When I first went to Azusa Pacific University in 2002, I learned about a model of positive psychology that was being used throughout the university, both among faculty and staff as well as with students. I saw first-hand the impact an awareness of strengths had on teams when we did strengths-based training with a group of students I took to Mozambique.
The basic premise to strengths-based team building is that we all have different strengths, and rather than for me, for example, to get frustrated by someone who asks a million questions before making a decision, the activator in me can appreciate the benefit of working with someone with, say, the strength of input.
Later, I learned about a strengths-based approach to education. I could easily recall the profound impact positive comments from teachers and professors have had on my life, from elementary years through graduate school. Thus, I sought to employ this approach not only with students, but in everyday encounters with coworkers and friends.
As a person with the strength of positivity, I look for ways to encourage people around me, whether through a smile or a kind word. Combine that with the strengths of maximizer, responsibility, activator, and you have someone who truly cares about those around her, someone who goes to great lengths to fulfill all commitments and overcome obstacles, someone who gets stuff done, and someone who celebrates victories—both big and small. Add to that connectedness, and you have someone who is constantly trying to understand how the different dots connect, and how our actions now may impact outcomes down the road. For me, connectedness is also about the connections I make with people
Mine are a mix of people- and task-based strengths. It's just one of many components that make me uniquely me.
|Trying my hand at water calligraphy on the streets of Beijing, China, using my strengths of positivity, activator and connectedness|
StrengthsFinder™is a model developed by psychologist Donald Clifton (Ph.D.), and has been used by the Gallup Organization for more than a decade to help professionals develop their natural talents. Within the past several years, Gallup has expanded its reach to also focus on helping students and salespeople understand their talents and build upon them.