Shawn Achor

New Talk: Shawn Achor on YOUR Big Potential

Every month in 2019, we’re highlighting one top-rated 2018 Conference speaker.

Meet our March Speaker of the Month: Happiness researcher and attendee favorite Shawn Achor. He’s recorded a brand-new talk just for you, available here after the premiere on March 20 at 9:00 am PDT. Check it out:

Get Achor’s latest book on the power of connection at independent Austin bookseller Bookpeople.

And please send your questions for Shawn in to our new Facebook page—he may answer you during his Facebook Live Q&A on March 26 @ 1:30 pm Eastern / 12:30 pm Central / 10:30 am Pacific.

Meet Shawn Achor, Happiness Researcher

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Women Mean Business with Shawn Achor

How does the science of happiness work? What’s the connection between happiness and success? And how do you test hypotheses about happiness in the real world, outside of the lab? CFW friend Shawn Achor sat down with us to explain the whys and hows of happiness research—and why his findings are important for your life.

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BIG NEWS: The Power of Us, Quantified in HBR

We’re proud to have made it into the Harvard Business Review today, in an article by happiness researcher and Conference for Women veteran Shawn Achor.

You can read the full article here, but here are our main takeaways:

  • People can be cynical about the utility of women’s professional conferences. Achor’s [male] seatmate on a recent flight said “I’m all for equality, but I’m not sure what good it will do.”
  • What good CAN it do? Achor spoke with fellow happiness researcher Michelle Gielan, and the two decided to survey attendees in advance of the 2017 Conferences for Women in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Texas.
  • They wanted to know what, if any, financial or intellectual impacts could be measured among attendees.
  • They surveyed 2,600 women, using prior attendees to study outcomes and first-time attendees as a control group.
  • Among attendees who had never attended the Conference, 18% had received a promotion over the past year. During the same economic period, 42% of women who had attended the Conference received a promotion.  
  • The likelihood of receiving a promotion doubled after attending the Conference for Women.

  • 5% of women in the control group received a pay increase of more than 10% compared to 15% of women who had attended the Conference.  
  • Attendees of the Conference for Women had triple the likelihood of a 10%+ pay increase.
  • 71% of prior attendees reported that they “feel more connected to others.” Achor’s book Big Happiness argues that social connection is the greatest predictor of success and happiness, and tangentially leads to longer, healthier lives.
  • 29% of prior attendees reported that they “agree a lot” with the statement “I feel happier.” 78% of prior attendees reported feeling “more optimistic about the future” than before the Conference. 25% of prior attendees reported that they “agree a lot” with the statement “I feel more capable of handling stress in a positive way.”

“Laurie Dalton White, founder of the Conferences for Women, adds ‘Something special happens when you see that you are not alone. Making connections and building relationships with other attendees and speakers helps women form an understanding of their worth, and then they learn strategies to ask for promotions, seek fair pay, and even become a mentor to others. 

Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan

Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan

‘We invite women like Michelle Obama and Sheryl Sandberg to speak at our conferences not just because of their own personal success stories, but because they are role models who inspire women in both big and small ways.'”

 

Achor and Gielan’s findings suggest that business leaders ought to encourage employees to find social connections in a professional context.

The result may be a happier and healthier workforce.

2017 Speakers Share: The Jobs They’ll Never Do Again

Working has its ups and downs, but with some jobs, the only high point is leaving. Still, the negative experience made them tougher and informed their future decisions. Some even say that it taught them something valuable about themselves. To help you get to know a little more about our speakers, we took a page from talent recruiters and asked some of our speakers: What’s a job you’ve had, or a task you’ve had to do for a job, that you never want to do again? Check out their answers.   Read More

Update on Happiness (It’s All Good!)

achor-shawnsmHappiness is largely a choice. That may sound like magical thinking or like what no-guff grandparents meant when they said to buck up, but it’s actually the finding of a field of scientific study called positive psychology.

“Many people think they can’t be happy right now because of their biochemistry or their job or life situation, but research has shown that we are not just our genes and environment,” says Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness and co-founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research. “We have a different picture of what it is to be human. We can train our brain to become more optimistic and thus happier.” Read More

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