Surprisingly enough, I had never heard about Clifton Strengths until I got to Kansas State, and really not much until our chapter decided to take the survey and all find out what our strengths were and then have a professional meeting devoted to it.
In February when one of our fellow sisters, Victoria, posted in the Sigma Alpha Facebook group that she was attending a Strengths workshop and would love for a sister to go with her, I jumped at the opportunity. I have always believed in personal growth and how it helps develop me into the person I want to be personally, professionally and emotionally.
Before attending the workshop I took my Strengths Finder test and found out that my strengths are: Developer, Input, Intellection, Empathy, and Futuristic. I am pretty well split between strategic thinking and relationship building strengths. Input, Intellection, and Futuristic are all strategic thinking and Developer and Empathy are relationship building. I strongly believed that I was a relationship builder as I really have grown into a people orientated person and have chosen a career path based on that.
Half of all people believe that the path to success is by fixing weaknesses. In reality we would move forward a lot more effectively and quicker if we focused on strengthening our strengths. By working on strengths people are more encouraged and work harder. Others that are stronger at other things can then work on those and an overall stronger team is created.
Victoria and I with Dr. Shane Lopez, Gallup Senior Scientist and Research Director of the Clifton Strengths Institute, after the workshop.
By relying on your strengths you can use them as a safety net as you expand. It gives you room to grow out of your comfort zone and experience new and exciting things. It is all about really knowing what you are strong in and embracing it to continue the growing and improving process. The more you use your strengths, the stronger they get and the more you can use them. It really is a positive cycle.
As a leader it is important to know the strengths of the people following you and to focus and celebrate them. People like to be encouraged and are more engaged if they feel like they are doing a good job and contributing! So why not help build a stronger team.
I learned a lot by going through this workshop and am very grateful that I had the opportunity to. I now recognize my own strengths and often find myself recognizing strengths in others. It has helped me to become a better leader and I look forward to how it will continue to enrich my life.