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Being able to identify and utilize your strengths is something that can help you advance in your daily life, and will allow you to reach your full potential. Once you are able to determine your own strengths, you become able to apply them for your own good and for the good of others. When you recognize your strengths you are able to also determine some of your weaknesses, and then have and idea of things that you can work on to improve. After you acknowledge your strengths you can then begin to set goals, and know how to work to improve those goals.
According to the dictionary, communication is defined as; the means of connection between people or places, in particular. When I hear the word communication I think of someone who is able to speak openly to anyone and everyone. I imagine that they are able to speak at ease with others and are able to convey whatever meaning they want to with effortlessness. The strength finder book explains communication mainly as someone who likes to speak in public, to others, tell stories, share ideas, and discuss information. Communication is a key aspect and quality needed in the field of social work for there to be any progress made from the beginning. In social work one of the first things that have to be done is create a bond, and form a relationship with the client. This can only be done if there is willingness and communication within the relationship. It allows the social worker and client to have real discussions of what is occurring and changes that may need to occur, or help that may need found, which in the end all contains aspects of communication. I do enjoy talking to people and working with others using communication to solve problems but sometimes I find it hard to communicate. A few goals I wish to set for myself start with becoming more comfortable with using my communication skills, because I feel that there is a lot of potential, but I just haven’t gained access to the potential. Not only do I want to become comfortable with my communication skills, but I need to work on becoming more confident in the skills I already have.
I believe that I am very good at talking with people in some of the aspects that the strength finders books states such as wanting to bring life to ideas, and to energize them to make them exciting and vivid. Being able to work with people based on their reactions and feed back during communication, such as in a presentation, is a key factor and I am going to work on learning how to better read people and feed off of what they say and respond with. Improvising is also something that I believe I am pretty good at in communication but sometimes I fall short with the confidence aspect, so working on becoming more confident in myself will be beneficial. Not only will my strength of communication help me in my area of study and daily life, but spiritually also. I believe that if I am able to communicate with others, communicating with myself will come easy. Praise is a form of communication and with this strength I will feel more connected in my faith, and my abilities to praise Him will grow stronger (Rath,2007).
When I hear the word developer all I think about is a chemical that we used in photography class to develop our photos. After reading through the strengths finder I learned that it is not something that we use in photography class, but the concept is similar in the way that the developer is someone that helps see potential just as the developer in photography helps the picture form and appear on the paper. The strengths finder refers to a developer as someone who “sees the potential in others”, “helps others experience success”, and is “seeked out by others for encouragement” because the “developers help is genuine and fulfilling to them” (Rath, 2007). The characteristics that stick out the most to me is being seeked out by others, and having a sense of fulfillment when helping others succeed. In my daily life I experience people coming to me with their problems with out me ever having to ask them how they are doing. I also always feel happy when I get the chance to simply help others, because when they feel a sense of pride and joy, I feel pride and joy.
All of these skills will be helpful in the field of social work because giving power to the people and seeing the potential in them is what it is all about. I feel that if they don’t get that sense of empowerment from someone encouraging, they will never feel empowered at all. Personally in the future I want to try to empower and find the potential in as many people here at HU as I can. I want to begin to help working with others now to allow them to reach their full potential and gain access to their own strength. I will try to be more open to helping as many people as I can, and be there for more people so that they too can feel worthy. I want people to feel, as I am someone who will never judge them, and is always open and ready for a conversation if they need someone to be there for them. Having the strength of a developer and faith go hand in hand because a developer can potentially be the best strength to have with faith. I have the ability to help lead people to Christ in ways that others cant because I can see the potential in others, and when they succeed, I succeed. Helping bring people to realization of their own faith is a gift in itself an I know that helping others will in return help myself (Rath, 2007).
