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By Karen Ann Thompson

Modified from the “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey

When you hear the word synergy, what comes to mind? Synergy could be a flock of geese flying in a perfect V across the sky, the music created by your favorite band and when your group works together nicely on a project. It is important to understand that synergy takes place when an individual or single component to the whole is able to bring their strengths to the table. Have you ever thought of the synergy that is created in a fruit salad? A fruit salad is made up of different types of fruit all brought together to create a tasty, healthy and refreshing treat. Each fruit maintains its own individual flavor while contributing to the salad. This is exactly what synergy is, bringing our strengths to the table and being mindful of the strengths of others while existing in harmony.

What type of fruit are you? We all have different styles, traits, and characteristics. The following exercise is a fun look at some of your general characteristics and personality traits!


Read across each row and place a 4, 3, 2, or 1 in the box and rank how you would best describe yourself. 4 being the word that best describes you and 1 being the word that least describes you. Do this for each row.

Salad Quiz

Now, add up your totals for each column.

If your high score was in Column 1, consider yourself a grape!

Natural Abilities: Being reflective, sensitive, flexible, creative and prefers to work in groups.

Grapes learn best when: Can work and share with others, balance work and play, can communicate, are noncompetitive

Grapes may have trouble: giving exact answers, focusing on one thing at a time, organizing.

To expand their style: Pay more attention to details, not rush into things, be less emotional when making decisions.

If your high score was in Column 2, consider yourself an orange!

Natural Abilities: Experimenting, independent, curious, creating different approaches and creating change.

Oranges learn best when: Can use trial and error, produce real products, can compete, are self-directed.

Oranges may have trouble: meeting time limits, following a lecture, having few options or choices.

To expand their style: Delegate responsibility, be more accepting of others’ ideas, learn to prioritize.

If your high score was in Column 3, consider yourself a banana!

Natural Abilities: Planning, fact, finding, organizing, following directions.

Bananas learn best when: Have an orderly environment, have specific outcomes, can trust others to do their part, have predictable situations.

Bananas may have trouble: Understanding feelings, dealing with opposition, answering “what if” questions.

To expand their style: Express their own feelings more, get explanations of others’ views, be less rigid.

If your high score was in Column 4, consider yourself a melon!

Natural Abilities: Debating point of view, finding solutions, analyzing ideas, determining value or importance.

Melons learn best when: Have access to resources, can work independently, are respected for intellectual ability, follow traditional methods.

Melons may have trouble: Working in groups, being criticized and convincing others diplomatically.

To expand their style: Accept imperfection, consider alternatives and consider others’ feelings.

Now that you got to know yourself a little better and the type of fruit you would be in a fabulous fruit salad, share your strengths and use them to empower others! This is also a great quiz to give to your youth in assessing their personality and learning style. If you would like more information on the 7 Habits or more information on learning styles, please feel free to contact me at