Everyone in my company has completed a StrengthsFinder survey to uncover our top strengths and learn how to use them to work better on teams. We each met with a trainer to learn the jargon and understand our strengths. I mean…Focus and Responsibility make sense, but what’s the meaning of Woo?
My trainer told me I was the only person in the company who did not ask about their lowest scores (weaknesses). I said, “Who cares about that when I can work on a team with people whose strengths complement mine?”
Think about that the next time you are assigned a partner for a school project, or later in the work world. You don’t want a team full of people with the same strengths because the work won’t get done. Stack your school/work teams with people who have different strengths and natural abilities.
According to Darren Hardy, here are things to think about when considering your strengths.
- Keep reinventing yourself. We all have unique gifts that others do not have. Identify what you do best.
- Identify what you LOVE to do – what you do when you lose track of time. What do people ask you to help with because you do it so well and so easily? It’s your super power.
- Learn and study – find someone who already is doing what you want to do and ask for their help.
- Avoid those who tell you not to move forward. People are afraid of change and don’t want you to change either.
- Find others who share your beliefs. Surround yourself with like-minded people
My Strengths and Super Powers
According to StrengthsFinder, my top five strengths are:
- Maximizer – transform something good into something great
- Strategic – create alternative ways to proceed
- Positivity – upbeat with contagious enthusiasm
- Responsibility – do what is promised
- Focus – prioritize, then act
When I read the descriptions of those traits, I definitely see myself and agree that I am good at those things. But what I really get jazzed about are my super powers – the things I love to do whether I get paid to do them or not. That list includes:
- Organizing closets, cupboards, files, and more
- Keeping a lot of balls in the air
- Yoga, weight training, and walking
- Stories – listing to them, watching them, telling them
Things other people do better
I can immediately list talents that don’t come naturally to me, but I also don’t lose sleep over them. Why? Because I don’t have to be good at everything, I can find people or technology to fill in the gaps. That list includes:
- Spelling and typing
- Keeping plants alive
I appreciate talents other people possess, and use technology to fill in the gaps. For example, I use Siri to dictate text messages and to spell words. As for cooking, I make simple meals after watching a Food Network video. I can buy fake plants, or enjoy the real thing by looking out my window. And if I want a new look at home, I have plenty of friends who can help decorate.
In the end, you can accomplish your deepest desires by using your innate talents, and a little help from your friends, coworkers, Siri, and YouTube!
By Jeannine Phelan