Seeing the Remarkable People Around You

In our line of work at Leadership Vision, we come across remarkable people everyday. I have a hard time “turning off” my strengths lens – the filter of curiosity that causes me to wonder about people’s brilliance. For example…

  • Why does that ER admitting nurse respond with such calm and care? I have to believe it’s more than the good training he received.
  • Why does that executive act with such swiftness and movement? I have to believe it’s more than just workaholic tendencies at play.
  • How is he so self-aware? I have to believe its more than some years of good therapy.
  • What is the secret behind the success of those teachers? Why do the kids respond to them so positively?  I have to believe it is more than just “he’s funny” or “she’s a good classroom manager.”
  • Why does the aeronautical engineer thrive in the technology consulting space, AND why is she so good with people? I have to believe it’s not rocket science.

Noticing What is Right with People

When you are trained to notice what is right, positive, and good in others, the actions of talented people prompt questions and call out responses.

I have a friend named, Elizabeth Camp. She is one of those brilliant individuals who caused me to fire a thousand questions of wonder at her. Here is a snapshot of her strengths.

Elizabeth is a true creative (noun not adjective). She is a wife, pet owner, and friend. She is a yoga teacher, trains other teachers and is the 2015 brand ambassador for the Athleta store in the Mall of America. She is also the owner and director of Yoga Camp Minneapolis. She is remarkable.

Since 2012, I have been going to her 6:00 am yoga classes because I do not want to miss out! I found yoga a decade ago in California when I was leading a hurried and breathless life. For me, the breathing, stretching, and strengthening of yoga, does wonders for my holistic health. I have also found that nothing compares to the environment and experience Elizabeth creates for her students to thrive and heal.

Creating an Environment where others can Thrive

Elizabeth is intentional about all aspects of the environment of her class. From temperature, to lighting, to where people are if the room is too full or too sparse. She practices levity. There is always kind-hearted laughter. Almost every class I hear her say, “I don’t know you, What is your name?” She wants to know you. She remembers names.

When class is going wonky, she quickly redirects and gets us on track. She encourages us to do things that scare some of us (or just me) like handstands or back bends.  Elizabeth is particular with the music she chooses, sometimes it’s all traditional yoga, sometimes pop, sometimes funny songs, and other times Holiday music.  Sometimes she kills the music so we can hear sweaty people breathing and our own hearts beating. Sometimes she kills the silence and sings over us with her own angelic voice.

Some teachers call their students “yogis,” and in Minnesota, some teachers call us “you guys”.  Hailing from the great state of Washington, Elizabeth uses words like “we”, “all”, and “friends”. She uses “you” in the most loving way, as if we are all woven together for a reason during our shared 60 minutes. In the confines of a 60 minute regimented class, you still experience the creativity and inspiration that is Elizabeth. People pour out from the class in gratitude and smiles, filled with life and awareness.

The Strengths of a Yogi

One day after class when we were talking, she shared her strengths with me. No shock there, for I experienced the generative nature of all of them working together.

Her themes of strength are: Strategic, Achiever, WOO, Connectedness, and Ideation.

She is a smart woman with an incredible work ethic. Her strengths of Strategic and Achiever when paired together, look like Activator in the ways she redirects, steps in and leads with courage.

Her strengths of Ideation and Connectedness come out in a creative form of deep meaning and complex thought. That pairing also comes out in incomplete stories and funny sayings that lighten the mood or offer freedom.

And the strength that weaves it all together for her is WOO. With all the social intelligence and social prowess of WOO, she is the queen of creating environments for people to live their best moments. She works the room, fueled by meaning and a call to live a significant existence.

If I were to ask all the 6 am regulars, why they come to class, I would probably receive a variety of responses. My response is rhetorical, “Who wouldn’t want to take a class from a teacher who shines with all of her strengths that generate life in her and all those in her class?”

Elizabeth is remarkable.

Your Remarkable People

Who are the people in your life that are remarkable? Whether or not you know their strengths, try to identify what makes them remarkable.