Hello! Before diving into this blog post, I want to introduce myself. My name is Katherine and I am the newest intern at MTCCA! It’s hard to believe that I am finishing up my third week of internship, but in these three weeks I’ve already learned so much. Along with reviewing orientation materials, observing client sessions, learning about MTCCA and private practice, and getting used to the new music therapy intern lifestyle, I’ve learned about the significance of working as a member of a strong, united team. This was one of the main focuses of the vision planning retreat which I attended with the team members of MTCCA (it was also “Back to the Future” themed which was so fun!).
During a portion of the retreat, we each shared our strengths based off of the Clifton Strength’s Finder test and described how we saw these strengths played out in our lives. As the retreat was centered around looking towards the future for MTCCA, we dove even further to share the significance of our strengths in achieving MTCCA’s core values and mission. I love any and all personality tests so getting to learn more about myself and the team through the Strength’s Finder has been super intriguing aspect of internship. The categories of strengths are divided into four domains: executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking. As to be expected, everyone on the team has their own set of unique strengths that they utilize in the workplace. Personally, my top five strengths are: includer, harmony, communication, individualization and empathy. My strengths are primarily relationship building strengths and I can see how these influence my decisions and approach both in music therapy and other aspects of my life, especially with how I value connections I make with others.
I share a few of my strengths with other members of the team, but it was interesting to hear how they experience these strengths individually and how they use their strengths to their advantage. Conversely, there are members of the team who have completely different strengths than I do and are strong in domains I am not, such as executing and strategic thinking. The versatility of the strengths among the team is incredibly important in the success of the company’s mission, as every member brings something unique and beneficial to the table. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about everyone’s strengths and remember leaving the retreat feeling reassured that everyone plays a crucial role on the team because of these strengths. I mean let’s be honest, while I value having harmony as one of my strengths, I know a team full of only harmonious people would probably never get much done. A similar sentiment can be said of a team made up of only executors, as it would be filled with people who have no feelings and who would struggle working as a united front. I certainly appreciated the experience of getting to learn more about the MTCCA team and how we can all work together to lead the company to success.
Moral of the story, this retreat solidified the importance of having multiple strengths on a team to accomplish various goals. A good summarization of the importance of each member actually came in the form of a Delorean (remember, “Back to the Future” themed). We each labelled our strengths on different parts of the vehicle which we thought best symbolized our strengths. In this exercise, the Delorean symbolized the company and the team was all the crucial parts of the vehicle.
I collaborated with another team member to label communication as the left and right blinkers, because a blinker signals clearly and distinctly which way the car is moving. I also labelled the passenger seat as includer because I see the passenger seat as the best representation of making someone feel included in the car. We all play a vital role in the MTCCA team, and if one strength is missing, the whole operation can fall apart. It is important to highlight these strengths to ensure everyone works efficiently and to the best of their abilities so that the team can achieve greatness! I have always enjoyed being a collaborative member of a team, so having the opportunity to dive right in and participate in the vision planning retreat as a contributor was quite exciting.
I am excited to see what the rest of internship has in store and look forward to sharing my learnings with you!
Here’s a link to learn more about the Clifton Strength’s Finder test: https://www.leadershipvisionconsulting.com/what-is-the-clifton-strengthsfinder/
Here’s a link to a blog post about strengths written by previous intern, Audrey: https://themusictherapycenter.wordpress.com/2020/01/31/finding-your-strengths/