Recently, I have talked about strengths with a lot of different people, and I have noticed that we all have our own definition of what strengths are. Some of us consider strengths to be our job-related skills, some consider them to be our knowledge and experience, and some see strengths as our personality traits.
Have you heard of job crafting? Whether you have heard the term before or not, it is likely that you have engaged in the activity of job crafting at some point during your career. In a nutshell, job crafting means modifying your job to make it more engaging and meaningful to yourself. Job crafting can benefit both, the individual employees AND the organization, as it increases well-being and job satisfaction, and helps create better customer experiences and increase productivity.
Recently, I have been talking a lot about putting more focus on developing our strengths, rather than spinning our wheels trying to fix weaknesses. Indeed, there is evidence that focusing more on strengths increases both, happiness levels AND productivity.
One of the key concepts in Positive Psychology is character strengths. When Positive Psychology as a discipline first emerged, the purpose was to study human well-being and what is right with us. Very soon, there was a need for a common language and a way to measure the good in people. Professors Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson together with their team were pioneers in researching character strengths and many other scholars have followed in their footsteps, providing us with a strengths-based approach to living a good and meaningful life.
Can you recall your last performance review at work? If you do, did your supervisor focus on how you could work on your areas of improvement or did they try to find new ways use your strengths for the organization's goals?
Earlier this year, I started a new hobby. Not crossfit, brewing craft beer, or some other trendy, cool hobby. No, I started knitting socks (which, I think, is VERY trendy and cool).
Like almost any Finn, I love watching ice hockey. The World Championships every spring are of course a must, but this weekend I went to see my 11-year-old cousin play in the local league (okay, I've been there two weekends in a row now, I can't even go get a cup of coffee during the game because it's too exciting, and I got my cousin's autograph - I might be becoming their biggest fan).