Event Date: 09/30/2020 (2:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT)
Hi everyone and welcome to today’s webinar. Mission Possible: Positive Leadership hosted by HRDQU and presented by Devin Hughes. My name is Sarah, and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar will last around an hour. If you have any questions, just type them into the question area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll answer as many as we can during today’s session.
Today’s webinar is sponsored by HRDQ’s Assessment Center. The Assessment Center consists of 38 online assessments that deliver soft skills training to transform your workforce. HRDQ Assessments are informative and powerful learning tools for employees at organizational levels. With the ability to complete assessments from any location, on any device, and at any time. Learn more at www.hrdqstore.com/hac.
Our presenter today is Devin Hughes. Devin is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach and internationally recognized expert in the science of happiness, organizational and cultural change, and leadership development. He has lectured and worked with a variety of Fortune 100 companies as well as the Secret Service, the IRS, and an assortment of for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Devin is the author of 20 books and has lectured in more than 15 countries. He lives in San Diego, California with his wife, four daughters, and two rescue dogs.
It’s an honor to have you speaking with us today, Devin.
Devin C. Hughes:
Thank you so much. Delighted to be here with all of you. Looking for a great webinar today.
So quick housekeeping if we would. I want you to keep a little secret if you would for me. I’m hiding from negative people. So if you know any, don’t tell them where I am. All right. That’ll be our little secret.
That aside, the pandemic greeting. If you put up your right hand for me, I can’t see it, but I know you’re doing it. Put it up, give me a little bit of boom. There you go. Boom! A little high five. Thank you so much for joining me today. This is going to be very interactive. Got a lot of incredible information I am going to share with you.
My goal for this session is not only to make you feel more connected but as important or more important, to help you help other people too.
So our agenda today on how we are going to accomplish that. That is our mission. One, we’re going to talk about you. I’m sure that you are all that and a bag of chips, but we’re going to work on you in terms of positive leadership for you. So things you need to do. And then we’re going to talk about how we ripple it out, how we get others as I say on the yes bus, get other people to feel excited. All right.
So if you would, in the questions box, fill in the blank for me. I am happiest when… There you go. Put it in questions box for me. Let’s do it right now. Give you 30 seconds. Sarah, whenever you’d like.
So Rachel says appreciated. Valencia says, “When I’m with my family.” Dara says, “When I’m living my life purpose.” Alan and Monica both say helping others. Kelly says, “Coloring with nice colored pencils.” Mary Ellen says, “When I’m with friends.” Jeanine says busy. And Michele says, “I’m doing something creative.” And we have tons more coming through, but that is a nice representation of the responses we’re getting.
Devin C. Hughes:
All right. Love that. Love that. So can we all agree that in 2015 not one of you, and again I say not one of you got the answer correct to this question: where do you see yourself in five years? Can we agree? Who would’ve thought that we’d be knee deep in the middle of a pandemic five years ago, but we are where we are. Now it’s incumbent for us to figure out what we do about it. Whether you manage a team of 10 or 10,000, I’m going to argue that positivity and leadership certainly should go together if we’re going to work out way out of this.
So that aside, for some random reason, and I don’t know why, again, I say I don’t know why I often get asked, “How old are you?” Yes. Maybe because I had so much energy and flare and pizazz. So instead of you asking or wondering, we’re going to take a walk down Memory Land, and I want to see if maybe, kind of, sort of you may be able to figure it out. That was my first smartphone. Yeah, that was my first. We used to put our fingers in the dial and have to turn it. The struggle was real. This was a good meal in my house. Anyone remember this? Yes. I used to take a dive off the high dive into the dessert every Sunday evening with my family. This is how I used to listen to music, and this was my favorite TV show as a child. Does anyone know what this show is real quick? I’d love you to put it in the question real quick. What was the name of this show on TV? Anybody know?
We have Love Boat is the majority of responses we’re receiving.
Devin C. Hughes:
Yes. Check. Well done. Love Boat. All right. So that’s my era.
Now what you have just done with me, what we call in the positive psychology domain is savoring. I’m going to read it aloud. Savoring is the process of attending to, appreciating, and enhancing positive experience. In other words, savoring is a secondhand experience. Sometimes just thinking about, commiserating, reliving, memorializing positive experiences is a way to make you feel better. I imagine for those of you when you saw the Love Boat, if you watched it, it probably put a smile on your face because it was a pleasant memory.
Why is that so important, folks? Why am I beating this drum so loud? Because we are here. I’m sure you’ve heard it, you keep hearing it, the new normal, which seems to change every day. Here’s a part of the new normal, right? Whether it’s COVID-19, politics, the debate last night, racial and social justice, school anxiety, there’s a lot of angst in the system. And truth be told, we don’t have work brains and home brains. We’ve only got one. So we’re going to talk about that.
Now looking at this, Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in the last 50 years. If I asked you, “Do you know anyone right now who’s struggling a little bit emotionally, at work or personal,” do you have a few folks in mind? I bet you do know a couple people. So there’s a sense of collective angst right now.
