One of the unfortunate truths is that most people are more aware of their weaknesses then their strengths. While it’s certainly important to be aware of where your weak areas are, it’s actually more important to know what you’re good at then what you’re bad at. The truth is that being self aware of your strengths can help you to achieve more at work, and at home as well. Thankfully, figuring out your own strengths isn’t as hard as it might seem.
After extensive research, behavioral scientists have identified 24 unique personality strengths. When you look through this list you’ll probably discover several strengths that describe you. Once you’ve found these strengths, you can begin to focus on how you actively use them on a daily basis.
It’s worth noting that no personal strength is better than another one. Each strength has its own unique merits and payoffs. By focussing on developing your own strengths to their maximum potential you can maximize how effective you are. That’s because it’s easier and quicker to build on an existing strength then it is to begin learning a new one. Every human has a set of inherent talents, and becoming aware of these is an important part of developing your personality.
Tips For Developing Your Strengths
While some people are consciously aware of their strongest qualities, many people aren’t. That’s especially true if one of your strengths is less obvious, like prudence or modesty. To quickly become aware of your own strengths, here are some tips that you can use.
- Take stock of all of the feedback that you’ve received from other people. If you work for a company or organization, this feedback may be directly from your boss or your co-workers. If you’re self employed you might consider feedback that you’ve received from previous clients.
Look at all of the positive things that people have said about you, and look for trends in the feedback. If you notice that a lot of people say that you’re very original, or you have an uncommon zest, then you should dive deeper and ask yourself if this is one of your core strengths.
- Think about all of the times when you’ve felt most like yourself. Perhaps you feel at home when working with a large group of people, or maybe you love to learn about new topics and ways of doing things on a regular basis. Both of these are personality strengths, and you can use them to your advantage. Discovering when you’re the happiest is a quick and easy way to figure out what some of your core strengths are.
- Figure out what you’re most proud of. This could be winning an award at work, securing a difficult new contract for your business, or getting two groups of people to come together and work on a common cause.Once you’ve identified something that you’re particularly proud of, ask yourself what skills you used to make it happen. Identifying these skills will give you a good idea of the core strengths in your personality.
- Consider compliments that you’ve received in the past. These could come from best friends, your spouse, or anyone at work. The better they know you the more weight you should give to a particular compliment. Again, look for trends and you’ll probably notice different people saying the same things about you.
- Take a free personality strengths quiz. The VIA Institute on Character has a great free quiz which can help you to identify the strengths of your personality. It’s important to note that this quiz shouldn’t be the only tool you use. Even though it will give you a set of personalized answers, it’s important to use these in conjunction with the results you get from all of the above steps.
The Benefits of Being Aware of Your Strengths
Job Interviews – Interviewees are frequently asked to list some of their accomplishments, along with the strengths that make them stand out from everyone else. Not being able to quickly answer this question can make you appear weak and undecided.
On the other hand, being able to list three or four strengths that set you apart from everyone else will make you stand out in the interview. By knowing exactly what your strengths are you’ll also be able to present them in an objective manner that won’t make you seem like you’re bragging or showing off.
Projects at Work – If you already have regular employment then becoming aware of your strengths can help you to maximize your productivity at work. For example, you might be tasked with a project, only to quickly realize that it plays into your weaknesses instead of your strengths. Because you’re aware of that, you’ll be able to either immediately bring these concerns to your boss, or delegate certain aspects of the project to other people.
If you’re not consciously aware of your personal strengths, you may force yourself to complete a project that would be best assigned to someone else. That’s an inefficient way to spend your time, and something that can be easily changed.
Working With People – Humans are social beings and we spend a great deal of our lives working with other people. Whether that’s your spouse, friends, co-workers, subordinates, or family, having a thorough understanding of your personality can help you to relate to them better. A great example of this is marriage. Learning to work together and communicate with your spouse is the cornerstone of a successful marriage. If you’re aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be able to talk about them openly with your partner.
Incorporating Your Strengths Into Your Life
Once you’ve become aware of your strengths, it’s time to start building on them and making them even stronger. The great thing about doing so is that you’ll discover it’s easier to quickly build on your existing strengths then it is to start building new ones. In general, it’s better to excel at a few things, as opposed to being just good at many. Building on your key strengths is a great way to stand out from the crowd and become the best version of yourself possible.