Listen on Apple Podcasts
Toy fox psychologist orange background

Ep51: The Psychology of Happiness at Work

This time, we’re diving deep into the fascinating world of the psychology of happiness. 🌟

Like this?

Join 112,000 listeners every month who get expert insights on building amazing workplace cultures!


This time, we’re diving deep into the fascinating world of the psychology of happiness. 🌟

Welcome back to another episode of “Truth, Lies & Workplace Culture”! This time, we’re diving deep into the fascinating world of the psychology of happiness. 🌟

Breaking Down Happiness:

Get ready to explore what happiness is all about. We’re chatting about those moments of pure joy, finding contentment, and understanding how these emotions play a role in our lives.

Theories Galore:

Ever heard of the hedonic treadmill or positive psychology? We’re breaking down these theories and more to figure out what makes us tick on the happiness scale.

Boosting Your Bliss:

Want to feel even happier? We’re sharing practical tips and tricks to up your happiness quotient. From daily habits to mindfulness, you won’t want to miss these life-changing insights.

Workplace Smiles:

Happiness at work? Absolutely! Discover how cultivating a happy vibe among your team can lead to better productivity and well-being. We’re dropping tips for leaders to create a work culture that’s all about good vibes.

The Commuting Conundrum:

Did you know your commute affects your happiness? We’re digging into this surprising connection and offering solutions to make that daily journey a bit brighter.

Kindness Counts:

Kindness is key, folks. We’re talking about how spreading a little kindness can create a ripple effect of happiness, both personally and professionally.

So, grab your favorite drink, hit that play button, and join us as we unpack the psychology of happiness. Get ready for insights, laughs, and a happier you!

Connect with your hosts

Related Episodes

Loved this episode? Here are some more you might like:

💬 Want a chat about your workplace culture?

📣 Got feedback/questions/guest suggestions? Email

👍 Like this kinda stuff? Click here to subscribe…

The Transcript

⚠️ NOTE: This is an automated transcript, so it might not always be 100% accurate!

Like this?

Join 112,000 listeners every month who get expert insights on building amazing workplace cultures!


Leanne Elliott 0:00
there’ll be a huge difference in happiness between the person who’s on 20,000 pounds compared to the person who’s on 50 And the person that’s on 150. There will be some difference between the person who is earning 50,000 A year and 150,000 a year, there will be basically zero difference between anybody earning 150,000 pounds a year, or somebody who’s earning 2 million pounds a year. Hello, and welcome to the truth live and workplace culture podcast, brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. My name is Leanne. I’m a Business psychologist. My name is Al and I’m a business owner and we are here to help you simplify the science of people and create amazing workplace coaches.

Al Elliott 0:44
Welcome back. If you’re on YouTube, drop us a comment. Let us know you’re watching. We already started the channel a little while ago like maybe four videos ago. So every every view we get we get really excited lately and we’ve had two more views. I’m not sure I don’t know what Mr. Beast must have started at zero. So

Leanne Elliott 1:00
I we talked about it quite openly Yeah. How his first few years got nothing. It’s actually his first viral is vert not earning even more viable, got a bit traction with him counting from one to 100,000. Well, and

Al Elliott 1:11
luckily that’s what today’s podcast is so

Leanne Elliott 1:15

Al Elliott 1:18
talkie talkie of three, this is now the third house in Sicily we’ve been living in. And the third time we’ve had to set up our podcast equipment. So bear with us, you know, we’re doing the best we can lighting is not super in here. And also I’m standing on one leg, I think to try and make sure I’m in frame. But anyway, so Leah, what are we talking about this week?

Leanne Elliott 1:38
Well, this week, we are continuing our summer sheduled and keeping things a little bit lighter. So this week, we are talking about the psychology of happiness.

Al Elliott 1:48
Lovely and what a lovely subject to talk about over summer when hopefully you’ve got a bit of time off but a downtime. You’re you’re doing something to make you happy whether that’s going abroad or they’re staying at home, whether it’s playing with your kids playing with your dog, playing with your cat, it has to suppose you play with cats. Really I think the cats are just quite indifferent to their own as only

Leanne Elliott 2:07
says the dog owner.

Al Elliott 2:09
Not a cat person, not a cat person, but don’t let that put you off. So this is a little bit of a loosey goosey episode as Leanne described, because we’re not necessarily we’re not we’re normally we structure it. But today we’ve just got Leanne’s got some notes. She’s a psychologist, I’m going to talk to you about happiness. We’ll Some of our own anecdotes and etc. As we go along. Leah, do you want to start off with maybe defining happiness? I don’t know.

Leanne Elliott 2:31
Well, I thought I’d start off with a news roundup.

Al Elliott 2:33
Oh, let’s do that. favorite time of the week. It’s the news roundup

Leanne Elliott 2:37
here, the jingo. I guess we had some complaints last week that the news roundup wasn’t even mentioned, let alone completed. So yeah, after quite a testing week of responding to complaint emails, I thought it was best to just put the news roundup back in.

Al Elliott 2:56
That’s a good idea. Because I mean, the poor complaints department team like now there’s eight of them who deal with that we deal with all the complaints and they were just overwhelmed. You know, and we don’t like working them too hard. But yeah, they had to do they had to pull double shifts didn’t. They did

Leanne Elliott 3:09
they did so it’s back and I have a new word. elitism,

Al Elliott 3:16
I’m sorry, well, elitism. Now I’ve seen The Handmaid’s Tale. So I think I know what this is. Please. No, I don’t just sounded like something from The Handmaid’s Tale like oh wait, they are some Gilead. Yeah, from from Gilead.

Leanne Elliott 3:33
So elitism isn’t necessarily a sign a scientific psychology term. It’s it’s a literature literary term, used to explain how somebody refers themselves in third person. But what recent research is showing is that by using this technique, as part of our therapy and self coaching, can actually improve not only our wisdom, but also our emotional intelligence and regulation.

Al Elliott 3:59
Am I right? So is this right that I would say, owl is happy would make me happier than saying I am happy if I got it.

Leanne Elliott 4:06
Yeah, so there’s, there’s it’s kind of an extension of previous ideas in coaching to help generate objective thinking different perspectives and empathy. So there’s a very popular exercise called two chairs, which is where you you move you literally move yourself and go right I’m now me explain this problem. It might be a disagreement I’m having with a sibling. And I will explain how I’m feeling what I think about it. And then I moved to a different chair and pretend that I am said, siblings sibling, and talk about how perhaps they perceive the situation and what they might say and think and feel. So what this is saying is taking it a step further to do the similar thing, but when referring to yourself referring to yourself in the third person. So what’s really interesting in terms of the research is it’s been shown that by doing this in kind of a diary format, so keeping a reflective journal, but compared to the two groups control group wrote about themselves in the first person, second group, wrote about themselves in the third person. And what they found is that after four weeks, the group that referred himself in the third person, then performed better in things like reasoning, decision making, and wisdom based tests. Very interesting.

