Posted by: healingtheworkplace | June 29, 2008

Positive Psychology-Studying Ways to Find Meaning in the Workplace

In my last post I provided a very short history of management. 

For today’s post I’d like to switch gears again and look at a relatively new field of psychology…called Positive Psychology.

The following definition can be found on the website of The Center for Positive Psychology at Penn State University: 

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths & virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.

And, although there is no specific mention of the workplace in the above quote, one of the stated goals of The Center is to…

…build a science to support workplaces that foster satisfaction and high productivity!

This new approach to psychology is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives.

We want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives and this includes the time that we spend at work.

This means two things:

  1. As individuals we need to understand and develop our strengths and talents and be prepared to tap into these at work. 
  2. As leaders or managers we need to manage people by building on their strengths and helping them develop their talents.

I’ve recently discovered that there is a NAME for these types of workplaces.

They are called “strength-based workplaces” and they tend to be workplaces that are characterised by productivity, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and profitability.

 Well, that’s all for today!

Lesley

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Responses

  1. There are two changes in the ‘outer’ world which dovetail with the emergence of positive psychology.

    1. Companies abandoned loyalty to their employees a long time back. That means we run our own careers and employers have to compete not only the opportunity to pay us a wage but for our time, attention, motivation, etc. The ROWE system is an example of an organization that understands this.

    2. Services are increasingly being co-created. In some ways the wheel has turned the full circle. Some businesses also try to “dump” some of the cost onto consumers. The younger generation is used to a read-write situation where the service is an opportunity for self-expression. This value system is being brought into organizations again requiring massive change to accommodate youth culture and to serve youth culture. The value and monetization is in the co-creation.

    Positive psychology is still talking as if it surprises itself with its insights! The world is ready for organizations that are more respectful and woe to those who get it wrong – giving smiley faces to kids for achieving nothing etc.!

    I am looking for people who are “doing it” and projects that want to take a run at the frontiers and try to do it better!

  2. The Center is at the University of Pennsylvania, the only university in the world to currently offer a Masters degree in Positive Psychology

  3. Noetic (Spiritual) Leadership provides a model of leadership, plus specific interaction skills, that build meaning. Papers on such have been presented to the British Academy of Management and at the Gallup Leadership Instituite Conference.

  4. Whoa ! That is certainly one Amazing Page ! Thanks a lot A whole lot, As i just Saved for a favorite your internet site, Hope that you’ll develop extra material similar to this.


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