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A wellbeing teacher and senior fellow at Melbourne University, Michelle is a Huffington Post and Psychology Today blogger, bestselling author and sought after speaker. With more than a decade of senior leadership experience in large organizations around the world, she’s passionate about translating cutting-edge research from positive psychology and neuroscience, into practical strategies for health, happiness, and business success.

A seasoned media guest, Michelle’s expertise has been quoted in Forbes, the Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News, Boss Magazine, Sunrise, ABC Radio, The Age, Wellbeing Magazine and many more. She also writes for Huffington Post and Psychology Today where she shares her advice as well as the insights of leading researchers in the field from Angela Duckworth to Tal Ben-Shahar. You can watch dozens of her advice and commentary segments on her YouTube channel or listen to her Podcasts.

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Should We Aim To Be Perfectly Happy?

With the International Day of Happiness upon us, it seems timely to ask: How happy are you?

If you were to score yourself on a scale of zero to 10, how happy were you yesterday? And how happy are you today with your life?

Over the last decade, researchers, workplaces and governments have begun repeatedly measuring our levels of happiness. Why? As we have documented in Live Happy over the past two-and-a-half years, a growing body of research suggests happy people are more successful in marriages, friendships, earning money, work performance and physical health. So surely the higher our happiness scores, the more success we’ll all have. Right?

Are solopreneurs happier?

When I finally left a decade of working in large corporate organisations behind me to start my own workplace wellbeing company, I really wasn't sure what to expect. Sure I was looking forward to reclaiming my diary from endless rounds of going-nowhere meetings, but would I really enjoy being responsible for everything from balancing the books to ordering printer ink?

As it turns out I needn't have worried. New research I've gathered suggests that solopreneurs are the most likely group to be "flourishing" at work.

 

Students may learn stress from parents, study finds

A new study has found almost 40 per cent of upper primary school students think they worry too much, and that their parents’ stress may be the source.

Parents needed to encourage kids to focus on their strengths to keep calm, the study found.  Read more about the study.

Does focusing on strengths bridge the gender gap in workplaces?

Increasingly workplaces are encouraging people to develop our strengths – those things we’re good at and actually enjoy doing.  Given that using our strengths taps into the ways our brains are wired to perform at their best, this seems like good business sense.   But is this an approach that serves men and women equally well?

8 Ways To Help You Kids Let Their Amazing Out

School can make even the make even the most resilient kid feel stressed from time to time. Whether it's navigating friendships, learning new skills, pleasing their teachers or making their parents proud, it can be a challenging environment when you're still figuring a lot of stuff out.

Can You Make The World Happier?

If you had the opportunity to make the whole world happier, where would you start? Educate adults and children about the tested, practical steps they can take to consistently flourish? Measure wellbeing at a national level to shape government policies? Overhaul capitalism to be less self-serving?

Don’t just survive, enjoy your work

Too many people hate their jobs, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a problem. Even if you quite like your role, there is always room for improvement. You spend most of your day at work, you chose a career, and you should enjoy it not just work to pay the bills. Of course, paying the bills is important but what if I told you, that it is possible to enjoy what you do to make a living? Sounds unbelievable? It’s not. There is a way you can make work a little bit easier and more enjoyable, which will work even if you already love what you do.

Steps To Follow For A Woman Who Wants To Stop Worrying

Ever find yourself lying awake at night and worrying about what’s gone wrong at work during the day and what might go wrong next?  If you’re nodding your head, you’re in good company with 50% of women reporting that they experience feelings of self-doubt about their performance and careers, compared to just 31% of men.

'Help! I just hit Reply All': The most embarrassing office mistakes (and how to fix them)

We've all had those moments at work where our heart sinks and we inwardly cringe as we realize we've seriously messed up.  But although we can't undo these mistakes, the way you react to the situation can make the difference between slight embarrassment and all-out career disaster.

More confidence in 11 minutes

If you've ever gotten the feeling that men, in general, are more confident than women, there's a scientific explanation why.

According to experts, there is actually a part of the brain (the anterior cingulate cortex), that creates more self-doubt in women than in men.

HOW TO HARNESS THE POWER OF RITUALS TO IMPROVE YOUR WORK

Are you feeling scattered or unfocused? Adding a ritual or two to your day may be just the ticket to snap out of it.

How women can gain confidence at work (and elsewhere)

The female brain predisposes women to worry more than men do, but it can be rewired.  What do you spend the most time doing in a typical day? Does your job give you the chance to do what you’re best at, or do you find you spend the most effort and energy on things you’re not good at or don’t like (or both)?

Are Your Comp Managers Bringing out the Best in Employees?

There's a revolution taking place in our organizations — whether you manage the compensation or executive compensation function, or really any professional group €- and it's being led by employees longing to have the opportunity to do what they do best each day at work.

How to feel more confident at work (not just fake it)

While there is no doubt that both men and women experience feelings of self-doubt, researchers have found women generally suffer a greater lack of confidence at work causing us to ask for pay rises four times less frequently, negotiate salaries of 30% less and not put ourselves forward for promotions unless we meet 100% of the qualifications necessary for a job.  Why do we struggle so much with confidence?

