A Strong Start to the Spring Semester at South Mountain Community College
The spring 2012 semester at SMCC started strong! Or should we say, it started with Strengths. For the Spring Convocation January 9, Gallup Organization Vice President of Education Mark Pogue spoke about integrating Strengths into the college setting – into the ways we work with colleagues, into our interactions with students, and – perhaps most importantly – into the way we teach our students to look at themselves and their goals.
As Pogue put it, we live in a world of labels and boxes. For most of us, and for most of our students, the labels we are given are often rooted in weakness: day dreamer, bossy, chatterbox…these do nothing to help us better understand ourselves and they certainly don’t motivate us to pursue goals that truly suit or energize us. With Strengths, we learn to see ourselves with “really good labels.” The student who has always been criticized as a “day dreamer” learns to recognize the invaluable resource they provide with their “Ideation” – their ability to invent numerous, creative ideas for any given scenario and who never have a problem brainstorming ideas for papers or projects. Another student who has always struggled to squelch their “bossiness” learns he is actually in possession of “Command” – an essential quality for a group leader, the type of person that can ask the questions that take an average class discussion to a whole new level. The so-called “chatterbox” realizes she actually embodies “Woo” and can strike up a conversation with any professor, any new classmate, and is the glue that can turn a huge campus into a tightknit family. When we live our Strengths, Pogue said, we make better decisions about our classes, our majors, our career goals, and our lives.
South Mountain Community College is committed to exactly that kind of work, and starting out the new year with Pogue’s message is a testament to the positivity and Strengths-based approach we aim to integrate into our employee relationships, our academic offerings and student life. Americans think of college as a place to accomplish and experience many things, Pogue said. As it turns out, people who feel their
personal strengths are being used and appreciated at work and school feel higher satisfaction with the rest of their lives as well. By focusing on Strengths at SMCC, we hope to improve our community’s career, academic, and personal lives.