(You’re based in Brussels and looking to discover your strengths? We have something delicious for you!)
Character strengths, signature strengths, talents, superpowers… Everybody has them.
Yet, not everyone recognizes theirs. And even less people use them on a daily basis.
Smart people have recognized a long time ago that identifying and developing their strengths is the way to go.
Why, I hear you ask. I’m glad you asked it!
Let’s see together 15 reasons why they care about their strengths… and why you should too: 🙂
#1. Fixing your weakness is not enough to excel
You’re the most underperforming member of the sales team? You won’t be a top seller just by learning sales skills.
You don’t have the courage to stand up for your right? Signing up for an assertiveness course won’t do the trick!
It’s simply not enough to work on your weaknesses and let’s be frank – it can be super boring and painful too.
What if instead you would focus on your strengths, learn to identify and harness them? Wouldn’t it be much more fun? 🙂
#2. Increases your engagement
Whatever activity you’re doing, you will feel more engaged if you’re using your strengths.
#3. Increases your productivity
That’s right! Higher engagement or focus often translates to higher productivity.
Which hopefully means a bigger paycheck for you (especially if you work in a commission system). 🙂
And since productivity is not a negligible topic for companies, now you understand the fuss about Strength Based Leadership, Strength Based Selection and other trending processes introduced in the corporate world.
#4. Makes you happy
Yep. Using your strengths on a regular basis does make you happy. In fact, according to a research done by Gallup, people who use their strengths daily are SIX times more likely to engage at work and are thus happier.
Living a life built on your strengths results in a fulfilled, thriving life.
And if you’re happy, people around you are happier too! You have an impact on others around you, whether your co-workers and boss, friends or family.
(By the way, companywise happier employees mean less employee turnover equals less recruitment and training costs. A damn good investment!)
#5. Is effortless
I’m sure you can recall situations when you’ve done something really well and yet, it was so effortless, so light. That’s because you were in the zone, in the flow. Using your strengths feels effortless. 🙂
#6. Energizes us
Exactly because it feels so effortless, activities where we use our strengths energize us. We’re excited and thrilled even about the thought of performing them again.
#7. You feel immersed
That’s what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (I know, a damn difficult name. I have the same nationality as him, but prefer my name… thanks Dad!) called flow. When you do something and you so much get absorbed that you don’t even notice the time.
Have you noticed how some people see school learning as a drag and others are thrilled to go to school? Well, these latter are the ones who at the sound of the bell look up surprised and say “What?! Already? The class started only 5 minutes ago!”. It didn’t. The secret is – they were just totally immersed.
#8. Builds your confidence
A-ha. If you’re the worst actor in the neighborhood and you’re asked to perform in a piece again and again, well that one WON’T build your confidence. Quitting theater and hiking in the world’s most beautiful places (if appreciation of beauty is one of your strengths) IS what builds your confidence.
Conclusion: tapping into your strengths just makes you a crazy lot more self-confident.
#9. Combined to interest, it will make you thrive
Okay, just to get things right – using your top strength in itself won’t lead to a fulfilling life.
Because there’s NO one way to use them. A stand-up comedian might suggest me to do stand-up comedy to use my strength of Humor. I would definitely die of fear before I would even step on the scene! But I’m using my Humor in my dance classes and trainings overall, activities that I love doing.
That’s MY way of building on that.
Conclusion:What you find in the intersection of strength and interest/passion is what makes you thrive. #happinessify Click To Tweet
#10. Develop weaknesses
Dugh? Haven’t I told you that fixing weaknesses doesn’t make you a top performer in your target activity?
However, falling in love with your strengths and applying them blindly while ignoring your weaknesses doesn’t help either.
But how about this one:
Use your top strengths to develop your weaknesses.
This one nugget has helped me tremendously in my personal development… and also for those around me who took my word, identified their strengths and used them to develop. A very smart way – you hit two birds with one stone while having fun.
#11. Makes your job and routine tasks more enjoyable
Let’s be honest. Even if you’re a bookeeper where accuracy is important, there are a number of ways to do your job. It’s a matter or approach and attitude… and using one or the other of your strengths.
That’s the beauty here – it doesn’t stay a theoretical knowledge, you practically use your strengths to have more fun at work or in a routine task.
Like when I was 14 and had my first weekend job to deliver newspapers. At the beginning it was all new and exciting but I got bored with it very soon. So I used my Humor to make it more diverse.
Once I put on my walkman (if you don’t know what a walkman is, then you’re definitely too young!) and adjusted my pace to the music. Another time I changed the route, instead of A to Z, from Z to A. And another time I challenged myself to finish earlier than the other times so I made a fun game out of my otherwise boring newspaper delivery job.
Conclusion: Make some adjustments in your work.Use your strengths to make your work more enjoyable and diverse. Click To Tweet
#12. You’ll be authentic
Once you start using your strengths, you’ll be more authentic. You can use them for living your values. Is there a better way?
#13. Reduces dilemmas of choice
I was so sure this would catch your attention! 🙂
What has strength and choice to do with each other?
Have you ever hired a personal shopper who told you what colors and styles work best for you? And then on your first shopping tour you went to specific shelves in a very targeted way instead of wandering around for hours and browsing among trillions of articles?
That’s what knowing your strengths does. It eliminates a lots of choices, dilemmas on HOW to do things.
It’s a shortcut.
You’ll know what approaches to use.
One common strength my 9-year-old son and me share is Curiosity. But we use them differently! I use my other signature strength, Love of Learning to enroll in classes and learn more about a topic of interest (that’s how I landed in College of Foreign Trade, HR, Coaching school, Social Media school, history classes and Positive Psychology specialization). My son on the contrary uses his creativity to discover more on a topic – he likes to draw it, sing it, touch it, ask about it, play it… gather info from various sources. For him the worst case scenario would be if I told him to sit down and learn about it in a structured way.
Conclusion:Applying your strengths eliminates unnecessary trial and error approaches. Click To Tweet
You’ll instinctively know HOW to do things.
#14. Better sell yourself
Sell! Promote yourself. Influence others. Master a job interview.
Knowing yourself (and your strengths) will help you articulate your value. Something that not everyone is at ease with…
#15. Profile the right job
For a long time I failed to understand what made me thrive in a job and have stomach aches from constant anxiety in another. I was in the same field, the same type of fast-growing company and yet, everything was different.
The difference was… I didn’t build on my strengths in the latter.
If Responsibility is one of your top talents, landing in a company where your direct supervisor micro-manages you won’t end well. It lead to burn-out in my case, but you wouldn’t want to wait for that to happen!
The great thing is – once you know yourself, you can match yourself with the right type of company and job description. It might take a bit longer to find THE one, but then you’ll be more likely to stick.
And finally, let’s add a last reason.
Which is technically the 16th, but it sounds better if I name it +1. 🙂
+1. Better understand others
Once you’re familiar with the concept of strengths, you’re more likely to understand others and how they tick. You’ll have more empathy, which helps every relationship.
And by the way, better quality relationships also lead to more happiness, as Positive Psychology research found.
So uncover your strengths and use them! Just as other smart people do. 🙂
Are you based in Brussels and can hardly wait to identify and start using your strengths? Join us for this workshop: