Just read this great article in the Harvard Business Review by Shawn Achor (author of The Happiness Advantage) that shows how leaders can generate success with their cultures and teams by intentionally fostering positivity and happiness! Of course, those of us in the Transformational Services businesses like coaches, trainers, etc, already knew this…it’s nice the research is catching up! Check it out:
Research shows that when people work with a positive mind-set, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves. Yet happiness is perhaps the most misunderstood driver of performance. For one, most people believe that success precedes happiness.
In fact, it works the other way around: People who cultivate a positive mind-set perform better in the face of challenge. I call this the “happiness advantage”—every business outcome shows improvement when the brain is positive. I’ve observed this effect in my role as a researcher and lecturer in 48 countries on the connection between employee happiness and success. And I’m not alone: In a meta-analysis of 225 academic studies, researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Laura King, and Ed Diener found strong evidence of directional causality between life satisfaction and successful business outcomes.
Another common misconception is that our genetics, our environment, or a combination of the two determines how happy we are. To be sure, both factors have an impact. But one’s general sense of well-being is surprisingly malleable. The habits you cultivate, the way you interact with coworkers, how you think about stress—all these can be managed to increase your happiness and your chances of success.
What’s great is that this article goes on to suggest new habits to develop to train your brain to be positive. You’ve heard of neuroplasticity…meaning as you develop new habits you are actually rewiring your brain, even as an adult. Choose habits that create that positive rewiring. Here are a few suggestions from the article:
- Jot down three things you are grateful for.
- Write a positive message to someone in your social support network.
- Meditate at your desk for two minutes.
- Exercise for 10 minutes.
- Take two minutes to describe in a journal the most meaningful experience of the past 24 hours.