How Positive Psychology Can Boost Your Business


When I came across the following article in the February 13th, 2009, edition of BusinessWeek, I was compelled and intrigued. As a businessowner, the succinct title definitely captured my attention, especially given these challenging economic times in which we find ourselves looking for ways to thrive, and not merely survive. And since it directly relates to one aspect of the consulting services SuccessHawaii provides organizations, I was duty-bound to learn more and read onward.

In essence, it’s about understanding how positive psychology–the so-called science of happiness–is actually being used by entrepreneurs and businesspeople.

According to the article, consultants who specialize in positive psychology are selling a twofold promise:

“One is that optimism and cheerfulness have a measurable effect on the bottom line. The other is that happiness is a muscle you can strengthen.”

In this piece, the author, Jill Hamburg Coplan, cites thirty years worth of surveys at Gallup which, “have found that the most successful companies are ones whose employees believe they get to do what they do best every day. (Only one-third of working people do.)”

After nearly 20 years in the personnel training and HR development business with The Human Connection, Successories and now, SuccessHawaii, tracking results empirically has always remained a challenge for us. We know it works and makes an impact on the bottomline because we utilize tools to measure the results. But the best indicator is the fact that clients tell us of the organizational improvements, and most telling, they ask us to return.

In the BusinessWeek article, Coplan said, “If all this sounds too fuzzy for you, well, just speak with Juan Humberto Young, the founder of seven-person consulting firm Positive Decision Analysis, in Zürich. A positive psychology consultant…Young hears one criticism most: Positive psychology is too soft for numbers-obsessed business owners.”

But it’s not just empirical-minded business owners that this business is a little too soft for. I still remember a Hawaii state government contract that The Human Connection had back in 1993. It required more documentation (“red tape”) and post-analysis than the actual time spent interacting and training personnel. Although it was more “numbers crunching” than I ever experienced in the private sector; it was a state contract that required the ultimate “justification” at our expense.

To read more, check out Coplan’s well-written article for yourself: “How Positive Psychology Can Boost Your Business…In tough times, entrepreneurs try the so-called science of happiness to build thriving companies”

And to learn more about our training and consulting services at SuccessHawaii, visit our website today.

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