I love Fall. The air is crisp, green gives way to a kaleidoscope of color, and the sky is the bluest it is all year. Fall also represents the promise of the impending holiday season. For many, this means coming together with friends, family, and co-workers for joyous occasions filled with time-honored tradition and togetherness. For some, this togetherness can also represent being confronted with tension in relational circles. There are inevitably going to be people who value different things, have varying opinions on topics that are personal, and vastly different communication styles.
A few weeks ago while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came upon a three-word mantra – Protect Your Magic. This mantra really struck me and made me think about the work we do at Leadership Vision; the very intentional way our services and curriculum have been developed to offer teams and individuals the opportunity to take full advantage of what StrengthsFinder has to offer. By way of self-discovery, self-empowerment, and self-awareness, this translates into the ability to better comprehend and articulate one’s “magic”.
We’re human and so we seek affirmation and approval from those around us and when we don’t receive it, it’s tempting to waiver in what we believe about ourselves. The holiday season seems to elevate this temptation. My theory is that this time of year represents hope and the possibility for new beginnings in life and in relationships. When an interaction at home or in the workplace falls short of that hope and expectation, it can be profoundly more deflating.
As we head into this next season the concept of protecting one’s magic is especially important. Below are my suggestions for protecting your magic and finding compassion for the magic of those around you:
Use your Strengths Lens
Once you’ve become acquainted with all 34 themes of strength and you’ve committed to a strengths lifestyle it’s nearly impossible not to see the strengths of those you interact with. I’ve described this ability like a permanent strengths contact lens. Leveraging this ability and choosing to look through a strengths lens may help you consider what you may not have seen before. If the cousin you see once a year wants to compare notes on life accomplishments, maybe they have the Theme of Competition. Perhaps this person seeks to inspire you by reflecting on how far you’ve come since you were together the year before. If you are working on the office holiday party with a colleague and she seems unwavering about the event location, consider who else she might be thinking of. If she has the strength of Consistency she may be thinking about whether your suggested location is accessible for all who are to be invited.
Find a Buddy
Who in your life knows that you value a strengths based approach? Your colleague, sibling, cousin, or spouse? When tension becomes present or communication breakdown occurs, who in your life will remind you of who you are and why you may be experiencing the situation in a way that is unique to you? Who can help you leverage your strengths to move forward?
Invest in your Knowledge
We want people to not only understand their Strengths in a life giving way, but also understand the Strengths of others. In preparation for the holiday season, consider giving yourself the gift of going deeper with your strengths by participating in our Online Strengths Course. The online course offers an opportunity to re-center yourself with your strengths in preparation for this busy time of year. If you’re ready to take the next step in deepening your knowledge and are interested in learning the skills so that you can introduce a strengths based approach to your friends, family and co-workers, consider participating in one of our semi-annual Strengths Communicator Training.
During a 1 to 1 conversation, I hope that each individual leaves with a greater appreciation for their “magic”. That their strengths are expressed and lived out each day unique to them. There has never been, nor will there ever be anyone like them and the more acquainted they become with this uniqueness the more effective and powerful their life force will be.
There are a lot of influences in life that make each of us question who we are, how we operate, and what we are capable of. Sometimes, those who are closest to us can be our worst offenders. In this next season of the year, Protect Your Magic by holding tight to your strengths, surround yourself with those who will do the same. Considering sharing the gift of Strengths to increase the number of people in your life who will honor and celebrate your magic, and for whom you can do the same.
What does Protecting Your Magic mean to you? Who are the people in your life that are a hindrance to Protecting Your Magic and would they benefit from learning about the Leadership Vision approach?