Why psychological capital may be the best investment

From the Psychology of Work and Organizations has emerged, in recent years, an increase in the study of positive organizational behavior (Positive Organizational Behavior, POB), which is concerned with the application of people’s positive psychological strengths and abilities to improve work performance.

And it is in this context that it emerges the concept of Psychological Capitaldefined as a state of positive psychological development of the individual, which goes beyond human and social capital.

This state of positive psychological development is an important predictor of well-being which, moreover, can be cultivated and improved, resulting in a great capacity for adaptation that promotes the commitment, performance and job satisfaction of workers. , as well as their mental health.

The Pillars of Psychological Capital

Psychological Capital is made up of four basic psychological resources type of state; they are not personality traits, i.e. they are subject to development and change, so they can play a crucial role in the development of individuals, teams and organisations.

Research has identified these basic psychological resources as: self-efficacy, optimism, hope and resilience.

self-efficacy

In his social cognitive theory, Bandura (1997) defines self-efficacy as belief in our own abilities to organize and execute the action plans necessary to obtain certain achievements. And the main sources of self-efficacy are: successful experiences, indirect experience, verbal persuasion and emotional states.

Self-efficacy is one of the most important determinants of motivation and human behavior. It refers to a person’s belief in their competence to perform a task, achieve a goal, or successfully overcome an obstacle.

So the more confident we are in our own skills, the more likely we are to try strive and persist in overcoming any difficulties.

    Optimism

    We broadly understand optimism as have a widespread expectation that the future will bring us positive resultsunlike pessimism, where this expectation would have negative results.

    Its characteristics of positive expectations, flexibility and adaptability are important predictors of mental health, acting as a protective factor against stress and depression, and promoting high personal growth.

    In the organizational realm, studies suggest that optimistic employees not only feel better, but also get better resultssince their optimism is linked to their performance, their satisfaction and their happiness (Youssef and Luthans, 2007).

      Hope

      Hope is a positive motivational state based on our perceived ability to find different ways to achieve our desired goalsas well as the strength to motivate us towards them (Snyder, 2002).

      People who tend to view their daily life with hope generally harbor expectations of success and are more inclined to seek personal growth.

      In a longitudinal study, Wandeler and Bundick (2011) concluded that hope must be promoted in work and organizational environmentsamong other positive capabilities, to ensure that workers can increase their perceived job competence.

      Resilience

      Resilience is the ability to fight or face adversity, conflict or failure, and to come out of it recovered and strengthened, thus promoting our progress and the improvement of our skills.

      Resilient people are generally characterized by: an unconditional acceptance of reality, a deep belief that life has meaning and a mysterious ability to improvise and adapt to change (Coutu, 2002).

      In other words, this resilience it makes us stronger and more successful in the face of adversityrevealing itself as an opportunity for our development potential.

      Our best investment

      To achieve optimal positive psychological functioning, it is therefore important have the confidence to undertake and strive for what is needed to succeed in difficult tasks (self-efficacy), make a positive attribution of our future success (optimism), persevere towards our goals and know how to redirect the paths to reach them (hope) and, in the face of possible problems, recover and go further (resilience) .

      If it is true that both the concept of Psychological Capital and its research are emerging in the organizational and work environment, it does not escape us that it can be applied to all areas of our lives, since it is of our psychological development.

      Thus, increasing our Psychological Capital could be the best investment of our life.

      Bibliographic references

      • “Psychological capital and its relationship with desired attitudes”, Interciencia, vol. 43, no. 11, p. 758-762, 2018. Interscience Association.
      • “Positive psychological capital. Validation of the PCQ questionnaire in Spain”, Anales de Psicología Online version ISSN 1695-2294 printed version ISSN 0212-9728, Anal. psychologist vol.30 no.1 Murcia Jan. 2014, https://dx. doi.org/10.6018/analesps.30.1.153631
      • “Psychological capital: your best investment”, Serendmind, 2020.

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