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leawaters

Lea Waters

travels from Australia

Author and leading expert on positive education working with education, parenting and organizations

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The keynote speaker Lea Waters is a positive psychology expert in regards to education, organizations and parenting. Lea Waters has devoted her time to help people thrive using the science of positive psychology, and as a researcher she has published over 90 academic articles and book chapters on the subject. Her research has been featured in The Huffington Post and The Independent, and she has regularly contributed to the media in Asia and Australia. After a keynote with the excellent speaker Lea Waters, organizations and schools will feel motivated, inspired and ready to thrive.

Lea is one of the world’s leading experts on Positive Education, Positive Organizations and Strength-Based Parenting and Teaching. As a University researcher, Lea turns her science into strength-based strategies to help organizations, educators and parents around the world build resilience in their employees and children, helping them to thrive.

Lea is the President of the International Positive Psychology Association, serves on the World Happiness Council’s Council of Happiness & Education, and is the founding Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne, where she’s worked for more than 20 years.

Lea helps parents, educators and organizations make a small switch that makes a big difference in overall well-being. As humans, we’re wired to focus on the negative and zoom in on what’s “off.” Lea proposes a better way for doing things. She says we can short-circuit our negative defaults by making a mental switch that flicks to shift our attention from weaknesses to strengths, and from negative to positive.

In her book, The Strength Switch, Lea says that the strength-based approach gives us the power to live the good life by drawing on our most abundant inner resources (our strengths!) The Strength Switch was named one of the top reads for 2017 by Greater Good Magazine, one of the top five best books on happiness for children by Five Books, the top new release in the parenting category on Amazon, and has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese, Hungarian, Arabic and French.

Lea is passionate about helping people all over the world make the Strength Switch. Her Positive Detective and Visible Wellbeing programs are being used by schools worldwide.

Lea has been featured in The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and more. As a researcher, she’s published more than 100 scientific journal articles.

Lea’s top strengths include: humor, curiosity, and kindness.

See keynotes with Lea Waters

    Keynote by Speaker Lea Waters

    Strength-Based Teaching – Bringing Out the Best in Students & Teachers

    Three decades of research clearly shows the advantages of taking a strength-based approach for students, including greater levels of happiness at school, higher student engagement, smoother transitions from kindergarten to elementary school, more successful adjustment from elementary to middle school, and higher levels of academic achievement.  Research also shows benefits for teachers who learn how to identify and utilize their own strengths. Great teachers understand that a weakness, if not interfering with their teaching, is not worth wasting their time to improve – instead, this time is best spent amplifying their natural talents to become the best teacher possible. Lea Waters PhD weaves together her science with concrete examples and best practices to provide the audience with the compelling case for adopting a strengths approach in schools.

    Audience takeaways:

    • Key research findings that clearly links strengths to wellbeing and academic achievement
    • Best practices for introducing strengths into the classroom
    • Practical methods for how to embed strengths into the staffroom

    Strength-Based Parenting – Small Shifts Can Make a Positive Difference in Your Kids

    Lea ’s research shows that parents can build inner resilience in their kids by using the science of Strength-Based Parenting (SBP) to help their children to see and use their own strengths to navigate life’s challenges. In this presentation, based her on book, The Strength Switch: How the New Science of Strength-Based Parenting Can Help Your Child and Your Teen To Flourish, Lea helps parents steer themselves away from negativity and criticism by offering a scientifically proven strength-based approach to parenting. She shares positive psychology tips parents can use to cultivate their child’s inherent strengths. Parents leave motivated to make changes immediately after Lea shares that this small shift in approach can help their children build resilience, optimism and achievement.

    After attending parents will be able to:

    • Recognize three elements that make up a true strength to more easily and consistently discover talents in children
    • Use specific techniques to deal with problem-behaviors in more constructive ways;
    • Interact with kids using positive emotions to deal with difficult situations and emotions.

    Positive Psychology in Schools – Positive Education Boosts Wellbeing & Achievement

    In this presentation, Lea Waters PhD shares the trends, evidence and advancements occurring in the rapidly growing field of positive education. And, she’ll share her extensive research which not only confirms the beneficial impact of positive psychology programs on student wellbeing and achievement but also on staff. Having helped schools to implement positive education in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Hong Kong and China, Lea Waters PhD weaves together her science with concrete school examples and best practices to provide the audience with the compelling case for adopting positive education in schools.

