Mind mapping is a unique way to find or bring clarity to your areas of strengths. I first read about the concept of mind mapping in Ken Robinsons fantastic book, Finding Your Element. Here is how Ken describes mind mapping and how to do it:
Mind mapping is a visual technique for displaying or sorting information. A mind map centers on a core idea or theme and has lines, words and images extending from it to connecting ideas or information. To create a mind map, you begin by putting the core idea or theme in the center of the page and draw a circle around it. You then draw branching lines from the center circle that represent related thoughts and ideas. You can have as many of these branching lines as you like and each of them may divide into two or more other lines of thought.
When it comes to discovering your strengths there are two ways you can use mind mapping. The first way will require some knowledge or idea of what your strengths might include. The second way can help if you don’t know or don’t have a clear idea of your strengths. The first way closely follows the above description while the second breaks a little away from the mind mapping technique. Let’s begin.
Method One: You might want to take a Strengths Finder survey before applying this method. Start by writing down only one of your strengths on the center of a piece of paper (or what you believe your strength is). Begin to make branches of the “thoughts” and “ideas” or specific activities or tasks which are related to your strengths. Make sure what you put down match the regular activities, tasks, behaviors, and habits you do exceptionally well.
If in fact this is an area of strength, the finished product will shine a clear light onto your area of strength. It will also provide an overview of how your strengths play out and work in your everyday life, showing you the bigger picture of how your strengths impact you and your everyday activities. You would benefit from doing this with each of your strengths.
Method Two: The second way to use mind mapping is a little reverse from the first way. When you want to discover an area of strength, leave the center or middle area empty (This is the strength you want to find). Start by filling the branches or theme areas with what you already know about yourself as well as your life purpose, passions, what you enjoy doing, the role or tasks you like to do and are exceptionally good in or at, and what you are drawn to do or work on. You can see this is working backwards from the previous way of mind mapping. After you have filled in between 15 and 25, you can begin to find the common threads or similar areas that are connected with each other. When you are finished the mind map will reveal areas you are strong in. It will help you find or clarify the strengths you have.
Questions: Have you used mind mapping before? Which of the two methods resonates with you?
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