Strengths-Based Approach - October 2014 - Author: Youth Development Network
Strengths-Based Approach

I have come to a recent realization after lunch with a very good friend and mentor, which I’ll get to in a bit. Something we at YDN feel strongly about is the StrengthsFinder development tool by Gallup. If you don’t know about Strengths yet, why don’t you?! Maybe you better call us up about it.

How many times has someone told you that you sucked at doing something? That you felt you were just going through the motions because you had to? How many times have you felt discouraged because you couldn’t accomplish what you set your mind to?

The YDN team believes in the GALLUP StrengthsFinder tool because we feel strongly about looking at people through an asset-based lens. An asset-based approach is a way of thinking and behaving. Instead of looking at what people can’t offer or are deficient in, we see greater reward when we focus on the unique skills and knowledge someone has to offer and fill a roll within the greater team. 

Example: You hire someone to install a chandelier in your home, but you end up finding out that person doesn’t know how to complete that specific project. You start to dialogue with him about what he’s great at and inevitably build a RELATIONSHIP (Wow, Deja Vu) with him. You figure out he’s a master lighting artisan and can use accent lighting so every crevice of the room can be lit perfectly with a quick snap of your fingers. Are you really going to feel bummed out you didn’t get that chandelier you were hoping for?

So to get back to my realization; people, including teachers, have always told me that writing isn’t my strongest attribute and I should work on it. I’ve come to the realization that writing, more specifically, academic writing isn’t my strongest attribute and I don’t need to work on it. I am perfectly okay with my conversational, casual way of writing because it suits this settings I write in. You wouldn’t ask Bruce Lee to forget his martial art style of Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist) and focus on MMA style because that’s an area he needs to improve. No, we regard Bruce Lee as probably the greatest martial artist there ever was BECAUSE he focused on his strengths.

This is not an invitation to drop out of school or to forgo your weaknesses. This is an invitation to re-evaluate your life, more specifically your strengths and weaknesses. Even more specific, are you using your strengths (what you are good at) in the right setting? Have you found an environment where you are appreciated for what you do best? After all, we are more efficient and happier when we love the job we do.

Posted in Dynamic Teams, Strengths Development, Youth Development | 1 Comment(s)
This is SO well written, and true! Love the example of the chandelier - so simple but also super easy to connect to since we come across those kinds of moments on a regular basis in our daily lives. Living a strength's based life has been really transformational - I look at  strengths now as a form of "superpower" we must learn to control, and when we master them, we become unstoppable! 
Posted by rangineh@gmail.com on 10/29/2014 08:09PM