Many people believe that if they work hard, they’ll be successful, and that success will lead to happiness. But according to a decade of research, this formula is scientifically backwards.
Studies show that training your brain to be positive at work actually fuels greater success. In fact, 75% of job success isn’t based on intelligence at all. Instead, it’s based on optimism, your support network and the ability to manage stress in a positive way. Knowing this, how can you ensure that your team is being fueled with happiness and optimism? Here are some ways to do just that.
Train Your Brain
Did you know that 31% of people consider themselves optimists in life, but wouldn’t define themselves as one at work? According to the Expert of Happiness, Shawn Achor, we process the world through other people and pick up negativity second hand. If negativity is picked up second hand, it only makes sense that positivity is, too.
As a leader, you need to build patterns within your team that embrace a positive relationship with each other and the world around you. An actionable way to do this is to take two minutes every day to send a kind message or tell a team member how you appreciate them. Get your team members to do the same for each other until it becomes second nature to everyone.
Social happiness is the best predictor of personal happiness. When a team lights up together, they become a magnet that attracts more amazing talent. When team members enjoy coming to work every day, they are far more likely to stay for the long haul (and bring in similar people to continue the cycle).
Stress is guaranteed to happen in the workplace, but it can be enhancing if you look at it through a positive lens. Instead of pretending the stress isn’t there, acknowledge it. Look for the ‘why’ behind the stress and focus the energy from your team back toward the things that are within your control. Try to avoid the ‘what-ifs’ and worst case scenarios.
Help your team deal with tough days by exercising gratitude. After a tense day, meet with your team to talk about what they’re grateful for. Ask them to talk about things that went right, acknowledge team members that really stepped up, and thank everyone for how they worked together to get through the day.
Scanning for the positive should be something you do as leader every day, not just on days that are hard. Build up a habit of thankful thinking. Also, don’t just focus on what you’re grateful for, but try focusing on why you’re grateful for those things. Your attitude of gratitude will be infectious to your team.
The Pursuit of Happiness
Most of us have been taught since a young age that our potential is dependent on our genes and our environment. Fun fact! This isn’t true.
Happiness doesn’t exist on the other side of success. Happiness is actually the joy you have moving towards your potential. This means you should always be looking for ways to find joy during your pursuit. Most of us think that we’ll finally find happiness when we reach certain goals or milestones we’ve set for ourselves. But when we decide to find joy on the journey to these goals, focus on a positive mindset and stress less, we learn to experience happiness in normal, everyday moments.
Make sure you’re not just paying attention to the big milestones within your team. Always acknowledge and celebrate the small ones, too. When team members see that what they’re doing is having a direct impact on the success of their workplace, it motivates them to contribute their best work. For the team members not being recognized, sharing success with their teammates shows them that hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
Happiness is an Attitude
It’s clear that happiness isn’t an individual pursuit, but it’s a collective responsibility. Positivity creates unified teams that can face challenges more easily because no one feels like they’re facing them alone. And most importantly, a positive work environment is the best way to enhance performance. It brings higher productivity, less turnover and a supportive culture. So, fuel your team with happiness and you’ll be guaranteed to see everyone’s success soar together.
Also Read: Four Tips To Becoming A Superhero Leader