What’s the Status of Your Psychological Capital?

Happy at workYou can read the research – or you might simply feel it in your gut. With some essential workplace issues, it really doesn’t matter how you discovered the concept – it’s opening the door and letting it in that matters. This seems to be the consensus on workplace positivity.

Maybe, it’s a sign of the times –  realizing that we cannot do our best work if we feel undervalued or hopeless. Many of us simply would like to feel more positive about our daily work lives.

So how do we accomplish this?

Well, we have some interesting clues from a key group of researchers (Luthans, et al. 2006), who have been investigating the application of positivity to the workplace. They have discovered that we might need to focus on the strength of our “Psychological Capital” (PsyCap). Psychological capital, is a second-order construct, composed of 4 key “psychological resources” that we access to cope with the challenges of our work lives.  (They are as follows – HERO for short.)

  • Hope. A belief in the ability to persevere toward goals and find the methods or paths to reach them.
  • Efficacy. The confidence that one can put forth the effort to affect outcomes.
  • Resilience. The ability to bounce back in the face of adversity or failure.
  • Optimism. A generally positive view of work and the potential of success.

You can read more about Psychological Capital in a recent LinkedIn post, “Why Positivity is So Essential in the Workplace.”

What do you think? Does positivity have a role in the workplace?

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is a Workplace Psychologist and coach. She also writes for Talent Zoo and Linkedin.


2 thoughts on “What’s the Status of Your Psychological Capital?

  1. I think positivity in the workplace is important. As you said, there is research to support it, but beyond that it just makes sense that the things we dwell on effect us the most. If we listen to depressing music and watch depressing television we will likely feel depressed. On the other side we can listen to uplifting music and watch uplifting media and feel more positive.

    In many situations I think people believe a lot of their dissatisfaction at work is the result of their coworkers. I believe that every individual has more power to influence the people around them than they readily realize. Positivity will help the individual, and HERO looks like a great way to focus on improving individual positivity, and once the individual is more positive the people around them will begin to be influenced as well.

    It’s a little more complicated than that and takes time, but I believe that one positive person can make a big difference in a group.


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