Now that aside, this is what it looks like for people working from home right now. This is what Zoom fatigue really looks like. And for those of you who have been on Zoom or Microsoft Teams or WebEx or whatever, you know these faces all too well. Kind of the state of employee engagement.
We also have a loneliness epidemic here in America right now. We’ve got more lonely adults than we’ve ever had in the history of the planet. Yes. We have more lonely adults right now than we’ve ever had in the history of the planet, which has been exacerbated in many instances because again we have people working from home. Now it’s not just us here in the US. We are not alone. In the UK, again, in the UK, they know have a Minister of Loneliness to solve the problem. Just think about that statement for a second. They have a Minister of Loneliness in the UK. The problem is so ubiquitous, which is fascinating that now doctors in the UK are able to prescribe social activities to patients as alternative medicine. Just let that land for a second.
So you go to a physician, maybe your primary care, and the prescription they write is to hang around and engage and talk to and socialize with other human beings. Yes. That is where we are. But again, I was in Europe before COVID, and I noticed what we have. They are called chat benches. You’re probably wondering what a chat bench is. What chat bench is just what you see there. On the bench hangs this sign. It literally is to encourage or illicit or insight human beings to talk to each other without a device in front of you. Think about that for a second. That this is where we are that we have to create a chat bench to encourage human beings to engage.
In Australia, again, now they are pushing for a Minister of Loneliness. Up to 1.8 they speculate that Aussies are suffering from loneliness. In Japan, 30,000 people die a year from loneliness. Truth be told, folks, we are in a world of hurt right now.
AARP estimates that it costs US companies about $7 billion annually in lost productivity. Why? Well, when we’re lonely or isolated or alone or marginalized or feel left out, quality of work declines. We miss work. We show up late. And again, these are just the new normal, which is why I just wanted to set the context for all of us today in terms of why there kind of, sort of, maybe needed a sense of urgency around this issue now.
This is what I do every day. I call up my three-word check-in just to do an emotional, almost like a temperature check. Like when mom or dad gave you the thermometer, this is the equivalent to being around my emotions. I do it every morning. So this is what I did this morning that I’m going to share with you. Overall, I am hopeful. I am hopeful. In the question box right now, what are you? Fill it in. I am, what? Give you 30 seconds.
Vanessa says tired. Jen say happy. Gina says grateful. Wendy says thankful. Kathryn says hopeful. Cable says happy. Tammy says blessed. Sean also says happy. Gina says optimistic. Rosemary also saying she’s tired. Diane’s anxious. Julie is excited. Erin’s frustrated. Yvette’s busy. Valencia says she’s lost. And Cassandra says she’s sad, emotional.
Devin C. Hughes:
Got it. Now if you asked you, and I’m not getting political, but for those of you who watched the debate last night, did you walk away excited or hopeful or, “I don’t know,” no judgment, not picking sides here? I just would agree that sometimes checking in with yourself after the world around us is helpful, and we’ll talk about why. So thank you for doing that.
Now, that aside, what was not being talked about, which I see is pretty paramount right no win the world, is this GDD. It’s as pervasive. Does anyone know what GDD is? If you do, could you put it in questions what GDD is. Anyone know what that is?
I heard of ADD. I’ve heard of ADHD. Anyone know what GDD is?
Let’s see here. Julie says global depressive disorder. A lot of people not knowing what that means.
Devin C. Hughes:
All right. Well, you know why you don’t know what it is? Because I just made it up. I would argue that we have a sense of gratitude deficient disorder. Would you agree?
Laura actually did say gratitude deficient disorder.
Devin C. Hughes:
Touche, Laura. I would argue that we are hyper focused on everything that isn’t and sometimes it would be helpful if we took an opportunity to remind ourselves and others for the things that are or could be or right now. Just being grateful. So when you look at the research, some of the folks that stayed positive and happy, even in the middle of a pandemic, are just grateful for the things that we have versus all the things we don’t.
Again, I’m just giving you some practices and some tools today that I use. I call it my three gratitudes. I do this every day right after I check-in. Today I was hopeful, and then right behind that for a little self-care I name one thing I’m content with or feel good about in my life, one thing I’m enthusiastic about, and one thing I’m thankful for.
Since we’re here and we’re kind of, sort of like family now since we’ve been on here about 14 minutes, what are your three gratitudes for the day? Let’s start your day right now even though it’s in the middle of most of your days. What you got? Let’s put it in questions. Let’s put it in practice. Name one thing you’re content with, one thing you’re enthusiastic about, one thing you’re thankful for.
Let’s see. Kelsica says, “My job, home, and weather.” Tamika says, “A job, health, and family.” We have Melinda saying, “Work, future, and family.” Joan says, “Relationship, moving, dog.” Dorothy says, “Job, life, faith.” And Valencia says, “My job, the weekend, and health.”
Devin C. Hughes:
Got it. All right. So thank you for doing that. I’m going to ask you if I was to ask you could you do that every day for 29 more days, could you come up with three things and how difficult that would be. So thank you for doing that.
