Tal Ben-Shahar, o famoso Professor responsável por um dos cursos mais populares da Harvard University sobre “Positive Psychology” e Felicidade, foi o orador convidado da AESE, no dia 25 de fevereiro de 2021.
Mais de 1000 participantes assistiram à intervenção em formato online, realizada no âmbito do Itinerário da Assembleia de Alumni da AESE, que terá o seu culminar a 25 de junho de 2021.
Do stress à necessidade de recuperação, Tal Ben-Shahar elaborou sobre a capacidade que o ser humano tem de gerir uma situação de esforço em benefício próprio, respeitando a sua vitalidade e auto-regulação.
O Professor acredita que é nos relacionamentos que assenta a fonte primordial de felicidade. De acordo com vários estudos apresentados, as relações interpessoais são a principal razão de felicidade, de saúde e de crescimento. Cultivá-las passa pela generosidade que cada indivíduo – pessoal e profissionalmente-, se dar, escutar e ser gentil. O efeito multiplicador é comprovável. Um líder capaz de estimular um ambiente em que cada membro da equipa se sinta seguro, capaz de fazer perguntas e aportar valor sem medo, tornará a sua empresa mais competitiva, sustentável e feliz.
A pretexto do tema “The Science of Happiness: Leadership Strategies for Success in Difficult Times“, Tal Ben-Shahar respondeu a uma entrevista da AESE:
What made you so interested about studying happiness in a business perspective, teaching it so successfully at Harvard or at Columbia Universities?
TBS: “Initially, what got me interested in studying happiness was my own unhappiness. I was doing well as an undergraduate student at Harvard, I was a top athlete, I had a well-paying job and good professional prospects—and I was unhappy. It was then that I realized that the internal matters more to one’s levels of wellbeing than the external, and it was then that I got into psychology. After studying positive psychology, and benefiting from it, I wanted to share what I learned with others.”
How can the science of Happiness help leaders inspire their teams ad business become more a successful?
TBS: “Happiness is a good investment for organizations. You see, most people believe that success will lead to happiness—and there are wrong. Their mental model is:
Success (cause) > Happiness (effect)
We know from a great deal of research that success, at best, leads to a spike in one’s happiness levels, but the spike is temporary, short-lived. But while success does not lead to wellbeing, the opposite is the case:
Success (effect) > Happiness (cause)
This is a very important finding, turning the cause-and-effect relationship around and correcting the misperception that so many people have. The reason for the above is that when we experience pleasurable emotions we are more creative, more motivated, form better relationships, and are physically healthier. Organizations should invest in their employees’ happiness as an end in itself, and also as a means toward higher profits. Happiness pays!”
What would you suggest executives and managers to help their people to learn, grow and become more strong and happy, specially nowadays?
TBS: “First, companies can help their employees identify and exercise their strengths. People who know and use their strengths are happier, more motivated, and more successful in the workplace.
Second, they provide what Harvard Professor Amy Edmondson calls Psychological Safety, which is the confidence that no member of the team would be embarrassed or punished if she spoke out, asked for assistance, or failed in a specific task. When team leaders create a climate of psychological safety, when members feel comfortable “failing” and then sharing and discussing their mistakes, all members of the team can learn and improve. In contrast, when mistakes are concealed, learning is less likely to take place, and the likelihood that errors will be repeated is higher.
Third, they encourage employees to exercise regularly. Regular physical exercise—as little as three weekly sessions of thirty minutes each—has the same effect as our most powerful psychiatric medication. The workplace will be a happier place, a more creative place, and a less stressful place if the employees started a physical exercise regime.
And finally, they encourage employees to take regular breaks during the day, and then have time to recover when they’re at home. Being “on” all the time is not helpful for the individual employee, nor for the organization. More is not necessarily better. We need to recharge our psychological batteries. Creativity and productivity actually go down when there are no times for recovery throughout the day (fifteen minutes of downtime every hour or two), week (at least one day off), and year (a real vacation once every six or twelve months).”
Taking into account all your journey, are you still a perfectionist or an optimalist? How did your self-aware helped you becoming the Tal Ben-Shahar we know today?
TBS: “I am certainly happier today than I was 30 years ago when I embarked on my journey. At the same time, I hope to be happier in five or ten years than I am today. Happiness is not an end point to be reached, but rather a journey—a journey that ends when life ends.”
No final da sessão, os Alumni da AESE e seus convidados aprofundaram alguns dos temas mencionados, colocando algumas perguntas ao orador.
Próximas sessões do Alumni Learning Program da AESE