November 10, 2020 6 min read
Happiness is the most important thing in the world, considers Tal Ben Shahar, author of the new book Choosing the Life You Want: The Path to Conscious Happiness and acclaimed Harvard University professor for his courses on Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership. He is also auror of the book Being Happy: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Live a Happier Life and the New York Times best-seller Happier: Learn the Secrets to Lasting Joy and Satisfaction .
At the end of October, Tal Ben Shahar participated in a meeting organized by the consulting firm specializing in organizational happiness LIVE 13.5, which was attended by the Hero Hunters (judges) of the first Heroine Companies Ranking , which seeks to recognize and empower companies that bet everything on their collaborators and maintain their competitiveness. This event had the objective of reinforcing the perspective and culture of happiness in companies, as well as generating networking among the various judges in Latin America.
During the event, which was held virtually, the Wholebeing Institute’s director of learning commented that there are people who are making a big difference in our world and the world needs that; For this reason, it seems to him that this Ranking has a very human and powerful mission.
Tal Ben Shahar during the meeting. Photo: Courtesy
The expert stressed that happiness is the most important thing in the world and if you give, you are helping to generate it. With the Hero Hunters he shared research done by the University of British Columbia where people’s happiness was measured. The experiment consisted of the following: they took people to a laboratory, they measured their level of happiness with physiological and neurological metrics and in the end, these evaluated people were given money. Then, they were told to buy something with that money, and they did, and again their happiness levels were measured, they saw an increase in their happiness, as a result of their purchase.
The next day they took these people back to the laboratory and measured their happiness levels again, now their happiness levels had dropped to where they were the first time; they found that their happiness levels lasted less than 24 hours.
A second group of people came to the lab and measured their happiness levels. And again they gave them money and told them to go spend the money, but on someone else. That they could buy a homeless man a meal, shoes for their partner, or donate it to their favorite charity, but they had to spend it on someone else; They returned to the lab and measured their happiness levels. Their happiness levels were the same as the first group of people. The difference was that after a week they found the positive impact of their happiness. They still felt good about themselves.
“To give is to receive”, whether it is when you are donating to charity, listening to another person, when you are giving someone shoes or a device. Giving is receiving. We can always give something, even if it’s just kindness, Tal Ben explained.
Givers, takers and matchers
From this research Tal Ben recalled and cited the three types of people that exist in an organization according to Adam Grant: the Givers, the Takers and the matchers.
- Givers. They give without expecting anything specific in return but hoping to help and make things happen.
- Matchers. They give if they receive something in return.
- Takers. They are those who only think about receiving and getting the most out of others. They think they have the right to be the recipients and beneficiaries of everything.
Those who give (Givers) have much more long-term business success than those who only think about taking (Takers) and those who are driven by the theory of “I give you only if you give me” (Matchers).
Generosity is the pillar on which all work should be based. It is generous people who reach the top. Their professional trajectory is usually slower, but it is much more solid than that of the takers, to whom, sooner or later, their selfishness can.
Tal Ben concluded his speech by mentioning that generosity is not the enemy of efficiency, it is not something accessory to our true work, it is the essential motivational factor, which drives creativity and increases worker productivity.
Photo: Live 13.5
CEO’s, international consultants, scientists from Wellbeing and Happiness, renowned academics, directors and presidents of Human Resources associations; were the profiles that attended this exclusive session that Nancy Martínez, General Director of LIVE 13.5 and her team organized. Everyone was fascinated by the talk of this renowned scholar.
Motivated to be givers, they ended the exclusive session to start working in the best way the analysis process to those companies that care about the well-being of their collaborators.
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