Do you have the opportunity each day at work to use your strengths?
If you do, you’re outperforming other people even if you aren’t sure exactly what your strengths are that you’re using.
How often do you feel an emotional high on the job?
Most people say they get an emotional high from their work at least once a week.
Do you lose track of time at work doing particular projects?
If so, then you’re most likely leveraging your strengths. You are building upon how you naturally think, feel and behave — your greatest talents.
You’ll feel happier at work if you use your strengths on a consistent basis.
According to Marcus Buckingham, author of Now Discover Your Strengths, only 12 percent of people in the U.S. believe they use their strengths in their work every day.
Our business culture tends to shore up corporate weaknesses rather than focusing on strengthening strengths.
Each of us has areas in which we’re naturally talented, and areas in which we’re naturally weak.
Ask yourself what are you doing that strengthens you.
Then ask yourself what you’re doing that weakens you. You want to eliminate those things you’re doing that weaken you!
I don’t recommend quitting your job. I would recommend that you work on your thinking first. Be grateful about what you get from your job. The money you’re earning from your job is putting food on the table and hopefully a roof you’re over your head. Focusing on gratitude will quickly shift your thinking.
So how do you move from using your strengths once or twice a month to using them most of the time?
Begin to notice what you are doing when you’re feeling in the flow or you are feeling energized at work. Be the observer and observe what you’re doing and think about which strength you’re using.
Notice when you are having energy drains and energy gains at work. Follow your energy – your body never lies. It will show you what is feeding your soul and what is draining it.
Next you look at your weekly schedule and deliberately shift your weekly schedule to include activities that energize you.
Focus on working from your strengths from once a month to most of the time.
Get clear on what strengthens you and weakens you.
Eliminate anything from your life you are doing that weakens you. (Remember most of the time it’s your thinking around that issue and not a person, place or thing).
Plan your strong week. I ask my clients to focus on doing what they do best and to plan activities that give them energy.
Start focusing on those tasks and activities that will help you develop your talents into strengths.
A talent only becomes a true strength after it’s developed, which means that you will want to focus on building your skills and experience in that particular area.
My top five strengths are Activator, WOO (win others over), Significance, Self-Assurance, and Strategic. I make things happen, and I have no qualms with taking risks and asking people to be interviewed or in pitching a story to a New York Times reporter (and getting the client in that article). Yet my employees in my PR firm would never have taken that risk. My WOO, Activator and Self-Assurance combined help me take big risks in my professional life. I love being strategic and looking for patterns and learning from them. It’s easy for me because these are my natural talents.
Try to use several or more of your strengths together. This is where your success lies in combining your strengths and observing what works for you.
How do you find your top five strengths?
I like to recommend an inexpensive and easy online resource called The Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. It will help you quickly find out your top five strengths. This will enable you to focus your time and energy on what matters most.
One of the key things I’ve learned by owning my own business for the past 16 years is to hire people that have strengths in areas that are weakest for me. This is how my boutique PR business became a mid-six figure company. I had five employees, and we focused on our strengths. They shored up my weak areas and my strengths were their weaknesses. Together we were unstoppable.
I ask each of my clients to get to know themselves by taking a series of assessments so they can get to know themselves thoroughly. We find out their strengths, talents, and values and how they learn information. This information is much more valuable then you might think at first glance. When you focus on strengthening your strengths and working from that place, it will lead you to success and well-being as you use your creative energy to solve problems.
I help my clients find their soul’s “calling” to their “true” work in the world. I help them learn their strengths and play to them in a bigger way. Most important of all – I help them understand that their thoughts create their reality.