The Art of Strengths Coaching

P is for The Positive Approach To Pursuing Your Principles And Achieving Your Picture Of Success

There are many ways to do fine work. This article looks at the positive approach to pursuing your principles and achieving your picture of success.

Some people take this approach in their daily lives and work. They are often positive realists. They have a positive attitude but are also good at reading reality. They then focus on the principles they want to follow.

Different people will have different principles. One person, for example, may aim to enjoy life, encourage other people and do excellent work. Other people may believe in pursuing different principles.

Some people take the positive approach when leading teams or organisations. They act as a positive model and also communicate the big picture. They communicate the overall purpose, principles and picture of success.

Such leaders create a positive environment in which motivated people can achieve peak performance. They encourage and enable people to perform superb work and achieve the picture of success.

Millions of people take some of these steps each day. They aim to be kind, encourage others and help to build a better world. Some people who take these steps inspire others to plant seeds of hope.

Jo Berry, for example, took the initiative to meet with Patrick Magee, who planted the device that killed her father during the Brighton Bombing. They chose to see each other as human beings and build on what they had in common.

Jo and Pat now work together for their organisation called Building Bridges for Peace. They aim to promote peace and conflict resolution throughout the world. You can discover more about their work via the following link.

http://www.buildingbridgesforpeace.org/

Looking back, can you think of a situation when you chose to have a positive attitude and follow your principles? This could have been in your personal or professional life.

You may have done so when choosing to encourage people, doing a creative project or tackling a crisis. You may have done so when passing on knowledge, leading a team or working to achieve specific goals.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the past when you had a positive attitude and pursued your principles towards achieving the picture of success. 

Describe the specific things you did to take these steps.

Describe the specific things that happened as a result of taking these steps.

Choosing To Take
The Positive Approach

People can choose their attitude. They can choose to be positive or negative, proactive or reactive. They can choose to find positive solutions or sink into paralysis.

Kiran Bir Sethi is somebody who encourages children to take the positive route and re-learn how to say, “I can …” rather than “I can’t”. She founded the global movement called Design For Change.

This encourages young people to express their ideas for improving the world and translate these into action. They do this by focusing on what they can do and then applying design thinking.

Below is an excerpt from the Design for Change website. This is followed by a video in which Kiran describes the approach. You can discover more via the following link.

https://dfcworld.com/SITE

The I CAN Mindset equips every child to be AWARE of the world around them ENABLED with the skills to take action and EMPOWERED to design a more desirable and sustainable future – TODAY!

The power of Design Thinking allows both children and adults to transform the world into how they envision it – the power to create a more compassionate, empathetic world.  

By spreading Design Thinking globally, Design for Change was one of the first organisations to pioneer this progressive way of thinking to schools and children.

Young people focus on the specific things they want to improve and follow the design process of Feel, Imagine, Do, Share.

Feel

You can focus on something you feel strongly about – such as a problem to solve or a way to make things better – and begin exploring your picture of success.

Imagine

You can imagine what good looks like, search the world for best practice and clarify your picture of success.

Do

You can translate the ideas into action, do the work and keep improving on the way towards achieving the picture of success.

Share

You can share the success story with other people around the world so they can follow the principles in their own ways to achieve their picture of success.

Choosing To
Pursue Principles

People can choose to follow certain principles in life. They can then aim to express these in both personal and professional situations. The Dalai Lama says, for example:

My religion is kindness.

He tries to express kindness in his daily life when communicating with people, giving television interviews and doing other activities. He keeps focusing on the core drivers in his life.

Many individuals take a similar approach to defining their inner compass and becoming more centred. They start by clarifying the principles they want to follow in their life and work. Sometimes this takes time, but people eventually settle on the guidelines they want to follow.

These principles become the compass they keep returning to when making decisions or rehearsing what they are going to do next. They then aim to express these principles in personal and professional situations.

How to take these steps? As mentioned earlier, one approach is to start by clarifying the principles you want to follow. Here are some answers that people give when focusing on this theme. 

The principles I want to follow in my life are:

To continue to be grateful … To enjoy life … To be kind … To encourage people … To create beauty … To show people a better way … To enable people to succeed … To help to build a better world. 

How to express these principles in daily life? The person can look ahead and plan how they want to follow these principles in the specific personal or professional situation. They can do this by focusing on the following themes.

The principles I want
to follow in my life are:

* 

*

* 

The specific things I can to do follow these
principles in the specific personal or
professional situation that I am going into are:

*

*

*

Looking ahead, the person rehearses how they can follow their principles. They can then go into the situation, be fully present and do their best to follow their chosen route.

Emerging from the situation, the person can gain strength by returning to their centre. They can pause and take time to relax, reflect and refocus. They can then rehearse how they can follow their principles in the next situation.

Choosing To Work Towards
Achieving Your Picture Of Success 

There are many ways to do fine work. One approach is for people to have a positive attitude and follow their principles. This is an approach that can be pursued by individuals, teams or organisations.

During the past 50 years I have worked with many great teams. These have included people running therapeutic communities, schools, sport teams and businesses. Such teams often take the following steps.

They aim to pursue a positive purpose – such as encouraging people, building pioneering prototypes or achieving peak performance.

They follow certain principles – such as maintaining high professional standards, providing great service and finding positive solutions to challenges. 

They work towards achieving a clear picture of success – such as enabling people to shape their lives, helping all their stakeholders to succeed or leaving a positive legacy.

Many teams in sports, for example, take this approach. They encourage their players:

To have a positive attitude; 

To follow certain principles and maintain high professional standards; 

To do their best to deliver peak performances.

Different teams apply this approach in different ways. Here are some of the exercises they do when planning ahead. You can discover more about this way of building super teams via the following link.

Super Teams

 

Let’s return to how some individuals follow this path to do fine work. Jack Sim is such a person. He takes a pride in being known as Mr. Toilet.

Jack founded the World Toilet Organization which is committed to providing sustainable sanitation for people around the world. Here is an excerpt from their website that explains more about Jack and the work.

http://worldtoilet.org/wto/

Jack Sim, Mr. Toilet, has broken the taboo on sanitation and brought issues about toilets and hygiene out into the open.

After attaining financial independence as a businessman in Singapore by 40, Jack decided to devote the rest of his life to development work in line with his motto:

“Live a useful life.”

In 1998, Jack established the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) whose mission is to raise the standards of public toilets and address the issues of poor toilet design, inadequate building codes and poorly trained cleaners in. 

As Jack began his work, he realized there were organizations similar to this in other countries and without any central governing body. Soon thereafter, he founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in 2001. 

Since then he has been involved in sustainable sanitation efforts all over the world. Here is a video about this work.

Different people choose different ways to apply the positive approach. Some do it in their daily lives. They follow the principles of being kind, encouraging others and helping people to achieve their goals.

Some do it when acting as a parents, educators, coaches, artists, leaders, trusted advisors, inventors or in other roles. Some do it by passing on knowledge, building prototypes or doing practical work that helps to build a better world.

Let’s return to your own life and work. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation when you may want to apply elements of the positive approach? This could be in your personal or professional life.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the future when you may want to have a positive attitude and pursue your principles towards achieving the picture of success.

Describe the specific things you can do then to take these steps.

Describe the specific things that may happen as a result of taking these steps.

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