It wasn’t until recently that I formed an understanding of what exactly empathy meant, I have always been confused in the difference between sympathy and empathy. I figured that they both sound somewhat the same and are even spelled somewhat the same so the probably mean something of the same, but now I know I was mistaken. When I was reading through the strengths finder book, learning more about the strength of empathy I learned that this is probably the strength that I feel most sure about, and I would completely agree that it is me. The book states that someone with the empathy strength “can sense the emotions of those around them”, you “can share their perspective”, and my favorite part, and you“don’t necessarily feel pity for each person’spredicament or condone the choices each person makes” (Rath, 2007). It later says, “where others cant find the words they want to say, I am able to find the right words and right tone” (Rath, 2007) which I completely agree with. I also would agree with the sentence where it says, that “people are drawn to you”, because in my daily life I have people acknowledge me and come up to me simply because I seem welcoming to strangers and someone who is good company. All these abilities will definitely help me the most in becoming a social worker, allowing me to be able to relate to my clients and work with them in a different way that most. The strengths finder also says, that “when I witness the happiness of others it also brings me pleasure”, which is something most cannot say for themselves. Another strength of someone with empathy is intuition, and having that ability to sense what is going to happen before it becomes common knowledge, which is another skill that would help in social work. A goal that I would set for myself with empathy is to try to become more empathetic towards more people. I want to try to reach those that I may not already be in connection with and try to help as many as I can. I am thankful that God has given me this wonderful and powerful gift, because not everyone is able to feel what others feel and relate to them (Rath, 2007).
Positivity is always a strength that I have known that I had, and it has been an advantage for me almost my whole life. People know me as someone who is always smiling, laughing, making others smile and laugh, and having a good attitude, which are characteristics of positivity I believe. I enjoy being happy and making others happy, I don’t understand who wouldn’t want to be happy. I’ve always had a glass half full point of view and it has been empowering in my past years. The strengths book defines the positivity strength as “someone who is generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation” (Rath, 2007), which all apply to me. It is true that people do want to be around me because of my enthusiasm being contagious. I am rarely dragged down, I love to make things more exciting and vital, and I like to think that I have a great sense of humor.
In social work you need to be positive for a good majority of the time, even while you are being serious, because positivity is contagious and not everyone you work with will be happy, or in a good place emotionally. I want to use my positivity in social work to encourage others to be positive and help shape and mold their point of view in life to not be so negative. With my positivity strength already being used in my day-to-day life I want to make sure it is at the top of its game. I want to work on giving off the best possible positive vibes to others with my goal of them then too becoming more positive. Being able to influence others in a positive way is all that I ask for and want to work towards. Positivity is something that takes up so much of my personality, making me the bubbly person that I am and I know that God intended it to be that way, for me to flourish and inspire others.
When I first came across the word woo I was extremely confused as to what it could possibly mean. Winning others over, woo, which is something I love to do. I know its not always possible, but I want as many people possible to like me, it makes me feel good about myself but I know that not everyone I meet will like me, but I can try my best to make them. The strengths finder book says that “someone with the strength of woo, enjoys that challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you, strangers rarely intimidate you, and you are rarely at a loss for words” (Rath, 2007). I love making new connections with people, and forming new relationships. Until I was a sophomore in high school I was one of the shyest kids around. Talking with new people actually scared me, and I was very uncomfortable, and often found my self in awkward situations. I learned, that in order to succeed in life I needed to put myself out there and take more chances. Even though I was shy, I still enjoyed talking, a lot. Coming out of my shell was hard at first but I kept pushing myself. I love working with others, finding their strengths, and helping them reach their potential, but to do all of that you first have to build their trust and faith in you, which is what I think woo means.
Winning others over will be a helpful strength in social work because I will be able to create connections and work with people with more ease then others. It will be helpful in working with strangers too since I am enjoy meeting new people and breaking the ice, never at a loss for words. I want to use my woo strength to befriend as many new faces as possible to help make a possible positive change in their life too. If I had to chose a top five strength for Jesus, I would place woo in the top five simply because he too had to be able to win others over. He had to work with others and lead his followers who he had won over, and he continued to win over people, and He still does today when people make the decision to follow Christ.
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