Shark Tank India's Vineeta Singh has spoken out in favour of normalising crying at work. Crying is seen as a symbol of weakness while being aggressive is considered one of strength when both are just coping mechanisms, the co-founder and CEO of Sugar cosmetics shared in a recently released book by Shark Tank India with journalist Prerna Lidhoo, published by Juggernaut Books.
"I cry a lot at work," Singh said. "And every single time that happens, I realise that my colleagues, at least the men, look at it as a form of weakness, a breakdown. Whereas if somebody just raised their voice, or argued, or became aggressive, it would have been seen as a symbol of strength."
The "Shark" added that it's a misconception that crying at work means that she can't take the pressure. "I have seen that because women are able to have this outlet where they are able to cry it out, they are very strong when they are done with it. I found that there is a big power in crying out a failure or a setback. It should be encouraged at work and managers should understand that it's a form of communication an they should take it like that rather than as a breakdown," Vineeta Singh said.
The book also reveals a moment when Singh did cry it out after a setback -- for more than two hours.
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It was seven years ago when a large venture capital fund stepped back from investing in Sugar cosmetics at the last moment. Without funding at that stage, there was every chance that the business could shut down.
"I have had a hundred other rejections from VCs but a lot was at stake here," Singh revealed in the book. "When it didn't come through, I knew I had to cry it out. There was so much emotion within me that needs to come out. It's a part of my recovery process."
After crying for over two hours that day, the next day she was back to her work mode, trying to work things out and asking questions like whether the company should relook its marketing strategy and how they should rebuild it.
Excerpts used from 'Shark Tank India: Start-up Fundas from the Sharks and Participants' by Shark Tank India with Prerna Lidhoo, with permission from Juggernaut Books.
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