CEHD Strengths Spotlight | Jamie Nichols, Kinesiology Student

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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?
Discipline, Focus, Responsibility, Learner, and Relator
In what ways do you use your talents each day?
My top three strengths are all in the Executing domain, so they nicely compliment one another. My Discipline is evident when I need to get a lot done. I can organize everything into a list and get gratification from checking items off. My Gopher Guide is a necessity!
I use my Focus to be able to concentrate on one thing for a long time. I usually prefer to focus on one thing until I get it done, then I can move onto the next task. Also if I decide I am going to do something, I am good at focusing on the steps I need to take to accomplish that goal.
It is very important for me to hold myself accountable for what I say I will do. I especially use Responsibility when working in groups to build trust with my teammates. If I say I will do something for someone else, that is my top priority.
Learner is one of my favorite strengths and I see it both in and out of the classroom. I have always loved school, but I also love trying new activities and learning new skills. For example, I am taking a swing dancing class right now, but I also love taking yoga and zumba classes and trying new sports.
Relator is my only Relationship Building theme, but I definitely see it fit since I prefer close relationships. I also use it when meeting new people. I like learning what is different about people, but I also find things in common or empathize with others to build strong relationships.
How have you worked to develop your talent themes?
I have read about my strengths in StrengthsFinder books and figured out where I use my top 5 strengths the most. Being more aware of what comes more naturally to me, helps me use those strengths as a go-to especially in new or stressful situations. It has also been helpful talking to other people about how they use their strengths and how sometimes people use the same strength in different ways.
Which of your talent themes fit you best and why?
I think Discipline fits me the best because I am a very organized person and like to have things planned out. I set goals far in advance and work hard using my other executing themes to help accomplish them. I love using Grad Planner and tools like that to make sure I stay on track.
What surprises you about your talent themes?
I was surprised at how well they fit me and also how they describe tendencies I’ve had since I’ve been really young whether it was sorting Halloween candy right when I got home from trick-or-treating or playing school with my little sisters.
Anything else you would like to share?
Knowing other people’s strengths has really helped me to work better with others as well. I have noticed that things that maybe bother you at first can be qualities that you appreciate once you learn a person’s top 5 strengths and realize the strengths that you have are not in everyone’s top 5.
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!