The equation is simple: Talents + Knowledge + Skills + Effort = Strengths

Talents are non-teachable. They are naturally recurring patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that can be productively applied in a person’s life. Effort is also non-teachable. Effort is based on intrinsic motivation, as well as extrinsic influencers.

Knowledge is teachable. In the context of understanding what you’re good at, knowledge is simply “what you are aware of.” Knowledge is a combination of life experiences, plus academic knowledge, plus gut intuition. Skills are teachable. Skills are the capacity (not necessarily competency) to perform the fundamental steps of an activity—whether at work, at school, or at home.

That’s the academic part. Here’s the lived piece.

My strengths are in being contextual and looking backwards to the past in order to look forward to the future, gathering disparate information together from various resources, walking through life deliberately and carefully, analyze and solve problems, and think about how to find the shortest, best route to success for people.

In a list, they look like this

  • Context
  • Input
  • Deliberative
  • Restorative
  • Strategic

What this really means in practice is that I have a lot of bad ideas. A lot. With these five strengths, a combination of talents, knowledge, skills, and effort, I have been rewarded (not necessarily financially rewarded) in the space of many places. Without knowing where, and what, your strengths are—what you’re good at—you will have no idea what to do with all of your bad ideas.

The things is, in developing conflict engagement processes, services, and products, knowing your strengths and where your bad ideas come from, is critical for the market success of the savvy peace builder.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
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