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Your CliftonStrengths can empower the 5 elements of your wellbeing -- career, social, financial, community and physical. But how does this happen if you are struggling in one or more of these elements? If you have Positivity, Appendix 1 of Gallup's Wellbeing at Work book has Strengths Insights and Action Items that can move you from struggling to thriving as you apply your Positivity talent to fuel your wellbeing. Join Jaclynn Robinson and Jim Collison on this CliftonStrengths Podcast to discover how.
When difficult situations arise at work, look to this person to find an opportunity in the problem. They naturally inject positive energy and inspiration to keep their coworkers motivated.Jaclynn Robinson, 5:55
If you're on a team, you can support team members by being a thought partner and a troubleshooter. They likely count on you to see the good in the situation, and where there's a will, there's a way out.Jaclynn Robinson, 8:23
Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and welcome to the CliftonStrengths Podcast. On this podcast, we'll be covering topics such as wellbeing, teamwork, professional development and more. Now enjoy this episode.
Jim Collison 0:10
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast, we'll look at the Strengths Insight and Action Planning items from Appendix 1 in the Gallup book Wellbeing at Work one theme at a time, and today's theme is Positivity. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room, just the link right above me there for your questions. Or if you're listening after the fact, you can send us an email: email@example.com. Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Gallup Learning and Development Consultant and was the primary contributor to Appendix 1 in the Wellbeing at Work book. And Jaclynn, always great to be with you. Welcome back.
Jaclynn Robinson 0:46
What's the definition of Positivity?
Jim Collison 0:48
We are spending some time talking about Positivity today. Let's get started with that definition.
Jaclynn Robinson 0:53
Let's do it. So people that lead with Positivity have contagious enthusiasm. They're upbeat and can get others excited about what they're going to do.
Jim Collison 1:02
When we think about Positivity in the context of that definition, what -- how does it relate to you? And then maybe how would it relate to others?
Jaclynn Robinson 1:11
So you have a natural optimism for life and can find joy simply in the art of being and breathing. You see that as a gift. Because of your ability to find the good, when it comes to adversity or obstacles, you tend to take a solution-focused approach. And then if we think about how it relates to others, you enjoy lifting others' spirits and might do this through humor or games or your contagious, spirited energy. But you have the ability and the desire to uplift others.
Jim Collison 1:36
Yeah, and I think some folks, this grinds some folks' gears because they see that as maybe being pollyannaish in the sense that always being positive for positive's sake, when it's not true. "Crying wolf" is another, another statement that is used sometime. How do you think, how is that different than that -- just being positive for positive's sake? What, that, the individual working on a team, how do they find that, that Positivity without or with it being genuine?
Jaclynn Robinson 2:07
That's a balance I feel that those with Positivity have to think about. You know, they might offer a compliment or say something kind or positive, and it could almost seem disingenuous at times. And so it's just grounding that behavior and just, I think, coming through genuinely where people just go, Oh, that's just who that person is. But oftentimes, and that's why I like to loop in this solution-focused mindset, Positivity is looking at the glass half full, and that just helps them have that open mind so that they can come to solutions. So likely over time too, as you're building those relationships, people see that you're grounding that in more than just a positive attitude, but you're finding a way to get through, or a way to get through that dark, dark side or to uplift others. I think it's the toxic Positivity sometimes you have to be more careful of is still letting people have that experience, and then coming in and --
Jim Collison 3:04
Sorting to, sorting to positive outcomes, right. Or, and I don't think Positivity, or I would say Positivity not equal to happiness. I think sometimes we try to equate those two together. And I think --
Jaclynn Robinson 3:19
Really good callout.
Jim Collison 3:20
There are some situations where it doesn't mean I'm going to be happy by the outcome, but it is the most positive one that, that that we can get out of it. What's the best -- it almost sounds a little bit like Maximizer, in the sense of, What, what's the best I can get out of a bad situation, right?
Jaclynn Robinson 3:38
Yes. Yes. I was thinking about that as we were getting prepared for today was how you almost hear a little bit of that Maximizer in this theme.
How does Positivity look when it's thriving vs. struggling?
Jim Collison 3:49
Yeah, yeah, no, it definitely can sort that way, right, and to getting the, what's the best possible income and, I -- outcome that we can get from this. And I think that best is that Max, could be that where it shares that with Maximizer. So some good thoughts. We're spending some time thinking about this in the context of wellbeing. So how does it look when it's thriving versus struggling?
