Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Happiness Coaching"

Let's hope it's a trend. In some corners of the American business world executives have decided to help their employees overcome the pernicious influence of the therapy culture by offering them happiness coaching.

Having imbibed the nostrums that the therapy culture has been prescribing American workers have become mired in bad habits. They have learned to find fault everywhere, to complain about everything, and to criticize mercilessly.

These habits may make you feel part of an intellectual elite, but they do not contribute to your well-being, your happiness, or your job performance.

To break these habits retraining is needed. And some workers are starting to receive it from the happiness coaches that are being hired to run seminars for them. So writes Sue Schellenbarger in today's Wall Street Journal. Link here.

Schellenbarger throws a little inadvertent irony into the mix when she talks about "thinking happy thoughts," but her article is serious and to the point. Even with the advent of positive psychology we have been taught to disparage a good attitude, and to believe that negative thinking is more sophisticated, more serious, and closer to the truth.

And if you think that capitalism is bad, you will be alarmed at the advent of happiness coaching. You want people to be miserable at their jobs because that will make them less productive and will cause their capitalist enterprises to fail more rapidly.

For my part, I am all for happiness coaching. All coaches work to help people to be happier, more positive, more productive, and more confident.

Surely, we will be living in a better world and a better workplace environment if happiness coaching takes over and supplants sensitivity training.

Have you noticed that no one seems to be talking about sensitivity training these days? Or am I being overly optimistic?

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