For centuries mankind has been fixated on the bad in order to improve the good. Especially in schools and the workplace we’ve been encouraged to identify, analyze and correct our weaknesses in order to become strong.
While this approach is well intended it’s also misguided.
According to the book, Now, Discover Your Strengths, by Markcus Buckinngham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. says, “Faults and failing deserve study, but they reveal little about strengths.” They further state, “To excel in your chosen field and to find lasting satisfaction in doing so, you will need to understand your unique patterns. You will need to become an expert at finding and describing and applying and practicing and refining your strengths.”
When I started to enhance my strengths and avoid using my weaknesses is when my productivity and ability to create was magnified. It finally made sense to me why I hated certain tasks and how draining they were yet other people excelled at them. I beat my head up against the wall tearing myself down because I couldn’t do things that on the surface should have been easy.
I now understood why sending one of my former partners who was not a creative thinker to a retreat to learn how to do so was a big waste of money. He came back from the retreat and yet nothing changed. Yet when we sent him to some education on the pension laws, where he excelled at analytical processing, he came back and revamped many of our clients pension plans.
I learned that because we all are given certain gifts, it was more important for me to understand what those gifts were in me and in other people. I started to give up tasks better suited to the talents of others. I became great at delegating. Then others, saw my unique strengths, and started to allow me to use them to benefit them. Using my strengths gave me energy and motivated me.
The authors, Buckingham and Clifton, identified 34 strengths in their book, Now, Discover Your Strengths.
- Woo (Win others over)
Included in the purchase of the book is a code to use to access their website where you’ll be asked a series of questions that they will identify your top 5 strengths.
My top 5 strengths are:
I highly recommend you discover what your strengths are and begin to use them most of the time in your life. Perhaps one of your strengths is one of mine! My favorite is WOO! I love to make friends with new people!