Category Archives: Strengths

Quix Tip: Dust For Prints

In old detective movies, the police would dust for fingerprints. Here’s your chance to dust your own: 1. Dust for prints from your memory – Think of some examples of when you have had a positive impact on the lives of those around you. Each of these is a clue to uncovering your strengths. 2. Dust for prints by having a ‘strengths conversation’ with someone who knows you fairly well. Ask them what about you has really helped or inspired them recently. 3. Tell your people something about them that has inspired you. Learn more: StrengthsFinder - Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action.

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Quix Tip: How to Find One of Your Strengths

Track It Name It Use It 1 – Track It Track and record your strengths for a week. When did you “love the game”? When were you happily lost in the flow of a project; whether work-related or not? Get specific. What exactly was going on? Who were you interacting with? 2 – Name It Take one of those magical moments you tracked and say it more generally and in the present tense, so that you can more universally put that strength into action. For example, “The time flew by Tuesday afternoon when I turned off my email for one hour and researched the statistics needed for the Jones report” could become “I’m at my best when I’m working alone and can devote a block of uninterrupted time to a part of a project that interests me.” 3 – Use It What is one small, specific way you can use this strength just a little bit more this coming week? Tell someone about your intention. Write it on a stickie note, put a reminder in your calendar, find a way to remember to give it a try again this week. Then after you’ve used it, notice how you felt. If it felt good, schedule it again. If you dreaded it, or didn’t enjoy it at all, it wasn’t a strength. Now repeat the process. Every time you discover one of your strengths and use it, you’re performing better and making your life and those around you better. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: StrengthsFinder – Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action. Strengths At Work – Gallup research says less than 20 percent of us have the opportunity to do what we do best everyday. Learn how to put your strengths in play for consistent, near-perfect performance. At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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Quix Tip: Giving to Yourself

What small graces can you allow yourself today? Each small gift you give yourself has the seed to be a larger gift to those around you. When Walt Whitman spoke of being alone out on the road, he remembered all those he knew and said, “I am filled with them and will fill them in return.” Research shows that only two in ten people spend most of a typical day playing to their strengths. Yet Marcus Buckingham points out that research also shows that those lucky people “are significantly more productive, more customer focused, and more likely to stick around than the rest of us.” When you live a strong life, doing what you uniquely enjoy, you experience contentment. And that contentment is a gift to all those around you. This is one reason why people have pets – a cat purring contentment when curled up on a couch is a soothing gift. And when you live your unique life, following the path that was meant only for you, you inspire those near you to do the same, to examine and explore their gifts. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: StrengthsFinder – Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action. Strengths At Work – Gallup research says less than 20 percent of us have the opportunity to do what we do best everyday. Learn how to put your strengths in play for consistent, near-perfect performance. At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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Get small, get calm, get happy with a purpose pause

If a problem, worry, or anxiety looms large, pause for a moment. Find a way to either tangibly savor something larger – take a walk in nature, talk to a loved one for example – or simply take this moment to fill yourself with appreciation for something bigger than yourself, wherever you are. Feel the larger space that is holding the current issue. Get right-sized. Here are twelve ideas for you to get small, calm and happier. Pick one right now and try it. Nature Your breath Co-workers Family – mate and/or children Community – friends, neighbors Spirituality and religion Pets Meditation Big Time – geological time, glaciers, the time it takes for the stars to reflect the sun’s light, the time it takes for a tree to grow Realizing how often you’ve made it through something similar in the past Exercise Make something up What usually helps you most? What will help you right now?

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The Phoebes Flew On Independence Day

On the morning of July 4th, the baby phoebes were in their nest. I went tubing on the Millers River in the afternoon and when we returned, the nest was empty. They left on Independence Day – their first flight. And they never returned, probably never even looked back, not once. They moved forward with clear vision and no misgivings and doubts into the adventure of their fresh, new life. They made the leap, their hero’s journey into the unknown. How did they do it? The Persian poet Rumi said, “Birds make great sky-circles of their freedom. How do they learn it? They fall, and falling, they are given wings.” Much of my work involves helping people uncover their natural, unique strengths they were born with. These talents can hide in plain sight. One of the telltale signs of a strength is to pay attention to your longings. What do you miss, wish for in your life? Longing can be a map to uncovering and beginning to use a hidden strength. The phoebe nest sits empty now. A month later I still look at it and feel a now-familiar mixture of sadness that they’re gone and happiness for them that they’re free. The depth of a feeling of loss shows us how much we’ve let ourselves love. Here’s to you paying attention to a longing that you hold as you move through your days. And here’s to you taking a leap, and falling into the unknown of a new wild and precious life. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.  

