The entire Shivraj Singh Chouhan cabinet underwent a series of psychological tests on Sunday and Monday in this picturesque hill station, 200 km south of Bhopal.
The tests were part of the first-ever corporate-style training for Madhya Pradesh ministers on enhancing leadership qualities.
Delhi University psychology department professor Girishwar Mishra took the tests through a set of 60 questions with four options in each to assess the ministers’ behavioural response to particular situations.
The tests were meant to assess the ministers' social behaviour, responsibility, communication skills and efficiency. Prof Mishra handed over test reports to the ministers individually but refused to divulge their performance to mediapersons.
Prof Mishra and Prof Anand Prakash explained to the ministers how patient hearing would help strengthen their bonding with the common man.
The ministers found Prof Mishra's 'Obama' test on effective communication skills particularly amusing.
The professor whispered in the ears of a minister: “The US President has warned Pakistan against going soft on Taliban”. Each minister was asked to whisper the same message to another and, by the time it reached the last one, the message got shortened to "Obama warned”. The professor explained how lack of clarity in communication can kill a message.
Indira Parekh, former dean of IIM-Ahmedabad lectured ministers on on enhancing leadership qualities with a power-point presentation.
Senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu also gave them tips on political management.
Without mentioning the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and other affiliated saffron outfits, Naidu asked the ministers to interact with 'nationalist organisations' and their aspirations in mind.
Naidu was critical of Revenue Minister Karan Singh Verma's response that if his car hit a woman to death, he would prefer to leave the spot.
CM Chouhan said there was no question of 'pass or fail' during the workshop. He said it was organised to help the ministers rediscover and organise themselves to perform better.