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Tagged with 'positive psychology'

For Better or Worse: The Object of my Perception

What do you see in this drawing? Tilt your head slightly to the left and look at this drawing. Do you see the rabbit? It’s facing to the right with its ears tilted horizontally behind its head on the left. Now tilt your head slightly to the right, and focus on the duck. It’s gazing […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm on…Enlightenment Now

Bill Gates calls this “my new favorite book of all time.” Read my review here. Here’s a small taste of Steven Pinker’s forceful case for reframing where the world is today: “…although the world remains highly unequal, every region has been improving, and the worst-off parts of the world today are better off than the […]

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Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

One of my favorite bedtime stories as a kid was the story of Chicken Little. It’s a very old folk tale about a little chick who was hit on the head by a falling acorn. The chick believed the world was coming to an end, and set out to warn the King. “Despair springs eternal,” […]

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Are You Focused on What’s Wrong to Make Things Right?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A young girl’s elementary teacher hears little Sophia sing at school and recognizes what a beautiful voice she has. The teacher encourages the girl to nurture her gift and has her sing a solo at a school concert. Sophia’s pure, clear voice and passion for music enchants everyone […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmm from… “The Hope Circuit”

As a long-time follower of Martin Seligman’s applied research on optimism, happiness, strength building, and positive psychology I devoured his new memoir, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey from Helplessness to Optimism. When he began his psychology career in the 1960s, the field focused on lessening misery. Thanks to his groundbreaking research and innovative leadership […]

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Lessons from “The Hope Circuit”: Reducing What’s Wrong Doesn’t Increase Effectiveness

How can the absence of ill-being equal the presence of well-being? Does lessening unhappiness increase happiness? Does getting what is good in life require more than eliminating what is bad? These are among the key questions researcher and professor, Martin Seligman, tackles in his inspiring and insightful new memoir, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist’s Journey […]

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The Purpose Motive: Why Does Your Organization Exist?

The cover article in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review focuses on “Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization.” Business school professors Robert Quinn and Anjan Thakor report “when an authentic purpose permeates business strategy and decision making, the personal good and the collective good become one. Positive peer pressure kicks in, and employees are re-energized. Collaboration […]

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Positive Psychology Conference Insights and Themes

Last month I participated in the Canadian Positive Psychology Association’s 4th conference at the University of Toronto with 400 researchers, counselors, facilitators, coaches, and psychologists (visit our Positive Psychology resources section or Flourish for background on this new field). I was especially struck by three key themes at the conference: Building strengths is key to […]

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The Key to Unlocking Your Career Highs Again and Again

What’s your combination of strengths or competence, passion, and organizational need for your work? Are you playing to your strengths and filling an organizational need, but it’s a real chore and your heart isn’t in your work? Then you’re likely serving time in “day prison.” What if you’re doing work you love, and it plays […]

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New Studies Show “Soft Skills” Are Now a Critical Priority

“The whole human side is now more important than skills or IQ. Everything we hear from clients is about the human aspects of leadership,” reports Rajeev Vasudeva, CEO of the Egon Zehnder executive recruiting firm. In a feature article on today’s “ultra-tight job market,” Fortune magazine concludes, “across industries, employers are prizing people skills, the […]

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Positive Psychology and Well-Being – 4th Canadian Conference

Work is a four-letter cuss word for too many people. Monday morning is often the toughest time of their week. Too many people are mumbling, “I owe, I owe, it’s off to work I go” as they trudge off to check into their “day prison.” In other workplaces people are leaping out of bed in […]

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High Performing Organizations Provide Spirit and Meaning

I once had a speaking engagement with a cleaning and custodial company at their annual management conference. Arriving early and sitting in on the meeting to get a feel for the group and the conference, I was inspired by what a remarkable job those leaders did of bringing “pride of craft” to clean toilets and […]

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Review of “Strengths-Based Coaching in Organizations” by Doug MacKie

Positive Psychology’s focus on identifying and developing strengths aligns strongly with executive development and leadership coaching. Once leaders understand the logic and power of strengths-based approaches the reaction is often “but of course.” However, taking for granted what’s right is hard and looking for what’s wrong is wired deep in our primordial brain. Organizational psychologist […]

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Focusing on Strengths Webinar: What Extraordinary Leaders Do Differently

Peter Drucker first advised building strengths in the 1960s and it became a constant theme throughout his work. In 1990 psychology researcher and professor, Martin Seligman, published his book, Learned Optimism, and launched the positive psychology movement. In 2001, Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton, their book, Now, Discover Your Strengths. I read, reread, and cited […]

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Resilience, Positivity, and the Power of Leadership

I grew up in the small farming community of Milverton, Ontario, in Perth County just north of Stratford. Arden Barker was a farmer, local politician, and well-known community builder. His wife Helen was also very active in the community and wrote a weekly newspaper column filled with her wit, experiences, observations, and philosophies. Helen was […]

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Key Leadership Lessons From Our Most Popular Workshop

Of all our custom keynotes and workshops topics, the most popular continues to be variations of Leading @ the Speed of Change. One reason for that is in today’s fast-moving world it’s easy to be overwhelmed by rapid changes and difficult problems. While we can’t control the changes, we can manage our response. It’s not […]

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Inspiring “Yes, I Can” Video Redefines Disability and Pushes the Limits

What’s a disability? Merriam-Webster defines it as “a condition (such as an illness or an injury) that damages or limits a person’s physical or mental abilities.” But just where are those limits and who defines them? The more we learn about the boundaries of human performance the more we understand how our perceptions shape our […]

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Building Strengths is Authentic, Increases Happiness, and Leverages Leadership Skills

As I reflect on attending the Canadian Positive Psychology Association conference and Zenger Folkman’s Leadership Summit over the past two months, Jonathon’s Haidt’s advice from The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Jonathan Haidt rings true; “Work on your strengths, not your weaknesses… if it is a weakness you choose to work on, […]

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Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm from…”The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha

“This instinctive need for what we don’t yet have creates in us a persistent state of dissatisfaction. Without it, our ancestors would always be only one failed hunting session away from starvation…unhappiness is nature’s way of keeping people on their toes. It’s a crude system, but it has worked for thousands of years.” “Studies show […]

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Review of “The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha

With the rapid growth of Positive Psychology there’s been an explosion in books on happiness. Amazon lists 100,000 books on the topic! I lean heavily toward personal, leadership, or organization development books that are evidence-based. Neil does cite some research and many of his approaches align well with the emerging science of well-being. What sets […]

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