Using Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness Test for Team Building
Are you afraid that using Dr Martin Seligman's "authentic happiness" tests at work might get you laughed out of the board-room? Fear not! Let me explain how Seligman's signature strengths questionnaire built self awareness and understanding in my tiny team.
Dr Martin Who?
First things first, let's address the credibility question. Dr Martin Seligman is currently Professor of Psychology at the esteemed University of Pennsylvania and was President of the American Psychological Association. His rigorously tested research has determined what it takes to be happier, regardless of personal circumstance and his many books have been translated in to more than 16 languages. In short, he's a big hitter.
Positive Psychology and Authentic Happiness
Cynics and pessimists may think they’ve hit the jackpot when you start talking about positive psychology and authentic happiness. Well, they can sit quietly and drink from their half empty glasses as you tell them that Seligman’s research has demonstrated that it is possible “to feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of one’s circumstances.”
I'd bet even the most seasoned cynic would benefit from a spoonful of that medicine. The clincher is the questionnaires are based on fact based research and are not the out-pouring of a maniacal management guru.
What do Signature Strengths have to do with team building?
It takes 20 minutes to fill in the VIA Signature Strengths questionnaire. Each team member answered the free, online questionnaire and sent me a copy of their automatically generated results. You can see a summary of the team’s results here :o)
There are many benefits of completing this survey
How my team used the Signature Strengths questionnaire results
My team spent some time discussing their own and the team’s results and came up with the following conclusions and actions;
We looked at our signature strengths in the context of all 24 signature strengths and on a more detailed level we noticed;
Happy employees = happy customers = happy shareholders
Using Dr Martin Seligman’s authentic happiness tests, including the VIA Signature Strengths, provide powerful insights into what makes us and our team tick. Adjusting the workplace to enable people to utilize their strengths daily ensures their mental health and well-being. We all know happy employees = happy customers = happy shareholders, so it’s company time well invested. No navel gazing required.
By Lyndsay Swinton
Owner, Management for the Rest of Us
Citation Information: Swinton, Lyndsay. "Using Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness Test for Team Building." Mftrou.com. 19 March 2009. < http://www.mftrou.com/martin-seligman-authentic-happiness.html >.blog comments powered by Disqus
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