Happiness Evangelist

The Place to Be Happy is Here…

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From Feedback to Feedforward…

Feedback has been considered as an essential skill – from manager to reportee (downward feedback) or from reportee to manager (upward feedback). However, the challenge with feedback is that it is static and in the past; not on the ‘infinite variety of opportunities that can happen in the future’.

If we flip the focus from the past to the future, we can make a huge difference in how the team can grow as professionals.

This concept, Feedforward, was originally development by Marshall Goldsmith, a management expert and author of bestseller ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get you There’, among others. (https://www.marshallgoldsmith.com)

In an exercise on feedforward, Goldsmith says that the participants found it fun and helpful as opposed to feedback which would be painful, embarrassing or uncomfortable.

  • We can change the future; we cannot change the past
  • It is more productive to help people learn to be “right”, rather than prove they were “wrong”
  • People do not take feedforward as personally as feedback
  • Feedback is normally associated with judgement; feedforward does not imply superiority of judgement

Goldsmith says that his intent is not ‘to imply that leaders should never give feedback’, but to show how ‘feedforward’ can be efficient, effective and enjoyable.

And the result is a dynamic, open organization.



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Mindful Listening

Haven’t we sat through a meeting to only discover that we haven’t retained any of the information?

Are we guilty of listening passively, rather than actively?

Do we often hear rather than listen?

A little mindfulness in the way we listen can go a long way in retaining information and making our family, friends & colleagues feel heard.

Mindful listening involves “listening without judgment, criticism or interruption, while being aware of internal thoughts and reactions that may get in the way of people communicating with us effectively”.

Here are two methods of practicing Mindful Listening:


  • Halt — Halt whatever you are doing and offer your full attention.
  • Enjoy — Enjoy a breath as you choose to receive whatever is being communicated to you—wanted or unwanted.
  • Ask — Ask yourself if you really know what they mean and if you don’t, ask for clarification. Instead of making assumptions, bring openness and curiosity to the interaction. You might be surprised at what you discover.
  • Reflect — Reflect back to them what you heard. This tells them that you were really listening.


In his TED Talk (https://youtu.be/cSohjlYQI2A), Julian Treasure gives us an easy acronym to improve our conscious listening.

  • Receive – pay attention to the person
  • Appreciate – making sounds of acknowledgement like “hmm,” “oh,” “OK”
  • Summarize – the word “so” is very important in communication
  • Ask – ask questions afterwards

Interestingly, the letters of the word LISTEN and SILENT are the same.

To listen mindfully, we need to silence our thoughts and words.

The next time we are talking to someone, let’s make sure to dive into the “essence of good conversations”.

Let’s listen actively, empathetically & mindfully.

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In Honour Of Fathers

downloadBritish Airways in honour of fathers, recently staffed an entire flight with fathers and children who were in its employ.

This unique flight – from London, Heathrow to San Diego was operated “entirely” by parent-child teams – from check-in crew to gate agents, operations managers, engineers and cabin crew and pilots

This one-of-a-kind trip was a sentimental and emotional moment for the fathers and their sons and daughters, not just to share a trip with their loved one, but also share their careers in aviation.

To all fathers, fathers-to-be, foster fathers, those who play the role of fathers in others’ lives and to mothers who father their children;  have a very meaningful and purposeful year ahead. Continue to discover and re-discover the joy in parenting!

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Happiness Is In The Journey

Where does one find inspiration?

I find them everywhere around me.

Last week I found mine in Rafael Nadal.

At the post-match press conference after he had won his 12th title at Roland Garros, becoming the only tennis player, who had ever won the same tournament so many times, he was asked the usual question about whether Roger Federer’s all-time greatest haul of 20 Grand Slams was now in his horizon, given that he himself had just won his 18th.

Here is Nadal’s answer:

‘Being honest, I never complain myself much, and I never tried to think about it. Well, I either gonna catch Roger or not. But being honest, I am not very worried about this stuff, no?

 ‘It’s a motivation, but it’s not my obsession. If you ask me whether I would like it, of course. If that’s a goal in my career, no. It’s not what makes me get up every morning or go and train and play. It’s not the way in which I view the sport, and it’s not the way in which I consider my sports career. 

‘You can’t be frustrated all the time because the neighbour has a bigger house than you or a bigger TV or better garden. That’s not the way I see the life, you know.

‘And I just try to do my way. I feel very lucky about all the things that are happening to me. And if, at the end of my career, I am able to win a couple more Grand Slams and be closer to Roger, will be unbelievable. If not, for me, still unbelievable, no?

‘And today, the last thing I thought about was about this thing. For me, Roland Garros, feel myself enjoying on court. That’s the main thing, no?’

Happiness is in the joy of the journey. Let’s enjoy it.


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Humble. Human. Humane.

I was privileged to meet Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and Managing Director, Nestlé India (https://www.linkedin.com/in/suresh-narayanan-65582233) at the recently concluded NASSCOM HR Summit at Chennai.


A very powerful, yet humble, humane person, I found in him a true servant-leader.

He spoke on how Nestlé managed the Maggi Storm.

He gave us 10 principles that we can follow in our personal and professional lives.

  1. There is opportunity in adversity
  2. Do not be afraid of uncertainties
  3. Teamwork and achievement will drive credibility
  4. Always strive for ‘can do’ rather than ‘will try’
  5. People are at the centre of everything we do
  6. We live in a VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world – always keep Plan ‘B’ ready
  7. Never lose your winning spirit
  8. Keep your eyes on Reality, Reality, Reality
  9. Constantly communicate – not less but more
  10. Keep to your values. Be humble. Listen. Stay Connected. Above all, Be Human.


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Culture Transforms.

A strong corporate culture “can account for 20-30% of the differential in corporate performance when compared with culturally unremarkable’ competitors,” says James L. Heskett in his book, The Culture Cycle.

Corporate Culture highlights an organization’s successes, adds lustre to its brand, produces an image that customers and other stakeholders relate to, impacts productivity and business results & produces a shared value system that influences behaviour at the workplace.

We at Happiest Minds have successfully undertaken initiatives that have enhanced our culture.


…and…Great Cultures translate into Great Workplaces.

We find that these initiatives have translated into our finding ourselves in theTOP 100 Best Companies to Work for in a Great Place to Work® (GPTW) Institute and The Economic Times study.(http://www.happiestminds.com/press-releases/happiest-minds-is-in-indias-top-100-best-companies-to-work-for-list/)

Covering almost 800 companies and an overall number of 155,119 people reviewed, it is a proud moment for us to be in the TOP 100.

In all the five anchors of the Trust Index® – Credibility, Respect, Fairness, Pride, Camaraderie and the overriding GPTW statement, we are on par or way ahead of the average of these companies.

Let us continue to march on in our journey of Happiest People . Happiest Customers.