PERMA – Work Life Well Being / Motivational Model

 POSITIVE EMOTION: The need for “fun” is more than a self-indulgent distraction; it’s a key factor in Motivation

  • How often do the things you do give you immediate pleasure or make you feel good about yourself?
  • How often do you find yourself thinking “this is fun”?
  • Are you clear what gives you happiness, satisfaction? What makes you smile or laugh?   Feel joy etc.?
  • Do you feel guilty when you allow yourself to enjoy something for the sake of it?
  • Do you sacrifice long-term rewards for short term rewards on too regular a basis?
 ENGAGEMENT (FLOW): This is where you are so absorbed in a task that you lose yourself and lose track of time

  • To what extend to you get to do what you excel at on a daily basis?
  • Do you get to often learn new things? To what extent is this enjoyable?
  • Are you able to do things which are not necessarily fun at the time, but completely absorb your attention?
  • Do you have an area or a field of expertise where you feel you have gained a high degree of Mastery?
  • How often do you lose track of time because you are so absorbed in a task?
 RELATIONSHIPS: Even the most independent of us define ourselves in part through others’ perceived reactions

  • To what extend do you spend time with people who really impress you and inspire you?
  • To what extent do you have people who care about you and share your passion for common goals?
  • Do you have to deal with individuals who are overly negative and draining? (Energy vacuums)
  • Do you operate in a “political” environment where the motivations of others are far from clear?
  • Do you receive and give genuine recognition and praise on a daily basis?
 MEANING: We all place what we do into the context of our own beliefs and personal codes of what’s important

  • Does what you do contribute towards something you really care about?
  • Do you feel a direct connection between what you do on a daily basis and a valuable purpose?
  • Do you have a clear understanding of what your purpose/meaning is? Of who you are?
  • Do you have a strong awareness of your own Strengths, Weaknesses and Character?
  • Are you able to feel and objectively measure forward momentum towards your purpose?
 ACCOMPLISHMENT: We derive Well Being from the pure act of winning or completing tasks (even simple ones)

  • To what extend do you score victories on a daily basis?
  • Do you regularly complete entire tasks to satisfaction? Or hand them on with your contribution complete?
  • Are you able to feel progression towards a meaningful goal or objective?
  • Are you clear how you define accomplishment? Victory against others? Against self-set targets?
  • Do you derive most of your sense of accomplishment from your work life or from elsewhere?
  Although not in the Seligman model, I find it extremely helpful to add Fairness:
 + FAIRNESS: Where we are not working on a level playing field, we again experience sharply reduced motivation

  • Are there external factors in your market that are not fair? Government Policy, Economy, Competitors?
  • Are there internal factors in your relationships with your stakeholders that are not fairly balanced?
  • Do your Employees/Team know exactly what is expected of them and do they have the tools to do it?
  • Are you listening to the position of others and communicating your position clearly to them?
  • Are you being objective, basing expectations on the situation in hand or are you referring to static “rights”?


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