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Things to do while you’re waiting for luck: Develop your Strengths Thomas S. Krieshok University of Kansas

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Presentation on theme: "Things to do while you’re waiting for luck: Develop your Strengths Thomas S. Krieshok University of Kansas"— Presentation transcript:

1 Things to do while you’re waiting for luck: Develop your Strengths Thomas S. Krieshok University of Kansas

2 Why Strengths Social Work ’ s Strengths Perspective Psychology ’ s Positive Psychology

3 What is Positive Psychology? Positive psychology is the scientific and practical pursuit of optimal human functioning… and it augments psychology ’ s longstanding focus on weakness and problems.

4 Positive Psychology on Happiness Not: Unhappiness Happiness Rather: Happiness as a skill, NOT a unidimensional trait

5 The path of MOST resistance “ you can be anything you want to be, if you just try hard enough ” OR “ you cannot be anything you want to be — but you can be a lot more of who you already are ”

6 What’s coming? Strengths Theory Clues to Your Strengths Examining Your Strengths Nurturing Strengths What about weaknesses?

7 Gallup ’ s Model of Strengths What would happen…if we studied what is RIGHT with people? Which would help you be more successful in life -- knowing your weaknesses and attempting to improve your weaknesses, or knowing what your strengths are and attempting to build on your strengths?” Don Clifton

8 Enjoying What You Do… What was the best day you’ve had at work/school in the last 3 months. What were you doing? Why did you enjoy it so much?

9 Enjoying What You Do… On a typical day in this role, what proportion (%) of time is spent doing things you like to do?

10 Enjoying What You Do …

11 Gallup’s Q-12 Employee Engagement Measurement #3: At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? Of the 1,000 people who strongly disagree with that statement… – not one was emotionally engaged on the job – Dread going to work – Have more negative than positive interactions with their colleagues – Treat customers poorly – Achieve less on a daily basis

12 Talent A naturally recurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied. Talents exist naturally within us

13 Talents are… 1.Behavior patterns that make you effective. 2.Thought patterns that make you efficient. 3.Beliefs that empower you to succeed. 4.Attitudes that sustain your efforts toward achievement and excellence. 5.Motivations that propel you to take action and maintain the energy needed to achieve.

14 Strength The ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance in a given activity. A strength enables and equips you to do certain things very well. Strengths grow from our natural talents, so while they can be developed, they cannot be acquired.

15 Skill The ability to perform specific steps of an activity. Skills are acquired.

16 Knowledge Facts and lessons learned in life (school, work)


18 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes Achiever Activator Adaptability Analytical Arranger Belief Command Communication Competition Connectedness Consistency Context Deliberative Developer Discipline Empathy Focus Futuristic Harmony Includer Ideation Individualization Input Intellection Learner Maximizer Positivity Relator Responsibility Restorative Self-Assurance Significance Strategic Woo

19 Identifying Your Talents … On the list of 34 Talent Themes … Put a starby your Top 5 and put a question mark by 5 others that you think might be in your Top 10.

20 Grouping by highest Talent Theme Find any others in the room with your same highest Talent Theme. IF there is more than one of you, talk with each other about what is is like to have lived your life from that strength. If you are the only one with your top Talent Theme, find others who are also the only one with their talent theme and answer the same question.

21 Traces of Evidence of Talents Without even thinking, I automatically… Passion or yearning. Ever since I can remember… Rapid learning: Effortless. I just get it. I’ve felt happiest when… Exceptional performance Compliments

22 A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails. Donna Roberts Take a moment to answer the questions on the next slide. Partner up with someone near you and discuss your answers.

23 Examining/Sharing Your Strengths Which of your Signature Themes describe you best? Which of your Signature Themes do you use most frequently? Were you surprised by anything in the report? If so, what? Which of your Signature Themes do you anticipate using most in your work?

24 Examining/Sharing Your Strengths What is the one strength that is most evident when you are working with a passion (or in Flow)? What behaviors are in line with that strength? How can you better use that strength in your daily work?

25 Exercise in Strengths List one thing you did yesterday in – Your career – Your personal relationships – Your hobbies...that is in line with one of your strengths

26 4 Domains Executing Achiever Arranger Belief Consistency Deliberative Discipline Focus Responsibility Restorative Influencing Activator Command Communication Competition Maximizer Self-Assurance Significance Woo

27 4 Domains Relationship Building Adaptability Developer Connectedness Empathy Harmony Includer Individualization Positivity Relator Strategic Thinking Analytical Context Futuristic Ideation Input Intellection Learner Strategic

28 Seeing your Strengths Create a visual representation of your top 3 Strengths. Explain your picture to someone else. – Tell a story about your strengths. – How do you see yourself leading with one or two of your strengths?

29 From Talents to Strengths … Investment has 3 parts … – Knowledge – Skill – Practice Must invest in your talents to develop strengths Talent x Investment = Strength

30 From Talents to Strengths … Choose one of your talents and brainstorm how you might invest in that talent this year. EXPLAIN your ideas with someone in the group. Talent x Investment = Strength

31 Finding and Developing Strengths Undiscovered Developed meeting people Discovered Developed meeting people Undiscovered Undeveloped graphic arts Discovered Undeveloped graphic arts

32 Difficulties in Affirming Strengths 1. I take my talents for granted 2. My talents sometimes threaten others 3. Mismatch between my dominant talents and the expectations of the roles I am in 4. Fear of becoming proud and arrogant 5. I don't see how my talents will help me achieve my goals

33 Managing Weaknesses … Types of Weaknesses: – Deficiencies – Something you don ’ t have much of or don ’ t do well – Over-Reliance - Too much of a “ good thing ” when you over-rely on one particular strength Buckingham and Clifton, 2001

34 Managing Weaknesses … Tips to Manage Weaknesses: – Deficiencies … Make Small Improvements Create Supports Talent > Weakness Find Others with Complimentary Talents – Over-Reliance … Practice Flexibility Buckingham and Clifton, 2001

35 Theme Dynamics: Working at the Intersection of 2 Strengths Being the best where X intersects Y X X Y You

36 Using Talents as a Graduate Student – Which of your talents do you think will be most crucial to success as a graduate student? – Pick one of your talents that you feel you’re not using to its full potential – what can you do to better use it in your studies? – Are there talents you have that might not get used in your work unless you make a conscious effort to use them?

37 Imagination is more important than knowledge. --Albert Einstein

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