emoment with carl

What helps us to succeed in life, feel better about ourselves and others, and enjoy our work? A recent Gallup poll found that only 39 percent of college graduates report that they feel engaged in their work. What distinguishes those who do feel engaged? Using the insights of what is known as “strengths psychology,” Gallup found that if students grasp what they’re good at and develop those talents, they are three times as likely to have an excellent quality of life and six times as likely to be engaged in their careers. Elizabethtown College is working to take these insights to heart. Stacey Zimmerman, Associate Director of Strengths Coaching and Ethical Leadership Development in the Division of Student Life, explains that the College connects students, staff, and faculty to a StrengthsFinder inventory. By offering choices between paired statements online, the Gallup inventory identifies a person’s top five talents out of over 30 possible Strengths. Zimmerman has begun a StrengthsFinder movement across the College, where all first-year students take the inventory in August, are placed in classes that develop those Strengths, are introduced to Peer Mentors and Resident Assistants who discuss the inventories, and participate in workshops for athletic teams, clubs, and student organizations to further spread the message. Strengths psychology teaches what many great coaches know intuitively: understanding what individuals do best helps the team to succeed. Members know their Strengths, see others’ Strengths, and work to blend them together, creating a well-rounded team of individuals. The results among our students have been exciting reports Zimmerman. One student said, “Over the past four years, I have not only developed a greater understanding of these Strengths, but I have been able to see myself using them as well. My student teaching was a prime example of when I saw many of these Strengths coming through.” Another student claims, “Strengths has given me a perspective on leadership that I did not have before. It helped me to see the best in people and how that influences their form of leadership.” Growing the strengths of the Elizabethtown community contributes to a better future.


P.S. My strengths are looking for context, seeking input, learning, arranging, and thinking.

“Through CliftonStrengths and teambuilding activities, the women’s soccer team learned about their individual strengths, as well as the strengths of their team,” said Stacey Zimmerman.

Enjoy the moment,

Carl J. Strikwerda,
President


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