«A Message from the Conference Chair A warm welcome to the Meaning Conference 2010! It has been ten years since our first International Meaning ...»
Personality hardiness has been shown to be the pathway to resilience under stress for individuals. Organizational hardiness has the same effect for groups of people working together. Hardiness has this desirable effect by helping people to turn stressful circumstances from potential disasters into growth opportunities. The educational objectives are to introduce organizational hardiness as the group version of personality hardiness, and to explicate the importance of both versions of hardiness as the pathway to resilience under stress.
Todd Kashdan, PhD, George Mason University Ken Hart, PhD & Tyler Carey, University of Windsor Michael Steger, PhD, Colorado State University Ryan Niemiec, PsyD, VIA Institute on Character Paul T. P. Wong, PhD, Adler Graduate Professional School Kathryn Britton, MAPP, Coach and Adjunct Professor at University of Maryland
This symposium will focus on the important issues for the future development of positive psychology. Each of the participants will present his or her view and Paul T. P. Wong will serve as the discussant.
Thursday, August 5, 2010 Workshops Ⓦ Salvatore Maddi, PhD Assessment and Training of Hardiness The educational objective of the workshop is to introduce attendees to the assessment and training approaches that facilitate hardiness at the organizational and individual levels Ⓦ Heather White, MEd
Conflict is a normal part of team and organizational life and is growing in its presence and intensity for many workplaces. Research by Shain et al (2007) has highlighted the link between unhealthy workplaces and destructive forms of conflict as well as potential illness and injury. Shain (2007) has also identified the term “psychological safety” as an important precursor to sustaining and finding workplace health. Other research has highlighted that many organizations carry forward avoidance cultures that grow out of an historical discomfort with conflict and pose challenges to finding the opportunity presented by conflict for individuals, teams and organizations. In order to transform destructive conflict forces into growth inspired constructive forms, supports that encourage prevention, intervention, resolution are crucial, Respectful Workplace programs and related services have emerged to foster healthy environments and constructive conflict experiences.
This session will focus on the strengths, dynamics and challenges to be found in transforming destructive forms of conflict into constructive experiences that build teams and provide individuals the opportunity to experience growth through interpersonal and team conflict. Examples of positive, proactive organizational initiatives will be explored as well as helpful supports and services for teams and individuals to find the opportunity in conflict. An interactive format that combines evidence based best practices, self assessment, case studies and role plays will demonstrate the challenging dynamics that foster the inertia of an organizational culture of conflict avoidance. The alternative view of conflict as an experience that holds the possibility of transformative change that can strengthen individuals, teams and organizations will also be explored. Participants will learn the powerful force that constructive conflict intervention can offer to increase the health, well being and productivity of employees, teams and organizations.
Thursday, August 5, 2010 Ⓦ Melanie Sears, RN, MBA Trainer, Center of Nonviolent Communications
When you experience conflict at work or at home you can empower your self by using language in a way that creates growth, empowerment, connection and peace. During this interactive presentation you will hear and practice skills such as QTIP (Quit Taking It Personally.) You will also hear how to connect with the intentions of anyone no matter how they are expressing themselves. You will learn how to use your own reactions and responses to people and situations as a stimulus to connect more deeply and compassionately with yourself.
In this presentation, Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener will present a brief introduction to strengths psychology, and illustrate the ways that teams and organizations can use business-ready storytelling techniques to appreciate performance, develop a strengths based culture and increase engagement.
Ⓟ Mike Cannon, Margaret C. McKee, PhD, & E. Kevin Kelloway, PhD
Spirituality in the Workplace and Psychological Well-being:
What can existing psychological theories tell us?
Spirituality in the workpalce is generally conceived as comprising four important dimensions: i) integration of work and self; ii) sense of meaning at work; iii) self-transcendence; and iv) growth of the inner (spiritual) self, which are predictive of individual wellbeing. To date, little attempt has been made to link this emergent literature with a large literature on occupational stress and wellbeing. With parsimony and practicality in mind, we draw on existing theories in order to understand how the dimensions of spirituality in the workplace affect the psychological health of individuals in today’s workplaces.
Conservation of resources theory (Hobfoll, 1988) takes an interesting perspective, wherein the 4 dimensions of spirituality in the workplace provide important resources which help to buffer against the effects of stress on the individual. Drawing on Self-determination theory (SDT) (Deci & Ryan, 2000), we propose that the dimensions of workplace spirituality help individuals to satisfy three important psychological needs (mastery, relatedness, autonomy) as well as realize their full potential, which SDT recognizes as essential for well-being.
Finally, we suggest that Warr (2007) provides an interesting perspective of psychological well-being at work which builds on some of the areas outlined in SDT, but takes other needs, such as self-integration, into account. We contend that each of these frameworks can provide researchers and practitioners with important insight into the relationship between spirituality in the workplace nd psychological health. Further, two other phenomena (person-organization fit and spillover) which have received substantial attention in the organizational literature, but which have only recently been applied to workplace spirituality, will be discussed. We conclude by outlining a research agenda that builds on this framework, as well as the key implications for developing psychologically healthy workplaces.
