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.
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.