Five Ways to Lead a Happier Team
“Americans have never been the happiest bunch, Gerzema says. In the nine-year history of the happiness poll, the highest happiness index was 35% in 2008 and 2009. Close to 40% of Americans said in 2017 that they rarely engage in hobbies and pastimes they enjoy…” (Time)
“… 2017 turned out to be the worst year for well-being on record.” (Washington Post)
20 ways to be unhappy:
The following list is given in appreciation of Dostoevsky’s statement, “The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.”
- Focus on what others should do.
- Think about yourself most of the time.
- Expect others to make you happy.
- Move less. Don’t exercise.
- Ruminate on things you can’t control.
- Spend lots of time on Facebook. (Psychology Today)
- Engage in “If only think.” “If only I had a better team.”
- Engage in “If then thinking.” “If I get a great job, I’ll be happy.”
- Compare yourself with others.
- Eat junk food.
- Don’t get enough sleep.
- Talk about problems, but don’t design solutions.
- Replay your screw ups, but don’t learn from them.
- Worry about what others think of you.
- Wait for permission before you take action.
- Speculate about the thoughts of others. (Especially thoughts about you)
- Worry about the future.
- Try to be happy. (If you want to be happy, forget about being happy. Focus on meaningful service.)
- Lose yourself in work and neglect your family.
- Don’t include others in your work. Do it all yourself.
5 ways to lead a happier team:
- Adopt a community project.
- Exercise together. Take walks during lunch.
- Learn from mistakes. Ask, “What are you learning?”
- Complete something today.
- Have a conversation instead of sending an email.
With “20 ways to be unhappy” in mind, what are some ways a leader can elevate the happiness quotient on their team?
– Have a few minutes of colleague affirmations at staff meetings.
– Everyday, make it a habit to visit someone in their office/space and affirm them and have no other agenda for the conversation.
Thanks Keith. Great suggestions.
Another great post. Over time I’ve become someone who smiles easily and readily, and its such a little thing but Ive found it so powerful.
Thanks Greg. Great suggestion. I tell myself that I like the person talking to me. That helps me smile.
The good thing about a smile is it’s pretty cost effective.
Arrange group building activities outside the work place.
Thanks Gerry, I think it helps when leaders and key players buy into this. Chhers
I can just imagine the response to the suggestion to exercise together in our office. On the one hand you’d have the exercise purists arguing about what everyone to do and everyone else thinking up unique variations on Kurt Vonnegut’s famous “Why don’t you take a flying …. at a rolling donut?”
I think happiness is a choice/perspective. There was a man named Paul who was a follower of Christ. Long story short, he was thrown in a Roman prison for preaching about Jesus. Not just a prison though, the dungeon of the prison. He was beaten, barely fed, and chained in a dark, cold place. Though it all, he began to praise God and sing. He could have chosen to be bitter. He could’ve thought, “if I was out of here, then I would be happy”, but he didn’t. He chose to have a blessed perspective and say this is where God has me, I’m going to make an impact here. And he led people to Christ from that very dungeon.
Happiness, gratefulness, and perspective (I believe) are choices.
Thank you, Dan!!
I too believe that happiness is a choice. Happiness is reflected through our response to and acceptance of what life sends our way. Happiness is heavily influenced by maintaining realistic expectations. Happiness is maintained by prioritizing and nurturing our most important relationships.
Great list to review my day by – thanks Dan!
If you think about it doesn’t being “unhappy” if looked at in the right context drive one to find a way to be happy which would include working thru the “unhappy list” and the “happy list” above along with other measures. I’ve always found happiness is wrapped around my attitude whether it is how I “feel” or “act” towards others or what I do myself. Victor Frankl in “Mans Search for Meaning” said that those that survived thru the day in the concentration camp and possibly through the entire ordeal where those that choose their attitude and recognized that they controlled their attitude alone not the Nazi guards. Too often these days, attitude is not recognized as a way to seek or build on happiness. Not sure if its a lack of parental upbringing or other influences. I just know my attitudes from the beginning have been developed from grandparents who grew up in the 1920s and adhered to the teachings of Norman Vincent Peale and his “Power of Positive Thinking” movement.
Just a good reminder for all of us. Basically, if we do the opposite of the unhappy list we all might be pretty happy. (Words of Wisdom with Rod for your Wednesday)
Rod Sprague Principal Spring Hill Middle School
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On Tue, Aug 7, 2018 at 5:29 PM, Leadership Freak wrote:
> Dan Rockwell posted: ““Americans have never been the happiest bunch, > Gerzema says. In the nine-year history of the happiness poll, the highest > happiness index was 35% in 2008 and 2009. Close to 40% of Americans said in > 2017 that they rarely engage in hobbies and pastimes they ” >
Happiness — like love — is a decision. It isn’t what happens to you, around you, for you, etc. Yes, there are things that happen to you or around you that can be sad, painful, exciting, and such — and they affect you — but with an underlying attitude of being a happy person — and a thankful person — your manner of dealing with the sad times, painful, and such produces a much more positive outcome.