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  • nikhil dey

Sparking Joy @Work

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

Teaching the Trainer.


I enjoy training. When I was asked to conduct a crisis workshop a few weeks ago, I had no idea how much joy it would give me. As I look back on the experience, it is a wonderful reminder of what it takes to spark joy at work.

The journey was half the fun. It was a workshop I had run many times before, but in my new world, I had to create the content from scratch. This meant getting connected with people all across the country and the world. Sample decks poured in, ideas on how to source content that might be useful and agendas from past workshops were shared. The power of collaboration. The feeling of plugging in. Meaning springs from belonging and I got a taste of what that felt like.


The next fun bit was customising the course content for the specific requirements of the group that I was going to spend the day with. Understanding the objectives of the session, the profile of the participants and then the act of pulling it all together with a team. Playing with the content is a bit like painting, you have to keep at it. There are fits of energy that see pieces come alive and then at some point you know it’s done.

The journey up to the workshop was a very different one from many previous, but the night before was the same. Butterflies. Rehearsal. Going over things in my head. Spellcheck. Shifting a few slides up and down. Turns out that the secret to running a good crisis preparedness workshop is… preparation. And I enjoyed every minute of it.


“Thank you”. Two magical words. The workshop went well. I thanked the participants for their attention and for giving me the opportunity to work with them. I thanked my team for helping co-create the content. But the biggest lesson of all from last week was something that I had nothing to do with. It was a wonderful reminder of the power of personal touch. It was the very special way in which I was thanked that will stay with me for years to come. The “Po award” will always be special.


Because it means “I chose you” to share my gratitude with.

“The best teachers teach from the heart, not from the head” is the beautiful message Anita wrote on the “incredible awesomeness award” that she presented to me yesterday.

A simple heart felt thank you, that was such a lovely surprise.

The best thank you comes from the heart too.


So I was taught a valuable lesson last week. It’s not just what you say that matters, it’s how you say it. Make it personal. Make it special. Spark joy @work with gratitude.

Which reminded me of a beautiful quote I had heard. “The root of joy is gratefulness. It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” “Look closely and you will find that people are happy because they are grateful. The opposite of gratefulness is just taking everything for granted.David Steindl-Rast.


In the words of the incredible and awesome Po "your real strength comes from being the best 'you' can be. So who are you? What are you good at? What do you love? What makes you you? - Po in Kung fu Panda.


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