Business Schools Are Teaching Students ‘Happiness’

Business Schools Are Teaching Students ‘Happiness’

Harvard Business School (HBUS) is teaching students how to be happy in an effort to produce more effective leaders.

One course in particular, called “Leadership and Happiness,” is in high demand. According to The Wall Street Journal, the class originally started with 72 students. In the past two years, however, it has nearly doubled its enrollment and, yet, not everyone who wants to join can enroll.

The goal of the course is to teach students how to be happier as leaders and, in turn, make others happier as well. Throughout the seven-week course, students learn how to create a map of their own happiness, desires, motivations, strengths, and weaknesses — while also learning strategies for increasing the well-being of themselves and those they manage.


But HBS isn’t the only business school that’s placing an emphasis on soft-skill development. At Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, “Organizational Behavior 374: Interpersonal Dynamics” teaches students how to build more effective relationships. Likewise, at Yale School of Management, “Mastering Influence and Persuasion” has become one of the most popular courses on campus.

In the HBS course, “Leadership and Happiness,” class presentations “mix Bible verses and Buddhist teachings with psychological research on well-being or romantic love,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mark Giragosian, a 2021 HBS graduate who now works in private equity in Boston, spoke to The Wall Street Journal about how he practices lessons from the course daily—with one being how to understand his own fear of failure.

“There should be a limit to how stressed I should let myself get at work,” Giragosian tells The Wall Street Journal.

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business School

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