“What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fixating on what is wrong with them? Donald O. Clifton, PH.D
This one line bounces around inside my head continually. I first heard it said aloud when I attended my certification training to become a Gallup Strengths Coach and it has stuck with me ever since. It is credited to Donald Clifton, the founder of the strengths based movement, who was a psychologist and business executive.
Ever since I was introduced to positive psychology and the strengths movement, I just can’t get enough. In this approach to work, family, and life in general, I find something that resonates very deeply with me and with my clients. For so long, we’ve been steeped in a culture that has said, find your weaknesses and fix those if you want to be successful; the things you are good at you don’t need to spend time on because you are already good at them.
What this leaves most of us with is a sense of being a failure and with very little enjoyment in our weakness fixing pursuits. While we certainly must give attention to places that become obstacles to success, pouring our energy into trying to be better at something we innately have no natural proclivity towards will leave us mediocre at best. What we have learned from positive psychology and strengths research is that our best opportunities for true success are found in those places where we have a naturally recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior, in other words, where we have talent.
So, let’s get started. What is right with you?