What's the Meaning of Happiness?
.... at work!
.... at work!
Why not take a few minutes to explore the meaning of happiness at work? What does it mean to be a happy manager?
In developing this site we’ve found one helpful way to be happier at work is to think of the happy manager as one who combines managing with the “head”, “heart” and “hand”.
‘Head’ means thinking about what you know – developing your management knowledge and insights. Without this, you might be well-intentioned but un-informed. This may result in well-meaning but ineffective action. For example, action which is lacking focus, clarity or direction.
So the first key to being a happy manager is to learn the knowledge and principles on which to base effective management. It’s about developing a knowledge of management thinking, both from ideas that have stood the test of time, and those ideas and insights that are emerging and helping to shape the future. It begins with exploring approaches to good management and then progresses to building principles of management into your practice.
Such an approach is helped by being inquisitive, searching for knowledge, ideas and insight, which then can provide a better sense of what it is to be an effective manager. Never forgetting that management is a diverse discipline and there are always new insights and promising practices to assess placing an emphasis on managers continuing to learn and explore. This is the “head” of management.
Becoming an educated, informed manager is a crucial first step to being a happy manager, but it’s not all…
‘Hand’ means applying what you know – effective use of management skills, tools and actions. Without this you risk simply talking a “good game”. Management is not just about what you know, it’s about what you do: managing yourself and others to get the right things done.
So secondly, a happy manager needs to be good at what they do – they need to be able to apply the basics of management. They need management skills. Management is fundamentally about doing things, about achieving results. A happy manager needs to develop the skills to practice management effectively. But the inter-play with the notions of “head” and “heart” is also important. How you might develop your skills will be shaped by what you know of effective management, and reflecting on why you are managing: the head and heart.
However, knowing what to do and how to do it should always be led by knowing why you are doing it….
‘Heart’ means understanding the importance of well-being, both in and out of the workplace. Without this, at best you risk ineffectiveness, both in your own performance and in the way you manage others. At worst you risk stress or burn-out, and managing work that’s unfulfilling for yourself and for the people you manage.
Balancing the head and the hand is the core of being a happy manager. But for us the heart of being a happy manager is your well being (physical, emotional, social and spiritual) and happiness and that of others. We believe that understanding your motivation for managing is also important, so think about why you’re managing and why you manage as you do. Better management comes from an understanding and practice of well-being and happiness. So think about creating the conditions for a happy, healthy and fulfilling workplace, where you and your colleagues enjoy your work and your life.
Of course, it’s not enough to think about head, hand and heart in isolation. Better management is about blending each effectively. Or worse still, what happens if any one is missing?
Without the head (knowledge of management ideas), managers might be well-intentioned but uninformed. They may be hard working and busy, but lacking focus, clarity or direction.
Without hands-on skills, they might talk a “good game” but management is not just about what you know, it’s about action, achieving and getting things done.
Without remembering the heart, we risk forgetting why we are managing, and the importance of well-being in the workplace. Without this, management can be simply functional or worse still, dysfunctional. And at it’s worst, it can be both ineffective and unfulfilling.
So we say a better way to manage is to blend the ‘management’ of head and hand with the ‘motivation’ of the heart. Management ideas and insight (what and why) without action is but a dream. Action (how) without ideas and insight can quickly become drudgery. But when ideas, insight and impact come together then we argue that you’re finding a better way to manage. And you’re beginning to work out your own meaning of happiness at work.
For more resources on this topic, take a look at our great-value guides. These include some excellent tools to help your personal development plan. The best-value approach is to buy our Workplace Well-being bundle, available from the store.
We’ve bundled together these five e-guides at half the normal price! Read the guides in this order, and use the tools in each, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your personal development plan. (6 pdf guides, 138 pages, 24 tools, for half price!)
Have a Good Workday (16 pages, 4 tools)
How to be a Happy Manager (15 tips with action checklists)
Workstyle, Lifestyle (31 pages, 5 tools)
Managers Make the Difference (27 pages, 5 tools)
Managing from Strength to Strength (22 pages, 5 tools)
Making Change Personal (22 pages, 5 tools)
Thank you, I trawled the net until I found something worth reading about stress and your site ticked all the right boxes for me. Well done.
I do leadership training and your resources have been helpful. Thank you for your well done site.
Try our great value e-guides