WHAT ARE YOUR BRAIN STRENGTHS?
To be able to notice strengths, you need to get into the habit of using the language of strengths. Moving away from the traditional problem-based or deficit model can be challenging as this is the perspective that we have been brought up with. Our educational system is highly steeped in the "what is wrong with you?" model, and this is easily seen within the workforce as well.
By shifting our mindset from a deficit to a strengths-based approach, we enhance feelings of self-competence, self-esteem, and increase our motivation.
How much do you know of your brain strengths? How do we start focusing on strengths rather than dysfunctions?
One way to do this is to notice your own strengths and the language you use in sharing your strengths with others.
When was the last time you talked about your strengths with others?
When was the last time you used the language of strengths in engaging with others?
Check out the list of brain strengths below. You can also download the BRAIN STRENGTHS CARD DECK HERE.
ABSTRACT THINKER- You have the ability to think about and understand complex concepts that aren’t directly connected to a physical form. You can conceptualize, notice patterns and relationships without the need to see or touch concrete experiences, objects, people, or situations.
ARTISTIC - You have a gift for capturing images and emotions using different channels. You are fascinated with artistic explorations and expressions either through images, movements, or sounds.
CANDOR - You are honest and sincere. You are frank in expressing yourself and your ideas. You value truth-telling, transparency, and openness. Your ability to speak up encourages others to also express themselves.
CONCRETE THINKER- You take things at face value and are very present focused. You rely on sensory data (based on what is seen, heard and felt) in the given moment. You prefer theories, rules, and procedures. You are able to make logical decisions based on what you observe.
CONVERGENT THINKER- You can find concrete and familiar solutions to problems. You apply established rules and logical reasoning to solve issues. You can easily recognize similarity and commonality even though they may appear to be different. You can join different ideas and observations together to make a complete picture.
CREATIVITY- You can easily find new ways of doing things using your divergent thinking. You are able to make use of the 3 different networks of your brain:
default network - related to brainstorming and daydreaming
executive control network - activates when you need to focus
salience network - known for detecting environmental stimuli and determines which sorts of things tend to be noticed.
CRITICAL THINKER- You can reflect, analyze a situation, and make an objective judgment. You can gather information, assess and evaluate it using trial and error, asking thoughtful questions, formulate inferences, develop strategies, and make decisions.
CURIOSITY- You are intrinsically motivated to acquire new information (epistemic curiosity), fascinated by how other people think and feel, (social curiosity), or maximize the sensory information (i.e. sights, sounds, texture) that are around you (perceptual curiosity).
EMPATHIZER- You have the ability to recognize what another person is thinking or feeling, and can easily respond to their state of mind with an appropriate emotion.
DETAIL-ORIENTED- You have the uncanny ability to identify slight differences between similar cues. You like looking at the specifics and pointing out small details.
DIVERGENT-THINKER- You generate ideas beyond rote thinking and can develop multiple solutions to a problem. You can easily get into free flowing ideas, identify opportunities, and assess ideas from varied perspectives. There are four types of divergent thinking:
fluency – ability to develop large numbers of ideas and solutions
flexibility – ability to look at a problem from different vantage points
originality - ability to produce unusual or unique ideas,
elaboration – ability to adapt abstract ideas into realistic solutions
GLOBAL-THINKER- You have the ability to shift perspective and view an object or event from multiple perspectives, or the ability to see the "gist" or big-picture context surrounding an event or idea.
HUMOROUS - You have a zany sense of humor. You have a natural flair for the comic side of life and seem to have a knack for understanding others and making connections.
HYPER-FOCUS - You have the ability to deeply focus and pay attention to the task/s you are doing. You can easily be in the flow and immerse yourself in the experiences that interest you the most.
IMAGINATIVE - You are able to look beyond what is visible. Combining both feeling and thinking, you can envision possibilities.
JUSTICE SENSITIVITY - You have a high sense of fairness and justice. You are not easily swayed by sentiments and emotions, rather approach the situation rationally.
LATERAL-THINKER - You challenge assumptions, explore perspectives, and generate new ideas and solutions through a non-linear, out-of-the-box approach. You are adept in taking new approaches to an issue or discover connections that others have missed. You can easily bring information and resources from different sources together using both convergent and divergent thinking.
Edward de Bono proposed four techniques for lateral thinking:
awareness- be aware of the way your brain processes information
random stimulation- allowing randomness to propel our thinking to new insights
alternatives- use concepts to breed new ideas
alteration- arbitrarily modifying elements (i.e. breaking down, reversing, or denying elements) to produce novel ideas and solutions
NARRATIVE REASONING - You tend to remember facts as experiences, examples, or stories, rather than abstractions. You also have a profoundly clear and vivid memory of personal experiences.
