Images of Strength
In this episode of the Leadership Vision Podcast, we dive into a conversation from back in 2017 about images. We discuss the power of images, the power of finding objects, and how you can use them to get to know your Strengths and the Strengths of other people a little bit more. We also share a very helpful and practical “show & tell” activity that we encourage you to try with your team. It works great for teams in the same room, or even virtually. Enjoy!
Sharing Strengths through “Show and Tell”
The game of “Show and Tell” in elementary school is often our first crack at public speaking. It teaches us life lessons and broadens our imagination and creativity. “Show and Tell” engages many different learning styles, and it helps people feel known and heard. Sometimes the best professional development comes when we bring it back to the basics.
Back in 2017, when this episode was recorded, our team at Leadership Vision had a 2 day off-site meeting to wrap up our year and plan for the next one. Because we are relational on purpose and intentional by design, we decided to do a grown up version of “Show and Tell.” In preparation, we asked the team to bring something to share that could fit in their hand and helped them answer the following question:
Why you and Leadership Vision?
In other words, what gets you excited about the work you do with our organization? What kind of platform does Leadership Vision offer you as a person and/or professional?
Try this Activity with Your Team!
Begin by giving everyone on your team a notecard and ask them to write down the following:
- What the object is (give it a title.)
- A sentence describing it (what does it mean to you?)
- Your signature (make it your own.)
Give each person three minutes to describe their object and explain the “why?” to the rest of the group. Next, the rest of the team has 3 minutes to respond or ask a follow-up question.
To make this activity really successful, keep these things in mind:
- Keep the question as open-ended as possible. This allows participants to truly put their own spin on the answer and makes it unique.
- Encourage creativity and expect self-expression. By making the object small, our team was required to think about what they were “showing” and how they were “telling” their story.
- Know that as adults, we may second guess ourselves more than uninhibited children.
- Model vulnerability and be brave. It is important to make sure the person setting this up, or sharing first, does a good job setting the stage to model the outcome you want.
Learning Through Sharing
On the day of our team “Show and Tell” activity, I learned more about my colleagues than I thought possible. One participant shared a lined ruler, describing how she had once stopped growing professionally, but at Leadership Vision, she had new life because we provide opportunities for people to rediscover that growth potential. Another team member brought a marathon race medal. Over the course of a few years, he has knocked over an hour off his marathon time and shared how, at a previous job, he felt like he had reached his potential. As with the marathon, since coming to LV, he has learned the life lesson that, “you can run faster and farther because you have a lot more inside of you than you think.” There were a matchbook and matches, baby shoes, a candle, a piece of barn board, a shower cap, a framed photo, an antique shoe, some homemade peanut butter, a 3-way light bulb, and a retablo of a nativity scene. We heard about unexpected gifts, invitations of courage, memories, and items that spoke to people’s callings, points of suffering, and dreams that were being fulfilled. We spoke back to our colleagues and expanded upon their metaphors. It was sacred.
The beauty of this exercise is that each person is given a platform to speak, to be heard, and to be known in a different way. One colleague said it best, “At Leadership Vision, we have infinite opportunities to do what we do best every day. And to share it.”
This activity was a test in vulnerability. We took the time to open up and expose a part of ourselves that we don’t ordinarily get to see. It was an opportunity to build trust, and as a result, deepened our relational currency as a team.
Your Images of Strength
The activity of Show & Tell is an easy way for any team to start sharing their images of Strength with one another. We encourage you to try this activity as a way to build trust and get to know people on your teams. Let us know how it goes! Send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with us on social media, or comment on this blog.
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, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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.
If you’d like to be featured on the Leadership Vision Podcast, let us know how you are using Strengths and what impact it has made. Contact us here!