Learned Optimism. Martin Seligman

When people ask me how to overcome anxious or negative thoughts, I suggest they read Learned Optimism. It’s a pragmatic, helpful introduction to the skill of cognitive reframing. It’s easy to read, yet is based on a solid research foundation.  

In Learned Optimismthe ”father of positive psychology” explores pessimism, learned helplessness, explanatory style and optimism. He then discusses how these thinking patterns impact our lives. Drawing on more than 25 years of research, Seligman describes how optimism can become a learned attitude. He describes a range of techniques people can use to think optimistically. Because these are drawn from robust research studies, these are techniques OD and HR practitioners can teach with confidence.  

Reading Seligman’s book will help you understand, apply and teach the thinking habits of optimistic people. Leaders, trainers, counsellors, coaches and Human Resources professionals are amongst the people I most commonly recommend it to.  

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About the author of this review 

Eleanor Shakiba is a training consultant and facilitator. Since 1994, she has delivered thousands of workshops on resilience, positive psychology and constructive communication. She works with people in high intellect professions – such as academia, education, project management, research and development and engineering. Her skills in interactive training make Eleanor a highly sought-after facilitator. In addition to her expertise in Positive Psychology, Eleanor also holds qualifications in Social Anthropology, Counselling, Coaching, Adult Education and Neuro Linguistic Programming.