This article is from our guest author: Pilar Reyes
Recently a friend of mine (Ale Leon) introduced me to FLIGBY; she said it was a game about leadership and flow, created by Prof. Csikszentmihalyi and ALEAS Simulations Inc. Last year I studied a Masters in Positive Leadership, based on Positive Psychology that is the
scientific study of the conditions and processes that contribute to the flourishing or optimal functioning of people, groups, and institutions (Gable & Haidt, 2005),
so I thought FLIGBY would be a great complement to knowledge and practice. As I started playing the game, I was impressed by how realistic it was. One character got on my nerves since the beginning and another reminded me of my former boss. I have to confess that the game produced the real feelings a job in an office generates in me, including stress. This is when I realized that playing FLIGBY was an amazing opportunity to measure my skills in a controlled environment, and playing again will help me learn and consciously practice my highest skills, and develop my lowest.
When I finished playing the game for the first time, and I received an explanation of my results, I started feeling curious if my VIA signature strengths matched somehow my highest FLIGBY’s skills. According to Niemiec (2017), the signature strengths are the character strengths that best catches the uniqueness of the individual, and are the core of the individual’s essence. I have taken the VIA three times, so I have noticed my signature strengths as well as the phasic ones. The phasic strengths are not main strength but they come forward when the situation demands it (Niemiec, 2017). As I started comparing the meaning of each FLIGBY skill against the meaning of the strengths, I found an interesting match and I remember thinking “That’s me!”. Here is what I found based on the definitions of FLIGBY’s skills and VIA Character Strengths results:
Execution (FLIGBY) ~ Perseverance (VIA)
Execution (the act of performing, the completion of managerial tasks, and the readiness of doing something successfully) was so similar to my signature strength of Perseverance (work hard to finish what you start, you “get it out the door” in a timely fashion).
Involvement (FLIGBY) ~ Teamwork (VIA)
Involvement (readiness to participate in the activities of formal or informal teams/groups, all the way to the execution process), similar to the strength of Teamwork (sense of belonging and commitment to a team or a greater good endeavor to make a fair contribution when working in group contexts).
Information Gathering (FLIGBY) ~ Critical Thinking (VIA)
Information Gathering (readiness to collect adequate information to perform the next step based on this information), similar to Critical Thinking (thinking the things through and examining them from all sides, you do not jump into conclusions; you rely only on solid evidence to make your decisions).
Feedback & Stakeholder Management (FLIGBY) ~ Fairness & Teamwork (VIA)
Feedback (giving employees information regarding their performance so they can also act on it) and Stakeholder Management (ability to manage the business process, often involving a trade-off, so as to have a positive impact on the stakeholders). For these two skills I could not exactly match any of my signature strengths directly, but I think I used my strength of Teamwork (sense of belonging and commitment to a team or a greater good…endeavor to make a fair contribution when working in group contexts) as well as Fairness (treating all people fairly, do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people).
Considering that the character strengths are used in groups or combinations (Niemiec, 2017), it means that I might have used two or more strengths per FLIGBY skill, even though I found some direct matches. For example for execution, I used perseverance plus self-regulation; for involvement, I used teamwork plus perseverance; for information gathering, I used critical thinking plus the love of learning and prudence.
On the other side, when I reviewed my FLIGBY’s lowest scores I remember thinking “Ha! That is me” because they are issues I know I have to work on, like expressing my emotions (Assertiveness), effective Communication with people and Teamwork Management.
I was impressed that Conflict Management, Emotional Intelligence, and Social Dynamics are not in my lowest scores, I have been working on that for some years now, so it seems I have improved. Besides, Business-oriented Thinking is not one of my highest scores, considering that my background is accounting, it might mean that learning about positive psychology has influenced my mindset. Another interesting result is Prioritizing, I know I am good prioritizing my own activities, but FLIGBY helped me learn that it is different to prioritize for a complete group.
This first time I played, I was able to reach one of FLIGBY’s objectives, helping my team of Turul Winery to generate Flow at work, and I was able to do it with my unique combination of skills and strengths. So now, I am curious to learn how to cultivate my less developed skills, how they will help the team learn and generate Flow, having a good work environment, and generating profit, that at the end is the balance to be found in a company (FLIGBY). There is another learning experience worth mentioning, FLIGBY helped me understand about Flow from an employee and leader’s point of view, and with that, I will be able to help others understand Flow.
- FLIGBY Leadership Skillsets
- Gable, S. & Haidt, J. (2005). What (and why) is Positive Psychology? Review of General Psychology, 9 (2), 103–110
- Niemiec, Ryan M. (2017). Character Strengths Interventions. A field guide for practitioners. Canada, Hogrefe Publishing
- VIA Character strengths test