Al Elliott 5:18
So if I’m sorry, just just wanna make sure I get there. So what I shouldn’t be doing is going around and talking to people and saying, Allah is very happy today. That’s not what we’re talking about.

Leanne Elliott 5:27
Just be really frickin annoying. Now, it’s more of a case of as part of your your reflective practice, perhaps referring to yourself, and the third person can help you a little bit in terms of that distancing. And it makes sense as well, because when we, I guess it kind of ties a few things together. So we know from neuroscience that that whole transference of taking emotions from our brains and putting them on paper, can actually distance ourselves from them and reduce the impact of them. Those of

Al Elliott 5:54
you who maybe have us up loud, would have heard some explosions in the background. We’re in Sicily, it’s midday, and for some unknown reason, they’re letting off huge fireworks to celebrate San Sebastien or something.

Leanne Elliott 6:06
Yeah, I think it is. sounds best. Yeah. And they do them in the morning as well, which is brilliant. But our dog is very scared. So if you hear him knocking around, that’d be why. But what was I saying? Yeah, extensive neuroscience, we know that that transference actually helps to distance us from those emotions, and process them more objectively and make better objective decisions rather than emotionally feel decisions. So it’s a bit of an extension of it. Really interesting bit of research new to me, I’m going to find out more because I think it might be some quite interesting applications for coaching. So yeah, I will I’ll leave a link in the show notes. It is pretty interesting research.

Al Elliott 6:42
Interesting. Also, any of you who are literary or listening or literary geniuses or Genie I, can you explain because I’m

Leanne Elliott 6:54
I’m gonna use it though, Genie,

Al Elliott 6:55
Genie, I explained, just because I’ve heard something in my head. I’ve got some, like, Homer’s Iliad or something like that. And I’m wondering if I’m obviously clearly that’s gonna be really wrong. But I’m wondering if some kind of Greek mythology or Greek writer and that’s where the Iliad come elitism comes from?

Leanne Elliott 7:12
I think it is actually I think it is based in Greek, Greek.

Al Elliott 7:15
So if you know what I’m talking about, and I clearly don’t then get on LinkedIn, jump on the email, go on Instagram, send a carrier pigeon, let us know what we’re going what’s going on and what what that actually means. Anything else? Lovely Lee?

Leanne Elliott 7:29
Yes, I do. So this story popped up in my newsfeed this week. And to say it was concerning was an understatement. So I’m going to read you a little extract from this article by Huffington Post. So what it says that Florida the state in the US has effectively banned Advanced Placement psychology classes from being taught in the state. So the college board said in a statement, we are sad to have learned that today, the Florida Department of Education has effectively banned AP Psychology in the state by instructing Florida superintendents that teaching foundational content on sexual orientation and gender identity is illegal under state law. So what where this has come from apparently is a guy a government Governor Ron DeSantis, the 2024 Republican presidential candidate or is running to be basically he is pushing through legislation called Stop Work Act, and don’t say gay law. So well, it’s basically done is it meant that that content that basically any kind of education on racism, sex, gender, sexual orientation has been banned? With the thought that this is corrupting the minds of our young people? I’m, I’m not quite sure I’ve processes enough to respond to it. Yeah. What What are your thoughts?

Al Elliott 9:03
My first initial thought is What the actual fuck, but then having said that, we are just I am just hearing one side of it. That might be another side of it. We don’t know him. We’re not like super left wolky people. At the same time, we kind of like I think our worldview is leave well alone, you know, and just let everyone get on with their own stuff. And this sounds like, to me it sounds like you’re saying, We can’t even mention transgender, racism, whatever in AP Psychology, because

Leanne Elliott 9:31
do we not need to teach this in terms of some kind of like, I don’t know, in the same way you would around mental illness? That’s not my opinion. I think it is all complete bullshit. And it’s horrifying. But I guess what I’m not connecting the dots where there’s even if you think this, there is this over liberal syllabus, in the education system, by just not talking about it at all, doesn’t necessarily seem to be shifting the education. It’s just sent to Share which I that’s concerning to me.

Al Elliott 10:05
I can’t add anything to that you’ve put that put that perfectly absolutely perfectly.

Leanne Elliott 10:09
So speaking of education that truth lies and workplace culture is now part of skill building is now it is skills being asked building skill dang s kill d i n basic premise is a brand new platform. It’s very exciting. And Kevin, one of the co founders approached as a few months ago, they kind of saw an issue with podcasts and love podcast, huge fans of the that kind of content medium, but kind of felt that there wasn’t an opportunity or very accessible or an easy opportunity for people to consolidate the learning and lessons they picked up from the podcast into practice. So they have developed a platform called scaffolding to do exactly this.

Al Elliott 10:50
Yeah, really cool. And I think there’s lots of actionable points in podcasts that you kind of forget, because you just listen to a podcast when you’re doing the hoovering or you driving or something, this is a really good way to reinforce the ideas behind each episode. And actually create yourself a little checklist so that you can get make sure that you are actually implementing all these ideas. I know I must have listened to 1000s of podcasts probably missed out on hundreds of 1000s of great ideas, just because I was out the dog. And I was like, Oh, I’ll read listen to it later. Never do.

Leanne Elliott 11:22
Yeah, and that’s what it is. So it’s quite cool. Have a little look. So you’ll you’ll see kind of the audio of the episode is embedded, you have a different page or talk about the competencies that you’re that you’re consolidating in your learning, it has specific tasks that you can do, you can tick them off as they’re done. It’s pretty cool. So yeah, go and check it out. And if you would like a free, three months subscription, all you have to do is leave us a review, hopefully a good one. But it doesn’t have to be leave us a review on Apple or Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast. And we’ll pick out three winners over the next month and refer you on to Kevin skilling for your free three months. That’s hard to say free three months.

Al Elliott 12:06
And if you do leave a review, which we help you do, then just let us know. Drop us an email, you see our email at the bottom of all the show notes just because otherwise, we won’t be able to find you because we only see your username, we don’t see your contact details if you do leave review so just let us know. And let us know how you get on with gilding.

Leanne Elliott 12:21
Yeah, I hope I hope you enjoy it. We’ll out we’ll see how it all goes.

Al Elliott 12:25
Okay, Leah so the mean potatoes of the episode I think it is depleted. We say this was the definition of happiness.

Leanne Elliott 12:32
I worry that we’re excluding vegetarians and vegans by calling it the meat and potatoes of the episode. Is that being a bit too work or? No, I

Al Elliott 12:39
would say I would say that by saying meat and potatoes means there’s something for everyone there. There’s something for a vegan something for fruitarian there’s something for a pescatarian there’s something for a carnivore

Leanne Elliott 12:49
isn’t that a euphemism for something else as well though meat and

Al Elliott 12:52
potatoes, meat and two veg I think is

Leanne Elliott 12:55
completely different. Not potatoes. It’s about the vegetables.

