Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

First, relax. Few of us discover our life's passion in a moment of inspiration. We have to develop it.

Here's what the researchers who've studied top achievers advise.

1. Experiment

Try new projects and new roles at work. See what seems interesting. If there's nothing, finish the projects and leave the new role after a reasonable time. Keep looking.

2. Ask some vital questions

Found something that seems interesting or satisfying? If you continue, will that activity give you eudaimonia?  (It's Greek.)

Activities that help others are a source of eudaimonia.  You might think of eudaimonia as the satisfaction of a life well-lived - not just a life of hedonistic indulgence, but a life that allows you to look back and say 'I made a difference'.

Think about the contribution you are making to others. Are you helping the team? Are you helping people who really need your service? Are you helping humanity?


If you keep going, will you be acting out your values? Will your activity or interest allow you to become your best self? What can you learn about that activity or role? Keep an open mind whether you want to continue.

4. Develop your expertise

Think you have found something that fits your interests, your values and could lead to eudaimonia?

Take opportunties to develop your skills and know more about the topic. Over time you will find that you are naturally drawn to relevant information. You'll spend more and more time on the activity.


It's like romance

Researchers like to compare finding our passion at work with finding a life partner. It's not realistic to keep hoping that the one-and-only will just happen to come along. Instead, choose the match that seems about right, put the effort in and make it work.




 Interested in a workshop on emotional Intelligence for your team? (It's about thriving at work)

What about a workshop on employee engagement? (For your leaders or for your teams)






Team leaders in a big ministry gave me this one.

Team members can volunteer to be a colleague’s secret friend. During, say, the next month the colleague receives little, anonymous, favours, gifts or notes.

A few basic rules. It must be a positive experience for the receiver. Any notes must be encouraging and gifts must be tasteful and appropriate. The secret friends must be volunteers.

Our ministry clients ‘borrowed’ the idea from a government department and secret friend schemes seem to be popular overseas. It will only work if you have a large enough team for it not to be easy to work out who the secret friend is.

The research suggests the effect is contagious. When the receivers receive kindness, they pass it on to others. Taking part makes the secret friends happier - and healthier too.


Interested in a workshop on emotional Intelligence for your team? (It's about thriving at work)

What about a workshop on employee engagement? (For your leaders or for your teams)

About Ralph Brown

ralph brown blog3

Ralph is our founder and managing director. He has a background in psychology, television journalism and business.

Ralph's passions are psychology and writing. He leads workshops on both and speaks to conferences on the psychology of thriving at work.

In 2011  Professional Speakers Australia awarded him its top speaking accreditation, the CSP.

He has written six books and more than a hundred articles on psychology and writing. International research journals have published his articles reviewing the research on resilience.

Ralph enjoys trips to France. He lives in rural Canterbury.

Interested in training in business writing?

A business writing workshop will give your team far more than just plain English. They’ll be achieving more clarity in less time. Through their emails and letters, they’ll be building cooperative relationships with their colleagues, customers and community.

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Interested in training to develop your teams’ resilience?

Discover what top achievers do when the going gets tough.

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