Ⓟ Megan Vokey, MA PhD Candidate, University of Manitoba Understanding the Roots of the Uneasy Relationship between Psychology, Spirituality, and Religion: Applying Lessons Learned to Promote Psychological Health and Well-Being in the 21st Century Thursday, August 5, 2010 For almost a century, psychology has shared an uneasy, even antagonistic co-existence with spirituality and/or religion, despite both claiming to have a major influence on the health and well-being of people (Hill, 2000). Most scholars agree that this long-term conflict is reflective of differences of ontology, epistemology, and ideology (Nelson, 2009). In this paper I will review the history of this relationship to illustrate that the problematic co-existence of psychology and religion is based on philosophical assumptions about reality and knowledge underlying science, which have changed throughout history in relation to the broader ideological context of society (Paloutzian, 1996). Next, I will review how during the last decade, in diverse areas of psychology, such as community psychology (Walsh-Bowers, 2001), humanistic psychology (Rowan, 2007), and counselling psychology (Lines, 2006), there has been a call for (a) a rapprochement between spirituality and psychology and/or science and (b) for a paradigm shift that would facilitate the re-establishment of relations. What is called for is a new metaphor of science that overcomes narrow, positivist assumptions about the world and is based instead on an inter-related, holistic worldview that integrates subjective and objective knowledge and is (a) supported by 20th century science findings, and (b) makes possible a complimentary relationship between psychology and religion (Walsh-Bowers, 2000). I will review some of the core assumptions of this emerging paradigm that pertain to building a complimentary relationship between psychology and spirituality/religious belief. Not only may the adoption of this emerging paradigm lead to a cordial relationship between psychology and religion but it may also be useful, if not necessary, for solving complex, multi-systemic problems of the 21st century. In conclusion I will discuss what a response to creating a psychologically healthy workplace would look like from this emerging scientific paradigm.
PAPER SESSION: Meaning and applied positive psychology Ⓟ Zvi Bellin, PhD Loyola University Exploring a Holistic Content Approach to Personal Meaning This dissertation study explored through narrative analysis phenomenological experiences of personal meaning. While meaning theorists, such as Frankl (1962) and Wong (1998a) have written about a sense of meaning that is ever-present and connected to one’s being, research of late (Crumbaugh & Maholick, 1964; Klinger, 1998) has mainly conceptualized meaning as a function of action and progress. Thus, one major purpose of this narrative inquiry Thursday, August 5, 2010 was to seek out the interplay of meaning through being and meaning through doing, as drawn from Frankl (1962), May (1961), and other existential psychologists. The impact of religious identity and spiritual identity on two separate processes of creation of meaning and discovery of meaning was analyzed. The study found that a primal experience of meaning is indeed present in the stories of the individuals. The results suggested that speaking about meaning integration, of being and doing, are closer to human experience than searching for meaning. It was also found that meaning integration can occur through chance encounter or by purposefully manipulating one’s environment.
The topics of expanding the sacred to include the immanent world, and willful versus willing approaches to personal meaning were discussed. The analysis was used to consider the meaning based theories of Frankl (1962), Baumeister (1991), Park & Folkman (1992), Maddi (1998), and Wong (1998). Pastoral counseling implications and issues for further study were also considered.
Ⓟ Daniel Gingras, BA (Hons) Research Assistant to Dr. Paul T. P. Wong Meaning in life and quality of life in chronic pain sufferers The present study examines the contribution of personal meaning and factors of chronic pain to quality of life in chronic pain (CP) sufferers. Fifty six participants were recruited from online forums for CP sufferers. The measurements used were the Personal Meaning Profile (PMP; Wong, 1998), the West Haven-Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (WHYMPI; Kerns, Turk, & Rudy, 1985), and Flanagan's Quality of Life Scale, adapted for persons suffering from chronic conditions (QOLS; Burckhardt, Woods, Schultz, & Ziebarth, 1989).
Positive correlations were found among scores on the PMP, the Life Control aspect of the WHYMPI, and QOL. Negative correlations were found among Pain Interference, Pain Severity, Affective Distress, and QOL. Support had almost no correlation to QOL (r =.01). The hypothesis that the PMP would better predict QOL than the WHYMPI was partially supported. Regression analysis found that a model using the PMP and the WHYMPI accounted for 78% of the variance in QOL scores (R2 =.78, p.001). Only pain interference, achievement, and intimacy were significant contributors to the model. A follow-up survey reexamined the original sample after 6 months had passed and replicated the major findings on a new sample.
Motivation is a key aspect to creating and sustaining a high performance organizational culture. Are your leaders motivating employees to be accountable, creative, engaged and autonomous, or are they motivating compliance at best?
This presentation challenges traditional models of motivation based upon the “carrot and stick” philosophy, which stifles employees’ desire to be authentic and derive meaning from their work, while suggesting a far more effective alternative.
The Gallop Organization, in surveying thousands of employees across all industry sectors, continues to find that 75% of employees are not meaningfully engaged with their jobs or organizations! There are numerous assumptions which can be drawn from this sobering and sad statistic, but one that is striking;
organizations in which these employees work all use some form of reward and punishment, “carrot and stick”, approach to their managerial methods.
This presentation will highlight the work of Edward Deci and Richard Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory, which demonstrates that “self-motivation, rather than external motivation, is at the heart of creativity, responsibility, healthy behavior and lasting change.” Correspondingly, the concept of “Autonomous Supportive” leadership, encouraging the growth of intrinsic motivation, will be a focal point.
Recently, we have witnessed a tragic oil spill and mining accidents in the United States where reward and punishment, “carrot and stick”, managerial approaches were factors in creating conditions leading to death and environmental devastation. The enormous human and planetary costs associated with these outdated motivational theories are all too plain to see. It is now time to turn to motivation which works; rekindling the human spirit.
Rebecca Bruser, Msc Candidate University of Northern British Columbia The Link Between Identity Processing Style and Compassionate Love: Are Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Key Components?