Al Elliott 13:01
Different idea for very different types of activities. Yes. Okay, so, back to the content should we say rather than meat potatoes? So we are talking today about what is happiness? We obviously we’ve got a psychologist in front of us. Although Leanne has said to me before I press record, they’re looking on business psychologists. So you know, this, this isn’t necessarily my I’m not gonna say 40 because it is but it isn’t necessarily my specialism. So I know that you’ve done a little bit of research on this, and that will be asking lots and lots of questions. Can we do we start off with a definition of happiness? Would that be the best way to start?

Leanne Elliott 13:40
Yeah, this isn’t really my area of expertise, bursary, because happiness is an emotion and Steve emotions is its own its own thing in psychology. I’m much more familiar with well being. And you might wondering why that’s different. And I think that that is where the definition lies. Happiness is a state, it is a motion, it’s something that we feel for certain periods of time, and then it goes again. And I think there is this maybe unhelpful pursuit of happiness in terms of that is the state that we should be in all the time. Whereas actually, you know, from an evolutionary perspective, perspective, or emotions are a very primitive signaling system. So being happy all the time, wouldn’t be very helpful for our survival. If we’re in you know, situations where we should be feeling threatened and frightened that that increases our awareness and our reflexes and our fight and flight response, when we need that to stay alive. So happiness is useful in the moment, but to be happy all the time, would probably end up in a very early demise. And I think the misconception is that happiness and or rather unhappiness and positive wellbeing can coexist at the same time. So I suppose

Al Elliott 14:53
if you are happy, then people often say I’m happy I’m contented. If you’re content with something it means There’s no real incentive to grow, learn, develop skills, etc. So I see what you’re saying that if you are happy in your job, and you don’t feel any stress, and when I say stress, I mean positive stress, but any kind of like, need to grow to develop to be better. That’s not a great situation to be in as a as an employee, is it?

Leanne Elliott 15:22
No, and that can actually that’s been called rust out before this feeling where we feel a sense of complacency in our, in our roles in our work, because we’re not being challenged and we’re not being pushed, that might be nice for for a period of time, particularly after a period of disruption and change. But in terms of of long term, those feelings will very quickly turn into frustration. Okay.

Al Elliott 15:47
So when we talk about psychology, the psychology is the like some kind of psychological theory around happiness, and we got a formula or something, is it like, is it like that film where he when he resolves the formula on the chalkboard?

Leanne Elliott 16:01
What’s interesting about happiness, and other other emotions like it such as joy, and there has been found it a difference between joy and happiness. So quite complicated the psychology of emotions. But what is quite interesting about his positive emotions is that until very recently, psychology is very much focused on the human deficit and what’s what’s what’s wrong with it was why are we so fucked up? And that’s because that was the need, you know, how do we how do we support you with these mental health challenges, and that in itself was an evolution from it being some kind of paranormal or spiritual? I don’t know, what’s the word being possessed in some way, to actually being a human condition and a condition of mental health. So in terms of, of the focus of psychologists shift shifting to more positive emotions, that really kind of gained a lot more traction in the late 1990s. And this was because a psychologist called Seligman became the president of the American Association of Psychology at the American Psychology Association. And when he became president, his his mandate was to shift the focus of psychology from deficit, and, and surviving, to trying to find a way to use psychology to help humans to transition from surviving to thriving with a viewpoint very much that we spoke about a few episodes ago with business and community and their research into into wellbeing and well being to point out that actually, the benefits society will be much, much greater. If we think much more and spend much more time on this. I guess this missing majority in the middle, there has for for a long time been neglected by by psychologists and by mental health professionals. And that was the birth of the positive psychology movement. And since then, there has been a lot more funding a lot more interest in researching emotions and positive emotions such as happiness. So is there a agreed theory? No, of course not. Now, but there’s a great theory of anything in psychology all depends on your approach what you believe, and also how these theories are standing up to more modern day interrogation, that is a bit of an issue around replication in the psychology world at the moment very famous studies that have failed to be replicated to those theories, long accepted theories are starting to be questioned. So it is it is a challenge. But there are some kind of typically agreed observations when it comes to happiness. And the first is around brain chemistry.

Al Elliott 18:33
So this brain chemistry, I’ve heard of these phrase like dopamine, Sara, Fenner, vich.

Leanne Elliott 18:43
I don’t definitely serve. I don’t read tennis play No.

Al Elliott 18:50
So I don’t really understand what they are and what they do and what you do you want more of one or less of another handiwork.

Leanne Elliott 18:57
Again, it depends on the circumstances. And there’s gonna be some circumstances where you want more of one and less than the other but, but kind of to, very simply in and that again, I’m not a neuroscientist by any way. But very simply, dopamine, we’ve heard of dopamine. So dopamine helps us feel pleasure. So we know that when we’re in a state of happiness, our dopamine levels are typically up, then we’ve got serotonin. So serotonin is produced when we’re feeling a sense of satisfaction or importance. So when you think about those things, in terms of then reflecting in, in what we might feel as happiness, maybe not necessarily, you know, you might have achieved a really challenging goal at work. I think that feeling satisfied is different to maybe feeling happy. I know what do you think?

Al Elliott 19:47
Well, I was, I was going to give you a couple of examples. So for example, happiness, so dopamine helps you feel pleasure. So if you let’s say you’ve been craving a KFC, for example, and then you get and you have that first bite, you’d get dopamine from that. But you wouldn’t necessarily get what was the other one the satisfaction, one serotonin, you wouldn’t necessarily get serotonin unless you felt like satisfied. So So for example, if you’ve got a project at work, then it might be really hard work, it might be really stressful. But when it’s finished, you have this serotonin, because you feel satisfaction. You might not necessarily have got any dopamine during that project. But you still have this satisfaction. Is that right?

Speaker 1 20:30
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So it’s all these kind of chemicals working together to give us I guess, what would be the overarching positive state or positive state of emotions, but would we nesto call that happiness and that again, is that is subjective as well as net? So yeah, so yeah, serotonin may will play a role. And then next we have oxytocin. So oxytocin produces feelings of love, love and connection.

Al Elliott 20:54
Oh, so you’d have oxytocin at Burning Man, you’d have actually oxytocin. If you did MDMA, you do not do MDMA? That’s not a good idea. You’d have you’d feel that when you’re back with your family at Christmas, or you’re out with your partner or having it in a beautiful meal. Is that the sort of thing?

Leanne Elliott 21:15
Yeah, absolutely. And typically, as well, this is where a lot of the arguments happen in around around sex as well. Oxytocin is one of the main chemicals that it’s released in, in women, when we when we engage with a sexual partner, which is why we feel this sense of connection. Whereas for males, the male brain is actually much more endorphins, which is our next chemical that is released. And that basically triggers positive feelings when you do something that you enjoy. So not necessarily your sense of connection, but it’s that kind of is that kind of rush that you that people may get when they’re doing something that they enjoy.

