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Using Your Strengths as a Springboard to Success

Your strengths are your bridge to developing new skills, new ways of thinking, new ways of being and new ways of doing things. As we move into the unfamiliar territory it’s much easier if we know and understand our strengths so that we can use them as building blocks to the unknown. If we don’t have an understanding of what our strengths are, this can create an unnecessary barrier to moving towards success both for individuals and for teams. It is in my experience, not uncommon for people (and teams actually) to be unaware of what they are good at – what their strengths are.

I invite you to, off the top of your head list your strengths.
How many did you identify? Do you think you have them all?
The answer for many of you may be not many to the first question and no! to the second.

So what can you do about that? Well, when I work with my clients I use the Extended DISC behavioural profiling assessment as a way of helping people develop an understanding of their strengths and how to use them effectively to move towards their goals. Another way of doing this is to use feedback from others. I have created the following exercise to assist you to identify what your strengths are and how you can use them to reach your goals.

Strengths Maximization Exercise
Firstly it is important to identify a goal that you are currently aiming for – something you want to achieve, or a problem that you are seeking a solution for. When you have done this write it down. You might find it for this activity to revisit a previous blog post. http://healthleadershipcoaching.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/tips-for-effective-leadership-defining-focus-purpose-and-setting-goals/

Now think of 5 people who know you and whose opinions and judgement you trust. Choose if possible people who know you in different contexts like at work, in sport, family members, friends. Now ask each of them to prepare for you a list of the top 3 strengths they think you have.

At the end of this you will have a list of 15 strengths plus the ones you identified yourself. If some of them are similar create the best representation of these combined.
How does that feel? Pretty good?

Now answer the following questions:

  1. What have you learned about yourself that you didn’t know before?
  2. What impact will this learning have on you? Think about this question in a range of contexts: at home, at work, with family, friends etc.
  3. Go back to your goal or problem now – how can you use each of these strengths to move you towards your goal or towards the solution you are seeking? It may be easier to choose a couple of strengths rather than all of them.

I would love to know how you went with this exercise.

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