Happiness At Work 3 ~ a route map to edition three

Here is guide to through week’s collection of articles, news, reviews, ideas, pictures and sounds linked to Happiness & Wellbeing in our work and in our lives.  

The collection is published every Friday.
To view postings in the previous collections, go to Archives and choose 6 July for edition one and 13 July for edition two.

We hope you find something here to delight, something you can use, something that confirms what you knew already, and something that improves your happiness.  At least…

The Tanks: Art in Action (Tate Modern)

Happiness At Work – edition 3

Our Top Story

The most important story we found is the publication of the Quality of Working Life 2012 report by the Chartered Institute of Management.  It tells a bad news story about how UK management has deteriorated into much more controlling and untrusting style and the damaging consequences this has for organisations and its people, especially in the public sector. See Quality of Working Life 2012 – people are less happy than in 2007 and need training and new support

The Tanks: Art in Action (Tate Modern)

The Story Making the Biggest Noise This Week

Why are conservatives happier than liberals?

The Big Story Last Week on all the North American sites is the study showing that conservatives are happier than liberals.

Right-wing (vs. left-wing) orientation is associated with greater subjective well-being and that the relation between political orientation and subjective well-being is mediated by the rationalization of inequality … increasing economic inequality from 1974 to 2004 has exacerbated the happiness gap between liberals and conservatives, apparently because conservatives (more than liberals) possess an ideological buffer against the negative hedonic effects of economic inequality.

This debate has yet to have an impact here in the UK, but this question is surely worth us asking.

Happiness & Wellbeing At Work

Talent Management – July 2012 – Does Happiness Really Drive Results? is a beautiful e-book and thoroughly worth reading…

Promoting happiness in the workplace is now a scientifically motivated practice that has proven benefits for productivity, profits and people…

Curtis Roosevelt: Austerity? Stimulus? Or Happiness? presents some more strong arguments for why policy makers must take happiness and wellbeing findings seriously.

See too Have Your HR and Leadership Practices Become irrelevant?

25 Qualities Of The Leader In A Happy, Profitable Workplace support the findings from the Quality of Work Life 2012 research starting with…

1) Believes in herself

and completing with…

23) Creates an environment where all in the organization can lead 

In Workplace Happiness: What’s the Secret? Ben Waber’s research reveals factors that affect happiness at work and can increase productivity by up to 25%:

having a tight-knit group that you can commiserate with is a critical, as is a having largish network with plenty of diversity and branching out to talk to people in groups you wouldn’t normally talk to.

In The Right Emotional landscape for High Employee Retention, Granvilled d’Souza draws on a variety of research to show ‘the happiest employees are the most productive and this happens when their bosses are candid, relaxed, trusting and are approachable,’ and concludes with this wonderful musical metaphor:

‘Work satisfaction and keeping people happy at work requires an environment that adds value, fosters encouragement and stresses on people development. This only serves as a constant reminder that each person starting from the top strums the right chord to resonate what the organization stands for.’

In How To Motivate Subordinates Professor Srikumar Rao, author of Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated and Successful – No Matter What  brings what he calls…

a somewhat contrarian view about ‘motivation’. I think that it is NOT the function of a manager to motivate subordinates. It is his – or her – function to find out what is de-motivating them and systematically get rid of these factors.

This is a clear practical straight forward and helpful piece, but language really matters…

has anyone ever been happy to be called a ‘subordinate?’

Volunteering Makes Happier Employees – see the full technicolour pictorially presentation of what this research is saying.

A new gallup poll reveals The Five Essential Elements of Wellbeing

career + social + financial + physical +community wellbeing
Physiological -> Security -> Love & Belonging -> Self Esteem -> Self-actualisation
and this article provides a good Maslow history lesson (or a reminder for those who are already familiar with his model)

A happy mind is an open mind  is one of the elements of  The Science of Happiness  post How To Solve Problems By Doing Nothing …

Several studies have shown that positive emotions lead to greater internal awareness of our brain’s subtle signals whereas negative emotions cloud our thinking. The happiness you feel after a vacation presents a great opportunity to see problems from a fresh perspective.

Chris Dede’s Five Things I’ve Learned, Professor of Learning Technologies at Harvard, as well as being in fact four things, are not the usual list, but definitely worth a read…

  1. Leadership requires envisioning opportunities.
  2. Leadership requires displacing cherished misconceptions.
  3. Leadership requires inspiring others to act on faith.
  4. Leadership requires inspiring others to act on faith.

If Women Ran Hollywood…2012


Understanding and Playing To Your Strengths

8 Secrets To Happiness (part 4) – Proactive Living concludes its survey with

Know Who Are and What You Love

and offers this link to a free online Personality Test based on Jung Briggs Myers typology

And for an alternative understanding of the different MBTI styles, check out 16 Fiction Characters’ Myers-Briggs Personality Types

Knowing and activating our top strengths and working preferences automatically makes us feel good – about ourselves and about what are able to do and contribute to the world.  Another excellent and free online questionnaire is the Via Me Character Strengths Profile

Personal Happiness

Stefan Sagmeister: 7 rules for making more happiness  TedTalk is a beguiling personal response to the happiness statistics and information…

Using simple, delightful illustrations, designer Stefan Sagmeister shares his latest thinking on happiness — both the conscious and unconscious kind. His seven rules for life and design happiness can (with some customizations) apply to everyone seeking more joy.

