All posts by Exult! Solutions

Delving Into the Feminine Part 1: The Archetype

In the last few years, there has been a clear emergence of the feminine archetype in all walks of life – spiritually, politically, even in terms of corporate leadership. It is important to state here that we are not referring to feminism and women’s liberation movements, but to the psychological archetype of the feminine, that each of us hold regardless of our sex and gender identity. The purpose of this series of talks is to explore how we as individuals hold the feminine in us and how balanced is it with the inner masculine. The objective is to aspire for mental and emotional balance by working with the feminine.

In the first talk in this series, the speaker introduces the Jungian concept of the feminine called the ‘Anima’ and delves into the process of anima development.


Internal Family Systems Part 5: Dialoguing With Anxiety

This talked was delivered by Rukmini Iyer, Director, Exult! Solutions ( at HELP Library, Mumbai in January 2016.
In this talk (Part 5 of the series), we delve deep into one of our parts that often consumes a lot of space in our internal family – the part that is called Anxiety. Anxiety as a Protector can be very draining and unresourceful. The speaker delves into the process of interacting with our anxious part to release the positive resources the part holds.


Internal Family Systems Part 4: The Language of the Parts

This talk was delivered by Rukmini Iyer, Director, Exult! Solutions ( at HELP Library, Mumbai in Dec 2015.
In this talk (Part 4 of the series), we aim to deep dive into the language of the parts. The premise of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of therapy is that each of us are made up of parts that hold various roles within us and that each of these parts have a useful intention for us. It is possible that some of these parts may drive us towards dysfunctional choices and behaviours. However, once we understand and engage with the intention of the part, it is possible to rectify unresourceful behaviours. In this talk, the speaker explores the language that one can use while engaging with the parts, so as to make the internal dialogue effective and purposeful.


Internal Family Systems Part 3: Understanding the Inner Critic

This talk was delivered by Rukmini Iyer, Director, Exult! Solutions ( at HELP Library, Mumbai in Nov 2015.
The battle with our inner critic is one that a lot of human beings perennially go through. According to the Internal Family Systems (IFS) Model, the inner critic plays the role of a protector – it has the good intent of trying to safeguard us from touching an exiled part that stores unpleasant experiences/bad memories. The motive of the inner critic therefore is to criticise us and pull ourselves down so that we do not attempt to create a potentially unpleasant experience. However, inner critics do sabotage a lot of our aspirations and may limit our life experiences and hence need to be dealt with actively. The speaker delves into the matter of engaging with the inner critic, in this talk.


Internal Family Systems Part 2: Handling the Protector

This is the second talk in the series on Internal Family Systems (IFS) Model, by Rukmini Iyer, Director, Exult! Solutions ( at HELP Library, Mumbai in Oct 2015.
The speaker delves into the types of relationships one has with one’s parts and specifically focus on the role of the ‘Protector’. The protector is a part of us that carries the burden of protecting the Self from harm. In the long run, it is important to release the memory/belief of harm that may stem from past experiences, and release the energy of the protector, so that the Self may take over the system and bring back the natural balance.

A Culturally Sensitive Approach to Engage Contemporary Corporate India

by Rukmini Iyer, Director, Exult! Solutions

This article is based on the paper published in this link (the paper was originally presented at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok in 2013 at a Peace Conference).


As someone who runs a consulting firm (Exult! Solutions) that works in the area of organizational transformation, learning & development and peacebuilding, my analysis of the topic labelled above is from the professional perspective. It concerns a rather protracted, fuzzy conflict that professionals in the roles of consultants or employees in the fields of OD, HRM, L&D and related areas have to regularly contend with.

Core Issue

Corporate India, in current times, is a melting pot of the East and the West. In 1991, the Indian economy was liberalised, opening it up not only economically and financially, but also culturally. Multinational corporations came in; a lot of Indian companies went on to become multinationals. In the subsequent process of assimilation into the global economy, the Indian workforce had to adopt attitudes to work that are productive, but not traditionally familiar.

The Background

Now, to understand the social conflict caused by this economic shift, we need to understand the persona that is India. Let us use a mythological paradigm here to explain the prevailing culture. As children, a lot of us grow up listening to stories and reading them. As adults, those stories may not have a conscious impact, but given that they stay in the social structure, they always have an unconscious impact.

India as a society has been hugely influenced by the Hindu and the Buddhist philosophies, both of which happen to contain multi-life beliefs; i.e., they talk about reincarnation. One of the stories that demonstrates a dominant belief about competition and achievement is the story of King Bharat, whom India is also named after. The epic Mahabharat also comes from this name. Bharat wanted to conquer the world. And according to the story, he eventually did. At the end of the conquest, he went to the peak of Mount Meru, the mystical mountain, to hoist his flag there, to say, ‘I came here first, since I was the first one to conquer the world.’ But when he went up to the peak, he saw thousands of flags already hoisted there – each one claiming ‘I came here first!’

