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When it comes to your personal development, one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is, “What are my strengths?” Knowing them is essential to satisfaction in your work and life, and to accelerating your success.
Strengths are a unique combination of your skills, talents, knowledge and experience.You have many strengths – some are obvious, but many others aren’t. In fact, many of your strengths often go underutilized and unappreciated.
Studies show that when we identify our strengths and focus on them, we are more productive, perform better, are more engaged, and have greater joy in work and life.
Yet, we don’t spend nearly enough time focusing on them. Instead, we are experts on what we are not good at. From an early age, we learn to focus on our weaknesses and what we can do to overcome them.
Do you feel connected and engaged with your work? Do you feel like you are achieving your purpose and potential? Do you feel like you are doing the work you were born to do? If you answered no to any of these, you are in good company – 70% of Americans say they are not engaged or fulfilled at work.
Today, you can change that.
It doesn’t happen naturally or spontaneously – you have to be intentional to discover your strengths.
Fortunately, science shows how you can discover your Strengths.
Researchers with the Gallup Organization have surveyed over 11 million people worldwide from every type of business and organization. Their research identified patterns and descriptions that reveal every person’s strengths. The patterns that emerged indicate that every person possesses five dominant Strengths from a field of 34. You possess a unique combination of your own five dominant Strengths.
Because of the depth and longevity of the research, Gallup developed a streamlined approach to help you discover your Strengths. It is easier than you can imagine – all you need is 20 minutes and $10 to take the assessment and receive a detailed report about YOU.
After you take the 20 min Strengthsfinder assessment online, you receive:
1. A customized report with a description of your top five Strengths – i.e. the ones that make you stand out.
2. Ideas for action. You receive a tailor made step by step guide on how to appreciate, maximize, and take action today that will dramatically increase your engagement and satisfaction in your work and in your personal development.
3. A huge boost in confidence and clarity that comes from a greater appreciation for how valuable you are.
4. A new vocabulary to describe what you do best, and how to articulate the value you bring to your work and life. You can use this vocabulary instantly in your work as you communicate with others.
Many I’ve mentored have found this vocabulary powerful in navigating their current positions, and in providing them more impactful descriptions of their value – especially as they update their resumes or LinkedIn profiles.
5. A new appreciation for attributes that you previously undervalued in yourself. For example, I used to think that my lifelong habit of saving news articles in a file was a mild case of hoarding!
Yet, I always found something of value in these articles to share with someone else. It turns out that this is an essential part of one of my Strengths, called Input. These unrecognized and undervalued Strengths are often the traits that are powerful and unique, and that come quite naturally to you.
6. Insights about your colleagues and others. By knowing your Strengths better, you will gain insight to more accurately identify the key attributes of others – a critical workplace asset that can change how you interact with everyone today. You may find that some of the idiosyncrasies that annoy you in others actually represent their Strengths; theirs are different than yours.
Donald O. Clifton, the late professor and creator of Strengthsfinder, once said:
“You are not powerless, even in a job where you are not satisfied. Today, make the investment in understanding and leading with your strengths. Each person’s greatest room for growth is in the areas of his or her greatest strength.”
Knowing your unique capabilities will transform how you perceive yourself and others. You may choose to bring the results of the Strengthsfinder assessment to your organization, your project team, or your management.
Strengthsfinder can also show you how to approach projects, how to choose projects in the first place, and even how to choose reporting relationships when that is a possibility.
Once you have the descriptions on how you stand out, and the ideas for action, refer to them often – they will give you greater clarity and confidence each time you do. What could be better than that?! Again, here is the website: https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/
At whatever pace you proceed, this can be a time of epiphany and discovery. Your purpose and your strengths will intersect for greater joy and effectiveness.
Blending the two has a ripple effect that will propel you to your best year and your best life, ever.