NOVELTY - Doing new things and taking part in new experiences make you happy. You are motivated by new sensations, variations in experiences, and how things are presented.
ORGANIZER - You can plan and organize actions and activities for both
short and long-term goals. It is easy for you to self-monitor, record and self-evaluate.
RELATIONAL THINKER - You have the knack for seeing, identifying and integrating multiple relations. You can easily see dependencies, differences, and similarities. You can relate to:
analogies- patterns of similarity
antinomies- contradictions or paradox
SPONTANEITY - You have the tendency to jump into new ideas, thoughts and connections. You are willing to take risks. Your spontaneity helps you to be creative, innovative and action-oriented.
SYSTEMIZER - You have the drive to analyze or build rule-based systems. You systemize based on regularities (structure) and rules. Some examples of systems are :
collectible systems - e.g., distinguishing between types of stones or wood
mechanical systems - e.g., a video recorder or a window lock
numerical systems - e.g., a train timetable or a calendar
abstract systems -e.g., the syntax of a language or musical notation
natural systems - e.g., the weather patterns or moon cycle
social systems - e.g., a management hierarchy or a dance routine with a dance partner
motoric systems - e.g., throwing a frisbee or bouncing on a trampoline
TENACITY - You have the ability to sustain interest and effort toward your goals. You withstand challenges and setbacks to persevere toward these goals.
VISUAL-SPATIAL - You are an amazing visualizer. Putting together three-dimensional spatial perspectives is easy for you. You have the ability to understand and analyze the shape of an object with another to analyze their spatial features (i.e. size, location, orientation).
VITALITY - You feel energized both physically and mentally. You feel strong, engaged, and active. You show vigor, clarity, and alertness.
UPCOMING EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
1. JOIN OUR FREE MONTHLY ND COMMUNITY GATHERINGS
We are hosting monthly community gatherings. Our wish for these sessions is to start getting to know each other and to understand how best we can support the ND movement and community. Do join us on September 29 from 12noon- 13:00 CEST! Register and secure your spot here.
2. A NEW LEARNING JOURNEY FOR PARENTS: FOSTERING A CULTURE OF EMPATHY
How might we foster a culture of empathy at home where we can see, acknowledge and connect with each other beyond our differences?
This is a 3-part learning series where we will unpack:
Session 1: What is empathy and what are empathy blockers? (SEPT 2)
In this session, we will unpack what empathy means and why it is important. We will also cover the different empathy blockers that instantly promote disconnection.
Session 2: The importance of recognizing our feelings and needs (SEPT 9)
In this session, we will tackle the importance of having the language to define our feelings and needs and how this can help us connect with others.
Session 3: Hearing the beauty behind the "No" (SEPT 30)
In this session, we will explore the 4 chairs and how using empathy and compassion for ourselves and for the other can help navigate tension and conflict at home.
In this learning series, we will focus on how nonviolent communication (from the work of Dr. Marshall Rosenberg) can support parents in fostering a culture of empathy at home. Nonviolent Communication or Compassionate Communication is a form of interpersonal communication inspired by compassion and solidarity. It helps to improve relations and to act with practical and effective means to promote peace.
This DONATE WHAT YOU CAN workshop is a 3 part learning journey. Please do sign up here only when you can commit to all sessions.
DATES: September 2 & 9, and 30 from 9:30-11:00AM CET
"...safety is the foundation upon which children build the many skills of emotional and behavioural self-control.' -Dr. Stephen Porges
We are all wired to connect, to feel, and to sense into what is "alive" in us. Our ability to understand our emotions is an important life skill. Evenmore important is knowing how we can regulate our emotions and co-regulate with others around us. Self-regulation and co-regulation are part of the developmental process. Co-regulation is different at different phases of child development. Children's capacity for self-regulation grows over time and are dependent on predictable, responsive, and supportive environments.
As we learn to balance and calm our internal sensory systems we are able to:
have better physical and mental health
appropriately respond to stress, challenges and conflicts
nurture and sustain relationships
use restorative practices for ourselves and encourage others to do the same
In this learning lab, we will explore the importance of emotional regulation and co-regulation. Do join us for this learning lab. Register your spot here.
SUPPORT OUR ADVOCACY
We are able to provide these resources, tools and learning sessions through voluntary work. For individuals with expendable income, donations are welcome and can support us in providing our work to more parents, educators, organizations and communities specially for marginalized sectors. If you are interested in bringing Neurodiversity Awareness and Advocacy to your schools, companies or organizations please do contact us directly.