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Strengths Activity: Questions for True Self

In our work with strengths, we have come to find that a key component of great self exploration discussion resides in great questions. This strengths activity encompasses 5 meaningful questions for you and your mentee to reflect upon. These questions not only point us to our most natural talents, they also work to cultivate gratitude, hopefulness, and engagement for all who ponder them. Explore these questions with one another, and name your top 3 or 5 strengths as they arise in your responses. Questions for True Self:  Where are you most at ease?  What makes you come alive?  What is possible for you?  Who do you want to be?  What is necessary?  You can find this activity on our strengths drop box HERE . If you and your mentee try out this activity, let us know how it goes! 
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Strengths Activity: My Favorite Gift

With Holiday celebrations on the horizon, today's featured strengths activity centers on gifts. The most memorable gifts one gives and receives can often be an indicator of our natural talents. In the 2017 holiday edition of Genn and Mille, Ally and Tess discussed this question together, sharing about their favorite gifts. You can watch/listen to the episode by   clicking HERE.   Ally's favorite gift of a filing cabinet was a strong indicator of her #1 Input talent. Tess' favorite gift of a desk was an indicator of her #4 theme of Learner. Next time you meet with your mentee, ask them about the best gift they have ever received. Spot their top 3 or 5 in their response. Then, ask them about the best gift (or an act of kindness) they have ever given to another and strengths spot their response. Then, be willing to do the same: offer your favorite gift received and given then strengths spot the results. My Favorite Gifts:  What is the best gift you have ever receiv

Strengths Activity: The Challenge of Affirming My Strengths

CliftonStrengths talent themes are innately neutral. It is up to us to apply them in productive ways for success. While we all aim to apply our strengths productively for the world around us, I am sure we can think of times where our strengths were actually the things that got in the way of our success. Today's activity takes a look at some of the most common challenges to affirming strengths: I was blind to my talents.  My talents threatened others.  I was in a position or role that did not fit my talents.  I was fearful of being proud or arrogant.  I didn't see how my talents would help me reach my goals.  This activity comes from Gallup's Strengths Quest resources, designed for high schoolers. Gallup recommends thinking of the following questions to facilitate discussion around these challenges: Can you think of challenges or roadblocks we face when attempting to affirm our talents? Do our strengths take care of them?  Do you talents need development? How

Strengths Activity: Past and Future

Gallup's meta analysis of CliftonStrengths has proven that our strengths really do not change over time. Our innate talent themes have been a part of how we have been wired from a young age. The featured strengths activity today allows us to first look back to our younger selves to recognize our strengths in the past, and secondly, to look forward to the ways we will use our strengths in the future.  This activity, Past and Future, is from the Clifton StrengthExplorer resource booklet, but can be used with all ages of students and adults alike! The worksheet asks you and your mentee to reflect on the following questions:  Thinking back to your younger self, were there times in your life when you used your talents?  Picturing your future self, do you think there will be times or places in which you might use these talents?  Reflect on these questions with your mentee, and use the worksheet provided to jot down these examples. The power of strengths happens we are able to r

Strengths Activity: DBT House

The featured activity this week has become a recent favorite of the TeamMates Strengths Team. I learned of it by attending the Green Hills AEA Conference this past summer. The breakout presenter, Louise El Yafoori, taught on mitigating culturally sensitive trauma. This activity comes from the practice of Dialectical Behavior Therapy. While it can be used in very targeted ways for working with certain groups of kids, we found it a powerful reflective exercise that we all could benefit from. We facilitated this activity at our annual strengths day at the Gallup campus this year and the results of this learning and self reflection were highly impactful. Consider doing this activity with your mentee as a way to deepen the conversation around strengths and talent by incorporating discussions of values, role models, support systems, and more. Activity Instructions:  On a blank piece of paper, sketch out a house. Your house should include: a foundation, walls, windows, a door, roof, ch

Welcome Back!

The start of the school year and mentoring is upon us and with it comes the opportunity to invest further in your strengths! Get caught up on all things TeamMates strengths by checking out the Genn and Millie Podcast episodes from this summer. You can listen by access our Genn and Millie Podbean site below, or by subscribing on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher. 

The Bill of Rights for All Students

Gallup shared an awesome resource with us many years ago called the "The Bill of Rights for All Students." Their proclamations in this bill of rights is based off of their years of researching the classroom through their Gallup Student Poll. Through this tool, Gallup has studied the engagement, hope, and well-being of students in schools across the country. Through their decades of research, they have found that students need three things: someone who cares about their development to do what they like to do each day to do what they are best at every day But how can we as a mentor meet these needs of students?  First, and most readily, we are that someone who cares about their development. We get to show up each week aiming to bring about our mentee's full potential. We do not show up to fix, to judge, or to question our mentee, their teacher, or their parent. We show up with unconditional love and acceptance, ready to point out their success. I remember t