We are all good at different things and it is the diversity of our skills and strengths that can make great things happen when we work together!
In the workplace for example we need big picture thinkers to come up with the ideas and we also need the detail, action-orientated ones of us, to map things out and get the process sorted. Those with creative talent and flare make it possible to effectively share the idea with the world, and then those with exceptional people skills are able to sell what has been created. Everyone’s strengths combined will create the best result.
Whether it be at work or in our home life, when we are able to use our strengths more often we are more likely to feel happier, be able to perform better and have a better overall sense of wellbeing.
So what are your strengths?
Alex Lindely, a professor of psychology and leading strengths researcher defines them as: ‘a pre-existing capacity for a particular way of behaving, thinking or feeling that is authentic and energising to the user and enables optimal functioning development and performance’.
Now that is a long definition! In basic terms, I like to think of strengths as things you are naturally good at and enjoy that make you feel your best self. What strengths are you using when you do something when time feels like it disappears because you are so engaged with it?
Examples of strengths?
There are may ways which strengths are named and labelled, Lindely uses these 60 definitions:
Action, Adaptable, Adherence, Adventure, Authenticity, Bounceback, Catalyst, Centered, Change Agent, Compassion, Competitive, Connector, Counterpoint, Courage, Creativity, Curiosity, Detail, Drive, Emotional Awareness, Empathic, Enabler, Equality, Esteem Builder, Explainer, Feedback, Gratitude, Growth, Humility, Humour, Improver, Incubator, Innovation, Judgement, Legacy, Listener, Mission, Moral Compass, Narrator, Optimism, Organiser, Persistence, Personal Responsibility, Personalisation, Persuasion, Planner, Prevention, Pride, Rapport Builder, Relationship Deepener, Resilience, Resolver, Self-awareness, Self-belief, Service, Spotlight, Strategic Awareness, Time Optimiser, Unconditionality, Work Ethic, Writer
You can check out this free strengths profile tool here.
Making strengths work for you:
STEP 1: BECOME AWARE
Awareness is the first stage of change, so this month, just take the time to simply notice when you naturally feel at your best and like time is just disappearing because you are so engaged with what you are doing is a great first step!
STEP 2: IDENTIFY YOUR STRENGTHS
Think about what strengths you were using when doing whatever it was you were doing when you felt so engaged.
STEP 3: USE THESE STRENGTHS MORE
How could you use these strengths you have identified more in your life to help yourself and others?
Noticing others’ strengths
As well as becoming aware of your own strengths, helping others to spot their strengths can be a great thing! If you notice one of your friends, family members or colleagues really shining and looking fully engaged in what they are doing, at the appropriate time, let them know! Give them a compliment about what they are doing and share how fantastic it is to see them using their strengths so well.
So often, we think in our heads how well others are doing, but we forget to let them know about it. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, so share what you are thinking with them, you just might make their day!