School Made Easy: Character Education is the Key

January 12, 2011 by ·

Previously I wrote about Mr. Sharp’s 4th grade classroom and the character strength Power Pyramids the students had constructed (Pyramids of Power). Well, I finally had the privilege of actually meeting this group this past week. What a joy. We were there to film this classroom in action and... Read More

Pinot Noir: Character and Adversity

December 28, 2010 by ·

I was having Christmas Eve dinner at a friend’s house. As a wine enthusiast, he was sharing some of his knowledge about the pinot noir grape that was the star of the wine we were drinking with pleasure. He described how the very same grape raised in different conditions... Read More

Strong Organizations: Combining Mission with Passion

December 6, 2010 by ·

I was reminded the other day of a client I saw years ago when I was a practicing clinical psychologist. Joe was a 52-year-old partner in a successful law firm. He looked the part in his three-piece suits with French cuffs and gold cuff links. He had smartly coiffed... Read More

The Character Harmonica

October 26, 2010 by ·

Ever blow on a harmonica? Whatever sound comes out sounds pretty good. Compare that with walking up to a piano and slamming your hand down on it. Pretty much any sound that emerges will sound bad. That’s because of the way the notes are ordered on each instrument. The... Read More

Pyramids of Power: Character Strengths in the Classroom

October 8, 2010 by ·

Recently I was visiting with a friend who has taught elementary school for 34 years. Jay is gifted at what he does. Every year, he works to encourage conscious awareness of interpersonal relationships and personal growth among his students. He was describing to me what he has been doing... Read More

Purpose-Driven Parenting

August 10, 2010 by ·

I have written a couple times about parenting, always when studies have hit the press with messages that suggest that parenting is bad for your happiness and that parents have little influence over their child’s (especially a teen’s) decisions and development. The most recent article appeared July 4 in... Read More

Strengths: What’s In a Name?

July 26, 2010 by ·

As the field of positive psychology and the use of the VIA Survey of Character have grown, so has the use of several key terms: • Strengths-based • Strengths • Signature Strengths The importance and strategic advantage of leveraging personal and community strengths strikes a chord of logic and... Read More

Strengths: Not A Toy Hammer

July 9, 2010 by ·

Mental health practitioners who treat clinical populations can struggle with the relevance of positive psychology. It can sometimes be seen as a “don’t worry, be happy” approach that ignores significant problems of living and the psychodynamics of dysfunction. As such, it is seen by some as superficial and potentially... Read More

Judging Character: When We Fall Short

June 16, 2010 by ·

There have been books written about why bad things happen to good people and why good things happen to good people.  Now what we need is a book that talks about when good people do bad things, such as when an honest person lies. We readily talk about how... Read More

Graduation Season: What’s Next?

June 1, 2010 by ·

The graduation season is upon us – complete with commencement addresses that celebrate this developmental milestone on the pathway of formal education. Having been a child who played well on my own, I have written this imaginary address that is one I’d love to have heard myself when I... Read More