Al Elliott 21:52
Okay, so these four, I’m looking down, looking down in the notes, I’ve just made these for our dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. So shall we just go through a work example and see if we can apply those four to a work scenario. So we’re talking about someone who is they’re a coder, because that’s, that’s relatively easy to get out. So you’re building a piece of software or an app or something like that. So your dopamine will give you pleasure when guessing when you’re planning it out. And you’re, in fact, envisaging what the actual app is going to do and how cool it’s going to be. That will be dopamine,

Leanne Elliott 22:26
I think that might be more serotonin. Because I think dopamine is very much pleasure is that feeling of indulgence, that’s gonna get to raise dopamine, perhaps a little bit more. Whereas serotonin is that sense of satisfaction, maybe that feeling of importance, because you’re doing important work, or you feel that you’re the only competent person to do said work, or the endorphins, because you’re actually engaging in a task that you really enjoy?

Al Elliott 22:50
That makes sense. And so in the work environment, then, so this idea of oxytocin, which produces feelings of love and connection, Is that inappropriate in a work environment? Or is that like part of a team to, to get that from part of a team?

Speaker 1 23:03
Absolutely, yeah, when you know, love and connection aren’t always romantic or sexual. They can be you know, those relations that we have with friends that we have with people that we respect, that we have this sense of belonging, our work, people who believe in the same things that that we do, that is very much gonna get to increase our levels of oxytocin.

Al Elliott 23:22
So we’ve got these four chemicals, I think I understand them. What’s the difference between happiness and well being you said at the beginning that that one’s a state, but you didn’t really go into what wellbeing was?

Leanne Elliott 23:34
Yeah, so they can they can coexist. So happiness is a positive emotion. And positive emotions are a construct of wellbeing. Typically, people who have high levels of well being feel positive emotions more frequently. But for example, you could be experiencing positive wellbeing in every aspect of your life and a close family member dies, you’re gonna feel unhappiness in that in that moment in that state, does that detrimental is that detrimental to your well being? Not necessarily, if it is, if it is just, you know, a temporary state of emotions that you’re feeling because of the context of the trauma that you’re experiencing? So wellbeing is a bit more multifaceted, positive emotions are a part of well being when our relationships positive relationships are a big part of well being. We know that engagement and what we’re doing in terms of our social connections, or work connections, that sense of meaning and purpose and accomplishments, feeling that we are we are achieving the goals that we set out to do a really positive for our well being as well. So well being is a bit more multifaceted, and we can Yeah, we can that we can be unhappy and experience positive wellbeing, and probably have bad well being overall and experience short periods of happiness. For example, when you go on holiday from a job that you really dislike, you aren’t hugely happy on holiday, is that reflected in your well being maybe not

Al Elliott 24:59
really good. example really good example. So is the argument that we should be striving for wellbeing, rather than happiness?

Leanne Elliott 25:09
Yeah, because happiness is a state it is it is it is going to come and is going to go and it is going to peak. And it’s going to trough and it is gonna very much depend on many different factors. It’s not a destination, it is something that we experience in a moment, and it will come and go, well being is something that is part of our makeup, part of our fulfillment with all aspects of our life, and probably the biggest influence in terms of our, our overall mental health, in terms of nurturing our well being, whether it be psychological, social, financial, etc. So, so yeah, happiness, the pursuit of happiness, I think is maybe over simplified, and I guess in the media overhyped. And I think my concern is when you hear people say, Oh, when I achieve that, I’ll be happy. Once I get that pay rise, I’ll be happy. And yes, you might be for a period of time, but it is a state happiness is is not a destination.

Al Elliott 26:11
So in terms of teams, so when leading a team, you’re leading a team and you, you should be much more cognizant of your team’s well being than actually their happiness. That’s what we’re striving for as leaders. Is that right? Yeah. And

Leanne Elliott 26:30
I think this is also I’ve had clients say to me, you know, well, of course, I want my team to be happy. But it’s just not realistic, because we’re going to have fluctuating workloads and periods of stress. And that’s not that’s not the pursuit, in terms of that’s why we don’t talk about happiness at work, we talk about well being at work, because there are many different different elements to well being that can maintain our sense of resilience during these periods where we may be unhappy. So So yeah, in terms of work context, I wouldn’t necessarily worry about your people being happy. But I would absolutely worry about them having positive well being.

Al Elliott 27:04
So can we increase? So if we if we assume that we’ve nailed the well being and everyone’s happy? Sorry, that’s a bad that goes, if we assume that we’ve nailed the well being, then can we actually increase the happiness is there some kind of dial that we can, we can dial up to increase the happiness?

Leanne Elliott 27:21
This has been the main focus of the research, and there are a lot of psychologists who don’t believe happiness can be increased. And that is a pocket of, of psychologists that believe that it can, and they quote, various different data, things, some of which are a little bit controversial. So some studies have shown that in general, these are generalizations from the data that have shown that typically, married people are happier. There is also some research that shows that having children can have a small effect on happiness, but it’s actually negative. Some people without children tend to be happier, interesting. And in terms of finances, as well, we see a huge difference in the happiness of people who are from low economic backgrounds. Compared to people who aren’t about 50 to 90,000 pounds a year, it is exponential the difference, you know, if you’re earning 5000 per year, compared to 50,000 per year, what we’ve kind of found though, is after 90 upwards, there is no impact on happiness. Do you

Al Elliott 28:25
mean there’s no impact and happiness as in if you’ve got three groups of three people standing in front of you, one who’s on 20,000 a year? One is on 60,000, a year, which is between that 50 and 90 that range you talked about and one and 120? Do you mean that there is no increase in happiness between the 60,000 and the 120, or the difference between the one on 20,000 and 120,000,

Leanne Elliott 28:46
there will be a huge difference in happiness between the person who’s on 20,000 pounds, compared to the person who’s on 50 And the person that’s on 150. There will be some difference between the person who is earning 50,000 A year and 150,000 a year, there will be basically zero difference between anybody earning 150,000 pound a year, or somebody who is earning 2 million pounds a year.

Al Elliott 29:08
Interesting. Now, I’ve heard this anecdotally, particularly on Twitter, where I follow a lot of people who are very successful. And yeah, a lot of people particularly Alex, Herr mosey, who is one of my heroes, not just for the beard, but he’s just amazing. And he says it’s a game. In fact, his entire podcast is called the game. He says money is a game because once you get over a certain period of time, it’s the amount of money you’re earning. You are playing a game to get more and it’s just like being in a casino. It’s not that you need more money. He doesn’t need to another 1010 20 30 million this year. It’s his game plan. And it’s how he gets his dopamine, I’m guessing and his serotonin is by playing the game for dopamine and serotonin by getting another 10 million which he doesn’t really know what to do with but it doesn’t matter because he’s played the game and he’s won.

