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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Achieving -- The More I Have to Do, the More I Get Done! -- StrengthsExplorer



The CliftonYouth StrengthsExplorer is designed for children aged 10-14 and defines their top 3 talent themes. In this episode of StrengthsExplorer, we dive into the theme of Achieving.

You have more energy and goals than other people. You love a sense of accomplishment.

Children exceptionally talented in the Achieving theme are drawn to doing. The more they have in front of them, the more they will accomplish. They do not have to be the best at it; what truly draws their attention is the execution, the completion, the finish. Count on them to like being busy, always looking for the next thing to do. They may even put a lot on their own schedule -- to the point of intimidating adults who worry about their ability to live up to finishing it all. Chances are, adults might even slow down an Achieving child. They can go and go for long periods of time and enjoy it.




Spotting Achieving

Achieving talent shows up in a few clearly visible ways. You might notice a child who has a plan or a list, who loves progressing through that plan toward completion and accomplishment. They will love when something is done, even though they may not celebrate it as much as they celebrate the next activity. They might be busier than others, but this doesn’t necessarily translate into needing to be kept busy. They’re likely to keep themselves easily occupied. They may feel the urge that they should be doing more, and may become frustrated when they need to sit still.

You’ll hear a lot of adult executing themes within Achieving. If you’re an adult who thrives on finishing, being busy and productive, considering lots of options, having a method for getting to those options, or finding yourself “in the zone” when you’re rolling up your sleeves and getting things done, you might see a lot of yourself in this theme. Be careful not to assume your achievement drive is the same as your child’s. You may be driven by completing one thing at a time, executing on a specific kind of task or in a specific way that does not necessarily match the broader variety of talent that Achieving encompasses. 


Describing Achieving

  • go-getter
  • goal-oriented
  • hard-worker
  • self-starter
  • active
  • energetic
  • productive

Celebrating and Understanding Achieving



Every moment with your child is an opportunity to better understand the best of them, for you and for the child. If you know an Achieving child, consider a few of these prompts to focus the conversation on talent.

  • What did you complete today?
  • What are you working hard on?
  • What are you excited about?
  • What made you proud?
  • Who helped you do better work today?

Affirming Achieving

Achieving children thrive when others acknowledge their efforts and accomplishments. Offer specific praise about something they’ve worked hard on. Ask about what they’ve done and what they’re excited about doing next. Achieving children have loads of energy -- this can ooze out physically, emotionally or cognitively. Create big space for their big energy. This might mean needing to have several toys out at once, lots of tabs open on a computer or time with a trusted labradoodle in a safe backyard.

Achieving children want to know they can master something and complete it. When a task seems too daunting, they might shy away from it. If it’s really important, help them break the large task into smaller milestones. Let them lead the plan, and celebrate like crazy once it’s complete.

GODOIT CHALLENGE

Three concrete actions you can take to help grow Achieving talent this week:

  1. Offer 3 different choices every day on how they might want to spend their energy. Bonus if these require minimal supervision and are free. You’re looking for ways to develop their sense of direction toward a goal. 
  2. Make a list of 3-5 milestone your child wants to accomplish this week. Track progress in a public space (kitchen, locker, shared online document).
  3. Forgive your child if they’re “in the zone” about a project and don’t hear you when you interact with them. Sometimes achievement requires a lot of talent and focus. Ask them later and praise them for that talent.
For more information on the tool itself, including a sample report, check out StrengthsExplorer.  


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