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Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change Hardcover – August 11, 2015
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"Michelle Gielan is one of the brightest stars in positive psychology and an eloquent champion for rethinking the way we communicate."
"Broadcasting Happiness is a truly exceptional book, one that will help you to be better and more effective in work and life right away."
Tom Rath, New York Times bestselling author of Strengths-Based Leadership and Eat Move Sleep
"Broadcasting Happiness is an inspiring book on radically rethinking the way we communicate with others. Michelle Gielan is a gifted storyteller, and she shares powerful science and practical insights for improving the world around us."
Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take
"Broadcasting Happiness taps into our power as individuals to lead collective positive change simply by altering the way we view and share our everyday experiences. Michelle Gielan is a transformative thought leader and her book will change the way you work, live, and look at the world around you."
Betsy Korona, Senior Producer, MSNBC
About the Author
Michelle is an executive producer of The Happiness Advantage with Shawn Achor on PBS. She formerly served as the anchor of two national newscasts at CBS News, as well as a correspondent forThe Early Show. In 2009, Michelle produced Happy Week, a series focusing on fostering happiness in the midst of the recession. In 2011, she appeared in her own weekly health and wellness segment, Manic Monday on FOX News Chicago.
Michelle graduated cum laude in computer engineering. Her research and advice have received attention fromForbes, USA Today, CNN, FOX, Huffington Post, andNPR.
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Broadcasting Happiness is everything a positive psychology book should be. Michelle summarizes sixteen years of top positive psychology research (including research published THIS year) into a fun book that is practical and incredibly useful. She weaves powerful stories throughout the book that make the learnings come alive.
Michelle brings a fresh new perspective that sets it apart from other positive psychology books. Rather than focusing solely on what you can do to make yourself happier, she also shows you how your actions can help the people around you feel happier -- your coworkers, your significant other, your family and your friends.
This former CBS national anchor integrates powerful tools from the world of broadcast journalism with the most recent research. This book will make you into your own broadcaster -- showing you how to spread positive perspectives and positive emotions with your everyday words and deeds.
In Part I, you learn how to utilize the proven tools of positive psychology to bring up the mood of people on your teams, to help them think more clearly, be more engaged and find creative solutions to problems.
In Part II, my favorite section, Michelle’s tools and fresh perspectives are at their best. She tackles the tough subjects of how to deal with negative people and how to deliver bad news. These two chapters are worth going into a bit more detail here.
Chapter 6: Strategic Retreats: Deal with Negative People. While you can choose happiness for yourself, you are also greatly affected by the emotions of others. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to work through the negative people at work without getting pulled into their emotional spirals.
1) Strategic Retreat. If you are in a conversation that is necessary but is dragging you down, it can be a brilliant time step out to recharge and plan a better way to have that conversation. This is especially useful if you are feeling depleted, the other person is caught up in strong negative emotions or you are outnumbered by negative voices.
2) Regroup. Once you are free of the negative space, you’ll want to move yourself to a more positive mindset before heading back into that discussion. Michelle gives a lot of great ideas on how to do this in the book.
3) Re-Enter. Plan a time and place that you’ll be ready for the conversation and the negative person may be in a better mood. Plan out how you are going to get what you need from the conversation while keeping the discussion on a positive path. Practice the conversation a few times before it happens so you are ready to counter the negative without falling into it. When you get what you need, move on.
Chapter 7 The Four C’s: Deliver Bad News Better. In this chapter Michelle lays out four steps for delivering bad news in constructive and compassionate ways.
1) Create Social Capital. Build relationships with your team along the way. If you’ve supported your teammates, connected with them and recognized them for their accomplishments in the good times it makes delivering the bad news easier.
2) Context. Let them know why the decisions were made and the meaning behind the decision.
3) Compassion. Express that you understand that the news is stressful or creates more work or challenge for them. Compassion is a path to connection even in unfavorable circumstances.
4) Committed. Help them develop a plan to manage the bad news and commit to do what you can to help them achieve it.
In Part 3 she again brings that broadcasting experience to the fore and teaches you how to make the most of the good things that happen. This helps generate contagious optimism to your work teams and your social network.
All in all a very helpful book that is worth the read. Go to it!
Since the concepts are pretty straightforward, it is a real testament to Michelle that Broadcasting Happiness adds a new chapter to the story by crystallizing easy and effective ways to spread optimism. The science and specific recommendations are obviously solid, but what I appreciate most is the clarity of her writing, which actively broadcasts her happiness to you as you're reading. Take lines like these:
// Your significant other might say: "We need to talk. I don't feel like there is any hope we can make this work." (And they're just talking about the microwave, not your relationship.)
How can you not crack up and smile and nod?
Everyone knows someone in their lives who could use a little optimism. I've been handing out copies of Shawn's books to friends and family like I'm a Latter Day Saint going door to door - but some people are so entrenched in their negative thought patterns that I haven't been able to effectively communicate the very real impact positive psychology has had on my life. Having read Broadcasting Happiness, I now know exactly how to get those sorts of people in the right mood to read Before Happiness, The Happiness Advantage, or The Pursuit of Perfect. :)