This article gives you 4 ways on to how to discover your own strengths and how you can use them to be more effective, to be more successful, to experience more fulfillment and to have more impact both at home and at work.
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I spoke with two entrepreneurs the other week. They started an innovation agency in 2014, specializing in business creativity. It was a nice conversation about our challenges and successes. Their agency is growing and they now have trainees and employees working with them.
At a certain point, we were talking about the qualities and strengths of staff. The question arose how you can make staff stronger on certain skills like communication.
Competences and skills can be learned by reading books, following courses or training and of course by practicing them a lot. Qualities and strengths cannot be learned so quickly. Often you’re born with them.
I am convinced that it is more effective, sustainable and meaningful to use and develop your qualities and related skills than to learn skills that do not belong with you at all. You can also have much more impact if you consciously use your own strengths and qualities.
Many people I meet don’t know what their strengths are. They then ask me to help them find their strengths, their qualities.
How do you find your strengths?
Below I give you a number of ways on how you can discover your strengths. This can be done with the help of (self) assessments, conversations with friends or coaches and through self-reflection.
1 Ask it!
Often others see your strengths much easier and more clearly. Ask your colleagues, friends or family members what qualities and strengths they see in you. Just ask them what you are good at. Let yourself be surprised.
You might already know some but then it is good to get it confirmed by someone else. Sometimes you don’t even have to ask it, but you get to hear about your talent in the form of a compliment.
A while ago, I heard from someone that I had a good discipline. That’s good to hear. Now I am reading a lot about how I can strengthen this quality and use it better to complete things.
2 Look inside
By looking inside, by reflecting you can also (re) discover your strengths. In my articles about self-reflection and core reflection, I tell you how you can do this.
Another good way to find your qualities and strengths is to create a lifeline. On a sheet of paper you draw a horizontal and a vertical axis. The horizontal axis represents time. The vertical axis represents energy. On the graph you put a number of events in your life and the energy, the fulfillment that you experienced at that moment.
Look for your contribution at each event. What were you doing? Often these are your strengths, your qualities. These can also be activities that have rather given you negative energy. But if you look carefully behind the event, you can discover a quality.
When I left an engineering firm after 14 years, I was very sad and didn’t have much energy. By looking more closely at this event, I discovered that I could be flexible and that I am very loyal. The story about my departure from the engineering office and what I learned there can be read here.
Do you want to create your own lifeline? In this article you can download a template for free.
You can also read this article about how you can find your Ikigai, your life’s purpose. It helps you discover what you are good at, what you love, what you want to get paid for and what the world needs.
3 Discover your character strengths
Core qualities are the positive qualities that you have and that are innate. Your core qualities are always present and can be used. You can discover your own core qualities by doing a free assessment on www.viacharacter.org. For more information about the power of character strengths, read this article.
4 Find your signature themes
The Gallup Organization has done years of research on people who are effective. It turned out that those people know what their strengths and behaviors are. These signature themes or dominant themes of talent are at the basis of their success, regardless of what their knowledge, competences or skills are. By being aware of your signature themes, you can use these to perform consistently both in personal life and at work.
You can discover your own signature themes, or those of your team, by doing an assessment via https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/home.aspx
You will then get the top 5 of 34 measured themes. I am very impressed with my own signature themes. The assessment gives me good tools on how to strengthen my own talents and how to work better with others to strengthen their own talents or signature themes .
5 Take the following steps
Discovering your strengths is the first step. This is possible through reflection, assessments and conversations with others. I can also help you with that through coaching or training. Together we will discover your strengths and how you can best develop and use them. And if you really want to make an impact, I can help you (or your team) to discover your unique WHY. It is about your contribution, read: strengths and their impact on the world.
The second step is to take action and learn how you can best communicate with others, for example. The DiSC communication model can help you with this.
Interested in coaching or training for yourself or your team? Contact me today!
What are your strengths? How did you discover them? Let me know in the comment field below. I and the other readers of this article are looking forward to reading from you!
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