Leadership Series – Positive Psychology: Taking a Strengths-Based Approach
Shari Walton, Organisational Development Consultant
Professor Martin Seligman, one of the world’s leading researchers in positive psychology identified that leaders who role-model positive psychology encourage a flourishing workplace, where scientific research is translated into improved leadership, better mental health, increased wellbeing and higher performance and satisfaction for individuals, improved employee engagement and retention and higher overall organisational effectiveness.
The way we work has shifted dramatically recently with hybrid working, remote teams and virtual interactions making positive workplaces more important than ever before. The ability of leaders to focus on strengths is crucial to achieving wellbeing.
Humans are hardwired to pay attention to negative experiences, and we have a propensity to learn from and use negative information more than positive information. Individuals may be unaware of what influences happiness in their life from one day to the next. At the heart of positive psychology lies the belief that people can lead happier, more meaningful, and fulfilling lives by moving their focus away from the negatives toward a more balanced perspective.
Many positive psychology exercises, such as gratitude journaling, lead to positive outcomes and the below exercise will help leaders find meaning and value from their own experiences by exploring their strengths and how they can utilise them to achieve desired goals and develop a sense of meaning and fulfilment.
Write the story of your past:
- Describe the challenges you have overcome
- Outline the personal strengths that helped you.
Describe your life and who you are right now:
- How do you differ from your past self?
- What are your strengths now?
- How have your strengths evolved?
- What challenges are you facing?
- How can you use your strengths to overcome these challenges?
Write about your ideal future:
- How will your life be different than it is now?
- How can you use your strengths to achieve this ideal future?
- How will your strengths grow?
- What kind of person do you hope to become?
- Finally, how can you go about achieving these things?
Discovering and nurturing a strengths-based approach will help to shift negative outlooks to positives. Creating meaning through work will encourage motivation, high engagement, and a sense of thriving as well as build strong interpersonal relationships and resilience. For more information or support, reach out to your Relationship Manager to arrange a consult with our Organisational Development Team.
Shari Walton is an enthusiastic solution focused senior Organisation Development Consultant with extensive experience designing, developing, and implementing a broad range of Leadership Development, Talent Management, and other Learning and Organisation Development interventions that drive change and support individual, team, and business success.
Shari has over 30 years’ experience in the organisation development field across Finance, IT and Higher Education sectors. This experience is complemented with formal qualifications in Human Resources, Learning & Development, Executive Coaching, along with a Graduation Diploma in Communication Management, and a Diploma in Holistic Wellness Coaching.
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