Discover your strengths!

Empathy is my superpower. From childhood on, I have been called “too sensitive” or that I have too big of a heart.  Others in my life were very strategic, disciplined and decisive. But I was more flexible, wanting to include everyone in any decision that was made.

Photograph courtesy of Stuart McCook.

Photograph courtesy of Stuart McCook.

When I started working in a pediatric hospital with infants who were often very sick, an acquaintance doubted that I would be able to handle it because I “feel so deeply.” At first I was determined not to let my feelings get the best of me. But as time went on, I realized my ability to be aware of other’s feelings and encourage them to talk about them was a big asset to my position.  I was able to listen when families were worried about their babies, as well as genuinely feel excited when they were celebrating milestones.

When I started at 4C, my team and I worked together to discover what our strengths were using StrengthsFinder, and I wasn’t surprised to learn that my top strength was Empathy! Though we had a great facilitator during our training, Valerie Plis, I was still a little apprehensive about discussing my strengths with a group as old memories of being “too sensitive” popped up.  However, this training really helped us find the power in each of our strengths.  We also learned how to use all of our talents together and to work together to support each other.  It all came full circle for me when a co-worker said, “I can’t imagine a better person than Nicole working with my baby.”

If you are interested in finding out what your strengths are, I would highly recommend this book, and attending our first Miami Valley Leadership Conference on 19 April! Valerie will be presenting on strengths, and it will be a great opportunity to network with other local leaders in the early childhood field. You can read more about our conference here.

– Nicole

8 thoughts on “Discover your strengths!

  1. Paige Runion

    Nicole, I am still captivated by your opening statement, “Empathy is my superpower.” It stopped me in my tracks. My mind took a direction of its own, and powerless, I was briefly swept away. I smiled as my inner voice yelled, “Yesss!” and my heart was seized by my passion for superheroes in early childhood classrooms. And then, suddenly veering from that thought, my brain processed it. You really have a superpower. Wow! Impressive. And even though I am familiar with my own strengths and the strengths movement, I really just couldn’t stop myself from asking with child-like anticipation “I wonder what MY superpower is?” Thanks for this intriguing viewpoint!

    1. Nicole

      Paige- what a lovely comment!!! I am glad that it gave you something to think about and reflect on. I wonder, what is your super power?!? i do feel that I often need to remind myself that i wear a cape and it has an “E” on the back!!! I too love superhero play in classrooms 🙂

  2. Karen Crockett

    Wow. What a powerful post! I feel so lucky to know you and remember the earlier parts of your journey! So happy for you and what you’ve accomplished.

    1. Nicole

      Thank you, Karen!! I was the lucky one to have been on the journey with you 🙂 Our team was Mighty!

  3. Lee

    Great blog, Nicole! You have a way with words. I really identified with the “too sensitive” statement. Even today, I’m told I’m too sensitive, I get too emotionally invested, and that I can’t save everyone. I can’t change who I am, and if I could, I wouldn’t! Your blog helped me to feel proud to be me. I’m going to continue to be passionate and give my all, without fail! Thanks for this needed encouragement (on this blog and in our daily interactions)!

    1. Nicole

      I am so glad that you are able to see the strength in sensitivity! I believe we wouldn’t be where were are or who we are without it. The world needs people who are sensitive, as well as people who are analytical or commanding or includers!! Continue to be who you are, and use it as a positive in your work and life!!

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