It’s Purple Ink’s 10th Anniversary!
January 22, 2020
Understanding Yourself Through CliftonStrengths®
February 5, 2020

In 2019, we chose a word for the year. Mine was ‘critical.’ I wanted to focus on what is most critical in my life: my clients, family and friends. In 2020, the Purple Inksters are focusing our word to our strength themes.

My top 5 themes are Achiever, Communication, Strategic, Positivity, and Activator.

To be honest, I love my top strengths – I speak to my Achiever and Activator on an almost daily basis. My Strategic strength serves me well with clients in tough situations, and I constantly rely on my Positivity, both at home and on the job. But the one I take for granted most is Communication.

My strength focus for 2020 is my #2 theme, Communication.

Gallup says I “like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work.”

I don’t always think about all the forms of Communication, but I’m most energized when I’m in these roles. It’s also the time when I am most judgmental of myself.

I’ve never been nervous to speak, perform, or host. But I’m my biggest critic. Hence the ‘critical’ listed above – I knew I needed to focus on only what matters and throw away the other stuff.

Gallup says “You believe that most people have a short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives. You want your information to survive. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in.

This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest and inspire them to act.”

Part of my role at Purple Ink is training, and I love it. Not just the presenting itself, but the interaction with the audience especially. I love to watch their reactions, see them engage with each other and with me. One of my favorite things is when someone I’ve trained remembers something I’ve said and brings it up weeks or months later. Gallup encourages me to practice and do it!

“Be ready to:

  • Practice. Improvisation has a certain appeal, but, in general, an audience will respond best to are equitably represented at all levels of leadership in business, organizations and government. a presenter who knows where he or she is headed. Counterintuitively, the more prepared you are, the more natural your improvisations will appear.
  • Volunteer for opportunities to present. You can become known as someone who helps people express their thoughts and ambitions in a captivating way.”

How I will focus on communication in 2020?

Ways I can focus my communication include:

  • Creating and practicing new trainings, so when I have opportunity, I’ll be ready to present. One opportunity that is challenging and a little frightening is speaking at the statewide human resource conference, HR Indiana. This communication opportunity is one of my favorites, being in a room full of HR practitioners.
  • Schedule time to talk individually and collectively with my team. In addition to regular meetings, time to just talk is so important. Listening more challenges me and gives rise to better ideas overall.
  • Volunteer. I serve in opportunities that vary widely. I do that purposefully to interact with a diversity of crowds and strengthen my communication. I am currently a board member for Foster Success, helping Indiana’s transitional age foster youth. I serve as a mentor for Pass the Torch, growing women leaders at all levels of leadership in organizations. My family moved to Carmel last year, so to get plugged in to my community, I joined the Carmel Library Foundation Board. As an HR professional, I enjoy communicating with my peers, so I’ve always found it important to volunteer with IndySHRM. I am currently the Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the organization.
  • Block off time to write. I love writing and don’t schedule enough time to do this. Writing allows me not only to get my thoughts out, but then refine ideas.

Being more thoughtful about how I communicate overall is my focus. One of my personal goals is to have one-on-one time quarterly with my kids specifically to communicate. Now on the surface, this may sound surprising: You only talk to your kids quarterly?! Allow me to explain. This isn’t just after school conversations on the way home (which are definitely important), attending sports and school activities they participate in, but intentionally scheduled time to simply communicate with my kids one-on-one uninterrupted.

With four children ranging from 9 years old to almost 2, it’s difficult at best, even around the dinner table, to connect individually with my kids. And when I evaluated the last year, with each parent having full-time jobs, volunteer responsibilities, 3 kids in school and activities, I could only think of a couple times I spent connecting individually with my kids. I cherished those times…and learned SO much. So my goal is to do it more! The point is, scheduling it makes it happen. And the communication is invaluable to me.

What will YOU do in 2020?

If you know your CliftonStrengths®, I encourage you to join us on focusing on one of them this year. If not, consider taking the assessment at http://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths to discover your strengths. Need help in making a plan with your strengths or learning to apply them in your daily life – both personally and professionally? Want to work with your team to learn how to leverage your strengths together? Reach out to Purple Ink, or me directly, for more information!

Erin Brothers
Erin Brothers
Erin is Purple Ink’s Director of Recruiting and Consulting Services. Erin’s top strength is Achiever and she truly enjoys working hard and gains energy by accomplishing more work. Every day starts at zero, and tackling projects big and small helps give that sense of accomplishment to benefit her clients, peers, family and friends.

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