Administrative Professionals Conference – Your Dependable Strengths

**** Please remember that I am typing this LIVE in the conference and that there are my own opinions scattered in and probably TYPOS!

Presenter: Anne Scholl-Fiedler, VP for Career Services & Learning Beyond

  • Getting the Tip of the Iceberg – 18 hour process
  • There is Excellence in everyone – you have a unique pattern of strengths: skills, abilities, and attributes, that can be clarified and identified – these can then be combined or developed to match the demands of progress or changing conditions

What to expect in this session?

  • an introduction to a process where you can utilize more of your potential to create more satisfaction and success for yourself
  • an understanding of what a “good experience” is as it relates to revealing patterns of strength
  • how to understand the difference between a dependable strength and other skills
  • fun: talking bout yourself and hearing about yourself


  • Percentage of untapped potential – rarely use 20% of our potential (Margaret Mead)
  • Societal Bias and Traditional Thinking – how many of you have ever made a mistake? How many of you have ever made a success? – the bias is to really look at our mistakes v. what we have been successful at – look at how we grade our students??? we mark what’s wrong.. not necessarily what is Right – we are told: don’t boast, don’t brag, let your good deeds speak for themselves – we should embrace our successes
  • Cover words and labels – cover words: “job titles” (a cook v. plan & organize jobs, follow instructions, listen to what others are asking of me) – look at the strength v. the cover words / labels – when you are networking and people ask what you do: how do you respond? Job titles mean different things to different people – bring your strengths to the table

Good Experience – Must meet three criteria:

  • something you feel you did well
  • something you enjoyed doing
  • something you are proud of
  • Good Experiences can come from – any time of your life – any part of your life
  • specific events that you may have – something you MADE happen (not something that happened TO you) –
  • Earliest Good Experience: Age 10 or before – Share with a partner
  • Benefits of Good Experiences – increases your energy
  • revives positive feelings… competence, joy, pride
  • counters negativity
  • taps into internal motivation
  • reveals primary (dependable) strengths
  • List at least two more Good Experiences
  • from any time of your life
  • from any part of your life
  • Directions for Quads
  • Form groups of 4 – quickly
  • appoint a “time keeper”
  • Tell your two top Good Experiences (2 mins for each GE – total of 4 mins per person)
  • others listen and jot down strengths heard
  • ask clarifying questions / clarify details by asking what and how but… No Why Questions
  • Listens READ OUT LOUD written list of strengths and give to speaker (1 minute each)
  • Ask Speaker, “How Did You Feel?”
  • Repeat Until All have spoken
  • 20 MInutes Total
  • Discuss Good Experiences
  • How does it feel to be talking only about Good Experiences?  joyous / happy / exciting
  • How did your partner look – their demeanor?  Happy / animated / excited / dynamic
  • What happened for you in this experience? Difficult to think of the good ones / sitting with different people and getting to know new people (your demeanor changes) / synergy and inviting /
  • What did you see happening for others?
  • what is your reaction to your partner’s Good Experiences? WOW – I can do anything… the stories are different but the results are the same because they finished / dependable strengths are patterns of strengths that you had at very early age… the name may differ but it existed (example: doing these rock operas as a kid became presenting and teaching in the future / write down your best experience of the day
  • Did it sound like your partner was bragging or boasting?  NO – did you want to get to know more about the people at your table?  YES
  • How is a Dependable Strength Different from any other Skill?
  • we are internally motivated to use – almost can’t help using it –
  • with more education and training – the outcomes are more ingrained on how we apply it and the benefits are longer term
  • There are things that we do really well but we don’t Enjoy doing them – Just to using those can cause burnout (unmotivated strengths)
  • Also learning about the dependable strengths of other members of your team
  • Points about Dependable Strengths
  • A Dependable Strength would typically show up repeatedly throughout your top Good Experiences
  • You are energized by it
  • You are inner motivated to use it
  • You almost cannot help using it whenever possible.
  • Additional Comments
  • Accept yourself as unique in the kind of excellence always growing in you
  • elements of your excellence had been demonstrated from time to time in your life most likely in experiences you feel are your achievements
  • be carefully identifying and studying your achievements you will uncover a pattern of strengths and talents
  • this pattern of strengths will likely contribute to your future success and satisfaction – like a compass guiding you in the right direction .. we need to look more internally and talk about that more to bring it out
  • Next Steps
  • make a habit of documenting your good Experiences to reveal patterns and remind yourself of successes
  • set goals that flow from utilizing your dependable Strengths. These will be more likely to be completed.
  • Capitalize on further training that will build on your Dependable Strengths
  • Quote: “Work should add life to living”  Bernard Haldane, originator, Dependable Strengths Articulation Process

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