Recently, after a peer vehemently ran through all the things she didn’t like about a program she attended I pointed out that maybe that was an area to focus her skills since that is obviously where her passion was pointing. She got it and immediately started planning how she could fill the holes she saw in training programs.
I got this idea – and follow it myself – after hearing a preacher mention that the things that bother us are the areas we’re to address…the holes we’re to fill. In a recent post entitled Discover Your Strengths the premise is to recognize your unique skills and parlay them into success. How do you recognize your strengths? Here are four tips:
- Watch for signs of excitement. Like the Let Bartlet be Bartlet post I just published, if you are able to use your skills, boast about your accomplishments, and ultimately be the best you, you’re likely to be passionate about your work. One way to determine your strengths is to take the VIA Character Strengths Test and notice how they already show up in your life and work. Not surprisingly some of us coaches use this test with our clients.
- Break away from job titles. Exploring other roles within your company can both give you an appreciation for what others go through but also give you a clearer indication of what you do and do not want to do in your job. My idea with one company was to create a shadow program for employees.
- Notice what you do different than everyone else. Notice the times when you stand out from the crowd. An example given in this post is how Mad Men’s Don Draper can save an account with a well-placed story. What is your super power?
- Describe your strengths creatively. Whether you’re networking or reworking your resume painting the picture of who you are and what you can do is another way of setting yourself a part from the crowd. The clearer you are about this the more authentic it will be when you tell others what you do and who you are.
The important thing about finding and playing to your strengths is that you recognize what you contribute and you focus your efforts so that you can live with passion and purpose.
What is your #1 strength from the VIA report?