Strengths-Based Learning will bring about a revolution in the Field of Education

In the field of learning, there are three most influential figures who play significant roles and they are Students themselves, their parents and their teachers. Besides them, other people like friends, peers and counsellors play advisory roles. The environment prevalent in the national and international economic, technology and job marketalso play important roles.

Students

“I wish I knew it earlier” said a final year mechanical engineering student. He took the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment and his strengths are Activator, Restorative, Communication, Input, Woo. Three out of five of his strengths lie in the “Influencing Domain”. Further conversation revealed that he is interested in reading books related to psychology, leaning various languages and has commenced counselling other students of his college. He may change his course of studies for Post- Graduation. He may study what he likes.

“This session gave me clarity in what my strengths are. I also learnt the success lies in focussing on your strengths rather than trying your weaknesses” wrote a XII standard student. Her strengths are Maximizer, Individualization, Woo, Activator and Adaptability. All her strengths lie in the “Influencing and Relationship Building Domains”. She loves Psychology, reading human minds, creativity, fine arts, photography, and a very observant person. After receiving detailed coaching, she decided to study English, Journalism and Psychology for her Under Graduate Course. This is the best combination she could get. Strengths Coaching re-assured her and cemented her belief in herself and chose a career path as well as a course of study for herself.

“I was going through a lot of tension and turmoil in life personally as well as a student when Sir Satyendra Kumar sent me a mail regarding this test. After going through the test and knowing my strength I am little sure about my future now. Maybe I am not sure about what exactly I am going to be in my future but I know at least for now that my future is going to be good! And out of all the things that Sir has told me while coaching, from my perspective the best thing or the most important thing he has told is ‘Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses. We are going to build up your future on STRENGTH better ignore your weaknesses’. Thank you, SIR for all the help!”  These are comments from an Under-Graduate student of Media Studies from a reputed University. Her strengths are Empathy, Positivity, Relator, Significance, Developer.

 

A class XI student who has Includer, Ideation, Command, Self- Assurance and Restorative as his strengths has learnt to leverage his strengths in achieving academic excellence by selecting right course of studies, chose a study technique, chose extracurricular activities and even try and chose suitable teacher all based on his strengths. His drawing illustrates his plans.

As evident from the above mentioned four examples, Strengths-based Education Programme can be helpful to students in the following ways

  • Determine the most suitable learning programme.
  • If necessary at appropriate time change the programme as per the strengths.
  • Ascertain the programme one is pursuing and gaining self-confidence in what one is doing.
  • Chose appropriate school, college, study groups and teachers.
  • Determine strengths-based career path.
  • Leverage strengths to excel in the academic field.

 Parents

She is the mother of three sons. The eldest is in class XI and her strengths are Individualization, Input, Restorative, Connectedness and Responsibility. Her eldest son’s strengths are Includer, Ideation, Command, Self- Assurance and Restorative. (Other two sons are young to take CSF Assessment) She knows her strengths and she knows the strengths of her elder son. She has plans to leverage her strengths and that of her son’s strengths for the academic excellence and other developmental programme for her son. Her drawing below illustrates her plans.

She is a XII Standard girl who has Consistency as one of her signature themes, was taken by her father, for the Aadhar Registration. There was a long queue. He knew the officials, so he jumped the queue and was given preferential treatment. He called her daughter to come ahead, but she being a Consistent person, refused to come forward by jumping the queue. She stood her ground and got the chance after two hours for the Aadhar registration. This is the behaviour of a person with Consistency and she should be treated as such. The father learnt a lesson and came to know an important strength of her daughter. Father’s strengths are Responsibility, Developer, Connectedness, Relator and Includer. Daughter’s strengths are Deliberative, Consistency, Input, Responsibility and Achiever.

