HEAL THE (WORK) WORLD

The FOUNDER of The Lan­g­ley Group, Sue Lan­g­ley, IN­SPIRES work­places through POS­I­TIVE PSY­CHOL­OGY PRAC­TICES (and hard ev­i­dence).

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the founder of The Lan­g­ley Group In­sti­tute in­spires work­places with mind­ful strate­gies

HOW DID YOU DE­VELOP THE LAN­G­LEY GROUP?

Back in 1997, I at­tended a course in London. It wasn’t re­ally emo­tional in­tel­li­gence, or pos­i­tive psy­chol­ogy, yet it was a pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment course, and af­ter­wards I got very clear on my per­sonal pur­pose, vi­sion and val­ues. Who I was, what I wanted, and how I wanted to live my life. From there, I de­cided when I em­i­grated to Aus­tralia [from the UK] to set up a busi­ness in line with that. What did I con­sider my pur­pose to be back then? Ex­actly the same as it is now: to breathe spirit into the minds of oth­ers, to achieve their level of ex­cel­lence.

WAS IT AL­WAYS IN­TENDED FOR WORK­PLACES?

My in­tent was al­ways the prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion of pos­i­tive psy­chol­ogy, emo­tional in­tel­li­gence and neu­ro­science. I seem to have a knack for trans­lat­ing sci­ence into the ev­ery­day. I think of it as “syn­the­sis­ing the stuff ”. I like to take all the re­search, the academia, and the sci­ence, and put it into a real-life, prac­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion for nor­mal peo­ple to use. I like to put the sci­ence be­hind it, yet make it real.

ARE YOU A NAT­U­RAL QUESTIONER OR SCEP­TIC?

Cu­rios­ity is a strength, and I like to ex­plore things. I like to read as much as pos­si­ble, take in as much as pos­si­ble, yet the most im­por­tant thing for me is to make it real and prac­ti­cal. I’ve been in lead­er­ship courses where they teach a the­o­ret­i­cal four-step model. Yet, if I’m un­der neg­a­tive stress, I’m not go­ing to use that four-step model, how­ever fab­u­lous it might be. It’s the same when it comes to nu­tri­tion. We all know what we should or shouldn’t eat, yet per­son­ally when I’m in a grumpy, mis­er­able mood, pizza is ap­peal­ing.

WHAT ARE YOUR CLIENTS HOP­ING TO ACHIEVE?

At the mo­ment, well­be­ing is top of a lot of [em­ploy­ers’] agen­das, be­cause they re­alise if they have happy work­ers who have high lev­els of well­be­ing, they’re more pro­duc­tive. Many or­gan­i­sa­tions are say­ing, ‘We want in­no­va­tion as one of our val­ues.’ Yet we need to recog­nise that, from a neu­ro­science per­spec­tive, if you’re in a stressed, pres­surised, over­whelmed space, your brain can­not be in­no­va­tive.

WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS COM­PA­NIES CAN TAKE?

[With one of our clients], we started do­ing lunch-and-learn ses­sions, in­tro­duc­ing neu­ro­science, emo­tional in­tel­li­gence, grat­i­tude and mind­ful­ness. Then they de­cided to roll out a well­be­ing pro­gram be­cause they re­alised they need to shift their cul­ture. This has now trans­lated into a one day ‘Flour­ish’ pro­gram (in­clud­ing Flour­ish Bite-size for em­ploy­ees who are out on the road), a two-day Flour­ish­ing Man­agers pro­gram, a six-day se­nior lead­ers pro­gram and an ex­ec­u­tive lead­er­ship res­i­den­tial pro­gram all built on the pos­i­tive strengths-based lead­er­ship ethos.

YOU CRE­ATED A DIPLOMA. WHAT WAS THE BIG­GEST CHAL­LENGE WITH THAT?

Prob­a­bly all the gov­ern­ment hoops you have to get through. It’s the world’s first 10653NAT Diploma in Pos­i­tive Psy­chol­ogy and Well­be­ing. Yet it’s cer­tainly been worth it. In ad­di­tion to chang­ing lives and teach­ing peo­ple about pos­i­tive psy­chol­ogy through the Diploma, the Lan­g­ley Group In­sti­tute has do­nated ap­prox­i­mately $150,000 to char­ity since its in­cep­tion, through a par­tic­u­lar ex­er­cise that the stu­dents com­plete dur­ing the course.

COL­LEC­TIVE HUB x LAN­G­LEY GROUP

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