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Art And Soul - The Art of Better Living: Taking A Positive Approach With Others

May 18, 2017

Dr. David Mayer is an associate professor in the management and organizations area at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and the University Center for Positive Organizations.
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

This week, Art and Soul talks about the art of well-being.  Lisa Barry sits down with Dr. David Mayer - an associate professor in the management and organizations area at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and the University Center for Positive Organizations.

Dr. Mayer recently wrote an article titled, “Want to be happier and more successful? Learn to like other people.”


The article talks about the social problems of working in an individualistic society.

“We’re missing a big piece of the puzzle by not focusing on what’s our fundamental view of other people,” says Mayer.

Dr. Mayer suggests it goes against our natural inclinations to have a positive view of others.  He says, “We’re trained from a young age to be aware of other people.”

Mayer goes on to explain teaching yourself that others do want to contribute to the work force, and do want what’s best for everyone takes some effort.

This Art and Soul touches on a positive approach to management.  This is a new wave of management style that is being approached in many organizations. This approach doesn’t overlook the bad, but tries to focus more on the good.

Lisa and Dr. Mayer also talked about some new research, which suggests we interpret all emails from a negative perspective.

Dr. Mayer explains that it’s due to a lack of body language.  We need nonverbal cues like tone of voice, eye contact, and body placement to really understand the intent of a message.  So what’s the solution to the problem?  You’ll have to listen to find out!

Finally, Lisa and Dr. Mayer dive into discussion about the struggle to be friendly and confident in the workplace.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu