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Global Consultant and Positive Leadership Expert


Sue Langley is CEO and Founder of the Langley Group, and travels the globe engaging people from all walks of life. Her ability to energise teams for change, develop resilience and wellbeing in others, and to inspire leaders to be the best they can be, makes her one of the most sought-after speakers in her field.

Current work

Sue specialises in the practical applications of neuroscience, emotional intelligence and positive psychology, synthesising the science and research into simple, practical tools that anyone can use. Her research - aimed squarely at the sweet spot between emotional intelligence, positive emotions and brain science - inspires people to get the best from themselves and from their peers and teams.

Her keynotes are sought-after at international conferences, including the European Conference on Positive Psychology (ECPP), International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), Canadian Positive Psychology Association (CPPA), [email protected] and many more.

Previous experience

Job: Sue has worked with thousands of business leaders, HR professionals, managers and consultants to help them learn how to harness the brain's potential, create positive workplace cultures and increase performance and productivity.

Organisations: Sue works with top organisations such as Oracle, Revlon, Schneider Electric and the Australian Government, facilitating multi-year programmes to build positive workplace cultures, emotionally intelligent leaders and high performing teams.

Training: She is the creator of the world’s first Australian Government accredited 10653NAT Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, delivered around the globe through the registered training organisation, the Langley Group Institute.

Recognition: Recognised for her knowledge and expertise in measuring and developing emotional intelligence and strengths, she also certifies others as experts in her role as Master Trainer for the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso EI Test (MSCEIT). Sue is an accredited Strengths Profile practitioner, and holds a number of qualifications in her field, including a Master’s Degree in the Neuroscience of Leadership from Middlesex University.

Media: Sue appears regularly in the media, with an appearance on Channel 7’s “House of Wellness”, as well as sharing the stage In Conversation with Dr Martin Seligman. Sue is the emotional intelligence expert in the hit ABC TV series Redesign My Brain, broadcast on the Science Channel in the US as Hack My Brain.

Documentary: Sue has appeared as a leadership expert in the documentary ‘Make Me a Leader’ (July 2018), which has won multiple film festival awards including the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.

Talking Points

Positive Psychology at Work

The most important asset in any organisation is its employees. While increasing job competition and cost-cutting may drive short-term productivity and results, the impact on people makes these strategies short-sighted. People who feel happy, valued and satisfied at work typically do far better than those who feel pressured and undervalued. Happy employees are more engaged and likely go beyond their job requirements to give their best effort, working harder, more productively and more collaboratively than less happy peers. And this translates directly into better business performance and financial results that are sustainable over time.

This thought-provoking and inspiring session explores:

• The evidence and business case for positive psychology at work.
• Harnessing positive emotions to drive employee engagement, performance and wellbeing upwards.
• Positive approaches to sustain performance in individuals, organisations and teams.
• Moving from a negative to a positive mindset to get the best out of people.

Leadership Presence

This module focuses on generating understanding of Executive Presence - what it is, how to enhance it, and the value it can bring. It will be both educational and reflective to generate awareness and create a desire for ongoing development.

The elements include:

• Creating understanding of the term Executive Presence
• Providing a model to illustrate the various components
• Building individual awareness (EI) through self-assessment
• Adopting a positive approach to using individual strengths and adjusting (perhaps compensating?) for development areas

Positive Psychology and Prada

What makes us happy? Is it an increase in our wealth and material trappings of success, or a life rich in meaning that leads us to feel we are living the good life?

Economists and positive psychologists have analysed the links between income and happiness and found that those with higher incomes are generally happier. Neuroscience is also shows that our brains light up when we discover something shiny, new and cool. Yet our pursuit for status symbols and more stuff, doesn’t necessarily make us more satisfied with life. Instant gratification comes at a price. Research shows that people often revert back to previous levels of happiness after a windfall and those who spend their money on experiences instead of things ultimately value them more.

So how do we balance the two? Sue shares her story of her quest for the perfect Prada handbag and how a holiday in Italy helped her understand the secret to lasting happiness.

Emotional Intelligence - Part 1

Emotional intelligence, according to the World Economic Forum is going to be one of the most useful leadership traits for 2020. As the world changes, our ability to handle ourselves and lead others becomes more and more valuable.

This session provides and overview of emotional intelligence from a brain perspective and will enable participants to:

• Identify how moods affect your own and others’ behaviour, decisions and performance
• Distinguish how emotions are perceived through the body and the brain
• Integrate the energy of emotions to get the best possible outcomes in your work
• Apply emotions to decision-making and to build long-term, trusting relationships with colleagues and customers

Brain Friendly Habits

We all want to form lasting habits that improve our health and wellbeing. So why does it feel so hard to break routines and establish new behaviours?
We need focused attention to create new connections and train our brain. Yet the part of the brain that applies conscious thought to learn something new requires concerted and persistent effort. When we feel tired, stressed or inundated with complex decisions, our ability to try and keep healthy habits flags, despite best intentions. To create a change that lasts we need some simple shortcuts to harness neuroplasticity-our brain’s capacity to adapt and learn.

This keynote explores:

• How are habits formed in the brain?
• Can we influence our happiness levels by changing our habits?
• What kinds of habits are most healthy for our brain and body?
• How can we optimise our brains to make habits easier to adopt and more sticky?

Mindfulness at Work

A unique programme that links the practice of mindfulness with the philosophy of a life embedded in mindfulness. It’s popularly known that mindfulness practice can improve individual health, resilience, effectiveness and wellbeing. This workshop will take you further. It not only explains what mindfulness practice is and isn’t, and gives simple suggestions for how to incorporate mindfulness practice into your day, and you will learn about the concept mindful as opposed to mindless working that will increase creativity, agility and resilience.

In this workshop participants will:

• Identify what Mindfulness Practice is and the difference between mindfulness practice and just zoning our or relaxation
• Experience brief mindfulness practices to do anywhere anytime.
• Understand ways to improving resilience, effectiveness and success by living a mindful life.
• The power of our mind to influence our agility, happiness and results. Living a mindful life as opposed to a mindless life.

Learned Optimism

Based on Martin Seligman’s model of Learned Optimism, participants will learn about the pessimistic and optimistic explanatory styles based on the three dimensions of pervasiveness, permanence and personalization. Changing pessimistic explanatory styles will help to avoid behaviours that can cause negative consequences for the individual and potentially harm working relationships.

By attending this session participants will:

• Understand the difference between optimistic and pessimistic explanatory style according to 3 dimensions.
• Identify explanatory styles from examples given
• Identify their own explanatory style in their own sales interactions and workplace situations
• Identify the underlying beliefs of a pessimistic explanatory style and potential consequences
• Use the ABCD method of changing their explanatory style to enable more optimistic and positive attitude.

Cultivating a Positive Mindset

Our mindset influences the extent to which we learn and develop, the way we respond, our impact on others and our personal wellbeing. For example, each person has the ability to learn a Growth Mindset, the capacity to see themselves and others as a work in progress, as opposed to a Fixed Mindset, which sees personal qualities like intelligence or talent as static traits, limiting potential for development. The more we practice a growth mindset and recognise our unique power to make conscious positive choices in life, the more difference we can make to our own and other people’s performance, development and wellbeing.

This inspiring and practical session explores:

• Exploring the consequences of a fixed and growth mindset through “doing”
• Cultivating a positive mindset and overcoming the brain’s tendency toward the negative
• Generating new neural pathways - how do we do that?
• Generating a growth mindset to accentuate learning and persist during set backs
• Influencing your happiness level through your attitude and intentional choices
• Four key steps to building a growth mindset in yourself
• Exploring ways to generate a growth mindset in others.

Emotional Intelligence - Part 2 Perceiving and Managing Emotions in Self and Others

When interacting with customers and colleagues it is vital to remain mindful to emotional reactions in both our customers and ourselves. This session will explore accurately perceiving emotions in ourselves by noticing physiological responses. Participants will learn to correctly identify facial expressions in others and correctly label them. This session will identify strategies to generate more useful emotions in yourself and more positive and emotionally intelligent responses to maintain effective relationships with others.

• Accurately Identify emotions in self by perceiving physiological changes.
• Analyse the causes of these emotions
• List universal causes of primary emotions.
• Correctly Identify emotions in others by identifying facial expressions.
• Identify anger, contempt, fear, happiness and sadness in others what potential causes are and explore strategies for how to respond.nally intelligent responses to maintain effective relationships with others.

Emotional Intelligence - Part 3 Resilience Strategies to Manage Emotions and Improve Wellbeing

Positive emotions build resilience. To build emotional intelligence capability, increase overall wellbeing and build resilience there is a well-researched range of strategies that if intentionally incorporated into daily life have been shown to increase personal satisfaction and success despite personal circumstances.

