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Include Happiness in Team Building. Really?

It is scientifically proven.  Having a happy mood leads to a better performance with creative endeavors than not having a happy mood.  According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences and published in Scientific American, happy people are technically more likely to be creative.  That’s important when trying to build teams or departments of un-likeminded people.

“The results suggest that an upbeat mood makes people more receptive to information of all kinds, says psychologist Adam Anderson, co-author of the study published online by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. ‘With positive mood, you actually get more access to things you would normally ignore,’ he says. ‘Instead of looking through a porthole, you have a landscape or panoramic view of the world.’”

Based on my experience leading teams, I agree with the study to an extent.  When a client brings me in to help them address employee morale problems, the client has a tendency to want to find ways to see how happy their employees are.  I’ve often said to my clients that it’s not really important if your employees are happy or not unless it affects their productivity – and it usually does.  So “happiness” should not be the goal but it’s an important component of the network of behaviors driving good positive productivity.

Likewise with customers.  Having happy customers is great.  Wonderful, in fact.  But having customers who say they are happy does not mean they are loyal and will stick around.  I’ve talked to hundreds of customers who say they are happy but not necessarily loyal.

When working with my clients to help them with customer retention programs, I find myself saying once again, “It’s not really important if your customers are happy because it is customer loyalty that needs to be measured.”  Again, “happiness” is not the goal when we talk about customer retention yet it’s one of those important components in the network of actions and behaviors that result in customer loyalty.

When trying to do any sort of team building, it would be helpful if the team members had an open attitude to achieve the goal.  In most team building engagements, I have a goal  to achieve that will require the team members to look at things differently.  The process is best served if every single team member is open to new ideas.  According to the National Academy of Sciences study, it looks like happiness really is a helpful – perhaps necessary – ingredient to successful team building.

That makes me happy.


Another original article by The Game Gal.  You may reproduce all or part of this content as long as you provide attribution in the form of a link back to this website (or copy and paste the following:  http://www.GamesandTeamBuilding.com).  Thanks for being a great team player!

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