Baylor University is a strengths-based institution.
The University provides students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to complete the StrengthsFinder inventory by the
Gallup Organization. The following are my top five strengths as identified by the StrengthsFinder tool.
Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it. You are sure of it because in
your soul you know that we are all connected. Yes, we are individuals, responsible for our own judgments and in possession
of our own free will, but nonetheless we are part of something larger. Some may call it the collective unconscious. Others
may label it spirit or life force. But whatever your word of choice, you gain confidence from knowing that we are not isolated
from one another or from the earth and the life on it. This feeling of Connectedness implies certain responsibilities. If
we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will be harming ourselves. We must not exploit
because we will be exploiting ourselves. Your awareness of these responsibilities creates your value system. You are considerate,
caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive
to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of
your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends
in the face of life's mysteries.
You live in the moment. You don't see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create
out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. This doesn't mean that you
don't have plans. You probably do. But this theme of Adaptability does enable you to respond willingly to the demands of the
moment even if they pull you away from your plans. Unlike some, you don't resent sudden requests or unforeseen detours. You
expect them. They are inevitable. Indeed, on some level you actually look forward to them. You are, at heart, a very flexible
person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.
Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities
of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or "types" because you don't want to obscure what is special and distinct
about each person. Instead, you focus on the differences between individuals. You instinctively observe each person's style,
each person's motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. You hear the one-of-a-kind stories in each person's
life. This theme explains why you pick your friends just the right birthday gift, why you know that one person prefers praise
in public and another detests it, and why you tailor your teaching style to accommodate one person's need to be shown and
another's desire to "figure it out as I go." Because you are such a keen observer of other people's strengths, you can draw
out the best in each person. This Individualization theme also helps you build productive teams. While some search around
for the perfect team "structure" or "process," you know instinctively that the secret to great teams is casting by individual
strengths so that everyone can do a lot of what they do well.
You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling
as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective.
You do not necessarily agree with each person's perspective. You do not necessarily feel pity for each person's predicament--this
would be sympathy, not Empathy. You do not necessarily condone the choices each person makes, but you do understand. This
instinctive ability to understand is powerful. You hear the unvoiced questions. You anticipate the need. Where others grapple
for words, you seem to find the right words and the right tone. You help people find the right phrases to express their feelings--to
themselves as well as to others. You help them give voice to their emotional life. For all these reasons other people are
drawn to you.
The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best
route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large.
This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative
scenarios, always asking, "What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?" This recurring question helps you see
around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading,
you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance.
You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path--your
strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: "What if?" Select. Strike.