Thursday, April 23, 2009

Engagement and Strengths

It seems like everyone is talking about engagement and strengths these days. Maybe the interest is being generated through diocesan days. Perhaps it's the up-coming NCCL conference where the participants have been sent Living Your Strengths books and have been asked to do StrengthsFinder in advance, and where general sessions will be devoted to these two important topics. Or maybe the "word" among parish and diocesan leaders is spreading, that those who are fostering engagement and are helping people to discover their God-given talents are finding new life and renewed energy as a result. Whatever the reason, it is exciting to be part of this process in the Church.

Recently I talked with a friend and colleague about all of this. I explained that becoming more aware of my own talents and intentionally developing and offering them has changed my life. His first response was, "Wait! I think I know you well enough to know that you've always been pretty self-aware and reflective. Now you're telling me that an online questionnaire really made a difference?" The truth is, it has! It wasn't that I was surprised by my list of my Top 5 themes of talent, but seeing them in print, and reflecting on my experience of these talents helped me to really appreciate the gifts God has given me, and I was much more understanding of myself about the things that I don't do as well -- the task has been to find ways to operate from the best of who I am, and to partner with others to accomplish what needs to be done that requires gifts that I don't have in as great a degree. What a wonderful way to look at life, and to celebrate who we are as children of God!

So I am anxious to head to Dearborn for NCCL. I look forward to seeing old friends and sharing our stories of our talents. I anticipate with joy the opportunity to share with others my passion for building and enhancing engagement in our parishes and dioceses, and I am eager to hear your thoughts about all of this.

What do you think?