Perhaps you remember the Mary Tyler Moore show theme song…”Who can turn the world on with her smile? ” Indeed, a silly 1970’s TV show song and yet, I can still recite every word. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in Minneapolis where Moore was a bit of a folk legend. Or just maybe, Moore’s character of an independent working woman planted the seeds of finding a career that made me happy. Mary Tyler Moore recently passed away and was remembered throughout the press as a “positive, optimistic, and charismatic woman.” She role modeled a smart, professional, happy career woman for a generation of girls growing up in the 1970s.
I once had a boss who wanted a Mary Tyler Moore poster on his wall. I secretly made fun of this request but just maybe, he was on to something? Happiness is now a research topic at major universities. The University of Pennsylvania has the Authentic Happiness Center to help us understand happiness at a deeper level. Positivity Psychology is a trend in organizational development and “happiness speakers” are all the rage at conferences.
The University Penn site is a wealth of information to help you assess your happiness factor at work. There are even a variety of a questionnaires to analyze your authentic happiness at work and home.
Positive health, grit, resilience, positive neuroscience and creativity are all topics associated with authentic happiness. In the Gallup Strengths world there is actually a strength theme called Positivity. People with this set of talents view the world with a glass half full. They are often optimistic, resilient, and full of energy. People who use their positivity well are often champions of positive workplace cultures. Are you one of those people? Do you know the people who champion positive energy in your workplace?
We often overlook positivity as a strength at the workplace. Yet, people with positivity can be the bedrock of organizational culture. They make us smile, laugh and look forward to coming to work. They remember birthdays, put together funny slide shows, and remind us to push the pause button and enjoy just being together. It’s easy to overlook people with positivity because it’s hard to measure the ROI of happiness. Yet, when these people leave an organization we do feel a giant hole in our workplaces.
For today, take note of the people who smile, lift our collective spirits, and bring joy to the workplace. They are generous with their laughter and delight in making you happy. And if you just can’t find the right words or the right person, just maybe play this video together and have a good laugh at the thought of “turning the world on with your smiles”.