Leanne Elliott 29:56
Yeah, and I think this is also where we can we can see leaders Is or politicians, especially recently, given the cost of living crisis, falling into this trap of not not really understanding or empathizing with the impact it’s having on people who are on lower salaries. So I think it was Rishi Sunak, the UK Prime Minister, who has a right to that, and said something like, I’m not particularly political and voted for all the different parties in the UK. But it was just, it was just a bad it was more of a PR bad move. He said something like that people need to hold their nerve with a cost of living crisis. And basic this will pass hold your nerve, and I saw a woman phone up a radio show that actually, Rishi Sunak was, um, I said, you say to hold my nerve, I find that incredibly patronizing. For somebody who is actually a billionaire, Rishi Sunak isn’t a human is his wife? Because, you know, how do I hold my nerve? I can’t afford to buy my kids shoes, because I’ve grown up that last one’s How can I hold my nerve, and I’m not eating two meals a day, so I can feel my child? How can I hold my nerve, where I’m having to sit in the cold, because I can’t afford to put the heating on. I think the difference is because there is such a difference in terms of the experiences and the happiness and the positive emotions that we feel in compared to, as you said that 5000 per year to 50,000 per year, somebody who is in that state of my happiness isn’t increasing, the more money I earn, therefore, money doesn’t equal happiness is massively over generalizing that to people who are and that may be 50,000. Plus, at that level, money doesn’t equal happiness. But if you’re having to make sacrifices to your quality of life, and the what you can provide your children, then yes, that is going to make a massive difference to your sense of not only well being but your state of happiness.

Al Elliott 31:43
Can I ask you then, because I have this, I know people who have got all the protective boxes of of all the happiness, but they’re still miserable bastards. And it seems that no matter how much money they earn, how many friends they’ve got, they’re just always moaning. So is it a genetic thing? Is it a condition conditioning from when you’re a childhood was taught me through

Speaker 1 32:10
nature nurture, often a big debate? And the answer is always it’s a little bit of both. But yeah, a lot of research has has shown, and which is why psychologists a lot psychologists think that we can’t really influence happiness, is that it is genetic. They kind of almost believe that we have this baseline of happiness that we’re born with. And regardless of what we experience in our lives, particularly positively negatively might be a little bit different, as we’ve discussed already, but particularly positively, it won’t necessarily increase or if it will, it will increase for a short period of time, and then it will go back to its its kind of its normal level. So for example, if I get a new job, and might be like, ooh, and I feel really happy for a couple of weeks, and then I go back to my base level of happiness, or I get a new car, or I buy a new pair of shoes. And that’s often why these materialistic things are seen with more fleeting states of happiness. Because we will we’ll see happiness levels go back to that normal, that normal range quite quickly. And it’s actually called the it’s been coined the hedonic treadmill, where we are constantly in this, this pursuit of these highs that never never really last that long. So the argument is that, yes, it is largely genetic and miserable people. It’s just they were just born that way.

Al Elliott 33:27
Fair enough. And I think, I mean, a couple of things that I used to do is, when I was a kid, I was probably like, 2021, I went on a Tony Robbins seminar where you will cross the coals, and you chant and then and then he makes sure that you, whilst you’re in some good hypnotic state tells you about the next seminar, you can sign up for which I don’t quite know how I felt about that. But also, I’ve read lots of lots of books on success, happiness, all that kind of think some of the key things I learned was things like when someone says, How are you our typical British way of responding say, not bad, which suggests that or not too bad, which suggests that Oh, is really bad, but it’s not as bad as it you know, as it could be. And so I made a conscious effort for about a year of saying, Yeah, good. And I know I came across a bit of a tip when I first started doing this, because I was probably a little bit too emphatic about good. But now when someone asked me, I’m like, how are you? It never occurs to entertain not too bad. I would say, Yeah, good. All the things like, I never I used to think I want this, I used to do my mood boards and say, I’m gonna have a helicopter in our house and all that. And then when I turned sort of 2829, I was like, I don’t want any of this shit. I don’t, I just want to be able to go to the cash point and make sure there’s 50 euros that I can take out and go and buy whatever I want. I don’t need like, well, there’s millionaires. So I kind of like felt like I trained myself. Now is that because you think as a psychologist that I was naturally probably pretty happy. And this is how helped? Or do you think that naturally I could have been pessimistic. But this has actually brought me up to a happiness level? psychologize? Me Leon?

Leanne Elliott 35:08
Yeah. So what the thing about happiness is that it’s not only subjective to us as individuals, but it’s relative. Right? So there’s actually some research that was that was done. And it’s basically framing. And that’s why reframing is a really popular technique in therapy and encouraging. So research found that if you asked a person to rate their happiness on a scale of one to five, just just that’s the first question you ask them, then you ask them to rate their love life on a scale of one to five, you ask them to rate how well their career is going on a scale of one to five, you asked them to rate how, how happy they are with their children, basically another another aspect of life. What the researchers found was that the higher you rated that other thing, whether it be work, family, friends, health dating, if you rated that highly, and were then asked to rate your level of happiness, you would rate that level of happiness higher, because you’ve given yourself an anchor point for how your life was currently currently feeling, or how you’re experiencing your current life. So by saying, I’m good, you’re reframing that you are good by things like you know, gratitude journals are three things that I’m grateful for exactly the same thing. Three things that I’m grateful for, therefore, how happy Am I what you’re basically doing is you’re training your brain to be appreciative. And in terms of the relative pneus of happiness, give yourself a little boost that, you know, compared to perhaps other days, I am feeling more happy today.

Al Elliott 36:37
So the little sneaky entrepreneur is thinking that if I was to do some kind of I’ve made up a survey for my employees, which please don’t do that. Because use something, use something out there. That’s good. Lian. Now I’ve got one, which you can email us, and we’ll tell you all about the RX seven. But this isn’t an advert for that. So if I was making up a survey, and I wanted to get good results, then I might start that survey, personalize it for each one of the 20 people and start the question based on something I know they’re pretty happy about. So I might say, five of them. I know they’re happily married. So how would you rate your marriage one to five? And then ask them about their job? And that’s going to skew the results upwards?

Leanne Elliott 37:14
Potentially, yeah, I mean, it might be weird to ask your employees about how happy they are in their marriage. But you could, for example, say if you just given everybody around a bonuses, you could say, you know, how happy with your financial financial payback right now? Or, for example, if you just had a team that has won a new contract in? So yeah, reframing the the entire survey by starting with questions, you know, again, to have positive sentiment, could may well increase your overall employee engagement and happiness ratings,

Al Elliott 37:47
which we don’t want, because that’d be artificially inflated. Is that right? Or not?

Leanne Elliott 37:52
Yeah. It would be it’s not necessarily a reflective picture. It’s kind of like, you know, I’ve had I’ve had clients say to me, Oh, we won’t, we’ll, we’ll leave the engagement survey Until next month, because we had a really bad month. We don’t want that to kind of tank tennis I, yeah, I get it. Because the same could be true, you know, the same, the same, the same effect will happen in reverse. If you you know, the better people’s dating lives were, the happier they were, the worse it was, the unhappy they were. So it would work the other way. But I guess it’s kind of my point of view is like, if you can, if you know, the worst case scenario like this as bad as it could possibly be, then you’ve kind of got the information, you need to make the changes that are going to make a positive impact, isn’t it. Whereas if you have this kind of false sense of everything looking better than it is, you might not be as motivated to, to change it and I say, have a false false impression of, of what is actually going on.