Now it’s hard to be truly happy if you’re not grateful, and we know that. So I have given a tool as my gift to you, a little hard to read, but I call it my five things gratitude tool. And if you want to make it easier to help you and others, sometimes I’ll have a tool. So here’s a handout for you and it’s in the handout section. And my mission if you choose to accept it is to start to make gratitude an expected practice.
Now if I ask all of you today, and I don’t mean to be crass, if you brushed your teeth today, I would imagine that all of you would raise your hand. Did you need a text alert? Did you need to put it on your calendar? Did you need someone to remind you? I would argue you did not because someone introduced you to something called hygiene. Yes, hygiene. It matters for a variety of reasons. Well, I’m going to suggest and implore, how many of you have happiness hygiene? How many of you have happiness hygiene? If being the best version of you at home and at work matters, then I would suggest that you need to look on that.
So here’s the tool, The Five Things Gratitude Tool. It’s up to you, but what I would ask is that you start to make gratitude an expected wellbeing practice for you. And I ask that you share with others at home or at work so that they can feel better to.
So question, let’s go. If you could sit and talk with anyone on this bench for an hour, who would it be? And what I mean by that is anyone who’s still here on Earth and not your celebrity crush. Not your celebrity crush and someone still here. So who would you sit and talk to on this bench who you have a relationship with right now? Who would it be? I want you to think about that, process that for a second. I’ll read it again. If you could sit and talk with anyone on this bench for an hour, who would it be? Again, someone that’s still here on Earth and second, you have a relationship with. Do you have somebody in mind?
Yeah, we have lots of people chatting in. Sandra says, “My husband.” Paul says, “My wife.” Anita says, “My best friend.” Cheryl says, “My husband.” Gian says, “My mom.” Anna says, “My mom.” We have lots of moms coming through. People are saying their grandsons, their brothers, their husbands, best friends, mother, sisters, pastors, their dad.
Devin C. Hughes:
Got it. All right. Now I love that. Now I’m assuming that all those people that you have a relationship it sounds like and they’re still here with us. So I’m going to ask you this, if you would, humor me. Pull out your smartphone. I know you might have one or whatever device you have. This is my smartphone. I’m a little old school. What I want you to do, whatever person you just identified that you would like to sit on that bench with for an hour. I want you to send him or her an email or text right now and let them know that you were thinking about them, that you appreciate them, that you love them. Keep going. You can do this. I believe in you.
Folks, the point is this, although we are physically distant, we don’t need to remain socially distant. Again, here are little practices again that you can start to unpack to let people know they matter. You see because if you don’t let them know they matter now, when do you plan to do it? And if not you, then who? So I’d like if you would right now, send that person a text or email and just in your own authentic way, let them know you’re thinking about it. You believe in them in whatever context it matters.
Why is this so important? Why are you asking me in the middle of a webinar? Because there’s a lot of things we know to be true that we don’t do. And this is, again, one of those things. We know that filling our cup and being positive and taking care of our wellbeing matters. But how many of us intentionally do it? So if you want to be a more positive leader, a more positive partner and whatever the lane, you cannot pour from an empty cup. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
So why does all this matter so much? Because if you look at the happiness research, specifically this from Harvard, in this most popular TED Talk, on fame, beyond fortune, and beyond hard work, the number one determinant around wellbeing and happiness was relationships. Relationships. So again, could we be more intentional about connecting and reaching out people even in a virtual world and let them know that they matter? That’s so critical right now if you want to be a positive leader.
Now it’s not just that. If you have five or more close friends, you are 60 times more likely to be very happy. Do you have five or more close friends at work? Do you have five or more close friends in your personal life? Again, relationships matter.
Now you’ve heard me reference filling your cup. Filling your cup. When I refer to your cup, what do I mean? What do you think I mean? What am I referring to? If you’d put it in the questions box, that’d be great. What do I keep talking about this cup, filling my cup? What’s my cup? Why am I filling it?
Chris and Ophelia both say your soul. Earl says love. Melinda says connections. Gina says fill your life with good stuff. Barbara says emotions. Michele says ourselves, self compassion. Iesha say joy. Joanna says, “You need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others.” Crystal says life. Caroline says family, friends, and love.
Devin C. Hughes:
Love that. All correct. So again, to take care of others, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Now when we talk about filling our cup, here are some different domains that I want you to think about in terms of filling your cup. Where are you right now in terms of filling your cup. In terms of physical activity, are you eating healthy? What are you doing socially? Social support to connect, to engage, to talk. And what are you doing to alleviate stress? I just want you to be aware you have some wherewithal when I’m talking about.
Now that aside, since March, we’ve all gone through this. What have you started, what have you done during the pandemic to improve or enhance your wellbeing? I’m just curious. Let’s put in the questions box right now. Have you started anything? What are you doing to fill your cup right now to stay positive, improve your wellbeing during the pandemic?
Erin says reading more. Debbie says taking a daily walk. Gina says she’s exercising. Mary Ellen says that she goes on a walk outside every day. Annie said she reads a lot of books and takes long walks. More people saying that they’ve taken more walks. Home dance parties, run more miles, working out more, taking breaks, more outside time, volunteering, daily meditation. I’m sorry, excuse me there. And rest.
