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Studies show if we harness our personal strengths work is more engaging and life more rewarding. This can also be referred to as “Living Authentically” in the 7 areas of Resilience.
Have you considered what your inherent personal strengths are? No really, actually taken time to think about what you are REALLY good at? Listed them down?
When students selecting subjects in preparation for University, they are asked to think about what they are good at and what they enjoy. This is because things we are good at, we, more often than not, enjoy doing. They are aiming to receive the highest grades to meet the criteria for entry into University, why would they chose areas of weakness and not play to strengths?
So why, as adults, do we find ourselves or our team members in the wrong role? That is because we haven't focussed on being in a position of strength or have placed someone into a role we think they might like, when really it doesn't suit their strengths. Think of all those amazing technical experts who have been "promoted" into leading a team. Sometimes they don't even like people and LOVE working on the tools on their own. This is one of the biggest areas a business fails. Leadership is NOT for everyone.
Consider this, what aspects of your job or your life are not aligned with your strengths and what would happen if you reduced or stopped doing some that didn’t align?
Being a leader who understands how to engage staff by enabling each person to utilise their strengths in their roles often finds they have a higher performing or motivated team.
Have you ever worked for a boss who often gave you performance feedback and focussed on your areas of weakness and how you need to focus on building them up? Frustrating isn’t it? Did you leave feeling depleted, less engaged and wondering if you are the right person for the role?
A July 2016 survey from Gallup found that strength-based companies realised better sales, profit and customer engagement. If leaders and businesses engage their employees utilising their strengths, they are 17% more productive, experience 70% fewer safety incidents, experience 41% less absenteeism, have 10% better customer ratings and are 21% more profitable compared with business units in the bottom quartile.
“Almost seven in 10 employees (67%) who strongly agree that their manager focuses on their strengths or positive characteristics are engaged. When employees strongly disagree with this statement, the percentage of workers who are engaged in their work plummets to 2%." Gallup
Let’s consider a position you are in that you are not playing to your strengths; how does that make you feel? Do you leave each day feeling like you have had a great day? Or do you leave asking questions of what you are doing and why are you doing it?
Working to our strengths can lead to better health, living longer, higher levels of income and a higher sense of reward.
“Reward brings with it a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine serves a wide range of purposes in the brain and one is to act like a SAVE button. When things go well, the brain will seek to ensure that it can be repeated and will strengthen the neural connections that brought about that positive outcome/reward. We can tap into this by noticing when things go well, take time to reflect on our actions and successes, notice our progress which will mean mapping out where we started and any mini milestones along the way. Essentially, we are talking about feedback and positive reinforcement – we can set this up with others so that they can provide it and we can also choose to find it and give those rewards/reinforcement to ourselves.” – Think Change
Finding your strengths, listing them down and considering your next step or role can bring about positive change and mindset, give it a go.