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Super Powers?

Do you know your real strengths?  How did you find them?  Did someone tell you? Did you take a test? Did it come up in a performance review at work?  It is interesting how many people can tell you their IQ or their blood pressure, blood type or their bank balance but have no idea of their strengths.  Understanding these personal super powers is a key step in becoming the finest version of you.

It really is amazing how many of us go through life without having a clear understanding of such a critical component of our success and happiness.  All of us have major and lesser strengths (some refer to the latter as weaknesses). It’s the finding of them that has not always been a mainstream science.  There are a few schools of thought related to finding your strengths.  The field of positive psychology focuses on strengths, the Gallup organization has done a lot of work on strengths and there are strengths inventories found in several career focused tools.

The benefits of finding your strengths are numerous. When you are operating from your strengths there is simply more fulfilment and happiness and as a result usually success.  From a career perspective aligning strengths to the positions and the projects you take on will contribute to your level of achievement.  Those who are extremely capable and motivated to succeed can often do well in many fields, but when they choose an area of strength to focus on their success can be multiplied.  When an employer is able to identify and leverage an employee’s strengths, the benefits of increased productivity flow to the organization, while the employee’s engagement has increased due to their sense of well being.

When you are utilizing your strengths to deal with challenges you develop resilience and trust in yourself, a critical part of optimal performance.

How to find yours ………….. if you haven’t already

  1. I use the Via survey of character strengths with my clients.It is an online questionnaire through the University of Pennsylvania. There is no cost.

https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu

  1. Read the book Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
  2. Work with your coach or leadership development specialist.

Any combination of the above will get you started on your strengths inventory list.

Once you have determined your strengths, the next step is to integrate them into your life. You can use them as part of your decision-making process.  When you are making career or relationship decisions, consider whether the direction is aligned with your strengths.  For example, you may have strengths in the area of creativity and strategic thinking, and you are offered a role that involves following extremely specific processes.  You may have the ability to do the work, the compensation and security may be good, but if you are not aligned with your strengths you may not reach the levels of success and contentment that you would in a role that has more self-direction and flexibility.  In fact, you may experience such conflict that you will not succeed at all.  If your strengths are in the areas of logic and planning a role that requires a large amount of creativity and is very fluid, you may find yourself feeling uncomfortable even though you are able to succeed because you are not operating from your strengths.

Understanding your “not so strengths” and how to mitigate them is a big part of the equation.  Designing an action plan to deal with your “not so strengths” including a support system is a key component of building your self-awareness.  Another interesting concept is the idea of over-strengths; that is when one of your strengths becomes overly dominant and can undermine your success.  Consider the strength of leadership, unchecked it can become controlling, an undesirable characteristic.

Relationships at work or at home are often better when all parties recognize their strengths and partner with those that have complementary strengths to ensure optimum results.  Think of the detail-oriented partner working with the creative, strategic partner, as long as there is communication the results are the true definition of synergy.

An interesting exercise entails writing down your strengths in one column and in the next two columns, evaluate the level that your strength is operating in your life. In the fourth column consider action plans related to this strength.

STRENGTH

CAREER

RELATIONSHIPS

ACTION PLAN

Compassion

3

10

Look for opportunities to use this strength at work, has it become an overstrength at home?

Courage

8

2

Share my ideas more openly with family

Developer

5

5

Consider what this means in all aspects of my life

Focus

7

7

Analyze how this impacts results and increase

When you are operating from your strengths you will notice a feeling of authenticity, leveraging your strengths increases your personal power.  When you first acknowledge your strengths and find a way to utilize them effectively, there will be a bit of a learning curve and perhaps some resistance but once you see the results, its worth the effort.  Go ahead and explore that treasure trove that is you, another positive step in increasing self-awareness.  Your new-found super power can take you to greater heights!

Diane Crawford -  People Developer and Professional Coach and Founder of The Voyage Inc.

Diane has over 30 years business experience ranging from founding her own business to a senior corporate leadership role responsible for a 1.8 billion dollar operation. Along with an extensive background in finance, strategy and operations, Diane is a professional coach. She is a lifelong learner and teacher. She has been a high achiever throughout her career but more importantly she has developed and influenced many other leaders and high performers. This combination of dynamic business sense along with a genuine caring for people has been key in her success.

Diane is committed to a balanced life that includes a very active lifestyle as well as giving back to the community.