Devin C. Hughes:
Got it. All right. I was wondering if you said medication or meditation. It was meditation.
It was meditation. I stumbled on my words there.
Devin C. Hughes:
Love it. All right. Because again, I’m staying apolitical, let’s hope Dr. Fauci’s wrong. Let’s hope. But what if he’s not? What if normal life may not be back until the end of 2021? Is it going to be kind of, sort of important that you begin to continue to fill your cup so you can fill other people’s cups? I would say yes. Everything I’ve talked about thus far is based on the tenants of positive psychology. Also called subjective wellbeing. In other words, ample research in the last 30 years about how we can help human beings flourish even during a pandemic. Even during a pandemic.
Now if you boil the research down, there’s three findings. Happiness or wellbeing is an advantage. Happiness is a choice, and happiness spreads. I’ll explain each.
When I say it’s an advantage, if I asked you for a time in your life performance-wise when you were performing at an extremely high level, is it safe to presume that you also felt pretty good? In other words, would you buy the argument that you tend to perform better when you feel better? I think you would probably all agree. Yes. So intuitively we’ve known it. Kids in the classroom perform better. Professional athletes perform better. Musicians perform better. So think about that.
It is a choice. We get to choose our reality every single day. Again, it doesn’t make things easy, but we get to choose how we show up. It’s like what my momma used to say when I was a child. Now my momma was not formally educated, but she had some of this deep wisdom. And she’d say, “Son, there is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing.” I want you to think about that as we go through a pandemic.
And happiness spreads. It’s contagious. If you hang around people who are positive and optimistic, you will start to feel better too.
Now I talked about outcomes. This is from Harvard Business Review. Again, every outcome we can measure based on science improves. You have more energy. You’re more creative. You’re more engaged, more productive because you’re super power I’m going to argue is when you have a sense of wellbeing. You feel positive. You’re joyful. You are happy. That is your super power.
Now you also live a lot longer, which is fascinating because if you look at this research from the University of Kentucky, you might wonder why do I care about the University of Kentucky and some research? Well, they stumbled upon pure academic gold, cardboard boxes stashed away and full of handwritten autobiographies written by nuns as they joined the convent in 1930s and ’40s.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Woo, who cares, right? Why would anyone get excited about studying nuns? Well, the truth is researchers realized something. They realized that with nuns all the difficult, hard to control variables were controlled. Like they were the same gender, lived in the same city, ate the same foods, wore the same clothes, none of them smoke, drank, had kids, got married or anything like that. So their positive attitudes 70 years ago was the prime indicator on how long they lived. So think about that.
Now what the researchers found out results beyond their wildest imaginations. Revolutionary findings sent academic circles buzzing. The power of the positive lens, what we call the nun study. And what we found is the happier nuns lived 10 years longer than the less happy nuns. So there was absolutely a connection between wellbeing, joy, happiness, and my health. So when I talk about positivity or happiness for our purposes, I’m defining it as any positive emotional state. Any positive emotional state. Too often we get myopic and think about just fun.
So that aside, what are some other positive emotions you think we need more of right now at work, in the community, in the world to make people feel better? Put in the questions tab if you would. What are other positive emotions we need more of right now?
Mary Ellen says peace. Sean says comradery. Laurie says laughter. Chris says love. Ophelia says kindness. Sandra also says laughter. Kathryn says inclusion. We have a couple people saying compassion and appreciation, love and understanding, kindness, appreciation for others, security, gratitude, hope, and respect.
Devin C. Hughes:
Got it. Well done. So I’m going to share with you a couple things based on the research. Now these are positive emotions. These are just a few. So again, if we could illicit these more often with folks that we work with and live with and care about, you will tend to see that people will start to feel better. So I want to broaden your definition here a little bit. Could we be more intentional? Does hope matter? Yeah. How about curiosity or pride in my community or pride in my team or pride in what we produce?
So again, when you think about being a positive leader, could you be more intentional about broadening the definition and creating an environment where these emotions have an opportunity to be unpacked?
Now the best news ever is that only 10% of your longterm happiness is the external world. The rest is based on your level of optimism, social support, and the ability to see stress as a challenge. That means that there’s absolutely something that you can do. Well, I’m going to share with you maybe here a few other things that you might consider doing.
So that aside, I have a question for all of you. Have you ever seen a sign like this in a neighborhood? Not this exact sign obviously, but a sign similar to this. And if you have, do the dogs come home sometimes? Do you think the dogs come home sometimes. Is that a yes or a no in the questions?
We have an overwhelming most people are saying yes. We have some people that say no and some people say sometimes. But the majority is saying yes.
Devin C. Hughes:
Okay. All right. So let’s build on that. Now so the dogs do come home. It looks like overall consensus is they do. Let me ask you, again, in the questions tab if you would, how often do you see this?
Never. Rarely. Again, majority of people are saying never or not often.
Devin C. Hughes:
Okay. So my question here, we’re going to keep playing here. Why is it that we [inaudible 00:31:17], but why is it that the owner doesn’t come back and do this? Any hints around that? In the questions tab.
