Listening to the Experts 听君一席话。

While our 7-week training with VIA Institute has ended; our learning continues, thanks to VIA’s generosity.

If you are keen to learn character strengths and its application, you really should not miss this great opportunity:  In November 2011, VIA Institute launched its VIA Pioneers Speaker Series where Dr. Ryan,  VIA Education Director, hosts “specialists and experts discussing the application of character strengths in a variety of practice domains….VIA will host a variety of tracks dealing with different areas of application, such as counseling, business and education.” They allow anyone who is interested to sign-up to watch LIVE and get the opportunity to pose questions to the experts. What’s more VIA does not charge — it is free.

I signed up for the first one by Dr Tayyab Rashid who spoke on “Character Strengths in Counselling/Psychotherapy”.  Dr Tayyab is a licensed clinical psychologist at the Health & Wellness Centre at the University of Toronto Scarborough, Canada. He is also the Lead Consultant for Applied Research for the VIA Institute and a co-developer of Positive Psychotherapy with Dr. Martin Seligman.

What strike me the most at Dr Tayyab’s talk were his view points on “Why We Should Work on Strengths“.  Here is a summary of his views:

  1. If our purpose is to see a person grows, focussing our mind and efforts solely on remediation is just not sufficient.  Strengths, according to Dr Tayyab, are much more effective generators of change– and making changes is a prerequisite to a person’s growth.
  2. Working on strengths creates a different mindset and positive emotions. Positive emotions brings about the urge to “collaborate” and opens up one’s mind to see alternatives.
  3. Working on strengths is a better coping strategy as the mental attention is on strengths. Using strengths language allows people to view challenges differently, hence cope better.
  4. They (the strengths) are already “there”, why not work on them?

You can still listen to Dr Tayyab Rashid’s talk HERE.

Useful Link: VIA Institute website http://viacharacter.org/www/

VIA研究中心的七周培训虽然已经结束,然,因为他们的慷慨,学员的学习却是一直没有停止过。

如果您对性格优点及其应用感兴趣,您可不要错过这个大好机会:VIA研究中心在2011年十一月推出先锋演讲系列。它将由莱恩博士,VIA研究中心的教育总监,主持邀请专家讨论各种对性格优点在不同领域(如咨询,商业和教育)的实践和应用。VIA研究中心允许任何有兴趣的人报名观看现场直播,并有机会向专家提出问题。而且,VIA不收分文 – 它是免费的。

我参加了第一个演讲系列:Tayyab Rashid博士主讲的“性格优点和心理辅导”。Tayyab Rashid博士是加拿大多伦多大学卫生及健康中心的临床心理学家。他也是VIA研究中心的首席顾问,以及马丁塞利格曼博士一同开发正面心理治疗的合作伙伴。

在博士约一个小时的谈话里,最触动我心的是他对于“为什么我们应该致力於发挥所长”的观点。以下是他这个观点的摘要:

  • 如果我们的目的是帮助他人的发展和成长,仅仅集中我们的思想和功夫在整治上是不足够的。优点强项绝对是更有效地去促使一个人的改变 — 而改变正是一个人成长的前提。
  • 致力於发挥所长帮助他人建立起一个不同的的心态和正面的情绪。正面的情绪促进一个人“合作”的欲望和态度。它也帮助开扩一个人的想法,让他看到多方面的可能性。
  • 致力於发挥所长是为应对挑战更有效的策略。这是因为它将一个人的精神和注意力集中在他的优点强项上。使用优点强项的语言,让人们产生不同的观点,从而更积极地面对挑战。
  • 它们(您的优点强项)根本都已经是您的一部分了,为什么不好好地开拓应用?

您仍然可以在这里 听到Tayyab Rashid博士的演讲。

相关链接:VIA研究中心网址 http://viacharacter.org/www/

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3 Questions to a Preferred Career Choice 三个关键问题决定首选职业

“What is the best career choice for me?”

