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Positive Psychology in Business: A Review

Positive Psychology in Business - Book Review

Positive Psychology in Business is my favorite kind of book by my favorite kind of author.

It allows you to dip in and out easily. And yet, each visit is rewarded by a new insight or a valuable gobbit of knowledge.

So here are my thoughts about Positive Psychology in Business: 101 Workplace Ideas and Applications, by Sarah Lewis.

Positive Psychology in Business by Sarah Lewis

Hard Knowledge and a Light Touch

In Positive Psychology for Business, the author is able, at the same time, to convey both a great depth of knowledge and understanding, and also a lightness of touch that makes her content easy to assimilate, evaluate, and apply. Sarah Lewis has no truck with soft, shallow knowledge and pop wisdom. She is able to back up all of her ideas and recommendations with references to academic research. So, the majority of the pages have footnotes. This means that you can go to the source to learn more, if you choose.

But Sarah’s skill is in distilling detailed research findings into simple-to-grasp concepts and actionable tips. Indeed, many of the 101 chapters contain lists of things you can do to make tangible improvements.

Before we go further, you may be wondering, ‘what is Positive Psychology?’ Here’s a short 5 minute) video…

The Structure of Positive Psychology in Business

Positive Psychology in Business - Book Review

This book derives from a series of articles Sarah wrote for her LinkedIn Group, Positive Psychology at Work. Some may see this sort of a compendium book as a cop-out for the writer, and a fragmented mess for the reader. To my mind, it all depends on the author and the amount of work they have done. I like this because:

  1. It draws together many articles I have valued in one place – easy to access.
  2. And it includes many articles I missed
  3. Sarah has worked hard to edit the collection
  4. And she has collated it into a helpful structure

What this leaves us with is a sourcebook of 101 fantastic short articles – each of which delivers great value.

These are divided into 8 sections:

  1. Introduction to the Key Concepts, Theories and Methodologies of Positive Psychology for Business
  2. Bringing Positive Psychology to the Change Challenge
  3. Positive and Appreciative Leadership
  4. Positive Performance Management
  5. Positive Psychology for Groups and teams
  6. The Importance of Positive Emotions at Work
  7. Developing Positive Psychology Skills, Creating Positive Experiences
  8. Concluding Thoughts

And the breadth of content and ideas Sarah offers in this book is fantastic. It shows the field of positive psychology in business is now wide and mature.


I would recommend this book to any leader, manager, Project Manager, or professional who wants to set out to:

Positive Psychology in Business by Sarah Lewis
  • Lead effectively – at any level. There’s a lot here for Project Leaders.
  • Create change in your organization. And that’s a key part of many of the projects you’ll lead.
  • Build and consolidate good workplace practices. Because fairness and efficiency matter in projects.
  • Get better outcomes from the people around you. If you want a project team that’s happier and more effective, this is full of helpful tips.
  • Gain a powerful insight into the practical aspects of Positive Psychology and Appreciative Inquiry, without taking on a heavy textbook.

You can pick up this book and read a small chunk at any time. Each section is between 1 and 4 pages. And every one will give you plenty to think about and act on.

My second highest accolade for a business book is to fill it with notes in the margins and on sticky labels. It’s filling up nicely.

My highest accolade is to sit it on the shelf directly behind my desk. That is where Positive Psychology in Business is.

Declaration of interests:

  1. I have known Sarah Lewis for 10 years and have attended seminars and training courses, and bought other books of hers at my own cost
  2. Sarah arranged for me to receive a review copy of this book at no cost. She did not seek a positive review, it was not a condition of sending the book, and she has not seen this review ahead of publication
  3. The Amazon buy-links are affiliated. If you buy through them, I will receive a small percentage from Amazon, at no cost to you.

About the Author Mike Clayton

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.

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