A Better Way to Discover Your Strengths
Once the feedback arrives, look for the common themes that appear in multiple stories. Make a list of the themes, the key examples that support each theme, and what they suggest about your strengths.
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If you want to excel at anything, it’s not enough to fix your weaknesses. You also need to leverage your strengths.
If you want to recognize your strengths, you need other people to hold up a mirror. When you see your reflection through the eyes of those who know you well, you can begin to identify your most unique talents.
Identify 10-20 people who know you well from a mix of personal and professional contacts, and ask them to write a story about a time when you were at your best. It is best if the sources are specific with concrete examples.
When the stories roll in, you’ll be surprised to see that some of your sources comment on strengths you didn’t know you had, and experiences you didn’t remember.
Using this information, write out a brief profile of who you are when you’re at your best.
Create an action plan for how and when you’ll utilize your strengths.
If you don’t map out a plan for using your strengths, the benefits will fade.
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It all comes down to the stories you tell yourself when you feel overwhelmed or fail.
If you work too much and don’t have time for fun, do you tell yourself that people demand too much from you? Or, do you tell yourself you don’t prioritize your own time well enough?
In one story you are in control, and the other you are not. Focus on the story you can control.