Leadership writer John C. Maxwell said that he always encourages people to identify their strengths rather than dwell upon their shortcomings. He says that people find their purpose by finding – and then remaining – in their ‘strength zone’.
Every wild animal is successful because its way of life matches its core strengths. For example, the strengths of a hawk are its vision, agility and talons. The strengths of an egret are its long, sharp beak and long neck and legs. What would happen if a hawk lived in a marsh or an egret lived in grasslands? It’s like that with people.
Gallup has conducted extensive research into strengths from over ten million respondents. Yet this research has found that only a third of respondents were working in a way that was best suited to their strengths.
Steven McInnes from HCI says “A strength is something which energizes you, contributes to personal growth and leads to peak performance.” Strengths can be developed in a number of ways from voluntary involvement, hobbies, research, to work experience, and natural aptitude. The challenging part is identifying what truly energizes people. Strengths are often confused for skills that have been learnt and have become a core competency. Instruments such as Strengthscope™ can help people identify their strengths and highlight areas for further development.
You can also discover your strengths by asking yourself a few key questions. Firstly, what tasks energise you at work? These are the tasks that engross you, that make your day pass quickly. Secondly, what are you naturally curious about that you pick up before anyone else? Finally, who can you ask to give you a better understanding of your strengths at work? Asking for feedback from co-workers, clients, friends and family members can help you to be aware of strengths that might be hidden from your awareness.
When something is energizing you at work, find opportunities to develop that skill, for instance by asking for more responsibility in that field. A creative visionary who spends more time developing strategy, rather than filling out forms is primed for a fulfilling career.
In today’s competitive corporate environment, it is becoming more and more challenging to ‘stand out from the crowd’. When working with strengths, you can increase your contribution to your organisation and gain satisfaction from doing what you enjoy the most.
To better understand how your strengths can lead to a fulfilling career, visit www.thinkhci.com.au/strengthscope for more details.
Article by – Steve McInnes – HCI – www.thinkhci.com