Polish Your Strengths

November 19, 2020

By Meghan Greenwood

Listen to this blog: https://anchor.fm/meghan-greenwood/episodes/Polish-Your-Strengths-erd918

From the time we were young, we have been trained to improve on our weaknesses. As a society, the key to growth has always been attributed to bettering ourselves, especially in areas where we fall short.

Think of the last time you had a performance evaluation at work. Do the phrases ‘Shows Improvement’ or ‘Needs Improvement’ still haunt your daily thoughts?

Sure, there are circumstances where folks can get lazy and not perform to the best of their ability. But, if you’re holding down a job, more often than not, you’re trying YOUR best…and if being a team player is not your strength, it will be hard for you to ever jump head first into a project where you have to voice your opinions and work in a group.

Instead, as eloquently expressed by the father of “CliftonStrengths” Don Clifton, we should be focusing on building our strengths.

I recently bought the book “Discover Your CliftonStrengths”, the StrengthsFinder 2.0 from Gallup and Tom Rath and took the test. Sure, I was skeptical…what would this assessment really do?

WOW.

In 30 minutes, my eyes were opened…to myself. I guess I always thought I knew what I enjoyed doing, but I never had defined that as a strength. In fact, I had never defined it, period. It was such a breath of fresh air knowing that my, for example, affinity towards lists and collecting info is an actual human tendency known as Input.

Additionally, I am a Learner (someone who enjoys the process of learning) and Relator (someone who finds satisfaction in working with others to achieve a goal) – all of it makes sense. More importantly, it’s now my motivation for continuing to do what I like to do most.

No need to focus on Command or Strategic. No need to beat myself up for not scoring high enough on Positivity or Harmony.

They are not my strengths, but not my detriments either. We all have a little bit of each human quality (hence, we’re humans), but it’s better use of my time to polish my available skills.

I strongly encourage anyone who is interested to take the test. It is worth the time and money.

If you do try the test, here is my take away: Your strengths should be harnessed during both personal and work time. Once you know them, think of ways in which you can utilize them to better your life.

Live up to and expand on who you already are, don’t try to recreate yourself.

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