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Reminiscing on happy moments with Nardev Chemie

When I first spoke with Mr. Alan Kan, the managing director of Nardev Chemie in Malaysia, about happiness at work, he was kind of skeptical about the topic - which I perfectly understood as happiness is such an elusive topic to many. Therefore, it was awesome to receive Alan’s response a few weeks later saying that he was interested in my workshop, which I subsequently conducted in an atmosphere of passion and happiness building for the team. It was a wonderful experience conducting the workshop with great participation and interactive responses from Alan’s young and vibrant employees and, most importantly, there were already action plans for the Next Steps. Needless to state, I very much look forward to conduct the follow up workshop and post workshop survey on happiness at work for Nardev :)

As it emerged, communication and teamwork are topics to be focused on within the Nardev team. Thus, I here would like to share a helpful and relevant article on these aspects:


Post from Ayla Lewis on

We all know that it’s hard to be creative and successful at work when we are feeling negative and stressed. Now take a moment to imagine: what would work be like if, instead of feeling negative and stressed, you felt more positive, creative, productive, resilient and engaged? According to studies in positive psychology and neuroscience, you can experience these and more benefits by increasing your own happiness and the happiness of those you work most closely with.

The research is abundantly clear: happier brains do better work.

Happiness Workshop Activity # 1 – Start Meetings with Recognitions

Most of us are missing our team’s best work by tolerating mostly negative comments—while pointing out errors may sometimes be necessary, failing to praise the positive produces a negative environment and pushes brains into a “minimize risk” mode. Instead, you can elicit a broaden and build response, by specifically setting aside time to express gratitudes at the beginning of meetings. Expressing and receiving gratitude increases happiness, sets a positive tone to the meeting or workshop, and puts brains into a positive, creative and problem-solving state.

Happiness Workshop Activity #2 – Go on a Walking One-on-One

We all know that exercise is fantastic for brain function and managing stress. What you may not have known is that when your body is physically active it begins to produce more Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF), which acts like a fertilize for brain cell development. Walking one-on-one meetings allow you to combine physical activity and social connection during a meeting, leading to increased happiness, creativity and comradery. As John Cacioppo explains, social connections are a huge factor in happiness, which leads to better brain function.

Happiness Workshop Activity #3 – Present Pecha Kuchas

A Pecha Kucha presentation is one of the best ways we’ve experienced to build team trust quickly. In a nutshell, a Pecha Kucha is simply a personal slide show, containing 10 pictures with each picture being on screen for 10 seconds—the key is that each slide must contain pictures from an employee’s life outside of the office. According to this study, the feeling of ‘belonginess’ has strong effects on brain function and well-being. Knowing who our co-workers are, outside of their work lives, enables us to connect over who we are as individuals.

Happiness Workshop Activity #4 – Share Your ‘Best Possible Future’

Researchers have found that writing about your goals–and successfully reaching them–can help you to gain insight into your priorities and emotions, increase feelings of control, improve performance, and boost happiness. Writing your Best Possible Future is a science-based and effective tool for creating a compelling personal vision while also boosting optimism and well-being.

Happiness Workshop Activity #5 – Play a Game Together

According to Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan, “play is one of the most powerful (and least used) strategies for improving human performance.” Games provide a safe place to approach issues that might be hard to discuss in real life, and can help to create connections and build trust among players. Utilizing games and play in meetings adds emotion to learning through clear rules for engagement and opportunities for immediate and valuable feedback.

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