December 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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www.spor 22 // December 2017 Break through approach to human growth and development "Standing on a Whale Fishing For Minnows" // By PHIL EASON W hen you witness the unbelievable play of Stephen Curry or Jordan Spieth or the amazing artistry of Misty Copeland or Lin-Manuel Miranda, you marvel at their talents. Few athletes or artists reach the pinnacle that professional athletes or artists do, but Spieth isn't composing musicals and Curry isn't attempting pirouettes. They excel because they have turned their unique talents into strengths. Now after over 40 years of human growth and development research, science has demonstrated that any person can reach the same level of excellence for everyday tasks, but fi rst people must identify their talents. Talents are a natural recurring pattern of feeling, thinking and behaving. A talent is merely potential; however, when an individual discovers his or her talents and invests in them that talent becomes a strength, a consistent pattern of near perfect performance in any given task. Strengths are synonymous with results, but strengths must be developed from talents. Building your talents into real strengths requires coaching, practice and hard work, much like developing physical strength. People often think they know what they are good at, but are usually mistaken causing them to put effort and time into the wrong area and not achieving the hoped for results because they can only excel when they are working from a talent. Trying to excel at something one has little or no talent for is a frustrating and fruitless. Strengths-based development is about discovering your unique talents and then investing in them to create strengths. Dr. Don Clifton, the father of Strengths Psychology, started this revolutionary approach to human growth and development by asking the question, "What will happen when we think about what is right with people rather than fi xating on what is wrong with them?" This simple question led to the strengths theory that maintains that if you develop your strengths to the maximum, the strength becomes so great it overwhelms the weakness. In basic terms growth and development best takes place when one focuses on identifying and developing strengths while managing the weaknesses. This theory is applicable to three different areas. First, it can guide one's personal and professional life impacting self- concept and self-confidence. Second, it is a strategic tool for decision making given that our decisions are made through our talent fi lters. What you see does not change, but what you do with what you see does when you name, claim, tame, and aim your talents. Third, it is a system for developing those around you in that people grow and develop best when they get to do what they do well naturally. Keep in mind there only two groups who like to do things over and over again that they are not good at and these two are the mentally ill and golfers and often they are one in the same. Obviously these two groups do not understand the breakthrough theory and revolutionary approach to strengths-based development. Adopting a strength-based approach to growth and development is a breakthrough

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