Our Life in Sweden

Jonathan & Sofia Morgan

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Category: StrengthsFinder

Things we’ve learned

This year we have some big changes ahead of us, which we’ll fill you in on in another blog post. All this talk of change got us reflecting on the lessons we’ve learned in the two and a half years since we left Europe. Here are some of the big ones:

Coaching vs Handouts

One of the big assumptions that we westerners make about the majority world is that they just need more stuff (money, clothes, etc). Oftentimes these places are rich in resources but poor in education and good leadership. Coaching encourages people to ask ‘what do I have’ instead of ‘what do I lack?’ and sets them on a course towards seeing themselves as agents of change.

Work yourself out of a job

It’s challenging to be surrounded by so much need and it’s easy to start to think that you are the answer, especially when you might have been privileged with education, experience and skills. We’ve learned that if you want to see lasting change, it’s better to go slow and make sure you pass on your knowledge to someone who’s going to be around long after your visa expires. Preferably someone from the community who speaks the language and knows the culture.

Never stop learning

When working in a culture that’s not our own we’ve realized it’s important to have the attitude of a learner. That means asking questions more than you try to give answers. It also means spending a lot of time hanging out with people, although it doesn’t always feel “productive.” One of the things we wish we’d done from day 1 is to have learned one of the local languages. Doing this would have helped us build deeper relationships and understand the culture better.

Bottom-up change

The best, most long lasting change is bottom-up, rather than top-down. It’s when people and communities take responsibility for the neighbours and circumstances around them. Top-down change is about coercion, about doing something because there’s a rule that says “you must…” Bottom-up change encourages communities to grow. It draws out leaders on a micro level.

Servant leadership

We’ve already touched on it a little, but our favourite type of leadership is servant leadership. It’s no mistake that Jesus told his disciples that the one who wants to be first should be the servant of all. He knew that leading through humility, through putting others first, has power. It speaks into people’s hearts rather than just their sense of obligation.

Have fun

It felt as if we moved to Kommetjie just at the right time. A hectic work season, intense house situation as well as having lived in a township – where you can’t escape the harshness of poverty, all got too much for us. Our surfing friends here inspired us to enjoy life to it’s full and we realized that we couldn’t sustain our work if we didn’t have an outlet. Now we try to look for fun and adventure wherever we go.

Pray a lot

We’ve prayed a lot more this year for the things that have been on our hearts. It’s been a wild journey and we’ve re-learned that change happens when we pray with passion. Although we’ve seen many answered prayers, circumstances changed dramatically, the best lesson has been that we’ve experienced a change inside of ourselves – new perspectives, clarity, peace, hope and joy have all come as a result of praying. God is good!

 

Focus on your strengths

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Often in the workplace or in everyday life we find ourselves focusing on our weaknesses and trying to improve on what we’re bad at. This can be frustrating and can leave us feeling defeated.

Stina & Sofia Strengths foto

About 30 years ago, a movement began that would challenge this approach to life. It’s known as “positive psychology”, and is based on extensive research that found that people who focus on growing what they’re already good at become masterful at those things.

A year ago, Sofia and I took Gallup’s StrengthsFinder test, received some coaching, and through it learned a lot about ourselves and what makes each other tick. We’ve begun finding small ways to focus on what we’re good at, what gives us life, rather than just trying to get better at things we’re not good at.

And now we’re becoming coaches

Fast forward to two months ago and we’ve begun training as Strengths Coaches!
We’re learning how to use the StrengthsFinder tool to help other people live lives that are built around what they’re already inclined to be good at.

We’re both very excited about it. We are taught via Webinar on Tuesday evenings, and have already had the pleasure of starting the coaching process with a couple of people!

Are you interested in finding out your strengths, and having us coach you? Shoot us an email to find out more.

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Både i arbetslivet och privat fokuserar vi ofta på våra svagheter. Man ska känna till sina svagheter och jobba med dem. Problemet är bara att detta kan i längden bli riktigt frustrerande och göra en nedslagen då man inte ser så stor förändring.

Stina & Sofia Strengths foto

För cirka 30 år sedan startade en rörelse försökte utmana detta perspektiv och lyfta fram ett annat. Rörelsen kallas positiv psykologi och har genom omfattande forskning inom området kommit fram till att de personer som fokuserar på sådant de redan är bra på och har naturlig talang för, snabbt växer sig ännu starkare inom dessa områden.

För ungefär ett år sedan gjorde jag och Jonathan Gallup’s StrengthsFinder Test, fick coaching och lärde oss en hel del nytt om oss själva och fick upp ögonen för vad vi har ‘naturlig talang’ för. Sedan dess har vi försökt lära oss att göra mer av de saker som faller sig naturligt för oss, det som vi tycker om att göra och som ger oss energi, istället för att enbart fokusera på att förbättra svagheter.

Och nu ska vi bli coacher!

Efter att ha blivit coachad fick vi sk blodad tand och för cirka två månader sedan påbörjade vi en utbildning via Gallup för att bli sk Strengths Coaches!  Varje tisdag kväll har vi distans föreläsning eller sk ‘webinar’, där vi får lära oss om hur man använder StrengthsFinder testet som ett verktyg till att hjälpa andra se vad de redan har talang för att bli riktigt bra på.

Vi tycker båda att detta är riktigt kul och spännande och har redan haft förmånen att få övnings-coacha ett par vänner och bekanta.

Är du intresserad av att få veta vilka dina styrkor är och bli coachad av oss? I så fall får du gärna maila oss för mer information.

(Här hittade jag också en intressant blogg på som beskriver mer om testet på svenska.)

 

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