Earl says people forget. Carla says she does see that she’s home pretty often. Rachel says happiness overrides followup. Michele says people don’t appreciate it. Mary Ellen says they don’t think about it. Patrick says forget where the signs are. We have more people saying that they forget. Sandra says that they’re emotional because the pet is home. We also have some people that saying that they don’t have any gratitude.
Devin C. Hughes:
A followup or follow through.
Devin C. Hughes:
So I’m going to argue, and stay with me here, when I was in the business world, you know what we were really good at on my team when I ran commercial teams, North American teams? We were really good at this. If something bad happens at work, a mistake, an error, a missed deadline, a customer complaint, whomever, do you typically hear about it? Yeah. I would ask you right now to do some self-reflection. How many lost dog signs are hanging around your organization right now? You see, we’re really good at sharing bad news, aren’t we?
But see, too often when good things happen, we don’t talk about it. And if we don’t talk about it, do good things even happen? Why don’t we talk about the good news as often as we talk about the bad news? Anybody know? Why aren’t we as intentional about the good stuff as we are about the bad stuff? Open it up right now in the questions tab.
Gina says fear sells. Carla says social media is a prime example. Anna says time. Kathy says it’s not as dramatic. Dora says we communicate what we want to change. We have people say it’s easier to complain, focus on problem solving. We don’t think others will see it as important. Some struggle to give positive feedback. Misery loves company. It’s spicy. We take the good for granted.
Devin C. Hughes:
All right. So thank you for sharing. So again, I’m just going to ask you if you want to be a more positive leader, the one thing that you can do is start to share good news. See, if you’re not talking about the good stuff, to the brain, it’s like it doesn’t exist. Now why is it in sport, whether it’s in basketball, volleyball, football, when they make a good play, do they celebrate or acknowledge? Of course. Why is it so intuitive in sports that they do it? Because in psychology, we call it the winner’s effect. Winning and losing is as powerful in the brain as genetics and drugs. When we win, it fires off dopamine in the brain. It makes us feel good. One of the ways you can start to be a more positive leader is just create a little space each week and let people know that good things are happening. Because if you don’t because the dog just runs away at your organization.
Now they do happen, correct? How many follow this on Facebook? A pop-up kiosk where his whole mission was to share good news. That’s it. Look at the number of views in May. Almost nine million people are clamoring for good news, folks. If you want to be a positive leader and you’re not an extrovert and you don’t want to run around and you don’t have time to be a party planner, we can’t have Taco Tuesday or more jean days or Uber rides or wear wigs and party like it’s 1999. Maybe you start sharing some good news.
So we’re going to have a little practice like right now. I want you to identify at least one positive pandemic good news story. If you’re on the edge, could you have one at work? Do you have one in your personal life? Put it in the questions tab if you would. What’s been one positive thing that’s happened during the pandemic, either at work or in your personal life? In essence, a dog coming home.
Raonen said more time with family. Joan says sold their home. Patrick says they got a new puppy at home. Lindy says more family time. Kathy got a lot of work done with fewer meetings. Amena got promoted and new grand baby as well. John employee recovered and was RTW. And spending more time with family, just sharing. Daughter talks more to us. Some people bought a new home. And people got to spend more time with family and their children, and they’re closer to their family.
Devin C. Hughes:
Yeah. So it’s interesting, when I do this, it seems like everyone has at least one or two pandemic good news stories about their personal life. But they seem to struggle about work. Do good things not happen during a pandemic at work? I don’t know. You tell me. If you want people to feel better and have hope, sometimes you just have to remind people that good things are happening.
Now part of the problem also while we have a lot of folks struggling is what we call the formula is backwards. And what I mean by that is we have this preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, the next partner, when the pandemic is over, when I get to Friday, when I go on holiday. It’s always something next. You see, until we give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where we are right now, which is why you have a lot of folks struggling on your team and in your house.
Implicitly, in this country at least, we’re taught this. Do you know this formula? Work really, really hard, become successful, and then you’ll be happy. Kind of undergirds our educational system. It’s been socialized. If you don’t believe me, how many followed this? The college admissions scandal. Yeah. We got celebrities creating an artificial narratives about their kids. They played a sports that they never participated in so they can get the right school, and then they can be happy. Think about that for a second.
Even though we know that if we choose wellbeing first, the brain works better, and we become successful. If you still doubt it, how many celebrities, professional athletes, movie stars do we have to read about that are fabulously successfully that are miserable because they too have the formula backwards. Again, I want you to think about that when you think about your team. Do you have some folks right now that are chasing success because they think it will bring them joy?
So I ask you in our short time here today, what would happen if we switched this thinking? What if we began believing that wellbeing would lead to success? Not success leading to wellbeing. What would change? What would be different, specifically at work or society right now. Any thoughts around that? What if we flipped the formula? What would be different? How would it show up?
