Donnerstag, 12. März 2009

Sources of the Strenghts movement

1966 wrote Peter Drucker in his book "The effective executive": The effective executive builds on strenghts - their own strengths, the strengths of superiors, collegues, subordinates; and on the strengths of the situation. 

1987 David Coperrider develops Appreciative Inquiry is about the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives “life” to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential.

1999 Speech of Dr Martin Seligman after becoming president of the American psychological Association:

I think there were two great victories in psychology.  

Now, by my count, 14 of the major mental illnesses are treatable, two of them curable, in my opinion, by either psychotherapies or by pharmacological agents.  So that was the first great victory.  This is very important.  

And the second great victory was that a science, and this is the important lesson for us, the science of mental illness developed. We asked by experimental methods and by very sophisticated longitudinal methods, how do these things get caused?  And, best of all, we developed interventions for these things, both biological and psychological, and were able to test, in rigorous ways, whether or not these interventions worked.  So a science appeared built out of nowhere that actually works. 

But the cost of this was that psychology forgot its other two missions.  

It forgot that it was also about making the lives of normal people better and more fulfilling and more productive and happier.  

And it forgot about genius, it forgot that one of our obligations is to identify the most talented young people and find the conditions under which they flourished.  That mission is virtually a dirty word now. (flower power)  Well, that was the cost. (Exerpt and shortened be he)

Dr Martin Seligman is Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and  founder of Positive Psychology, a new branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions.

2001 Marcus Buckingham and Donald O Clifton wrote a book with the title: now, discover your strengths.  In the first chapter they declared: "We wrote this book to stark a revolution, the strengths revolution". 
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-0265-4. When you buy this book, you will receive an access code to a program on the internet "The Strengths Finder" which helps you to discover your own strengths.

I hope, that we all can apply our strengths every day.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Institutions achieve better results, when they are builded on the Strengths and not on the Weaknesses of their people – on the Strengths of the Superiors as well as of the subordinates.

A strength has three components:
  • a talent, which is inherited,
  • knowledge, which can be learned,
  • skills, which can be trained.
There is no way to make up for a missing talent. 

The sentence: «Everyone can be trained to be good in almost any field.» is definitely wrong. 
But if someone is trained in the fields of his or her strenghts, he or she can reach the top!
Weaknesses become unimportant. They have to be known, that nobody receives a task in a field, where she or he is weak.

It is not easy to recognize my strengths. A strength show if something is easy for me to do. And, because it is so easy, I do not recognize it as a strength; it is just normal for me. So I need the support of other persons I work with. And that is true also for my colleagues, my boss and my subordinates.

If a institution is constructed on the strengths of the personnel, many problems disappear. No motivation is necessary any more if everyone can use his or her strengths every day.