The Character Strengths That Can Help Boost Productivity and Wellbeing
Sponsored by Universidad Tecmilenio
In recent years the importance of wellbeing and productivity across all areas of life has received increased focus, not just in the classroom, but in the home and workplace too.
One university in Mexico has sought to address this trend by becoming the first in the world to develop a scientific master’s program focused on these areas.
Based on scientific research, the Master in Positive Leadership at Universidad Tecmilenio teaches students to build character-strength-based teams in order to have a positive impact on both society and productivity.
What are character strengths and what are mine?
At the beginning of the 21st century, scientists discovered 24 character strengths that give us all our very own unique character profile. These character strengths fall under six categories:
- Wisdom (using your experience and knowledge in order to make good decisions and judgements – examples include creativity, perspective, and curiosity)
- Courage (being able to control your fear in a difficult or dangerous situation – examples include bravery, perseverance and honesty)
- Humanity (simply being human – examples include social intelligence, love, and kindness)
- Justice (being fair in the way you deal with people – examples include fairness, leadership, and teamwork)
- Temperance (being in total control of your own behavior – examples include self-regulation, and forgiveness)
- Transcendence (experience that goes beyond normal limits, or the ability to achieve this – examples include hope, gratitude, spirituality, and appreciation of beauty and excellence)
It is believed that focusing on your strengths and developing these as opposed to tackling your weaknesses is better for your happiness, productivity and engagement levels.
In a recent interview, the Director of Universidad Tecmilenio’s Institute of Happiness and Wellbeing Rosalinda Ballesteros spoke about turning negatives within your team into a positive, and how doing so can help achieve better results, as opposed to “constantly correcting mistakes and trying to correct what is lacking.”
This area of psychology, known as ‘positive psychology’, is at the heart of the Master in Positive Leadership at Universidad Tecmilenio. Students study a variety of modules and develop their knowledge of social wellbeing, positivity leadership, the benefits of positive relationships, as well as their understanding of happiness and wellbeing tools.
The Institute of Happiness and Wellbeing at Universidad Tecmilenio aims to ensure positivity and wellbeing is an integral element throughout the university, such as the training and coaching sessions based on positive psychology.
A recipe for success
The power that comes with understanding the 24 character strengths and the part they play in every individual’s life is important for workplace productivity. Organizations, managers and leaders are beginning to implement strength-based approaches within the working environment in order to help employees feel happier and more engaged in their roles.
As human-beings, we’re hard-wired to overlook our positives and focus solely on our negatives and how we can better those. This is where strength-based approaches come into play and help individuals, teams and organizations achieve higher levels of happiness and content, and they ensure the overall company culture can thrive.
Playing to your strengths: How it works
There are a variety of strengths we can focus on to ensure positive wellbeing in the workplace, from personal strengths to team strengths, organizational strengths to leadership strengths.
Should you aspire to become a manager or leader, focusing and maximizing on the latter – leadership skills is one way to do this. When it comes to leading a team, there are times when things will go wrong and you need to think carefully about how you address such issues with your employees.
Instead of automatically focusing on the negative, you should instead draw clear lines where things can be improved. Giving feedback should be constructive and lead with an explanation of how things could be done better in future, instead of pointing to where something went wrong.
Definitive goal setting is another way to help boost employee happiness and productivity. While goals should still be challenging, they should be attainable and achievable.
It’s apparent these character strengths have a real impact, and so it’s important research continues into finding out more about them, how they can be used to their full potential, the influence they have, and how they ultimately contribute to a positive and happy workplace.
This article was originally published in December 2019 . It was last updated in May 2020