Posts Tagged ‘positive psychology’

A Tribute to Chris Peterson – RIP

October 10, 2012

It is with great sadness that I just learned that Chris Peterson  (Christopher)passed away yesterday. Chris was a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, often considered one of the founding fathers and lead the VIA Character Strengths project along with Martin Seligman.

One of the 100 most cited psychologists in the world, Chris was a renouned professor of psychology at University of Michigan, author of A Primer in Positive Psychology; contributing expert in Psychology Today — and so many more accolades in his professional contributions.

Nearly every ‘tool’ in my coaching toolbox has some learning, scientific backing that has come from the work of Chris Peterson and that of his many colleagues.

This past January, I was blessed to participate in a Master course on wellbeing developed and taught by Chris and offered by Mentor Coach. It was a rich, eight-week primer on much of the latest research, learnings and wisdom from the world of positive psychology. It was truly a gift to learn directly from Chris who was at the forefront of the whole positive psychology movement.  Chris was supremely generous, knowledgeable, kind and funny.

Chris had a mantra: “Other People Matter”  which encompassed all the research and learnings and implications about the impact that family, relationships and other social connections have on our wellbeing. To that end, I am sure that Chris would want people to remember the importance of nurturing relationships in our lives.

He will be greatly missed by everyone in the field of positive psychology around the world and will be remembered for his outstanding contributions to the field.

Addendum: as the tribute articles start to pour in, here is one I came across:

The Atlantic: “Very Nice Guy and Important Psychologist Dies”

Eileen

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Labour Day: How Are You Celebrating Work …..?

September 3, 2012

Happy Labour Day! Are you working? Thinking abour work? Or taking a last day off before the onslaught of work and the busy season ahead? Or maybe a bit of all of the above?

Labour Day’s origin’s go way back in Canada to 1872. Traditionally it was a day to advocate for and/or celebrate workers’ rights. Back then, there was great effort to campaign for worker’s rights to have a 9 hour day. 

Hmmm. Times have changed. Labour Day is now a chance for one of the last hurrahs’ of summer. And 9 hour work days?? What are those? Increasingly most people are experiencing the blur of work and life lines. The dividers we once knew no longer exist. We check our emails on our smart phones while on the dock at the cottage? Tuck in a few hours of work on Sunday (or holiday Monday) before the ‘official’ work week begins.

While traditional paradigms of work-life balance have changed, we still need to take a stand for our own ‘sense of balance’ and in that I mean balancing our energy, mojo and time for stuff inside and outside of work. 

For myself – my approach tends to be a blend. I often do a bit of work on ‘days off’ and squeeze in ‘life time’ on ‘days on’. But according to Dr. Greg Wells, a scientist and ‘extreme human physiologist’, we need to pay attention to recovery more so than the ongoing ‘balance’.

I heard Wells speak at the Canadian Conference on Positive Psychology. Wells who works with Olympians and elite athletes skyped from London just as the Olympics were about to start. He was reporting for the CTV news network.  

Wells said one of the things Olympians and high performance athletes do really well that contributes to their high performance is they know how to recover well. In their training they stress themselves continuously to reach new heights. But most importantly, they know how to recover better, faster and for more sustaining performance.  

Recovery is actually a strategy in itself. You don’t have to be an Olympian to incorporate this into your life. We all can benefit from learning to recover better and faster from stress and demands of our work (and life). This will not only improve our capacity for greater performance in work and life but we’ll boost our mojo and wellbeing. 

 Try the 1,3,2 Principle: Most of us will agree that the demands of work and life these days make it difficult to achieve a ‘balance’ each day/week/month so instead make sure you build in ample ‘recovery time’. Wells talked about using the 1.3,2 principle. This is about building in time to completely unplug from work.

1 hour (minimum) of total recovery a day

3 full days (minimum) of recovery a month…preferably continuous, not separate

2 weeks (minimum) of full recovery a year….preferably continuous, not separate

 Recovery activities may look different to each of us. The key is to completely unplug from work AND be intentional in creating a meaningful recovery strategy to build into your days/month and year so that you truly do refresh, rest and rebuild your resevoir of energy.

So on this Labour Day weekend, as you face the oncoming ‘busy season’, take a moment and ask yourself what your recovery and resilience strategies will be? And how can you put the 1,3,2 principle into action as you dive into the new season?

Here’s to resilience, energy and mojo in your work life in the coming season!

Eileen

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Wellbeing: My Word for 2012…..And You Can Have It Too.

January 9, 2012

I’ve been thinking a lot about wellbeing lately.  Guided by my year-end/new year reflection questions (“12 Questions To Complete The Year And Start Anew“), my attention’s really been focused on question #9: “In what ways will you take care of your ‘mojo’ – resilience, energy, inspiration and sense of wellbeing?”.  So much so that I think “Wellbeing” is my theme word for 2012 – personally and professionally.  Maybe time to update the bio? 🙂

Wellbeing. It packs a lot of punch doesn’t it? At first glance it might seem like it’s all about health (wellness) – and to a great extent it is — but it’s so much more too.  Emotional wellbeing, physical wellbeing, financial wellbeing…….personal wellbeing, professional wellbeing, organizational and community wellbeing…..the list goes on and so much goes into each facet.

