Today was our last session with Geoffrey Baines looking at strengths. Geoffrey handed out a sheet to everyone with the 34 different types of strengths and for them to choose 5 descriptions they feel accurately reflect who they are. This was quite a challenging exercise for some people, but through speaking to others they could identify more with what their strengths were. It was advised that it is best do the on-line strengths test when you are in a decent frame of mind as if your mood was low you would find it harder to complete it accurately. Once completed you could write your 5 strengths down and have them at hand to inspire you or to reinforce the fact that you do have talents and strengths when you possibly do not feel that you do. We are looking to have Geoffrey back to do further work in the future as a group and possibly individually.
We discussed the Group celebration/awareness event we are going to host in November and also briefly talked about doing new leaflet which we will explore further next week. A couple of the group members had commentated on how special the group is to them and how they get very energised when promoting the group to other organisations.
The group would like to thank Geoffrey for all his time and inspiration he brought to the group!
Have a look at these brief descriptions of the 34 Strengths and see if you can identify which you think are more true for you than others – you can pick 5, have fun!
People who are especially talented in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive. Activator
People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient. Adaptability
People who are especially talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time. Analytical
People who are especially talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation. Arranger
People who are especially talented in the Arranger theme can organize, but they also have a flexibility that complements this ability. They like to figure out how all of the pieces and resources can be arranged for maximum productivity. Belief
People who are especially talented in the Belief theme have certain core values that are unchanging. Out of these values emerges a defined purpose for their life. Command
People who are especially talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions. Communication
People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters. Competition
People who are especially talented in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests. Connectedness
People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason. Consistency
People who are especially talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone in the world with consistency by setting up clear rules and adhering to them. Context
People who are especially talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history. Deliberative
People who are especially talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate the obstacles. Developer
People who are especially talented in the Developer theme recognize and cultivate the potential in others. They spot the signs of each small improvement and derive satisfaction from these improvements. Discipline
People who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best de- scribed by the order they create. Empathy
People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations. Focus
People who are especially talented in the Focus theme can take a direction, follow through, and make the corrections necessary to stay on track. They prioritize, then act. Futuristic
People who are especially talented in the Futuristic theme are inspired by the future and what could be. They inspire others with their visions of the future. Harmony
People who are especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement. Ideation
People who are especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena. Includer
People who are especially talented in the Includer theme are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them. Individualization
People who are especially talented in the Individualization theme are intrigued with the unique qualities of each person. They have a gift for figuring out how people who are different can work together productively. Input
People who are especially talented in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information. Intellection
People who are especially talented in the Intellection theme are characterized by their intellectual activity. They are introspective and appreciate intellectual discussions. Learner
People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them. Maximizer
People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb. Positivity
People who are especially talented in the Positivity theme have an enthusiasm that is contagious. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do. Relator
People who are especially talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep sat- isfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal. Responsibility
People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty. Restorative
People who are especially talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it. Self-Assurance
People who are especially talented in the Self-Assurance theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right. Significance
People who are especially talented in the Significance theme want to be very important in the eyes of others. They are independent and want to be recognized. Strategic
People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues. Woo
People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.
Today at the group we looked at what our strengths were. Initially people did not feel that they had any but after a while of discussing their lives they realised that they did. We looked at how one person can enjoy doing a task and another person does not like doing it but enjoys something else. As human being we are totally individual and unique. It sounds like a cliché, but successful teams/groups all work together utilising each individuals strengths to form part of a collective success.
We discussed the Japanese practice of “Kintsukuroi” which looks at broken pottery and how the repair is done with the “understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. We feel this can cover our lives in that we have all been through hard experiences in life but have the opportunity to learn from our experiences, no matter how painful they are, can then make us learn more about ourselves and have a deeper understanding for others. Below is a beautiful quote from Leonard Cohen
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
For those attending the group on Thursday, Geoffrey has sent a few thins to prepare if you wish…
I look forward to Thursday and our look at how life is better when focus on our Strengths and not on our Weaknesses. There are different ways to explore, so be thinking about what is best for you at the moment. Here goes:
You can explore your Strengths with the online analysis which offers a great starting point of your top five Strengths;
Or, you might like to take a little longer to explore your Strengths with another online possibility – we can spend some time helping you get these set up;
Or, you can make your list of what are the most energising things you find yourself doing – noting what you are doing, who you are with, why you are doing it, and, even when (the beginning or end, or all of something);
Or, you can bring your biggest questions about all of this;
Or, you can just listen in.
I hope there’s something here which works for you.
It was a big group today and was really nice to see people who had just returned from holiday and had not been at the group for a while.
Today’s group was very much about giving people the opportunity to express how they were feeling. A lot of group members were finding things very hard at the moment with a lot of challenging things going on for them. It was great to see the support each one had for each other and to not feel as alone. A lot of people commented on how safe they feel in the group and that they have a space to talk about things that they could not with others.
We talked about the group’s first anniversary and what we would like to do to recognise it. It was agreed that we would have two separate occasions to celebrate the first anniversary. We would have an informal celebration with just group members (lunch or barbecue), and then in November we have an event day where we can explain to guests what we have achieved in our first year and also what we would be striving to achieve in the future.
Today we welcomed Geoffrey Baines back to the group to look at strengths. It was very thought-provoking and emotional for people, as it brought up things from people’s pasts. We discussed what energizes us and how to deal with situations by using our strengths. We looked at how as growing up, we were possibly told what we should do in life without actually realising that we can be who we want to be, and have a certain career/goal that suits us and not something else that someone else wants for you, that you do not enjoy. This could include being compared to our siblings/parents strengths which can heap a lot of pressure on your shoulders. One big thing for people was self-esteem and holding onto our strengths/talents. For example, when one things goes wrong it is not the end of the world? We want to learn to look at the bigger picture and to bring it back up to a positive belief of having other strengths also, and not being hard on ourselves because we got one thing wrong. We came up with a few ideas to look at in the coming weeks;
How we use our strengths in a business relationship?
How can we be assertive and stay calm when faced with confrontation?
How can we learn to compare ourselves with others?
How do we maintain confidence after disappointment?
We look forward to working on these issues and other things in the next few weeks with Geoffrey!