A feeling of energy is a key to feeling happy

When you feel energetic, you feel much better about yourself. On the other hand, when you feel exhausted, tasks that would ordinarily make you happy — like putting up holiday decorations, getting ready to go to a party, or planning a trip — make you feel overwhelmed and blue.

Read The Happiness Project Grethchen Rubin’s 7 Tips to Boost Your Energy Levels Fast. The 6th one is Talk to friends.

Happiness Boosts Heart Health  Reported by the Daily Mail as “Cheer up and save yourself a heart attack,” new research seems to show…

The quality of optimism they say is most robustly associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular events. Hedonic wellbeing (based on pleasure and enjoyment) has a stronger association with positive cardiovascular health than eudaimonic wellbeing (based on fulfilling one’s potential and wider social goals)’.

Want To Be Happy? Don’t Pursue Happiness Steve Maizie’s very readable summary – with a link to an e e cummings poem – of how to be happy using Emmanuel Kant’s teachings…

For a truly different account of happiness — one that takes the pursuit of happiness to be fundamentally misguided — we turn to Immanuel Kant, who might sound preachy to the modern ear, but his message is an important antidote to the apparent consensus that we should spend our lives aiming to make ourselves happy.

Maizie’s big think post comes complete with a link to an e.e.cumming poem: three poems

(While you and i have lips and voices which
are for kissing and to sing with
who cares if some oneeyed son of a bitch
invents an instrument to measure Spring with?

each dream nascitur, is not made . . .)
why then to Hell with that: the other; this,
since the thing perhaps is
to eat flowers and not to be afraid.

On Happiness Equations is a great review of the irresistibility, futility and worth of equations to try and measure happiness, and in particular the now famous happiness formula advanced by Positive Psychology supremo, Martin Seligman: H(appiness) = S(set point) + C(ircumstances) + V(oluntary actions), out of which Jeremy McCarthy concludes…

For me, all of these equations are useful.  They force us to use an analytical part of our brain to consider the forces at play between variables that are unquantifiable.   To the critics of these equations, I’d like to share the same advice that Conley gives to his readers . . . “try not to let the math distract you from the bigger message.”

Here is another Happiness Formulae our research has thrown up…

M = (B + S) x A  = BA + SA and therefore

BA = M – SA = M – 1

and B = M-I/A

In the latter case

M = (B-S) x A = BA – SA; therefore BA = M + SA = M + I and B = M+I 33



Answers by the end of class please.

In Fame Not Key to Happiness  some words of wisdom about resilience from celebrity panelists to a school group in India include these from video jockey Juhi Pande

The idea is to give that best attempt because you never know when, what you consider success, shall come to you and you need to hang on till then. When you start working you don’t determine whether it will be appreciated by others or not, that comes later. But, no matter what happens you should not lose conviction or doubt yourself.”

Shut Your Face! 5 Things Women Should Not Say To Men.  No further explanation necessary.

Which Experience Is Best For You? Enjoyment of Experiences is Influenced By Life Priorities and Values research findings include not one but two arts experiences in the top five…

Using data from 142 adults who completed a values survey and an experiential preference survey, Beyond the Purchase was able to determine the top five most appealing activities:

1. A day trip/weekend vacation
2. A dining experience
3. Museums/galleries 
4. A concert 
5. Hiking

No Joke: 5 Guaranteed Ways to Increase Happiness.  We have no idea if these things will work but most of them look fun to try and all of them are small and immediate enough to take a chance with.

Art, Sound and Performance

The Tanks: Art in Action opened Tate Modern’s new performance art space this week including  Suzanne Lacey: Crystal Quilt long luxurious soundscape of women talking about being about life, living, love and relationships at an age when they are…

“not old – ripening…”

Tate Magic Ball is a fun app that you shake to get different selections from the Tate collection based on a complicated algorithm of where you are, weather conditions, time of day and ambient noise levels.

Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw’s  Peace Camp is only live for 3 days around coastal locations around the UK this weekend, but you can download and enjoy Mel Mercier’s 70minute love poetry soundscape from their website.

Graeme Miller’s new sound show On Air sounds exciting and fresh way to experience the city:  

a durational site-specific radio broadcast that compacts the elements of local radio into a simple poetic system. Graeme Miller will create a continuous commentary on the everyday life of Exhibition Road for nine days from 28 July to 6 August 2012.

This is part of the bigger Cultural Olympiad project On Exhibition Road

a place for Londoners and visitors alike to unwind and recharge during London 2012 with games from the vintage collection at the V&A or readings from ROAD STORIES, a compendium of specially commissioned short stories by well-known authors and music and exhibitions.

