For many years, I spent a lot of energy trying to improve my weaknesses. I can promise you that my time would have been better spent honing in on and refining my strengths. The result: some of my abilities remained rather mediocre instead of being elevated to an exceptional level.
I must admit that it is not that easy to specifically pinpoint our own strengths/skills. Think of a classical interview situation where the employer asks you to name your strengths – isn’t it fair to say that you would most probably use general terms like: detail-oriented, punctual etc…? I find that such descriptions are not necessarily specific enough and a bit cliché.
This train-of-thought led me to take part in the Gallup Strengths Finder Test (CliftonStrengths) early last year – I must say that it was fully worth the $15 and 40 minutes that I invested in getting a detailed account of my five top strengths. Trust me, it is not one of the many fluffy quizes that usually flood the internet. Honestly, I can totally identify my personality traits in each of the strengths listed – equipping me with the confidence to give them the attention that they deserve. They provided me with a sort of framework for the way that I worked and managed projects in 2017. Just last week, I took the time to revisit my results and was once again convinced that it was the right decision to actively seek out my strengths and utilize them accordingly. And as for my weaknesses, whenever possible, I choose to delegate them to someone else whose strengths are in that area – it usually ends up being my husband, Tim.
One of my strengths is Input. This strength describes a person who is very inquisitive and loves to collect information. This couldn’t be more true – I love reading, listening to podcasts, engaging in stimulating conversations – in a sense, keeping my mind fresh and stimulated. I also found it quite helpful that CliftonStrengths provides suggestions as to how you can use the strengths to your advantage.
Surely there are other ways to find out your strengths without having to take a personality test. For instance, asking your closest friends and family for assistance in identifying your skill sets. My advice to you is to try to be more specific and accurate.
I personally make resolutions anytime during the year, but since it is January 1st, I urge you to perhaps add it to your new year’s resolution list to identify and focus on your strengths. Good luck!
If you are happy to share, please let me know one strength that you poses and how it helps you in your daily life or business…