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Prioritize With Persistence: Effort + Time = Success

Prioritizing with persistence involves examining your To-do list through the story of your long-term goals. We all can get lost in the weeds of immediate demands if we don’t consciously re-focus on projects that are vital to us but won’t get done in a day, a week, a month, a year or even a decade. Ask yourself these five questions: What’s one long-term goal or project that’s really important to me that I’d like to persist a little more with? Which item on my To-Do list is a step towards taking action on my important long-term goal? Which item on my To-Do list could be done repeatedly every day for at least thirty days (creating a new synaptic groove in the brain)? Which item on my To-Do list could be best moved along by application of grit, determination, will, perseverance? Which item is important enough for me to invest some long-term effort into? Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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Prioritize With Purpose: The Point Where You Meet the World

The world around you needs you.  Let’s start there.  There would be no To-do lists or prioritizing if the world, the people you know, your job, your team, your clients didn’t need you. Imagine a world where no one cared enough to need you, or anything from you.  It may sound wonderful for a short amount of time, but what about long term?  What a sad, lonely life! Look at your To Do list through the lens of being of the most use to the world around you. Look for the point where (as Frederich Boechner said), “Your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” Ask yourself: What on my To-Do list is most important to me? What on my To-Do list is most important to the world? Where do those two items meet? What would provide the most benefit to the most people? What would allow me to see and viscerally experience the benefit I provide to the larger world? Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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Prioritize With Play: Make Fun Your Priority

Prioritizing with play involves examining your To-do list through the story of what delights you, what is most pleasurable, fun for you. Ask yourself: What on my To-Do list would be most fun to do? What on my To-Do list is easiest to do? What on my To-Do list would take the quickest amount of time? If nothing else mattered than my delight, what’s the first thing I’d do on this list? Do I have the discipline and courage to include self-care, my happiness and delight as an important factor in prioritizing my To-do list? Play is your best entry into the rewards of prioritizing. What’s the reward? I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t doing more work (although that’s always an option). It’s to get your most important work done in the shortest amount of time, cut out overwhelmed feelings that lead to procrastination, and allow you to stop working sooner, to have some fun, to take more breaks, and give you the breathing room to do your work at your own rhythm. Play your list and take the extra time to play ‘off the list’. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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Prioritize With Passion: Let Your Talents Do the Work

Prioritizing At Your Best with Passion, Play, Purpose and Persistence Do you wish you were able to prioritize more effectively?  Is your To-do list driving you crazy?  Does it seem like there’s too much to do and too little time to do it? If any of these questions sounds like your story, here are four new stories to place all the demands of your day in.  Try any of them on that speaks to you and you’ve just become the author of a better story for you, one where you’re prioritizing at your best. First, let’s prioritize with passion. Prioritizing with passion involves examining your To-do list through the story of your talents. Ask yourself: Which item on my To-Do list am I most passionate about? Which item on my To-Do list would give me the best chance at getting so engaged in doing it that I’d get lost in the activity? Which item most fully engages my strengths? Which item has the right level of challenge – not too hard, not too easy, not too short, not too long – for me today? Which item on my To-Do list would I do first if the only thing that matters is using my natural talents more today? Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: At Your Best – Explore how to give your best and play to your strengths for sustained individual success.

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When Are You At Your Best?

If the state of fear is when we’re not at our best, when are we at our best? I’m going to take a little leap of faith that you won’t be too alarmed at the L word: Love. We can call this passion, or even play. But love really sums it up for me. I give the best of myself to my work and the people I encounter when I’m feeling a sense of love. If fear is the realm of the amygdala in the brain, then love is the realm of the neocortex, just a little bit further up the road in the brain. This is where your desire to connect, to contribute, to be generous lives. The Irish poets Yeats said, “Where all the ladders start, in the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.” Now you know where the ladders lead – to love. Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities: StrengthsFinder – Gallup’s online assessment of unique top five strengths. Learn your team’s strengths and learn how to put them into action. MBTI Team Quest – Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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