Archive for work

Holiday Festivities Showcase Inspiring Leadership

Last week, I was invited to take part in a local client’s holiday festivities (and I mean festivities)! I am so grateful that I could say yes because it gave me a better understanding of why this company is successful.

During this generous and genuine flutter of festivities (dinner theatre at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, followed the next day by fun games, gift-giving and a brunch at the Ashland Springs Hotel), I got an even better picture of this company’s culture and leadership. The attendees included corporate office staff, regional theatre managers and several key advisors/vendors including the company attorney, accountant, Coke rep and me. What an honor for me!

This was a time of great happiness and celebration, with much praise and recognition for the years’ accomplishments along with a strategic vision for 2012. I was impressed with the loyalty and desire to perform that this leader has inspired in his team, with many of them being part of the company longer than 5 years, and some for 10, 15 and 20 years.

This leader inspires his team by leading with his own core values of integrity, loyalty, concern for others, accountability and fun. When he learned about my work with the Science of Happiness at Work and the Performance-Happiness Model, he engaged me to work with the corporate team to increase happiness and productivity. Since then, he’s told me that this work has paid off in various ways. In his words:

“Christine has helped me become a better executive. I’m a better listener and I’m handling stress better by realizing when to let things go that I can’t change. During this time of extraordinary challenges in the entertainment business, Christine has helped us come to a common vision, function as a team and communicate better using a shared language. This has made a difference in bringing organization back into the company,” according to John C. Schweiger, chairman and CEO, Coming Attractions Theatres, Inc.

This is the most gratifying thing I can hear. My mission is to spread the Science of Happiness at Work to the masses, helping businesses and organizations create a competitive advantage while doing the right thing for their workforce. Greater profits and doing the right thing DO go hand in hand. Email or call if you’d like a free consultation on what your organization has to gain in terms of happiness and profits.


The Wall Street Journal is Measuring Happiness at Work

Check this out—The Wall Street Journal is measuring happiness at work using the same assessment tool I have been using with my clients. This link takes you to the article and gives people the opportunity to use the free (short report) assessment. They will be reporting the results next month.

PS: The blog author Jessica Pryce-Jones wrote the book “Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital for Success” is the founder of the iOpener Institute for People and Performance. I’ll be hanging out with Jess this weekend at the International Coaching Federation conference in Las Vegas, where she is one of the speakers.

If Happiness Drives Performance, How Do I Get Happy at Work?

In Happiness at Work: Maximizing your Psychological Capital for Success (2010), author Jessica Pryce-Jones takes her research with more than 3,000 respondents from 79 countries and gets to the heart of what drives happiness and (this is so cool!) found that happiness drives performance.

Happiness at work is defined by Pryce-Jones as a mindset that allows individuals and organizations to maximize performance and achieve their potential. This happens during the highs and low—when working alone or in teams. By mindfully making the best use of the resources you have, you overcome challenges. This not only builds your happiness but also that of others—who will be affected and energized by what you do.

Happiness predicts employee time on task, intent to stay in job, sick time, motivation, engagement, satisfaction, self-belief, and respect for self and others. The Performance-Happiness Model, which was developed based on the above research, has been successfully applied in more than 8,000 cases.

The Performance-Happiness Model

Performance Happiness Model VAt the center of the Performance-Happiness Model is believing that you are achieving your potential. This is important because that belief makes you happy, and the statistics around happy versus unhappy employees are staggering.

Pryce-Jones’ research (2010) shows that the happiest employees compared to their least happy colleagues:

  • are 47% more productive;
  • take on average 1.5 sick days per year compared to the United States average of 6 days per year (in the public sector the sick days range from 11 to 20 days per year);
  • are 108% more engaged;
  • are 50% more motivated;
  • have 180% more energy;
  • have 82% more job satisfaction;
  • are 25% more efficient and effective; and
  • have 25% more self-belief (pp. 28 – 29).

The five strong factors important to achieving your potential at work are the 5Cs: contribution, conviction, culture, commitment, and confidence. Three vital sub-themes giving additional perspective of happiness are trust, recognition, and pride.

Stay tuned as I explore the 5Cs, trust, recognition, and pride in upcoming blogs. And please share examples from your workplace on how you’ve seen the Happiness-Performance Model in action.



Pryce-Jones, J. (2010). Happiness at work: Maximizing your psychological capital for success. West Sussex, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.



Empower Your Team to Boost Performance

Do you stay out of your employees’ way and allow them to problem solve?  If not, consider that you are likely the sort of boss who is a top-down, micromanager. The command-and-control model works well in the military but results in tremendous dysfunction for work teams. Hierarchical control often results in a vicious cycle in which the work team is rendered ineffective and unvalued.

If you are a leader, remember that you have nothing to prove. Let your team be the problem solvers, and show them that you have ideas and advice when needed. Stay out of the way.

 The best leader is the one who listens more than talks. Watch your body language and maintain eye contact with the person speaking. Try to minimize distractions.

Welcome divergent viewpoints and disagreement. Problem-solve as a team, asking for input. Assure your team that all perspectives and solutions are valued, and be sure not to shoot down any thoughts that are shared. Remember that you are not the only one with the answers.

Successful leaders trust and rely on followers to maximize team effectiveness. Your behavior as the leader can either strengthen or destroy the work team. Engage and empower your team, and your organization will enjoy enhanced company performance while increasing team morale and commitment.

Cash in on Happiness

Cash in on Happiness
A lack of ethics and fairness in the workplace results in unhappy employees, who in turn become unproductive, lack creativity, and miss more days from work.  Happy employees work “more discretionary hours, take less sick leave, and stay longer in their jobs” (Pryce-Jones, 2010, p. 20). These findings are substantiated within the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and management (Achor, 2010).

Happy employees affect their colleagues and have an especially big impact on their followers (Achor, 2010; Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007; Pryce-Jones, 2010).  Repeated studies by Dr. Fred Luthans (and others) have demonstrated that leaders who have hope, efficacy, resiliency and optimism exhibit a contagion effect on those who report to them.  In a study on a high-tech manufacturing firm, 74 engineering managers received a 2.5-hour mini-intervention designed to increase manager hope, efficacy, resiliency and optimism.  After factoring in time away from the job for participation in the training, company overhead, and training costs, the return on investment was 270% (Luthans et al., p. 225).

The psychological capital and happiness at work concepts are recent phenomena, with their roots dating back to 2002. Research has substantiated their effectiveness in fields as diverse as engineering, law enforcement, insurance sales and manufacturing. The potential applications for other fields are endless, including (medical) helping professions, teaching, and athletics. In my view, increasing employee psychological capital and happiness at work will be critical for businesses wishing to have a competitive advantage in today’s global climate.



Achor, S. (2010). The Happiness advantage: Seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work. New York, NY: Random House, Inc.

Luthans, F., Youssef, C., & Avolio, B. (2007). Psychological capital: Developing the human competitive edge. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Pryce-Jones, J. (2010). Happiness at work: Maximing your psychological captial for success. West Sussex, England: Wiley-Blackwell.