“Positive Psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing, and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities and organizations to thrive.” (Gable & Haidt, 2005, Sheldon & King, 2001)

“Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living. It is a call for psychological science and practice to be as concerned with strength as with weakness; as interested in building the best things in life as in repairing the worst; and as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling.” (Christopher Peterson, 2008)

By focusing on what’s right rather than what’s wrong, positive psychology coaching and development techniques help people be their best possible self. People are at their best when they can be authentic and use their own strengths to help them achieve their professional and personal goals.
Positive Psychology Coaching encompasses three core areas:

  1. “A positive focus” – at its core positive psychology is about asking what is right rather what is wrong with people. This doesn’t mean you ignore weaknesses or opportunities, but rather focus as much energy and effort on strengths.
  2. “The benefits of positive emotion” – happiness or well-being are driven by positive emotions, understanding how these work and how when to best promote them is a core mechanism that makes positive psychology coaching effective.
  3. “The science of strengths” – the idea that each individual has unique attributes that are responsible for success and can be better developed is fundamental to the practice of positive psychology.

(Biswas-Diener, 2010)

Strengths are defined as “our pre-existing patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that are authentic, energizing, and which lead to our best performance” (Centre for Applied Positive Psychology).

Based on research conducted by Alex Linley (2008) a strengths based approach generally has five fundamental elements:

  1. A focus on what is right, rather than what is wrong.
  2. Every person in the world has strengths and deserves respect for their strengths.
  3. Our areas of greatest potential are in the areas of our greatest strengths.
  4. We succeed by fixing our weaknesses only when making the most of our strength
  5. Using our strengths is smallest thing we can do to make a difference.

The evidence tells us that when we use our strengths we are happier, more confident, more engaged at work, have higher levels of self-esteem, energy, resilience, vitality and lower stress levels. In fact the evidence suggests that organisations that focus on strengths development perform significantly better than those who focus on weakness development.

This means that helping you understanding and develop your unique strengths to deliver goals and objectives increases not only the level of success for the individual and team, but boosts your level of energy, well-being and happiness.

“In a study of skills that distinguish star performers in every field from entry-level jobs to executive positions, the single most important factor was not IQ, advanced degrees, or technical experience, it was EQ. Of the competencies required for excellence in performance in the job studies, 67% were emotional competencies.” (Daniel Goleman)

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a set of skills that help us identify and respond to emotions within ourselves and others. These skills are as important as your intellect (IQ) in determining success in work and in life. Everyone, no matter what job function, has interactions with other people. Your ability to understand your emotions, to be aware of them and how they impact the way you behave and relate to others, will improve your ‘people’ skills and help you ultimately be more successful. (Genos International)

The business case for applying emotional intelligence (EI) in the workplace has been mounting. A global body of research studies have been confirming many of the early claims associated with it. EI has been shown to relate to leadership effectiveness (Gardner & Stough, 2002); employee retention (McClelland, 1999); occupational stress (Gardner & Stough, 2003); job satisfaction (Thomas, Tram & O’Hara, 2006); sales performance (Hay & McBer, 1997), and effective teamwork (Jordan & Askkanasy, 2006)

“It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over the head — it is the unique intersection of both.” (David Caruso)