Interview by Anobik Saha
Khyati Gupta Babbar is a Behavioral Researcher who expanded on her father’s initiative in the world of behavioral psychology, Santulan, to introduce, train and apply the importance of body language in everyday conversations. She uses a three-pronged approach to develop body language skills – Science-Play-Action – to ensure that the new behavior sticks. Khyati is already making real impact in the corporate world having served multinational clients including ThoughtWorks, Arcelor Mittal and Bank of America. Read on to learn more about Khyati’s journey to making this world a better place.
What inspired you to work in the space of behavioral sciences?
I’ve always had a natural curiosity to solve problems related to people, but what really helped me make up my mind and devote my career to the field of behavioral science was my experience with B2B selling.
When I acquired body language skills, my client conversion rate almost doubled in less than a year. That made me think, that while what you say is important, it is equally important is how you say it.
What prompted you to start Santulan Behavioral Sciences?
Santulan is my father’s psychiatric nursing home and his initiative. What I’ve done is expanded our work into corporate wellness and created structured behavioral wellness programs.
I see there are a lot of myths about behavioral wellness in the workplace. I want to change that. I want to do this through actionable, science backed skills and strategies. What’s really missing in the market currently is a structured upskilling-based approach. I want to change that.
How important is ‘Body Language’ in today’s business world? What are the pitfalls of not being aware of our body language?
Very important! The difference between good body language and bad body language is massive. It’s not just a rounding error. Positive body language can level up your business by more than 100%. It can help you:
- Feel confident from within during challenging business situations such as an important client meeting or a boardroom presentation.
- Share your ideas more confidently and increase your influence with clients & colleagues.
- Project yourself as a credible and trustworthy expert.
Not being aware of your body language means operating with one less tool in your arsenal to decode people and influence them.
Imagine you’re in a client meeting. The client doesn’t say anything through his words. But non-verbally he’s indicating that he is unhappy with your work. If you’re unaware, you’ll miss this clue. And perhaps lose the client. But if you can decode this clue, you can ask the client questions, reassure them and win their trust back.
Similarly, there are countless such examples both in business and personal life.
What, in your experience, is the most critical psychological challenge in today’s workforce?
Primarily, there are three challenges:
- Taboo around mental health: There is still an immense fear of talking about mental health, especially in the workplace for fear of being judged as weak or inefficient. We try to overcome this challenge by keeping our programs 100% confidential and adopting a play-based approach towards psychological well-being.
- Expecting instant results: As professionals we need to increase awareness on how psychological programs work. Otherwise, if clients don’t see instant results in their first session or workshop they withdraw. It takes anywhere between 3-5 sessions to start seeing some improvement
- Inability to identify and guide troubled employees: Most HR folks and managers are not trained to identify signs of psychological or psychiatric illnesses. This means that in many cases high performing employees facing psychological issues don’t get the right help at the right time. At our end, we design tailor made training programs for HR professionals and managers to help them identify early signs of psychological problems and make the right referrals to our counselors.
Can you tell us more about Santulan’s Employee Assistance Program? What kind of feedback do you receive from participants?
Our Employe Assistance Program (EAP) is a structured counseling tool. Our team of psychologists provides confidential support to employees as well as their dependent family members. It’s also available in all major regional languages of the country.
Currently we are servicing 50+ large corporations such as Star TV, Aditya Birla Group, Ford Motor Company, Axis Bank, Maersk & ExxonMobil to name a few.
Our services are available online, telephonically and face to face in more than 40 cities of India.
Here are some testimonials:
“I would definitely vouch for Santulan’s innovative approach.”
Tejashree Kumar, DGM – HR, Jet Airways
“Khyati presents complex topics in easy to understand terms and can simplify the more difficult human behavioral science. She has a wealth of knowledge to back up more specific questions and is a vibrant and articulate speaker – her energy visibly motivated the audience. An outstanding speaker!”
Ritesh Bhatnagar, Head of Marketing and Business Growth at WOO, Gurgaon
“Our Bangalore Santulan session did go very well. I got a very positive feedback from the audience on the floor.I analysed being a part of the audience what clicked – and here’s what I feel resonated:
- Passion & conviction of the presenter
- Ability to maturely handle some sensitive question especially when it gets a bit personal
- Being able to relate to the pulse of the audience and customise your tone and rhythm to suite the same…much appreciated
Last but not least, the agility to accommodate and adjust to the needs of stakeholders. Thanks for the same…pleasure to be associated.”
Where do you see Santulan five years from now?
Santulan is already an industry leader in behavioral health services. In the next 5 years I see ourselves developing more and more thought leadership content and influencing policy around behavioral wellness in the workplace. We also plan to get into cutting edge research on behavioral wellness and develop research backed solutions for the workplace.
Please share an inspiring message with the readers of Indspire Me.
My message is related to my most favorite topic – body language.
Confident body language is a buffer against negative emotions.
So don’t operate in the dark. Become aware of the nonverbal cues that your body is sending. Through minor tweaks in your body language you can increase your influence on clients, colleagues and friends.
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About the Interviewer
Anobik is passionate about his purposeful work as a digital marketing professional at a U.S.-based leadership tech development start-up. In the past, his intellectual pursuits led him to explore several domains that include working as a graphic designer, freelance writer, proscenium theatre artist and learning French. After work hours, he dedicates time to his lo-fi music production and prepping for the next trek in the Himalayas. His recent trysts with meditation and yoga now take up most of his headspace, pondering over and learning about the boundaries of human potential, breakthroughs in neuroscience and emotional intelligence. His favorite movies are Into the Wild, Frances Ha and Valley Uprising.