You can type your response into the… Oh, here we go. We got some responses coming through. Kathryn says more focus on self-care every day. Everett says it would be easier to find happiness. Paul says hire more happy people and the struggle would decrease. Hazel says a happier life. Jane says more productivity. Kathleen says, “I would be more relaxed.” We also have Hazel saying greater productivity. Jeanne says better work life balance. We will need a longterm mindset. More celebration of small victories. Working out is more important and not put off. More relaxed. More content. Will spend time for yourself. A work life balance. Be more efficient. Happier life. Everything would be done with more energy.
Devin C. Hughes:
Got it. Love it all. So I want you to be thinking about that. So right now if you look at the current level of research, 50%, in other words your happiness set point, you inherited from mom or dad. Yeah, in your genes. So if you’re struggling or do struggle, don’t come at me. Call mom or dad. 10% are circumstances meaning things out of your control, like a pandemic, like maybe global warming, like the economy, like a bad boss. Just things out of your control. Well, 40% are things that you can do to rewire your brain that you can actually learn to be more optimistic, which means you can teach old dog new tricks. Yeah.
Are you an old dog? Not being judgemental, but do we have some old ways of thinking and doing if we want to be more positive? You see, we care too often more about our cellphone batteries than we care about our self-care. Have you ever seen an urgency for someone scrambling around for a charger like we’re about to be bombed by a foreign power? Have you seen the level of angst? What if we had the same level of urgency about our self-care?
Well, if you want to be positive, you want to keep your cup full, I’m going to suggest that we have a 30 Day Happiness Challenge. I’ve given you five habits here that you can choose from. Maybe some of you are already doing them. The first is gratitude, which we started. There was a handout. Could you do those three different things every single day that you’re grateful for? Again, doing so will help your brain to start to scan the world for fewer negative inputs.
Journaling. Journaling, what you want to do is look for one positive experience each day. Sorry about that. Look for one positive experience each day. Could you find one good thing at work every single day and journal about it? When you journal about positive experiences, the brain gets to relive it.
15 minutes of physical activity, meditate for two minutes a day, and do one conscious act of kindness.
All right, now, I had you do one conscious act of kindness already. I had you send a text or email to someone. Did anybody have an opportunity to do it, and did anyone get a response back that you’d like to share via the questions tab? I’m just curious. How did it feel filling someone’s cup today with a little bit of love or hope or inspiration, and did you get a response back? And would you be open to sharing it with the group? I’d love to hear it if so.
Amy received a response, and her response was, “I love you.” Paul sent two, and he got the response of all. Unique, she said yes. Melinda, “Yes, I sent. And I love you, and I got the same I love you back.” We got a thanks, love you. It felt wonderful, and my response was love you more. That was from Gina. Vanessa sent her daughter a text love you and she sent a text back, love you back.
Let’s see. Anita sent a response, “Sweetie, love you.” Tammy hasn’t received a response back yet. And we’re getting a lot of people saying I love you and they received I love you back.
Devin C. Hughes:
Got it. Sarah, I didn’t get any text or email from any of the participants today. I feel kind of left out. But I’m sure the wifi’s slow, right? Yeah.
All right. So again, I’m going to ask you, you don’t need to do it right now. But in the past 24 hours if I was to push you, could you come up with three things you’re grateful for besides your family or your health or your job? I would probably argue it’s probably not that easy. So again, I want to beat the drum about filling your cup because you cannot pour from an empty cup. This is why this…
What’s next? What’s next? We’ve been working on you. Now in our few minutes left, we’re going to transition to share with others. And this is a big discernment for us who lead teams, whether you lead a team of one or 100. You see too often sometimes we get confused between recognition and appreciation. And I’m going to argue we need both. So let me unpack that.
Now too often these are used interchangeably. They are not the same thing. They’re both important, but there’s a big difference between them. For those of you who want your organizations to thrive, to create more engagement, loyalty, and performance, it’s important to understand the distinction between them. Okay? It’s important to understand distinction between them.
So recognition is traditionally about giving positive feedback based on results or performance. It’s usually attached to performance. We’re going to recognize someone in a formal way, like an award, a bonus, a parking spot, a promotion, a raise, a sticker, a plaque. Sometimes it’s more informally like a handwritten note.
Now all of these message to recognize people are meaningful if they’re done timely and genuinely and authentically. You can certainly motivate people by recognizing people. So I’m not discounting it. I just want to, again, discern the difference.
Now, but there are limits to recognition. I’m literally going to read this. First, it’s performance based traditional. Means it’s conditional. It’s conditional.
Second, it’s based on the past. So it’s usually about what people have already done.
Third, it’s typically scarce. Meaning I can only have so many employees of the month, employees of the year, salespeople of the year. I can only have so many people. So it’s a scarce resource. Only have so much budget. I have so much I can give. So it’s a scarce resource.
Fourth, if it’s traditional, a lot of times it has to come from the top. Maybe come from HR or whomever. Now is that okay? Yeah. But in other words, there’s a limited amount of recognition to go around. Everyone can’t get a bonus or be mentioned in the memo or be in the newsletter. So we have to make a decision.
