Last night I watched Cheaper by the Dozen. Then I watched Cheaper by the Dozen 2. It was a night to reconnect with a sense of family. My mind wandered along its usual paths, climbing into crevices, checking hidden recesses for glimpses of gold and I stumbled upon a new intriguing image. My talents form a family.
Among coaches we’re used to using metaphors and thinking about relationships. We consider theme dynamics and look at how talents align, join together and form a pattern. My love of stories led me to personify the process. I think about my themes in terms of an imaginary board of directors and call on them for advice or ideas. We conduct meetings, discuss projects, plan events and action items. Sometimes, Strategic partners with Connectedness to work on a particular project. Other times, Intellection collaborates with Learner and Input. They provide the data Strategic and Connectedness need to keep everything moving forward.
However, after thinking about the nature of family, I realised I could use a metaphor closer to home. My talents are more than a board of directors. They’re my internal family. When they function collaboratively with shared purpose and respect for what each brings, they create a sense of belonging. I feel strong, whole and complete. When I’m consciously aware of allowing my talents to play to their strengths, life seems to ‘work’. I am in flow and this is a space of happiness and positivity.
Today I think of my Strategic as Dad – keeping us safe, guiding us forward and ensuring we reach our destination. Connectedness is Mum, holding us together, knowing where everyone is, what they need and building awareness of factors beyond an immediate field of vision. Intellection, Learner and Input are the children. They play in the space created by Strategic and Connectedness. As they grow and mature, they help ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ understand more about themselves and the changing dynamic of our family. Of course, as is the case with any family, there are times of discord. These are moments when one Talent is not appreciated or is in conflict with the needs of another. This is when Values step in to remind us of shared experience. We see what is important and navigate back on track.
If you’ve seen the movie Inside Out, you’ll probably have a visual of what I’m talking about. If you’ve done the StrengthsFinder assessment and know your talent themes, you may like to try this exercise.
- Think about your talents and imagine what’s going on inside your mind.
- Be alert to the emotions and thoughts that accompany particular tasks – especially the ones that bring you joy. Notice how and when your talents are showing up in your life.
- Consciously think about the ways they work together.
- Personify your talents and create characters by imagining what they ‘look’ and ‘sound’ like.
You could even write a journal entry reflecting on something that’s happened in your life. However, rather than describing the events in terms of actions, think in terms of your talent characters and how they showed up to help.
Before becoming a Strengths Coach, I was a secondary school English teacher. I became an English teacher because I loved stories – not for the sake of literature but because stories offer a chance to share our lives and communicate thoughts and emotions. I believe stories are the strands of human connection. In terms of my talent family, stories are the rooms that create our home.
Where do your talents live?
If you’d like to know more about improving your communication skills or gaining a greater awareness of your innate patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour, contact Nicole today, We’re based in QLD and can arrange face to face consultations on the Gold Coast or Sydney. Alternatively ask about our Skype sessions.
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