Self growth junkies endlessly search for aha-moments. It’s such a delicious state. Tailor your gifts to give as many aha-possibilities. Below, you will find an in-depth guide on different ways to incite growth.
Note: Keep in mind COVID restrictions differ by city. Adjust your service-oriented gifts as necessary.
SUPERPOWERS: My favorite assessment test is Superpowers by SYPartners. It comes in a fun card deck and asan app if you want to gift electronically. The instructions are simple and it takes maybe 15 minutes to flip through all the cards to determine your top 1 or 2 strengths. I love the simple, down to earth language of the cards.
Using these cards in a team setting also is invaluable.IDEO states this most eloquently,“Companies need tocreate much more collaborative teams and think about diversity not just in terms of ethnicity, background, or gender, but also in terms of thought. Understanding what each employee brings makes it possible to stack a team with an array of strengths; after all, you wouldn’t want to build a team of three people with vision but only one with grit, or all empathy and no decisiveness.”
STRENGTHFINDERS: This is a staple in the business world. I enjoyed their book when I took the assessment. I appreciate their philosophy of prioritizing the development of your strengths - versus trying to refine your weaknesses (which has limited ROI). If your weakness is applicable to your job, bring it up to at least a competent level. Pour the rest of your energy into developing your strengths which has unlimited potential.
5 LOVE LANGUAGES: I could talk about this assessment tool for hours. I’ve used it in my relationship, with my kids and, yes… I used it at work with my teams. What’s powerful about the love language test is that it not only targets how you like to receive and give love - it also informs how others interpret love. Love, appreciation, recognition can all be bundled together here.
For example: My love language is ‘Acts of Service’. In a job setting, I work tirelessly to make life easier for my employees. My team mate’s love language is ‘Words of Affirmation’. In my mind, showing her how hard I work demonstrates my commitment. For her, the value of my busyness is less meaningful. She’d rather I work slightly less and chat with her more. Saying things like, “Great job today!” is empty. Better to exert the effort and say, “I know you spent a lot of hours preparing for today’s meeting. It definitely showed and you spoke very eloquently and confidently”. Once I knew that words of affirmation were important to her, I put a reminder in my calendar to email her constructive, positive feedback every Friday to show her I was paying attention and recognizing her efforts. It's been years since we've worked together but she still remembers seeing this calendar note and feeling, "I am important to Theresa".
For example: The typing of introvert - extrovert didn’t come into my awareness until I did my Myers-Briggs. At work, we’d chit chat about our different types and how it could trigger one another. Understanding who identified as an introvert allowed me to better tailor how I ran my 1-on-1s.
Another example: I’m a type 8 Enneagram - The Challenger. On the surface level, I thought my ‘railing against the hierarchy’ habit stemmed from an idealistic mindset. Peel back the layers a bit and I realized that actually, I have a deep fear of powerlessness. With almost every stronger trigger in my life, if I peel back it’s always a variation of "I fucking hate feeling powerless".
Pick a book or audiobook that changed you and 'pay it forward'. Include a message sharing what was going on in your life when you encountered this book. Not sure what book would be helpful? Ask someone they admire for a recommendation.
Worry less about about selecting a book that is relevant to their life. Sometimes, it’s not the book that holds the meaning - it’s knowing that this book took place during an important time in your life that makes it special.
Buy them a session with a therapeutic practitioner. Therapeutic experiences can be divided into 2 paths:
Talk Therapy: This is where you sit with a trained professional and verbalize what’s on your mind. There are all sorts of different modalities and niche markets. For example: If you know your self growth junkie is really interested in money, match them with a wealth psychologist (I’ve used Moira Summers and LOVE her).
Includes: Therapists, psychologists, coaches
Somatic Therapy: This option is phenomenal when your person just doesn't feel like talking or hasn't found words to explain what's going on. We hold stress in our bodies - often our body’s signal something is wrong before our brains can catch up.
Restorative somatic therapy: Massage therapy, reiki, osteopath, acupuncture, breathwork, floating isolation baths, facials/spa, yoga therapy, sound baths, handwriting in a journal, etc.
Invigorating somatic therapy; Gift a yoga, gym, spin membership. Great for targeting growth junkies that need more energy.
Yes, oracle cards have a more woo-woo vibe but I stand behind them as a fantastic tool for problem solving and brainstorming.
The brain is constantly surveying our environment to create meaning. It loves to insert itself into categories. When constrained to a particular story or image, you'd be amazed at what personal narrative your brain will construct. It's like a visual alternative to writing prompts.
Here’s a non woo-woo approach: Pick a 1, 2, 3, 11 card layout depending on how much energy you have. Oracle cards come with handy booklets that have a story attached to each image. Pick your card - you can’t go wrong so don’t stress. Flip your card(s) over and read the corresponding story in your booklet. Hold the ‘truth’ of the story lightly. Allow your brain to do what it does best - create a connection on how this could relate to you. Some of these cards can be pretty far out which is why it can be super effective. You wouldn’t normally imagine yourself being a wheat grass or frog or self-worshipper (as I discovered in a live IG story). Thinking from a new angle can bring a fresh change in perspective.
Special note: I love doing oracle cards with my kids. It gives me insight into what their mind finds meaningful and they give WAY more details when they have to verbalize what a card could be telling them.