Hi, I’m Michi!
I recently joined the Collective Results dream team in December of 2021.
Like my esteemed colleagues, I am coming from the world of Public Health where my work on planning, developing, and evaluating health promotion initiatives was sidelined by COVID-19 when we needed all hands-on deck to respond to the crisis. Before that, I worked for a variety of organizations in the public and not-for profit sector as a researcher and evaluator. During this time, my life has been filled with many of the usual things—two beautiful children, an understanding life partner, a dog and two guinea pigs.
While the life and work lessons over the years have been many, one of the approaches I have found valuable in both these worlds is a strength-based one. The strength-based approach focuses on the positive attributes (or strengths) of people or groups and uses those strengths to their greatest advantage rather than centering on trying to correct negative traits (or weaknesses). Emphasizing strengths can improve one’s life, job success or an organization’s effectiveness.
By way of introducing myself, I am going to highlight three of my character strengths (based on the free survey available from the VIA Institute on Character) and how I use them to my benefit in my personal and work life.
I am someone who thinks things through—weighing the evidence and examining things from all sides—before making a decision. My academic training has honed my judgement by teaching me how to review and weigh evidence with a critical eye. In my work life, I understand the value of research and evidence and how it can improve organizations and their programs. I will carefully review the best evidence available before selecting or recommending a path forward.
2. Love of Learning
I approach life and work with a sense of curiosity and look for opportunities to expand my knowledge base. Rather than come from a place as an “expert”, I tend to be the one who asks questions instead. I am open to learning new things – new innovative programs, new research, or just something I don’t know much about yet. I look for ways to integrate any new knowledge or understanding into the projects I am working on.
Basically, I’m a terrible liar. I will present myself in a genuine way and act without pretense. I do not “beat around the bush” or feel comfortable using jargony language. I take a simple, straightforward approach to my communication with others whether its through a report, an email, or face-to-face meeting. I also seek honesty in others, and I want to know—Am I making sense? Am I missing something?
I am pleased to be bringing this strengths-based approach to the field and am looking forward to my next adventure with the Collective Results team – what will I be learning next?
For more information on the science of character strengths, you can review this website: www.viacharacter.org or check out the book by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman (2004) called, Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification.