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Tagged with 'positive psychology'

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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Business Can Be a Creative Force for Positive Changes in Our World

Last month I participated in the 3rd Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Having attended the first Canadian conference at the University of Toronto in 2012, and avidly following all the research, articles, and books in this burgeoning new field I found the conference lived up to their theme “Exhilarate 2016 – Learn […]

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3rd Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology

For the past few decades I’ve followed the ground-breaking work of Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania. Based on his extensive research, articles and books, and his 1998 term as elected president of The American Psychological Association he’s now considered the founder of the burgeoning new field of positive psychology. This is defined as […]

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Strengthen Leadership Skills by Awakening the Force

During these rapidly changing times leadership skills are critical. Yet many studies show a profound dissatisfaction with leadership effectiveness across most organizations. And a vast majority of executives feel their leadership skill development efforts aren’t effective. A major part of the problem is that we’re “seduced by the dark side” of fixing weaknesses or closing […]

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New ‘Greater Good in Action’ Web Site is Very Useful

The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley is part of the burgeoning research in the emerging field of Positive Psychology. Since 2001, the GGSC has been a leader in the “scientific movement to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior — the science of a meaningful life.” […]

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Re-Fired with Building Strengths

It’s been three years since Jack Zenger and I had one of our periodic update conversations after we headed off in different directions over 20 years ago. Our previous companies, The Achieve Group and Zenger Miller, had worked together for more than a decade. When this conversation took place with Jack, my wife, Heather, and […]

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New Survey Showing a Strengths Revolution in our Workplaces

In 2001 only 2 out of 10 people reported that they had a chance to do what they do best every day at work. In 2015 this more than doubled to 5 out of every 10 people. Michelle McQuaid is an honorary fellow at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education, holds a Masters in Applied […]

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Profit is a Means Not an End

One of my favorite Holiday traditions is watching numerous movie versions of Charles Dickens’ powerful classic, A Christmas Carol. The story centers on Ebenezer Scrooge a selfish, cold-hearted miser who cares only about maximizing his profits. Donald Duck’s uncle, Scrooge McDuck is a cartoon character named after Ebenezer Scrooge. In those cartoons he’s the world’s […]

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Strengths, Positivity, and Halo Effects

Throughout my work I’ve quoted extensively from Martin Seligman’s pioneering work in founding the breakthrough field of positive psychology. This is the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions to raise the importance of psychological health around the world. His most recent focus has been on helping people move from enjoying a […]

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Book Review: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl

I often find biographies of accomplished leaders or thought pioneers inspiring and instructive. Having read the Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, Viktor Frankl’s, classic book, Man’s Search for Meaning years ago I recently came across his autobiography Viktor Frankl Recollections. I enjoyed reading about his story and it drew me back to reread Man’s Search for […]

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Learned Helplessness: The Pike Syndrome

Since the mid-sixties, there have been a large number of experiments with animals and people revealing that helplessness can be a conditioned or learned response. An early experiment with learned helplessness was demonstrated with rats. When they were put directly in ice water, they could swim around for forty to sixty hours. But if the rats were […]

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Book Review: “What We Can Change and What We Can’t” By Martin Seligman

From its beginning in the 1960s, cognitive psychology has developed science/evidence-based approaches that have proven more effective then drugs and other methods in treating people with depression, phobias, obsessions, addictions, eating disorders, and other life-disrupting problems. University of Pennsylvania professor of psychology, Martin Seligman, established a successful track record researching, developing, and documenting treatment techniques. […]

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