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Articles by Shannon Polly

Shannon is a facilitator and coach in Washington, D.C. and founder of Shannon Polly & Associates ( She applies positive psychology to leadership development. She has been an assistant instructor in the MAPP program at the University of Pennsylvania; is a contributor to the book, Positive Psychology at Work, The European Handbook of Positive Psychology, conducts appreciative inquiry summits across the country and has been a facilitator for the Master Resiliency Training (MRT) program for the U.S. Army. She has also written PPND articles with Louisa-Jewell and with Genna Douglass.

Acting “As If”
June 25, 2015 – 5:00 am | 11 Comments
Playing dress-up

When I facilitate workshops on character strengths, I find that many people immediately focus on the bottom of their lists where their weakest strengths are. We are hardwired with a negativity bias, after all, and it is not a bad thing to want to improve. I frequently get asked, “How can I develop my strengths?” I respond, “Pretend that you have them. Act ‘as if’ you are kind, or forgiving, or curious.“

Three More Ways to Build the Teamwork Strength
December 30, 2014 – 12:33 pm | No Comment

Yesterday, I set the stage with reflections on the teamwork character strength and then explored one way to build this strength. Today I’ll follow up with three more approaches. All of these approaches involve forgetting self-interest and thinking about the group as a whole. Put on your director hat, take that 30,000-foot view, and see what happens. The show doesn’t go on unless everyone pitches in.

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