As a Strengths-Based advocate, enthusiast, and coach, I have been very aware of my potential to get ‘evangelical’ about the Strengths Movement. In particular, I have to tread very carefully with my own family regarding accessing, exploring and thriving using their own strengths.
Sometimes a day comes along that just changes things. Last Sunday (9th June), my 10-year old son was curious and excited to take StrengthsExplorer for the first time. Without too much obvious fanatical enthusiasm on my part, I casually invested in a StrengthsExplorer code via www.gallupstrengthscenter.com, set my son up at the computer, explained the process briefly and then left him to it.
Within 30 minutes, my son had his Top 3 report (StrengthsExplorer offers 10 potential themes for ages 10-14, and provides a Top 3 report for all participants) which accurately portrayed him as Dependable, Achieving and Caring. After reading the definitions in the report earnestly, Ross turned to me and said ‘Is that really me, Dad?’ My heart skipped a beat and I replied, ‘Absolutely Ross – that is you!’ When his face lit up like the sun, I knew we were on a new journey as a family.
When his mother returned and read his report, another rich conversation ensued with Ross identifying many of the ways in which he expresses his Dependability, sense of Achievement and Caring for others. Dinner that night then led to how all of our Strengths Profiles compliment each other, including my own (Maximiser, Learner, Connectedness, Input and Woo), my wife’s (Learner, Harmony, Consistency, Responsibility, Communication) and my eldest son’s (Competition, Achiever, Relating). Given my eldest son is now 15, he is keen to complete the Full 34 Strengthsfinder assessment, and my wife and I are both keen to better know his strengths so we can offer higher quality advice and guidance as he navigates the latter half of his high school and potential future university career.
One of my values is Honour the Evolution – never has this felt more relevant than in honouring the pace of change each member of my family is comfortable with, and engaging in strengths conversations at exactly the right moment.
Many thanks to Don Clifton and Gallup for making all of this possible!
Becoming a Strengths-Based family is truly an incredible journey, one in which my family is treading their own path of self and household understanding, happiness, and fulfillment.