Finding your strengths, recognising what is right with you

This week I am continuing my new thought stream re-visiting Positive Psychology. I studied this topic at the University of East London when I attended the first European based Positive Psychology Masters Degree.

One of the things I love about Positive Psychology is the idea that we can focus on what is right with people rather than what is wrong with them. When Psychology was first developed as a field it did look at the “whole” range of human experience both the healthy and the troubled. At some point in our history, probably around the time of the First World War the focus shifted to the issue of “what is wrong with people”.

It could be argued that the Self-actualisation movement, Humanistic Psychology and others still looked at both ends of the spectrum however when Positive Psychology was first suggested as a distinction it captured the public imagination.

One idea worth exploring is the idea of “Strengths”. Many people are keen to tell you their weaknesses particularly when reviewing things they have done. Have you noticed how many people are extremely self-critical?

What if we instead focused on our Strengths and how we can harness them, In Positive Psychology this is a topic explored by people like Martin Seligman, Alex Linley and others. It is possible to take a questionnaire that ranks a set of strengths to give you your top five.

When I took this test I was not surprised to find that “Love of learning” was my number one strength. It probably explains why I am forever signing up for a new course and learning a new skill.

This weekend I’m learning wildlife photography. As I sat in class yesterday I noticed how content I was to be learning. I haven’t been on a course recently so it was interesting to notice that I’d missed it. My favourite learning style is in the classroom with others so although I can and do learn from other medium it was being in the classroom that really captured my imagination.

dream and let your ideas take flight

I found taking the various strengths questionnaires I have participated in during my Positive Psychology degree interesting and they gave me a place to start in reflecting on my own strengths. However I do wonder if choosing from a list is a little limiting.

What do you consider your strengths to be? Do you know intuitively?

If you are not sure here is a link to one of the questionnaires I took. This one is free and your results will be used for research purposes.

Let me know how you get on and we’ll talk more about strengths next week.

About Melody @ GWizlearning

Melody spent fourteen years gathering experience of the business world working in banking, telecommunications and the public sector before co-founding The GWiz Learning Partnership in 1993. Melody has a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology, a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Psychotherapy. She is an NLP Master Trainer which allows her to run NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer Training courses certified by the Positive School of Intrinsic Neuro-Linguistc Psychology. She is also a qualified Myers Briggs practitioner and EI practitioner and added to all this is five years Transactional Analysis training, meaning she is able to help organisations access the hidden potential in their staff. She is also in demand for her work in transforming average or even troubled teams into high performers. Melody is a visiting lecturer at University of East London, teaching "Wellbeing and Positive Psychology" to undergraduates. Additionally, she is a member of the CIPD and is ILM accredited. Melody's interests are many and varied. She has a keen interest in personal development, canine and wolf psychology, conservation, movies and running. She also enjoys western horse riding, walking the GWiz dogs, nature watching and stage combat (particularly sword fighting).
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2 Responses to Finding your strengths, recognising what is right with you

  1. Hi Melody. Yes I have been very surprised in learning what my strengths are. I have realised that they are actually in learning, writing, teaching and speaking.. These have only actually developed in the last year of my life. I never saw them as strengths before, as I was only aware of other life long strengths, which I concentrated on so much that I ignored the other ones that were there all along. However the timing is right now, as these strengths that I have now become aware of are going to be used in the 3rd University of my life! I would not have had time in my younger years to use them! I am so grateful that I have found them now!

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