Are You Sure You Know Your Strengths?

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As we enter yet another new year and another list of resolutions, many of us tend to focus on what we’re doing “wrong” or what we have to “do less of” or “give up"… [or insert vice of your choice] in order to lose the weight, stop smoking, find a new job, etc.

There’s a better way to focus on the positive as opposed to everything you think is just plain wrong. Focus instead on STRONG. Ask yourself: are you doing what you are best at every day, and if so, do you love doing it? I’m not talking about what you’re told you’re good at, or the things you’re good at that you get paid to do. I am talking about your real strengths. If you are doing what you love, you are using your strengths.

But don’t just take my word for it, because it’s not my original idea but the brainchild of those brainy people at Gallup. You know Gallup: the people who pose a lot of questions about a lot of things to a lot of different people, from every walk of life. A few years ago, Gallup came up with a survey/test to help people discover what they’re good at and what they’re passionate about – two very different constructs.

Know Your Strengths

Image: Global X via Flickr

If you’re confused about this idea, then consider taking the Strengths Finder Test. This is a test, and book, that Gallup introduced in 2001 (and again in 2007 with an updated version, StrengthsFinder 2) to help people discover their top talents and skills.

I know we all think we know what our strengths are – I mean, seriously, over 50 we have a clue, don’t we? But I have to say, I believe this test can help, if we take it every few years. It will re-inform you, or inform you in a new area, or re-motivate you in your life path, career, job choice, or may simply help you focus and polish the areas in which you are strongest.

Here are a few ways the book and test can help you:

  • Career planning – It helps you find and polish the areas you are best equipped for in your work or career choice.
  • Team building – You work better with others when you really understand your own individuals strengths.
  • Improving work performance – When you know and understand your strengths, you’re more able to channel your energies to work more effectively.
  • Interview preparation – You will find that the results of your StrengthsFinder test will really empower you when that interview question pops up: "Can you tell me what your strengths are?"

The author, Tom Rath, states that we are better off cultivating our strengths, rather than spending too much time trying to improve our areas of weakness, as we are often taught to do here in the US. I agree!

Rooted in more than 40 years of research, this assessment is a real powerhouse! Check it out!

Click here for more info: Strengths Finder Test.

 

 

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