Welcome to the Leadership Vision Podcast where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture.
Today’s episode is part of our monthly series of Strengths reflection questions. It’s just one question, but we hope it will lead to several other questions to deepen your understanding not only your Strengths, but your role on a team, in a family, or any other context in which you exist. We feel it’s important to reflect on where your Strengths have come from and how your Strengths have shaped who you are today. Because we also believe that that knowledge will help you get to where you want to go tomorrow and help you reach your highest capacity for influence.
We feature a new question every month so I encourage you to go back and listen to the other episodes if you haven’t already. I’ll link to them in the show notes along with other applicable resources to enhance your learning.
So today’s question comes from Carrie Jones, a consultant and our COO here at Leadership Vision. It’s a question we use a lot in our engagements. In fact, Sara and I were conducting a team engagement session recently in Texas with about 50 leaders. We asked each of them to go around the room and answer the below question. Their responses were profound, and many of those participants said it was their favorite part of the day. The simplicity of the questions can get the gears of our minds turning in such a way that we realize something about ourselves we didn’t know that we knew.
Describe a person who or place that has shaped you. How/Why?
We all have people and places who for good or for bad have helped create the people that we are today. And so oftentimes we’re too busy to put those puzzle pieces together. Taking the time to think about those instrumental moments or people can be really valuable. Plus you might dig up some real nuggets of information that people around you didn’t know about.Carrie Jones
I’ve personally been thinking about this question a lot lately. My dad immediately jumps to mind.
My father and I have an interesting relationship as many fathers and sons do. My dad was a pastor, and so two or three times a week, I got to see my dad preach or teach, or do some sort of speaking in front of groups of people. He was a pretty good communicator, he actually has a BA in Theater, so his style was very engaging and often fun, even if the old people didn’t always get his jokes. Or ever, actually
I also have vivid memories of watching my dad interact and build relationships with virtually everyone in our little town. The congregation of course, but also shop owners, people at the high school, and really anybody he interacted with. He wasn’t that outgoing or gregarious and considers himself an introvert. Still, he always seemed to stop and talk to people, and at least in my memory, engage them in what seemed to be a meaningful way.
Recently it dawned on me that watching my dad in upfront situations so often, is probably what has made me so comfortable in those settings. I rarely, if ever, get nervous when talking in front of people, and as someone who has the Strength of Communication, I find it pretty easy to put my thoughts into words and convey them to a group. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that the more I prepare those thoughts ahead of time, the more articulate I become, and the stronger of a connection I am able to make with whatever audience I am in front of.
RELATED: More Strengths Based Questions
If we take both parts of Carrie’s question, the person and the place that has shaped us, well for me, that would probably be the church. Growing up as a pastors kid, I had many opportunities to speak up front; reading verses or other stuff during services, having parts in Christmas plays and even doing silly skits for the youth group. The risk was pretty low, and the setting felt safe. Those environments built a sense of confidence in me when it comes to speaking in front of people, on webinars, or even on this podcast.
I’m not really involved in a church these days, and my dad is no longer a pastor. But that person, in that place, at that point in my life has had a profoundly shaping impact on who I am today. And part of why that’s important for me to understand is so that I can communicate that to those on my team, in my family (who already know this but maybe don’t understand the significance), and others I meet. It’s part of my story and helps explain just a bit about why I am the person I am today.
Who is your Person of Influence?
So who is the person or place that has shaped you? After you’ve reflected on that, we’d love to hear your answer, so contact us via email, share a comment on our blog, or click the link in the show notes and contact us. As always, we’re here to help you on your journey to becoming more aware of how your Strengths shape you as a person of influence.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths