Michelle Gielan

Research Focus: Communication and Sustainability

Founder, Institute for Applied Positive Research and former national CBS News anchor

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Michelle Gielan, national CBS News anchor turned positive psychology researcher, is the bestselling author of Broadcasting Happiness.

Michelle is the Founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research and is partnered with Arianna Huffington to study how transformative stories fuel success. She is an Executive Producer of “The Happiness Advantage” Special on PBS and a featured professor in Oprah’s Happiness course.

Michelle holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and her research and advice have received attention from The New York Times, Washington Post, FORBES, CNN, FOX, and Harvard Business Review.

American Express
Wells Fargo


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Sample Topics

Broadcasting Happiness: Creating Success through Positive Engagement

Effective, positive communication is the single biggest driver of success for business teams. New research in the fields of neuroscience and positive psychology is showing the incredible ripple effect positive communication can have on employee engagement, productivity, and happiness at work. After spending years as a national CBS News anchor broadcasting to millions and receiving an advanced degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Positive Psychology, Michelle developed simple, yet proven techniques for positive communication that drive individual and team success for quantifiable results. She trains professionals on ways to inoculate their brain against stress and negativity, praise effectively, and shift the culture to create a talent-enhancing environment.

The Science of Positive Authentic Female Leadership

In our corporate culture, it can sometimes be difficult to be both female and positive without fear of being perceived as “pollyannish” or out of touch with reality.  In this talk, Michelle shatters the misconceptions about positive leadership using science to show how to not just avoid prejudice, but to also change the mindsets of those around you to drive success. Michelle describes funny and poignant stories she experienced while one of the top female media professionals, as well as from her work with influential female executives at companies including Google, Microsoft and Bank of America. In this talk, Michelle reveals how to cultivate rational optimism, change the social script using verbal and nonverbal cues, guide the negative toward the positive, and be perceived as strong, deep, and optimistic female leader.

The Optimism Quotient: Changing our Mindset, Fueling Success

We often overestimate the impact our life circumstances have on our happiness and success. New research shows 90% of our long-term success is predicted not by our external circumstance but how we process the world around us. So what is the scientific key to our success? Optimism: the belief that challenges are temporary, and if we take action, we can improve our circumstances. Optimists are historically more successful – not to mention they have more fun achieving their goals! Michelle has conducted research with people experiencing everything from small setbacks to life-changing events, and she has identified hallmarks of an optimistic mindset and how to train our brain to process the world for greater happiness and success. In this interactive session, Michelle shares the strategies for raising our personal optimism quotient, responding to challenges more effectively, and channeling this new mindset into tangible successes.

Sample Videos

  • Michelle Gielan’s buoyant, poignant, and uplifting message was the cornerstone of our entire three-day event. Michelle’s warm, inclusive, and elegantly polished delivery brought our group of 200 into her enchanting inner circle. Our group includes data geeks, research nerds, and senior business executives…a diverse group that expects that theory is backed by proof. Michelle and her message not only resonated, but also transformed our audience to adopt the challenge of radiating happiness. Including Michelle Gielan in an event is to ensure happier, more productive, more successful outcomes for your group.
    Incentive Research Foundation
  • “Michelle has a compelling story about how she found her compass and how she helps others find theirs. She was a poised speaker with a positive and resounding message that challenges you on the approaches you take with others.”
    Texas Society of Assn Executives (TSAE)
  • “Michelle presented to our top leaders from around the world and was well received. I was looking for a strong message on the power of positive thinking and Michelle exceeded my expectations with her scientifically supported data, energy level and down to earth style of presentation. I received several personal messages from key leaders around the world that the results were very positive when they used the techniques she promoted. They referenced using at home with family members and at work with staff. Thank you for carrying the torch on positive thinking. I’m a believer and a fan of your work.”
    Vice President Organizational Effectiveness
    Kimball International