Positive Psychology – How to Help Your People Flourish with Strengths Coaching

The real joy, to me, of Strengths Coaching is its positivity. 

Exploring your strengths, and those of your team, is powerful because it focuses on your existing character traits and skills – recognising those things which energise you and give you confidence. Strengths Coaching sits alongside Positive Psychology as an approach to personal development which puts your personal fulfilment at its centre.

What is Positive Psychology?

The term “positive psychology” was initially coined by Professor Martin Seligman in 1998. 

Addressing the American Psychological Association as it’s president, Professor Seligman suggested a drive to focus more on “positive psychology”, defining it as a focus on “understanding and building… the most positive qualities of an individual”. 

He suggested psychology had moved away from its roots of making the lives of all individuals more fulfilling and productive; instead, he said psychology was now prioritising the area of curing mental illness. 

Positive Psychology and Strengths 

Seligman worked alongside other psychologists and researchers to identify what they considered to be universal strengths and virtues – including bravery, open-mindedness, love of learning and forgiveness. These strengths, they determined, would lead to positive emotional experiences and therefore positive outcomes.

You might recognise this concept in the work later developed by Strengthscope. Strengthscope has directed our exploration of these strengths into a work environment, allowing us to explore how your strengths impact, and are impacted by, your role. 

Flow and Energy 

The concept of flow in positive psychology, as described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1970s, somewhat reflects our understanding of energy in Strengths Coaching.

Csikszentmihalyi suggested flow is a state in which your abilities are perfectly matched to what is required of you. Flow brings its own rewards bringing high performance and elation, where mismatches of skill and challenge can lead to overwhelm or boredom.

In this podcast and blog, Strengthscope’s Dr Paul Brewerton explores the notion of energy. He states:

“If it energises and you’re good at it, or can become good at it, it’s likely to be a strength.”

Why is Positive Psychology Helpful?

Through his work in positive psychology, Seligman identified positive principles which would lead to increased wellbeing. Similarly, research has been done to show the benefits of positive emotions in many areas of life – improving relationships, capacity for learning, problem-solving and motivation.

It can be seen how directing your life through these positive principles will benefit individuals in all areas.  

Similarly, we can see how understanding your personal character strengths and directing your actions through these strengths will increase your flow – bringing about further positive benefits to your individual wellbeing. 

What does this mean for Strengths Coaching?

As I’ve already mentioned, the character strengths identified by those first pioneers into positive psychology have a real connection to those strengths we explore in Strengths Coaching.

Exploring our strengths with Strengthscope, then, helps guide the positive outcomes Seligman identified – not only for those who are practising them, but those working with them who benefit from their increased energy and positivity.

Strengths Coaching shows that an understanding of your own strengths, and those of your team, will provide a positive basis for your personal development – helping you identify skills and ways of working which will energise and build stronger teams.

We seek to give you the tools to understand which work will give you energy, allowing you to refine your role to benefit from that positive energy and avoid things which will drain you.

Positive Psychology to Positively Benefit Your Business

The strengths of your people, and how they combine to create a stronger team, is at the heart of my work as a Strengths Coach. Seeing this within the scope of positive psychology where we emphasise the development of positive, people-focused values and celebrate individual’s strengths, seems clear to me. 

Positive psychology can be seen to develop an individual’s personal wellbeing, while using Strengths Coaching will do the same in a work environment; strengthening individuals, teams, and your whole business.

If you’d like to find out more about Strengths Coaching or how I can help you, I’d love you to Get in Touch.

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