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All the Reasons Why Emotionally Intelligent People Are So Happy at Work

Let’s face it, happiness and work do not tend to go hand in hand. A 2013 Gallup study, which reported data from more than 180 million people, found that just 13% of us consider ourselves to be “happily engaged at work.”

Those who do rate themselves as happy are 36% more motivated, six times more energized, and twice as productive as their unhappy counterparts.

The good news is that just 50% of happiness is influenced by genetics—the rest is up to you.

When it comes to making yourself happy, you need to learn what works for you. Once you discover this, everything else tends to fall into place. And making yourself happy doesn’t just improve your performance; it’s also good for your health.

A critical skill set that happy people tend to have in common isemotional intelligence (EQ). At TalentSmart, we’ve tested the EQs of more than a million people and know what makes high EQ people tick. So, we went digging until we found 16 great ways that emotionally intelligent people create their own happiness at work.

1. Remember that you are in charge of your own happiness

You have two choices in ...

On the Use of Memes in Government Communication

We begin with the assumption that government communication should be as good or better than private sector communication, for three reasons:

  1. The public relies on the government as a trustworthy source of information.
  2. Many are misinformed or under-informed about what the government does and the services it offers.
  3. Trust in the government by the public is extraordinarily low.

This is not only a bad situation, it is a dangerous one. From that perspective, using the communication tools that are popular among ordinary citizens has the capacity to build trust. Whereas using highfalutin language -- the equivalent of standing on a soapbox and preaching -- builds mistrust.

Memes are a popular way to communicate in the age of social media. However, there are a couple of concerns that government rightfully has about them. This article aims to address them.

Issue #1: Copyright

A meme is a derivative work based on an original piece of art. At issue is whether the meme is a form of free speech, or an illegitimate commercialization of someone else’s work.

To make a determination about whether the use is OK, the courts apply the doctrine of “fair use.” They consider: “the purpose and character of the use ...

When Fatigue Boosts Creativity

Most people know, instinctively, whether they are morning people or evening people. Some are hit with a wave of dread whenever they hear a stranger’s iPhone clanging out the same ringtone as their morning alarm. Others can be found yawning into their second beer at 10 p.m. on a Friday. (For those who aren’t sure, countless online questionnaires can tell you whether you should be catching the worm or not.)

Our chronotypes are largely a function of when our bodies start and stop producing melatonin, the sleepiness hormone. Elementary and middle schoolers tend to be early risers, but productivity begins to shift to later in the day as people enter their teens and early 20s. Over time, the body slowly returns to its early-bird state. By the time we’re senior citizens, we’re back up and at Denny’s before 7. Most research suggests that people perform best on various tasks at their “optimal” time of day. The brain is sharper, it’s thought, when the body is fully awake.

But it turns out there are some tasks that benefit from a mind that’s slightly groggy. In 2011, Mareike Wieth, an associate professor of psychology ...

Government That Works: Making It Safe to Report Bad Results

Few stories about government failure have been more egregious than the 2014 story about 40 veterans who reportedly died while waiting to get an appointment at the Veteran’s Affairs Department facility in Phoenix. Following the scandal, an internal VA audit found a pattern of pressure in the agency on schedulers to manipulate data to make it appear that wait times were better than they were, leaving more than 120,000 veterans waiting or simply with no access to care.

How is it possible to end up with an organizational culture that is so corrosive that many people had to collude to not only hide the truth, but to simultaneously enable the payout of merit bonuses while veteran’s died?

When the truth is unacceptable, people convince themselves that they have no choice but to join in the deception. When people don’t have control over the results they are accountable for, the temptation is to rationalize counting what they can control. For the VA, as demand for services outstripped staffing, the choice seemed to be narrowed to two options, failure or deception.

Leadership sets the tone. If leaders don’t walk into and embrace the hard truth, others will ...

Influence: The Ultimate Power Tool

In business today, effective influence is essential. Want your ideas implemented? You must influence others to act on them. Want more advancement or responsibility? You must influence executives to see the value you offer. And to be an effective leader you must be able to influence others. In all respects, being able to influence others is the ultimate power tool.

So, what makes people say “yes” to your requests? Researchers have been studying influence for over 60 years. While it’s nice to think that we are all logical beings who study facts and information to guide our thinking and decision-making process, scientific research shows otherwise. Following are the six universal principles of persuasion, that when used ethically, can influence others to change their behavior.

1. Reciprocity

There’s a powerful rule that says that we should try to repay what others have done for us. If someone gives us a gift, we feel compelled to give a gift in return. If someone extends us an invitation, we should extend one to them. And if someone does us a favor, we owe them a favor in return. By virtue of the Reciprocity Principle, people feel obligated to the future repayment ...