Every year I choose a focus word. Last year my focus word was “growth”. I spent the year focused on growing myself professionally and personally. I sought to grow in areas of my strengths, not my weaknesses. By focusing on my strengths, I increase the return on my efforts exponentially. If I focus on my weaknesses, I am rolling the dice as to whether or not I will actually improve. Plus, if they are a weakness, I most likely don’t like doing it.
So, how do I identify my strength? I ask.
Your top friends, family and colleagues will not hesitate to tell you what your strengths are. If you ask your mother, follow it up with a second opinion for validation. Mom’s may exaggerate a bit. If you are from the South and it comes with a “bless your heart”, ignore the comment and seek other friends.
In all seriousness though, seek feedback from others. Constructive feedback is designed to provide direction and growth opportunities. Often, we are not as good as we think we are in some of our areas of life. Have you ever watched American Idol? “I don’t know who told you that you could sing. Bless your heart.” Don’t lean on your own opinion of yourself.
What Comes Easy?
Most people tend to spend time on the things they like to do more than the things they don’t like. People gravitate toward things they’re naturally good at doing. One of my strengths is building relationships. It comes natural for me to partner and seek value in those partnerships. I would do it whether I was paid for it or not. However, it’s nice to be paid for what you love doing.
Take an Assessment
There are many assessments on the market to help you identify your strengths. I love comparing the results to see their consistencies, or mine. One of the best in identifying your strengths is StrengthFinder, now called Gallup. Once your strength is identified, this assessment will also recommend areas where your strength is best utilized. One of the worse things you can do is know your strength and never use it.
Once you know your strength, grow your strength. I spent last year growing my strengths in communication, leadership and developing others. This paid significant dividends in my personal and professional relationships. I am happier than I have ever been working in my strength zone. I am able to recognize opportunities to use my strengths more than ever.
Know your strengths and grow your strengths. You were wonderfully made for a purpose.
If you would like more information on how we can help you or your organization improve contact Azimuth Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org