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Embracing Lessons from Positive Psychology

Just watched this Ted Talk (several times) to absorb the messages from Prof. Martin Seligman. I can't think of a more relevant and important set of lessons to internalize and action in the next year.

A few takeaways for improving our lives and those that we can influence (socially) and others that we can control (professionally):

  • Discover your highest (signature) strengths

  • Align your work, social, play around those strengths

  • Develop a capability to apply “flow” with your strengths

  • Emphasize causal factors that amply those strengths

  • Increase meaning and engagement (flow) to improve lives

  • Enable high talent to promote a “pleasant life"

  • Focus on developing and promoting strengths not weaknesses

  • Design can be used to improve and enhance meaning and engagement

  • Technology, Creativity, & Design can be used to enhance positivity and productivity

A few questions to consider for managers & leaders:

  • What if promoting positivity was a Must-Have qualification for hiring leaders & managers?

  • How would we evaluate this capability in new talent (potential hires)?

  • How would we assess this capability in existing talent (in performance reviews)?

  • What behaviors would contribute to these results in specific scenarios? (Easier said than done)

  • How do we responsibly establish goals and measures to preserve and promote positivity in the systems and algorithms [AI] we are increasingly reliant upon to deliver experiences for people, planet, and prosperity?

  • How do managers, leaders, and HR leverage Design Thinking to promote positivity in an organization for workers (full-time, part-time, contractors, and partners)?

  • How do leaders promote positivity for the customers they serve? Not just for the initial purchase of a product or service, but when they need support?

  • With the increasing importance of Sustainability, how do leaders promote positivity for society? Further, how should we measure it given the insights offered by Prof. Seligman?

This Ted Talk was recorded in 2008 and yet these messages are as fresh and relevant perhaps even prescient) given the current social, professional, and political challenges we face today. Seems like promoting positivity might be a good resolution for this New Year and all those that follow.


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