By Michael Baker, MS, Certified WeAlign coach
As a WeAlign coach it is my mission to “re-humanize the world through genuine identify and belonging.” This is a rather tall order- for each individual to fully know themselves and at the same time be willing to accept others as they know themselves to be. As John Maxwell said, “Everything worthwhile is uphill.” So, let’s get on our bikes and climb together.
One of the 34 talent themes from the CliftonStrengths® assessment is Empathy. People with a high Empathy talent theme can intuitively sense the emotions of others and have the ability to form deep personal understandings and relationships. Recognizing there is a universal human need to be valued, masked or otherwise, it is critical to shift our mindset from ME to WE. Dr. Maya Angelou explained empathy in her powerful words, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
To begin re-humanizing the world we need to better understand others’ needs, emotions and motivations. Our hill has a bit of an incline, doesn’t it? Let’s keep pedaling!
As I enter into my senior years- hey, 60 is the new 40 and I can prove it– I’m struck by my changed understanding of the word ‘legacy.’ Most think of legacy as something we leave behind, such as valuables in a will, money or a family business. I thought this way for many years, but now, not so much. Sorry, kids.
Legacy is more about what we leave IN someone, at the moment, not what we left behind for them. To use Dr. Angelou’s words as an example, your legacy is how you made someone feel and the impact that had on that person’s life. Are you a parent? What do you leave IN your children? Are you a business owner or manager? What do you leave IN your employees after you interact with them? Are you a teacher? Your legacy goes far beyond the knowledge you impart to your students.
My past understanding of ‘legacy’ was held in a closed mindset. Now, I have a growth mindset towards ‘legacy,’ what I leave IN others. The hill just became very steep. Can we reach the top together?
Re-humanizing the world can be a complicated process unless we find a common platform of understanding to work from. That platform is a self-knowledge of our individual talents and strengths, and the CliftonStrengths® assessment will provide it. While there are 34 talent themes, ranked in order of greatest potential growth, we only need our Top 5 talent themes to discover who we are at our most genuine self. Our Top 5 talent themes are those areas of talent where we have the greatest opportunity to grow in what we do best; to focus on what we are good at, and create a language for others to know us, respect us and love us.
Conversely, when we also know the Top 5 talent themes of those around us we are grounded in understanding, growth and relationship. Empathy becomes a strength because we better understand ourselves and those around us. Legacy become a verb, something we do for others and leave IN them. We now have a shared language.
To re-humanize the world is a tall order, certainly. But knowing your strengths, and the strengths of those around you will provide a wonderful opportunity to re-humanize your corner of the world. Imagine the possibilities if we all do that.
We just reached the crest of the hill. Unfortunately, there is no downhill. We reached a plateau, so keep pedaling. There is good work to be done!
Michael Baker, head coach at Michael Baker Coaching, holds a Masters in Education, is a Certified WeAlign Coach and a Certified Strengths Champion. His mission is to ‘re-humanize the world through genuine identity and belonging.’ He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Know You Strengths • Act With Purpose • Live In Abundance