Let’s Get Happy Together
Have you ever known someone who always responds negatively when asked how they are? Where every attempt to chat leads to a diatribe of why they are having a bad day or why their life is rotten. Do you continue to try and engage them in friendly conversation in hopes that one of these days they are going to surprise you? Or do you eventually give up and stop asking?
I know someone like that, and I can tell you I gave up. I found myself wincing on the inside each time I popped my head inside her door and bracing for the answer to “how’s it going?”. Don’t get me wrong, we all have bad days, but chronic negativity is not something I want to be exposed to time and again. I would much rather have a back and forth with someone that has something good to report.
I’ve had this thought brewing in my head for a while about feelings, personal disposition, and the power of the human connection. I wonder why it is that happy people seem to congregate together and share their joy while unhappy ones find their own group to commiserate with. I remembered hearing a statistic on it and (feeling in the mood to share) I decided to dig in a little bit, find that source, and write an article for my monthly division newsletter.
That article was titled “Happiness is Contagious” which was, of course, tailored to my audience (my work peeps) but the jump from the “social network” at our workplace to that which exists in our personal life is a short one so the message remains highly applicable. In short, the theory is that when people are happy it generates happiness in those around them. Who in their right mind does not want to be happy? So get ready people, I’m about to sing a song and dance a jig and we’re all gonna get happy together…
And just so you have something to fill the void while you wait, here’s my article:
Happiness is Contagious
Two weeks ago at the IT Division meeting there was a presentation on Customer Service, and the focus was centered on the “Five Star Customer Experience”. The statement that made the most impact on me was that we, as people, forget the power that we have. We have to realize that each interaction with our customers makes an impression, and the actions and words we chose can improve their day or make it worse. We have the power to make a positive impact just by listening and attempting to help, which is our job, but this should be taken a step further – we should do this with a smile and a good attitude.
A study done by Harvard Medical School concluded in 2008 that happiness spreads through social networks like an emotional contagion. The study looked at nearly 5,000 individuals over a period of 20 years and found that when an individual becomes happy, the network effect can be measured up to three degrees. In essence, one person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction.
The workplace is one of most influential “social networks” we have in our lives. With this in mind, if we approach each interaction positively, the end result is likely to be happier customers and an improved customer service experience overall. Even if their problem can not be solved immediately, they can come away from the conversation feeling better and more satisfied with the result.
And because this positive energy affects up to three degrees, the optimistic, helpful attitude you have with your customers will ultimately improve the experience of our Patients. So the next time you have contact with a customer (whether it is an end-user, co-worker, or manager) be courteous and smile – it’s sure to make a big difference!