What if were wired for both helplessness and for resilience… what does this mean for how we improve and measure wellbeing in workplaces?
What if grit isn’t everything and being too strengths-focused is dangerous for people’s careers… how do we apply positive psychology tools intelligently?
What if the point of positive psychology interventions was to help people become informed and active participants in shaping their wellbeing?
I hope you enjoy these interviews with some of the world’s leading positive psychology experts as we explore how to truly improve wellbeing in workplaces.
Professor Martin Seligman
From governments to workplaces and schools there is a growing interest in measuring and improving people’s wellbeing. After all, helping people to feel good and to function effectively has been found to be associated with effective learning, productivity and creativity, good relationships, pro-social behavior and good health and life expectancy. But can the wellbeing of people and populations really be improved?
Dr. Martin Seligman is the Director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center and Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology in the Penn Department of Psychology. He is a leading authority in the fields of Positive Psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism and pessimism. He has written more than 275 scholarly publications and 25 books including the international best-sellers Authentic Happiness, Flourish and Homo Prospectus.
Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky
Are you trying to be happier? From the science of happiness to self-help books there seems to be no-end of suggestions of how to be happier. So is there a way to know what could really work for you?
Sonja Lyubomirsky is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, and her research on the science of happiness has been the recipient of many honors, including the Templeton Positive Psychology Prize and a Character Lab grant. She’s the author of the best-selling books The How of Happiness and The Myths of Happiness, and her work has been written up in hundreds of magazines and newspaper articles, and she’s appeared on multiple TV shows, radio shows, and featured in documentaries around the world.
Professor Angela Duckworth
Is grit the key ingredient for your success? Researchers define grit as the passion and perseverance to achieve your long-term goals. So it makes sense that over the last few years it has been championed as the silver bullet that enables our success. But is grit really all it takes to succeed?
Angela Duckworth is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and founder and scientific director of the Character Lab, a non-profit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. A 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, Angela studies grit and self-control, two attributes that are distinct from IQ and yet powerfully predict success and wellbeing. She has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs and has received numerous awards for her contributions to education, and her first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, debuted as an immediate New York Times bestseller.
Professor George Bonanno
Could it be that we’re wired for resilience and that this is not a skill we need to be taught? Longitudinal studies suggest that most of us will recover from setbacks, heartbreaks and even trauma. So should workplaces be investing in resilience programs?
George Bonanno is a professor of clinical psychology; Director of the Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab, and Director of the Resilience Center for Veterans and Families at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Professor Bonanno’s empirical and theoretical work has focused on defining and documenting resilience in the face of loss or potential traumatic events, including disaster, terrorist attack, traumatic injury, and military deployment, and on identifying the range of psychological and contextual variables that predict both psychopathological and resilient outcomes. He is also the author of The Other Side of Sadness.
When it comes to using a coach to improve your performance at work, would you rather they focus on building your strengths or fixing your weaknesses? As the executive coaching industry continues to boom, so too has a strengths-focused approach to improving your performance on the job. And while focusing on your strengths has been found to have all sorts of benefits, could ignoring your weaknesses come at a cost?
Jeffrey Auerbach designs and delivers executive coaching and emotionally intelligent leadership programs globally and is the founder and President of the College of Executive Coaching, and past Vice-President of the International Coach Federation Global Board of Directors. He directs the Positive Psychology WellBeing Coaching Certification program which qualifies participants to sit for the new National Board of Medical Examiners’ credential as a Health and Wellness Coach. He is also the author of the classic coaching book, Personal and Executive Coaching, The Complete Guide for Mental Health Professionals, now in its 20th printing.