The Happiness Advantage

“If I get that promotion, then I’ll be happy” 

“If I hit my next target, then I’ll be happy” 

“When I pass the exam, then I’ll be happy”

Success first, happiness second is the way we often think about happiness but the research shows that the opposite is also true. People with high wellbeing are more engaged, motivated, resilient and perform better at work.  The Happiness Advantage is the virtuous relationship between wellbeing and success. Everyone benefits – people, organisation and the bottom line.

This programme equips your team with the knowledge and tools from the science of optimal functioning to promote a positive mindset and workplace wellbeing. There’s a weekly webinar exploring one of the PERMA foundations of wellbeing alongside an extra session on Resilience. Each session combines input with trying out practices and a home practice to explore between sessions.

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

Session 2: Engagement has two parts. Flow is a state of being ‘in the zone’ when you’re completely absorbed by what you’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 positive characteristics and natural abilities. They offer you your greatest potential for growth and lead to higher levels of engagement, motivation and performance. Strengths can be leveraged to reach goals and resolve issues. Googlers will get to know their strengths and think about how they can leverage them for their life and work, facilitating more effective co-working. Pre-work involves taking the www.viastrengths.org or an alternative test.

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 ‘relatedness’ is one of three fundamental needs for wellbeing.  This session explores how to have positive relationships at work by encouraging ‘high quality connections’. People who have a best friend at work have 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, suggests we should look for friends to fill 8 vital friendship roles at work. Who is your builder, champion, collaborator, companion, connector, energiser, mind-opener and navigator? How to use the Strength of Weak Ties theory to build your network of online connections.

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 the 3 major forms of resilience and includes the optimism practices, that act as psychological self-defence, protecting 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 explores sense of purpose and how it leads to a sustainable wellbeing. Finding meaning in your work lowers stress and depression levels. You can ‘craft’ your work for greater meaning by adjusting the tasks, relationships and perceptions involved.

Session 6: Achievement. Having a 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 with a review of the ground covered and introduces the simple GROW coaching model – Goal, Reality, Options and Way Forward, to set goals that extend beyond the programme.

“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