Strengths Challenge: Global initiative to improve performance and well-being of employees worldwide - Formium Development helps kick-off initiative locally

After finding that close to three-quarters of polled employees feel they could be happier at work if they could focus on what they do best, workplace well-being expert, Michelle McQuaid, the VIA Institute, Live Happy and Formium Development have partnered to launch a new strengths challenge designed to equip participants with tools to identify and leverage their strengths on the job.

Empower Me: What Women Really Want in Their Career

Have you heard it? There’s a quiet revolution that is taking place in our organizations. And it’s being led by women who long to feel more authentic at work and do more of what they do best.

3 steps to make you happier at work you can take now

Unhappy at work? It might be because your employer isn't utilizing your strengths.  Here's an easy way to fix that stat.

Steps To Follow For A Woman Who Wants To Stop Worrying

Ever find yourself lying awake at night and worrying about what’s gone wrong at work during the day and what might go wrong next?  If you’re nodding your head, you’re in good company with 50% of women reporting they experience feelings of self-doubt about their performance and careers, compared to just 31% of men.

Courage Is A Habit: Practice It Daily Until It Becomes The Norm

Ever wish you were a little braver?  Let’s face it -  most of us have ideas we’re too nervous to share, opportunities we’d like to pursue and things we’d really love to say or change… if only we were more courageous or, better still, guaranteed a successful outcome.  But have you ever stopped to think, really think, about how your lack of courage may be costing you?

How Do Positive Leaders Build Positive Identities?

What are the stories your employees tell about who they are and what they're capable of? Are they "high-performers" or "nothing special"? Perhaps they're "valued team members" or "loners"? Maybe they're "great presenters" or "poor public speakers"?

Are You an Ethical Leader?

If you’re really honest with yourself for a moment how ethical are your leadership behaviors? Are you trustworthy? Do you always show others respect? Are you willing to forgo potential profits if it means looking after the needs of your employees better?

Are You A Strengths-Based Parent?

When it comes to parenting your kids do you spend most of your time pointing out what they’re doing wrong or what they’re doing right? If you’re like most time poor parents the chances are you’re quicker at identifying the things your kids need to improve upon, but is this the best way to raise kids who are resiliant and able to cope with stress?

How to Be Mindful in the Real World

When it comes to improving our well-being, most of us think about the exercise we should be doing, the foods we should be eating and the sleep we should be getting, but have you thought about how your brain might be able to help cultivate enduring well-being?

Are You Fully Charged?

When you wake up in the morning would you describe yourself as fully charged? If you're like many people recently surveyed chances are you're shaking your head and instead feel more like you're struggling to get out of bed.

Can We Create a Flourishing World?

Given the ongoing economic, environmental, social and political challenges currently reverberating around our world, it can be hard to feel hopeful about the future of the human race on this planet. Despite the many great feats we’ve achieved in the last century, one in three of us now live in a slum, 800 million of us go hungry each day, almost 11 million children die under five years of age, 31 million girls of primary school do not attend school.  How can Positive Psychology help?

Can You Create Changes That Last?

When it comes to creating the changes you really want to make in your work or in you life, do ever find you have difficulty making this last? You start off excited, motivated and with the best intentions. You might even manage to start changing the way you think, feel and act for a few weeks. But far too quickly, this "honeymoon effect" of creating change seems to wear off and you're left feeling disappointed and back to where you started.

Increase Your Professional Strength In 11 Minutes A Day

If this were a fitness exercise, we’d be exclaiming, “no way.” It is possible not only to identify your greatest professional strengths, but to turn them into lifelong habits with as little as 11 minutes practice a day.

How a Positive Psychology class at Harvard at Class changed the way I looked at flourishing

In this podcast I talk with Dr Matthew Norton about how a Positive Psychology class at Harvard at Class changed the way I looked at flourishing, and the difference between functioning and flourishing.

3 Ways Positive Leaders Make Work More Meaningful

Increasingly leaders are coming to understand that more than promotions, income or job security, people rank purpose in their work as their top priority. But can meaning really be found in any job? And what can you do as a leader to make work more meaningful for your employees?

Why Do Positive Leaders Believe It Pays to Be Virtuous?

If you sat down at your next leadership meeting and strongly recommended that now was the time for your organization to implement more virtuous practices, like compassionate support, forgiveness of errors and generosity and gratitude, what response would you get? Perhaps a polite shaking of heads while people tried to quickly move onto the next item on the agenda? Or maybe outright laughter at what could only be a joke in the current climate?

Employee Appreciation Day Study Shows Best Way to Thank Employees is to Recognize What They Do Best

78% of employees feel they are making a difference and appreciated when managers focus on their strengths over their weaknesses.

The Workplace Revolution Women Are Leading

There is a revolution underway with 5 out of every 10 people - an increase of 30% - now reporting they have the opportunity to do what they do best each day at work.  Who’s driving this change?  It appears to be female employees.

 

How to be Engaged, Energized and Happy at Work

Listen to my podcast with Zenger Folkman about how to be Engaged, Energized and Happy at Work.

Want Good Employees? Stop Trying to Improve Them

If you want engaged, happy employees, focus on what they do best, rather than making recommendations for improvement, a new study concludes.  The 2015 Strengths @ Work Survey includes feedback from 1,000 full- and part-time employees in the United States about what motivates them most to keep coming to work every day.

For a successful employee appreciation day, build on strengths

On March 6, Employee Appreciation Day, a new study has emerged that suggests what employers should be doing that would show their appreciation the best: Have meaningful discussions with employees about their strengths.