What’s right with people?

In this interview, Adrienne and Denise discuss strengths – defined as things we do well and enjoy doing. Engagement, performance, collaboration and relationships are all positively influenced by strengths. Humans are better at recognising threat than reward which is why we need to practice spotting strengths in ourselves and others. Denise explains that this field is founded on the notion that ‘What’s right and good about us is as real and important as what goes wrong with us’. Learn more about character strengths, and how they can be used to face challenges and achieve goals.

Dr Denise Quinlan, director of the NZ Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience, has lectured on strengths and positive psychology around the world. As the only trainer from Australia/New Zealand selected to deliver the University of Pennsylvania’s groundbreaking Penn Resiliency Programme, she has worked alongside Prof. Martin Seligman and Dr. Karen Reivich training educators at leading schools in Australia and the UK (Geelong Grammar School, St Peter’s Adelaide and Wellington College). NZIWR’s strengths programmes draw on Denise’s validated strengths programme, demonstrated to enhance wellbeing, engagement and relatedness in NZ students. As an adjunct professor at the IE University, Madrid she has also taught strengths-focused leadership to global business leaders. Her work has been published in international academic journals and edited volumes on positive psychology, wellbeing in education, and restorative practices.