POWER | A Perspective on Strengths and Resilience in the Workplace
When starting Panthea, I had a clear vision on what I want this company to be, what it stands for and what it means when I say we want to ‘cultivate transcendence in the working youth, predicting a future where work and self are symbiotic’.
Symbiotic, a ‘oneness’ an ‘interdependent relationship’, and in our context, one’s purpose. Through our programmes, our absolute goal is to help companies with their young employees find their purpose and align it to the company’s mission.
This all stems from the importance of harnessing strengths and cultivating resilience to achieve that and this is based on first-hand experience, having worked with youth for quite some time, together with all the research available on peak performance, resilience, strengths, and grit. Building upon these insights, and research on performance psychology, I want to take a deeper look into the theories, and with some examples, enable the working youth to find their space in the workplace and own their strengths.
Let’s start with Strengths Theory. This is rooted in the belief that by focusing on your strengths and nurturing them, consistently, over time can lead to peak performance, heightened abilities, and greater fulfilment. It’s based on the premise that each one of us possess a unique set of talents and character strengths that make you unique. Do you know what yours are? Could it be said that everyone has a talent, but not everyone knows it?
Let’s use this moment to redirect you to the VIA Character Strengths Report whereby you can determine your character strengths.
If you took some time to take the survey, you will have a high-level understanding of your strengths and let’s now use some key theories with some practical applications that you can apply at work using your character strengths.
Heard of Flow Theory? Coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow Theory emphasises the importance of immersing yourself in activities that challenge and engage your skills. Using your character strengths, start to seek out some "flow" experiences at work. For example, you might find you are incredibly analytical and enjoy immersing yourself in projects. Then it’s time to step up and ask to be involved in one of the strategic and complex projects that will challenge your abilities but leverage your strengths.
What if you possess leadership as a strength? This is definitely your time to foster collaboration. It’s on you to encourage open communication, recognise your teams’ individual contributions and empower them to leverage on their strengths to enable collective success for the wider mission.
Work on idea generation within the team, encourage brainstorming sessions and seek out solutions to inefficiencies in processes. Start practicing this today. You have the strength to do it!
You’ve no doubt had setbacks at work, faced with resistance and struggled to deal with this. I know I have; we all have. In true Panthea style, let’s now draw upon the theories underpinning Performance Psychology, and look at this differently.
The Broaden-and-Build Theory: Developed by psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, this theory focuses on positive emotions and their role in building resilience. Now, according to this theory, experiencing positive emotions broadens your cognitive, emotional, and behavioural repertoire, leading to increased resilience. Positive emotions facilitate problem-solving, flexible thinking, and social connection, which can enhance adaptability in the face of challenges. So, in essence by adopting an optimistic mindset, practicing self-compassion, and seeking support from mentors or your colleagues, you can start to reframe your obstacles as opportunities for growth.
The Psychological Capital (PsyCap) Theory: Developed by the pioneer, Fred Luthans, this is by far my favourite. This theory encompasses four key components: self-efficacy (belief in one's capabilities), optimism (positive expectations for the future), hope (perseverance and goal-directed thinking), and resilience (ability to bounce back from adversity). Developing and utilising these psychological resources can bolster resilience and facilitate both your personal and professional growth. Start working on strengthening your belief in your own capabilities, start to set realistic goals but be consistent in achieving these and actively seek out opportunities that allow you to demonstrate your character strengths.
Get in touch with us if you would like us to provide your working youth with a series of development plans.