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Contributions from Cary Cooper and members of the Good Day at Work™ community

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When you walk into your office each day, what is it that makes you feel good? The answer to this question, from a biophilic perspective, is that we feel good when our environment connects us with nature.

Biophilia, a concept coined by American biologist Edward Wilson, refers to the innate bond that exists between human beings and nature.  Based on Wilson’s hypothesis, many have researched and written about the positive benefits of nature on human health. In more recent years, this has led to an interest in how we can incorporate nature and natural elements into the built environment, particularly in the workplace, where we spend a great part of our lives.

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In a previous life, I was a Chemistry student, a physical chemist to be precise specialising in the behaviour of atomic collisions and what happens after impact! Subsequent to that, I went into the business world, IP/data licencing and services. So when I came to Robertson Cooper, the world of HR and training, I arrived with my own ideas about Resilience from a completely different walk of life; essentially a systems view, naïve to the nuances of human behaviour.

I have subsequently had to challenge my views about resilience. Within this short article I’ve summarised the fundamental personality model used within Robertson Cooper's diagnostic and training tool i-resilience (to date +68,000 people have used it and had their own report!). The model helps illustrate the personality aspects of resilience that we can all develop, for ourselves and within our teams.

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The author Kurt Vonnegut was a man with a singular and unique view of the world. Not just in his stories, either; his literary theories are similarly simple at face value, but gently unfurl to reveal deeper meaning and undercurrents of social commentary. The man himself called one particular theory, his rejected master’s thesis on the shapes of stories, his “prettiest” contribution to culture.

 Vonnegut’s idea is that the main character within any story lives through positive and negative experiences that can be plotted to a graph. The shape of the resulting line, he says, is a reflection of societal culture that can tell us just as much from an anthropological perspective as studying pots, spearheads or hieroglyphics.

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There are entire organisations and discrete groups within larger establishments, whose members enjoy exceptional Psychological Wellbeing (PWB). Their people find positive emotions whilst carrying out their duties; pleasure and purpose. Within these teams, individuals tend to thrive and be their best because they can find pleasure within what they do or as a result of what they do. They are also afforded the opportunity to find purpose, as their skills, traits and values make a visible impact on the organisation’s goals and fit with what the group is trying to achieve.

So what can we learn from these groups that get PWB right and how can we practice the alchemy of wellbeing to make our teams more successful?

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Cary CooperGood Day at Work™

The new wellbeing resources hub founded by @profcarycooper and Roberston Cooper. Join for FREE and access blogs, videos, downloads, podcasts and more.

Ben MossBen on Twitter

MD of Cary Cooper's business psychology firm, Robertson Cooper - for all things wellbeing, engagement and resilience at work.

Cary CooperCary on Twitter

Professor Cary Cooper, Director and Founder of Robertson Cooper Ltd, Distinguished Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at Lancaster University.

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Williams House
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