Happiness Evangelist

The Place to Be Happy is Here…


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Gratitude and Hope

Ugadi (Gudipadwa in Maharashtra, Bihu in Assam, Kolla Versham in Kerala, Baisakhi in Punjab) marks the beginning of a new age. It is marked by eating a dish with six tastes (Bevu-Bella in Kannada), symbolizing the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences, which should be accepted with equanimity.

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  • Jaggery and ripe banana pieces for sweetness, signifying happiness
  • Neem Buds/Flowers for its bitterness, signifying sadness
  • Salt for saltiness, signifying fear
  • Green Chilli/Pepper for its hot taste, signifying anger
  • Tamarind Juice for its sourness, signifying disgust
  • Unripened Mango for its tang, signifying surprise

As we stand on the threshold of a (S)milestone, a new financial year, let us look back on the year gone by with gratitude and look forward to the year ahead with enthusiasm, confidence and hope.

Happy Ugadi to you and your families.


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Agree? Disagree? What?

The word ‘Conflict’ makes most of us uncomfortable.

We would rather avoid them than deal with them.

At the personal level we see them lead to fear, lost friendships, painful gossip, sleepless nights, broken hopes, drained energy.

At the world level we see them causing misery and wars for untold millions and generations.

These give us ample justification to regard all conflict as dangerous.

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This Chinese character means crisis, and it consists of two parts: one signifying danger and the other signifying possibility/opportunity.

Conflicts are life’s challenges to us. Living through them can make us wiser or more limited, richer or poorer, happy or unhappy.

Disagreements, disputes and dis-satisfactions can lead to tensions within and between people or they can lead to abundant possibilities and a deeper sense of community, development and more honesty.

 

 

How then do we address, heal and transcend human conflicts?

How do we acknowledge the power of the possible?

How do we choose receptivity over resistance?

How do we stop viewing the world through our lenses of divisiveness and discord?

How do we convert a challenging situation into a co-created empowering experience?

How do we promote calmness and compassion in our difficult conversations?

SKILL 1 – BEING OPEN TO OTHERS’ PERSPECTIVES

  • There are always more ways to see the same situation.
  • Every person’s perspective is important to consider.

A story is told of a cow auction. There are two businessmen – one representing a steakhouse and the other a leather boot store. Both attend the auction to buy a particular prize cow for their business. They bid against each other ferociously, driving the price upward, beyond what they can afford. Eventually they both run out of money to be able to continue bidding.

They both have different needs, different perspectives. If they knew each other’s need, instead of working against each other competitively, they could actually work together and meet one another’s needs!

When we are open to others’ needs, we may be surprised as to how we may be able to help one another. When we are willing to learn from the other, it is highly likely that they will be willing to listen and learn from us and our perspective.

SKILL  2 – DEFINING CONFLICT AS A PERSONAL NEED AND NOT A SOLUTION

  • Conflict is often thought of in terms of solutions. This is stated as “you should do this” or “you should do that.”
  • Solutions direct others on what we want them to be doing and can actually make things worse.
  • However, when we express our needs, we  tells others what we are concerned about or what we want to accomplish for ourselves.
  • When everyone involved in the conflict can express their personal needs, amazing new possibilities emerge that are much more satisfying to everyone.

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Situation 1

NO: Solution Statement: “I MUST have peace and quiet! You have to speak softly!”

YES: Need statement: “I need a quiet place to work because I have lots of work to do.”

 

Situation 2

NO: Solution Statement: “You people must do your work!”

YES: Need Statement: “I am concerned that we may not make our goal.”

When we define a conflict by expressing what we need and focus on how these needs can be met, we generate helpful ideas without bringing out the defenses in the other person.  

 

ImageLet us therefore, work…

…together, as a community

…through our conflicts

…towards our mission of Happiest People . Happiest Customers.


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Be a Happiness Evangelist. Make Others Happy.

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Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. ~ Aristotle.

“Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live.” said the UN Secretary-General,  Ban Ki-moon in his message for the International Day of Happiness, 20 March 2014.

The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal. The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281PDF document of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.

We at Happiest Minds would like to celebrate the International Day of Happiness by Being a Happiness Evangelist, by doing a kind deed, by making someone else happy. It could be something very small or something really big. Something as simple as helping someone cross the road. But something that brings SMILES on the face of the other. By sharing our Time, our Talents, our Treasure. If you want ideas on what to do, we will be happy to help you.

We also want you to share with us stories of what you did to be a Happiness Evangelist – a paragraph, a poem, a painting or a picture.

Thank you! Let us celebrate the Day of Happiness by creating a happier and more caring world together.


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Happiness is…Teamwork

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It is one thing to create a team, but quite another to create teamwork.

