My life is all about learning. One of my top five Strengths is “learner.” These last few months, I have studied “deep diving” as it pertains to business. Richard Horwath’s book, Deep Dive, is all about strategy, focus, and smart action. Any business looking to make a profit needs leadership that knows how to do strategic thinking, take aim, and know when to act.
Whenever a business team gets together, deep diving is another tool for getting to solutions in the shortest amount of time. It combines brainstorming, deep thinking, everyone’s brainpower, and lots of discussion. Decisions seem like miracles, coming from the whole team. Action is from the well of wisdom that includes everyone’s best thinking. Any deep dive is more interested in outcomes that are beneficial. (Any hint of judgment, shame, guilt, or inadequacy; any fault-finding or negative criticism seems to take the deep dive into another direction with closed minds-closed hearts-and closed will (choices).
To dive deeply, leaders (one in every chair) do best to be curious, open, and willing to keep going. At some point, there is a break-through and minds join, decisions are made enthusiastically, and action is taken rapidly. As if the minds have actually joined, becoming one, the process brings the best possible outcome. Turns out the bottom of the dive is a place of coming together, discovering the best path to take.
I want to use this concept in my new workshop, “Deep Engagement,” which is the next workshop after going through “Building a Strengths-Based Culture,” my introductory workshop for people new to the ideas taken from Strengths Psychology. The primary action for participants is to take the Clifton StrengthsFinder so that they know what their top five themes are. These themes are based on the notion that talent is a positive thread in our mind-brain system and it was developed before we left teenage.
Talents (defined as recurring thoughts-feelings-behaviors that can be productively applied) combined with skills and knowledge become what Dr. Donald O. Clifton called Strengths. My experience with this amazing instrument is that people are always intrigued if not mystified by the way they discover their positive possibilities. At Interface, Inc., where I have enjoyed consulting for many years, we are working with these ideas in our effort to create a company that identifies what is good about people, rather than catching them making mistakes.
After employees and their families identify their signature themes, which we call Strengths, then we can go into how to expand those strengths, using them every day, and thereby build a strengths-based culture. There is really no down side to this process. I was introduced to it by Paul Barlow back in the 60’s when I was returning to school in my mid 30s. I would say those years were very big turning points in my life. The year my first husband died, I was devastated and my deep dive was into grief with little regard for anything or anyone around me. The hopefulness and positivity I began to learn after going back to school was not only the healing of my grief, but opened the door to a fifty year journey into positive psychology. That has been my longest and deepest dive.
If you want to know your top five Strengths, go to https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com
Now, in my 85th year, I am certain that my best self development is through following the positive path, diving deeply into optimism, positivity, hopefulness, happiness, joy, and ultimately the deepest dive of all–unconditional love of myself which allows me to love others and life unconditionally. And the result is happiness, joy, fulfillment, and peace.
I presented this new workshop, Deep Engagement, last month to about 40 people at Unity of Wimberley church. We had a great time and I really enjoyed diving into the application of strengths around my 8 point Lifelong Compass of Joy. There was a great display of enthusiasm, cooperation, fun, and participation–as if we had dived off the deep end into some new adventure. Part of my talent for learning is to also synthesize ideas, theories, and concepts. If I were to boil it all down into one compact belief structure, here is what I would tell you I have discovered:
First: You and you alone are responsible for what you Believe, what you Think, what you Feel, and what you Do (behavior).
Second: Positivity beats Negativity. Optimism beats pessimism. Compassion beats cynicism.
Third: Joy is your birthright. Joy is unreasonable happiness. Happiness is a choice.
It is all about choice! For me, I choose the path of love not the path of fear. The journey to happiness and joy starts with the decision to experience happiness and joy. I look forward to meeting you on the journey.