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Copy:Making the Most of Your Strengths

'Building Bridges' AmeriCorps VISTA training

Sheila Mettetal

on 17 October 2012

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Transcript of Copy:Making the Most of Your Strengths

Making the Most of Your Strengths Why all the talk about strengths? The Strengths
Cycle 'Building Bridges' AmeriCorps VISTA training Individual and Team Awareness
Building Culture
Accelerating Engagement
Connecting to Work
Delivering Results Greatness requires more than skill and
knowledge. Strength requires skills,
knowledge and talent. Talent comes
naturally to you, while knowledge and
skills are learned. Strengths Fundamental Principle Strengths Strength = Natural Ability + Knowledge + Skill + Practice Natural Ability:
– A natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving. The more natural the ability, the greater its power, and the greater your opportunity for strength.
– What you know. Can be acquired through formal or information education.
– The basic aptitude to move through the fundamental steps of a task. Can be acquired through formal or informal training.
– Repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring
skill or proficiency: Practice makes perfect.

– The ability to consistently produce a nearly perfect positive outcome in a specific task Personal
Investment { Benefits of Using a Strengths
Building Paradigm Individuals experience: Heightened productivity
Passion/enthusiasm for work
Less stress
Greater sense of contribution/value
Recognition and growth Each person’s room for growth is in the area of his or her greatest strength.
Some behaviors can be learned, many are nearly impossible to learn.
The best in a role deliver the same outcomes, but use different behaviors.
Weakness-fixing prevents failure. Strength-building leads to success! So, how do we change and grow? You get
from it You can
learn it
fast You feel
strong when
using a
strength Time passes
quickly when you
are engaged
in it (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr You may
take it for
granted Comes
for you You have
a yearning
to do it Is drawn from the way you are wired neurologically An Innate Strength Strengths are when... The way we think
The way we act
The way we do things
The way we build relationships
The way we see the world } create Positive outcomes
that add value Know your innate abilities and strengths, AND your weaknesses
Have conversations about them with leaders, peers, and others
Leverage what you are best at in your role every day
Recognize and reward the use of strengths Focus on developing strengths
Reduce the times per day that you have to do things you are not good at
Capitalize on the strengths of others to complement your areas of “weakness”
Leverage your greatest talents to overcome your “blind spots” and “flat sides”
Volunteer your greatest strengths to the team whenever possible Strengths Mindset 4
Feedback 2
Conversation 1
Introspection 5
Focus 6
Identity Development Awareness Understanding Application Performance Impact Change Partner Discussion Think back to when you were a child....do you see any positive patterns of behavior that have stayed with you since then?
-What are they?
-Have you developed these?
-How do you channel and focus these strengths today?

What specific activities did you find yourself looking forward to last week?
-Do you always seem to look forward to these
activities? Why?
-What is it about them that you enjoy?

Was there any time last week that you were “in the zone”?
-You found it easy to concentrate and time flew by...
-What were you doing? 3
Ownership What is the Clifton
StrengthsFinder?  An online, 180 question assessment validated through years of
research, testing and millions of interviews
 Created by Donald Clifton and The Gallup Organization; Now,
Discover Your Strengths
 Based on “positive psychology”
 34 “Talent Themes”
 Results of the assessment provide you with your Top 5 Talent
– Areas where you are innately wired to have the greatest
– Provided with a personal development plan to help you
focus on your strenghts
Book includes hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths Why use this
particular assessment? Validated assessment
Increase self awareness
Increase team awareness
Help guide personal and team
performance and development
Enhance conversations within your teams and with leaders
Focus on “strengths building”
rather than "weakness fixing” The 34 Themes A Common Language Achiever
Competition Connectedness
Futuristic Harmony
Positivity Relator
Woo Exploring Your Signature Themes StrengthsFinder Signature Themes -your five most prominent themes of talent -Rank ordered from 1st to 5th in dominanace
-In these areas, you have the greatest potential for a strength.
-Focusing on these themes is an efficient way and effective to build from your strengths Exercise: Making Sense
of Your Themes 1.Fill in your top 5 strengths.
2. Identify one of the themes that resonated with you.
3. Write down why this theme is beneficial and how you can show talent in the theme.
4. Put the theme into your own words by describing an example of when you used that strength So what's next? Some Steps You Can Take 1. Bust the Myths – capitalizing on your strengths is the way to
succeed rather than “fixing” your weaknesses
2. Get Clear – identify your own strengths and weaknesses
3. Focus – develop your talents into strengths, create a plan, stick to it
4. Free Your Strengths – Learn how to volunteer your strengths to the
5. Stop Your Weaknesses – Learn the best strategies for lessening the
impact of your weaknesses on the team
6. Speak UP – Master the art of talking about your strengths
7. Build Strong Habits – that you will repeat day after day that push
you toward activities that play to your natural talents and strengths (cc) image by nuonsolarteam on Flickr Bust the myths As you grow, your personality changes
– Your values, skills, self-awareness and some of your behaviors may change, but the most dominant aspects of your personality will remain the same. You will become more of who you already are.
You will grow the most in your areas of greatest weakness
– You will be the most inquisitive, most resilient, most creative and most open to learning in your areas of strength.
A good team member does whatever it takes to help the team
– A great team member deliberately volunteers his/hew strengths to the team most of the time. Step 1 Step 2 Get Clear  4 Signs of a Strength
– Success
– Instinct
– Growth
– Needs
 Capture, Clarify, Confirm
– I loved it…
– I loathed it… Step 3 Focus Your Work
& Development Natural Ability

Strength { Personal
Investment Strengths Based Development Choose 2-3 “strengths” upon which to focus
Create a development plan that gives you knowledge,skill and or/practice for those strengths
Highlight specifics and measures of success
Share with your leader, mentor, etc
Review your plan every month to check your progress
Focus the bulk of your development time, resources and energy not on what makes you well rounded , but on areas of ability/strength. Step 4 FREE

– Identify how and where this specific strength helps you in your current role Focus Release – Find the missed opportunities in your current role - Learn new skills and techniques to build this strength – Build your role around these
strengths Educate Expand Step 5 STOP Your
Weaknesses Stop doing the activity (does anyone care or notice?)
Team up with someone
Offer up one of your strengths
Perceive your weakness differently Step 6 Speak Up!! The Strengths Chat
"How I can help you?"
The Weakness Chat
"How you can help me?" Step 7 Build Strong Habits Every Day Every Week Every Quarter Every Year Every 6 Months StrengthsFinder Lessons and "Take-Aways" Know your strengths and organize your life to best leverage them
To identify your strengths when in use, pay close attention to how specific activites make you FEEL. Feelings reveal your strengths.
Remember that the list is only top 5
Continually assess fit in your life
People bring different strengths to the table - help bring out the strenghths in others and allow them to help you! Presentation References Kentuck Division of International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP).
(n.d.) Putting your strengths to work [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.iaap-kydivision.org/documents%20and%20.pdf's/Presentations%20and%20Workshops/Putting%20Strengths%20To%20Work%20-%20PRESENTATION.pdf The content contained here and in the handouts was adapted from various handouts and worksheets used in the VISTA Leader Strengths Coaching online session, provided by facilitator Jean Carroccio. As well as the following sources: Klay, K. "Exercize". photo. 'Photobucket' n.d. www.photobucket.com [http://s263.photobucket.com/albums/ii152/kevinklay/?action=view&current=hamster-barbells-lit.gif&newest=1]. [12/12/11] Signature Staff. "happy-employees". photo. 'Signature Staff. n.d. [http://www.signaturestaff.com.au/blog/employee-wellness.html] [12/13/11] All other photos courtesy of Prezi photos.
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