By attending this session participants will:

• Learn about Sonja Ljubomirsky’s Happiness Pie and the components that influence our levels of subjective wellbeing
• Brainstorm a range of activities to manage wellbeing and manage emotions then assess these against recommended criteria
• Analyse their own range of personal wellbeing and resilience strategies against these criteria to identify any that need to be stopped, added or modified
• Explore some well researched strategies to include in their toolkit of strategies
• Design their own intentional activity toolkit.

Realising your Strengths

Everyone has strengths and the potential to develop them to become happier, more engaged and fulfilled in work and life. It’s a myth that we need to focus on improving our weaknesses to be the best we can be. The reverse is true. Strengths are at the heart of positive psychology-building on what we do well and can do even better enables us to flourish and succeed. Research shows that when we use our strengths, we enjoy what we are doing, do it better, and feel we are working toward our potential. We get a buzz that adds to our confidence and competence. We learn, grow, persist and become happier over time.

This inspiring and practical session explores:

• Why strengths matter and the benefits of playing to your strengths
• A positive framework to know and grow your strengths
• How to recognise and develop strengths in people you work with, coach and lead
• Practical tips to be happier and more successful by leveraging your strengths.

Strengths-based Performance Conversations

A 2017 Gallup research shows that only 1 in 3 employees strongly agree that they have the opportunity to do what they do best every day. A multitude of research evidence and business impact results support the importance of strengths-based performance coaching. Yet, only 31% of employees strongly agree that their manager focuses on their strengths or positive characteristics.

Leaders across every level of the organisation can contribute positively to organisational results by unlocking talent and potential through the identification of strengths. By focusing on performance development from the lens of an individual’s strengths, managers can help employees think about how they can apply their strengths to achieve business success.

Brain science reveals that we do not learn and grow the most in our areas of weakness. In fact, the opposite is true: we grow the newest synapses in those areas of our brain where we have the most pre-existing synapses. Our strengths, therefore, are our true areas of opportunity for growth. (Marcus Buckingham)

This session enables leaders to:

• Understand the business case for focusing on strengths
• Gain skills in identifying strengths and develop a strengths-based vocabulary
• Understand their own strengths and opportunities for development and growth
• Using an individual’s strengths as a springboard for creating a future-oriented development plan
• Practical tips and strategies for having a strengths-based development conversation

Everyone’s Got Talent

It is tempting to focus on bridging gaps and improving weaknesses when we want to guide people and organisations to succeed. Yet, focusing on strengths is one of the greatest differences you can make to get the best from people and organisations. Everyone has strengths and the potential to develop them. When people use their strengths they perform better, achieve results faster and feel more resilient, satisfied, energised and engaged. This leads to higher organisational performance and profitability. Realising strengths in individuals and teams creates a positive platform to manage performance and unlock potential across the whole organisation and employee life cycle.

This thought-provoking and inspiring session explores:

• New research and next generation tools for strengths assessment and development.
• Targeting strengths when attracting, recruiting, selecting and managing talent.
• Equipping managers with positive practices to motivate performance and leverage strengths.
• Strengths-based initiatives that have driven performance in top organisations.

Nudge practices

What are the building blocks of happiness? The drivers that maximise wellbeing and gear people and human systems toward flourishing? There is no single solution; rather it is about engaging in activities that incrementally increase happiness and wellbeing at an individual, organisational, community or country level.

Positive psychology has identified core ingredients that can lead to a happy and fulfilling life. How people integrate them in their own life, company, community or culture is personal and unique. It is the small things people do every day that make a difference and each positive action or choice has an impact that can spread happiness. We need a smorgasboard of strategies to build people’s psychological and social resources and increase happiness levels.

This inspiring and thought-provoking session explores:

• Core building blocks of happiness and wellbeing
• Positive practices that can make the most difference in nudging people toward greater flourishing
• How to design policies and initiatives that enable people to choose what motivates and engages them.

The Upside of Stress

There are many ways to view stress, yet did you know, depending on how you view it will depend on how it impacts you. This session will focus on how changing how you think about stress could make you happier, healthier and better able to reach your goals. Combining research on mindset and resilience this will help you focus on the benefits and to embrace stress, and activate the brain's natural ability to learn from challenging experiences.

During this session participants will learn how to:

• Use the tend and befriend response to stress
• Challenge your thoughts about stress to shape your physiological response
• Practical toolkit to get better at handling stress by understanding, accepting, and leveraging it to your advantage.

