Most of the time I am working with Strengths my focus is on how to help others recognize, identify, and accept their own Strengths. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s very rewarding work. I enjoy seeing new insights, new paths of success, and new opportunities open up as individuals learn about and focus on their strengths.
Recently, however, I have had the opportunity to focus my attention on helping those who help others. I’ve been targeting a group of individuals who will become mentors for others. So, when it comes to working with Strengths, what is the focus and emphasis then?
It probably won’t surprise you to hear me say that the focus is still on Strengths. It’s still no helping those who will be mentors to recognize, identify, and accept their own Strengths. But, I also get to help them take it a couple of steps further. I get to help them see how they can actually use their Strengths while they are mentoring others. If their strengths are positivity and relator, then I challenge them to think about how they can use those strengths as they interact with, and engage in conversations with, those they will be mentoring. On the other hand, if their strengths are intellection and learner then the challenge might be geared more toward inviting them to see how they can use those thinking and learning talents to prepare better questions, invite deeper thinking, and engage in richer dialogue.
Once they start seeing the application of their own strengths in their mentoring role, then we can shift towards helping them develop skills that will help them help those they mentor identify their own Strengths and discover ways to use them more effectively in their lives.