Dear friends,

Am working in a small local firm.I have heard that in corporate culture, it is preferred to call the peers by name irrespective of the age/gender.

Recently a female (around 30yr) person joined who is working as a coordinator. She is facing a name calling problem. No one in the organisation have a broader outlook. She is close to me and i call her by name as she preferred.

But most other people of her age too and younger ones, call her Didi, which annoys her. Though she requested all to call her by name but they donot understand the broader outlook and smirks that she wants to lower her age etc...

So my question is that-

What to call this person (female) who is acting as a coordinator in office (the sales people has to report their daily details to her but she is not their supervisor). She is 5-10yrs older to those sales personnel reporting to her.

They prefer to call her Didi....but it does not sounds good. She is broadminded lady and even prefers them to call her by name even if they are 10yrs younger. So is it possible to call her by name or is there some other option?

Please throw some light..........what is the generally followed in your organisation?

From India, Guwahati
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer

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Dinesh Divekar

Dear Pmon,

The newly joined coordinator wants that she should be called by first name in contrast the persons who report to him call her as "Didi" as a mark of respect. However, "Didi" also does not go well in corporate culture since the word signifies family culture.

In the office we need to have professional relationship. Against this backdrop, you have two options. One is to allow the juniors to call her by the first name. Nevertheless, she need to be respected and by no way respected can be diluted. Allowing her to be called by first name has risk as juniors could misinterpret it as if she does not any seniority or authority.

The next option, which conservative company like yours may have is to call her as "____ Madam". The blank that I have left open could be either her first name or surname. This will bring sort of mental distance between the juniors and her. In conservative companies this distance is necessary. Convince the senior lady on importance of maintaining mental distance.

In MNCs even CEO or MD is called by first name. Nevertheless, staff is mature and they understand very well that calling by first name does not demean his/her position in any way. Does your organisation has that maturity? If not, then leapfrogging to modernity could pose a risk.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

Thank you so much Sir for your valuable input.
Here the main problem is about the mentality of the people, most of them think that person of same age can only be called by simply by the FIRST NAME. And they will not accept the 2nd option, as they have ego problem.
As mentioned by you, calling 'Didi" brings FAMILY CULTURE, which is really awkward.
We will try to use the 1st option. Let us try................
Thankyou again..

From India, Guwahati

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