Explaining Positive Psychology

The shoulder continues to be a problem, but I didn’t expect miraculous results since just two weeks ago. To keep that part of this blog post brief, I’ll simply share that I’m building up scar tissue faster than physical therapy is able to overcome it. it’s going to be a long, long road ahead.

But, to get back to a focus on strengths I was going to write up something to explain what the “positive psychology movement” is all about. I thought you might enjoy reading a little bit about how Don Clifton approached his research and how it was different than most psychological research. Then, I read an incredible article that explained it better than I ever could. So, at the risk of losing my readership, I’m going to point you to an outside article, again.

Check out this wonderfully written explanation of positive psychology by Tim Simon, a Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup:

The Little Lights are Not Twinkling

The Road Back

Well, this is certainly taking longer than I thought it would. I had read how recovery from rotator cuff surgery will take some time, but I think something is different about my journey. Of course, every person is unique and each person will follow a different healing path. Somehow, though, this isn’t exactly how I thought it would turn out.

I’m still struggling to get my arm moving. My physical therapist tells me that most patients are seeing a pretty decent range of motion in the repaired arm in about 3 months, or so. Well, as you’ll note by the date on this blog post, it’s been right at that and I’m here reporting that such is not my experience!

My pain levels are substantially higher, for a longer period of time, than most patients. My range of motion is significantly limited right from the average patient’s progress, and I must admit that discouragement sets in quite easily at times. It’s quite difficult to understand and the doctor hasn’t had any specific answers.

No one is giving up. I’m just frustrated right now.

Apologies for none of this being related to strengths, talents, and all that. I just knew it had been a while since I had chimed in here and I thought something was better than nothing. I’ll try to get back on topic in my next post.

Pardon the Interruption

Well, I thought I had used my learner, input, analytical, and intellection to understand what was going to happen to me a month ago when I underwent shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff. Boy, was I wrong!

As it turns out, I really didn’t have a clue!

It’s been a lot more intense than I could have ever imagined and I’ve experienced pain so intense I hope to never have to live through anything like this ever again!

But, to keep things moving and at least a little more on topic than I could possibly do it on my own right now, I’m going to point you to an excellent article written by one of the “Learning and Development Consultants” at Gallup, Austin Suellentrop. You’ll find it here:

Strengths and Values: A Testimony to the Importance of Talking Values with the Ones You Love

I’ll share more about my experience and get back to authoring blog posts on my own as soon as I am able.


A Brief Hiatus

Four of my top five talent themes have been in over drive lately. I’ve been intensely apply learner, input, analytical, and intellection to a situation that has come in my life that is now reached a point that it’s going to impact what I am doing here for a while. You see,I’ve been dealing with some significant pain for several months now and experiencing limited movement. The doc has been treating me through other means and finally chose to do an MRI to see what was going on. Hence, the discovery of the torn rotator cuff. Consequently, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time learning about the muscle group that makes up the rotator cuff, the way the shoulder moves and works (or at least how it’s supposed to), and what exactly is the best way to heal from injury. Like I said, I’ve been using my talents — learner, input, analytical, and intellection!

So, I beg your indulgence and forgiveness in advance. If you don’t hear from me for a little while it’s because I’m about to undergo shoulder surgery to get things repaired. Based on what I’ve learned and how I think it’s all going to affect me, I could be in too much pain, too focused on recovery, and too pre-occupied with just getting by at work and in life to spend much time here.

So, forgive me, if you will for a brief absence.


Demands of Work

Demands of Work

In spite of my excitement and enthusiasm for Strengths and the process of becoming a certified coach, I’ve had to take a step back and just focus on getting my job done. I still have a full-time job at James Madison University, which I actually love, and it is taking a lot of my time. The first two weeks before classes start are the busiest time for the Dux Leadership Center, where I am the director.

This year we completed 24 separate training workshops for other departments across campus, helping them prepare their student employees for working this semester. We did all of those workshops in 11 days. It’s intense! But, I coach and prepare my team of student employees, helping them tap into their Strengths, and give them the authority to make decisions and do their job. They have always delivered in spectacular fashion and this semester was no different!

Which reminds me, I need to share a bit about “intent-based leadership,” since that’s the method I use to lead and guide the student employees, and all the work we do, in the Dux Leadership Center. I’ll make a note and bring it up in the future.

Recent Thoughts

Recent Thoughts

I am in the middle of completing my Gallup Strengths Coach certification. I’ve done the course work, having spent a week in Atlanta about a month ago. I’ve scheduled my professional coaching session with a Gallup Strengths Coach. I’ll be preparing for the written exam and setting up my first 6 coaching sessions soon. Presuming all goes well, I’ll be a certified Strengths Coach before the end of the year.

My goal is to then take this, along with my decades of professional experience helping others become better leaders, and reach to help small business owners, parents, college students, and individuals of all types discover and develop the best part of themselves. The positive psychology approach of the Clifton Strengths assessment is an ideal way to leverage the best part of you into becoming an even better part of you.

As the weeks and months go by, I hope to add thoughts of my journey as a coach, my experiences helping others, and the insights and lessons I learn both about myself and about the journey of striving to maximize potential and turn it into a reality of excellence and success.

Of course, as the byline of the blog suggests, my focus will include more than just Strengths. I’ll also explore personality, with a particular emphasis using the DISC Personality Profile assessment. And, I’ll talk leadership.


Because, leadership. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. It’s a personal and a professional passion of mine for the past 35 years.

I hope to share my unique thoughts, bring along and share the thoughts of others who I respect admire and agree with, as well as challenge some thinking and writing of others who I may not agree with.

You’re invited to join in on the conversation by adding your comments below, too.