Shawn Achor
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Shawn Achor

Harvard Researcher and Positive Psychology Expert

Shawn Achor shares the recent scientific breakthroughs in the study of happiness and inspires audiences to become lightning rods for change.

  
The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance

Most companies and schools follow this formula: if you work harder, you will be more successful, and then you will be happy. This formula is scientifically backward. A decade of research shows that training your brain to be positive at work first actually fuels greater success second. In fact, 75% of our job success is predicted not by intelligence, but by your optimism, social support network and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way. By researching top performers at Harvard, the world’s largest banks, and Fortune 500 companies, Shawn discovered patterns which create a happiness advantage for positive outliers—the highest performers at the company. Based on his new book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn explains what positive psychology is, how much we can change, and practical applications for reaping the Happiness Advantage in the midst of change and challenge.

Positive Genius: The Key to Raising Success, Spreading Happiness and Sustaining Positive Change

What is more important than IQ and emotional intelligence combined? Based on the research in Before Happiness, Shawn Achor takes us to the beginning of human potential to explain why some people are able to make great changes while others remain the same. Before you can make a change at work or home, your brain first constructs a picture of reality; this mental picture already determines your likelihood of success and your ability to harness your brain’s IQ, emotional and social intelligence. In this exciting talk, Shawn takes the audience to the cutting edge of positive psychology and neuroscience to clearly demonstrate how one can become a “positive genius”: one who can continually architect successful, positive realities based upon true facts then transfer those realities to others. Using his signature humor, new case studies and interactive experiments that engage the audience, Shawn makes this research come alive. Shawn illuminates new research he did in collaboration with Yale published in the top psychology journal this year showing step by step how a leader can change their mindset about stress to increase productivity by 30% and lower health problems and fatigue by 23%. Audiences leave with five clear, practical takeaways, which can immediately start to transform their life, raising both happiness and success rates. In this program, participants will learn how to navigate multiple realities at work, cancel internal and external noise, add vantage points to planning, use success accelerants to speed goal completion and use meaning markers to spread positive genius throughout a team, family and an entire organization.

Positive Leadership: Restoring a Culture of Confidence

Confidence, trust and job satisfaction are at historic lows.  When the economic collapse began, the world’s largest banks called in Shawn Achor to research how to restore confidence and forward progress.  While many managers succumb to helplessness, with their teams and clients quickly following suit, Shawn researched those who maintained high levels of success and leadership during the challenge. He found that our brains create confidence based on the belief that our behavior matters to the outcome we desire.  To develop this trust, we must create "wins" for our brain necessary to overcome learned helplessness and must train our brains for rational optimism. Based on the science of positive psychology and case studies of working with companies in the midst of an economic collapse, Shawn provides practical applications for raising the belief that individual behavior matters and helping leaders to keep teams motivated and engaged.

The Ripple Effect: How to Make Positive Change Easier

Common sense is not common action.  This is because information does not necessarily cause transformation because we require a certain level of "activation energy" to start a change. Shawn's research in the field of positive psychology has revealed how changes in our own brain due to mindset and behavior can have a ripple effect to a team and an entire organization.  This positive ripple effect can create a more productive, positive work culture making positive change easier. Audiences will learn about the latest scientific research on mirror neurons and mental priming to explain how positivity and negativity spread, case studies on how to become a lightning rod for change, and findings on how a positive ripple effect profoundly affects an organization's ability to transition and change.

Meet Shawn Achor

Shawn Achor shares the recent scientific breakthroughs in the study of happiness and inspires audiences to become lightning rods for change.

Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures in the most popular class at Harvard. In 2009 alone, Shawn was invited to lecture in 36 different countries on how positive psychology can raise happiness and performance.  His work received attention in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes and BusinessWeek.  Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, he served as Head Teaching Fellow with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar of “Positive Psychology,” a class that enrolled 1 out of every 7 Harvard undergraduates. For seven years, Shawn served as an Officer of Harvard, living in Harvard Yard studying and counseling Harvard students. Shawn now travels around the world giving talks on this research. When the economy collapsed, the world's largest banks sent Shawn on a tour of banking crisis centers to restore confidence and forward progress.  He has worked with doctors in Dubai, farmers in Zimbabwe, CEOs in Hong Kong and students in South Africa. Shawn is the author of The Happiness Advantage: How Positive Brains Raise Performance and Before Happiness: The 5 Hidden Keys to Achieving Success, Spreading Happiness and Sustaining Positive Change (September 2013), which provides actionable, proven strategies for attaining a positive lens in order to accomplish your personal and professional goals.

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