Stress. Say no more; we all have it in one form or another and there’s no escaping it, right? I know, it really doesn’t matter what your profession, where you live or how much money you earn. You simply can’t eliminate it altogether due to the real-life demands we all face in our personal and professional lives. But, like all else in life, how we choose to deal with it is the magic variable. As the famous Successories saying goes, “Attitude is Everything!” It’s up to each one of us to manage our stress effectively. Here’s something that helps me.
The other day I found myself listening to a podcast featuring one of my all-time favorite sales trainers, Zig Ziglar. It was Zig who taught me to tune into and attend what he calls, “Auto University”. The clever term comes from the learning that can take place while commuting in your car. Ziglar is such a huge proponent of listening to something that teaches us–instead of just taking in pointless radio commercials and Muzak–that he claims, “It’s the most important university in America.”
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.
Surprise, surprise: According to a research study from the Ceridian Corporation in 2008, employees are most productive when they enjoy their work. But as you may know, even the most engaged employees can start to lose their drive if they feel overwhelmed, under-appreciated or panicking about job layoffs. So how can you as a manager keep your team members motivated when the workplace becomes stressful?
According to Ceridian, if everyone is working harder than usual because of layoffs and other cutbacks, talk openly with your team members about the situation. Acknowledge that times are difficult and let them know that you notice and appreciate their efforts. Here are some ways to keep up your team’s commitment and morale during difficult times.