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How CliftonStrengths gives UofGH students a lift
The University of Guelph-Humber’s CliftonStrengths program encourages UofGH students to explore their strengths so they can intentionally invest in their natural abilities.
Since being launched by Student Life in 2017, the CliftonStrengths program has sought to help UofGH students learn more about themselves and leverage the talents they discover to find success in all aspects of their lives.
Now, the program is newly offering one-on-one peer coaching sessions, which promise to help students unlock their strengths – this time, with the personal help, guidance and support of another member of the UofGH community.
“Our peer coaches are able to provide personalized guidance for students seeking a deeper understanding of their CliftonStrengths,” said Student Life Coordinator Liana Acri-Rosa.
“When students meet with a peer coach, they can request to focus on a variety of topics, from learning about how their strengths work in collaboration, to leveraging their strengths to achieve their personal, professional and academic goals.”
How CliftonStrengths can help
Graduating Justice Studies student Rachel Oudit was in first-year Orientation back when she discovered CliftonStrengths and decided to attend her first workshop.
At the time, she had no idea what to expect.
“When I first identified my five talent themes, I was shocked at how accurate it was,” she recalls. “I have always been fascinated with taking personality tests and learning more about myself, but CliftonStrengths was more than just another average personality test.
“Understanding my strengths through the CliftonStrengths program has helped me academically when I work in group settings. I was able to use my strengths to their full potential and that played a big role when working with my group members to get a task done.”
Now, Oudit was one of the first CliftonStrengths peer coaches at UofGH – an experience she used as another learning opportunity.
“Being a CliftonStrengths coach, I've learned that there is always room for growth and improvement in developing myself to be the best person I can be using my top strengths. I've also gained valuable skills like leadership, communication and more,” she said.
Graduating Business student Temitope Adebajo, meanwhile, wasn’t sure for a long time whether the CliftonStrengths program was for him. Working with a peer coach changed his mind.
“I didn’t really know how CliftonStrengths would benefit me or what it would offer me in terms of my day-to-day reality. But after attending a session, it was instilled in me that the skills I possess could be transferred to the workplace and it allowed me to know more about myself in depth,” Adebajo said.
“It’s given me the knowledge of not only how to use my strengths, but also my weaknesses.”
A growing program
Originally, the CliftonStrengths program focused strictly on Orientation, with the goal of equipping new students with the tools necessary to make the most of their time at the UofGH. The program has since significantly expanded to span a series of workshops as well as the integration into curriculum, with a focus on leadership and career development.
The program is one of many ways in which Student Life seeks to provide opportunities for University of Guelph-Humber students to grow and develop. Once students complete their CliftonStrengths strengths assessment, they gain access to resources and action items tailored to their individual strengths, including study tips, how get involved in the campus community, and ideas for career exploration. These opportunities are all certified experiences on UofGH’s Co-Curricular Record (CCR) where students can have their skill development showcased and validated.
Since launching the CliftonStrengths program, Acri-Rosa has seen first-hand it has helped UofGH students flourish.
“When students take the time to explore their strengths, it gives them a way to understand and articulate why they approach things in a unique way,” said Acri-Rosa, a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. “Often, students share with me that learning their strengths helped them grow as a person and build up their self-confidence. They’ve also told me how they were able to use their strengths in job interviews when responding to questions.
“When students take the time to recognize and cultivate their strengths, they see the return on their investment in multiple aspects of their life.”