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The Talent Magnet Leadership Podcast


Episode #183: Happiness Is a Personal Choice with Vanessa King

How do we define happiness? Vanessa King and Mike Sipple Jr. share the answer on this episode of the Talent Magnet Institute Podcast. Vanessa is a writer, speaker, and leadership and organization development consultant. She is also Director of The Change Space, and a board member of Action for Happiness. Vanessa and Mike explore the true meaning of happiness, how leaders can nurture it at work, and how organizations can build a better and brighter future for upcoming professionals. 

  • Leaders have to think about happiness as not just a word but as an action. Happiness has two parts: joy and euphoria, and accomplishing challenging goals. “Happiness is focused on the things that are within our control, whether individually, collectively or systematically to shift and change,” Vanessa says. [3:26]
  • COVID has made it easier for organizations to have conversations about happiness. It has also allowed individuals to have more human interactions as people move into a hybrid work environment. [7:30]
  • When a leader takes the time to ask after an employee’s wellbeing, it builds trust between leaders and the team. This trust lets people feel safe enough to bring their whole selves to work. “It's about these tiny micro human connections,” Vanessa insists. Human beings need to feel good to function well and bringing these tiny interactions in the workplace can ensure that. [10:47]
  • While working from home is convenient for a lot of people, it has also taken away the boundaries between work and the rest of their lives. It’s not so much about finding a work-life balance because your work is a part of your life, but more so getting a life balance which work is a large part of, Vanessa and Mike agree. [15:30]
  • Help others become great, but not in the way that you become a pathway to success. Also, ensure that it isn’t going to undermine your own performance or sustainability. [20:12]
  • “The difference between a good day at work and the worst day at work is a sense of progress,” Vanessa remarks. It’s micro progress that matters: leaders should help their employees feel a small scale of progress that builds up rather than just having one goal. Micro progress is also about cultivating a sense of control and autonomy in people so that they have some choice and freedom about how they do their jobs. [21:20]
  • Self-compassion is one of the keys to living a happy life. Some other steps are recognizing that no one is perfect, and turning your internal critic into a wise coach. Acknowledge when you make mistakes and do better the next time. [24:12]
  • When you do helpful things for other people, it makes them feel good, and it also activates the reward centers in your brain which makes you happier. [29:50]
  • Organizations should be designed to support the growth of their employees and bring the best out of their teams. [31:41]



Mike Sipple Jr. | LinkedIn 


Vanessa King | LinkedIn | Twitter 

The Change Space

Action for Happiness

10 Keys To Happier Living


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