Al Elliott 38:47
So we talked about wellbeing as something in your team’s in your company’s well being is really, really important. Is it down to the leader? Is it the leaders responsibility to increase happiness? Do you think?

Speaker 1 39:01
I don’t think it’s the responsibility of the leader to increase happiness because I think that’s almost impossible to do in terms of an emotion necessarily, but I think it is the leaders responsibility to create an environment that will promote positive wellbeing. So what I mean by that is there is always going to be an individual element to well being and happiness. We know that internalizing these achievements can journalizing achievements helps us overcome feelings of impostor syndrome, internalizing positive emotions or reframing experiences. For example, like bankruptcy, you know, you reframe that experience entirely. And now you describe it as one of the best things that ever happened to you. That in itself builds optimism and hope for the future because you’ve experienced things change. That in itself is those feelings hope, optimism, self efficacy, which is like confidence and resilience that makes up a psychological capital, which is almost like our inner vitual psychological armor against the shit that is thrown thrown at us in this life, if we can work to reframe negative into positive if we can work to internalize our achievements, and if we can work to, to internalize the positive things happen to us and understand that relative happiness, then that will boost our psychological capital, and that will boost our individual feelings of psychological well being. What that will be absolutely pointless for is if I work in a toxic environment with very high workloads with a boss who doesn’t support me, with no career prospects with terrible pay with inequity, bullying, discrimination, it’s kind of like you remember when Sally said, you know, if all the fish in the lake are dying, you’re not going to blame the fish. And it’s the kind of the same thing like, it’s, there is no point investing is why we get this backlash in terms of wellness, washing, or resilience training, there’s no point in building the the psychological capital capital of the individual, if the organization is toxic, because it’s not gonna, you know, it’s like, it’s like, like we said before, it’s like using a plastic for a broken arm, like it’s just not an effective solution. So I don’t think you can have one without the other. But in terms of, of control, and influence, in terms of leaders, there are always going to be elements beyond your control within the personal life, or, or the psychological makeup of the people you employ, where their state of emotions is going to change over time, regardless of how good or bad their work situation is. So I think for leaders, it’s What can I can control, I can’t control how happy my employees are necessarily, but I can control the environment that is likely to result in positive well being and therefore positive emotions, including happiness.

Al Elliott 41:55
Lovely, loving, when you explain things that it’s I just, I just get it. And I hope I hope the listeners do too. Because I think from a psychological point of view, you could make this quite complicated by saying, well, ultimate at owl in 1956 said some seven you don’t you go, this is how it is. And I love that I have a situation that I read a scenario read on Reddit. And I don’t know whether this was a good thing or a bad thing that this boss did. So essentially, let’s just call this person Kevin. So Kevin had a really bad day. I don’t know why I didn’t go into why I had a bad day, but I’m guessing it was a work related problem. So he was a boss sent him home a bit early. While this Kevin is commuting home boss lifts the phone speaks to Kevin’s wife and says okay, look, you know, Kevin, Kevin’s coming home a bit early didn’t seem like he had a great day. Again, I’m not sure how you feel about that. But But what I’d like to do is I’ve booked you a table at your favorite restaurant, I’ve paid for your meal. And I’ve also paid for your favorite bottle of wine. I’ve also found my babysitter can come around, look after your kids. She’ll be there after six. Your tables booked five by seven. So when he gets home, we just rush him off to this restaurant and go and get and everything’s paid for now. Part of me went Oh, that’s really nice. The apartment went Oh, I wonder what Leanne would think of that. Is that a sticky plaster? Or is that just throw money at the problem? Thoughts?

Leanne Elliott 43:16
I’m gonna throw that back to you as an experienced smartening coach. If you have an employee who is it was either, you know, either you’re observing unhappy feelings or more negative behaviors or said to you, I’m really struggling. What would you do?

Al Elliott 43:38
Then typical reply to I’m struggling is probably probably to try and fix the struggle. When you’ve been a Samaritan or anyone who’s learned the art of listening like we have, then you tend to go in what way? Are you struggling? What are the key problems here? What are the opportunities as a big corporation mean like SWOT analysis if your problems, but you tend to look at it as if, tell me more about how you’re feeling about this as opposed to let’s approach and fix this problem. So you make I think you’re alluding to the point that I that as a leader, I should be talking to him about why his day was bad and why he reacted a certain way rather than just trying to solve the problem with a steak and a bot McEntee?

Leanne Elliott 44:25
Yeah, it’s getting the whole isn’t it that empathy is is you know, it’s it’s it’s having a conversation with somebody and going Yeah, that sounds a bit shit. Actually. Tell me a bit more about that. I think without diving into that, how do you know that your solution is even going to be effective. Maybe this person is really unhappy because he’s going through a divorce with his wife. So funny, his wife and take them out for dinner ain’t gonna be great. Maybe they’re having health problems and or they have IBS. They’re going out for a rich meal as a last thing in the world that they need. Maybe they’re experiencing having anxiety. So being in social situations in public is, is they’re really struggling with that. So thanks for a busy restaurant isn’t going to be helpful. I think there is this, this misconception that by giving somebody, an experience of pleasure is going to necessarily result in happiness. And happiness and pleasure are not the same things at all, as we know, even just from our brain chemistry, they’re not the same things. So I think throwing things like that at people, I’m not sure being very effective, I’m not sure it’ll be greatly appreciated by the person going through that. And I think you’re probably going to be wasting your money and potentially losing a bit of trust. I think if you have that scenario, then focus more on what is going on with that person. It’s a bit like when we’re talking to Jason from headspace, and wellbeing. 2.0, he said, you know, as a manager, you don’t, you don’t take accountability for the problem or the solution. And I think it’s the same scenario there. And of course, you want to try and make it better. And, you know, you hear stories of people sending employees on holiday, because they’ve had a particularly stressful period of time. And I think it’s really saying, you know, what does that somebody actually need in that moment, and I think if somebody is struggling, that might not be the best thing. I don’t know, maybe maybe there are people listening out there who are experiencing burnout at the moment who are on holiday, and then maybe start to come to this realization that actually, this isn’t, this isn’t going to be the fix. This is going to give a bit of pleasure and a bit of happiness in that that emotional state will be more positive for a finite period of time, but it’s probably not going to solve the problem.

Al Elliott 46:36
Yeah, and I suppose the other aspect you just made me think of while he was explaining all that was that there is also then potentially a reciprocation like the person who’s Kevin, who’s had been bought this meal, you can’t go in then the next day and go, I’m still depressed. I’m still having a you know, shit day. He has to go the next day going, Oh, thank you so much. That was so amazing. Oh, I feel so much better, even if he doesn’t, because otherwise, he’s gonna look ungrateful. And so I can see that. Yeah, I can see all the bad parts of that as well as the nice idea behind it. But yeah, okay, interesting, even if you really simplify

Leanne Elliott 47:13
it to the point where, where that, you know, a boss did that in this person without his wife, and they had an amazing night and amazing meal, everything was great. Actually, it’s because work was a bit rubbish that this person isn’t happy. They had a brilliant night, loved it, huge, you know, huge doses of happiness and pleasure in that state was was brilliant. And they wake up the next day, and they go to work. And if they still the same, they’ll come back to that, that base level again. So it’s not going to, you know, do you appreciate that one day of event or one evening of indulgence and pleasure? Of course you do. Has it fundamentally changed? How happy I am in my job? No.

