I’ve recently returned from the Fifth World Congress on Positive Psychology, held in Montreal, Canada where the latest research and its application in organisations, education and societies was shared. I soaked in 4 intensive days of learning and sharing of new discoveries from the field of positive psychology – the scientific study of what enables individuals and societies to thrive. My notebook and head are filled with practical application of the science to enhance the wellbeing and performance of individuals and organisations. I’m incorporating this into the resilience, wellbeing and collaboration training programs and coaching services I offer to ensure the programs align with recent, relevant and research based theories and frameworks to ensure they value add to organisations.
It reinvigorated my sense of purpose – to contribute to making a positive impact on human beings, by sharing this knowledge and offering training programs, for those seeking to find ways to move their organisation, team or individuals, in a positive direction and maximize their human potential. Contact me if you’d like to help your employees thrive, by giving them skills and tools to be more resilient, engaged and collaborative at work.
5 takeaways from my conference sessions with experts in the field to help maximise our potential at work.
Getting Grit Leads to Better Performance - Experts are not born – they begin with finding their passion and purpose and then undertake hours of deliberate practice, working hard, with a willingness to try, fail, get feedback, reflect, adjust and continue to get better over time. Angela Duckworth, suggests frustration and struggle are the design features of learning – they are not failures. Frustrations can be good for us, as they enable problem solving, growth, learning and adaptation. ACTION: Create work structures that encourage reflective learning and growth when failure occurs.
Apply your Strengths of Character to your Job Role - Much research on character strengths reveals the business gains and increase in employee engagement. Strengths can be categorized as strengths of the heart (The Charmers), Strengths of mind (The Thinkers) and Strengths of will (The Doers). When we give employees opportunities or challenges at work to use their strengths, job satisfaction and engagement increases and so does performance. An army of character research experts, including Neal Mayerson, Bob McGrath, Ryan Niemic and William Ruch, presented a convincing case for doing more with our best qualities.
ACTION: If you don’t know the character strengths of your team, or provide opportunities for individuals to use them at work, you have latent capacity in your team. More info at: www.viacharacter.org
Is your wellbeing Solution sexy or Substantial? - Ok, this may not be a sexy topic, but applying the science ethically, is an important discussion within the field of positive psychology. A key mission of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), is to advance the scientific study and ethical application of positive psychology. I was one of a panel of speakers, who discussed the importance of providing solutions to clients that are informed by science. Human flourishing and thriving is complex, and different things work for different people at different times, so consumers need to be wary of ‘one size fits all’ or a ‘quick fix’ approach. The application of positive psychology should be applied with care and wisdom by practitioners. When organisations are selecting solutions to reduce stress, boost employee engagement, build resilience and promote optimism at work, it can be challenging to identify what solution might be most suitable. Like any field, seek advice from professionals. The science of wellbeing is still young and relatively unknown to many individuals, leaders and organisations. Educating consumers to distinguish between wellbeing solutions based on theories from psychological research and promoters of shiny solutions, or ‘pop’ psychology may be required. ACTION: Inquire from service providers, what evidence the proposed solutions are based upon and the qualifications and experience providers have to responsibly apply positive psychology based solutions to help individuals or organisations develop sustainable strategies to thrive and develop their wellbeing.
BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE - IT PLAYS A MAJOR ROLE IN HOW WE APPROACH CHALLENGES AND ACHIEVE OUR GOALS - Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations to accomplish a task (Bandura, 1994). When people feel confident they will figure things out, no matter what comes their way, they perform better, set high level goals, put in more effort, persevere in face of setbacks and expect things are going to go well. Sounds like the sort of people you want on your team, right? Self-efficacy drives intrinsic motivation, improves resilience and reduces stress. Confidence is an inside job and it will never be built if you feed your self-doubt. Whilst we can never eliminate self-doubt, we can build our self-confidence so that we face challenges instead of avoiding them and recover from setbacks. Louisa Jewell shared evidence backed ways to wire your brain to boost your confidence.
ACTION: Where are opportunities to help employees build positive and supportive relationships to be good and do good at work?
HUMANISE WORKPLACES to make them human centric. We spend hours there and the number one factor for the most successful teams, is to have psychological safety at work. This means we need to feel safe, cared for, are seen, valued and heard – for our psychological wellbeing and to be successful. And as social beings, we need a sense of belonging – being a valued contributor to something bigger than ourselves for our social wellbeing.
I invite you to unlock the latent potential in your organisation and maximise the potential of individuals – enable them to play to their strengths, build their self-confidence, help them find their purpose and passion to be more engaged, enable them to connect and contribute to their team and let them know their contribution to the group is meaningful. Support them to work through frustrations, reflect and grow from the experience, to get grittier in order to accomplish stretch goals. These skills, to develop your human potential, will help improve employee wellbeing and move them from good to great, and your business performance will also flourish and thrive. Yes, the science suggests these outcomes can occur.
For evidence backed training and development solutions to help employees in your organisation thrive, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us @ WellbeingWorks