Why you should integrate personal development with professional practice

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.

If you want to become better at something, you need to practice doing that thing, right? It’s easy to understand this as it relates to sports, or music, or maybe painting… any skill that requires muscle memory or physical strength or a deeper understanding of complex rules or tools like chess or carpentry. But what about when it comes to the softer skills, leadership skills, or maybe more broadly, people skills? Things like emotional health, conflict management, patience, or operating out of your Strengths. The list goes on and on. How do you reach a level of mastery or fluency in those interpersonal and intrapersonal skills that make us better people? That can be a bit more difficult to master.

If you want to become fluent in a new language, the best way is to immerse yourself in the culture and people of that language. A friend of mine moved to Guatemala for a semester in college and came home basically fluent in Spanish. She spoke it almost exclusively for four months; at the home she was staying in, at her job, at the market, basically every context she was in. The more contexts by which she had a chance to practice, the better she became at the various nuances of the language.

In many ways, the same principles apply to those big leadership concepts mentioned above. To get good at things like communication, conflict, change, and collaboration, we need to practice them in multiple contexts of life. If you’re trying to become a more patient person, for example, you need to pay attention to the way you’re patient at home, at work, at the store, with your kids, with colleagues, and any random stranger with whom you may interact. We need to utilize every opportunity to practice the new skills we want to master.

Today on the podcast, Steph Wahlund and I will be talking about the importance of practicing these skills in all areas of life, and share a few examples of how you can do this. Steph and I will be talking about an epiphany she had while meeting some girlfriends for an extended get together. These friends aren’t casual acquaintances. Steph describes these two people as some of the closest relationships she has in her life; they’re like family. But she only sees these two women once a year due to their geographical locations. So when they do get together, it’s intense as there’s a lot of catching up to do. These two women both know that Steph works for a company that does Strengths Based consulting, so they have stumbled into integrating some of that language into their friendship. Steph says this has established an extremely healthy, life giving atmosphere to foster relational connection, process life changes, and simply learn how to be better friends to one another. By doing this, Steph and these women have found they can take what they’ve learned here, in the safety of their friendship, and apply it to other relational contexts in their lives.

Team Engagement Series

In my conversation with Steph you’ll hear us throwing around concepts from a few of our Team Engagement Series’. We don’t go too far in-depth with those concepts, but you should probably be at least a little familiar with them to get the most out of this. We talk about how she has integrated the ideas of Knowledge, Purpose, and Trust, along with the language of Change, Communication, Conflict, and Collaboration, into a personal context, and why that’s important for ALL of us if we want to establish environments based on Strengths in our lives.

After you’ve listened to this episode, tell us how you have seen your Strengths or any of the concepts related to our Team Engagement Series show up in different contexts of your life. What do they look like at home? At work? At school? At play? Maybe, like Steph, you’ll have an epiphany and realize the topics we discuss on this podcast can be applied in all different areas of life, not just the workplace and not only with people who know the language of Strengths!

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.

We would love to hear how you’ve been impacted by the Strengths movement. 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!