Jaclynn Robinson 4:13
Thriving often looks like being an environment where you can play to your natural talents, which naturally make you feel good. And I would combine that with also saying, thriving comes when you're surrounded by other optimistic individuals who are thrilled by life or find optimism even in the littlest of things. And then struggling is when life hits you or others hard and just shifts the dynamic in the environment. Even in your quest to see the good, the degree with which you can change that dynamic can sometimes feel too significant. So that goes back to your piece about you can be optimistic and see a glass half full, but it doesn't necessarily always mean that you're consistently happy. You're still going to experience emotions. Another way this, someone with Positivity might struggle is being surrounded by individuals that only see the doom and gloom in the world; very draining,
Jim Collison 5:08
Or from, from a choice standpoint, aren't seeing the other choices that are available to them and continue to make the same difficult choices. I won't say wrong or bad, because that sounds judgy. But difficult choices, right, in that. And so I think there's a great opportunity. It is one of those, I mean, I think it's one of those where people during this, I mean, the last couple years been pretty tough. And so it could be hard on people with Positivity. You have, in the back of, in Appendix 1 in the back of the book for, for Wellbeing at Work, we kind of work through these best practices based on a wellbeing element. You've picked one of those for us around Positivity. Let's talk about it now.
Jaclynn Robinson 5:53
I went with career wellbeing for this one. When difficult situations arise at work, look to this person to find an opportunity in the problem. They naturally inject positive energy and inspiration to keep their coworkers motivated. So they can be that boost and come from that solution-focused mindset.
Jim Collison 6:13
You know, that's a, that's an interesting selection on career wellbeing. I think sometimes we may think of it only in the term of like social, right, as how -- and yet those same social factors that play in in our, in our wellbeing, having that Positivity or exploiting that Positivity talent in yourself or in others in the workplace, I think for a lot of years, we thought maybe that wasn't appropriate. Like I can't be happy at work. Of course, we know that --
Jaclynn Robinson 6:44
Work can't be fun, what?
Jim Collison 6:45
Right. Yeah, yeah. If hybrid, listen, if hybrid's done anything for anybody, I think it's opened up some doors to be able to be more creative with some of those fun things, because fun doesn't have to happen at 5:30 on a Friday. You know, a happy hour doesn't have to --
Jaclynn Robinson 7:04
Or that one quarter event that you might have in the workplace, once a quarter.
For those with Positivity, how can it be used to support others?
Jim Collison 7:09
Yeah, no some great opportunities too. One of the things I've been working on, my son was working in a really difficult situation, recently changed jobs, and it's done some amazing things for him. But then meeting with him on, now he's got more, he has more flex time. And so he and I can connect at different times during the week. Of course, my Positivity loves that, because I love to bring that into the, Yeah, let's do lunch or whatever, right? An afternoon for an hour, pop over there or he pops over here. So I think some great ways to support that from that wellbeing element. OK. Let's think about, then, How do we -- oh, there are other, these, this, not just -- I mentioned 2. But there's 3 other, other wellbeing elements for you out there and some examples in Appendix 1. Jaclynn, with Positivity, how can that really be used to support others?
Jaclynn Robinson 8:00
Well, if you're a manager or you're leading a team, you can get a team excited about a goal and make that journey towards completion fun and engaging through humor, games or that sense of camaraderie. If you're on a team, you can support team members by being a thought partner and a troubleshooter. They likely count on you to see the good in the situation, and where there's a will, there's a way out. So that's where you can really come in handy. And even as an individual, you have an internal radar for the situations and people that amplify your energy and that drain your energy. So when you pay attention to that radar, your wellbeing tends to react accordingly as well. It's a good pulse check.
Jim Collison 8:38
Where there's a will, there's a way out. Is that what, is that, is that how you phrased? That's pretty great. I like that. I like that thinking. That's a very positive, that should be #Positivity.
Jaclynn Robinson 8:49
That's, yeah, let's do it. Let's put it on a billboard!
Jim Collison 8:54
I like that saying. Again, Positivity not, not equal to laughter, like, Positivity not equal to everyone smiling. I think sometimes, you know, especially in conflict resolution, as you're talking about this using it with a team, I think where Positivity can come in in the resolution of a problem. And that doesn't necessarily always, you know, that doesn't necessarily always have people clapping at the end or, right?
