EngagementCultureTop 5 takeaways from Arianna Huffington on the HRD Live Podcast

Top 5 takeaways from Arianna Huffington on the HRD Live Podcast

Microsteps, battling burnout, Taylor Swift and more. Here's 5 things we learned from Arianna Huffington on the HRD Live Podcast.

Businesswoman, author, founder of The Huffington Post and founder and CEO of Thrive Global, Arianna Huffington has been listed as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People and one of Forbes Most Powerful Women.

In 2016, Arianna founded Thrive Global to end the global stress and burnout epidemic by providing people and businesses with behavior change technology and media to support them.

Huffington recently sat down with us for a very special episode of the HRD Live Podcast to talk burnout, Thrive and all things workplace culture. Here are five standout moments from the conversation.

  1. Huffington founded Thrive Global following her own burnout

Naturally, we began by asking Huffington to take us through her journey so far and explain how Thrive Global came to be. She said:

“I collapsed from exhaustion, burnout and sleep deprivation, and hit my head on my desk and broke my cheekbone. That was the beginning of my realization that not only my life, but the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world, were fuelled by burnout and by this collective delusion that in order to succeed, we have to burn out.”

2. The power of Microsteps

Huffington is a bastion of fundamental change in the workplace, so we decided to probe her on how such gigantic change can come about. She said:

“It’s not gigantic, because in the same way, it starts with Microsteps. I think it has to start at the top. It has to be modelled by executives from the CEO down. HR is now recognized as a key partner for the CEO, and the CEO has to be involved”.

Arianna believes that these small, gradual changes in behaviour are the key to tackling burnout, and bases much of Thrive’s approach on this principle.

3. Why human connection is key

Huffington goes on to recognize human connection as a fundamental factor. She said:

“Every human being has a place of strength, peace and wisdom inside us. It’s our birth right, and we live most of our lives disconnected from that. What we’re helping people do is really connect to that place inside ourselves. Nobody lives there all the time, but knowing how to get back to it makes us more resilient and less subject to the inevitable stresses of modern life.”

A powerful message, and one that encapsulates her mission aptly.

4. Purpose is more important than ever

Arianna believes that for an organization to properly attune itself to the wellbeing of its employees, it must make its purpose very clear. “That starts with trust — building trust with your employees, building trust with consumers,” she says:

“What is great now is that companies can no longer hide behind beautiful cultural value statements; they need to live that purpose. We believe that being direct and being able to express and seek help is key.”

This is part of a cultural value Huffington calls “compassionate directness”.

5. The key to happiness is… Taylor Swift?

Yes, you read that correctly. Huffington cites Swift among her favourite artists, saying that she uses her music as a “joy trigger” in times of need.

“The problem is stress becomes cumulative,” she said.

“If I’m feeling stressed after I received some bad news or I had a stressful meeting, I don’t just keep going. I take one minute to course-correct. If you think of it, one minute is nothing, but it’s game-changing. And that’s why, again, it’s back to Microsteps. Each one may take 60 seconds, but if you take that minute four or five times a day, you end up going home not feeling so wired.”

This could apply to anything, however. Arianna suggests compiling elements that “help them remember what they value and what they’re grateful for” – such as photos, music and quotes – and using them to combat stress.

You can listen to the HRD Live Podcast featuring Arianna Huffington via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitchr and more here.

Make sure to subscribe to the podcast for a brand new episode every week, and in the meantime, there are over 40 episodes available to listen to right now!

To join Huffington on her journey to end the global burnout epidemic, visit https://thriveglobal.com/

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