By Aolani Donegan
Social Media Specialist
The News & Observer Publishing Co.
Walking into a packed room of young professionals at 7:30 a.m. who are focused on their cell phones seems like an everyday occurrence ... right?
Millennials on their phones? What's the big deal?
The latest YPN morning at the PNC arena was unlike any other. For the first time, the program required that we download an app and perform a "Strengths Finder" assessment prior to the keynote speech given by Doug Bacon of Throwing Words. Bacon is a Gallup-certified strengths coach, and the assessment offered insights into some of our top five leadership qualities. You could hear a pin drop in the room as people took the 30-minute assessment. It probably set a record for the quietest YPN event ever.
After everyone had the chance to complete the assessment, Bacon began to explain what our top five meant and how we could use this information in a work setting. He asked people to stand as he called out some of the most common traits. It only took a quick glance around the room to realize that the best talent and some of the most diverse young professionals were in that room. The app provided definitions and he offered his twitter handle @throwingwords and email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for people who wished to explore their top five further. He presented examples of how the various personalities can work together and how individuals can thrive with a knowledge of their specific rankings.
One of my biggest takeaways after attending the event was the importance of building diverse and dynamic teams. Life is boring when everyone is the same, and the best teams thrive when people bring a bevy of talents to the table. I seek that in friendships, networking opportunities, and while at work.
I was happy to see "positivity" as my No. 1 strength. That confirmed what I am probably most known for—if you need a team cheerleader with a positive attitude—I'm the woman for the job. I also have strategic and activator tendencies but I enjoyed seeing a nice mix of relationship building qualities mixed in with strategic qualities.The assessment will help us focus on being better employees, friends, and team players.
I would highly recommend that folks download the app and take the assessment (it's worth the $14.99), and for businesses looking for tips and strategies for building strong teams, check out Throwing Words.com.
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