This word gives me a visceral hit. It feels so authentic and envelops so much that I’m passionate about both personally and professionally.  Ironically, it’s not a new concept to me. It’s been there all the time. In my work as a coach (Big Cheese Coaching) I help people navigate their work and life in a way that fosters more meaning, joy, success and fulfillment. I specialize in emotional intelligence for leaders (of all levels) and pay great attention to the skills (personal, professional) we need — in pursuit of our various work/life goals — to be our best, to be happy and to create environments and relationships that foster ‘TGIM’ (thank goodness it’s Monday) attitudes and aptitudes for all. Isn’t that all about personal, professional and organizational wellbeing? 

And concurrently for the last 9+ years, I have a professional relationship (providing communications advice and service) with an organization that is all about financial wellbeing – setting standards for financial planning.  Who can argue that one’s financial life can have an enormous impact on one’s personal wellbeing? 

And yes, the fitness side of things…with a degree in fitness from Mcgill (my first career with a continued lifelong interest) I was heavily involved in promoting fitness and wellbeing for nearly 10 years. 

So nothing has changed – yet everything has changed. Because sometimes a word, theme or phrase has the power to remind us of what is important and what we stand for.  Naming and claiming a word can illuminate what’s already there but perhaps needs to be brought more into focus. Or at least it can serve as an anchor or central theme to encompass disparate pieces that have more value when you look at the ‘whole’ vs. just the parts. 

So yes, “Wellbeing” does that for me and it’s my word for 2012. It’s in my focus for my own life and for my clients who come to me to be better leaders and/or to have more success and fulfilment in various contexts of their work and life.

Of course I realize I’m not alone in loving this word.  I’m in good company. It’s everywhere these days. The health and wellness world have a piece of it; the financial industry; and even economists are incorporating wellbeing into measures of what makes for a strong, healthy economy.  And one of my favorite sources of ideas and inspiration: the field of positive psychology. In fact, the guru of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, frames his latest book “Flourish” as a ‘visionary new understanding of happiness and wellbeing’ (great book and brilliant guy). And of course, wellbeing is a central theme to the EQi (emotional intelligence assessments).

I welcome the ‘crowds’ (there’s room for all) and am staking my place on “planet wellbeing”.  Care to join in?

If you are wanting to create more joy, optimism, success, energy, peace of mind (and the list goes on) in your work and life this year — professionally and personally — then I invite you to hop on board the Wellbeing train too. Not sure how to get there? I can help!  

Wellbeing.  It’s my word and now you can have it too. You’ve got my word.

Now let’s get to work — and create success and wellbeing in 2012 with a TGIM work + life!

Eileen

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Happiness Coaching Seeps into the Workplace

February 7, 2010

There’s an article in the Wall Street Journal that has been picked up by many other papers, including Globe and Mail  careers called “Happiness coaching seeps into the workplace”. It’s worth a read.

The article talks about how the positive psychology movement is making its way into the workplace culture. It identifies positive habits such as: expressing gratitude (say ‘thank you’ please:), being more present, recognizing success in effort and process vs. only outcome — and much, much more. 

I must say as a coach who specializes in ‘engagement’ – this article is very validating. Truthfully, I’ve always thought of myself as a ‘fulfillment coach’ — albeit I work on many different leadership (and life) coaching agendas, it always starts with one’s inner game and what makes them tick (core values, strengths, etc.). My marketing materials refer more to this as ‘engagement’ — a more acceptable term  in corporate circles. But these past few years, the word ‘happiness’ is gaining credibility and seen as an important facet to success, individually and organizationally. Some nations have even declared a Happiness Index as being integral to the country’s prosperity and success.

How’s your MOJO?  Turns out, Marshall Goldsmith (renouned exec coach) has just launched a book called “Mojo” which is described as emphasizing the ‘positive spirit toward what we are doing now starting from the inside.”

I’ve been referring to Mojo for years (ask my clients!). This  reference to “Mojo” is not of the Austin Powers variety – but more related to one’s mood, emotional state, sense of connectedness, etc. 

Inner Game focus:  The article talks about the new inner game focus — but it’s not new. Perhaps more ‘newly noticed’. This term was coined by Timothy Galway and is a very common approach used by anyone professionally trained in coaching (including yours truly). That said, when an article from the WSJ says it’s the latest greatest — well who am I to argue? I say bring it on….or rather, bring ‘more of it on’.

WEBINAR: Beat the Workplace Blahs: Last year, I presented a webinar that focused very much on all these inner game, positive psych strategies. I called it:  Beat the Workplace Blahs . You can still listen to it – you just have to quickly register online.  It’s full of tips and thoughts that are referred to in the WSJ article.

Hope you enjoy.

Till then, here’s to your TGIM worklife from the inside-out!

Eileen

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