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Strengths Baby Naming

An article came out from the strengths blogger Chris Heinz several days ago. He wrote short sentences about how each of the 34 themes might go about choosing names for their babies. Several people tagged me in the post of the blog asking my thoughts. We also had several conversations about it among the TeamMates staff. I found myself reading through the list thinking, wow, this seems fairly accurate. Now I do not have kids or kids on the horizon, but when my friends have children and they share the name prior to birth, I find myself wondering, why would someone name a baby before they meet them? For me, I found myself thinking I would not want to put a child into a predetermined box prior to getting to know them a bit. I laughed when I read the description about Adaptability naming babies. Chris wrote about Adaptability saying, "You wait until the baby is born to “try on names”. It is funny that even in this quirky blog post, I was reminded that the different ways we go about thi…
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Strengths Activity- At My Best

Conversations have the power to bring our strengths to the next level. This week's strengths activity has curated conversation starters to help you and your mentee recognize talent and therefore develop your strengths. When answering these questions together, be sure to have your top 5 and top 3 strengths at the forefront. As you answer the starter questions, spot each other's strengths in the responses. At the end of the discussion, list 1-2 actions you could each take to develop your strengths further and keep each other accountable by checking in on these actions next time you meet.

Strengths Activity-Strengths Collage

Conversations are a great way to recognize, own, and develop our strengths. But sometimes, I find my mentee and I have the best dialogues when we are doing something kinetic. This week's featured strengths activity is hands on! 

In the picture above, you see a great example of this week's activity, a strengths collage! Our own words and descriptions of our strengths are powerful, just like strengths conversations, but sometimes, when we look to other's words, we can help expand our understanding of our talent. In addition, sometimes our words just don't "cut it", and pictures or images might evoke a more accurate feeling regarding your talents. Through this activity, you and your mentee will look to magazines, newspapers, and advertisements in order expand your strengths language as well as practice strengths spotting. 
What you will need:  A piece of card stock or journal pageVarious magazines, newspapers, or advertisements. GlueScissors Markers/colored penci…

Strengths Activity- Signature Theme Report

I was reminded recently of a common phrase, "back to basics." This week, I chose to highlight the activity Gallup teaches us to do first after we have discovered our top 5 strengths. It is an activity I have gone back to time and time again because sometimes going back to basics is the best thing we can do in our own development. 
The activity I will challenge you to do is a reflection on your signature theme report. Log back into and scroll down to find your report. See here: 

Download this report and print it. Yours will look a bit like this, with your name and top 5 listed: 

This report gives the longer definition for each of your top 5 strengths. Your mentee, if they are in high school will be able to generate the same report as you have by logging into their own strengthsquest page. If your mentee is in elementary or middle, you will be able to access the longer report for strengths explorer by going to the strengths explorer website and typing in…

Strengths Activity- Gratitude & Recognition

It is National Mentoring Month, and part of that celebration is taking time to deliberately recognize and express gratitude for our mentors. Recognition is an important part of strengths development. It could be easy to take the assessment, read the results, and then not do anything with it. This pattern happens all too often in the strengths world. Gallup compels us to take our results further by instructing us to first share our results with someone close to us. It is in this process, where others recognize the strengths in us, that we begin to see a clearer picture of our talents. When we take time to call out the strengths in other people, we are adding value to their lives and assisting them in their ownership of strengths. 

In this video, we see people recognizing the mentors and influencers in their lives. We challenge those that go through new mentor training to do this. Take time with your mentee to share about a person that has influenced each of you. Utilize strengths lang…

Strengths Activity- Goal Setting and Resolutions

It's the new year, which for many, means resolutions and goals to improve your life. Setting goals for personal improvement is a good idea, but in reality, many people fall short of achieving them. A frequently-cited Harvard Business School study found that of their students, only 16% had set goals for their time in graduate school. Of that 16%, only 3% of those goal-setters actually wrote down their goals and had concrete plans. When the study followed up with these students 10 years later, they found that the 3% of the class with written goals with a plan were much more successful, making 10 times as much as the other 97% of the class.

We know from Gallup's research that people who have a focus on strengths are 6x more likely to be engaged (in their work, school, life, etc) and report a quality of life that is 3x higher than those who are not focused on strengths. A focus on strengths also leads to greater measurements success as well as a higher sense of hope.

So, let's…

Strengths Activity- Strengths Deck

This week I am bringing you an activity that both you and your mentee can use in every match meeting to come. This is an adaptation from the 60-in-60 Document on the Strengths Drop Box which you can find by clicking here. Start by gather a set of index cards and some markers or pencils. Then, take time creating one card for each of your strengths (Top 3 or Top 5). Depict these strengths however you want to by writing and coloring on one side of the index card. 

Once you are finished creating your cards, go on to another activity (play a game, do a craft, etc). As you go about another activity during your mentoring time or the next time you meet, be aware of how your strengths are being used. When you notice a strength in yourself or your mentee, hold your card up, explain how the strength is in use, and then make a note on the back of the card.  

Keep the cards and use them often when you meet in order to strengths spot each other. This very simple activity will help you and your ment…