So a lot of you set up programs that you allow peers to highlight other people’s efforts, and I get it. There’s a lot of different stuff we do. So that’s traditionally recognition. But appreciation on the other hand is about acknowledging person’s inherit value. In other words, recognition is about what what people do; appreciation is about who they are. I’m going to read that again aloud. Recognition is about what people do; appreciation is about who they are.
Now this matters, folks, because again when we go through this, could you be more intentional about appreciating people? I’m not discounting recognition. But if you focus solely on praising positive outcomes, IE recognition, you miss out on lots of opportunities to connect with and support your team members to appreciate them.
Could we do a better job of appreciating people? Hey, Bill or Sal. I so appreciate the way you show up on time for those meetings. I so appreciate the energy. I so appreciate your positive attitude. Don’t discount those opportunities.
Now let me unpack it even further. How many of you know this book? This is not eHarmony so don’t be weirded out. But the Five Love Languages is a bestseller. For those of you who don’t know it, essentially describes the way human beings value love and how they want to be appreciated. Based on our individual personality types, we may want to feel loved and appreciated differently. So that’s a good summary.
Now understanding and decoding these different ways of how people like to be loved and appreciated is magical. Now for those of you that don’t know the love languages or it’s been a minute, here they are. Words of affirmation, acts of service, spending quality time, physical touch, or gifts. Different ways that different people have love languages, and I imagine you know what I’m talking about.
So what I’ve done is decode that and now we have the five languages of appreciation because I’m going to argue that different people have different appreciation languages. Some people just want words of affirmation. They just want verbal acknowledgement that their work is appreciated. Just a simple good job. It can either be public or private, but just articulating to him or her that you value them. That’s all they need to fill their cup.
Other people need acts of service. Another way of appreciating them is through acts of service, like small gestures to show that you care. Assisting with a project or technology or carrying office supplies or doing something. But being of service clearly shows them that you appreciate them.
Next you’ve got gifts. Do you know people right now that value the swag? They want the gifts. Do you have an employee engagement program where they can redeem and get these different gifts or hats or dinners or all that stuff?
And then you got other people that just want to spend time with you, quality time. So they want to belong. So aside from company picnics, which we can’t really do anyways, or volunteer opportunities, some people just value one-on-one time or you checking in once a week or on a Monday.
And finally, which we cannot really do anymore, some people like physical touch. Do you know folks in your organization that like to high five and the fist bump and the hugs and all the rah-rah stuff?
So I would ask you on the team that you’re a part of, do you know each person’s appreciation language? And should you? Are you appreciating people at all or are you appreciating people the way you like to be appreciated? Maybe not the way they like to be appreciated.
So in summary here, affirmation, acts of service, quality time, gifts, and/or touch, which is obvious reasons kind of a taboo. So I want to help you, and I imagine most of you don’t know what maybe he or her appreciation language is. Well, if you would like it, I have a quiz that I will have my team send you. It’s the languages of appreciation quiz. You would take it first, and it would tell you what your preferred appreciation language is. And then maybe you can have folks on your team. So you could be more informed to create a positive environment and appreciate them the way they like to be appreciated, not the way that you think they need to be appreciated.
So if you want, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and my team will send a quiz for you and your teammates.
So with that, we’re right up almost at the end of our program. I wanted to open it up for questions. And we’ll close out here shortly.
Yeah. So if you have any questions, you can just type them into the question box. And we’ll get through a couple of those here while we have some time. And our first question comes from Mike, and the question is how do you increase positivity in your team while doing this during these virtual, remote work times?
Devin C. Hughes:
Yeah. So first of all, you need to talk about it. Again, it depends on how that positivity shows up. Are they complaining? Are they just overly negative? Are they disengaged? I mean, there’s different symptoms that may show up. Are they showing up late to Zoom meetings again? Are they late to work? Are they missing deadlines? Again, it depends on what flavors it shows up in terms of negativity.
I would argue that you need to start having a conversation with your team and clearly tell them that going through the pandemic, one of the things that you are going to be working on individually, start with yourself around some wellbeing practices. Because you think, and it’s been researched, that when you’re in a better place emotionally, you tend to perform better. And because of that, you are going to be rolling out a couple, some initiatives, practices to help each other get to a better place. Because you would agree that if I’m in a better place more often, probably going to do better work. And it’s going to be easier to move through this pandemic. The negativity’s not going to serve us.
So first of all, having a conversation. Clearly talking about it, and then it’s starting to embed it into the work itself. So could you start your meeting with a gratitude? Could you start by sharing some good news? I got 1000 different things that you could do. Could you start your Zoom meeting with a little bit of music? A lot of different things you could do to start to let people know that wellbeing should be an expected work practice, not just hopeful happenstance.
Great. And this next question we have is from Anna, and this goes back to the showing appreciation and should you do that even for under performers?
Devin C. Hughes:
Well, again, any leader, any manager has to figure out why. What is the root cause on why he or she is under performing? Is it will or is it skill? Will or skill, that’s what it usually comes down to. Once you get to the root cause, maybe you can figure it out. I still would argue that finding out their appreciation language may help because maybe they no longer believe. There’s some self-limiting beliefs. Maybe they’re lacking in confidence. Maybe you start to fill their cup. Maybe spending more time with them. Maybe they want to spend more time with you. maybe checking in twice a week.
