3 Things I Learned about Strengths by Hanging Out with Yogis in the Desert

Helping teams embrace and articulate their strengths is one of the great joys of my work. The owners of Ra Yoga, one of Orange County’s premier yoga studios, invited me to their offsite meeting in Joshua Tree to lead a StrengthsFinder engagement for their operations leaders. We spent 5 hours…

 

  • Leaning into ‘strengths philosophy’
  • Exploring Talents using ThemeScore sheets
  • Practicing a language of Strength through various exercises

 

There were many remarkable moments in this training, but here are my top 3…

  1. The Ra leadership team has a majority of their strengths in the relating domain…this insight helped them articulate the benefits of being led by relational people and understand how these strengths make Ra one of the most successful studios in Orange County
  2. I often learn and hear new insights about strengths when I listen to people talk about how they see the world. This team had a number of people who possess talents in the ‘Relator’ theme. Hearing them talk about the depth of their relationships and the significance of friendship was very insightful. It was also helpful for the team to see that this strength was part of the reason this team had such a deep connection with one another.
  3. Even if a team is highly relational, they will benefit from a clear structure and language for giving praise and feedback. Each member of the team selected 5 talents from within their 5 themes and wrote them on a giant post-it note. After presenting their talents to the group, they were given feedback on how the team has observed this talent in action. Creating structured times to acknowledge and gain feedback on strengths is critical in your goals of adopting a language and lens of Strength.

 

On a personal note…I woke up very early on Saturday morning to join the team and arrived 45 minutes before our first session was scheduled to start. The sun was still coming up and I spent some time walking around the high-desert, enjoying the utter silence of this place. I could hear birds wings flapping through the air and the wind blowing in my ears. It gave me time to reflect on how grateful I am to do this work and for the many great things in life. As a business owner, I rarely get times to sit alone and reflect and this was incredibly life-giving for me. If you get the chance, take 30 minutes this week to sit in a comfortable place and process all the good you have in your life! It’s time well spent and fills your heart, mind, and soul with the type of gratitude that can literally change your brain!

 

Here are a few pictures from the day. Some are from my morning walk and others are of the team participating in the StrengthsFinder exercises.

Beautiful morning light on high desert cactus.

 

Team members gave feedback on the strengths of the team.

 

We used symbols to quickly give feedback on Strengths.

 

The RA Yoga team spent time going through their ThemeScore sheet to engage further with their themes’ talents.

 

The RA team having conversations about times where they felt they were doing what they were made to do.

 

What a view in the high desert!

 

Somebody made a small labyrinth which I enjoyed for a moment.

 

The road less traveled up to the AirBnB where the training was held.

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