Lessons Learned from Producing a Podcast About Happiness at Work

- Worker Happiness

by Kristen Thompson executive producer of the Management 3.0 podcast.

Unless you’ve been a guest on our show, you’ve probably never heard of me, and that’s okay! I’ve been working with Management 3.0 as the podcast’s executive producer for the last three-and-a-half years and have had the privilege of working with all of our amazing guests in that time. 

Whether it be in the books they’ve written, the conversations we’ve had behind the scenes, or the shows they’ve taped, I’ve learned a lot of really great things from our guests, and am excited to share all of these insights with you.

In part one of the series, I’m going to explore the ways our guests have changed the way I think about happiness. 

Shelley Paxton 

In Shelley’s interview, she talked about how people get stuck in the, “I’ll be happy when…” mindset. She explains that we crave this external validation but in reality, we’re chasing a ghost. It’s more important, she explains to find out who we are–our essence– and explore our happiness from there. Shelley also talked about the value of getting in touch with the voice inside you to find out what feeds your soul. She explains that when you do this, you’re able to see what is draining you and what is energizing you

After listening to her show, I took some time to sit with myself to see what comes up. At the same time, I was questioning if there was a “when” that I was pushing off my happiness for. Once ten minutes of uncomfortable realizations had passed, I realized there were a lot of things getting in the way of my happiness, and a lot of things that were draining my soul. 

Shelley’s methods have now become a weekly addition to my routine. In addition to this, I’ve worked to slowly remove the things that drain me. I’m still working in tiny steps as Shelle recommended, but it’s allowed me to free up the time I spent stressing about certain things to search for the things that make me happy. 

Jacqueline Pirtle

Jacqueline’s work has been focused on happiness for a long time. In her interview, she spoke about what it means to truly be happy and the value of changing patterns and connecting with yourself. Jacqueline also explains that people are already happy, but just haven’t tapped into their full potential. From there, she goes on to talk about how breath work is a great way to connect to their happiness and to remember that every breath you take is how you can live the life you’re meant to live. When preparing for her interview, Jacqueline’s team sent a copy of her book, 365 Days of Happiness. In this book, you get 365 days worth of ways to lead a happier life, whether it be through happiness-guided questions or fun and easy activities.

Last month, I finally went through it thoroughly and I’ve been incorporating it into my daily journaling ever since. 

Today’s topic: Saying YES to yourself!

Vibeke Schurch

Vibeke’s show was one of the first I worked on when I joined Management 3.0 and it’s one that stuck with me for a long time. Being new to the professional ‘happiness scene’ at this point of my life, I wasn’t in the greatest of head spaces. At the time I was a full-time student, working three jobs, and not sure what I wanted to do with my life. 

That’s when Vibeke showed me the power of shifting your mindset. 

In her interview, she spoke about how to eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and challenge yourself to live a happier life. She explained that doing the thing you truly want is never easy, but necessary to find your true happiness. She also explained that those small moments of joy that we feel are what will lead to happiness. Now, more than three and a half years after her interview, I still find myself looking for things that bring me joy and think about how I can shape my life and mindset to spark more of those joyful moments. 

With these guests and so many others, I’ve been able to shape and reshape my life and my work in a way that has truly been able to make me happy. And if I were to be asked our age-old happiness question: “What does happiness mean to you?” I would be able to say without a doubt that happiness to me is all about learning

In parts two and three of this series I will continue to look at what some of my favourite episodes have taught me along the way. Stay tuned for a deeper look into how I’ve used our guests’ insights in practical ways in my life, and how they can be used in yours too. 

For more on happiness:

Tevis Trower

In this episode, Tevis talks about imposter syndrome and how everyone is “faking it until they make it.” At the time it aired, I was finishing my senior year of college and about to enter the professional world. I was terrified and felt unqualified for any job I applied for. Tevis’ talk allowed me to think about why I was feeling this way, and how much it could impact my future. She explains that having authentic conversations with ourselves is the only way to break free from self-limiting beliefs, and doing so will foster more authentic conversations with potential bosses and even current ones. 

Her advice allowed me to think about the disconnect between what I wanted to do, and what I thought I could do. When I began to have these conversations with myself I was able to see that the only thing holding me back from my goals, was me. 

This lesson sticks with me to this day. Whenever I feel I’m becoming discontent with what I do, I try to find the root of the problem. Once I’m able to identify it, I follow Tevis’ advice and bring these conversations and concerns forward to leadership. In doing so, I’ve set clearer boundaries, asked for what I deserve, and demand that I be taken seriously. No more imposter syndrome for me!

Millie Blackwell

Humor is something that has always been at the forefront of my life. I enjoy laughing and making others laugh, but I’ve never really known where the line should be between my personality and my work. That is, until I met Millie Blackwell. In her interview, Millie focuses on what it means to inject your personality into what you do. For her, this meant bringing humor into her work and not taking things too seriously. She says that doing this will create a positive work environment.

Once her interview was over, I took some time to reflect on what aspects of my personality I wanted to incorporate at work. Up until this point, I was sticking to the status quo to avoid looking unprofessional, but Millie helped me realize that that didn’t have to be the case. I thought about the parts of work that tire me out or that I take too seriously, and what I can do to turn them into a positive. W

hether it means the odd emoji in an email, a funny birthday card, or a get well soon gift, I began to incorporate different aspects of myself into my work and my work relationships. With so many of our guests I’ve been able to change the way I think about work, and how I fit into it. My perspective is constantly changing, and I feel incredibly privileged to be able to work on myself through my work. 

In part three of this series, I will look back at some of my favourite episodes that have taught me some of the most important lessons. Stay tuned for a deeper look into how our guests’ insights have been actionably used in my life, and how they can be in yours too.

For more on how to be a better employee and teammate, check out:

Photo credit Luca Upper via Unsplash

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