3. What is Positive Psychology?
Positive psychology is the scientific
and practical pursuit of optimal
and it augments psychology’s
longstanding focus on weakness and
4. Positive Psychology on Happiness
Not: Unhappiness <=======> Happiness
Rather: Happiness as a skill,
NOT a unidimensional trait
5. The path of MOST resistance
“you can be anything you want to be, if you
just try hard enough”
“you cannot be anything you want to be—
but you can be a lot more of who you
6. What’s coming?
• Strengths Theory
• Clues to Your Strengths
• Examining Your Strengths
• Nurturing Strengths
• What about weaknesses?
7. Gallup’s Model of Strengths
What would happen…if we studied what is RIGHT
Which would help you be more successful in life --
knowing your weaknesses and attempting to improve
your weaknesses, or knowing what your strengths are
and attempting to build on your strengths?”
8. Enjoying What You Do…
What was the best day you’ve had at
work/school in the last 3 months.
What were you doing?
Why did you enjoy it so much?
9. Enjoying What You Do…
On a typical day in this role, what
proportion (%) of time is spent doing
things you like to do?
11. Gallup’s Q-12 Employee Engagement Measurement
#3: At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do
best every day?
Of the 1,000 people who strongly disagree with that
– not one was emotionally engaged on the job
– Dread going to work
– Have more negative than positive interactions with
– Treat customers poorly
– Achieve less on a daily basis
• A naturally recurring pattern of thought,
feeling, or behavior that can be productively
• Talents exist naturally within us
13. Talents are…
• 1. Behavior patterns that make you effective.
• 2. Thought patterns that make you efficient.
• 3. Beliefs that empower you to succeed.
• 4. Attitudes that sustain your efforts toward
achievement and excellence.
• 5. Motivations that propel you to take action and
maintain the energy needed to achieve.
• The ability to consistently provide near-perfect
performance in a given activity.
• A strength enables and equips you to do certain
things very well.
• Strengths grow from our natural talents, so while
they can be developed, they cannot be acquired.
19. Identifying Your Talents…
On the list of 34 Talent Themes…
Put a star by your Top 5 and put a question
mark by 5 others that
you think might be in your Top 10.
20. Grouping by highestTalent
• Find any others in the room with your same highestTalentTheme.
• IF there is more than one of you, talk with each other about what is
is like to have lived your life from that strength.
• If you are the only one with your topTalentTheme, find others who
are also the only one with their talent theme and answer the same
21. Traces of Evidence of Talents
• Without even thinking, I automatically…
• Passion or yearning. Ever since I can remember…
• Rapid learning: Effortless. I just get it.
• I’ve felt happiest when…
• Exceptional performance
22. A friend knows the song in my heart and sings
it to me when my memory fails. Donna Roberts
Take a moment to answer the
questions on the next slide.
Partner up with someone near you and
discuss your answers.
23. Examining/Sharing Your
• Which of your Signature Themes describe you best?
• Which of your Signature Themes do you use most
• Were you surprised by anything in the report? If so,
• Which of your Signature Themes do you anticipate using
most in your work?
24. Examining/Sharing Your
• What is the one strength that is most evident when you
are working with a passion (or in Flow)?
• What behaviors are in line with that strength?
• How can you better use that strength in your daily work?
25. Exercise in Strengths
List one thing you did yesterday in
– Your career
– Your personal relationships
– Your hobbies
...that is in line with one of your strengths
26. 4 Domains of Leadership Strengths
• Relationship Building
• Strategic Thinking
• Ideally you have one team member from each
• know how to make things happen
• will work tirelessly to get things done
• the ability to “catch” an idea and make it a
• help their team reach a broader audience
• always selling the team’s ideas inside and
outside the organization
• Will take charge, speak up, and make sure
your group is heard
29. Relationship Building
• the essential glue that holds a team together
• create groups and organizations that are much
greater than the sum of their parts
30. Strategic Thinking
• keep us all focused on what could be
• constantly absorbing and analyzing
information to help the team make better
• continually stretch our thinking for the future
33. Seeing your Strengths
• Create a visual representation of your top 3 Strengths.
• Explain your picture to someone else.
– Tell a story about your strengths.
– How do you see yourself leading with one or two of your
34. From Talents to
• Investment has 3 parts…
• Must invest in your talents to develop
Talent x Investment = Strength
35. From Talents to
Choose one of your talents and brainstorm how you
might invest in that talent this year.
EXPLAIN your ideas with someone in the group.
Talent x Investment = Strength
37. Difficulties in Affirming Strengths
1. I take my talents for granted
2. My talents sometimes threaten others
3. Mismatch between my dominant talents
and the expectations of the roles I am in
4. Fear of becoming proud and arrogant
5. I don't see how my talents will help me achieve my goals
38. Managing Weaknesses…
• Types of Weaknesses:
–Deficiencies – Something you don’t
have much of or don’t do well
–Over-Reliance - Too much of a “good
thing” when you over-rely on one particular
Buckingham and Clifton, 2001
39. Managing Weaknesses…
• Tips to Manage Weaknesses:
• Make Small Improvements
• Create Supports
• Talent > Weakness
• Find Others with
• Practice Flexibility
Buckingham and Clifton, 2001
41. Using Talents as a
– Which of your talents do you think will be most crucial to
success as a graduate student?
– Pick one of your talents that you feel you’re not using to its
full potential – what can you do to better use it in your
– Are there talents you have that might not get used in your
work unless you make a conscious effort to use them?