When I started my career at AT&T, I had a boss (who will remain nameless), who was brilliant technically but did not turn his chair around to face you when you were talking to him. He had his computer on the table behind his desk and would face the screen and continue typing for the duration of many 1:1 meetings I had with him (notice I did not say face 2 face meetings). I like to focus on positive learning and one thing I learned from him was how to read body language, even while staring at the back of someone’s head!
Like many of my colleagues, I’ve been intrigued about the research about happiness and peak performance from the new field of Positive Psychology. But like many of my clients, I’ve been waiting for someone to connect the dots between just “feeling good,” and bottom line results in business.
Priming the Positivity Pump
A positive frame of mind is needed for success at just about anything. In fact, research from positive psychology shows that the tipping point for flourishing is to have a positive to negative ration of 3 to 1.
Let’s say you’ve got a task you need to accomplish, like writing a letter, or an outline for a presentation or something you put off because you don’t like doing it.
In the work I do as a coach, I speak with many amazing clients who have achieved a lot in their work and in their lives. And yet, some are dissatisfied and don’t feel successful. By other people’s standards, they could feel really good about themselves, yet they don’t.
Doing Better, Feeling Worse
I remember when I first started coaching in the C-Suite (CEO, CFO, CIO, etc.), I was struck by the fact that some people who had reached what is commonly thought of as the pinnacle of leadership success were still not experiencing a feeling of well-being. The brass ring they had been reaching for did not bring the anticipated feelings of relief, peace or deep personal satisfaction.
Maybe you’ve noticed this too: As a society, we’re achieving more yet feeling worse. Even when well paid, we’re dissatisfied. Most of us accomplish plenty but lack feelings of well-being.