“Enlarge the opportunity and the person will expand to fill it.”

Eli Ginzberg, 1911-2002, an economist who taught at Columbia University for more than six decades, advised eight American presidents and led pioneering research efforts in employment and health care.

Recently, I attended a program at the University of Michigan Ross School of business, called: “Using Positive Psychology in Trying Times.” As many of you know, I have long been interested in, studied and integrated into my work the learning from the field of Positive Psychology and the even newer field of Positive Organizational Scholarship. Presenting at this forum was Dr. Chris Peterson, a world-renowned leader in the field of Positive Psychology and a professor at the University. Although I am very familiar with Chris’s work, I was very curious to hear his “twist” as it relates to the current difficult situations many of us face due to the economic times.

Unlike what many might expect, Positive Psychology in not some rehashed version of “the power of positive thinking”, nor is it “the secret.” It is instead, in its most simple form, the scientific study of “What makes life worth living?”

To put it in Dr. Peterson’s words, “What is exciting about Positive Psychology is not the rhetoric; it’s the data” Positive Psychology and its business related counterpart, Positive Organizational Scholarship, are both as concerned with strengths as they are with weaknesses. And, even more importantly, they are interested in building on what is best.

Forward thinking individuals and organizations are planning now for how to bring out the best in themselves and their people. Forward thinking leaders right now are positioning their organizations and people to be ready when the economic shift occurs. they are indemnifying signature strengths and values, and nurturing and building upon them both in terms of the corporate culture and each individuals personal talents, strengths and potential. Progressive companies and smart individuals are getting additional training and credentials, implementing mentoring and coaching and identifying ways to utilize strength to manage or eliminate problems.

There’s an old saying, “When one door closes, another door opens.” Leaders today are looking at ways to be personally and organizationally prepared. What’s your next step?

Coaching Tips

What do you need to be doing right now to be ready for the turnaround?

1. Make sure you are “crystal clear” on exactly what your strengths are. Don’t just guess: find out. Resources are available to test for this. If you don’t know what they are or how to apply them, get professional help.

2. If you are a manager or leader invest in your people. What new skills, training or certifications do your people need to be positioned to help you business or organization propel itself into the forefront as new opportunities arise? Consider what it will take to make your best people want to stay with you company rather than “jump ship” as soon as the employment figures improve and hiring increases. Are they feeling valued appreciated and challenged? Are they able to do what they do best every day? Do they see a clear career path from their current position? If you can’t think of three good reasons why your best and your and most critical people who have worked tirelessly for you during the hard times would feel compelled to stay with you when times pick up, you have some work to do.

3. Regardless of your current role, invest in yourself. How can you most effectively maximize the use of your strengths to improve you performance and “work-around” or mitigate any weaknesses? What skills, training or additional credentials or certification do you need to be more marketable, more capable, or, more prepared to move forward in your career?

A huge tidal wave of opportunity is coming our way. Take action now to position yourself and your business, organization or team for a new day.

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Pasbjerg, DCSW, CMC is a certified coach and the CEO of Focused Coaching, based in Ann Arbor,Michigan. She and her associates provide executive coaching, leadership development and training to individuals and organizations both throughout the USA and internationally. For more information, or to contact her for a complimentary consultation about how you can best position yourself or your organization for the coming turn-around visit http://focusedcoaching.net.