Last night I had the pleasure of speaking with a group of experienced coaches from the EMCC Network in London about Positive Psychology. It was a real buzz and produced some really great conversations and discussions on the topic, off the topic, around the topic and fringe topics. That’s what I like to see happen, people getting really stuck into a topic that resonates with them in some way. It’s also what I enjoy about the unconference format – you get to delve into topics and have some robust discussion. Muy bueno. To find out how to book me to speak for you, look at the “I Speak Therefore I Inspire” page.
One of the many topics we drifted into was the limitations of Positive Psychology. At the end of the day, it is a therapy technique, and is used in practice to help increase the level of well-being someone feels. As such, there’s only so far you can go with the theory, its practice, and the knowledge it provides. So what do we when things like this happen? As L&D practitioners, we’re all faced with similar issues when it comes to using a particular theory or methodology.
For example, I can only go so far using the MBTI to raise self awareness. I’d love to think I could use it to conquer the world. That’s sadly not going to happen. In helping someone to identify their preferences, and have some good discussion about how this helps them understand how to work with others differently, how they might have different expectations on completing work to others, how they might describe things differently, there is a point where it stops becoming insightful. So what do we do then?
What I saw last night happen, is that we start to make our own connections for what comes next, and this is a very useful thing to do. There’s a natural point when someone takes the topic and says – Ah yes, I see how that is connected to… when I give feedback to… or when I need to think about… or when I need to make this decision. Those immediate reflection points create discussion that allows everyone to be part of an exploration piece, open to challenge and affirmation.
For me, what this means is that a lot of what we do in the L&D field is connected. The leadership model produces by Company X isn’t as amazing as they think it is, because Company Z has an equally attractive and beneficial leadership model. The facilitation techniques used by Organisations R Us will be very similar to Organisations 4 U. The white paper produced on retention techniques by Recruitment Consultancy Ltd will be similar to that produced by Consultants in Recruiting. What would happen if we let go of our precious IP and collaborated?
I don’t mean the companies need to collaborate in their business practise, I mean they could come together and share their models/techniques/USPs and help strengthen the knowledge available in the marketplace. At the moment, I have to rely on my own reading, capabilities, thinking, exchanges, blogging, and sharing to learn about other fields of thought and development practices. What would happen if all these companies decided to drop being protective and pool their knowledge so that practitioners could be more effective in what they do? Cos, at the end of the day, that’s what I want to do. I want to be able to produce solutions that make a difference to business. That really only comes about when I realise that there are a multitude of things I know that can be useful.
That’s exciting, isn’t it?
On Friday 17th August I’m running an event called Positive Psychology in Application. It’s going to cover a range of topics to do with Positive Psychology. Book now to attend and learn more.