that, in the end, emotional well-being is the cornerstone of an effective, harmonious, and successful organization.

In your experience, what are some common misconceptions about emotional well-being in the workplace, and how do you address them?

Pinky N. D. Kansara: Our vision of emotional well-being transcends the fulfilment of basic legal obligations, like punctual payments and statutory benefits, which we diligently uphold. It encompasses a deeper understanding that goes beyond compliance.

Simply ensuring these needs are met cannot be equated to true emotional well-being. We recognize that these are not merely niceties; they are the rights of our employees. We honor these rights unwaveringly.

However, our commitment to emotional well-being extends further, delving into the realm of emotions themselves. It revolves around the profound understanding of what our employees feel and why they feel this way. It is this comprehension that fuels our dedication to enhancing their emotional states.

In essence, we believe that nurturing the emotional landscape of our employees isn’t just a responsibility; it’s a fundamental commitment that not only betters their lives but enriches our organization as a whole.

As an REBT practitioner, how do you handle situations where employees are resistant or skeptical about seeking emotional support in the workplace?

Pinky N. D. Kansara: Employees often hesitate to seek emotional support for a multitude of reasons:

  • Fear of Appearing Weak: They fear being perceived as vulnerable.
  • Seeking Attention: Some worry that seeking help might be seen as attention-seeking.
  • Evading Responsibility: Others might think it’s a way to dodge their duties.
  • Loneliness in Hierarchy: Those higher in the hierarchy might feel isolated.
  • Organizational Obligation: There’s concern that the organization may feel obligated.
  • Fear of Ridicule: Employees dread potential ridicule from peers.
  • Taboo of Emotional Suffering: The stigma of emotional suffering being equated to mental illness.
  • Fear of Spotlight: They prefer to avoid the spotlight.

But here’s the path forward! Our culture is built on transparency, where every voice matters, and feedback is a valued asset. When this foundational culture is upheld, employees begin to feel safe sharing their emotional needs.

However, the journey doesn’t stop there. Levelling up to the next stage, we empower our senior staff through talk therapy training. They become the compassionate, confidential confidants our employees need. It’s not about dismissing their concerns with assumptions, but genuinely listening and offering solutions.

Ultimately, it’s about creating a culture where silence is shattered, and replaced by voices that are not just heard but genuinely understood and embraced.

What advice would you give to organizations that want to prioritize and invest in their employees’ emotional well-being but are unsure about where to start?

Pinky N. D. Kansara: Organizations stand at a crossroads where a critical choice awaits: to prioritize the emotional well-being of their employees or remain ensnared in the status quo. It begins with a fundamental acceptance—the acknowledgment that the emotional well-being of employees profoundly matters.

Our concern doesn’t merely traverse the terrain of personal life emotions; it extends its vigilant gaze into the realm of workplace emotions. Here, within the intricate fabric of professional existence, employees grapple with sentiments that can disrupt equilibrium.

These emotions may manifest as sadness, anger, insecurity, a sense of unfairness, demotivation, guilt, shame, fear, disrespect, or even a pervasive feeling of unsafety.

Our approach is rooted in objectivity, a collective commitment to lay bare the emotions that often remain unspoken. We unravel the ‘what’—what are they feeling? Then, we delve into the ‘why’—why do these emotions take root? Finally, we embark on the ‘how’—how can we transform these emotions into a catalyst for positive change?

This endeavor demands an unbiased lens, one that neither shies away from the truth nor takes offense at its revelation. It necessitates a pause in the relentless pursuit of expansion—a moment to ensure that our employees, too, are growing alongside us. This is the juncture where progress finds its true meaning.

Moreover, we mustn’t disregard the age of our organization or the average age of our employees. Emotional needs evolve not just with time, but in harmony with the individual’s journey—tenure, biological age, and personal circumstances all playing their part.

In our quest to uplift the emotional well-being of our employees, we rely on professional guidelines and methodologies as our guiding lights.

These tools illuminate the path toward an organization where well-being is not a fleeting sentiment but a steadfast commitment to growth and harmony.

Are you an Entrepreneur or Startup?
Do you have a Success Story to Share?
SugerMint would like to share your success story.
We cover entrepreneur Stories, Startup News, Women entrepreneur stories, and Startup stories

Read more Success stories of Indian entrepreneurs, Women Entrepreneurs & startups stories at SugerMint. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn