Sunday, February 3, 2013

Key Resources & Key Partners

  1. Key Resources
    1. Your Interests
    2. Your Abilities and Skills
    3. Personality and what you have.
  2. Key Partners
    1. Those who support you

There are a plethora of tools out their that help us identify our interests, strengths, abilities, and personalities. At first, I thought I might link and post about a variety of them; Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory, Enneagram, Strength Deployment Inventory, coaching sessions, surveys etc.

Amusingly, in my search for useful resources to share, I ended up watching yet another TED talk, by Martin Seligman. He introduces his research into the field of Positive Psychology. I found his talk fascinating, and ended up doing further research into his work, and was amused when his website, was oriented around "happiness."

Essentially, Positive Psychology is about using the science of Psychology to help people move forward, to build thriving and fulfilling lives, as opposed to treating deficits. It's a shift from the "disease model" to a generative model for health and well-being.

While perusing through the information around positive psychology, and looking for tools for identifying "Key Resources", I stumbled across a parallel and common theme, one I've tried to embrace for a while.

The more we understand the context of our strengths, we can understand our weaknesses as well, and knowledge of both of these, is power.

Harvard Business Review states, "In cross-training, the combination of two activities produces an improvement—an interaction effect—substantially greater than either one can produce on its own." For me, I've also applied the 80/20 rule and Pareto principle, to my own "strength training". 

In a not so surprising connection, Key Partnerships seemed to apply well within positive psychology as well. Early in the TED talk, Dr. Seligman suggests that social interaction is one of the most important indicators for health and happiness. For me, this is taken within the context, recognizing that we have many social networks. One of the first exercises around identifying Key Partnerships, is drafting a venn diagram/nested circles diagram on the people around us, and how they impact us. 

I think this exercise is particularly useful, just like doing a systems diagram. The more we understand the elements that surround a variable(ourselves), the stronger we can develop our opportunities for improving that system.

On a final note, Dr. Seligman is currently advocating for his concepts to be used in a similar fashion as Gross National Happiness. He argues that the capacity for citizens to fill fulfilled should drive governmental policy.  In an interview(likely paralleling our coursework next quarter- Means and Measures),  he says, the first step towards designing policy that aims to improve people's well being, is designing the appropriate measure, and that perhaps GDP isn't very effective.


  1. Wow. AH, what a score. I can't wait to take my "study break" and watch this TED talk. What's truly awesome is that your blog was my study break tonight and I couldn't have been happier (apologies to Dr. Seligman). As we've discussed quite extensively and hopefully more-so, I absolutely agree with you on the GNH index and its power to drive the new economic model. Thanks again and keep up the great posts! Cheers

  2. Gooooo enneagram. I believe that the enneagram could actually be an even stronger BGI tool than the Myers Briggs in its ability to dig quite a bit deeper and to allow us to really see how and why our decisions are informed in the manner in which they are. I wonder, when the GNH will finally catch wind here and inform OUR choices and policies and such? No time like tomorrow. Have you taken the enneagram, by the way? Amazing tool. Perhaps we should speak with the faculty about its value???


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