Developing Northeast Indiana’s Strengths Advocate Program
Northeast Indiana Strengths Network Growing
The Schwab Foundation grant report has been submitted, and the Northeast Indiana Strengths Network has some very exciting results to share. Four years ago when the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership first received this grant, we aimed to use Gallup’s Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to bridge the gap between the region’s students and employers through a common language of Strengths. Over the past four years, we have trained individuals to become Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches, assessed and worked with students to help them understand their Strengths and supported the growth of strengths in schools and organizations.
Last year, 367 students were administered the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment in several school corporations around the region.
It was also in 2017 that we identified a strengths gap and planned to fix it. We needed more people to have strengths-based conversations in order to spread the language of Strengths further and faster throughout the region. A core group of coaches from Lakeland School Corporation, DeKalb School Corporation, Region 8, Summit Coaching and Consulting and the Regional Partnership created the Northeast Indiana Strengths Advocate program.
A Strengths Advocate is an individual who is willing to champion strengths-based development by providing basic communication and knowledge of the uniqueness and power of the 34 Clifton Themes of Talent. Strengths Advocates are committed to cultivating a strengths-based region.
The core group spent several months planning the program and selecting individuals to be part of a day-long test group. In February, the Network rolled out the first Strengths Advocate training session. Individuals from DeKalb Central Schools, Lakeland School Corporation, East Allen County Schools, Wabash City Schools, MSD Wabash County Schools, DeKalb Health, Brava’s Burgers, Harley Davidson, STAR Bank, Ash Brokerage and the Regional Partnership attended the training. Attendees learned about Gallup’s Guiding Principles, the 34 themes of talent and how to have strengths-based conversations.
The Network of coaches and advocates will meet again to continue everyone’s education on how to have successful strengths-based conversations, and how to be an advocate in their organization.
To learn more about the Northeast Indiana Strengths Network, please contact Director of Regional Initiatives Amy Hesting.