Lived Gratitude: Our Approach to Strengths
One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott penned this,
Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. It almost always makes you willing to be of service, which is where the joy resides. It means that you are willing to stop being such a jerk. When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back.
Lamott has always had a way to startle me with her turns of phrase, the uncommon (and sometimes irreverent) observations on common matter, and her ability to let the reader settle into his or her gift of being human: warts, radiance, and all.
Gratitude begins in our hearts and then dovetails into behavior. -Lamott
Our Approach to Strengths
At Leadership Vision, our approach to strengths is relational and intentional. We don’t just say it. We seek to live it.
Fueled with gratitude, we desire to really get to know people and hear what makes them strong and beautiful. We slow down and walk with people at a human pace. We speak back to the genius we are hearing or the behaviors we are noticing. We breathe humor into our stories and reflections. We hope that people see in our behavior the gratitude in our hearts.
And gratitude is contagious. We hear gratitude reflected back in those going through our Strengths Communicator training who are learning to have 1 to 1 strengths based conversations. These conversations are a time to explore the uniqueness of an individual’s strengths.
When a Strengths Communicator mentioned having a 1 to 1 conversation as the “highlight of her week,” or when another Strengths Communicator felt freed that he could bring the gift of who he was to these conversations and not feel forced to take a cookie cutter approach, we feel humbled to be a catalyst in this process.
Another Strengths Communicator remarked about the power of a strengths-based conversation to give a voice to someone. Through this, an individual’s unique voice emerges and our role is to be able to help that someone be known and celebrated, not exposed and judged. Part of this process is to help others feel empowered to do their part to contribute to the positive global conversation about what is right with people.
When you are aware of all that has been given to you, in your lifetime and the past few days, it is hard not to be humbled, and pleased to give back. -Lamott
I am profoundly aware of all that have been given to us, and yes, we are very humbled. The gift of working with strengths has been the gift that keeps on giving.
Giving Strengths Away
It seems as if we can’t give it away fast enough. We have had a very busy Fall 2014 season. We have served large companies like the billion dollar financial services company who called us in to take the strengths message to women leaders in technology in their workplace.
We’ve worked with smaller companies seeking to become strengths based organizations. We’ve traveled to Singapore, London, and Boston to work with men and women who are having a global impact on education.
We’ve been working in Minnesota with local companies who are enriching their communities through business, service, and technology.
To show our gratitude, we serve as hosts to those teams and people we work with. We seek to lay a strong foundation that allows people to be relationally safe and known by their talents. We consistently work with teams and meet with individuals who either desire the strengths to seep into the fabric of their lives or just need a reminder of the brilliance of their own strengths.
The Strengths Movement
Along the way, we’ve met with women and men of all ages who are interested in the strengths movement. We learn something new with every interaction we have with individuals, teams or cultures. We take those learnings and apply them to the other places we go, the different people we encounter and varied teams we invest in.
We take phrases we hear from participants who have had an a-ha moment or a realization about one of their themes of strength and use those phrases to help others seeking to see the genius of their talents.
“I have the attention span of a lit match!” said someone with the theme of Activator. That phrase has been helpful to others who share that strength of Activator to consider how their strength of Activator might be demonstrated.
One woman with the strengths of Intellection said, “Sleeping interrupts my thinking.”
A man with Empathy once remarked, “I think I have the kind of Empathy that needs a nap on a regular basis.”
We use these phrases with new people to springboard into conversation about their unique expressions of their strengths.
We are aware, humbled, and honored to share our lives and our strengths with the world. This season, we are reminded of all we have to be grateful for in the beauty and genius of those we encounter everyday.