|Read this issue for tips on how to begin to get to know your own strengths. This is the essential first step to being able to share them with others. Assess your ability as a strength spotter. Enhance your skills by asking the 3 questions below.
Research shows that using your strengths more frequently is associated with many benefits in work and life. These include goal achievement, increased productivity, better performance, less stress and more happiness. Save the Date:
CAREER MENTOR SERIES– Thurs March 29th is our next complimentary virtual training to help you with your job search. See details below.
How to Get to Know Your Strengths
Earlier this month, I talked about how knowing your own strengths can help you stand out when you want to find a new career direction, or even a new position in the same field.
But what does this mean in practice? The challenge is that many of us are not that clear about our strengths. Moreover, the same strength can be expressed in ways that appear to be very different at first.
So what can you do to explore your own strengths? This is important because you need to know your own strengths before you can share them with others, including prospective employers.
How to Be a Strengths Spotter
Dr. Alex Linley, one of the leaders in this field, describes the process of “strengths spotting”. In The Strengths Book that he co-authored, there is a list 10 “tell tale signs” of strengths (p. 60-61).
Below are 3 questions adapted from this list that you can use to begin to discover your own strengths.
1. When you think about the times that you have learned new things in your job, when have you been able to learn easily and quickly?
One of the reasons that it can be difficult to recognize our own strengths, is that we take them for granted. When you find something easy, you may assume that it is also easy for others. Check out your assumptions. Take notes on what you find out.
2. When you look at your work “to do” list, which activities do you gravitate towards?
What would you be most motivated to do if you could put external demands “on hold”?
External demands often have an important influence on how you allocate your time and effort at work. It’s easy for your strengths to get lost unless you pay attention to whether or not you have opportunities to use them.
3. What do you do at work that feels energizing?
Paying attention to how you feel during different work activities can be a great source of information about your strengths. Notice how your energy changes during different activities. Once you begin to observe patterns, you will be on track to learning more about your strengths.
Other Ways to Develop your Strengths Spotting Skills
These questions will help you discover your own strengths. Recognizing strengths in others is also a great way to build your skills. An additional benefit is that it can enhance your relationships at home and at work. What strengths do you observe among your coworkers, members of your family? Observe. Engage them in conversation about their strengths.
Track your Progress
If you decide that improving your strength spotting skills is a worthwhile goal for you, check out this free Strength Spotter Scale developed by Alex Linley and his colleagues. Assess your skills before you begin. Decide how long you want to practice for, and then reassess your skills to discover what you have learned.
Save the Date: March 29th at 12 noon Eastern
Career Mentor Series: Free Job Search Skills Training.
Our next free class will be on Thursday March 29th.
There is a complimentary 30-minute training. I will share some practical information
to help you with your job search. There will also be some time for questions.
Sign up here to get your invitation by email.
(If you signed up for a previous class you don’t need to re-register to get the information).
Want to suggest a future training topic? Add it to the comments box below or
send me a note here