How Positivity Leads to Success

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

There is overwhelming evidence from research in positive psychology that people who are happy are more successful. Positivity is related to higher levels of job performance, supervisory evaluations and perceived customer service. Positive people perform better because they are more motivated and more effective. This is due to a number of benefits associated with experiencing positive emotions:

Psychological benefits – Positive people have more energy and are more self-confident and hopeful. Because of this they tend to set higher goals and expend more effort in order to reach their goals. They are also more resilient, which helps them bounce back and persevere despite setbacks.


Mental benefits – Happy brains are smart brains. While negativity narrows our focus to help us respond to a threat, positivity does just the opposite; it opens us up, broadening the range of ideas that come to mind. This helps positive people see multiple solutions to problems and make better decisions. It also leads to greater creativity. 

Social benefits - People feel more connected to others when they experience positive emotions. This leads to high quality relationships at work, which are related to personal growth, creativity, motivation, and productivity. Close relationships are a source of emotional support and they provide resources necessary for task accomplishment. People in high quality relationships exchange more information, are better at coordinating their efforts and have less conflict. 

Health benefits - Positive people are physically healthier. They have lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, lower levels of stress-related hormones, and stronger immune systems. Positivity reduces the probability of heart failure, stroke and diabetes. People who experience more positive emotions sleep better, are less anxious and have fewer colds, all of which improve productivity.

Are you interested in improving employee performance? Creating a more positive workplace is the key! Learn more from Beth's book Beyond Happy.

About the Author
Beth Cabrera is the author of Beyond Happy: Women, Work, and Well-Being and a senior scholar at George Mason University’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. As a writer, researcher, and speaker, she helps individuals achieve greater success and well-being. Beth’s leadership development programs focus on strengths, purpose, mindfulness, and workplace well-being. After earning her PhD in industrial and organizational psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology, she earned tenure as a management professor at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, Spain. Beth later taught at Arizona State University and conducted research at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Read her blog at or follow her on Twitter @bethcabrera.
About the Author
Distinguished executive coach, author, and speaker, Steve Gladis is a leadership expert. CEO of Steve Gladis Leadership Partners—a leadership development company—he is the author of 21 books on leadership and a professor at George Mason University in the Mason Institute for Leadership Excellence. His company works with businesses, associations, and U.S. government agencies, and he speaks regularly at conferences and corporate gatherings. A former faculty member at the University of Virginia, Gladis also served as an FBI special agent and was a decorated officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. His company donates a significant portion of corporate profits back to the community. His most recent books are Smile. Breathe. Listen: The 3 Mindful Acts for Leaders and Positive Leadership: The Game Changer at Work. Twitter: @SteveGladis Leadership Blog: Survival Leadership
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