We often spend significant time within our work lives looking to fix or improve our weaknesses, to get, or stay ahead and become a more well-rounded, steady person with increased earning potential. However, we too often neglect to fully leverage and focus on the strengths that we already possess. When teaching delegates in my leadership programmes, I like to recognise these strengths as undiscovered treasure within us. Given the opportunity, these strengths and talents can enable us to uncover significant success uplift, and joy in both our professional and personal lives.
In my 20+ years strategy consulting and leadership development experience, I have witnessed too many individuals and companies put a heavy emphasis on their weaknesses and how to overcome them, therefore neglecting the power they have to better utilise what they are already good at. According to a study conducted by Gallup, employees were found to feel more confident, self aware, and productive when focusing on their strengths AND weaknesses. As a result, these employees increased their individual performance by 10% and were found to collaborate better within their teams. By applying my powerful framework “The Strengthener Trio ©”, even the most successful, hard-working employees will be better equipped to leverage strengths and achieve greater performance results through the following key steps.
Thirty uninterrupted minutes of focus on this exercise can generate significant opportunities to achieve more with less. To get started, write down your key strengths and abilities. If you are unsure what they are, then ask a range of colleagues for their honest feedback on your strengths. By working with your boss, he or she may help to narrow down where you perform best to set up nicely for The Strengthener Trio.
Alternatively an external coach or mentor can help you assess this independently and more deeply (pick me, pick me :-)!!!).
The Strengthener Trio Level 1: FREQUENCY
Consider your current task list and upcoming work schedule (perhaps your diary or calendar). Challenge yourself to make changes where you can use all or some of your identified strengths more frequently.
For further inspiration, think about your short and long term goals and brainstorm how your strengths can help you achieve the goals in the best way possible through increased frequency. For example, if your strength is creativity, you may find that you want to take on more tasks and projects from your colleagues that allow you to use this, and to give you the time for that, negotiate for those colleagues to take on tasks which they are strong at and which sit on your weak spot list!
The Strengthener Trio Level 2: DURATION
Consider the same task list and upcoming work schedule further, to now specifically challenge yourself to make changes where and how you can use all or some of these strengths for more time overall.
Think about different projects that you can take part in to help you foster your abilities and further expand your impact at work. Taking part in new opportunities such as certification programs or mentorships are also a way of ensuring that you are moving forward in your learning abilities rather than remaining stagnant or worse still, going backwards.
The Strengthener Trio Level 3: TRANSFORM
This is the most important and, yes, you guessed it… transformational step!
It is essential to continually develop and grow our strengths to maintain and stay relevant, or even to grow a competitive advantage. Use the following questions as prompts for your action list.
What activities can you undertake to get even better at these strengths?
Maybe it is progressing from a previous foundation level training to intermediate or advanced level?
Could you shadow someone else with a different approach for inspiration to level up your impact?
Perhaps you could do some wider, uptodate reading to deepen your strength subject matter expertise?
Alternatively you might prefer audio learning with a good podcast, or visual with youtube?
Or something else…?
Once you have worked through The Strengthener Trio exercise, it is absolutely essential that you make time in the diary to act on the identified transformation enabling activities.
You can further help yourself by sharing your enhanced action plan and surrounding yourself with supportive colleagues, and/or mentors. They can encourage you and provide accountability towards an effort that keeps you motivated, focused, and excited for this self growth. Look for people who appreciate you and recognise your talents, who can offer guidance on how you can continue to grow in the future. Curating this strong support ecosystem will allow you to stay encouraged and motivated, whilst giving you great company to celebrate your upcoming successes with.
To conclude, this undiscovered treasure is highly unlikely to be found, let alone leveraged if we do not make more time regularly to better understand, improve, and leverage our strengths. By putting at least equal amount of our time focusing on these innate abilities rather than just our weaknesses, we can more easily and significantly unleash our full potential and satisfaction within both our personal and professional lives. Like many of my clients before you, with focus and self discipline in applying these key steps, you will soon be celebrating success from leveraging the hidden gems that I know are within you!
Need a bit more help, or have a question? Get in touch today, as I love to help and meet new people. Message me through my personal website: https://darylwoodhouse.com/ anytime, or reach out through LinkedIn.
You also have free access to my highly rated eBook ‘4 Life Work Effect Pillars to Smarter Hybrid Working’ here, which includes more than 50 easy to action best practices that you, and your colleagues can choose from at your leisure on the way to enjoying less stress, improved life work balance, and greater performance results.
Know someone else who might benefit from reading this? You could make a big difference to their life, career, or organisation by forwarding this to them. It is good to help others – we can all do more of it with just a few seconds or minutes of our time!
I look forward to speaking with you soon.
CEO | Executive Coach | L&D, Productivity, and Change Leader
Access my latest eBook here with practical tips for getting the best from hybrid working.
Daryl Woodhouse, aka ‘The Smarter Work Pro helps organisations to optimise ROI whilst enabling individuals and teams to achieve more and live happier.