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Bring all of you to work, your heart, love, strengths, talent, compassion, energy, etc. We are strong beyond imagination, we can create and generate more than we can imagine, but we must get the things out of our way that stop us and bring our strengths forth.
Think of something you want to improve about yourself. How would you categorize the thing you chose: Is it a strength or a weakness?
In all likelihood, you chose a weakness. A study from 2016 found that we tend to see weaknesses as more changeable than strengths—which means we’re more inclined to try to improve where we’re weak. But various studies have shown that when we focus on developing our strengths, we grow faster than when trying to improve our weaknesses. Plus, people who use their strengths are happier, less stressed, and more confident.
So to grow professionally and personally, it’s not enough to identify your strengths and use them. You also need to believe that those strengths can be improved.
Sometimes you have to look at things a little deeper to find your strengths.
Think about how different activities make you feel
In his book Go Put Your Strengths to Work, Marcus Buckingham says we often identify our strengths and weaknesses in the wrong way. We think of strengths as things we’re good at and weaknesses as things we’re bad at.
But a better way to think of strengths and weaknesses, Buckingham argues, is to figure out what energizes us. Strengths make us feel strong; weaknesses make us feel weak. So, he says, one way to identify your strengths is to think about how activities make you feel. Something is a strength if:
- It makes you feel successful.
- You’re drawn to it, even if you don’t know why.
- It fully engages you; when doing it, you often find yourself in a flow state.
- After doing the activity, you feel energized, fulfilled, and powerful.
It’s definitely possible to be good at something you hate doing, but that’s not the type of strength you necessarily want to improve. Instead, think of the things that energize and excite you—even if you don’t excel at them yet. Those may be the strengths you set out to develop and grow.
only 17 percent of people say that they spend most of their time at work playing to their strengths. While you might not be able to go to your boss and create your own role that’s solely focused on your strengths, Buckingham suggests the following:
- “Push the people at work toward your strengths and away from your weaknesses.”
- “Push for more training around your strengths.”
- “Push for inclusion on teams or projects that could really use your strengths.”
- “Push to spend time with colleagues who share one of your strengths and are even more adept than you at applying it.”
At the beginning of every week, he says, think about ways you can use your strengths a little more than you did the previous week. By doing so, you can grow the percentage of time you spend on your strengths at work gradually over time.
After all, the more you use your strengths at work, the more people will recognize you for those strengths—and they may even start coming to you anytime there’s a need for someone with your unique skill set.
great workplaces are not created through a particular set of benefits that are unique to a particular industry, limited to public or private organizations, or the advantages of large or small organizations. Instead, universally, a Great Place to Work for All is one where employees trust the people they work with, have pride in the work they do, and enjoy the people they work with.
Business leaders’ paths to success are quickly evolving. Changes happen faster, information moves rapidly with more transparency than ever before, and technology gives any customer or employee the power to be heard worldwide in an instant. These are the unique challenges of our times. And the best leaders are responding.
So what’s needed to succeed in the new business frontier? A Great Place to Work For All has six components we now measure: Values, Innovation, Financial Growth, Leadership Effectiveness, Maximizing Human Potential, and Trust. The key to business success is maximizing human potential, accomplished through leadership effectiveness, values, and trust. Get those pieces right, and you will see innovation and financial growth. To determine the rankings for this year’s list of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, we scored each company on these six components after reviewing their employee surveys and culture audit.
while trust fuels business performance at great workplaces, “For All” accelerates it.