Spring Break Reflections: How Our Strengths Show Up
In this episode, Linda and Nathan reflect on recent trips they took over spring break and how they saw their Strengths show up in different situations and experiences. This exercise in reflection is an example of what we often do with clients. We ask them to use a recent event or activity or any life situation and reflect on how they saw their Strengths show up. It’s not only a way to better understand your Strengths or the Strengths of those around you, but it can also be a way to process all of life’s experiences.
Too often we run from one thing to the next and we don’t take the time to sit back and reflect on what happened. We believe reflection is necessary to grow and learn and to see if we’re actually becoming more of the type of people that we want to become. This episode is a bit unscripted and off the top of our heads (sometimes we call this the direct-to-tape conversation) and we really hope it gives some examples about how you can reflect on your Strengths. Enjoy!
Spring Break Reflections
As we reflect on our recent spring break vacations, we ask each other: How did your Strengths show up? How did parts of you come alive or not? As you’re taking notes at home, think about how you reflect on big events or other life experiences. How do you take a moment or two to reflect and grow?
Brian and I took our parents, my in-laws, to Maui over spring break. It was absolutely amazing and everything that I had wished it to be and more. I definitely saw my Strengths come alive, where they were helpful to the family, and ultimately helpful to myself too. I’m still smiling thinking about the time we had together.
On the trip, I saw several of my Strengths at play. My maximizer was convinced that this would be a trip of a lifetime and I was determined to make it so. My connectedness and my individualization wanted the trip to be uniquely special to each person. I found that my strategic adaptability was also in high gear. For this trip, I planned everything in advance. I think my individualization and my connectedness knew that a more structured, detailed plan would be a gift that I could give to my family. I didn’t want to waste our time, I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted it to be the most meaningful.
Planning so many trip details in advance was a depiction of my Strengths, but also showcases some issues with my Strengths. Even though I planned everything, there were still times when things were out of my control. When this happens and I have the desire of all desires to have a perfect experience, my anxiety just goes through the roof. Reflecting back, this is something I’d like to improve.
My family of six took a road trip to Palm Springs, California, a 17-hour drive, for a week of swimming, hiking, and epic road trip fun. We rented a big house with a heated pool, and I planned everything for the trip down to the playground stops that dotted our road trip route. The trip was amazing but also unexpected. There were some hurdles and a few hiccups and in many ways, the kids handled them better than I did.
The short version of the story is that many of my planned details went awry. The heater in the pool was broken. The house had a funky smell from a recent water leak. I spent a lot of time obsessing over my perfectly planned trip and my Strength of restorative just couldn’t let some of the little things go.
As I’ve been reflecting on the long ride home, my restorative, my maximizer, and perhaps my futuristic were all at play as I planned this perfect vacation and it wasn’t always that. It almost made it feel as though I was kind of missing the point of the trip. I think sometimes my restorative and maximizer can get so focused on fixing this problem or creating the best experience for people that I kind of miss the experience.
Sometimes no matter how well you plan things, you have to develop an ability to go with the flow, to pivot, to figure out the beauty in the moment. What I’ve realized is that I don’t think I need to always plan everything down to the minute. Instead, I need to create environments where fun can happen or where learning can happen.
To bring this into a business context, ask yourself how do you really listen to what your employees or clients need and what they’re looking for at any given moment? How do you create meaningful places for people to really connect and reflect? We’d love to hear from you and learn more. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with us on social media, or comment on this blog.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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