The Happiness Advantage

“When I hit my target, then I’ll be happy” “If I get that promotion, then I’ll be happy”   

Success first then happiness second is the way we often think about happiness but positive psychology research shows that the reverse is equally true. People with high wellbeing experience many benefits including better performance at work. They’re more motivated, engaged, resilient and successful.  The Happiness Advantage gives organisations a competitive edge as they can draw on the virtuous relationship between happiness and success.

This programme puts positive psychology to work equipping you with the knowledge and scientifically grounded practices to foster a positive mindset and develop workplace wellbeing. The Happiness Advantage uses the PERMA model of flourishing as its framework with sessions on each of the elements that help us to flourish and an optional sixth session on Resilience.

Session 1: Positive Emotions not only feel good, they do us good too with a range of benefits such as creativity, job satisfaction, higher wellbeing and a positive team culture.  Positivity broadens our thinking so that we’re better able to come up with ideas and solutions. Even though positive emotions are fleeting, they accumulate to form all kinds of resources that we can draw on to support us at work; intellectual, psychological, social and even physical resources. Positive emotions boost resilience by ‘undoing’ the effects of stress. Experiencing positivity helps us into an upwards spiral transforming life for the better.

Session 2: Engagement has two parts. Flow is a state of being ‘in the zone’ when we’re completely absorbed in what we’re doing. It’s a deeply satisfying experience, a route to peak performance and a sign that your strengths are in play. Strengths are you at your best – your abilities and positive qualities. They offer you your greatest potential for growth and a way to excel with ease. Leveraging your strengths leads to higher levels of motivation, engagement and performance. They are the tools that help you reach your goals and resolve issues.

Session 3: Relationships. Who’s on your team?  The happiest people on the planet have good close relationships and active social lives. Having a sense of connection and belonging is one of the fundamental ingredients of wellbeing.  This session explores how to have positive relationships at work by encouraging ‘high quality connections’ and using the Strength of Weak Ties theory to build your networks. People who have a best friend at work experience 7 x higher levels of engagement and higher job and life satisfaction according to data from the Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement Survey. Tom Rath, author of Vital Friends based on the Gallup research, identifies 8 vital friendship roles. Who is your builder, champion, collaborator, companion, connector, energiser, mind-opener and navigator?

Session 4: Resilience is the capacity to cope with adversity, make the best of things and recover from setbacks. The positive news is that neuroscience shows us that we can grow our capacity for resilience. One of the best sources is learning from our previous life experience. What doesn’t kill us does make us stronger.  This session explores three major forms of resilience and includes the optimism practices, that protect our wellbeing. Positive coping, how to manage overwhelm, the ABC of flexible thinking and the ‘thinking traps’ that people often fall into when under stress.

Session 5: Meaning. What is your ‘ikigai’, your reason to get up in the morning? Having a sense of meaning and purpose is what leads to sustainable wellbeing. A meaningful life is about using your strengths in the service of something that goes beyond the self. Meaningful work is aligned with your core values and is about making a difference. The more meaning you have in your work, the more intrinsically motivated you will be to make it a success. Enhancing meaning in your work lowers stress levels. We tend to find meaning in life’s positive experiences and make meaning from life’s negatives. The pandemic may have disrupted our sense of meaning but you can still do something positive with it. This session helps you to discover a sense of purpose and craft your work for greater meaning. Finding meaning in your work lowers stress and depression levels.

Session 6: Achievement. Growth mindset and Grit are the gold standard for achievement. The Growth Mindset encourages us to step out of our comfort zone and try new things. Someone in a fixed mindset is more engaged with documenting their talent and is less resilient when things go wrong whereas someone in a growth mindset wants to develop their abilities and knows that when things go wrong, it’s feedback rather than failure. Adopting a growth mindset leads to greater returns. Grit is a special blend of passion and perseverance that helps us succeed when the going gets tough. Effort is the key to both. This session wraps up the programme and introduces the GROW model – Goal, Reality, Options and Way Forward, to set goals that extend beyond the programme.

To find out more about the Happiness Advantage, check out Shawn Achor’s book, which demonstrates the connection between happiness and success.

 

“We worked with Miriam to create a series of virtual sessions on wellbeing and happiness, underpinned by the PERMA model. The sessions were engaging, inspiring, thought provoking and we got lots of unsolicited positive feedback from the team after every session.  As a global team (c. 35 people in about 9 locations around the world) going through the global pandemic, this was a wonderful way to come together, collectively learn and focus on our wellbeing. Miriam has been a complete joy to work with – she’s knowledgeable, creative, collaborative and is a true expert in her field. Nothing was too much trouble and she really shaped the sessions bearing in mind the needs of the team. We highly recommend her.”

Veronica Scotti – Chairperson, Public Sector Solutions, Swiss Re. Amy Brand, HR Partner, Swiss Re.

 

“We were lucky enough to have the Happiness Advantage training in my workplace. It really has changed the way that I approach life and made me reassess old habits. The training was packed full of helpful tips and insightful information that definitely DOES increase your happiness and wellbeing in every aspect of your life.  From approaching your role within the workplace to helping you find what you love, what your strengths are and letting the positivity flow. Miriam is an amazing teacher – extremely thoughtful and thoroughly engaging – the sessions just flew by. There were lots of ‘A Ha’ moments throughout the journey (and it is a journey) and ultimately I feel that it’s given me the tools to thrive – what’s really brilliant is that once you start implementing some of the techniques in your life, you bring positivity to all those around you too.” Kylie Featherstone, Marketing and Communications Manager, The School of Natural Skincare