Lessons from last week @ The Happy Workplace Conclave

I attended a session by Jennifer Hancock, Founder of Humanist Learning Systems where she shared her recipe for a happy life. Three things that she tries to live her life by (and also evangalise, as the secret to finding happiness) seemed to make a lot of sense, so I’m sharing them forward.

  1. Live life fully
  2. Love others
  3. Leave the world a better place

Lesson #1: Respect your colleagues and what they bring to the table. Live life fully in a work context is another way of embracing the thought of staying in the moment. Savoring wholeheartedly whatever you are doing. To enjoy this process and be happy at your workplace, giving respect is key.

Lesson #2: Social exclusion causes profound workplace stress. If you are not part of the ‘in gang’ you feel isolated, unproductive, unfulfilled. Mattering, matters a great deal. Love others, in a work context is making sure that everyone matters. We all want to feel like we belong. Do your bit to build a team that feels that way.

Lesson #3: Have fun problem solving. All work, in a way is about solving problems. If you can have fun doing it and connect the dots to see how what you’re doing leaves the world a better place, you will find meaning in your work.

Some parting words of wisdom that Jennifer shared were about “Proxy Problems” which brings me to the last lesson.

Lesson #4: Proxy problems, are the kind that make you take your eye off the real problem. If you don’t spend enough time and effort thinking about your problem properly, you most likely won’t solve it.

For E.g. ‘We are not hiring people fast enough’ could be the problem we are focusing on. Basis this we come up with a set of actions to solve that problem. Maybe deeper introspection could redefine the problem as ‘We are not inducting and welcoming people into our world well’. Which could have a whole different set of solutions. Both addressing the core issue of having a more stable and engaged team.

Pause for a minute and evaluate if you are currently focusing any of your energy on a proxy problem.

So, in a nutshell,

  1. Live life fully - Give respect.
  2. Love others - Make your team feel like they matter.
  3. Leave the world a better place - Embrace problems and enjoy the process of solving them.

If you want to know more about humanistic leadership log on to www.jen-hancock.com or http://humanisthappiness.blogspot.in (Humanism = Be the most ethical person you can)

This article was first published on Pulse