Neuroscience of Innovation

In a world where organisations require people to co-create innovative, market-leading solutions, solve increasingly complex problems, and make quick decisions under pressure, harnessing the brain’s creative potential has never been so vital. Yet modern workplaces are seldom geared toward a culture where creativity thrives. In fact, they often create conditions that narrow rather than expand thinking.

Happy people tend to be more creative and productive at work. They can see the big picture, generate more creative ideas, collaborate and build enduring social connections. By focussing on building a positive emotional climate that enables people’s brains to perform at their creative best, organisations can boost creative output, collaboration and learning.

This thought-provoking and inspiring session explores:

• The impact of employee mood and emotions on innovative thinking, decision-making and results.
• The brain on creativity and how to generate more creative and better quality solutions.
• Creating brain-friendly workplaces and learning environments that optimise creativity and team performance.

Neuroscience of Leadership

Our understanding of the brain has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. The field of neuroscience is bringing new insights into how our brains work and the opportunity to better understand why and how people behave, make decisions and relate to others. At the same same the demands on leaders and anyone who wants to thrive at work are increasing.

We need to perform, collaborate, innovate and remain agile to navigate complexity and succeed in today’s complex, interconnected workplaces. Neuroscience offers strategies to optimise the brain’s performance and increase people’s capacity to lead themselves and others in fast-changing global environments.

This thought-provoking and inspiring session explores:

• Fundamental mechanisms of the brain that drive people and organisations
• Core ‘brain and body’ abilities that have a direct impact on leadership effectiveness, productivity, wellbeing and engagement
• Brain-based strategies to lead yourself and others to success.

Neuroscience of Change

Mount Eliza Business School found that over 70% of change initiatives fail because of people resistance - not because they weren’t good business ideas, driven by sound analysis, systems and facts. The core of the challenge is changing behaviour-and our brains are extremely effective in tenaciously maintaining the status quo.

The Neuroscience of change programme offers business professionals, leaders, managers with the theoretical concepts to understand how people respond and react to change. It incorporates the latest research from the disciplines of emotional intelligence, neuroscience and positive psychology to provide a framework for creating conditions for implementing successful change.

You will be introduced to simple tools, tips and actionable and practical strategies to incorporate into all your change initiatives.

• Gain an appreciation for how individuals respond to change and the neuroscience of change
• Gain understanding of the SCARF model as a framework for evaluating and mitigating emotional responses to change
• Learn practical tools and strategies that create agile conditions for managing and implementing successful change initiatives
• Assess a current change impacting their team and practice using tools
• Create action plans to move team members past barrier to change to the desired future state

Positive Relationships at Work

We all crave positive relationships at work. Inspiring connections with colleagues, bosses, team members and clients can make the critical difference in a rewarding, engaging work life. Good relationships boost our mood and serve as a buffer when times are tough. They decrease our stress levels, improve our physical health and help us build the resources and skills to collaborate and succeed in our roles.

This inspiring and practical session explores:

• How positive relationships impact team effectiveness and satisfaction at work
• Creating positive emotional connections for greater empathy and rapport
• Diagnosing the energy networks in your team
• Practical tips to enhance workplace culture and relationships.

Positive Communication for Deepening Workplace Relationships

This session will focus on the skills of responding to others in a positive way in order to build stronger connections and maintain a positive working relationship even during difficult situations.

By attending this session participants will:

• Identify the difference between the 4 types of responding and the characteristics of active constructive responding.
• Identify the criteria for positive communication and develop positive communication responses for their own communications.
o Responses will expand rather than contract the person or idea,
o Responses will strike a balance between telling and asking
o Responses will have a higher ratio of positive statements to negative statements.

Diversity and Inclusion

In this workshop, learners will understand the neuroscience of unconscious bias and how we have to harness mindful awareness and actively implement strategies of inclusion to ensure we maximise the benefits of our diversity at work. Many of us believe that we have no biases but our brains are wired in a way that we are often unaware or blinded to our biases.

In this workshops participants will:

• Explore the neuroscience of how our brain contributes to unconscious bias.
• Identify the categories and types of unconscious bias - awareness as the first step of overcoming bias and practicing mindful awareness.
• Our brains are also wired for social connection. How we can capitalize on our wiring for social connection to be intentionally inclusive and make investments into building social capital.
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