The best way to build more connected communities is to focus on gifts – the talents, skills, interests and passions that we all have. Sometimes people aren’t aware of the many gifts they have to contribute. That’s why it’s important we all do our part to help people see their gifts for what they are. Once you know someone’s gifts, there are many ways to nurture and support them in making contributions to those around them.
From our friends at Community Activators in Washington State, here’s 20 ways—some quick and some more involved— you can use knowledge of a person’s core gift to help them build internal resilience and healthy participation in their community.
There is an initial “ah-ha” that can be very powerful when a person first discovers their core gift, but that is just the beginning. The more attention you help the person to focus on their gift, the more they become aware of it’s usefulness and can benefit from it. There is no step-by-step procedure. The idea is to do whatever makes sense in your relationship with the person. None of these activities is “better” or “more powerful” than any other item on the list. What looks useful to you?
- Remind them of their gift on a regular basis in passing and in specific situations where you are helping them figure something out. Catch them off guard.
- Tell people who are in regular contact with the person about his/her gift. Encourage them to acknowledge it when they see the person give it. This includes friends, family, teachers, peers, co-workers, and other helping professionals.
- Ask the person to tell you a story about a time they used their gift and something really good happened for someone else.
- Ask the person to tell you a story about a time they used their gift and someone got upset with them.
- Introduce the person to others by first describing his/her gift.
- Help the person use his/her gift as a tool for solving problems.
- Ask the person to tell you about people they have met who they think have a similar gift.
- Connect the person with whoever they mention in the previous item.
- Help the person see how their gift gets them in trouble.
- Have the person give their gift as a way to redirect them out of confusing or difficult situations.
- Reward the person by finding opportunities for them to give their gift, or learn more about their gift.
- If you are a helping professional, have gift-giving and gift-learning opportunities on the Plan you develop with the person.
- Brainstorm all the different kinds of activities in which the person could be seen for giving their gift. Have the person choose one or more to engage in.
- Find out places in the community where the person wants to belong. Scout out opportunities for them to give their gift in that location.
- Acknowledge their story of suffering and affirm how it strengthened this gift.
- Ask the person to tell you a story about the first time they can remember giving their gift.
- Locate volunteer opportunities in the community where the person could give their gift.
- Use the person’s gift as a springboard to more fully identify their other talents and the exact environmental conditions which help them be successful.
- Use the person’s gift discovery as an opportunity to ask them if they would like to pursue further discussion about what has been difficult for them in their life.
- Help the person identify times during their workday when they are giving their gift.
Credit: Community Activators • (206)-463-3666 • firstname.lastname@example.org • P.O. Box 328 Vashon, Wa. 98070