Teams don’t work without teamwork. It is like:

  • the glue that keeps a team together, a bond that promotes strength and support; and
  • the oil that makes a team work, a compound that enables smooth momentum.

I asked a few people on why they felt teamwork was essential. Here is what they had to say…

  •  supports an empowered way of working
  • encourages collaboration and multi-disciplinary work
  • fosters flexibility and responsiveness
  • brings about a sense of achievement & camaraderie
  • makes customers happy 🙂

Teamwork is a synergistic way of working, that maximizes strengths and brings out the best in each member. These specific, possibly unique individual strengths are then complimented by the strengths of others, or of the team as a unit. It fosters a fulfilling, meaningful way of working together that encourages happiness and performance. It is, therefore, our individual and collective responsibility to foster Teamwork@Work.


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Leadership is Key: Build or Break

It is not the 100th blow that knocked a man down. It is the 99 that went before.

Simran Bhargava, NDTV in a chat with Purva Mishra, Head, HR, Hewitt Associates says that people don’t leave companies. They leave bosses. A Fortune 500 study found nearly 75 percent employees have suffered at the hands of a difficult superior. Other studies have found that one in four managers abuses employees enough for them to call in sick, slow down productivity or change the job. Beyond a point an employee’s primary need has less to do with money and more on how he is treated and how valued s/he feels.

Some pointers from Mishra’s research at Hewitt:

  1. The boss is not the most important person in an individual’s life; however everything he does – career, pay, recognition is all driven by the boss.
  2. 88% of exits are actually because of the immediate managers.
  3. Good managers have long term vision and sustainability; bad managers take you to the end of the quarter.
  4. Direct Impact: turnover, morale and the ability of the organization to produce results
  5. Indirect Impact: quality of talent, employer brand is affected & health
  6. Negative styles
    1. Red bosses – aggressive, driven by targets & winning. Me always

                                         i.    Risk of coronary heart disease

  1. Green bosses – risk averse, approval seeking, not go out of the way, play it safe

                                         i.    Illnesses of stomach, nervousness, depression

  1. Positive style
    1. Blue bosses / Blue Organization

                                         i.    Looks at long term results – driven by systems

                                       ii.    Clear thoughts on desired manager role model behaviours

                                     iii.    Central part of the agenda

                                      iv.    Key focus is on quality of leaders and managers

  1. 5 kinds of bosses:

THE RAGING BULL

THE INSECURE BOSS

THE TARGETS TYRANT

THE WIMP

THE CHAOTIC BOSS

  • Controls & commands by fear
  • Out-of-control rages
  • Very power oriented & highly oppositional
  • Plays favourites
  • Publicly humiliates

 

  • Indecisive
  • Suspicious
  • Knows he is not good enough
  • Focused on pleasing seniors
  • Highly approval seeking
  • Keeps information to self
  • Unduly perfectionist
  • Over competitive
  • Sets unrealistic, not challenging goals
  • Control freak
  • Workaholic
  • Rule-book oriented & conventional
  • Plays it safe
  • Totally risk averse
  • Shifts responsibility
  • Cannot take decisions
 

 

  • No direction
  • No priorities – they keep changing all the time
  • Financial confusion
  • Crisis – n – crisis – cannot deal with a crisis
  • Very stressful

 

Employees…

Do not share good ideas or bad news as they will be summarily dismissed.

Frustrated

The bar is always unreachable & there is unbearable pressure. Looks to move out.

Frustrated

Frustrated.

 

  1. Predominantly, Indian workplaces and newer organizations are driven by The Raging Bulls. The older organizations including PSUs have a green style.

Let us take stock and see where we stand so that we make our companies a “Blue Organization”.

You can watch the entire video on: http://profit.ndtv.com/videos/one-life-to-love/video-one-life-to-love-are-u-working-for-a-wolf-in-a-suit-310432    


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Happiness is Walking Hand in Hand

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Happiness is singing together.

Happiness is those who sing with you.

Happiness is walking hand in hand.

…goes the song in the musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_iK9PLdVXK4)

ImageThis morning, E-City witnessed a host of women and men walking from SMILES 1 and SMILES 2 to SMILES 3.

We walked as Happiest Minds and Partners alike.

We walked as women…with women…and for women at Happiest Minds.

We walked hand in hand as

ONE COMMUNITY.

With  

Belongingness.

Respect.

Pride.

 

 

We walked to the launch of Aura, The Happiest Minds Women’s Council, formed for the very first time.

‘The best predictor of human happiness is human relationships and the amount of time that people spend with family and friends’ says Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University.

May we be a Community that spends time with one another and “Hope the SMILES get even broader” 🙂