Positive Psychology

I’m often asked what Positive Psychology is and why it is different. I actually love answering this question as many people hold the belief that it is simply the ‘Pop’ positive thinking we see on many a Facebook status – inspirational quotes and the ’toxic’ positivity of ‘just think positively’. Being wrongly associated with this style of behaviour has sometimes given positive psychology a dusty name, so here is my take.
 
Positive Psychology is the science of human flourishing. Whereas in the past, psychology, in general, has looked at the deficit model – that is, why we are mentally ill. Positive Psychology looks at why we are well and how we can amplify that to be ‘well’ more often. To put it another way, if you look at ‘mental health’ on a scale of -10 to 10. Psychology in general looks at -10 to 0 – so the absence of mental illness (but also the absence of mental health) Positive Psychology goes further and looks to identify what makes life worth living and how we can do more of that to support us in flourishing. 
 
Positive Psychology doesn’t ignore the negative either – contrary to popular opinion – it simply looks to find learnings and changes in perception and thinking that lead to personal growth. 
 
From a very personal perspective, I find Positive Psychology gives me the opportunity to find the RIGHT wellbeing-recipe for each individual I work with. We all have unique and differing opinions on ‘what makes us happy’ and how our individual qualities help us achieve true wellbeing.  Positive Psychology helps me to finds ways to uncover this by searching for the nuggets of brilliance in each individual, team or organisation and build strategies to amplify those feelings and behaviours to build resilience, confidence and authenticity. 
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Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry is a form of change management that focusses on what you do well, rather than trying to ‘fix’ a problem. The principles behind Appreciative Inquiry stem from the knowledge that “What we focus on grows” – so if we focus too hard on the problem, not only does it expand in our minds, but we are likely to also discover further issues, therefore creating a never-ending cycle of problems. 
 
Research has demonstrated that by focussing on what works well and doing more of it can have a much more positive impact; and in many cases; actually negate the original problem by creating a culture or environment of energy towards success. 
 
The ’traditional’ Appreciative Inquiry model follows a ‘4D cycle’:
 
* Discovery: Exploring the “best of what is now”  – identifying strengths, best practices, sources of excellence, vitality, and peak performance within an organisation, team or individual. 
* Dream: What is the future you really want? Creating a vision of a future that is desired, where individual or organisation is fully engaged and successful around its core purpose and strategic objectives.
* Design: Matching the best of what is with the vision to design high-impact strategies to move the individual or organisation creatively and decisively in the right direction.
* Destiny: Now we put it into action!

Within my work, I run the full cycle, but also use elements to enhance workshops, coaching or programmes. It’s a powerful cycle and extremely effective in helping individuals and organisations discover confidence and innovation for themselves. 

How does Appreciative Inquiry work in business?
Appreciative Inquiry is a strengths-based, positive approach to leadership development and organisational change. it helps people move toward a shared vision for the future by engaging in strategic innovation.
 
AI helps you to identify and understand best practices, develop strategic plans and shift culture by creating a forward momentum leveraged by positive energy. While many traditional change methods begin by focusing on what’s wrong, Appreciative Inquiry asks people to explore strengths and successes that already exist, both personally, organisationally and in the wider community. This positive approach leads to extraordinary performance by reinforcing relationships and culture, creating common vision and direction, promoting learning and innovation, and energising collective action.
How does Appreciative Inquiry work individually?
Appreciative Inquiry lends itself beautifully to storytelling and building a personal narrative around strengths and success.
 
Within coaching and mentoring, I use AI consistently to generate conversations that ooze positive energy by focussing on ‘what went well’ and giving the opportunity for individuals to realise how they can leverage the best inside of them to realise their visions for the future. 

Transformational Coaching

Transformational coaching sits beautifully with both Positive Psychology and Appreciative Inquiry because rather than simply looking at helping people better themselves through their behaviour and the way they act, it looks at the way people see themselves. So, in practice, this approach can help people transform their self-image, perceptions about themselves and the perceptions of their limitations. 
 
In a nice little nutshell, transformational coaching can help you become more aligned with your hopes, dreams and aspirations and couple with Positive Psychology you can discover your best-self and how to apply it to those hopes, dreams, and aspirations to improve your wellbeing. 
 
As a transformational coach, I provide a person-centered approach focussed on providing a safe space to generate and spark powerful conversations. It’s a two-way relationship built on trust and authenticity with me, as the coach actively listening to the whole communication which is not just limited to the words you say. 

A powerful combination...

Being able to call upon these areas of expertise and experience allows me to find the right approach for the desired outcome. 

As a Master of Positive Psychology, I can educate, train and advise on psychological wellbeing and support positive habit generation. As an Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator, I am able to use a unique form of questioning and processes to find what works and help to discover how best to amplify it and as a Transformational Coach, I offer the opportunity to create powerful conversations leading to self-discovery, new understandings and personal growth.

If you’re interested in finding out more, please use the links to the right, book a coaching chemistry call or just drop me a line!

Are you ready to take the next step?