Again, the more data that you can compile, you can make a more informed decision.
Great. And then this question we have here from Erin says, he asks, how do you handle those employees that won’t open up to you in order to learn what their language may be?
Devin C. Hughes:
Well, first of all, if you want this, I would first of all get it from my team. I would take it, print it out, scan it, whatever, and I would share it with my team. I get a little bit vulnerable and tell them about something that you’ve learned. Tell them about what you’re doing to fill your cup. Then share with them that again maybe there’s some opportunities for all of us to be more informed about appreciating each other. In other words when the dog is coming home or some other things we can do.
Now is everyone going to get onboard? Probably not. But does everyone get onboard anything? Probably not. All you need is one or two people to get onboard with you and be consistent, and you’ll start to see that all of us want to feel better. Don’t try to boil the ocean. Just boil a pot of water.
Great. And then this question is from Joan and she wants to know if you have any tips for what if people like gifts but the budget is zero due to the pandemic?
Devin C. Hughes:
Yeah. So then, again, if you don’t have those kinds of gifts, you have to be creative on what those gifts. I mean, maybe there’s something handmade you can make or some other kind of way that’s budget friendly. I mean, it could be again something that’s a T-shirt, something nominal, and in certain cases, I mean, I hate to say this. Could you go in your own purse or pocketbook or your wallet, get a $5 gift card? I mean, just something incrementally.
Now most people have two appreciation languages. Again, if they don’t have the swag, which is what they love, what’s the other appreciation language in lieu of until you find…
Great. And this last question we have time to answer today is from Sandra, and Sandra wants to know how do you get the buy-in from the rest of the organization?
Devin C. Hughes:
Well, because it’s a performance accelerant. If you said to whomever, “Hey, do you think if we get our folks more positive, they’re going to perform better,” what do you think people are going to say? Of course. So that’s why it’s sir or miss or whomever, “I learned some stuff. I think going through the pandemic, there’s some things that we can do to create a more positive environment that’s absolutely going to help our performance.” What are the outcomes you care about? Is it sales? Is it retention? Is it onboarding? What are the things that you are measuring? If there’s things that you measure, I would look at about embedding some of these practices or interventions or methodologies into it. Because again, performance improves when we feel better. There’s a correlation there. That’s the business case you have to build.
Great. Well, thank you, Devin. That was great. This was filled with a lot of wonderful information today.
Devin C. Hughes:
So Sarah, they can happily stay in touch with social media, my website. I gave you the email for my team. I’m also going to share with you three things how I bookmark my day to be more positive. These are three questions that I ask myself every day at the end of my day. What worked today? What would I like more of tomorrow? And who can I help? I wonder if you did that today. What worked today? What worked today? What did you enjoy today? What would I like more of tomorrow? And then who can I help? This folks, is how you begin to real fill your cup and fill other people’s cup.
Please stay in touch. And Sarah, I’m turning it over to you.
Thanks, Devin. And thank you to our sponsor, the Assessment Center from HRDQ, providers of informative and powerful learning tools online, anywhere, anytime. Learn more at www.hrdqstore.com/hac. Again, that will conclude today’s session. Thank you again for joining us today, Devin.
Devin C. Hughes:
Thank you so much. It’s been great. I look forward to the next time.
Yes. And thank you all for participating in today’s webinar. Happy training.
Devin C. Hughes:
Does your organization have enough positive leaders? Do you wonder how others think about the attitudes of your leadership teams? A quick test is to observe the way people react to you when they walk into a room. Are people happy to see them? Do they want to talk to them? Or do they quickly make themselves scarce? If they run when they see your leaders, it’s time for an attitude make-over.
Negativity in organizations was costing US businesses $300 billion/year before the Pandemic (Covid-19). It is imperative that leaders establish a culture of positive leadership. As a leader, others look to you to set the tone for your team/organization. Being engaged and committed to a positive culture is a priority for the leader, and also every employee in the organization.
Organizations that have a positive culture are more productive, have happier employees and most importantly, happy and satisfied customers. Leaders have a choice about his/her attitude – and no matter what the situation, you have a choice to make about how you are going to react. No matter what the current situation is, or who is causing the negativity in your organization/team, it is vital that you create positive strategies that keep the team/organization strong.
Attendees will learn:
- New ideas for boosting their mindsets.
- To develop strategies for creating a positive culture at work.
- Ways to increase productivity at work.
- To improve working relationships.
Who should attend:
- Leaders and managers
- Training and HR professionals
- Anyone interested in increasing positivity in the workplace
Devin C. Hughes is an author, speaker, consultant, executive coach, and an internationally recognized expert in the science of happiness, organizational/culture change, and leadership development. He has lectured and worked with a variety of Fortune 100 companies, as well as the Secret Service, the IRS, and an assortment of profit and nonprofit organizations. Devin is the author of 20 books and has lectured in more than 15 countries. He lives in San Diego, California, with his wife, four daughters, and two rescue dogs.
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