As an introvert, I prefer meaningful conversation to small talk. It’s not that I can’t talk about the weather or where to find the best barbecue, but I enjoy knowing more. This might explain why I often come home from the grocery store with stories about my cashier’s lives along with my groceries. My family has often teased me that I learn a lot about strangers for someone who frequently prefers to be alone with a book.

I confess I often employ the tools of Positive Psychology Coaching when interacting with others, even outside of my coaching sessions. I tap into my curiosity, practice my listening skills, and use appreciative inquiry when I ask my cashier what they are looking forward to during the weekend. Many of the students in WBI’s Positive Psychology Coaching Fundamentals course also share that they enjoy doing this.

During the last class of the most recent Positive Psychology Coaching Fundamentals course, I asked students, “Who do you think your ‘fish’ are?” In other words, who will they be using their Positive Psychology Coaching (PPC) skills with? I then had the opportunity to pop into a breakout room with a student to hear her answer. Her initial response was, “I don’t know because I’m not starting a coaching practice.” But as we talked, she realized that she was actually already using these skills in her workplace with clients and coworkers, at home with her family, and even in the way she spoke to herself. Her school of fish was actually quite large.

Employing PPC skills can be very rewarding, whether in a coaching relationship or out in the real world, to open up new ways of interacting with others. Viewing others through a positive psychology lens by looking at what’s working, what they do well, and what excites them counters the typical “problem focus” in our culture. It creates access to inspiring possibilities and to a more hopeful way of viewing a wide variety of situations and challenges.

Are you ready to learn new ways to see the best in others? Here are five ways to use PPC skills in everyday life.

1. Use empathic listening with family, friends, and coworkers. Try to understand their perspectives, reflect back their words, notice their emotions, and ask questions that help increase your ability to comprehend and relate to what they’re going through.

2 Strength-spot friends, family members, and coworkers by telling them when you see them using their strengths. Encourage them to take the VIA character strengths survey to become more familiar with their strengths. Appreciate strengths as a work team or in your family. What values do you share? How do you use your strengths to support each other or reach a common goal?

3. Develop your own self-compassion practice to use when you encounter difficulties or suffering. Instead of responding to challenges with self-criticism, try giving yourself the kindness and care you would give to a close friend.

4. Start meetings at work or school with a positive opener like, “What is something that brought you delight this week?” Tapping into positive emotions increases creativity and openness to ideas. This is also a great way to connect with family at the dinner table.

5. Create meaningful goals by using the CHANGE model that is taught in Positive Psychology Coaching Fundamentals. This framework includes skills to clarify goals, increase hope, activate change, navigate the path, make progress, and expand on growth. While this process can be used personally to craft and move toward New Year’s resolutions, it can also be used with teams or individuals in organizations working toward change.

Positive Psychology Coaching Fundamentals connects a wealth of positive psychology research to the practical skills students can use to help clients, colleagues, and others successfully make positive changes in their lives, work, health, and relationships. Register now for the next session, starting January 20.

Dianna Collier

Dianna Collier

Dianna Collier, M.A. is a Certified Positive Psychology Coach, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and Personal Renewal Group Facilitator. She leads groups and meets with clients in Austin, TX and online. Dianna has a passion for helping women develop self-compassion, tap into their strengths and discover the power of self-care. She is the mother of 15 and 16 year old daughters. For more information & to contact Dianna, check out her website:

Learn more about the Positive Psychology Coaching Certification and Certificate in Wholebeing Positive Psychology