Infographic: Building Blocks of the Good Life (PERMA-V)

This is the second artwork (well…) in my self-imposed learning journey on the way to producing decent infographics. This time, I chose Martin Seligman´s PERMA framework, which, by many people, is considered to be the most comprehensive framework of “the good life”, the foundation of Positive Psychology in science and practice.

Since PERMA is not exactly hot from the presses, I added a little twist: For a couple of years now, Marty challenges his students in the Penn Master of Positive Psychology program to propose meaningful additions to the original PERMA outline (Positive Emotions | Engagement | Relationships | Meaning | Achievement). Over time, it became clear that the original framework may be somewhat “neck-up”, thereby omitting aspects such as sports, sex, sustenance, and sleep.

PERMA-V: Positive Psychology, neck-up and neck-down

Therefore, students kept asking for the letter “S” to be added – which ultimately would result in the acronym PERMAS (doesn´t sound too funky…) or SPERMA (uh-uh, not a proper name for a scientific term…). Meanwhile, there seems to be a growing mutual consent to choose the letter “V” for Vitality – and to put it at the end with a hyphen.

What do you think?

PERMA_V_Good_Life

Share and enjoy!

Want to be the Boss? Be Happy, Science says, and you´ll be a Good Leader

Happy BossFor a moment, think about a leadership person (a.k.a. boss) in your life that you really liked working for. How could that person be described, what kind of personality did he/she convey? Was he/she more the grumpy moaner – or rather an upbeat “Sunday´s child”?

Turns out that this question is not only about likeability but also about leadership effectiveness. In a recent meta-analysis* published in The Leadership Quarterly titled Is a happy leader a good leader? A meta-analytic investigation of leader trait affect and leadership, Dana L. Joseph and her colleagues found that – broadly speaking – happier leaders also tend to be more effective leaders. In the words of Joseph and her colleagues:

Our analyses show that leader trait affectivity, particularly leader trait positive affect, plays a significant role in predicting leadership criteria.

A happy boss is a good boss.

They also find that the relationship between leader happiness and effectiveness may not be a direct one. Rather, it seems that happy bosses predominantly engage in a special leadership style that has been coined transformational leadership. As opposed to more traditional leadership styles (telling people what to do and controlling them; management by objectives etc.), transformational leadership, according to Joseph et al., consists of the following dimensions:

  • idealized influence, or the extent to which a leader displays conviction and behaves in a way that causes followers to identify with him/her;
  • inspirational motivation, which involves communicating optimism and challenging followers to meet high standards;
  • intellectual stimulation, or the extent to which a leader takes risks, challenges assumptions, and encourages follower creativity;
  • and individualized consideration, which is characterized by follower mentoring, attending to follower needs, and listening to follower concerns.

Now, does that sound like the behavior of a boss we´d all like to work for? My answer is a clear yes. And it predominantly starts with that person´s happiness.

* A special type of study that statistically aggregates previous study results to provide an overview of a specific branch of research.

7 Research Articles linking Happiness and Subjective Wellbeing to Performance and Success Measures

One of the most stunning ideas from the field of Positive Psychology is that happiness (and other forms of positive affect) are not only a consequence, but also a prerequisite for success and performance in organizations. Yet, to be honest, the empirical evidence is still very scarce. Especially the link between employee happiness and performance on the organizational level is still uncharted territory to a great extent. Yet, some things are out there – here´s a little compilation for you.

  1. The benefits of frequent positive affect: does happiness lead to success
  2. Happiness at work
  3. The moderating role of employee positive well being on the relation between job satisfaction and job performance
  4. Psychological well-being and job satisfaction as predictors of job performance
  5. The Happy-Productive Worker Thesis Revisited
  6. On the role of positive and negative affectivity in job performance: A meta-analytic investigation
  7. Well-being and organizational performance: An organizational-level test of the happy-productive worker hypothesis

Happiness_Success

5 recent Positive Psychology Books taking a very special Angle on the Subject

By now, there are hundreds (or probably thousands…) of books on Positive Psychology. Most of them are general introductions to the subject or books focusing on the use of Positive Psychology in organizations (please see the general and organizational book lists on Mappalicious).

So today, I compiled a list of recent publications that looks a little different. All the books look at Positive Psychology from a very distinct and special angle. Enjoy!

 

Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener look at the positive value of our negative emotions, thereby challenging the assumption that Positive Psychology is all about seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.

http://www.amazon.com/Upside-Your-Dark-Side-Self–Drives/dp/1594631735/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422713137&sr=1-1

 

Kate Hefferon sheds light on the role of the body in Positive Psychology, thereby filling a gap in the extant literature that mostly focuses on the psychological side of things.

http://www.amazon.com/Positive-Psychology-Body-Somatopsychic-Flourishing/dp/0335247717/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Rafael Calvo and Dorian Peters show us the (near) future of technology, where smartphones and wearables, together with the appropriate applications, will help to foster and sustain human well-being.

http://www.amazon.com/Positive-Computing-Technology-Wellbeing-Potential/dp/0262028158/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

Michael Bishop aims at integrating philosophical and psychological theories of well-being and proposes a new theory for understanding flourishing.

http://www.amazon.com/Good-Life-Philosophy-Psychology-Well-Being/dp/0199923116/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422714230&sr=1-1

 

Finally, Stephen Joseph takes on one of my most favorite subjects: post-traumatic growth. He explains how we can navigate (traumatic) change and adversity to find new meaning and direction in life.

http://www.amazon.com/What-Doesnt-Kill-Psychology-Posttraumatic/dp/0465032338/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1422714146&sr=1-3

The 10 Commandments of Positive Psychology…in Songs

  1. If you´re Happy and you know it clap your Hands! – Teddy Rock
  2. Go with the Flow! – Northern Lite
  3. If you can´t be with the One you love – love the One you´re with! – Crosby, Stills and Nash
  4. Find your own Voice! – Stratovarius
  5. You can get it if you really want! – Jimmy Cliff
  6. (Get out your seats and) Jump around! – House of Pain
  7. (Take) A Walk in the Park! – Nick Straker Band
  8. (What doesn´t kill you makes you) Stronger! – Kelly Clarkson
  9. Your Life is Now! – John Mellencamp
  10. It´s always more Fun to share with Everyone! (The Sharing Song) – Jack Johnson

Any suggestions from your side? I´m not a Christian (any more) – so I could very well live with 17 or 333 commandments…

If you´re Happy and you know it clap your Hands!

–> Research on the benefits of positive emotions.

 

Go with the Flow!

–> Research on the benefits of experiencing flow.

 

If you can´t be with the One you love – love the One you´re with!

–> Research on the benefits of positive relationships.

 

Find your own Voice!*

–> Research on the benefits of finding meaning and purpose in life.

 

You can get it if you really want!

–> Research on the benefits of grit and achievement.

 

(Get out your seats and) Jump around!

–> Research on the benefits of physical exercise.

 

(Take) A Walk in the Park!

–> Research on the benefits of spending time in nature.

 

(What doesn´t kill you makes you) Stronger!

–> Research on the benefits of post-traumatic growth.

 

Your Life is Now!

–> Research on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness.

 

It´s always more Fun to share with Everyone! (The Sharing Song)**

–> Research on the benefits of altruism.

 

* I just couldn´t resist putting one of favorite metal bands in this list. Kiitos, Stratovarius!

** The last song is also a hint at what to do with this post… 🙂