In preparation for our mid-year training, all of the chapter presidents and regional board for Michigan Region BBYO had to take the StrengthsFinder survey. The survey asks almost 200 questions, all about an individual’s attributes, and ideas. The survey also asks the individual to make morality-based decisions. After the survey is complete, the website reports your top three strengths. The idea behind this is to identify natural skills in a person so they can focus and build on these qualities.
My top three strengths turned out to be communication, positivity, and WOO. The WOO stands for, “Winning Others Over.” (A pretty clever acronym in my opinion.) I wasn’t completely surprised by the results; I love telling stories; I’m optimistic, and I like talking to strangers. While this data didn’t flip my world upside down and provide me with a newfound purpose for my life, it did put names to some of my intuitive skills.
I arrived at the small art studio for our meeting, and when I looked around the room, I realized that even though I spend so much of my time planning and organizing for BBYO, there were still people in the room who I knew very little about other than their first and last name.
When we transitioned from our conversations about our strengths to painting vision boards for the year, I made it a point to sit with people I didn’t know all that well. Thinking back to my trait of positivity, I found myself complimenting their artwork and validating their visions for their art and their year. It made the environment a noticeably happier place to be.
When I attended my play rehearsal the following Monday, I went into it thinking about my skills: my strength of communication and my ability to draw people in. During my monologue, I was standing alone spotlighted at center stage, exuding the intense emotions of love and inspiration. This time, I put more of myself and my skills into my acting. It elevated my performance and made that run the best I'd ever done.
I recognize that I’m not going to be good at everything. Some of the other people at the training found that they thrive in a competitive environment. I'm personally not as motivated by competition as other people, and sometimes I don’t do as well in those situations. The StrengthFinder survey, however, made me realize that it is crucial to figure out what my natural skills are, so I can build off of them and put myself in situations where I will succeed. That being said, no one succeeds on their own. We have to focus on our strengths so that we may work collaboratively with people who have different skill-sets and find success together.
Benji Stern is an Aleph from Michigan Region and once got lost in a corn maze for a little longer than is socially acceptable.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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