Following on from my previous blog about Strengths At Work, I wanted to continue the series by starting to look at each strength from the VIA classification of strengths, beginning in this article about the strength of Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence.
The VIA definition of the strength of Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence is “Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience”. As with all of the strengths, Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence can be of great benefit in the workplace.
What is appreciation of beauty and excellence at work?
Research carried out in 2008 by Money, Hillenbrand and Camara has shown that appreciation of beauty and excellence has often been found to be in the bottom 5 strengths expressed at work. Furthermore, their study suggested that appreciation of beauty and excellence was found to be the only strength with a low match with the demands of work. However, this is not to say that this strength doesn’t have a significant and positive part to play in the workplace. As with all strengths, to bring out the best in them, it requires an awareness of the strength and then to apply it in the appropriate context and appropriate measure.
3 reasons the strengths of appreciation of beauty and excellence at work is beneficial
The strength of appreciation of beauty of excellence at work is important as it enables employees to in flourish in ways such as:
- Making the focus of of employees’ attention of what is going right and not just what is going wrong in the organisation
- Appreciating the expertise and talents of employees can act as a motivator and re-energise them
- Celebrating individual, team and organisational successes can improve the psychological wellbeing of employees
The strengths of appreciation of beauty and excellence can manifest itself in the workplace in a number of critical ways. One of the key ways in which appreciation of beauty and excellence at work has a positive impact is to encourage and motivate oneself and also fellow colleagues. For example, a leader who is high in the strength of appreciation of beauty and excellence will be more aware of when a team is displaying excellent performance. By acknowledging this excellent performance and feeding this back to the team by praising their efforts, can lead to the team being more motivated to maintain their exceptional work.
Appreciation of beauty is important in business areas such as Research & Development and marketing as teams strive to come up with something that potential customers will be attracted to and appreciate, so that they make more sales.
3 ways to increase your appreciation of beauty and excellence
Being aware of the benefits of using the strength of appreciation and beauty at work is important, but how do we go about doing it? Here are 3 simple and effective ways of developing this strength:
- Create a workplace culture where excellent performance is to be acknowledged and celebrated
- Consciously look for instances of beauty and excellence, so that it becomes a conscious habit
- If you’re not firing on all cylinders, make some time to go to a place that you’re fond of, e.g. a local park, and appreciate all of the beauty around you
If employees are able to play to their strength of appreciation of beauty and excellence more often at work, there can be profound positive effects for employees and the organsiation. Look out for when you or a colleague is using the strength of appreciation of beauty and excellence and encourage them to use it more often.
In my next blog, I’ll be looking at the impact of the strength of Bravery in the workplace.