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Driving Performance with Positive Psychology

What is Positive Psychology?

Positive Psychology is the science-based study and application of what contributes to a life of thriving. It answers questions such as:

  • Why do some people thrive in situations when others don’t?
  • How is it that some people have the ability to recover more quickly from a setback?
  • What contributes to individuals meeting their potential?
  • How might life be different if we knew the data behind human well-being?

In 1998, Martin Seligman, the then-President of the American Psychological Association (APA) flipped psychology from solely “what’s broken” to also include “what works.” In so doing, he opened the floodgates to the evidence-based discovery of the impact of such things as . . .

. . . empathy, gratitude, purpose, empowerment, goal attainment, movement, and most importantly positive relationships.

Science now has the ability to research and understand how emotions specifically impact the brain and our mental health.  This is where  Positive Psychology can help drive Performance


Why Do We Care About Positive Psychology?

It’s funny how we tend to disregard emotions as fluff or even signs of weakness. In fact, building positive emotions leads to greater innovation, creativity, and productivity; all things we want in our life and business. When we develop our personal strengths and acknowledge those of others, we invite the experiences and intellect of all which generates better ideas and decisions. Positive emotions help us become more agile in meeting challenges and adversity, and they build resilience.

In short, positive emotions lead to greater individual and organizational sustainability for the future.

Positive Psychology Impacts Work
– Organization Development

It is natural that Positive Psychology should impact our world of work. Afterall, we spend much of our life there in relationship with others trying to reach common goals. While any area or department can begin working toward a culture of well-being and thriving, organization-wide initiatives generally land with those of us in Organization Development (OD).

Positive Psychology and Positive Psychology Coaching provides a new lens through which Organizational Development and other leaders can focus more sharply on such concepts as purpose, connection, and growth mindset.  From High Quality Connections (HQC)[1] to leaderless organizations, we have evidence to support building new cultures, structures, and policies that invite empowerment, emotional safety, and mentoring relationships at all levels of an organization.

The M6 Model is a practical, proven tool to organize your thinking around six areas that impact bottom line by improving workplace wellbeing. These six areas are: Meaning, Mentoring, Movement, Mindfulness, Motivation, and Mastery. CLICK HERE to take a look at my eBook.

[1] J. Dutton, University of Michigan

Positive Psychology Benefits Coaching Engagements

Executive Coaching is a personalized approach to growing and developing leaders that starts where they are and is based on their specific strengths, goals, and challenges. It strategically targets individuals to raise their game exponentially with one-on-one access to insights, resources, and commitment.

Positive Psychology Coaching provides an additional, evidence-based toolbox around such concepts as best-self, the power of habits, priming and how to use it, empathy, self-compassion, gratitude, and avoiding overthinking, and more. It drives new thinking and behaviors and builds resilience.

Designing a workplace of wellbeing requires leaders who have a keen awareness of themselves and understand the power of leveraging their strengths and those of others to realize the potential of all — “all boats rise.”  Leaders who demonstrate positive emotions and walk the talk serve as an example for others and create a workplace that reinforces of the right things to drive engagement and peak performance.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding and leveraging strengths taps the potential of the entire organization.
  2. Positive emotions broaden our thinking, opening us to new ideas and innovation while growing our insights and intellect.
  3. Purpose and potential are linked; the evidence shows that when people connect to an organization’s values and purpose, they are more engaged and motivated.
  4. A culture of thriving and wellbeing creates resilient people and organizations and are more profitable and sustainable for the future.

Positive Psychology provides an extra tool box that results in a win-win-win for the organization’s bottom line, leadership goals, and the well-being of workers.

What People Are Saying

Karen is a “rock” and someone I would always value to have on my team or, better yet, lead my team!"

Shawn G. McBride
Foah International, LLC
Past Chairman of the Specialty Food
Association Board of Directors
Past Chairman of the Specialty Food
Foundation Board of Directors

“Karen distilled leadership theory into practical and personal application, working with me to assess a complicated environment and find a successful path forward. I'm still using lessons learned and very thankful for Karen's insights.”

Global Marketing Manager, Major International Law Firm

"I have noticed a marked difference in the way I work now. Karen helped me understand that I was ready to focus on leadership development, and really focused on talking about my strengths. My experience with Karen gave me the tools to become more purposeful in the work I am doing, and the confidence to view myself as a leader within my team.”

Avani Patel Asia Liaison on Global Venture and Fellowship — Ashoka


"Karen is totally committed to her client's growth and brings both her diverse corporate experience and her positive psychology orientation to every engagement.  She finds ways to connect with even skeptical or reluctant clients.  I have had the good fortune to collaborate with Karen on several occasions, and I look forward to doing so in the future.”

Michael Frisch Executive Coach and Coach Trainer; Consulting Psychologist — iCoach NY Faculty


"I have worked with Karen on different levels and have found her to be a valued colleague in brainstorming, planning, and coaching.  She has been a vital member of our team!”

Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Smith — Transitional Director of Presbytery Ministries -Presbytery of Newark


"The time I spent working with Karen this year was one of the smartest and most fruitful commitments I´ve made. I would highly recommend Karen to anyone looking for guidance, focus, and lasting results.”

Maria Jose Cespedes Executive Director — Ashoka in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean


"You have been invaluable in helping me think through my personal relationships and make the changes I have needed to make for some time. You met we where I was and helped me find the courage to take each step along the way. I don’t think I would be where I am today without your coaching and help. Thank you!”

Life Coach Client


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