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9 November 2018

posted 8 Nov 2018, 14:59 by Carolyn Brett
Many of you would have already heard me talk about the metaphor for strengths often used by Psychologist Robert Biswas-Diener. It also fits with our location! Visualise a sailing boat. There is a hole in this boat that we must pay urgent attention to or the boat will sink. However, we must pay equal attention to the sail as the strengths lie in the sail. Without a focus on the sail, the boat has no direction and will mostly stand still. 

This strengths-based philosophy is strong at our school and has been embedded over quite some years. Some of you have told me about this also becoming more of the norm in your work places too. If we think of the VIA Character Strengths, for example, this language is part and parcel of how the staff operate with each other and with the children in their care. In fact, every support staff member or teacher who has been recruited in the last few years has come to the interview armed with their character strengths assessment and ready to discuss what this means for them..... and therefore for us!  The Board of Trustees are also included in this mission! These character strengths tend to stay relatively stable over time. We can't purely base everything on the VIA  24 character strengths........ there are multitudes of strengths that we call on daily. 

Earlier this year, I was accredited in using strengths profiling. So far I have used this tool when working with a number of staff and colleagues. This tool looks at performance, energy and use and its dynamic - the results are expected to look different 12 months later. The aspect I enjoy the most with this work is the focus on energy. Nothing like finding aspects of your life a drag....... let's try and reframe that! The shadow side is, we all have strengths we call on, sometimes too much, which can become draining, ineffective or just plain annoying!

What's the big deal about strengths anyway?  Well it's not just a fad or a fancy biscuit to have with a cuppa. There is huge value when focusing on our own strengths and those of others. 

"Research shows that knowing and growing our strengths helps us feel energised and engaged. We learn faster, perform better and strive to do our best every day. We feel happier when we get to use our strengths in life or work, particularly when other people recognise and appreciate what we do well.

Our strengths are natural and authentic resources that represent what is good in each of us. They shape our character and our identity, influenced by nature, nurture, life experience and the urge to fulfil our potential; a fundamental part of who we are and grow to be as people. We feel intrinsically motivated to act on our strengths and get an energetic buzz that adds to our confidence and competence. We learn, persist and become more fulfilled over time."  Sue Langley

This Sunday we have a great opportunity to all use our individual strengths to work together to make the Worser Bay School Fair of 2018 really rock! Let's focus on doing what we do best - let's stay energised and engaged, appreciate each other, especially the Fair team who have done an almighty job. 

Kaitiaki o te Ao? You bet ya!

Please give it your all, and the Board looks forward to celebrating a great year of fundraising efforts the following Friday at the Chocolate Fish in Shelly Bay - Friday 16 November, 5pm - 6.30pm.

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