Rebecca Fraser-Thill: Psychology and Design of Work | Self-Improvement Atlas #48

In this episode, host Marie Stella is joined by Rebecca Fraser-Thill, an ICF-credentialed Leadership and Career Coach who operates Fraser-Thill Coaching & Consulting

Many find it challenging to grasp the psychology behind design thinking and its connection to finding meaningful work. But, engaging in meaningful work enhances well-being and personal growth. This is why Marie Stella and Rebecca Fraser-Thill emphasize the importance of self-reflection and proactive steps. Tune in to discover strategies for understanding meaningful work in your life.

Meet Rebecca Fraser-Thill

Rebecca Fraser-Thill is an ICF-credentialed Leadership and Career Coach, Forbes senior Contributor on meaningful work, and owner of Fraser-Thill Coaching & Consulting, based near Portland, Maine, USA. She works with one-on-one coaching clients worldwide, provides leadership training at corporations and nonprofits, including Amazon and Cisco, and offers consultations for organizations seeking to retain and optimize the engagement and productivity of their workforce.

Rebecca taught psychology at Bates College for 18 years and led the design of their nationally-recognized Purposeful Work program. Her work has been featured by Harvard Business Review, the BBC, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, Dow Jones’ MarketWatch, and Quartz, among other outlets. She holds a master’s in developmental psychology from Cornell University.

About the episode

In this episode, Marie and Rebecca explore the psychology behind design thinking and its connection to uncovering meaningful work. They stress the importance of self-reflection and taking proactive steps toward personal growth.

Rebecca underlines the value of trial and error in self-discovery, suggesting trying various approaches like morning or nighttime reflection despite potential setbacks. During their discussion, Marie and Rebecca explored different reflection methods, including directed journaling prompts and contemplative walks.

They also delve into the concept of meaningful work, drawing from psychologist Michael Steger’s research to highlight its subjective nature. They emphasize the essential elements of personal significance, extending beyond oneself, and a sense of worthiness within meaningful work. 

Furthermore, they demonstrate how even mundane tasks can carry significance depending on one’s approach. They discuss the significance of discovering meaningful work for personal growth, aligning with the principles of self-actualization in humanistic psychology. 

They caution against the harmful effects of lacking meaning in one’s work and emphasize the importance of leading a purposeful life. Meaningful thinking entails deep self-understanding, encompassing values, personality traits, skills, growth areas, and desired impact. It involves brainstorming ways to align these aspects with one’s work and testing ideas through prototyping before fully committing. 

Although challenges like discomfort with reflection and the pressure for perfection may arise, embracing ambiguity and exploring possibilities are crucial for meaningful growth.

In conclusion

In this podcast, Marie and Rebecca explore how to find fulfilling work that aligns with personal values. The journey towards meaningful work involves a profound understanding of oneself and a commitment to aligning personal values and aspirations with professional endeavors. 

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