In early February the junior cohort participated in the StrengthsFinder 2.0 workshop led by Grace Calpus, a leadership coach within the institute.
Calpus joined the Buccino Leadership Institute this year as one of the 17 professional leadership coaches. Calpus holds a BSN, RN, MPA, and PCC. She specializes in a strengths-based leadership approach that prioritizes emotional intelligence and personal development. Calpus focuses primarily on students and executive clients and has also worked with Cornell, Yale, Rice University, University of New Mexico, University of Texas, Princeton and the University of Delaware.
Prior to the workshop on February 2nd, each student was given a copy of the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 which contained a QR code for all students to complete the CliftonStrengths test. The CliftonStrengths test is an online assessment that seeks to identify an individual's talents and strengths based on the research of psychologist Dan Clifton. The assessment consists of 177 "potential self-descriptors." The test taker has twenty seconds to identify which one of two proposed statements best applies to them. Upon completion, the respondent receives a personalized report with their five strongest "themes" out of the possible thirty-four themes. These themes correspond to each user's top strengths as identified by the assessment.
During the workshop, Calpus led the students in a discussion of their top themes and showed them how to interpret their results. She taught students techniques to distinguish how their top themes can either be "balconies" or "basements." She explained how balconies represent the maturing and maximizing of one’s strengths and that one must know when it is appropriate to use their strengths and to what degree. She then described how basements are the undisciplined application of strengths that can diminish performance.
Students were then sent into breakout rooms to identify how their top themes can become balconies and basements. From there, students worked together to discuss how they can prevent improper use of their strengths, to safeguard them from becoming basements.
To apply what students learned in the workshop, Calpus challenged each participant to consider alternate behaviors to their usual actions. By applying the results of the CliftonStrengths test and changing behavior patterns accordingly, hopefully students will be able to see a shift in the way they lead and operate in their daily lives.
The Institute would like to thank Calpus for taking time out of her day to share her knowledge; her time and expertise are greatly appreciated.