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August 2014
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Daily Archives: August 6, 2014

Spotting strengths in children and early careers

Posted by: Emma Trenier, Senior Psychologist, Capp. 


My three year old son packs spare clothes in his rucksack for his baby brother in case he spills something. Strange behaviour for a three year old but, I believe, one of the signs of his emerging strength in Prevention.


Parenting is often so fraught with worry and ambition. In the words of Norah Ephron (When Harry met Sally) “suddenly, one day there was this thing called parenting. Parenting was serious. Parenting was fierce. Parenting was solemn. Parenting was a participle, like ‘going’ and ‘doing’ and ‘crusading’ and ‘worrying’. It was active, it was energetic, it was unrelenting.”


Stopping to take time to observe our children’s strengths emerging is quite the opposite of this. It is natural, it is energising and it is uplifting. It is about allowing children to experiment and explore to find their strengths for themselves.


In Alex Linley’s bestselling book Average to A+ he talks about the ways in which adults can spot strengths in children and, in doing so plant ‘golden seeds’- through noticing and pointing out things that they are good at. It was Charles Handy who popularised this term and he tells us that almost all high achievers were given a golden seed in the first 20 years of their life.


Take time to spot strengths in your children these school holidays. As they leave school and discover their careers it will be having the confidence to build and excel in these areas that makes the greatest difference to them.


The good news for them, and us as parents, is that employers are recognising the importance of spotting strengths in early careers. Through strengths-based recruitment and development, organisations such as Nestlé and Morrisons and Microsoft are leading the way in selecting their youngest people for the strengths they possess – the source of their great potential.


For information on how to spot and develop the strengths of individuals and teams, please call Capp on +44(0)2476 323 363 or connect with me, Emma Trenier, on LinkedIn



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