How would you answer two seemingly simple questions:
- What do you love about your community?
- What would you change?
Most people agree that their community (which could be your whole city or a part of it, like a team or group) should be at least some of these things: vibrant and culturally rich; safe, healthy and active; attractive and well-built; accessible and connected. It should be clean, green and sustainable; inclusive and diverse. Its citizens should be well-governed and empowered; prosperous and learning. In short, the community and its citizens should be flourishing.
Instead, data indicators show that people report increasing psychological distress–anxiety and depression and loneliness. We are all longing for connection.
Sometimes people think that being critical of others makes them sound smart and attractive to others. Scientists have found, though, that pointing out people’s strengths (what they do right) and building on them creates more benefit than identifying their weaknesses (what they do wrong) and trying to correct them. In fact recent research points to the power of having one’s signature strengths valued by others in their communities, work organizations and country.
And just imagine: When a group knows each other’s strengths, they can use them together in new ways. You can compliment your friends, family, and teammates by describing the character strengths you see them using. Using strengths-based feedback between peers and among team players creates positive feedback loops that support both individual and team success. This, in turn, can help to forge even stronger team bonds, on a playing field and in a larger community.
Read this quotation:
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
How can using strengths help people in your community accomplish more together?
Let me know how I can help. I coach community leaders and have extensive experience uncovering and developing hidden strengths for positive change.
For more content like this, see Unleash Your Epic Self: The Guide to Crushing it at School, Work and Life.