Al Elliott 47:53
Interesting. So we’ve already identified that happiness isn’t something that leaders necessarily should be trying to bring to their, their teams, it should be more about the level of well being. But so in that case, then should leaders even care about happiness? Is that important?

Leanne Elliott 48:09
I think leaders should care about happiness and positive well being. But that is kind of the outcome, isn’t it? Like singing? Or should leaders care about being profitable, of course, but caring about being profitable is not going to make a profitable business, you need to take action to deliver that profitability. So I think it’s a similar thing with employees, if you want to improve well being or happiness, you need to take action to improve those levels. And it is those things that you can control. And that is, as we’ve talked about, before, now RX seven, you have reason, what is the mission of your company? And how does that translate into individual roles within your business? What are the relationships? Like? How are you training your managers to support people during periods of, of high stress, in terms of professional development? What support you’re giving people there? In terms of resilience? How are you helping people build their psychological capital? And often that is about rest and recovery? How are we making sure that people are taking appropriate breaks, they’re able to disconnect from their work. These are all things within the work environment that we can control. And we can change and we can make better. And these are the things that we know, through research, and through lots and lots of data translates to more positive feelings of wellbeing, fulfillment, employee engagement, and from a business perspective, more revenue, more profit, happier customers, lower attrition, lower retention, lower absenteeism. It is just good for business too. I think, should I care if my people are happy? Yes. But in terms of your world of control, happiness, is it worth remembering that happiness and well being is the outcome?

Al Elliott 49:41
Interesting. Okay. So any sort of closing thoughts on this tools, techniques, reserve resources?

Leanne Elliott 49:49
Yeah, so I so I guess the I know, it’s a typical kind of psychology thing, isn’t it? Can we increase happiness? Yeah, maybe kind of It depends. We can and there are things that have been And Sharon, to to improve our happiness, our state of happiness throughout the day. So I’ve got a few that may be you might want to think about in terms of of your organizational structure in terms of your individual practice. And here’s the first one for you out commuting. Does commuting make us happy? I doubt it. Now, it does not. Although, actually, that’s not true. The answer is, as always, it depends what makes us really unhappy as long commutes. So we know that long commutes are associated with lower job satisfaction, lower the lower levels of well being increased strain, and poor mental health, we know that long commutes have really not very good for our sense of happiness. But what we have found through the research is that shorter commute times particularly if we were able to walk to our to wherever it is, we’re going to our place of work than that is associated with improved psychological well being and happiness.

Al Elliott 51:00
Interesting. And that does make sense. Because, yes, if you’re commuting for an hour and a half each day into central London, that can’t be much for never done it, but can’t be much fun. But at the same time, we work from home, and there’s no real commute for us. So there’s no opportunity to listen to a podcast or listen to music, or just get out of the house a little bit. I’ve heard of people who work from home, who have an office, and they actually have like a front door key for the office, and they walk out their front door back in through the back door and then go to their key and open up their office, just because they have that little commute. So that makes perfect sense to me. Yeah. And

Leanne Elliott 51:31
that’s actually what the research found that it’s having this this allocated leisure time or learning time it’d be as you’re listening to a podcast or listening your favorite radio show or, or music. Yeah, so I think there’s two, two things to bear in mind. If you are thinking Hmm, how can I help my employees have a more positive commute, as I’m asking them to be in the office for for a certain period of time, I think there are two things. One, bear in mind that again, if you have a toxic workplace culture, everything is going to shit, helping up with our commute, and really going to do much what the research shows is that everything needs to be controlled. So if everything is is good at home, everything is going to work financially, we’re stable, then our commute time will have an impact on our happiness. Otherwise, it’s fairly, fairly minimal. And I think the second thing really is just to talk to people about it, you know, it is what causes a stress run, commuting is the length of time, the busyness the cost, as we know from our neurodiversity episodes, for certain people traveling at certain times a day can be very, very stressful. So it’s things like Will it make a difference to my team member, if they start work at 10, they will do 10 Six, and so nine, five, because that gives them periods of time where they can commute? Will it be better for them to work at home on certain days, when it’s not as when they’re the kind of the busy times for commute or in terms of cost? So for example, if you’ve got somebody you’ve just recalled back into the office, they’re getting the bus into work, because the tram is two quid more a day, and it adds an hour to their journey. I mean, is that a big investment? Maybe, you know, 10 pound a week, on a on a member of staff to have their commute time and potentially increase their happiness? I think it’s worth a conversation. What do you think? Yeah,

Al Elliott 53:12
totally agree. That makes perfect sense. And it all comes down to this idea of having conversations with people. And it’s such an arrogant point of view, if you as a leader think, Oh, I know what the problem is, is commuting. So let me fix it by giving everyone extra 10 pounds a month, or 10 pound a week or something. The commute the commute could be the favorite point of someone’s day because they get away from their family, or they get away from their wife or husband or partner. It’s just individualization. And just don’t assume you know the answer to the problem, learn more about the problem. What else you got Lee,

Leanne Elliott 53:47
random acts of kindness. This is a very viral thing, I think, isn’t it at the moment, and, and has been for a long time, and certainly something that a lot of organizations, I think are adopting random acts of kindness. It is it is a really powerful way of improving our happiness, our brain chemistry changes when we engage in random acts of kindness. And what’s interesting is that actually, it seems to have a bigger effect on on the giver of the kindness rather than the person that receives the kindness, it increased our serotonin, oxytocin, or dopamine changes. So yeah, these things have scientifically been shown to increase our state of happiness to give us a little spike, which is really nice. Again, of course, this is all this is all comes from positive psychology. And what positive psychology means is we’re starting at a really nice, comfortable level of mental health and well being. And we’re talking about how we could go from surviving to thriving, how we can kind of put that cherry on top of the well being cake, and a lovely cherry is random acts of kindness. Again, if you’re coming from a place of deficit, random acts of kindness are not going to have the same, the same impact and the same effect. So again, and I think this isn’t there isn’t a silver bullet is not a case of oh, I will really improve my workplace culture by introducing random acts of kindness. But my staff can’t get a GP appointment for four months, and they’re really struggling. You know, I mean, relative, am I ever laboring this point now, not at