Jaclynn Robinson 9:25
Jim Collison 9:27
But it is that positive outcome, a team in conflict that is seeing some resolution is a positive, is a positive way to reconcile that. And that can be Positivity, right, in getting that done. So -- anything else you want to add to that?
Jaclynn Robinson 9:43
Jim Collison 9:45
Whoa! Drop the mic. In Appendix 2, we have a framework back there. I think it's great for coaching; our embedded coaches, use this in your organization. A great, simple framework to walk through as you're thinking about this. With Positivity, walk us through one of those.
Jaclynn Robinson 10:02
Yes. So Ask Yourself: What can I do to show others that I appreciate them today? Ask Your Team Members: How do we celebrate each other's personal and professional successes? And Take Action: Schedule time for team social events or activities. All of that still going to increase, not just the camaraderie, but going back to outcomes, productivity, creativity, wellbeing, engagement. So go out there and shine.
Jim Collison 10:32
Yeah, I love, as you're talking about this, I'm thinking about a situation, you know, the, this, this framework is Ask Yourself, Ask Your Team and then Take Action. And I love this idea of asking your team in a bad situation, because they happen, What's the best possible positive income outcome? I don't know why I keep saying "income" on this; maybe I'm thinking about my taxes that are due.
Jaclynn Robinson 10:56
It's upon you.
Jim Collison 10:58
A little Freudian slip on those. But kind of thinking through this idea of, What's the best possible positive outcome that we can have? And slowing that team dynamic down. And I think this is where someone on the team with high Positivity can help and help sort this, to give some great positive options. Like, all right, we're in a jam. How could we do this? And getting that team thinking about, you know, cause sometimes we just start grinding on this thing, and --
Jaclynn Robinson 11:29
And you can get stuck in the weeds.
Jim Collison 11:31
Yeah, yeah. From a, from, as a leader, Jaclynn, How do you think, how can you lead a team that's stuck in the weeds? How can you lead them out of the weeds with Positivity? What are some, what are, what are some thoughts you might have on that?
Jaclynn Robinson 11:47
I think it is that, that -- I hesitate to say glass-half-full approach; we use that a lot. But it's more of that optimistic point of view, to your point. We know where we're at; let's take more of that 3,000-foot view, to think about what are some options that we have? So because they're thinking more optimistically, there's more of that growth mindset of, I'm expanding my brain, and the way, and the different thoughts and ideas and solutions that are coming to mind, as opposed to being so stuck in the weeds that I'm losing sight of that 3,000-foot view. And all I see is the problem and not a way out. I think that's where the manager or that leader can come in with that lens to take them back up to that 3,000-foot view. This is where we're at, maybe pinpoint something positive that's coming out of that. And then start to think through solutions as a team.
Jim Collison 12:42
Love that. Anything else that you want to say, as we wrap this, this time up, as we think about Positivity?
Jaclynn Robinson 12:48
No, I'm appreciative that, you know, you're infusing in so much of this conversation around, it's not just, just because you have Positivity high doesn't mean you're always happy. You're gonna go through those, those mood swings as well, just like any other person. That aptitude of being able to pull yourself out of it can happen faster, because you're, you're seeing more of that glass-half-full approach. But that's also the benefit that you can bring to other people so they can drive towards solutions, if they're in a rut, or drive towards overcoming adversity. So I just appreciate that you've also continued to ground it in something that's tactical and rational and pragmatic, which sometimes people get away from when they just hear the theme Positivity.
Jim Collison 13:34
I almost wish we'd named this Inspiration, as opposed to Positivity, in the sense that, you know, it really, this success factor in Positivity is about inspiring others, right, inspiring yourself and inspiring others to move forward. That's the success in this, right? It's not a, it's not a, it's not a feeling; it's a success factor. And that success factor is inspiring people in a, in a positive way to move forward. And so I like, I like that word Inspiration or to inspire -- doesn't look necessarily great written that way, but, but that's the way I like to think about it. So Jaclynn, thanks for bringing that to us as well.
Jim Collison 14:16
Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of the CliftonStrengths Podcast. Make sure you like and subscribe wherever you listen, so you never miss an episode. And if you're really enjoying this podcast, please leave a review. This helps us promote strengths globally.
Jaclynn Robinson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity and Relator.