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An Introduction to “Strengths” Psychology

February 10, 2017

In just 110 pages the New York Times #1 Best Selling book, HOW FULL IS YOUR BUCKET by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton (Gallup Press, 2004) lays out over 50 years of research on the subject of positive encouraging personal interaction. Using as a unifying metaphor the word picture of a “dipper” and a “bucket” the book simply and understandably presents a powerful case for the power of encouragement.Starting with the interview question of “Whats right with people?” the authors use powerful stories, copious research results and personal experiences to motivate the reader to be intentionally positive in their interactions. Chapter One titled Negativity Kills begins with an unforgettable study by Dr William E. Meyers a chief Army psychologists on American prisoner of war detained in North Korean prison camps who suffered from “extreme hopelessness” (p.19) and how it was accomplished.Other chapters deal with positive attitudes and work productivity and positive interaction and parenting. The book also includes ad ID code to take the “Clifton Strengths Finder” inventory and use resources on http://www.bucketbook.com. Overall I found the book helpful as a reminder and full of illustrations for sermon/teaching illustrations. I think in the past we could take for granted people would pick up the concepts about the  power and practice of positive encouragement from family,school church and social life but that assumption can not be made so if you or someone you know needs an introduction  or refresher course in human interactions this would be a great tool!

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