A few weeks ago, we were all asked to do a strengths test online. It was quite fun to do and full of questions where you would think ‘why is it asking me this?’ Then came the answers (which showed us our top five strengths) and it was quite weird how accurate they really were.
We were then told that strengths coach, Ian Pettigrew, would be coming in to teach us about working to your strengths.
Here are my top five strengths and to be honest, before Ian came in and explained what these meant, I didn’t really know what a ‘maximiser’ was!
Ian then went on to show us how everyone’s strengths compared to one another and this was a really good insight into realising that everyone is different. It was also a good way to see which people would probably work well together and which people would work in a team that played to their strengths.
I think we were all inspired by Ian’s talk and it left us all thinking about how we can up our game by working to our strengths. He even made us write with our left hand and then with our right to show us how much better we work when working to our strengths.
It also showed us that it takes a lot more time and concentration to work at something you aren’t naturally good at. This was a fun task and I think Ian found it funny because of the concentration on everyone’s faces when writing with our left hands!
Not only did he teach us about playing to our strengths, he also taught us some interesting tips that we should take through life and try to use as much as we can. For example he told us not to think about what we don’t want, and instead think about what we do want.
I think this made us all take a step back, because in life you may think you’re not very good at something and this causes you to say to yourself that you can’t do it. But would you say that to someone else? No, you would tell them that they can do it. So this is what you should tell yourself!
After this, Ian showed us something I’ve never thought about doing before. This was writing down goals you want to have achieved by the time the apprenticeship is finished and write down what you need to do to get there.
Ian then said to us that if he came back at the end of the apprenticeship and we haven’t achieved any of our goals, what would our excuses be? This threw me as I knew exactly what my excuses would have been!
We then wrote down how we could get past our excuses – this really made me think as it showed that if you can think of what your excuses would be, you can overcome them before you even have to use them.
We all enjoyed this session as it was a great insight into how to set goals and stick to them! I’ll definitely be thinking in a different way from now on.
By Jessica Southern