Generation Observation: Impact of Strengths


I had the opportunity to attend a session at the CWCC DTC Leads group last week (Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce).  Speakers, Jeremy and Zoe Bellows, duMonde Innovation shared with us insights on: “Doing business as - and with – Millennials” It was great to get their insights.  

Before their session, Jeremy and Zoe asked me if I knew about StrengthFinder as they have recently learned their top 5 strengths.  Of course, I have!  We proceeded with a fun and lively conversation.  Their presentation provided insights on how Millennials like to build a connection when working with someone.  Also, a lot of discussion about the importance of the impact they have along with people they work with.   As both of them talked, I heard their strengths intertwined with their generational experiences. 

After the discussion, I continued to think about how much definition we apply to the generations.  It certainly is important to understand the differences in generations.  However, what I have found in leading and coaching people, yes, generational aspects exist, but individual’s strengths play a more significant role.  Having three generations in the workplace today requires leaders to understand the differences but be careful of the labels and biases.  We should not assume every person will fit into the labels - how they want to be coached, team engagement, work ethic – sometimes difficult to do.  Not one of us fits all aspects.  My generation, Gen X, otherwise known as the lost generation does not sit well with my “achiever” strength and I have never felt lost!  Engaging with Millennials, I understand their frustration of the labels; my experience is the labels apply in different ways based on the individual strengths and life experiences.  As is the case with all of us. 

When I engage with those that share my strengths but born into a different generation than my own, we have so many similarities; how we approach work and our relationships.  Each generation encourages an evolution in thought, work and expectations.   I do not believe the generations are really all that different, but continue to advance.  How each of us leverages our strengths and experience is what makes unique.   Would love to hear other’s perspectives?

Are you leveraging your strengths?  Join me for a workshop on April 2nd @ Lucy Restaurant from 10 am to 2 PM

All About Strengths: Naming, Claiming and Aiming Our Strengths

It has been awhile since I have updated my blog.  I have been busy and this is the 1st blog on my newly updated website, Welcome to the Bear Den!  It has been a journey and I am learning so much about websites, social media and marketing.  Feeding the "learner" in me.  

I had a chance to conduct a workshop with a team yesterday, discussing their strengths and team dynamics.  It was a great session.  A very high executing team.   We focused on the important aspects of truly understanding and leveraging all of our strengths.  

As opposed to focusing in on one strength today, I wanted to discuss a broader concept around our strengths: Naming, Claiming and Aiming our Strengths.  During the workshop we spent time talking about one strength in our top ten we need to spend more time defining:  how this strength works best for us, how it is a part of who we are and if we leverage this strength, what impact can it have in our lives?  

Most of our top strengths resonate with us immediately.  However other strengths, when reading the "one liner" can be challenging; does that really define who I am, or who we are as a team?  Even as we learn more, we may shy away from exploring our strength based on other's bias or the "basement" labels that we do not want to own.  In reality, we are only hurting ourselves.   Those are the strengths we need to explore more, be honest with ourselves about all the great aspects and those that are not so great.  

Every strength is critical, what makes us dynamic and unique.  Understanding and owning our strengths allows us to leverage them in the most effective manner. Defining how a strength works for you, being aware of the impact if we over-use a strength will help you be more productive, more fulfilled and build stronger relationships.  

I give my readers a challenge this week, think about your top ten strengths.  Is there a strength you shy away from?  Think, well it is not really not me?  Are the barrier labels difficult to own? 

Spend some time thinking about:

·      How this strength makes you unique?

·      When you leverage this strength what impact does it have personally or professionally?

·      What you need to be aware of the effect you can have on others?

·      Ask others their perspective as well, I always find others insights on how they see this strength in me?

Every one of our individual strengths is a part of our fabric.  Make sure you are leveraging your strengths!  Would love to hear any comments about insights if you take on my challenge. 

Workshop Updates

I am conducting workshops in March in Colorado Springs and Denver to help people best leverage their strengths.

Colorado Springs workshop is set up for Saturday, March 24th

Contact me for more details or to sign up:

Denver workshop date will be determined soon. 

Reach out if you want to learn more,






All About Strengths: Belief aka Hound Dog

Belief is one of my most favorite strengths to see in action.  My nickname for those of you that have this strength in your top ten, is "hound dog", affectionately so!  Observing people with this strength; their ability to get things done when they believe it will have a positive impact is incredible.  Essentially there is no stopping them.  For those of you with high belief,  it is so important to identify organizations, friends and projects that align with your beliefs.  It will certainly give you the most life satisfaction.  Being able to live your values will ensure all of your other strengths will engage in the work you do and relationships you build.  

Understanding and valuing these folks' beliefs is critical as a leader and a friend, as it is their foundation and all actions will stem from this. When coaching someone with belief, we chat about the importance of sharing values, understanding others may not have the same belief or are as passionate as they might be.   Combined with other strong influencing strengths, folks with belief can be intimidating to others - so much passion.  Take time to share your belief and listen to others perspectives. Your inspiration and dedication will shine through.  


All About Strengths: Arranger

I am going to stay in the Executing domain, of course, because is logical for me. 

The "conductors":  Arrangers have the incredible ability to look at a situation, an opportunity and/or a challenge, and figure out how to make it happen - always looking for maximum effectiveness.  I have always wondered why this strength is not called adaptability as it is truly a strength where folks can absorb change and just figure out a new way to make it happen.  This could be, of course, because adaptability is in my bottom 5 strengths and I want to believe I am very adaptable, or as I like to call it, "structured flexibility". 

Arrangers do have a flexible nature, a curiosity to determine if is there a better way, a better configuration, or a different combination of strengths on a team to make something more effective.

Great to have your arrangers jump into a challenge, they are in their element.  

A  couple of caution areas for our arrangers: Challenging the path and thinking of alternatives can be difficult for those around you.  Think about how you can approach folks in a manner that helps them understand that you are simply thinking through alternatives.  Slow down enough to let others be part of the "arranging" for their buy-in. 

On teams, if you have a lot of arrangers it is important to set clear expectations on who is tasked with arranging whic,h pieces as all arrangers will jump right in and it can get confusing.  

Have a wonderful Tuesday ... I am off to arrange something in my house as I know there is some better set-up.    

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All About Strengths: Achiever

How many achievers have already been making their lists this morning?  I know I have been.  We are certainly more than our lists, but it does give us a sense of accomplishment.  For me, the drive to get things done is ever-burning - I have two speeds, go fast and complete stop.  Sitting still or not accomplishing something is intolerable.  We are exceptional at getting things across the finish line. 

We do, however, have to be careful about burn-out.  Most of us have a tendency to pull on this strength even when we are doing something that exhausts us - sound familiar?  We also have to be careful of how our intensity to get things done impacts others.  My family can certainly relate to that one.  

Achievers, weigh in.  What resonates with you?  What have you found about this strength you can share with others?

Want to know more, reach out to me at or visit my website

Have a wonderful day, and think about joining the Women's March in your location.  I will be marching in Denver!
(Previously published in January 2018)


All About Strengths

As I have started my own consulting and coaching business, I have been thinking a lot about strengths. The importance of knowing and understanding my own strengths has helped me in my career and especially this new journey.  Part of my practice is focusing on Strengths Coaching. To keep my knowledge fresh and gain others perspective, I am starting my All About Strengths blog. 

Planning on spending time going through the 34 strengths, what knowledge and perspectives I have gained along my journey as a Gallup strengths coach.  I hope you gain something from my perspective, jump into the discussion, and provide additional insights as well.  Thanks for visiting the BearDen!