In my line of work, this is perhaps THE most frequently asked question by the new graduates I worked with.  It is not surprising given they are fresh out of school.  In many cases, their graduating from a particular discipline has absolutely nothing to do with their career aspirations but what their parents have wanted them to study.

To answer the question, I like to show them the three big circles and answer their question by asking the following three questions (remember? We discussed this before.  The answers lie with them.  We are just there to ask good questions to help draw the answers out from them):-

Question (1) Passion – what do you really enjoy doing?  When you are doing a task that you are passionate about, you feel engaged and energized, you feel excited, you forget about time.  

Question (2) Strengths – what are you really good at doing?  If you are good at something, you demonstrate a rapid learning curve compared to others around you.  

Question (3) Values – what are the things that are so important to you that you will not trade them for anything?

Career choices that meet all the above, i.e. those in the intersection of the three circles, I tell them, would be your preferred career choices.  These choices match your passion with your strengths and are in congruence with your value system.  When you are doing something you are really passionate about and are good at it, naturally you would be performing outstandingly and happy.  It also brings sustainability.

“What about money?”  They would usually follow-up with this question.

“When you find a career within this intersection that sees you both happy and performing at your career, money will come.” is always my answer. 

Of course, they would eventually learn that money indeed has very little to do with career satisfaction and happiness in life.

What about your career? Is it one in the intersection of your Passion, Strengths and Values?  Are you happy with what you are doing?  Do feel free to share your views.“什么是最适合我的职业选择?”

在我的工作里,这绝对是我最常被新毕业生问及的一个问题。这并不奇怪,因为他们都刚从大学毕业。而大部分的学生,他们毕业於那一学科与他们的职业愿望是没有任何挂钩的。他们只是尊从他们父母的意见去选科。

我答这个问题的方法是回问他们三个问题(记得吗?我们曾经谈过这个问题:问题和答案都确实是在他们身上。我们的责任只在於问好的问题,以帮助他们从中找到答案。):-

问题(一)强烈爱好 — 你真正喜欢做什么任务?当你对某件任务有着强烈爱好时,你在从事这件任务时,会完全投入而处在激励的状态中,你会忘了时间的存在。

问题(二)优点长处 — 你的专长是什么?你最擅长的是在哪方面?这意味着和你周围的人相比,你在这方面有一个较他人快速的学习曲线。

问题(三)价值观 —什么是对你如此重要,你无论如何不会把它与任何东西作交换的?

我告诉他们,这三个答案的交集处,将是你首选的职业。这些选择配合了你的优点长处,你的强烈爱好,也和你的价值观有着一致性。当你对你的职业有着真正的热情,而它又能让你展现你的长处,你自然而然会有突出的表现和感到开心满足。

“那钱呢?不在被考虑范围内吗?” 他们通常都会跟进这个问题。

“当你在三个答案的交集处,找到一个能让你表现突出和感到满足的职业,钱是会跟来的。”是我一贯的答案。

当然,他们最终将会亲身体验到金钱与职业的满足感和生活的快乐幸福其实从来都没有太大的关系。

您的职业呢?它可是的强烈爱好,特长和价值观的交集?它可有为您带来满足感和幸福?欢迎您分享您的看法。

10 Things re: Love of Learning 十大关于热爱学习

The second character strength I learned from “Character Strengths and Virtues, A Handbook and Classification” : “Love of Learning“.  It again confirms and verifies the important role played by teachers, the learning environment and the nature of tasks in cultivating one’s love towards learning a subject matter.

Definition:  This strength describes the way in which a person engages new information and skills.  People with this strength experience positive feelings when they are in the process of acquiring new information and skills, it can be just building on existing knowledge or learning something entirely new.

