What Makes People Happy An Introduction to Positive Psychology and its application within the work setting Shane Martin, Psychologist Moodwatchers Email: email@example.com Tel. 047-84837 Mob: 085-1314482
One track mind? • Psychology consumed with mental illness • Describing and measuring depression, schizophrenia, addiction etc. • Explanations for ‘disorders’ across the lifespan • Genetics, biochemistry, psychological causes • Emphasis on relieving the ‘pain’
Progress at a price? • Trying to relieve the states that makes life miserable instead of building the states that makes life worth living • A shift from what is wrong to what is right (and fundamentally why it is right) • From ‘fire-brigade’ psychology to ‘fire-proofing’ psychology • Surviving crisis: how? Why? • Strengths as well as weaknesses
Global Gallop Poll • Which would help you be more successful in your life - knowing what your weaknesses are and attempting to improve on them or knowing your strengths and building on them? • 41% US, 38% UK, 24% Japan focused on weaknesses. No country focused on strengths.
From 2+ to 7+ • From -5 to -2 • How improved/better are you?
Time has arrived for a science that seeks to understand positive emotion and strengths and offer us guideposts for the ‘good life’ New research into happiness shows that it can be lastingly increased
Authentic Happiness? • Comes from identifying and cultivating your most fundamental strengths and using them everyday in work, love, play, parenting etc
3 Pillars of Positive Psychology • STUDY OF POSITIVE EMOTION • STUDY OF POSITIVE TRAITS - strengths, virtues, abilities (intelligence, athleticism) • STUDY OF POSITIVE INSTITUTIONS
Therapy? • FROM THE DISEASE MODEL - helping people who present themselves for treatment once the problems have become unbearable • Therapy usually too late - better to act when well, prevention, self-empowerment, education etc • Prevention is massively effective
Are there psychological interventions in youth that will prevent depression, schizophrenia and substance abuse in adulthood? • YES • Seligman: Teaching 10 year olds the skills of optimistic thinking and actions cuts their rates of depression in half in puberty
Prevention of mental illness by recognising and nurturing a set of strengths, competencies and virtues in young people such as future-mindedness, hope, faith, work ethic etc. • Building strengths as a buffer • Disease model focuses on deficits
Positive Psychology • The Study of Happiness • When people are happy they are also mentally healthy • Work: Are you happy in your job? • Happier people are markedly more satisfied in their jobs than less happy people • Research shows that happiness actually causes more productivity and higher incomes
One study (TOYOTA) 275 employees measured their positive emotion and followed their job performance over next 18 months. • Happier people went on to get better evaluations and higher pay • Happy people endure pain better and take more health and safety precaution when threatened
Genetics? • Approximately 50% of all personality traits are attributed to genetic inheritances • But high hereditary link does not determine how unchangeable a trait is • State of Drift
SIGNATURE STRENGTHS • Strengths ( integrity, valor, originality etc.) and talents (perfect pitch, facial beauty etc.) not to be confused with each other • Strengths are moral traits • Talents are non-moral
Talents or Strengths? • Talents tend not to be as ‘buildable’ as strengths • Strengths can be built • Talents more innate - you either have them or not • Talents are relatively automatic (It’s C sharp v act of will (too much change in shop) • Talents involve choice - whether to develop it or not, whether to use it or not Jill was so smart. She wasted her intelligence Jill was so kind. She wasted her kindness.
Strengths can be acquired…. • Time • Self-discovery and Self-potential • Determination • But talents cannot be acquired merely by an act of will
The Signature Strengths • WISDOM • COURAGE • HUMANITY • JUSTICE • TEMPERANCE • TRANSCEDENCE Several distinct routes to each of the six and these are measurable and acquirable strengths
Strength • Not once off kindness in one setting but seen across different situations and consistently over time • Ubiquitous - across culture
WISDOM • Curiosity / interest in the world • Love of learning • Judgment / critical thinking / open-mindedness • Ingenuity /originality / practical intelligence /street smart • Social Intelligence / personal intelligence / emotional intelligence • Perspective
COURAGE • Valor and bravery • Perseverance industry/ diligence • Integrity / genuineness / honesty
HUMANITY • Kindness / generosity • Loving • Allowing oneself to be loved
JUSTICE • Citizenship / Duty / Teamwork / Loyalty • Fairness and Equity • Leadership
TEMPERANCE • Self-control and discipline • Prudence / discretion / caution • Humility and modesty
TRANSCEDENCE • Appreciation of beauty and excellence • Gratitude • Hope, optimism, future mindedness • Spirituality, sense of purpose, faith, religiousness • Forgiveness and mercy • Playfulness and humour • Zest, passion and enthusiasm
Work? • Does my work have to be this unsatisfying? • What can I do about it?
Positive Psychology • Work can be more satisfying • Using your signature strengths at work more often • Re-crafting your job to make it more satisfying • Job Coaches - implications for placing clients in ‘work’ and in measuring clients’ satisfaction within work
To maximise job satisfaction we need to use our signature strengths and develop them more • Strengths-based development • Transforming a ‘token’ job to a ‘calling’ • ‘Calling’ is the most satisfying form of work because it is done for its own sake rather than for the material benefits • Companies that promote this state will overtake companies that rely solely on monetary reward
3 Kinds of Work Orientation • Job: for the pay cheque, no other rewards sought, means to an end • Career: deeper personal involvement, achievement marked through money/advancement / promotion brings more prestige, power, money (When opportunities close we start looking elsewhere) • Calling: Passionate, fulfilling in its own right
Positive Psychology says.. Any job can become a calling and any calling can become a job.
Implications for Job Coaches • Matching clients to jobs • Positive Psychology within assessment process • Assessment of satisfaction within job • Strengths-based development
Positive Psychology Research shows…… • Strengths-based development linked to positive outcomes • Direct relationship between strengths-based development and attendance, punctuality, productivity • Linked to ‘Employee-Engagement’ • Studies of ‘State of Flow’
People will be healthier and happier by • By identifying and developing individual strengths. • Ensuring sufficient levels of self-engagement are involved in the work setting