Do you remember your school reports? Can you remember what they said about you? I was recently reacquainted with my reports from secondary school, and whilst I remembered some of what my teachers had written about me, reading them again with the powerful knowledge of hindsight and the even more interesting insight of being an Emergenetics Associate made for a very interesting read.
Without exception all of my teachers had written about what they called my ‘liveliness’ in the classroom. The thread was consistent across all of my subjects, however; sadly this wasn’t always referred to in a positive way. In fact in most cases it was seen as an annoyance. I’m a mum now and a volunteer at a local primary school, so I get that having 30 lively children in a classroom can be a bit distracting, but unbeknownst to me back then, my ‘liveliness’ was actually a gift, a strength that until I was in my mid 30’s I hadn’t fully acknowledged as a strength or fully embraced as an incredible tool to my own success.
Since leaving school at 16 (I hasten to add with very few qualifications) I have launched offices for other businesses, I have been a board director of a British newspaper and I have successfully managed my own business for 10 years. My teachers had largely written me off back in 1985, which may have contributed to making me determined to do OK. However, I attribute a lot of my success to my ‘liveliness’ and feel incredibly proud of what I have achieved as a result.
I’m glad to say that the education system has moved on a lot since the 1980’s, but it’s interesting to reflect back and notice what others see of us and how sometimes our strengths can be viewed as a weakness and of course the consequent impact that can have on a person. I occasionally wonder what might have happened if my ‘liveliness’ had been embraced rather than quashed… I guess I’ll never know.
For those of you in the Emergenetics world, it might not surprise you to learn that I have a 52% preference for social thinking and I am also 3/3rd expressive.
We all have innate strengths; I’ve learnt that embracing mine gives me the freedom to do amazing things, I also know my gaps and I have to keep working hard at those too!!