I’ve written about focusing on your strengths in another blog (November 2). I am only beginning to understand the importance of working with our talents and making these stronger, rather than always focusing on our weaknesses. I’ve been spending time every week with a friend of mine who is a life coach – she’s been helping guide me through this new transition in my life. It’s been awesome having someone helping me to think outside the box. She recommended the book to me ‘Strength Finder’ by Tom Rath. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! He explains that most people think they KNOW what they are good at. He further states that they are usually wrong, and yet a person can perform only from strength. I found this part interesting – he explains that when you’re not in your “strength zone”, you’re six times less likely to be engaged in your job. When you aren’t able to dominate your strengths, likely you:
- dread going to work
- have more (-) than (+) interactions with your colleagues
- treat your customers poorly
- tell your friends what a miserable company you work for
- achieve less on a daily basis
- have fewer positive and creative moments
It makes sense. This goes for every other aspect of our lives outside of work too. I was shocked & excited last night when I took the online assessment. I discovered my 5 major strengths and also was given ideas to help me strengthen this area as well as ideas of what other types of people I would work best with. Awesome!
These are my top strengths, with a basic description:
- Positivity – I am generous with praise, quick to smile, and always on the lookout for the positive in the situation. My enthusiasm is contagious. (yep!)
- Winning Others Over – I enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like me. I enjoy initiating with strangers because I derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. (yep!)
- Developer – I see the potential in others. I look for ways to challenge people and help them grow. Each individual is a work in progress, alive with possibilities. I like to work with positive people who just need a spark (yep!)
- Empathy – I can sense the emotions of those around me. Intuitively I am able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. (yep!)
- Activator – I believe that action is the best driving force for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result and you learn (yep!)
Why this was interesting to me was that I learned I should choose a path that parallels these strengths. If I’m finding myself doing things that aren’t aligned with these, perhaps I should re-think what I’m doing. I felt encouraged and inspired to continue following the path I’m taking in life, even though it might not necessarily be the way I perhaps ‘should’ be going. I feel I have something a little out of the ordinary, and I WANT to follow it!
This picture is a wheel that my life couch got me to fill out. I filled this out over a week ago, and have already started making changes to my weak areas, but most importantly, I have strnegthened my strong areas. I’ve been spending more time with friends and in my community (I rated these categories both highly), and I’m feeling on fire! It’s just a reminder to continue doing what makes you feel good. Build on it. Build on your strengths! Talent x investment = STRENGTH!! Invest in your natural talents. We are all unique! We were given these talents for a reason, to enjoy our lives and to inspire others to do the same. Discover and focus on your strengths!
Smile with your heart!