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Student Insights: Five minutes with Melanie Weir

By Sophie Archibald | 17 August 2018

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In our 10653NAT Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing we always talk about starting with self and creating a ripple effect out there in the world - whatever that may mean for you. 

In this Student Insights interview, one our 10653NAT Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing Sydney graduates explains how the course has helped her make positive change personally, and within the HR space. 

 

Melanie Weir

HR Consultant

Auckland - 2014 - Alumni

 

What drew you to complete the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing?

After completing initial tertiary study in marketing, public relations and HR, then following a career path in this direction, I still wanted more! I had a strong desire to understand what drives our human spirit, to understand resilience and human flourishing.

I’ve been innately interested in post-traumatic growth, resilience and drive for many years. Reflecting on my own story, I felt I understood the superpowers of gratitude, grit and zest as I relied on these strengths after a significant car accident. At this time I needed to re-learn things I took for granted, like walking as I used to and short term memory!

Among numerous valuable lessons, this experience taught me a real appreciation for life and a strong desire to understand what drives resilience, courage, and happiness. That curiosity lead me to the field of Positive Psychology.

The Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, offered by the Langley Group Institute in 2014 in New Zealand, was a long-term goal come true. Working in a Senior HR Advisory role for one of the largest NGO’s in the health sector in New Zealand at the time, I was also humbled and grateful for the support of an admired HR Leader, who is still making a difference for many in the profession.

On commencing the Diploma, I had three clear drivers. First, my personal-purpose; to positively impact millions of people worldwide – a purpose I’m happy to retrofit to daily behaviours, lofty dreams or career goals. Secondly, I had a hunger for a new lens on traditional HR practice. After many years in the trade, I felt strongly that when work significantly impacts a large portion of our lives, the HR profession had to seize a unique opportunity (or responsibility) to impact people positively! And thirdly I had that desire to understand the science of happiness, growth and resilience.

 

How was your experience of the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing? 

My experience of the Diploma was life-changing, something I have heard from many Diploma students. The intensive study time with Sue Langley and our cohort of students exceeded all my expectations. I relished being able to explore electives that fit my learning goals, and as I reflect on the highlights from the year of study, it is not possible to select one or two, there are so many!

The components of the Diploma broaden and build each other, creating an infrastructure of resource, evidence and knowledge related to positive psychology, neuroscience and emotional intelligence.

The Langley Group have created content which translates complex theory, evidence and information to consumable and practical terms, and I feel this resulted in a strong understanding and ability to apply this learning.

Most frequently I draw on strength-based interventions, particularly the Strength Profile in work, I regularly connect with values, meaning and the complexities of positive engagement. Completing the diploma has been a catalyst for intentional positive change, both personally and professionally. 

 

How are you spreading your positive ripples, and how has the Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing helped you achieve this?

By completing this study, I gained tools to support clarity in my own direction, which unwaveringly aligns to my values and meaningful work. I see the ripples from this learning applied in many ways.

In my family life, I’m energised to know we have redefined the typical 9 to 5; from young kids spending more hours in day care than we’d hoped, to flexible, purpose-built careers. Careers that bring balance, plenty of time at the beach and a hugely positive impact to our health and our children.

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Within a well-connected community, I enjoy the level of altruistic activity I can be involved in. Through a responsibility on the local school Board, I have had the joy of planting seeds of positive education and supporting their growth.

In work, I regularly see the effect of positive psychology. Words cannot describe how grateful, proud and excited I am to have had the courage to challenge the status quo of traditional, and in many instances, deficit-based HR models. One of the best ripples from completing the Diploma is a key role within a Langley Group team, who have co-created a suite of positive psychology tools for leaders and HR professionals. Using these simple tools well will have an immediate positive affect, at every phase of the employee lifecycle. The Positive HR toolkit (check it out at positiveHRtoolkit.com.au) is a shared dream come true!

Fundamentally the Diploma in Positive Psychology has been a vehicle for clarifying and living my purpose, it’s changed the way I communicate, how I live my life and that drive to make a positive difference is even stronger! 

 

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Want to know more about the 10653NAT Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing?

We offer nationally accredited training and professional development in positive psychology. Designed and delivered by world-class facilitators and experts, our course offers university-level content and inspiring applications. Our team live and breath this approach, synthesising science into simple, practical tools anyone can use. Learn More

About the Author: Sophie Archibald

Sophie Archibald

Sophie coordinates marketing for the Langley Group, helping people around the world use positive psychology, neuroscience and emotional intelligence to flourish. She holds a BSc in Psychology from the University of Exeter, is accredited in the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) and is currently studying the Langley Group Institute’s Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing.

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