CEHD Strengths Spotlight | Jaime Gearhart, Academic Advisor

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 5 themes are Communication, Strategic, Positivity, Individualization, and Achiever
In what ways do you use your talents each day?
Although I typically dislike inventories that try and categorize people, I was pleasantly surprised when I got my results from the Strengths assessment. I feel it is very accurate and the definitions of each of my talents really clicked. Although I knew on some level that the talents were there, it is fabulous to now have a clearer understanding (and language to back it up) of how I approach tasks or situations. It has helped me appreciate my work style and thought process, and by combining different talents on a team we can create something even more awesome!
How have you worked to develop your talent themes?
I’m still new to the strengths philosophy, so just coming to an understanding of my talents and how they can be both positive and negative has been a big learning experience for me. I try and be more mindful about how I’m feeling when I’m working on projects to identify which strengths are shining or what I may need to adjust to put things back in my “wheelhouse” so I can feel good about the outcome. The fact that I just noted an “outcome” is my Achiever coming through!
What surprises you about your talent themes?
I was most surprised about the Positivity and Individualization themes appearing in my top 5. I’m not sure they would have been there a few years ago. I think this shows how we grow and change over time if we’re open to it! I would bet that both Context and Responsibility are pretty high on my list as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they show up in my top 5 at some point.
Which of your talent themes fit you best and why?
Communication and Achiever. Hands down. I worked in the public relations field before becoming an adviser, and that was also my major in college, so clearly I’ve had a long-standing affinity for all aspects of communication and have been working on that skill for a long time. I also need to feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m working on things, which can be good and bad. I’ve had to practice being comfortable with ambiguity and learn to sometimes set smaller goals for myself. I make a lot of lists.
If you are a CEHD student, staff or faculty interested in being featured in the CEHD Strengths Spotlight e-mail Jeannie Stumne at stumn001@umn.edu.
Visit Strengths at the U to learn more!