Don’t Just Unwind, Stay Unwounded

For some, it is hard work while for others it is never-fading dedication. Some treat work as worship and put it before anything else in life. Aadesh Goyal, global head – human resources at Tata Communications adds one more ingredient to his recipe for corporate success – a simple yet very effective technique called meditation.

Aadesh has been regularly meditating for 12 years now and he shares that the practice has added value to all aspects of his corporate life.

“Meditation has really helped me cope with a schedule of working round the clock in a very efficient manner”, says Aadesh Goyal with a confidence that suits the personality of a man holding a responsible position at a global firm. He quickly adds, “Well, I’m surely not suggesting that working round the clock is good but sometimes when it is needed, meditation really helps”. To prove his point, he cites examples when he had to start work early and finish late, sometimes even on a 24*7 operation, and travel extensively for work. On all these occasions, he says it was meditation that helped him manage work without getting stressed out.

For a corporate leader, what matters the most is his ability to deal with his colleagues with sensitivity and Aadesh says that regular practice of meditation has indeed helped him on this front as well. “Now, I find it easier to deal with people and their emotions when needed. Managing my relationships with people at work and deal with what the corporate world calls “the emotional quotient” is an aspect of my life where meditation has really contributed”, he states.

Ask him how he feels his life would have been without meditation and he quickly responds, “It might be very hypothetical for me to talk about a situation like that, especially when meditation has become a part of my daily life in all these years but when I see a lot of people doing similar jobs, I find them quite stressed out and getting upset about things at work, sometimes even in their personal lives. So I feel I’m very lucky that I have been involved in practices such as meditation. It has helped me to be a better person and a better manager in different ways.”

Aadesh further adds that in his current role, making decisions is never an easy task. But what he has learnt is to make the best possible decision at a given time quickly, all thanks to meditation. Although he does admit that there may be times when he realizes later that it possibly was not the right decision but instead of getting disappointed, he gets the strength and the sensibility to do whatever is needed to correct it.

“Meditation helps me not to worry about the decision I made because I know it was the best to my ability. If things don’t work the way I had planned out, then I learn from it and move on. So it’s rare for me to regret.” Indeed a rare quality to possess.

Aadesh further shares that his spiritual practices have kept him going all along and have always been his biggest strength. “When I joined Tata Communications three years ago, there were 8,000 employees in more than 30 countries. I had no fear as I undertook the exercise of engaging with all the key people of the company. I must have met around 750 employees from around the world in the first six months! I had the confidence that I can go and talk to people and they will cooperate with me and will be very responsive. This confidence really helped me establish a connection with a large number of people to understand their issues and work on solving them.”

He also mentions another interesting incident where one of the companies where Aadesh worked got sold thrice over a period of four years! He remembers that this involved a huge amount of change because each time the new owner would want work done in their own way. “This is where meditation really helped me deal with every new situation without getting frustrated,” Aadesh reminisces. “Of course, getting used to the way of working of each owner every time was a huge challenge but if it were not for my regular meditation, it wouldn’t have been easy to cope with”, he adds.

Whether it was dealing with the team as its leader or coping with various highs and lows in the industry, as he has seen over the years, Aadesh proudly says that meditation helped him sail through different situations with ease in a manner which was fair by being humble, compassionate and gentle to different kinds of people.

As Aadesh puts it in his own words, “Everybody needs to create a balance in their life. It doesn’t matter what your age is or what job you are into, but it’s good to have a balance in your life. Not just unwind but in a way remain unwounded. With meditation, you can learn not to get wounded up. It helps you remain the way you are. I feel very fortunate that I got exposed to meditation and Sudarshan Kriya because it has really helped me grow as a human being, a professional and a member of the society.”

On that note, Aadesh has one message to those who aspire to be great leaders some day - “No doubt, jobs require you to become a functional expert, but it is also nice to become involved in meditation because it really helps you become effective. It gives you the capability to be more composed and happier. This is perhaps the best investment that people in the corporate world can make.”