Spiritual resiliency team shares food for thought

By Joanita MileyMay 22, 2023

Spiritual resiliency team shares food for thought
Sgt. 1st Class Vanessa Thompson, religious affairs NCO in charge, discusses exploring personal strengths and weaknesses during the monthly spiritual resiliency luncheon April 19 at the Garrison. (Photo Credit: Jo Anita Miley) VIEW ORIGINAL

Attendees at the Garrison’s monthly spiritual resiliency luncheon April 19 received encouragement to focus on their strengths.

Sgt. 1st Class Vanessa Thompson, religious affairs NCO in charge, challenged the nearly 50 participants to think about how they address their strengths and weaknesses. The theme for this month’s luncheon, “Discover Your Clifton Strengths,” was based on a book by Don Clifton.

“We must change our mindset where we focus on our weaknesses instead of our strengths first and foremost. All too often, our natural talents go untapped because we tend to look at the negative things rather than the positive things when we look at ourselves,” Thompson said. “We spend more time trying to fix our shortcomings than building our strengths. Focusing on building your strengths can enhance productivity in the workplace.

“This book can help you as a leader as well. As I lead the Soldiers on my team, I think about what they are good at – and use this to my advantage to build a strong team. People enjoy doing the things they are good at, so use this to your advantage. Reading this book, taking the assessment, and applying your strengths will change the way you look at yourself and others.”

She led the 15-minute discussion and showed an example of the completed assessment included in Clifton’s book.

Staff Sgt. Bradford Alex, the Army Contracting Command religious affairs noncommissioned officer, guided participants through his individual assessment.

“I encourage you to take the assessment after reading this book,” Alex said. “I was skeptical about what the findings for my assessment were but found the results to be right on target. I was surprised to see that answering these questions gave me a way to further identify my strengths and weaknesses. As you can see, you’ll receive detailed feedback that can be used for personal and professional development.”

Participants received a free copy of Clifton’s book and a Bicentennial Chapel key chain. Thompson encouraged them to read the entire book and complete the assessment in their personal time.

Chaplain (Maj.) David Hicks, Bicentennial Chapel, blessed the food and welcomed participants to the luncheon. He said the spiritual resiliency team has an opportunity to share a message that can help people.

Participants expressed their appreciation for the event.

“I am looking forward to having the opportunity to take the assessment and learn what my strengths and weaknesses are,” Deborah Nickles, of Child and Youth Services, said. “It will help me learn more about myself and become more cognizant of how to develop my skillset.”

“I guess I’d never thought about putting a focus on both my strengths and my weaknesses before. Sometimes we tend to put one above the other,” Natalie Taylor, of Army Community Service, said. “What I take away from this discussion is that it’s good to work on your strength instead of just focusing on my weaknesses. Now I’ll try to be mindful of both. I enjoyed the discussion.”