Mei Yean uses her Positive Psychology education to build and enrich meaningful relationships both professionally and personally. She elaborates on her perspective of strengths and EVOLVE-ing to become a better person.
Q: Share with us about your learning experience in TSPP.
Embarking on my educational journey with TSPP opened my eyes to an intriguing way of teaching and learning. Beginning my journey at the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in all of my classes being conducted virtually. This was a big plus for me as it made my life as a busy working professional more convenient and easy.
Lessons at TSPP are being taught using a more interactive “coaching” method rather than the standard lecture format. This format significantly aided my learning as it gave me a real-life example of how to conduct coaching, instruction, and training.
Despite being unfamiliar with the virtual learning environment, the lecturers’ delivery was incredibly captivating. Particularly how organised and systematic the presentation of content was. Additionally, TSPP offers recordings of our online lessons, which are really helpful for revision and self-improvement as I have become a more confident speaker after reviewing myself on the recordings.
Q: How has learning Positive Psychology changed your life?
One of the best investments I’ve ever made was enrolling in TSPP and completing a variety of courses.
A few years ago, I had a conversation with some management-level individuals who shared different perspectives on how to perceive strengths. Why do people typically emphasise their weaknesses instead of their strengths? We are continually being pushed by the outside world to change for the better, similar to the process of metamorphosis. Yes, weaknesses are a part of who you are, but eradicating them can diminish the authenticity you have of yourself.
Positive Psychology has led me to place greater importance on leveraging my strengths to become a better person. Instead of trying to outdo others, I see my strengths as something that contributes to teams. I’ve come to understand how the absence of failure does not mean success. Likewise, the absence of success does not equate to failure.
Q: How has it changed the way you work?
As a business development manager and senior underwriter at a financial institution, I mostly deal with corporate clients. With Positive Psychology, I am able to understand my clients better and sympathise with the challenges they face internally. As I have grown to become more aware of my strengths, I am able to utilise them appropriately in various work settings. I use my creativity, my top strength, to design solutions to overcome the internal challenges that possible clients and partners may face. I curate “out of the box” solutions for my clients with my knowledge and expertise in Positive Psychology.
Positive Psychology emphasises being aware of those around you, particularly by listening, rather than merely diving head first into what you have learned. We give others our complete attention when we communicate, but we also owe it to ourselves as the positive emotions of a quality conversation can aid in our search for meaning.
A nugget of wisdom that I gained from TSPP was how the word ‘listen’ is actually an anagram for ‘silent’. If you employ silence when listening, you not only hear what people say but how they say it, which deepens the connections you have with those around you.
Positive Psychology has influenced me to place greater emphasis on psychological safety, especially in a corporate setting. Specifically when interacting with colleagues who confide in me with workplace issues and troubles. Times like these allow me to infuse my skills in Positive Psychology to improve the situation of my fellow colleagues.
The Introduction to Counselling, Psychotherapy and Coaching course introduced me to various components that enhanced my questioning and responding skills. Learning to ‘listen to know and not to paraphrase’ has enriched my conversations and relationships at work. Picking up on tone, cues, energy and body language are great skills my TSPP has familiarised me with as I often interact with clients from different cultures and backgrounds. Moreover, the fact that our classes were conducted via zoom equipped me with a basic understanding of how to develop healthy virtual connections professionally. Positive Psychology has helped me to read the room even if it may be a virtual setting.
Q: How has it influenced the way you interact with the people around you?
Positive Psychology should stem from yourself and spread out to the people around you. The people around me naturally began to gravitate toward me when I began embodying the aspects of Positive Psychology. This allowed me to sustain a healthy community of people who were willing to learn, develop and grow toward being better.
I have grown to accept myself and the people around me better, with a newfound perspective of improvement and development. I often tell my friends and family that I don’t have to change myself. I stay authentic. I just need to constantly EVOLVE – be brave to Embrace Vulnerability, Overcome Limitations with Vitality and Energy, and be a better myself today than yesterday.
Most people struggle with the word change which carries a rather negative connotation. Some may not be fond of being asked to “change” a certain part of themselves, even if it might be the best thing to do. Whereas EVOLVE or evolving is just a system of growing up, a more natural process of progression.
Hence, with the positive nuance attached to the word evolve, more people are willing to accept feedback and progress when presented in terms of strengths. The lessons at TSPP helped me to understand their strengths through various activities. I replicate these exercises and share TSPP’s experiences with my family and friends to reinforce and encourage people that you can still change without the need to alter the essence of your identity. Through positive engagement and connection, I am able to genuinely enjoy and appreciate moments and experiences with others.
Q: What value do you see in the TSPP education?
People often overlook how crucial it is to invest in education. Many things in life can be taken from us, but knowledge and education remain with us.
The TSPP community is filled with people who are willing to help and guide you in your journey – not just academically. The lessons themselves flowed easily as everyone came with a ‘no judgement’ mindset. I began to accept that it was normal to feel vulnerable, as it opened my heart and mind to greater knowledge. After being exposed to the effective means TSPP conducts their lessons, I am able to adopt the same skills and techniques in the small groups within my company to cultivate a positive work environment.
With the help of these groups and conversation spaces, I began to realise its importance. These groups allow people to realise that they might not be the only person experiencing issues. When people are willing to open up, a community of help and support can be formed with colleagues.
Q: How has Positive Psychology shaped the subsequent steps in your life?
I have become rather keen on the series of habitual learning and growth. Thanks to Positive Psychology I have uncovered a greater meaning in life – to find my Gift and a Purpose in Life, which is to give that Gift away. I have found my Gift and I am always looking to give it away to someone. Understanding Positive Psychology also means exercising self-compassion. Allow yourself room to grow and evolve into a higher state of human flourishing. In order to help people find their strengths, heighten their resilience, and explore possibilities beyond what they can achieve with their internal strengths, I strive to inspire others by being my true, authentic self and using the Solution Focused Brief Therapy Approach.
Q: Any advice for people unsure if pursuing further education is worth it?
Don’t wait. If you can spend money on something else, you’d rather spend it on improving yourself. Some may only look for such courses when they are faced with failures, challenges or weaknesses. But that should not be the reason for you to embark on your educational journey. Focus on becoming a better person with meaning through your efforts and practice. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes progress!
Inspired to embark on your own transformation journey? Find out more on the course that Mei Yean completed.