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January 25, 2013
For nearly 10 years Baylor has offered the StrengthsQuest program by Gallup Inc. to help students identify their talents and strengths to adapt to college life, establish relationships with roommates and succeed in academics. Now Baylor is engaging faculty and staff with StrengthsFinder, a Strengths program that can help faculty and staff in their professional work lives and relationships.
In November, the Human Resources Center for Leading and Learning (HRCLL) partnered with Gallup to offer two workshops for faculty and staff. In the Strengths Educator workshop, faculty and staff explored the Strengths philosophy and learned how this approach drives the engagement of students, staff and faculty. While discovering and exploring their strengths, they learned how a focus on strengths can relate to student success and how the strengths can be incorporated into their daily lives.
The second workshop, Strengths: Great Leader Program, helped supervisors understand their leadership styles and how they can engage their team members based on individual talents and increase performance in the workplace.
HR previously has offered shorter departmental workshops centered on the Strengths program. The November workshops marked the first time the programs were opened to the entire University.
"Our hope is to increase the 'Strengths culture' at Baylor," said Tami Nutt, manager of learning and development for HR. "Each employee was hired by Baylor for their individual talents and abilities. We want to focus on those skills for the employee's benefit and the benefit of Baylor as a whole."
Nutt explained that not only does the Strengths program teach participants about their talents, but it can teach them how to overcome obstacles they encounter at work and in their personal lives.
"Strengths can help them to understand the challenges they face and equip them to meet those challenges in an effective and positive way," Nutt said.
"By focusing on our strengths, we are more comfortable and more successful in educating our students to be leaders and servants. We don't ignore our weaknesses. But instead of investing a lot of time improving them, we manage them in such a way as to minimize their negative impact," said Jeff Doyle, dean of student learning and engagement. He incorporates the Strengths program into large group and small group sessions in Line Camps, leadership classes sponsored by the Academy for Leader Development, and in helping residential students work with their roommates.
With the success of the two workshops offered in November, the HRCLL plans to offer more Strengths workshops this spring. Visit the HR website, www.baylor.edu/hr, for the schedule of upcoming training and development opportunities.
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