Deri's Blogs

Play to your Strengths!

In my early years? report cards there was a theme; ?okay student? talks too much?. It was true! I was a social animal?well, at the very least, I seemed to be unable to control my need to interact with people around me. It wasn?t until years later, that I realized I was an Extrovert. I needed to be able to interact in order to be able to learn. Because the environment was like most learning environments of the time, where ?quiet? and ?order? were valued, I tried desperately to BE QUIET. I was able to sustain that for a period of time?then my ?natural? tendencies would rise up (and it continued to get me in trouble with my teachers). I thought there was something wrong with me. Why could other kids perform well in this environment? Was I defective in some way?

I, only later in life, realized the significance of this experience. I was not at my best when I was quiet (unable to interact with others)?my ability to learn suffered, my overall performance was marginal?and my motivation tanked!

I wonder today if my teachers of the time would be at all surprised with my career choice. I am a professional speaker. I get to spend each day (at least those days when I am not creating new material) interacting with others?being energized by (and hopefully energizing) others. I would not trade this career for any other. I am truly in a position to operate from my strengths, most of the time, when I am working.

One other comment made by my early teachers was that I was a ?daydreamer?. Well, guess what? I still am! (Another ?problem? that is actually an ?strength?.) I think it?s that strength that feeds my creativity ? which keeps me personally engaged in what I do and around which I get most of my positive feedback from clients.

What are are your strengths? It?s sometimes not an easy question to answer. I?ll bet that you know that there are times at work in which you are energized and engaged; and there are other times in which you are not. Therein lies a clue about your strengths. Chances are ? when your energy (and performance) is high, your strengths are in use. If you are interested in determining your strengths, there are some online resources available to you. Martin Seligman?s website, Authentic Happiness, features several assessments that are free of charge. You can also keep a simple journal, noting times at work when you are energized and engaged?what are you doing?

How much opportunity do you have to play to your strengths at work? According to Marcus Buckingham, author of ?Go Put Your Strengths to Work (among other very good reads), only about 12% of us play to our strengths at work.

I speak about this topic ? and several related to this topic ? every day when I am keynoting a conference or leading a workshop. I cannot describe how exciting it is to watch people begin to be energized about the possibility of using their strengths more at work. It can be a transforming experience for them?you can actually see them change before your eyes! Their skin colour, posture, and overall way of being changes. Imagine capturing that transformation on a more permanent basis in workplaces everywhere!

Well, you can do more than imagine it! No matter what, you must begin with yourself. Start seeking more opportunity to do the work that energizes and engages you. Talk to your leader and share your ideas to play to your strengths more often. I cannot imagine a leader who is not interested in hearing about how you can positively impact your satisfaction and your results.

I saw this video recently?it brought a tear to my eye. It reminded me about the importance of allowing myself, and then others around me, to be who they are and play to their strengths. The possibilities are endless! And, you never know who you might serve, or SURF, in the process!

Service Dog to Surf-ice Dog!

What Clients Say...

“Deri, you are the best! Not a dull moment and the time went too fast!”
Linda Borbridge, Manager, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
“I’m often asked to recommend a professional speaker who will captivate and motivate, and without hesitation Deri Latimer comes to mind. Deri has a reputation for a no-nonsense, energetic, synergistic approach. Her cutting-edge sessions are the perfect combination of science and inspiration and will have you moving into a new groove.”
Dr. Lewena Bayer, CEO, Civility Experts Inc.
“Deri is the personification of quality, style, and enthusiasm in her message. She delivered a message with our group that heightened their awareness and ability to share success. My hope is that you too will seek her out as a keynote, connector, and catalyst for change.”
Joseph Bork, Program Director, St. Mary’s University
“I am usually the type to sit in the crowd, quietly take it all in, and take notes, notes that end up in a binder, often never to be seen once I return to work. Deri was engaging, fun and as real as they get. I was so moved by her session that I shocked myself by approaching her after the session to chat. During the session I didn’t need to take notes because her concepts hit home and stuck with me. I have already taken her advice and acted on her tips and tools to be more positive. Her positivity is contagious and her message is one that everyone should take time to listen to.”
Amy Normal, VP, Corporate Services, Said Business School, University of Oxford
“I had the privilege of hearing Deri keynote at our conference. She captivates, motivates, and positively engages an audience with her unique combination of wisdom about neuroscience and positive behaviors that can be life changing when put into action. I would recommend her without any reservation for those seeking a speaker who can move an audience – from associates on a manufacturing floor to members of an executive leadership team – into action. Her takeaways are designed for positive impact. Prepare to laugh, to be curious, to be hungry for more time to listen to Deri.”
Vickie Maris, Host, Agile Digital Business
“Deri, your seminar truly resonated with our team. You took the time to learn about our roles, our challenges and opportunities and created an inspiring and motivating seminar just for us and made an impact with every person there. Having your book to use as a tool in our day-to-day has also been very valuable and has enhanced the results we got out of the time with you. We all hope that we will see you again at the next conference!”
Chantelle Arsenault, GBA, Great West Life Assurance Company of Canada
“It was an absolute pleasure to have Deri speak at our AGM. Deri brought an amazing level of passion and energy as she engaged our members with her talk on growth mindset. If you are looking for a speaker to connect with your audience, I would highly recommend that you reach out to Deri. Thank you, Deri – we were lucky to have you!”
Rob Chester, Director Information Security, Wawanesa Insurance
“A wonderfully authentic speaker with an infectious positive energy, Deri takes the crowd back to the roots of inspiration by sparking something within the humanity of the people in the room. Her fantastic sense of humor and knowledgeable way of integrating experiential learning opportunities into an inspirational message makes her a speaker not to miss!”
Ashley Collette, Social Work Officer, Canadian Armed Forces
“I forgot to take notes because I was taking it all in and feeling change take hold…”
Derek Rumboldt-Delouche, Director, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada
“That was fantastic! That was the most energized I have ever felt leaving a conference!!”
Barb Spurway, Principal Consultant, Protegra
“I cannot exaggerate how positively our Forum delegates reacted to your presentation. You set the perfect tone for the entire conference and left a lasting impression on our delegates and CPA staff alike.”
Sarah Marshall, President, Canadian Physiotherapy Association
“You changed people.”
Michelle Kletke, Human Resources Manager, TNG, Jim Pattison Group