Strengths Communicator Training: Moving from Engagement to Empowerment
Strengths Communicator Training, developed by Leadership Vision Consulting (LVC), is for individuals who want to enhance their skills in order to help others understand the unique behaviors of strengths.
At the conclusion of the training, individuals have learned how to lead others through 1:1 StrengthsFinder conversations around their top five themes of strength.
What is Strengths Communicator Training?
After participating in four days of in-person training and six weeks of practicum work, I have had some time to reflect on my experience. The objectives of the training are:
- to have twelve (12) strengths-based conversations with family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc.
- to communicate a deeper understanding of Top 5 Strengths
- to be able to help identify dominant strengths, pairings of two strengths working together
- facilitate conversations around strengths-based application for personal and professional
As I read these four bullets leading up to the Strengths Communicator training in Minneapolis in November 2014, I had a feeling of excitement mixed with uncertainty for what I had really signed up to be a part of. Twelve conversations…identifying dominant pairings of two strengths…facilitating conversations…. was this something I could truly do?
As I have only been an employee of LVC for six months, I still feel as though I am finding my footing through the StrengthsFinder world. But this Strengths Communicator training intrigued me. I wanted the opportunity to be challenged and dig deeper into my own understanding of Strengths and how I could create space for others to learn this StrengthsFinder language.
As I walked into the training room with the stack of training manuals for each of the participants, I felt like it was the first day of school. Would I be smart enough? Would I understand the language that was being taught? Would I be able to hear others strengths and pairings?
The rest of the cohort filed in, each taking a seat around the room with the same nervous and excited look on their faces that I know my face was conveying. And then it began.
The Brilliance Behind the Training
Four days of intense education to immerse ourselves in the StrengthsFinder language, until it was oozing out our ears. The only way to describe the experience is brilliance.
Brian and Linda lead with a level of intelligence and grace that is challenging yet approachable.They provide ample opportunities for a true learning community to develop and flourish amongst the cohort members. Each of us offering our experience and insight to help see the beauty of the strengths
I sat alongside magnificent cohort members who helped me learn the language of the 34 strengths, hear dominant pairings, and see the beauty within each person. I completed twelve conversations with family, friends, and acquaintances. I was challenged not to come to the table with preconceived notions about what “those strengths would look like in that person.” Instead, I allowed the individual to tell their story using Strengths language.
Then we were challenged to teach back to the cohort group what we experienced, saw, and heard during our conversations utilizing an image to tell the individual’s strengths story. This teaching opportunity provided an opportunity to learn “the good, the bad, and the beauty” of our twelve conversation experiences, from each other.
An Image of Strength
As I stood at that blank sheet of paper, preparing to draw the individual’s strengths, I was playing that 1-to-1 conversation back in my head. Digging into the things I heard, making connections between that individual’s strengths and the story they were telling.
I allowed that person’s words and new language around Strengths to illustrate the image I was crafting. Thankfully, the individual I shared through what LVC calls a “360 drawing,” said “That pretty much sums me up!” Not too shabby for my first crack at this!
I walked away with a new appreciation for what we do at LVC, as well as a deeper appreciation and respect for everyone I come into contact with. I find myself pausing and wondering during a conversation, about a person’s strengths, the dominant pairings I am hearing, and how that is impacting the interaction we are having or the work that individual is doing.
I am constantly challenged to continue to incorporate the Strengths language into my being until it is the natural response instead of the afterthought reaction.
While I am a part of the LVC team, (Strengths is a part of everything we do), it was thrilling to sit at the table with other companies and hear their desires to use the Strengths Communicators to help make Strengths an even deeper part of the fabric of their companies.
Since the conclusion of the Strengths Communicator training in Minneapolis, I find myself intrigued when I read the top five strengths of others. What do those two or three strengths look like lived out in their life? What strength(s) are most prominent? Which strengths are paired together? I immediately want to book an hour of their time just to talk about, well, them.
And I find myself feeling empowered. Empowered to see the beauty and brilliance in others more deeply. Empowered with skills and experience to help others see that beauty and brilliance themselves. Empowered with energy to talk about Strengths in a way that helps others see the value in making Strengths a part of strong people, strong teams, and ultimately a strong culture.