Art and the Pursuit of Happiness Further away Londoners, artists Balasbas and Sonio, the Pinoy sense of happiness is best captured in the everyday communal rituals of the streets, soundtracked by the charivari of gossip, intoxicated banter and laughter.In their shared humility and lack of any artistic pretense, both artists map out for us a path to unencumbered happiness in the virtues of contentment and simplicity in their Makati City exhibition.

And we couldn’t resist posting this story about A Shortcut To Happiness, a new Roger Hall play in touring New Zealand with our old acting colleagues Alison Quigan and Stuart Devinie.  Apparently…

“There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.”

UK weather has remained cold, wet and miserable this week, but in New York they’ve had a record-breaking heat wave – wish we were there – which inspired Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings post: A Vintage Love Letter to New Tork’s Heat Wave as the Ultimate Class Equaliser

When a heat wave left the whole city gasping and sweating, a powerful fellowship blunted the edge of the common misery, bridging the most insuperable linguistic barriers, or the most unclimbable social barricades, if only with a wink or a grimace.

Book Reading

Book Review: The Coming Jobs War  Although written very specifically about the USA, Jim Clifton’s conclusions based on a huge amount of Gallup statistics are worth at least looking at.  I have re-presented his findings here substituting ‘America’ with “the country’ – see if you think they have validity for where you are:

  1. The biggest problem facing the world is adequate jobs.
  2. Job creation can only be accomplished in cities.
  3. The three key sources of job creation are: the country’s top 100 cities, its top 100 universities, and its 10,000 local ‘tribal’ leaders.
  4. Entrepreneurship is more important than innovation.
  5. The country cannot outrun its healthcare costs.
  6. Because all public education results are local, local leaders need to lead their whole cities and all youth programs to war on the dropout rate, with the strategy of one city, one school, and one student at a time.
  7. The country must differentiate itself by doubling its number of engaged employees.
  8. Jobs occur when new customers appear.
  9. Every economy rides on the backs of small to medium sized businesses.
  10. The country needs to more than triple its exports in the next five years and increase them by 20 times in the next 30 years.

Or for more positive sustenance, see Book Review: Strengths Based Leadership that highlights Trust, Compassion, Stability and Hope as the four crucial capabilities of good leaders.


Enjoy Bill Plympton’s Animated Guides to Kissing and Making Love

Stephen R. Covey dies, author of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ was 79

Stephen Covey dis this week after a bicycle accident.  Covey’ was a unique, intensely human and special voice, and his ideas and techniques have long been a central vein of our work, especially in our Managing Multiple Priorities Win-Win Negotiating and Leadership Communications  training.

Here is remembered beautifully by his friend, innovation specialist and provocateur Tom Peters…

Remembering Stephen Covey

By Tom Peters
Monday, Jul 16, 2012

Let’s forget the content of his books. Or the gazillions of copies The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, or any of his others books for that matter, have sold around the world. Let’s forget his memorable seminars—and his business success. 

One simply cannot pay tribute to Stephen Covey without saying at the outset that he was a lovely human being. 

Stephen and I have both been figures in the world of “business thinking,” or some such. And in our world, the response to his death seems rather parallel to Tim Russert’s. All in the news industry agreed that Mr. Russert was a remarkable journalist whose body of work had been highly influential. But the heart of the matter was Tim Russert the person. Every tribute oozed warmth for an extraordinary human being. 

Professionally, the term “humanist” could have been invented to encapsulate Stephen’s work. He was a man of the world, and, though in my view an optimist, he was hardly naïve and knew humanity’s darker side. 

Nelson Mandela’s greatest weakness, he has said, may be that he expects the best of all those with whom he comes in contact, including his most intransigent enemies. While I’m not quite drawing a parallel between Covey and Mandela, I will say unequivocally that Stephen expected the best of all of us—and he provided us with straightforward tools and advice to help us get from here to a better there. 

As also in the case of Mr. Mandela, many with whom Stephen had direct or indirect contact surprised themselves as they marched forward with their own enhanced humanism, courtesy of his work and example. 

Let me resort, finally, to the vernacular: I just liked being around the guy. 

I am a pessimist by nature (some find that difficult to believe), and a little dose of Covey from time to time would boost my spirits enormously—and strengthen my commitment to one or another quixotic pursuits. Though we were hardly bosom buddies, I would occasionally get an absurdly generous note from Stephen recognizing this or that that I had done. I often joked with him that, with the passage of time, I was ripping him off more and more. That is, I increasingly underscored essential principals he had articulated clearly and to which I had often given short shrift.  

In short, I will miss Stephen. He stirred my better angels, as he did for millions of others in truly every corner of the world. 

His book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is high recommended reading.

One thought on “Happiness At Work 3 ~ a route map to edition three

  1. Pingback: Happiness At Work ~ route map to edition 6 (10th August 2012) | performance~marks

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