Making Positive Psychology Work Podcast

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Podcast with Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener

Robert Biswas-Diener on Can You Get Comfortably Uncomfortable?

Today’s Guest

Joining me in this week’s episode is Robert Biswas-Diener, a leading researcher on culture and wellbeing, positive psychology coaching, and author of several wonderful books including  The Upside of Your Dark Side.

With recent political changes in the United States and the UK leaving many feeling fearful and apprehensive about the future, Robert shares his insights on how to become comfortable with these uncomfortable feelings.  He suggests rather than trying to whitewash them, by accepting them, and seeing them as signals that something isn’t right, you can then decide on a constructive response to what’s unfolding.  These lessons also can apply in workplaces when looming mergers or restructures stir up similar feelings of uncertainty and fear.

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You’ll Learn:

  • [01:37] – Robert talks about how emotions are like signals giving us a mental thumbs-up or thumbs-down about the quality of our life.
  • [05:35] – If you are fearful, it’s telling you that something you care about may be under threat, and you may need to protect it. 
  • [07:54] – Robert explains when you can get comfortably uncomfortable with your negative emotions, instead of feeling overwhelmed, you can act constructively.
  • [11:05] – Robert explains one important step in tolerating these emotions, is to specifically label the emotion. This can help to understand what message it may be telling you.
  • [13:54] – When people are experiencing incredible change in workplaces and feeling very negative, Robert talks about how it’s important for  leaders to build capacity in their employees.
  • [16:20] – Sometimes leaders need to challenge apprehension and other times it’s ok to validate concerns.
  • [17:49] – Robert believes happiness and wellbeing doesn’t have to be a mandate at work.
  • [20:30] –To be a whole person you need to experience and draw on the full range of positive and negative emotions.
  • [21:35] – Robert explains why “you never want cheerful optimists in the control tower, directing flight traffic.”
  • [22:18] – The Lightning Round with Robert Biswas-Diener

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Special thanks to Robert for joining me this week. Until next time, take care!

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