TED Talk: The Happy Secret to Better Work
- Popular TED Talk speaker with over 4 million online views
- Emphasizes “The Happiness Advantage” to reverse the formula for happiness and success
- Traveled to 49 countries, speaking to CEOs, school children and doctors alike
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Shawn Achor is the author of the international best-seller, The Happiness Advantage, and his newly released book, Before Happiness is a New York Times best-seller. Shawn spent over a decade at Harvard University where he won over a dozen distinguished teaching awards for his work. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, he was named Head Teaching Fellow for "Positive Psychology," which eclipsed “Intro Economics” as the most popular course at Harvard.
In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think Inc. to share his research with the world. Subsequently, Shawn has lectured or researched in 49 countries, speaking to CEOs in China, school children in South Africa, doctors in Dubai, and farmers in Zimbabwe.
Shawn has become the world’s leading expert on the connection between happiness and success. In 2012, Shawn's research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review, his TED Talk is one of the most popular of all time with over 4 million views, and he has a new lecture airing on PBS called, The Happiness Advantage.
The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains To Performance. Most companies and schools follow this formula: if you work harder, you will be more successful, and then you will be happy. This formula is scientifically backward. A decade of research shows that training your brain to be positive at work first actually fuels greater success second. In fact, 75% of our job success is predicted not by intelligence, but by your optimism, social support network and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way. By researching top performers at Harvard, the world’s largest banks, and Fortune 500 companies, Shawn discovered patterns which create a happiness advantage for positive outliers—the highest performers at the company. Based on his new book, The Happiness Advantage (September 2010 from Random House), Shawn explains what positive psychology is, how much we can change, and practical applications for reaping the Happiness Advantage in the midst of change and challenge.
Positive Genius: The Key To Raising Success, Spreading Happiness, & Sustaining Positive Change. What is more important than IQ and emotional intelligence combined? Based on the research in Before Happiness, Shawn Achor takes us to the beginning of human potential to explain why some people are able to make great changes while others remain the same. Before you can make a change at work or home, your brain first constructs a picture of reality; this mental picture already determines your likelihood of success and your ability to harness your brain’s IQ, emotional and social intelligence. In this exciting talk, Shawn takes the audience to the cutting edge of positive psychology and neuroscience to clearly demonstrate how one can become a “positive genius”: one who can continually architect successful, positive realities based upon true facts then transfer those realities to others. Using his signature humor, new case studies and interactive experiments that engage the audience, Shawn makes this research come alive. Shawn illuminates new research he did in collaboration with Yale published in the top psychology journal this year showing step by step how a leader can change their mindset about stress to increase productivity by 30% and lower health problems and fatigue by 23%. Audiences leave with five clear, practical takeaways, which can immediately start to transform their life, raising both happiness and success rates. In this program, participants will learn how to navigate multiple realities at work, cancel internal and external noise, add vantage points to planning, use success accelerants to speed goal completion and use meaning markers to spread positive genius throughout a team, family and an entire organization.
Positive Leadership: Restoring A Culture Of Confidence. Confidence, trust, and job satisfaction are at historic lows. When the economic collapse began, the world’s largest banks called in Shawn Achor to research how to restore confidence and forward progress. While many managers succumb to helplessness, with their teams and clients quickly following suit, Shawn researched those who maintained high levels of success and leadership during the challenge. He found that our brains create confidence based on the belief that our behavior matters to the outcome we desire. To develop this trust, we must create "wins" for our brain necessary to overcome learned helplessness and must train our brains for rational optimism. Based on the science of positive psychology and case studies of working with companies in the midst of an economic collapse, Shawn provides practical applications for raising the belief that individual behavior matters and helping leaders to keep teams motivated and engaged.
The Ripple Effect: How To Make Positive Change Easier. Common sense is not common action. This is because information does not necessarily cause transformation because we require a certain level of "activation energy" to start a change. Shawn's research in the field of positive psychology has revealed how changes in our own brain due to mindset and behavior can have a ripple effect to a team and an entire organization. This positive ripple effect can create a more productive, positive work culture making positive change easier. Audiences will learn about the latest scientific research on mirror neurons and mental priming to explain how positivity and negativity spread, case studies on how to become a lightning rod for change, and findings on how a positive ripple effect profoundly affects an organization's ability to transition and change.
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Shawn’s presentation exceeded our expectations (both for those of us that put the program together as well as our attendees). We already knew from the TEDx video that he was a dynamic presenter but then to meet him in person and have him be so down to earth and genuine was a big bonus. This was particularly beneficial for us with our group being so small (approximately 25 people) and the main goal for them to connect and learn from each other. Having Shawn kick-off our event set the tone for the next two days. There were several attendees over the next two days who referenced different portions of Shawn’s session and would comment on how they started their day with their gratitude’s. Many also plan to read his book to help them with the process for setting new habits.
We can’t thank Shawn enough for making this year’s Leadership meeting such a success. His presentation was a highlight of our event. Our meeting objectives focused on audience engagement, leadership skills, structured networking and fun – Shawn helped us achieve all of these and then some. I’ve already witnessed my colleagues engaging in the happiness habits, and I’m practicing them myself!