Know Your Strengths

I've been a long-time fan of Marcus Buckingham and the Strengths-Based Movement. Reading Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance for my Women's Business and Leadership Book Club just reminded me of the many reasons why.

In a nutshell, we all have inherent talents—a.k.a. strengths—we're born with and to be our happiest and most fulfilled, our jobs need to play to and use them. Skills and knowledge can be taught, but our strengths are part of what make us who we are. Unlike much traditional thinking, the strength-based movement has realized the benefits of continuing to improve our strengths—becoming more of who we naturally are—instead of trying to improve our weaknesses. 

The kicker is that the more time you spend on your weaknesses, the more drained you feel whereas your strengths energize you. So you can see how important it is to be able to identify these strengths.

Marcus, in this book, gives us a handy pneumonic to do so: SIGNS
  • Success: Our strengths are the things we're naturally good at and often get complimented on. Is there something your friends and colleagues are always asking your help with? Chances are that may be your strength.
  • Instinct: Is there something you instinctively want to do, look forward to, and often look for ways to do more of? If there's something you do daily and need to do, chances are, it's a strength of yours.
  • Growth: Is there something you pick up quickly, are really in the flow when doing, and look forward to learning more about? Yup, it's a strength.
  • Needs: Is there something that fulfills an inherent need of yours, allowing you to be authentically yourself and fulfilled? That's a strength.
When your job plays to your strengths, it's a joy and not a chore so identifying your strengths is the first step towards that goal. The rest of the book helps you apply this knowledge at work, even if you're working for others.

So regardless of who you are and at what level of career you're at, being able to recognize your strengths is the key to future success and happiness.

Are you ready to know your strengths?

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