Al Elliott 55:14
all. I’m a huge fan of that. And we’ve done this before we start when we were sitting in Belgrade, in Serbia. And we saw a couple who remind us a little bit I think of us when we were first dating, although they’re a bit younger, I think maybe in very early 20s. And you could see that they brought a bottle of wine. And you could see that the way that they were handling it was show they’ve got so much respect for this wine. And so he was like, the, you know, pouring a little bit for her. She was tasting it, they were talking about it, it wasn’t just that old, Blanc, there we go Bosh. And, and so when we paid, we asked if we could pay for this couple’s wine as well. And then we left because we didn’t want the reciprocation, we didn’t want to go up and go, thank you so much, we just left. And I like to think maybe they’re really angry, I don’t know. But I like to think that someone’s gone. I was really nice. And they’re not around, and, oh, maybe they’ve done a random act of kindness. And I know for a fact that improved improve our day to day was really great. But that made us happy all day. And I thought about that quite a lot since then. And I hope it brought them but happiness,

Leanne Elliott 56:15
that’s the the interesting thing about happiness is that it can be retrospective. So recalling a memory like that will give you a boost of serotonin and will increase your your levels of happiness, what else you got the So finally, a little exercise I’ve mentioned before vitals, this, again, is based on sacrament and positive psychology. So these are vitals, the first one is values. So basically, if you values are in alignment with the organization you work with, then that is gonna have a positive impact on your happiness and your well being. The opposite of that is it can lead to what is called Moral burnout. So if your values are misaligned with the organization you work for, it will have a detrimental impact. So understanding your values is a really important way of assessing I guess how a job might be suited to you how an environment might be suited for you, and leaders making sure that those values are really clearly stated. And as we know from last week, and acted, the second value vital is interests. So this is making sure that our interests are being fueled. So this might be something that leaders can’t necessarily control. But for example, there are lots of people who might have certain interest in charitable organizations or in volunteering or interest in terms of sports, you might have a sports club or at work, basically, making sure that our interests are being fulfilled is really a part of an important part of our well being, then we have temperament. So this is really kind of about how typically, our emotions are sort of typically I’m a pessimistic person, then you might not want to put me in a role where I’m very customer facing and need to be happy and jolly all the time. And similarly, if I am very quick to anger, you might not want to put me in the complaints department. There’s lots of different things like that. So really understanding kind of our typical emotions and, and how we how our temperaments are, can help us understand the types of environments we’re likely to thrive in a is around the clock. And this is kind of just what does our perfect day look like. So if you are a morning person, getting to work at seven o’clock, and leaving at three might be your absolute dream, because that’s when you’re at your best and you perform at your best. On the other hand, it might be that you you suffer with insomnia, which is a very common affliction for people who are neurodiverse. Therefore, being more of a, a later afternoon evening person, you’re going to be much more productive and effective in your work. So understanding kind of how you like to operate, the time within your day can be really helpful, then we have life goals, it’s about making sure that our current environment or our current context, current role, is actually aligned with what we want to achieve more, more generally, in our life, what this is really kind of thinking about this broadly as well. So I’ve talked to some coaches who are looking for new roles about this. And if one of their life goals is to have a family, then it is case of we’ll look at the maternity and paternity policies of the organization you’re going to because that’s going to reflect how much they value family. And is that lifeguard aligned to the environment that you can be working in. So you can think about that kind of a bit of outside the box as well. And then finally, strengths. What am I good at? What do I enjoy? What do I I want to be doing with my time? How do I want to leverage the things that I’m good at? And the idea is from a positive positive psychology perspective, if our vitals are in alignment, if they are being served, and of course, they can’t all be be met 100% all the time. But if the majority of them aren’t, we are much more likely to experience happiness. If our vitals are completely misaligned, and not being served by the environment that we’re in. We’re very likely to experience how stress and potentially burnout. Yeah, so it’s based on a model by Seligman but it was Dr. Audrey Tang, who used this exercise in her book, the Leaders Guide to resilience

Al Elliott 1:00:01
fabulous. So I hope we’ve comprehensively covered happiness. Is there anything we’ve left out? Lee?

Speaker 1 1:00:07
I think the last thing I would say is that happiness is definitely something that can be I believe it can be increased. But I think it’s more a case of mindset and a mindset that can be trained like you were saying before. And I think a really useful thing to do as a leader is to think about reframing. I know we’ve used that that term a lot. And reframing is really kind of taking in some of the, that initially use you perceived as negative. And trying to reframe that as the opportunity and that is might be somebody leaving your organization, how can you reframe that as an opportunity, could it be to shake up a team to bring in new talent to potentially outsource that, that part of that role in your business to save money or improve efficiency? And I think this any you could you could approach it as a SWOT analysis, actually, that might not be a bad thing to do and quite accessible thing for business leaders can do to do that on on maybe a change that has been out of your control. As we’ve talked about before, change the external, the psychological transition we need to go through to accept the change is a much more, much slower and more labored process. So that would what I would be my my advice as well, if you’re sat on your your lounge, or maybe start to start to see if you can reframe some things that that perhaps you perceived as negative, and how they may actually be a point of opportunity.

Al Elliott 1:01:21
Absolutely. And from a personal note, I think regular listeners will know and if you’ve listened to other our other podcasts or sideways life, you’ll know that, that we live that life a little bit differently. Over the last 10 years traveled to 46 different countries, 200, Airbnbs, and hotels. What’s interesting is, we’ve been to places like Myanmar or Mayan Mar, I’m not sure how exactly how people say it. But we’ve been there. And some of the there was a fair amount of poverty, but people were generally just so happy. Same with India, whereas you go to places that are prosperous, Germany, Luxembourg, perhaps not quite the same levels of happiness. So, you know, money isn’t everything, people learn to be happy, almost regardless of what their situation is, if they decide to be happy.

Leanne Elliott 1:02:09
And my parting words would be when it comes to your happiness, or the happiness of your team, focus on the things that you can control. These are the things that are going to empower you to really take ownership of your own well being and mental health and, and ultimately, happiness, focus on the things that you can control. The rest is just noise.

Al Elliott 1:02:30
I love it, we come up with an idea called the the ellipse of give a shit hurry. And you get these two Venn diagrams. And one of them is things you control you can control one of them is things that you care about. And then that little bit in the middle of the ellipse in the middle. That is the only thing you should be thinking about on a daily basis because you might care about the environment. But if you can’t control it directly, don’t worry about it. Just be happy. Okay, so next week is an exciting week because if you look at our episode number, you’re gonna see next week is episode 52 means we’re doing it for 12 months. Yeah. I think Leon has arranged some, some treats and stuff for us, not for you.

Leanne Elliott 1:03:12
Just a few things to give us a hit of dopamine. I’ll give us a sense of pleasure. Maybe so some endorphins, some things that we find, find joy in that we that we enjoy to engage in which which will be suitable for YouTube.

Al Elliott 1:03:27
Yes. So we’re talking about chocolate and what sits down sounds a little bit weird anyway. So let’s leave it there. And we will see you next week for our 52nd episode our birthday. Very excited. And stay happy be happy. Bye for now. Hi.

Like this?

Join 112,000 listeners every month who get expert insights on building amazing workplace cultures!


💬 Want a chat about your workplace culture?

📣 Got feedback/questions/guest suggestions? Email

👍 Like this kinda stuff? Click here to subscribe…