17 Tips from People Scientists to be Happy and Successful at Work
Perhaps no one is better suited to offer tips for happiness and success in your career than people who study people at work. People scientists are modern experts in employee engagement, psychology, and people analytics. They help individuals and organizations thrive by building positive mindsets and work cultures.
Of course, they each bring their own life experiences and wisdom to what they do, which leads to this roundup of advice. Here are 17 favorite tips from Glint’s People Science team to be your best self and inspire others around you.
- Help others shine. “Elevate others however you can. Whether you’re a leader or just joining a team, you can always find ways to help other people succeed,” says Adam Greenhouse. “And helping others grow creates space for your own growth.”
- Use a zoom lens. “Figure out what’s really important to you and prioritize that as much as you can in your life,” advises Alice Wastag. “There will always be lots of demands on our time and energy. There will always be people who will pressure us to do things differently. If we can do a better job maintaining perspective on what really matters, we can do a better job focusing on our priorities, and be less likely to regret our decisions later on.”
- Ignore pessimists. “Spend your extra energy with the people (in your work life and personal life) who are aligned with your vision and values, versus spending all your time trying to convince the naysayers to get on board,” says Amy Lavoie. “You’ll have such a bigger impact, feel a greater sense of reward, and be able to convince others more effectively in the future.”
- Polish your personal magnificence. Chad Bennett says, “I believe we are all masterpieces working to uncover our artistic beauty and qualities for the world to admire. The struggle for most of us is first identifying our unique talents, then relentlessly investing in them, and aligning them with the places and people that will enable us to shine bright.”
- Run lots of little victory laps. “Share the small success stories that happen every day. Once you learn to identify and tell these stories, you can inspire others to create and share their own successes,” Stacey Levine says.
- Abandon perfection. “Start doing things and try to learn from it. Fight the urge to overthink or over-plan,” says Ia Ko. “I surely do appreciate thoughtful plans. But life is full of surprises, and it’s unrealistic to think you can plan for all those moving pieces. I love a ‘good enough’ plan that gets to live a dynamic life of its own.”
- Crave feedback like a favorite dessert. “The more senior you are, the harder it is to receive feedback. Though it’s not always easy to take feedback (especially hard feedback), never take it for granted,” advises Jacqueline Wong.
- Be your own benchmark. “I really like this quote from Warren Buffett: ‘The big question about how people behave is whether they’ve got an inner scorecard or an outer scorecard. It helps if you can be satisfied with an inner scorecard,’ ” says Jaime Gonzales. “Early in my career, I remember being disappointed because someone got promoted faster than me. It’s stuck with me that it’s more important to do meaningful work that I enjoy rather than look for external comparisons to gauge success.”
- Don’t underestimate your own impact. “You never know when an interaction with someone is going to change everything, either for you or for them,” Katie Turnbull says. “A lot of the success I’ve had is from the ripple effects of seemingly minor things. It’s important to remember that your interactions can have that effect for someone else.”
- Prepare for serendipity. “Be open to what unfolds right in front of you, and you might be surprised at what comes your way,” says Kenji Matsumoto. “According to the Planned Happenstance Theory by Stanford professor John Krumboltz, people who are curious, persistent, optimistic, flexible, and risk-taking are more likely to capitalize on chance events and turn serendipity into opportunity.”
- Believe in yourself. “Bet on you. If you aren’t willing to, why should anyone else?” says Mark Straetmans.
- Simplify. “Big problems are best solved when you break them down into manageable parts. When things seem hard or too ambiguous, simplify,” advises Matt Roddan. “Get really clear on the single question you’re trying to answer. Write it down and keep checking back. If the discussion or ideas get off track, reduce the noise, remove anything that seems irrelevant, and refocus back on your goal.”
- Hang out with brains. “Fight the instinct to want to be the smartest person in the room. Instead look for opportunities to be surrounded by people much smarter than you,” says Shubhang Dave.
- Cultivate careful phrasings. “Question the language you use,” advises Sonya Bedi. “I try my best not to depend on jargon, although it does sneak in often. There’s a huge satisfaction in intentionally selecting a sequence of simple words to explain a layered idea, and feeling truly understood.”
- Don’t be afraid to be a little bit scared. “My biggest learning moment is tied to my favorite quote by T.S. Eliot, ‘If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?’” says Stephanie Downey. “I try to never underestimate myself (even though it’s hard sometimes), and I strive to always be a little uncomfortable at work because that means I’m learning and growing.”
- Take wobbly toddler steps forward. “Sometimes you can get stuck behind a big idea or goal, and feel powerless to crack it,” says Archana Ramesh. “But just taking that first action, putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) can be the difference between an idea that vanishes into thin air, and one that lives on and becomes something.”
- Pursue a jolly hobby. “I always advocate for people to have activities and interests outside of work,” Carolyn Kalafut says. “Not only are hobbies a great way to re-energize on your own, but they can also connect you with others and allow you to tap into a community of people with similar passions.”
For more ideas on how organizations and people can succeed, read more on Glint’s People Success Blog.