By Linda Woolston
This conference breakaway session was led by Ingra du Buisson-Narsai, who was presenting a case study relating to 20 high fliers on a Talent Programme.
A fundamental question at the heart of the programme for the 20 participants was “What is it I’m really here to do?-(after the will for power and pleasure)”. The tools used during the programme were drawn from existential positive psychology and the work of Paul Wong. I’m not sure I got the difference between existential positive psychology and positive psychology (this is where I may be at a disadvantage not being a psychologist), partly I think it was perceived that positive psychology can turn a blind eye to weaknesses / de-railers. Though this isn’t my experience in the work I’ve done with CAPP.
The programme centred around how to access meaning and purpose. Participants completed a Personal Meaning Profile, a values analysis; looked at their strengths; prepared a third person biography and, through imagery, created a vision board.
Some of the questions posed included, “What am I good for? Where and how does the world need me? What is life expecting of me? Is it good for me? What is in it for me? How do I feel about it?”
An interesting statement from the speaker “We’re not here to be happy, we’re here to grow.”
Again ‘narrative’ came up, ie building resilience through meaning re-construction, through strengths stories including how you handle the hardships. As previously quoted “stories define leaders more than a profile or a score”.
The GROW model was used superimposed by Existential Positive Psychology / Meaning Therapy eg:
G – what does life demand of me? What is my service to the world?
R – what is my story? How does it serve me? What are my real values?
O – what options are most consistent with my life purpose.
It was great to see a slide with Alex Linley / CAPP’s The Strengths Book on it and being highly recommended by the speaker, in fact she said “I’m not on commission – it’s an excellent book”. I held back from shouting “I know him!”
I’ve asked Ingra for a copy of her presentation – there was a lot more to it than my lay person summary above!