The importance of identifying your strengths and then playing to them

The importance of identifying your strengths and playing to them

We operate at our very best, deploying our core strengths, when three essential elements come into alignment.

Identify what we love doing

Firstly we all have different activities and tasks that we love doing. For me, a top three list would include cooking, cycling and mentoring.

Determine what we are great at doing
Secondly, out of the things we love, we need to identify the activities that we’re great at. This should be measured by ourselves and from feedback we receive from others.

For the three activities that I love doing, I would rate myself as a competent cook, capable amateur cycling and experienced business mentor.

Focusing on the mentoring experiences. I have actively mentored other people for over twenty years. This includes formal programmes like The Prince’s Trust. It also includes informal mentoring through people simply asking me for support and assistance.

Over this twenty year period I’ve received training and support to improve my techniques. In addition, I have regularly engaged in mentoring conversations. Through all these engagement I’ve received broadly good feedback from my mentees.

Where do we add value
This naturally leads onto the the third essential element which is around the value that our activities bring either to ourselves and others.

We operate at our very best when we are doing things we love, which we’re great at and where we deliver (and receive) value from the work or activity we are doing.

Translating this to a work environment. We would most likely be happy to do this activity unpaid if needed, as we are operating in a space of natural alignment.

For myself, I have spent many hours over the last twenty years mentoring and supporting other people. In an number of cases doing this in a voluntary and unpaid capacity. I fully expect to continue to be doing this over the rest of my life.

The question is how do you find your key strengths and then play to them?

Well, the good news this is easier than you think. The answer lies within us. Sometimes with a little assistance from the people we trust and who know us the best.

For myself, I have reflected on this area of my own development over many years. I slowly came to realise that my strengths naturally surface when I am doing something I love, which I’m great at and where I am adding value to myself and other people