I wanted to share with you a relatively easy way of feeling better at work. It’s simply by intelligently applying your character strengths – more effectively using what you naturally have within you! Let me explain a little more….
A quick look at character strengths
Character strengths are “positive traits reflected in thoughts, feelings and behaviours” (Park et al., 2004) and are regarded as essential ingredients of a fulfilling and happy life (Peterson, 2006). The VIA Classification consists of 24 different character strengths, which we all have within us and can draw on to support us in all aspects of life.
By implementing a character strengths approach, our main focus is on what’s right and what we do well, instead of spending time and energy ‘fixing’ our weaknesses, as studies have shown that this where we can experience the greatest positive impact.
I work with the VIA Classification of character strengths as they are flexible, effective and impactful when professionally applied, and have been proven through many studies to contribute to flourishing.
What are the benefits of applying character strengths at work?
When we consistently and intelligently apply our strengths at work, there’s evidence to show that we can experience improvements in:
When I say intelligently, I mean that to really get the most benefit of applying your strengths, it’s important to know the best way in which to use them! For example to understand when to dial up a strength, such as bravery before a speech; or dial down a strength, for example creativity when you are required to closely follow processes. Or by seeking an evidence-based positive psychology intervention to develop your strengths in new and novel ways.
So, which strengths are most impactful at work?
Numerous studies have found that when the character strengths of…
… are consistently applied at work, then we can experience higher levels of satisfaction.
Here are some ideas of how you could apply each in the work setting:
(Reference: Niemiec & McGrath, 2019; Niemiec, 2018: McQuaid & Lawn, 2014)
So, which of these 4 strengths will you be focusing on first?!
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Would you like to try a positive psychology intervention that is an act of kindness towards another and that can improve your wellbeing for months after you’ve completed it?
Writing a letter in which you express your gratitude and appreciation towards a family member, friend or colleague has been shown to improve wellbeing and reduce depressive symptoms.
In this exercise, write a letter that expresses your gratitude for what someone has contributed to your life. Be specific about what exactly you are grateful for and tell them how it has made you feel. You may decide not to give the person the letter, and that is absolutely ok, but if you do decide to share it with them, if possible deliver it in person.
Afterwards, reflect on the following questions:
How did this exercise make you feel?
What reaction did the other person have?
How did you feel a week after writing the letter?
And… who is the next person you’d like to write a gratitude letter to?
Here’s a positive psychology intervention you can try that besides helping you to feel happier, being sick less often and bringing about sustained improvements in your wellbeing after you’ve tried the intervention, it will support you in clarifying what you’d like to achieve, and prompt you to develop an action and prioritisation plan in order to meet your goals.
Simply plan some quiet time and think about your life over the next 5 years. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realisation of all of your life dreams.
Now spend 15-20 minutes writing about what you imagined, for 4 days in a row.
And after the 4 days, reflect on the following questions:
What exactly have you achieved?
How did you feel once you achieved your goals?
How did you do it?
Who was supporting you?
What strengths did you use?
What do you need to do in order to meet your goals?
What else did you notice?
How did you find this intervention? And what do you notice about your levels of happiness and positivity after repeating it for 4 days?
What are some easy ways to engage a team?
Do you have team management responsibility? If yes, what do you do to keep your team members engaged and motivated?
In my coaching work, I’m increasingly working with leaders to support them in engaging their teams in the most authentic way possible. And perhaps you already know that for most of my former career, I managed employee engagement campaigns within large organisations. It’s definitely a passion of mine!
So, I did some research, and along with my own insights I created this list of 41 simple and impactful ways for leaders to engage their teams.
Perhaps you do all of this already, or maybe there are a couple of points here that you find helpful…I’d love to know if you have any more that have helped you engage your team, please don’t hesitate to share them with me – email@example.com
You can download it here.