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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.

  1. Keep reinventing yourself. We all have unique gifts that others do not have. Identify what you do best.
  2. 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.
  3. Learn and study – find someone who already is doing what you want to do and ask for their help.
  4. Avoid those who tell you not to move forward. People are afraid of change and don’t want you to change either.
  5. 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
  • Cooking
  • Keeping plants alive
  • Decorating

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