If you want to know how to use your strengths to your advantage, you’ll love this article.
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. I believe that the majority of people put all their time and energy trying to succeed in areas that are not their natural strengths. Many of these people then at some point realize how difficult it is to overcome their weaknesses.
The environment that we live in is a big influential factor that leads us in the wrong direction. We have been taught that the way to succeed is to concentrate on our weakest areas and try to overcome them. This results in us devoting most of our time, energy and effort to overcome the weaknesses leaving our strengths virtually untapped.
Look back at a time when you were a student and you were often set work to improve your scores. Any class that you didn’t do well in resulted in more time to be devoted to improving this. Even though you may have outstanding results in other areas, these were not celebrated, you were merely told to study harder for your weaker subjects.
The chances are that you will have been for one or two interviews in your life. Think about what the interviewers asked you. Rather than focusing on your strengths they probably asked you more about your weaknesses. Once you started working, your manager identified the weakest areas in your performance review, stating that these were the areas that needed to be improved.
In order to be productive you need to unlearn this conventional way of doing things and apply new techniques and strategies to generate new results, after all it is really difficult to be productive when you constantly feel frustrated. Productive people stop doing things that don’t work for them and this is what you need to do.
The company Gallup specializes in research into the behaviors and attitudes of employees, students, customers and people in general, and the results show that they have found those who work on their strengths each day are up to six times more likely to feel engaged in their jobs and three times happier in their life in general.
Advantages of using your strengths:
- There are many more advantages to be gained by using your strengths such as:
- You will be happier and more satisfied
- You will engage and focus more on your work
- You will learn new information faster
- You will enjoy your work
- You will feel a great sense of achievement
Research suggests that you can never change your core talents. The way your brain cells connect are formed during the first few years of life and the configuration of your mental network with its division of weaker and stronger connections does not change much after your middle teenage years.
This tells us that we shouldn’t waste time trying to change our talents. Instead we should accept our natural talents and turn them into strengths. By doing so we can maximize our efforts and multiply the results we get from our work.
Your challenge now is to identify what you find easy and what you find more difficult so that you can start working on improving your strengths as this is a powerful way to increase your productivity.
How To Use Your Strengths To Your Advantage
The question now is how to find your strengths. In order to answer this you need to observe your own behavior, stay in tune with your feelings and listen to feedback from others. The following are five really effective ways to help identify your strengths:
1. Observe your behavior
Think back to experiences you had when you were young, and identify what excited you. What activities did you really enjoy? The chances are that when you loved or were excited by something you were using your natural strengths. Write these activities down on a piece of paper and determine why you enjoyed each one.
For example, do you love competitions? Do you like to be around others? Your answers will provide you with clues about your innate talents.
Whilst doing this activity, notice how you approach each task. In situations that use your strengths you will typically stand out from the crowd. Note any events where you outperformed all others and ask yourself why you did so well.
Another area to assess is your ability to learn something new. If you can learn something new very quickly this might be one of your natural talents.
When you have completed this you should also make a list of things you hated doing in the past and work out why you hated them. This will help you to uncover your weaknesses.
2. Listen to feedback
Getting feedback from others is a really good way to discover your strengths, so make a list of all of the people you can trust and ask them for honest feedback with regards to the following:
- What activities do I do best?
- Why do you think that I am good at these activities?
- What are my unique qualities?
- What are my strengths and talents?
3. Tools to help identify your strengths
There are several online strength tests (1) which will help you to evaluate your skills, and although there are many tests you can buy this should not be necessary as there are many reputable tests that are available free of charge.
4. Use your strengths to your advantage
Once you have discovered your strengths you need to work out how to use them. Look back at the list of priorities you made and think about specific ways to use these strengths with your priority list.
Once this is completed you will reach a productivity level only a few people ever master.
It is not enough to just maximize your strengths in your work; you also need to work on improving them. The more you improve your strengths the more advantages you will have in your specialist field.
5. Manage around weaknesses
Now that you understand that focusing on improving your weaknesses is not the best use of your time, ok focusing on weaknesses will prevent failure but won’t get you the results however ignoring your weaknesses is a no-no too.
Weaknesses act as stop boards therefore it is really helpful to know the areas where you lack talent. This way when you see potential problems you can minimize the impact that they have. The following strategies will help you to manage around your weaknesses:
- Stop the activity that weakens you – when you are doing something that doesn’t play to your strengths ask yourself whether it is necessary
- Get better at it – if you need a certain talent that you lack, try to improve this weakness
- Other people – get help from someone who excels in the area of your weakness. This means you have more time to focus on using your talents
When you use your strengths and stop focusing on your weakness, your life will improve immensely. You will enjoy your work and be far more productive. If you spend time trying to turn weakness to strengths you will never achieve your full potential (2), so start using your strengths today.
Working on your strengths is the key to staying fully involved in your work, having more satisfaction and increasing productivity.
Keep improving your strengths to give you more advantages in your field. Don’t try turning your weaknesses into strengths as they will not change.
Thank you for reading this article about how to use your strengths to your advantage and I really hope that you take action my advice.
I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.