Parents play the most important roles in shaping the future of their children. If they know their strengths and know the strengths of their children, it will not only bring in Harmony in the family but parents will also willingly support children in their entire development—academic being one of them.  As per the book “Strengths Based Parenting” written by Mary Reckmeyer and Jennifer Robinson, parents can support their children the following six ways: –

  • Provide suitable direction to children based of his/her strengths.
  • Besides their work life parent must devote their time for the development of children.
  • Parents must celebrate along with children on their successes; howsoever small may be the success.
  • Recognition of the achievement of children by parents is the greatest motivator for children.
  • Emotional support to their children when need will bring about greater bonding between parents and children.
  • Parents must have structured development plan for their children based on their strengths.

Teachers

An Assistant Professor of an Engineering College who went through the entire programme for 4.5 days commented. Her strengths are Connectedness, Includer, Achiever, Context and Consistency.

Day 1

  • Today’s class I learnt about communication.
  • Values and Strengths are known.
  • They taught how I build up Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity by using Situation, Impact, Resolution and Result (SIRR).
  • Will be able to communicate well by using these.
  • How the themes are related to myself.
  • We did presentation on values. It was very useful.
  • In this I learnt about my Strengths and values.

Day 2

  • In today’s session, I learnt about Ex-PANCHTATVA.
  • Coming together is a beginning.
  • Keeping together is progress.
  • Working together is success— by Henry Ford.
  • We did pray together.
  • We learnt about different types of team ie Dependent Team, Independent Team and Interdependent Team.
  • Case of Smart City.
  • Barrier to Listening.
  • Powerful partnership.

Day 3

  • In today’s session, I learnt what is leadership?
  • The art of influencing and directing men/women in such a way as to get obtain their willing obedience, confidence, respect and loyal cooperation to accomplish the mission.
  • I learnt how I can use TRUST, COMPASSION, STABILITY AND HOPE with respect to our Strengths and Strengths of the team.
  • Quality of leadership: I learnt to build trust with respect, dignity, honesty and integrity.
  • I learnt to build hope by leadership, direction, and feel enthusiastic about the future.

Day 4

  • In today’s session, I learnt to achieve goal, which should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and time bound.
  • PDCA Loop: Plan, Do, Check and Act.
  • Project Life Cycle: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Closing.
  • These were about the hard skills. I learnt top 10 competencies for successful project managers in soft skill topics.
  • Difference between efficient and effective.
  • Emotional Intelligence: I learnt SELF-AWARENESS, SELF- REGULATION, MOTIVATION, EMPATHY AND SOCIAL SKILLS
  • I am going to leverage my learning of strengths-based to enhance my teaching ability to become a great teacher.

An engineering college professor whose strengths are Analytical, Achiever, Connectedness, Learner and Developer. He commented after undergoing one-day strengths coaching session.

  • Really great efforts have been taken to design this programme.
  • Due to this programme I have been able to know my strengths.
  • It will be useful to me for my teaching.
  • It will be really very useful to us.

 

Finally, Teachers who is the Dronacharya/Chanakya for the students can make a difference in the life of their students by leveraging their strengths in harmony with the strengths of students.

Two examples quoted above are the illustrations from 89 teachers who have received strengths-based intervention. I know for sure that about 60% of them are using their strengths to bring about changes in the learning/teaching scenarios in their respective fields.

 

 

A teacher with his/her Maximizer strengths can lead a student to success as depicted in the sketch .

 

 

Extract from Coaching Blog Posted by Tom Matson on www.gallupstrengthscenter.com

While self-awareness is a gift and starting point, students need to know far more than their top five. They need to understand the vital relationship between strengths, engagement and how to thrive on campus. Students who understand that relationship are equipped to create the future they want. They also become more emotionally engaged with their school, which is necessary for the long-term survival of higher education institutions.

When school integrate strengths into existing programmes (rather than making strengths a programme within itself), they achieve a more robust and practicable route toward emotional engagement. And when schools lead with outcomes rather that stopping the conversation at students’ top five, their graduates have better engagement rates at work and higher rates of lifelong well-being.