Thinking Happy Thoughts at Work


Employee satisfaction has hit a 22-year low. That’s how long the Conference Board has annually surveyed 5,000 households on the topic. In 1987, 61% of people reported being satisfied with their jobs and in 2005 it dropped to 52%. Today it’s 45%, sparking interest in “happiness coaching” in the workplace. According to the Wall Street Journal article below, employers are starting to hire trainers in the field of positive psychology to inspire workers to have a more positive attitude. Commonly referred to as “happiness coaches,” they may suggest the following tips for boosting office personnel and consequently office morale:

o “Write e-mails to your co-workers every day thanking them for something they have done.
o Meditate daily to clear your mind.
o Do something for somebody without expecting anything in return.
o Write in a journal about things you are thankful for;
o Look for traits you admire in people and compliment them.
o Focus on the process of your work, which you can control, rather than outcomes, which you can’t.
o And don’t immediately label events good or bad, but remain open to potentially positive outcomes of even the most seemingly negative events.”

The article also cites the following studies that indicate employees’ positive attitudes can be good for business:

o A 2004 study of 60 business teams in the journal of American Behavioral Scientist found teams with buoyant moods who encouraged each other earned higher profit and better customer-satisfaction ratings.
o A 2001 study at the University of Michigan says people who are experiencing joy or contentment are able to think more broadly and creatively, accepting a wider variety of possible actions, than people with negative emotions.

The value of coaching is also increasingly being implemented in the field of education, and to help meet the demand LifeBound offers academic coaches training twice a year in Denver, Colorado. Our training–which is attended by administrators and faculty across the country from k-12 through post secondary–is designed to boost emotional intelligence and develop leadership skills. Many of our participants who were formerly principals, teachers or counselors have been promoted to the district level after completion of our training sessions. Our next training dates are June 14, 15, and 16, 2010. For more information about LifeBound’s academic coaches training and the registration process, please call us toll free at 1.877.737.8510 or email


Thinking Happy Thoughts at Work
January 27, 2010

Like many workers, Ivelisse Rivera, a physician at Community Health Center, Middletown, Conn., feels stressed-out by mounting workloads. And she didn’t expect to get much help during her employer’s annual staff meeting last November—just the usual speeches on medical issues.

Instead, she got a big dose of something new: Happiness coaching. Keynote speaker Shawn Achor—a former Harvard University researcher and former co-teacher of one of the university’s most popular courses, Positive Psychology—extolled 90 listening employees to shake off dark moods at work by practicing such happiness-inducing techniques as meditation or expressing gratitude.

To her surprise, Dr. Rivera says, she drove home filled with thoughts about cheering up; “if I assume a negative attitude and complain all the time, whoever is working with me is going to feel the same way.”

To view this entire article visit

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3 Responses to “Thinking Happy Thoughts at Work”

  1. I loved your article, it is what I practice each day (or try to) with my staff and physicians. I have the wonderful opportunity to lectures around the U.S. and always let the medical staff I am speaking to know that they need to find their “happy thought” to keep them going. The leaders in the office or clinic need to realize what a great influence they have on those they oversee. An “up” attitude is a must and at times it is hard, but we need to reach within ourselves and remember to be thankful for each day as “life is too short to have a bad day a work”

    Thanks for the article I will pass it on.


  2. CoCo Hutchison says:

    Hello there, Carol. Greetings. I am writing to you about your coach training and certification.

    I think that you told me the 1st 3-days of DEC and JUL. Is that right??

    I would like to put this in my budget for next year. Am I able to be in the JULY class?

    What is the price and parameters that we work within, please??

    I hope you and yours are well. Carol, did you get married to the nice gent from when Christy and Terry and I were there in July/Aug 2008??

    Yes, it has been awhile. I trust all is well with you and yours. I look forward to being back with you. I am full time in the NOVA SE’s EdD program.

    I do not have any classes at Valencia right now. I was off the whole summer and loved it to pieces. Will do some parttime work this fall.

    Is this you [I have been trying to find and connect to you] = Carol Carter (303) 840-1962 3910 S Yosemite St, Denver, CO 80237-1925
    – but this is not where we came though, right, Carol?!?! – 1.877.737.8510 or email

    Take care,

    CoCo, 407 953 4176 – -cell, 407 601 0969 – -home

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