    Audience takeaways:

    • Key research findings that clearly links well-being and academic achievement
    • Best practices for introducing and taking the journey to practicing positive education in their school
    • Practical methods for how to embed positive education into the classroom

     

    Build a Visible Wellbeing™ Culture in Your School

    Schools across the world are aiming to turn wellbeing policy into practice. To address this problem Lea Waters PhD, a trained psychologist and positive psychology expert, designed Visible Wellbeing™ which combines the science of wellbeing with the science of learning to make wellbeing visible in all classes and across co-curricula. In this presentation, Lea shares the Visible Wellbeing tool kit of flexible wellbeing practices that go beyond traditional wellbeing programs. She provides techniques that help teachers to use the learning process itself as a delivery mechanism to build student wellbeing. Visible Wellbeing aims to help everyone thrive at school and the training and techniques shared are equally relevant to staff, teaching, non-teaching, and parents as they are to students as a way to build a culture of wellbeing across the entire school. Lea weaves together her science with concrete school best practices to provide the audience with the compelling case for adopting a Visible Wellbeing approach in schools.

    Audience takeaways:

    • Knowledge of techniques that help teachers to use the learning process itself as a delivery mechanism to build student wellbeing
    • Able to help students and staff to more clearly see their own and other’s wellbeing using Visible Wellbeing practices
    • Understand how to use the SEARCH framework to help students and staff more systematically build wellbeing
    • Facilitate learning through the visible wellbeing classroom process

    Strengths at Work – Unlocking Energy & Engagement

    We’ve all heard the saying “play to your strengths”. But what does this really mean when it comes to work? As leaders, how can we help our staff play to their strengths?

    Knowing about the three aspects of a strength prevents you from falling into the trap of appointing someone who happens to be good at the job but is not energized or motivated. In addition, knowing about the three aspects of a strength helps you, as a leader, to more accurately and consistently identify your employee strengths and to craft a role for them that taps into their skills, energy and motivation. This presentation weaves together science from organizational psychology, business and positive psychology together with workplace examples to provide the audience with an understanding of strengths at work.

    Audience members will learn:

    • The benefits of strengths at work.
    • What blocks us from seeing strengths.
    • How to identify and amplify strengths.

    Gratitude at Work

    Many organizations suffer from Gratitude Deficit Disorder. Researchers at University of California, Berkeley, found that that only 10% of employees reported that they regularly express gratitude at work. Curiously, almost all employees reported that gratitude was important and 93% reported that grateful bosses are more likely to succeed. Clearly, there is a mismatch between the importance placed on gratitude and the actual expression of gratitude in the workplace. This presentation weaves together science from organizational psychology, business and positive psychology together with workplace examples to provide the audience with an understanding of gratitude at work. Why it is important. How they can foster more gratitude and what benefits they can expect when they do.

Lea Waters - Well Being Speaker

Lea Water's Speaker's Reel

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References

Dr. Lea Waters is a substantive and inspirational speaker. She is also one of those rare speakers who brings research to life so that it can be directly applied in practice. She is engaging, informative and impactful, providing lasting impacts on the audience who is fortunate enough to hear her speak.

Jane Dutton PhD.

Ross School of Business, University of Michigan

I have worked with Lea closely as an educator in both Hong Kong and New York and have seen her inspire teachers and parents in both contexts. She has a rare combination of superb academic qualifications matched with a deft personal touch. I recommend her highly!

Sarah McLean

Director| Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, NYC

Working with Professor Lea Waters is insightful, inspiring and invigorating; indeed she lives and breathes every aspect of Visible Wellbeing. Lea’s outstanding ability to connect with others enables her to develop strong rapport with those she works with. She is a woman to be admired and a role model for all.

Joanne Wastle

Principal| Kambrya College, VIC, Australia

Lea is an outstanding and inspirational leader. Her courage, professionalism and passion for positive psychology are contagious. She is a delight to know and a pleasure to work with.

Alex Johnstone

CEO| IPC Health
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Keynote topics with Lea Waters