When working toward a goal, it can be hard to step back, see the bigger picture, and identify exactly where your key strengths lie. But making an active effort to tap into these key strengths can make the world of difference to your personal and professional endeavours. Here are our top 5 ways to identify and play to your key strengths:
Feedback is crucial when getting to know your strengths and weaknesses. In order to grow, you must be open to constructive criticism, and having your existing habits challenged. You should also respond proactively to validation and encouragement, and think about how to move these strengths forward.
By asking for feedback from various people within your network, you may begin to notice patterns that will help you identify which aspects are consistently seen as your strengths. This will offer a reliable picture of the areas in which you tend to excel. You can then work on how best to play to these strengths.
Quality feedback requires a delicate balance between criticism and praise. You won’t get honest and unbiased feedback from everyone, so think about your network and who best to turn to. A coach or mentor can be a great start as a completely impartial voice.
Ever noticed that you can race through some tasks in the blink of an eye, while others seem to take a lifetime to complete? Often, this is down to your productivity levels and how they differ when tackling different types of work.
When trying to devote our attention to errands that play into our weaknesses rather than our strengths, productivity will be at its lowest. You’ll likely find yourself distracted, procrastinating, making mistakes, and getting bored.
On the other hand, if you find yourself so focused on a project that the hours fly by without your attention waning, this is probably where your strengths lie, and this is also when you’ll produce your best work.
Paying close attention to when your productivity levels are at their highest will help you to identify your strengths, and you can then find ways to tailor your goals around those strengths.
Personality tests can often get a bad rap. But finding a professional and well-researched personality test can offer a real in-depth look at what makes you tick, and how to play to your strengths.
There are resources out there that provide accurate testing techniques backed up by extensive study and psychometric research. 16Personalities is just one example of an online test which offers a comprehensive and well-informed personality model.
Your results can help you identify your optimal conditions for success, as well as your potential blind spots. This can be a great place to start if you are at a transitional moment in your professional life.
When you’re unaware of exactly what your key strengths are, one of the best things you can do is throw yourself into new situations.
Be mindful of how you respond to new circumstances, and how you approach different challenges. Sometimes you might fail, other times you’ll surprise yourself by excelling in unexpected ways.
Either way, you will have learned something, and it will have been a valuable experience of self-reflection. One that will help you play to your strengths in the future.
It is natural for us to identify ourselves by the things we are working towards, and the things we really want to be good at. And it is important to work toward fulfilling those aspirations.
But, be wary of confusing your strengths with your goals. Just because you are actively pursuing a career in marketing, doesn’t make you a marketing guru straight off the bat, and that’s okay. The path toward achieving these goals will be that much easier if you work with the strengths you already have.
These strengths may be simple things that you’ve been overlooking. A great way to get back in touch with your fundamental strengths is to try and see yourself as others see you. How would your friends, family and colleagues describe you? What would they say you are good at or come to you for help with?
These are the fundamental strengths that people remember you for. Utilising these strengths will help you reach those bigger goals and develop yourself even further.