Our role is to equip our young people to take risks and have adventures.
They are so capable of making positive changes happen around them; we believe it for them until they go out into the world and believe it for themselves.
What is the biggest adventure in each day? For each of us, it is knowing that it is ok not to know the answers.
Where is the new, unusual and exciting? It is knowing how to start finding answers; and finding those answers, by creating solutions ‘with’ people, not doing ‘to’ them.
How do you find solutions ‘with’ people?
Ask them questions. Lots of them. Be open to the expertise of the person experiencing the need and what their insights will teach you. Listen, as Stephen Covey would say, to understand not to reply.
This is the richest adventure in every day as a change-maker – to put aside your need to be ‘right’ and take the risk on creating lasting positive change by discovering solutions with others.
When you want to make positive social change happen in a community, as a leader you build a team with different strengths. It is like building a prism. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole; an abundance of creativity coming from different perspectives to generate solutions to problems.
As leader, you will hold the space for each person, believing in them until they trust and believe in themselves; guiding them to step into their strengths so that they know how to contribute their best voice to the problem-solving. This is how resilient individuals, teams and social change organisations are created.
This is you as an agent of change for your young people.
Connecting them to their strengths, will give them a platform from which to feel a sense of value in the world and a way to start navigating challenges.
This is a way for each one of them to start finding their voice.
Wayne Gretsky said, “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.”
We need to take action to anchor our young people in the core belief that their solutions, generated from their strengths, have a place in changing things for the better: that it is worth taking the risk on having a go, rather than believing that you don’t count.
Here are two ways to hold the space for your young people and increase their wellbeing by connecting them to their individual character strengths.
1. Do the Character Strengths FREE survey
Go to www.viacharacter.org and get your students (age 12+) to complete the youth survey. Each child will discover their signature strengths.
2. Strengths Cards for all ages
Use At My Best Strengths cards. I use these with adults and young people to connect people to their strengths and problem-solve from a strengths perspective.
Inspiration for opening up your unique blend of creativity to take action for people and planet