by Debra Hoyt
WPN Member, Guest Blogger

I decided to join the Women’s Philanthropic Network for a few reasons. I have admired the work of WPN for several years and some wonderful women I know are members who expressed what a great group it is. When the focus shifted this year to education I knew that was something I really wanted to be involved with. Education is important to me and I want to participate.

I decided to participate in the Strengths Finder Training because I believe thoroughly that the better you know yourself and what your strengths are, the more effective you can be in helping others achieve success and any opportunity to help you do that is well worth the time. After receiving and reading the book, I knew that it would be worth my time to attend.

What I learned from the Strengths Finder Training was rather than look at my top five strengths as negatives much of the time, I should embrace them as part of who I am and what I offer to those I work with and associate with as a result — and not only in my professional life but my personal life as well. And as professional women, I think that reaching out to young women is the greatest gift we can impart! Celebrate your strengths and focus on what you do well and everything else will fall into place. When you fight you who are, success does not follow nor does peace of mind.

After what I learned at the Strengths Finder Training, I hope to be more accepting of not only myself but also of others. This training made me realize we all have strengths we bring to the professional world as well as our personal life and we should maximize what we do well. I loved the analogy of trying to write with your non-dominant hand and how difficult it is to try to make something that is not natural be natural. It doesn’t work. Go with your strengths because therein lies contentment and inspiration for yourself and others. Don’t wish your life away trying to behave a certain way when it is not who you are. Be yourself and encourage others to be as well — and respect that.

Thank you to United Way of Salt Lake and the WPN for providing this wonderful opportunity to learn and grow.