StrengthsFinder is a great assessment tool to take if you’re looking to figure out which five strengths you have that are most prominent in your everyday navigation of the world. It’s also a fun way to learn more about some of the attributions you didn’t know you had.
But, how can you then use your results to leverage strengths instead of singling our weaknesses? In a recent online training with StrengthsFinder expert, Strother Gaines, NextGen Leadership participants discussed some of the best ways to foster your strengths and apply them in your work life. Here are five steps that Gaines recommends to get the most out of your StrengthsFinder results.
- Learn Your Talent, Live Your Talent, Love Your Talent
Lead through your strengths. Gaines noted that, when it comes to your strengths, it’s important to “name them and claim them.” Once you have your top five strengths, make sure to recognize your value in those areas and use them to fit your needs. But don’t just stop there; ask yourself “How can I apply this strength to make my work life easier?”
Use your strengths to your advantage in order to have a more productive workday.
- Natural Talent x Investment = Strength
Apply investment to natural talents and they will become strengths. In the training, Gaines defined talent as “a naturally reoccurring pattern of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied.” By investing your time in developing your talents, you gain the ability to consistently show near-perfect performance in your daily life.
- Build Your Brand
Take your uniqueness and put it out into the world. Gaines stated that strengths have both “basements and balconies” and emphasized the importance of perception, specifically the perception of how others might understand your strengths.
Gaines described balconies as being very established strengths that show off your skills, whereas basements are under-developed strengths and tend to have negative or unrefined aspects added to them. When building your brand, it’s imperative to acknowledge both your balconies and your basements and leverage your strengths in a way that is most beneficial to you.
- Be Aware of Weaknesses & Manage Them
Weaknesses are only as powerful as you allow them to be. Once you’re in the practice of leveraging your strengths, make sure to also take time to understand your weaknesses.
Gaines stressed that when evaluating your weaknesses, it’s essential to know whether or not they are in fact weaknesses or simply gaps in experience or starved talents. Don’t let your weaknesses prevent you from moving forward. Gaines believes that the pathway toward exponential growth is your increased investment in your talents whilst also working around your weaknesses.
- It’s Not Just a “What” But Also a “How”
The ultimate goal of understanding your strengths is to not only increase your productivity but to also increase your overall happiness. Don’t get too caught up in trying to compete with everyone around you.
It’s important to remember that your strengths are here to help you to better your daily life, not to provide excess challenges.
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