 My 10 Key Takeaways:

1.  The Love of Learning strength comes from intrinsic motivation i.e. learning for the sake of learning, for the enjoyment and challenge.
2.  People with love of learning must feel they are mastering a skill or filling in the gaps in their knowledge in the process of learning.
3.  The learning environment is a web of relations: the learner and the materials; the teacher to the materials; the learner to the teacher; the teacher to the learner’s academic work; the learner to peers regarding academic work and the relation among the learner, parents and teacher regarding academic work.  Each of these relations must support engagement and collaboration.
4.  Teacher plays a key role in supporting the love of learning for a certain subject by how he/she –

  • Structures the content and curriculum
  • Enables students to make meaningful and connections to the content
  • Genuinely likes the students and develops a connection to the students
  • Develops a clear plan for the class that build on what the students knows, focuses on the students as learners and conveys an expectation that they can and will learn
  • Supports students to sustain the frustration that is inherent in learning

5.  Constraints of the school setting (limited course options, grades, pedagogical practices) may limit opportunities for interest development.
6.  It is important that students/learners appreciate the structure of the classroom or task as having a mastery approach – this can be accomplished by emphasizing goals.
7.  Love of Leaning can be nurtured by tasks which are (i) complex enough to require collaboration and encourage sharing of different perspectives and (ii) authentic and meaningful.
8.  Love of Learning can be strengthened by fulfilling people’s need for belongingness, competence, positive feelings and utility.
9.  People with love of learning place greater value on the content that they are learning.
10. The Love of Learning strength has to be nurtured if it is to be sustained over time.

Related link: The importance of a good teacher: “Galileo’s Teacher”.  http://ahypatia.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/galileos-teacher/

Is Love of Learning one of your character strengths? You can find out and get a FREE full character strength report from HERE.

我从“性格优点和美德的手册和分类”中学到的第二个性格优点:热爱学习。它再一次地印证了教师学习环境任务性质对培养学习者对学习的热爱的关键作用。

定义:热爱学习的性格优点描述一个人如何参与投入於新的知识和技能。拥有这个性格优点的人,在他们学习新的知识和技能的过程中,会体验到积极正面的情绪。热爱学习可以是建立在现有的知识上或学习全新的东西。

我学到关于“热爱学习”的十个要点:
1.  热爱学习来自内在的动力,也即是为了学习的乐趣和挑战而学习。
2.  热爱学习的人在学习过程中必须感受到他们在掌握着一门技能,或在填补着他们的知识差距。
3.  学习的环境是一个关系网络:学习者和教材的; 教师和教材的;教师和学习者的学术工作的; 同行的学术工作和学习者的学术工作以及彼此之间的关系,家长和教师的。每一个以上的关系人都必须支持在学习上的参与和协作。
4.  教师在支持学生对热爱学习某一主题有着关键性的作用 —

  • 结构课程的内容;
  • 让学生对课程的内容感到有意义和有联系;
  • 真正地喜欢学生及与学生产生联系;
  • 开发一个明确的,建立在学生现有知识上的教学计划。以学生是学习者为焦点,传达教师对学生有能力学习的期望;
  • 对学生在学习过程中所面对的挫折给予支持。

5.  学校设置(选修课程,等级,教学实践)的限制,往往会影响学习者发展兴趣的机会。
6.  学习者对课堂或任务的结构是否有一个掌握方法的看法是很重要的 –这可以通过强调设定目标来完成。
7.  我们可以通过以下性质的任务来加强学习者对学习的热爱:(一)任务的复杂程度必需要学习者无间的合作并分享彼此不同的观点;和(二)任务是真实和有意义的。
8.  我们也可以通过满足人们的归属感,对能力,积极的情感和实用度的需求来加强学习者对学习的热爱。
9.  热爱学习的人把学习的价值放在学习的内容上。
10.  一个人若要持续他热爱学习的性格优点,他必须对它加以培育。

相关链接:一个好老师的重要性:“伽利略的老师”。http://ahypatia.wordpress.com/2010/07/12/galileos-teacher/

热爱学习是您的性格优点之一吗?您可以马上从这里揭晓,并获得一份免费全套关于您的性格优点分析报告。