StrengthsQuest peer coaching to equip students with self-awareness

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Mackenzie Mong, senior in philosophy and political science, and Tabatha Bell, senior in chemical engineering, prepare for upcoming peer coaching sessions with students on Jan. 19, 2016. The K-State StrengthsQuest peer coaching program officially launched on Jan. 19 and is open to anyone interested in learning more about what to do after discovering their top 5 strengths. (Erin Poppe | The Collegian)

K-State StrengthsQuest kicked off the spring semester by officially launching its peer coaching program Tuesday.

According to Jessica Arnold, K-State StrengthsQuest coordinator, Strengths Advocates set out to put the “next piece” of StrengthsQuest into action around a year ago. StrengthsQuest, a program developed by Gallup, uses the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to reveal individuals’ top five strengths and then provides resources that help the individuals understand the strengths.

“I’m just really excited to see this initiative happen,” Arnold said. “This has been something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time, and we’re kind of making that dream happen by providing the peer coaching on campus. I’m also excited to see all of the students that we’re going to help through this.”

The coaching program was designed to give students the opportunity to delve deeper into the pool of their strengths, Arnold said. After completing the StrengthsFinder web assessment and discovering their top five strengths, students can request a coaching session with a trained peer pulled from Strengths Advocates. During the session, students can learn how to utilize these strengths in their academic, professional and personal development.

Alexandra Parr, junior in communication studies, participated in a soft launch of the program in December, acting as a trial student for peer coaches in training. Parr said that when she received her her top five strength results on the test, she was disappointed in them at first. She said she originally believed her strengths were unimportant or unhelpful, but her peer coaching session helped her understand the power of her strengths and how to harness that power positively.

“It really gives you insight into what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are and how to use your strengths to succeed,” Parr said. “It really helped me to better understand myself, and I think that if you continue the coaching, it helps you to better understand others and interact with them as well.”

Understanding one’s strengths as an individual also proves useful in career-building, Arnold said.

“I’ve heard from other students that I’ve been working with on campus that different companies that they’ve been interviewing with are using strengths in their companies,” Arnold said. “So I think it’s very beneficial for a student to know their top five strengths and how to work those into an interview.”

Mackenzie Mong, senior in philosophy and political science and peer coach, said she cannot wait to help other students reach their full potential through peer coaching.

“I’m excited to see how it will utilize the K-State spirit,” Mong said. “K-State is so much about family and people helping people, and I think that peer coaching is a great way for students to do that for fellow students.”

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Danielle Cook
Hey there! I'm Danielle Cook. I'm currently a freshman in journalism and mass communications. I live for telling true stories, so I hope to be doing it for the rest of my life. Luckily, I also live for late nights and early mornings – as long as there's coffee and I'm in good company.