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A Retreat & Teambuilding Experience With Robyn McKay, PhD Arizona State University www.robynmckay.com.

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Presentation on theme: "A Retreat & Teambuilding Experience With Robyn McKay, PhD Arizona State University www.robynmckay.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Retreat & Teambuilding Experience With Robyn McKay, PhD Arizona State University

2 The science of positive emotions, positive character traits, positive experiences, and positive institutions (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) Research from positive psychology is intended to supplement (not replace) information about human suffering, weakness, and disorder (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005)

3 Robert Emmons, PhD “Thanks!” Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD “The How of Happiness” Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD “Happier!”

4  Happy people are more likely than their less happy peers to have  fulfilling marriages and relationships  high incomes  superior work performance  community involvement  robust health  a long life (Lyubomirsky et al, 2005)

5 First, be happy. Happiness creates the conditions for success to arise, not the other way around. (Lyubomirsky et al, 2005)

6 But…how do you be happy?

7  Take 5 minutes to write about one of the best people that you know: someone who is living a happy, productive life.  What characteristics does he or she have?  What is his or her life like?  Compare your findings with your neighbor. How are your observations similar or different ?

8 What the Best People Do  We all have natural talents  Leaders spend a lot of time practicing what they are already good at  They don’t spend a lot of time trying to improve their weaknesses  People who are great at what they do are decidedly *not * well rounded

9 Focusing on what’s right: a pathway to happiness

10 A history lesson  The Gallup Organization identified over 400 different themes of talent by studying top achievers  34 of the most prevalent talent themes are measured in StrengthsFinder  StrengthsFinder is a psychometrically solid instrument

11 StrengthsQuest  A strength is the ability to provide consistent, near- perfect performance in a given activity  To build a strength:  Identify a talent  Then refine it with skills and knowledge

12 StrengthsQuest  Based on a general model of positive psychology, and captures 4 factors:  Personal motivation (Striving/Executing)  Interpersonal skills (Relationship Building)  Self-presentation (Influencing)  Learning Style (Strategic Thinking)

13 Excellence  Our talents hold the key to excellence  Talent + practice + knowledge = strength  To be excellent, you need to have a clear vision about what excellence is, what it looks like, and what is required to reach it.  Trying to be well-rounded diffuses your talents  To become excellent, choose one or two talents to focus on

14  What was it like to take the assessment?  Review the descriptions of your signature themes  Ask: “What fits for me?”  Which themes do you really like?  Find a partner and talk about which themes suit you

15 But…shouldn’t I focus on improving my weaknesses?

16 Nope!

17 Exercise #3: What do your strengths “sound like”?  With a partner, take a few minutes to talk about how you each express your strengths

18 The Four Domains of Leadership Strength The Beehive Model of Strengths (Kerr & McKay) Worker Bees: The Experts (Executing) Queens: The Visionaries (Influencing) Honeybees : The Helpers (Relationship Building) Drones : The Innovators (Strategic Thinking) Sustain the cultureTransform the cultureSweeten the cultureFertilize the culture AchieverActivatorAdaptabilityAnalytical ArrangerCommandConnectednessContext BeliefCommunicationEmpathyFuturistic ConsistencyMaximizerHarmonyIdeation DeliberativeSelf-AssuranceIncluderInput DisciplineSignificanceIndividualizationIntellection FocusWooPositivityLearner Responsibility Competition RelatorStrategic Restorative Developer

19 Exercise #3: Gathering  Identify which parts of the hive your strengths fall into  Remember: you might be a hybrid!  Choose one segment to focus on  Gather with others in your area of the hive  Answer these questions:  What do we have to offer?  What do we need from those in the other parts of the hive?

20 Final Thoughts  Every organization is a hive  Know your bees  Focus on developing your strengths  There are no satisfactory psychometric fixes for social injustice, stereotype threat, culture, and gender bias  Just because someone is smart, creative, or has strengths doesn’t make them a good person.  Kindness and compassion are just as important to cultivate

21 Final thoughts  It’s hard to get out of your own area of the hive and understand the needs of colleagues who are different from you  Respecting the differences among your colleagues and understanding the nature of various forms of gifts and strengths can lead to a positive, innovative work environment

22 To schedule a “What’s Right With You?” Retreat & Teambuilding Experience Contact Dr. Robyn McKay   Tel: or


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