Do you know what your strengths are? How can you discover them? You can find a lot of different websites about how to find out what your strengths are – and some are helpful. But: you also know it yourself what you are good at and how specific activities make you feel: do they energize you or drain you?
What is a strength?
I found a good explanation in this book: „Go put your strengths to work, 6 powerful steps to achieve outstanding performance“ Marcus Buckingham.“
Here I am going to summarize from Page 90:
What does a strength look like?
- It looks like consistent, near-perfect performance
Which three ingredients combine to create a strength?
- 1. Talents: Because you are so close to your own talents, they are most effectively measured by personality profiles such as the Clifton StrengthsFinder, Myers-Briggs, and the Kolbe Conative Index. Talents are innate.
- 2. Skills: Skills are learned.
- 3. Knowledge: Knowledge is learned.
What does one of your strengths actually feel like to you?
- When you do it, you feel effective – the S of SIGN (if you read further I explain SIGN)
- Before you do it, you actively look forward to it – the I of SIGN
- While you are doing it, you feel inquisite and focused – the G of SIGN
- After you’ve done it, you feel fulfilled and authentic – the N of SIGN.
If you want to identify your own strengths, „pay close attention to how specific activities make you feel. Your feelings reveal your strengths.“ (P.90)
You can look for signs. The book explains four signs of a strength.
I will summarize the four sings of a strengths (Page 76-116).
SIGNs (S= Success, I= Instinct, G= Growth, N= Needs)
You can pick a strength that you think you have, e.g. you are good at presenting a topic to a group of people, you empathize with people, you are good at communicating, etc.
Now rate on a scale from 1-5 if you agree or disagree to following statements (1= strongly disagree, 5= strongly agree)
S (= Sucess)
- I have been tremendously successful at this type of activity
- Other people often tell me I have a gift for this type of activity
- I have been given prizes or recognition for doing this type of activity
I (= Instict)
- I do this type of activity every day
- I often find myself volunteering for this type of activity
- This type of activity is a „gut reaction“ to me
G (= Growth)
- I pick up this type of activity quickly
- I find myself thinking about this type of acivity every day
- I can’t wait to learn new techniques for doing this activity
N (= Needs)
- I always look forward to doing this type of activity
- It’s fun for me to think back to when I was doing this type of activity
- Doing this type of activity is one of my greatest personal satisfactions
53 and above: a true strength
46-52: it depends which questions brought down the score. If you rated the first 3 questions low, while the I, G, and N questions got high marks, it is a sign that this is indeed a strength but one that you have yet to apply affectively. Stay focused on this activity, discipline yourself to seek out the necessary skills and knowledge, keep practicing, and quite soon you should see your performance start to get attention.
If your answers to question 4 through twelve pulled down the score, then the chances are that it is not a strength. It lacks the urgency and the extreme positive reactions so characteristic of a strength.
46 and below: it is highly unlikely to be a strength.
??? What is one of your strengths??? What energizes you??? How did you discover that it is your strength? What do your closest friends say what your strengths are???
Book: „Go put your strengths to work, 6 powerful steps to achieve outstanding performance“ Marcus Buckingham.