By Cally Reed, Program Associate, Center for Business Growth and Innovation
Whether you work at a corporate office, at home, or at a hip new coworking space, the ways in
which you work can improve by intentionally focusing on using your strengths every day.
Strength could look like your signature service that keeps your clients coming back again and again. When you work from what gives you desired results, that might be a good indicator of a strength for your business.
Dr. Donald O. Clifton, psychologist and author of the book, “Soar with Your Strengths,” defines a strength as a “a pattern of behavior, thoughts, and feelings that produces a high degree of satisfaction and pride; generates both psychic and/or financial reward; and presents measurable progress toward excellence.”
How do you find arrows that point you to your greatest strengths? Dr. Clifton’s book, “Soar with Your Strengths,” gives five key ways to learn to be aware of your strengths.
Identifying Your Strengths
What it might sound like: “I want to do that, it looks like something I would enjoy.” What are the projects you can’t wait to get started on in your business?
Do projects and learn new skills that make you feel alive. On the flipside, you might consider how you can find ways to partner with others who thrive on the projects that drain you.
What it might sound like: “I’m so excited I get to be the one to do this work, this kind of work really matters to me.” These experiences are not just short-lived happy moments, but they provide the reason behind why you work. Being mindful of your “why” helps you stay the course even when things don’t go your way during your work day.
3. Rapid Learning
What it might sound like: “It feels like I’ve always known how to do this. It comes so easily to me.” Think of times you tried something new, or when you do something not everyone can do with a sense of ease. Keep using and practicing that skill. With practice, you can really take your natural ability and turn it into a valuable strength.
4. Glimpses of Excellence
What it sounds like: “I know my audience gained a lot from my speech, because they told me how much they enjoyed my presentation after the session.” It’s the moment that every sports scout or music competition judge looks for in a competitor.
Recall when your clients or peers have given you a genuine compliment or thanked you for a job well done. Then think about ways you can make that level of quality happen again in your daily work.
5. Total Performance of Excellence
What it sounds like: “I looked at the clock at 10:15 am, settled down to develop a client’s website, and the next time I looked at the clock it was 2 pm. I was completely engrossed in my work!”
Dr. Clifton’s explanation helps you trigger the memories of when this happened to you in the past. He says, “Total performance of excellence is a flow of behavior, when there are no conscious steps in the mind of the performer. They act almost unconsciously. They are on automatic, at one with the activity. The clock doesn’t tick.”
Check for these five indicators of talent to discover your strengths and improve how you approach your work and find ways you can continue to do what you do best every day.