A picture is worth a thousand words; we believe our illustrations are worth at least five minutes. As you look at my illustrations above, what do you see? Are there images that you could describe to someone else? Perhaps you can imagine a story being told that brings these illustrations to life.
We believe each person has a story to share. With every day, each of us are living out our own story and these illustrations are a way of sharing this story with others. Often stories need a prompt – a time and a place to be shared.
At Leadership Vision, the third stage of our delivery is our “Learning Community 360º” or LC360 for short. Each participant receives a unique, one of a kind illustration, drawn by our consultants, showing how their strengths are working together. At some point during the LC360º, each person hears their narrative shared with their team. We tell a story to explain and affirm how the person’s strengths are working together and bringing life to themselves and others. At the end of the LC360, these illustrations are theirs to keep (some have even framed them!).
With the assumption of positive intent and a generative application of strength, these illustrations share a snapshot of our story. All of us have stories of joy and pain, of success and failure, of relationships and family, of our hopes and dreams.
Let us remember, these strengths illustrations are simply a snapshot – capturing a point in time. But that is all we are aiming for, a point in time, a starting point, a turning point, a point of clarity.
WHY WE DO THIS
Educational research has proven that people remember and learn better through the use of images and stories. Additionally, I believe our consultants are responsible for honoring and dignifying the uniqueness and beauty of each person we speak with in our 1-to-1 conversations (the second stage in our delivery, done 4-6 weeks prior to the LC360º). One way to accomplish these two objectives is by creating an illustration to be shared with others.
By drawing illustrations, we provide an individual with an image and narrative of how their strengths are unique, distinct and unlike anyone else. This further sustains the impact and importance of focusing on strengths, and deepens the understanding and generative nature of strengths within a professional team. We hope these illustrations are seen and retold among others.
WHAT THE ILLUSTRATIONS REPRESENT
So, let’s look above at these eight pictures again. What is it that you are seeing? Our illustrations are drawings which provide an interpretation of an individual’s strengths profile. At Leadership Vision, we consider a strengths profile to be a representation and interpretation of how a person’s five strengths work together in their daily life. Strengths evolve, change, and mature over time. If we were to do this process again in six to twelve months, the illustrations may be different.
REMEMBER AND RETELL VS. RECALL AND RECITE
At Leadership Vision, we have learned two things about this process:
First, it is not enough to simply recall strengths and recite definitions.This is transactional and will not have a lasting impact on people. As one man recently told me,
After our first session, I could not even remember my strengths that evening at dinner when my son asked me, ‘What did you do at work today?’
Second, we desire for people to remember an illustration and retell a story of strength. This practice has a transformational potential, shaping our understanding and perspective on people and teams. As a woman told me yesterday,
Each time I think of my colleague’s strengths, I remember her illustration that you drew. That was my ‘aha!‘
WHAT MIGHT YOUR ILLUSTRATION LOOK LIKE?
Think about your strengths profile. What illustration might you draw? What story could be told of your unique combination of talents?
We invite you, even challenge you, to share your stories and illustrations with those who know you best. For we are each beautiful and unique, we each have lessons learned and wisdom gained.