Against this backdrop of infinity, Bharat felt insignificant. This myth explains a core belief about ambition in Indian society, where time is not seen as a linear concept, but as a cyclical one. The general belief is that while one must strive to evolve, one must also be humbled by the fact that one person’s effort is merely a drop in the ocean in the huge collective world. There will always be someone before you and after you, to surpass what you have done. And if you do not get it right the first time, there is always another lifetime.

The Contrast

Now, juxtapose this with the stories that Alexander the Great grew up with. He grew up with Homer’s Iliad, with the heroics of Achilles, the bravery of Jason. The lessons here were about securing victory. He was told, that you have but one life, and to create value in it, you must win and achieve. And then when you die, you cross the river Styx and you will be welcomed into Elysium, the heaven of the heroes. The denominator of the achievements of a life is therefore, one.

Indians also say there’s a river you cross at the end of your life. It is called Vaitarni. But you do not cross it once. You go to and fro, endlessly. The denominator of the value of achievements is therefore, infinity.

The Result

So now you have contemporary India: The ground reality is highly diverse, chaotic, non-linear, ambiguous – and people who are rooted in Indianness are comfortable with it. But with the reality of globalisation comes the consequent need for structured thought processes and actions.

The blend of the two beliefs is a space of cultural conflict.


In the paper mentioned at the beginning of this article, I have spoken at length about the statistical cultural parameters based on the work on Geert Hofstede. A quick summation of that is that India collectively is a country with a high power distance – there is a tendency to believe in seniority and hierarchy over merit. It is largely collectivist; so conformity is important. It is masculine, which means free expression of thoughts and emotions is not very high – hence assertive communication is low. Uncertainly avoidance is low – which means people are ok with ambiguity, with lack of documentation and processes. Finally, there is a high level of long term orientation, so there is a lot of resistance to change.


When we juxtapose the cultural parameters with modern economic and business needs, we have a situation where the workplace is very different from home, for the average Indian. Families are divided because the lifestyles of its members are hugely varied. There is an obvious generation gap at work in terms of attitudes and thinking, resulting in insecurity and lack of cooperation.


The challenges to professionals working in India in the area of Organizational Development or Strategy in general include the fact that they need to be extremely culturally and emotionally sensitive in their corporate engagements. Very importantly, they need to be cognizant of the social impact of behavioural changes that business needs call for.


My recommendations to professionals currently working in India includes four main points:

  • Enable shift of organizational culture using methods based on social constructionism, such as Appreciative Inquiry, instead of traditional problem solving methods that can be judgmental and end up labelling people instead of dealing with a situation.
  • Build learning organizations by gradually instituting systems that document organizational assets, including knowledge.
  • Draw upon the local wisdom. Use local folklore, mythology and epics to draw lessons on strategy and management rather than blindly importing foreign theories and frameworks. This will ensure that there is less resistance and the older people will feel more engaged and valued as a part of the conversation.
  • Create advocacy groups for these practices in business networking forums that promote inclusion. Wilfully work on policies that promote peace and minimise conflict.


Conflict is bound to be present in the corporate world since economies are based on competition. It is important that gradually, we transmute conflict into collaboration. Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the willingness to address conflicts through peaceful means.

(Rukmini Iyer is the Director of Exult! Solutions. She has worked extensively around Asia in the areas of organization transformation, training and peacebuilding. She actively practices Non-Violent Communication, NLP and Appreciative Inquiry and is a trained expert in conflict resolution. Know more about Exult! Solutions at

Internal Family Systems Part 1: An Introduction

This talk is a part of a series of talks by Rukmini Iyer, Director, Exult! Solutions on Internal Family Systems, at HELP Library, Mumbai. This was delivered in 2015.
The Internal Family Systems Model (IFS) is an integrative approach to individual psychotherapy developed by Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D. It combines systems thinking with the view that mind is made up of relatively discrete sub personalities each with its own viewpoint and qualities. IFS use family systems theory to understand how these collections of sub personalities are organized. The speaker introduces the IFS model in this talk and will explore various modalities of usage in subsequent talks in the series.

‘Applications of NLP Part 10: The Sanctuary Pattern’ by Rukmini Iyer

This is Part 10 of a series of talks on NLP by Rukmini Iyer, Director, Exult! Solutions at HELP Library, Mumbai.
Sanctuary pattern is the most effective NLP pattern to strengthen one’s intuition and make choices that are ecological/safe for self. The process helps a person activate the unconscious mind in order to make its resources available for decision making, clarity of thoughts, inner peace and protection.