At the University of Minnesota and in CEHD we feel every student has what they need to be successful. We believe in taking a strengths based approach and work with students to learn to use their talents so they can be developed into strengths.
What are your top 5 talent themes?
My top talent themes are Relator, Connectedness, Includer, Positivity, and Woo.
In what ways do you use your talents each day?
As an adviser, I have many opportunities to use my talent themes each day. When I meet one-on-one with a student I am building a relationship that my Relator talent theme enjoys and values.
I use my Connectedness to help me make sense of the world and feel compassion for all people, in my daily work or even on the other side of the world. I distinctly remember when 9/11 happened I stopped what I was doing and tried to connect with all the suffering people on that day. In general, my Connectedness helps me see the bigger picture of any situation. With students, I hope I help them see their immediate struggles as part of their college experience so they feel less stress.
My Includer theme comes out best when I am in a group or meeting. When I notice someone who is not contributing or I think they may feel left out, I will make an effort to bring them into the conversation. Positivity is definitely my natural way of being. I like to feel good and full of energy. When I focus on what’s right in any given situation I just feel better. This doesn’t mean I can’t feel down or sad. It means that when I do feel that way, I have many tricks up my sleeve to cheer myself up. In terms of working with students, I think my Positivity helps me to see their strengths, even in the most difficult of situations.
Having Woo as a talent theme means that I like meeting new people so working with incoming freshmen each year is always an exciting time I look forward to. In general, all my themes work together to keep me happy to be alive and grateful to be working with such wonderful colleagues and students.
How have you sought to develop your talent themes?
I am lucky in that my work as an adviser taps into my talent themes each day. I feel I am constantly developing these parts of myself. In addition, I am focusing on developing some of my other talents that aren’t in my top five like Strategic and Analytical. These are two talent themes that I see as very useful in my work but don’t come as naturally to me. I’m trying on new ways of looking at issues, data and complex systems using these two talents themes.
Which talent themes fit you best and why?
Relator fits me especially well with the high value I place on all my relationships. I have a few very close friends that I cherish and make time for on a regular basis. I get to know my advisees well by talking about more than just academics. I’m interested in their lives outside of school like their family, friends, jobs and travels. Each person in my life is a unique being with much to offer.
The other talent theme that feels very much like me is Connectedness. I see things as interconnected and that events happen for a reason. Here’s a good example of how this works for me. If I want to stop at a certain store on my way home and I can’t find a good parking spot, I say to myself, I guess I am not meant to go to that store today. It’s an easy solution that feeds my positivity as well.
Visit Strengths at the U to learn more!