Helping others be at their best on a day to day basis requires self-aware leadership, which bridges strategy, tactful communication and encouragement. The leader that blends these skills together is one that takes a strengths-based approach. Optimal functioning and performance comes from using strengths. This is how people can maintain motivation, stay fully engaged, and reach greater productivity. The strengths-based leader is also authentic. They have awareness of their personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of their team, and they possess the capability to communicate these effectively. Here are 6 qualities and tips for becoming a strengths-based leader. Know your strengths and weaknesses First and foremost, know yourself and what you do best. Be aware of your assets and liabilities by completing the VIA strengths assessment.
Have you ever run into a situation where you had so many options you couldn’t make a decision? You wanted a little bit of everything and just couldn’t decide. You could see the value in each choice or option, and because of this even after making a decision, you had buyer’s remorse and wished you would've chosen differently. Sometimes having numerous options leaves us stuck in our desire to make sure we choose the best and perfect choice. Unfortunately, perfection is rarely an option, and if we are set on having the best it can truly leave a bitter taste in our mouth as we review the decision. Does this sound familiar to you? Do you always have to have the best, be the best, and convey the best? Wanting the best isn't necessarily always negative, as it allows us to strive to be the best we can be and to reach our potential when it comes to wealth, health, and success, but it can also distract us from the joy and blessings all around us.
I was fortunate to have a healthy and positive upbringing. By this I mean I was shown love, given support, and had my needs taken care of. My family was by no means perfect. We had our ups and downs, though overall I have many more positive than negative memories. From my immediate to extended family I was shown unconditional love and given support through my many mistakes. We shared fun and enjoyable experiences together, such as family vacations and celebrations, and I had the freedom to develop into the person I wanted to be without judgment.
Courage isn't a virtue that we just all of sudden wake up with one day. It takes life-long experience and intentional awareness to walk with courage. For many people this happens naturally as we try new things, push ourselves outside of our comfort zone, and grow in our relationships, career, and spirituality. I'm sure you've noticed that what you used to fear no longer causes you the same level of anxiety or concern. When we face our fears we learn that they weren't as menacing and paralyzing as we once thought. We are able to conquer them and in doing so can become more courageous. We learn that much of our fear is simply: False Evidence Appearing Real
The idea of having an inspiring vision and collective mission is important in many different areas. Whether it be marriage, career, or personal growth, having a vision and mission to direct decision making and stimulate goal-setting is crucial to keeping a healthy and productive perspective. One model, called Appreciate Inquiry (AI) has been shown to help elicit positive change and transformation both in and out of the workplace. It is often utilized as a prescription for change in organizations, though it can also be applied to daily life and relationships in general. This methodology incorporates and blends a visionary and collective philosophy, and has been shown to be an effective tool to enhance relationships, stimulate creativity, and build commitment and meaning into peoples' capacity for change. The process of AI works by eliciting participation and collaboration from all people involved, whether a community function, organization, or family, with the overall goal of improving performance and functioning by asking strength based questions.
What is it that draws you to other people? Is it how they look, their intellect, their talents? Some people have a "type" that they are drawn to and who they seek out to build a relationship with. Starting to consider what you really look for in a partner is crucial to have a lasting and fulfilling relationship. When we know our personal values, what is right for us, and the ingredients of a healthy relationship, we are able to navigate through a world where lust and immediate gratification are pushed as priorities. People are also meeting and connecting with each other in different ways, such as online dating sites or social networks, and this can add a new dimension to connecting with others in a meaningful and genuine way. There are so many different people in the world it can seem like they're too many fish in the sea for us to choose from.
There are certain mornings where I wake up feeling particularly enthusiastic and motivated to start my day because of the activities I get to partake in. This isn't everyday mind you, at least not yet, but I do hope to continue building my life in this fashion. I want to live a life filled with passionate pursuits. I love when I have time to write, learn and research, play the drums, and teach and interact with others about inspiring topics. According to an article in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being (2009), "...passion is defined as a strong inclination or desire toward a self-defining activity that one likes (or even loves), finds important (high valuation), and in which one invests time and energy." More importantly, this article points out that having what's specifically called ‘harmonious passions’ leads to greater well-being and fulfillment.
I know the title of this post seems lofty and quixotic, but when you think about it, changing the world and making it a better place doesn't have to be as grandiose as people may think. It's easy to believe we don't have the influence and to tell ourselves, "I'm just one person." "Who am I to make a difference?" I say these are just excuses. We have a chance to influence thousands of people, if not many more, in our lifetime, and it's our choice whether we exemplify and exude kindness, compassion, and love, or whether we leave our mark with anger, guilt, and disdain. When it comes to making a greater contribution to society and leaving your mark on the world there are many principles from psychology, philosophy, and religion that can help us find direction in this pursuit. Here are a few steps to consider.
We all go through difficult moments in life. These may be ongoing, persistent challenges we face on a daily basis, or more unexpected set-backs that throw us off course. During these times it can be easy to get sullen and discouraged, and neglect all the healthy positive experiences that can still give us joy and hope. Though when we're able to remember the blessings in our life and dwell on the positives instead of the negatives, it offers us a greater chance of coping with hardship. Research reveals that both positive and negative emotions can occur simultaneously during stressful situations, and that positive emotions offer adaptive benefits to help us manage stress and bolster psychological resilience.
When was the last time you were 'in the zone'? Think of a time when you were completely immersed in what you were doing, and it seemed effortless to perform at your peak. Maybe you were doing a work project, playing sports, creating art, studying something interesting, or having a great conversation. For me there are three activities where I lose track of time and get fully absorbed in the experience. These include playing drums, writing and teaching/speaking. I noticed this specifically for speaking while I was conducting seminars last week. There were moments when time seemed to fly by and the words effortlessly poured out. This experience is what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls 'flow' and refers to those moments when we have total concentration and become completely engrossed in what we're doing. We may be no longer aware of what is going on around us and nothing else seems to matter in the moment.