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At a glance:Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. His research and lectures on happiness and human potential have received attention in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, as well as on NPR and CNN Radio.
Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. His research and lectures on happiness and human potential have received attention in The New York Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, as well as on NPR and CNN Radio. When not at Harvard, Shawn travels around the world giving talks on positive psychology to Fortune 500 corporations, financial institutions, schools, and non-profit organizations. He is the CEO of Aspirant, a global positive psychology consulting firm which researches positive outliers people who are well above average to help consult organizations on where human potential, success and happiness intersect.
Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters degree from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, Shawn 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 and counseling students through the stresses of their first year. He now lives in Harvard’s Kirkland House as the resident Psychology Tutor. Shawn continues to conduct original psychology research on human potential, happiness, and organizational achievement.
Shawn has spoken to diverse audiences Wall Street analysts, Harvard law students, business leaders in London and Rome, elite high school students, wealth managers, doctors, and parents in order to close the gap between the advances made in positive psychology research and our everyday lives. Based on his research and 12 years of experience at Harvard, Shawn Achor clearly and humorously describes to organizations how to increase happiness and meaning, raise success rates and profitability, and create positive transformations that ripple into more successful cultures.
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The Ripple Effect: How to Make Positive Change EasierCommon 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.
Positive Leadership: Restoring a Culture of ConfidenceConfidence, 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.
Positive Genius: The Key to Raising Success, Spreading Happiness, and Sustaining Positive ChangeWhat 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.
The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to PerformanceMost 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 (September 2010 from Random House), 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.