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Building on the positive

In all of her work as an organizational development consultant in Human Resources, Lisa Sansom strives to identify and work with a positive emphasis rather than focus on the negatives.

“I am thrilled to be at Queen’s and sharing some of the insights I have gained from studying positive psychology,” says Ms. Sansom, who joined Queen’s Human Resources last year. “I am eager and passionate to help leaders and teams move forward based on what’s working well within their unit or department and identify areas of opportunity for positive change.”

[Lisa Sansom]
As an organizational development consultant in Human Resources, Lisa Sansom encourages leaders and teams at Queen's to take a positive approach to issues within the workplace. 

Ms. Sansom earned her Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania five years ago. At the time, positive psychology was a relatively new field. Ms. Sansom, vice-chair of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association, notes that awareness and understanding of positive psychology has expanded in recent years thanks to the work of researchers like Dr. Dean Tripp at Queen’s and others across Canada and around the world.

“I see acceptance of positive psychology growing, which is exciting. I believe a positive approach to issues within the workplace has a lot to offer leaders and teams at Queen’s,” she says. “Too often we focus on one mistake or negative aspect that has the power to erase all of the good that has occurred. We need to start recognizing what works well a lot more.”

Employing this positive approach, Ms. Sansom offers a variety of services and activities. For example, she leads organizational reviews, identifies and documents work flow efficiencies, provides leadership coaching, supports change management and designs and delivers new initiatives, facilitates leadership team development, and engages leaders in talent management initiatives like 360° assessments.

Ms. Sansom had ties to the university even before joining HR last year. After moving to Kingston a decade ago, she started a consulting company. She provided team and executive services to the MBA and Executive MBA programs at Queen’s School of Business and facilitated leadership retreats with several other groups on campus.

To find out more or access resources offered by Queen’s Organizational Development and Learning team, contact the HR advisor for your area