Play to Your Strengths
Twenty years ago if I had asked someone to describe themselves at their best, the response would have been “I am not bad at finance” or “I’m pretty good with people”. Very few people could articulate with clarity what made them feel, think and be at their best. The character traits and activities that made them really flourish. In 1999, Dr Martin Seligman began writing about the need for the science of psychology to remediate psychological suffering; by focusing on meaning and engagement in our lives, by focusing on positive emotions, relationships and achievements. Since that time the Positive Psychology evidence base has proliferated and now we are able to take the VIA signature strengths test like the other 11 million people worldwide and accurately use language to help us achieve optimal functioning. The research shows that to achieve high performance, to engage meaningfully at work and to be at our best, we need to understand, focus on and leverage our strengths. In my personal experience it has been liberating to focus on the strengths that make me feel like me, unselfconscious, energised and alive. In the latest episode of the Fast Track Career Conversations with Margie Hartley podcast I speak with Sally Collins, Chief Operating Officer, Victorian Funds Management Corporate where she shares how being aware of and using her strengths in the workplace have led to a promotion, a book and a new life perspective. To learn more about Positive Psychology and Strengths watch this video, read Average to A+ by Alex Linley and visit the VIA Character Strengths website and conduct their free online survey.