Tips: How to Identify Your Strengths
At The Merit Club, we know that now and again we may need a prompt in the right direction to boost our confidence, channel our mindsets, and get us in a more productive zone for self-improvement. Self-help tips are not meant to be ground-breaking. First and foremost, we believe self-help tips should be accessible; so obvious to the point that you realise, why on earth have I not been thinking like this before!
This week, we've been thinking about how to identify your strengths.
Instinctively, it's not something we necessarily enjoy doing. It's like that feeling of writing a cover letter and selling yourself on paper. Boasting, appearing over-confident; no one ever wants to seem overbearing with their so-called 'strengths'. Yet, identifying your strengths doesn't have to be cringe-worthy. Far from it. Identifying your strengths is about believing in yourself. It's about acknowledging what's going to help you get on in life, cutting out anything unnecessary that will drain you, and working out how you are going to progress. Identifying your strengths is for your own confidence and your own success. Identifying your strengths will put you in control.
Interestingly linked to identifying strengths and this sense of being in control of them is emotional intelligence, which research has recently taken a keen focus on. Some people may have a really high IQ (typically associated with being 'intelligent'), which will evidently help them in many ways and be a core strength of theirs; however, having a strong emotional intelligence will also serve you incredibly well. What does emotional intelligence involve? It considers many things, but is strongly attuned to having characteristics such as independence, empathy, and effective stress management. Intelligence doesn't have to be linked solely to performance in tests and exams. For example, when you look at the leaders of our world in business, politics, and the media, it has been noted just how many of them will have a strong sense of emotional intelligence, with the ability to handle relationships around them with empathy, while being in control of their own emotions. These people will know their strengths, will control their strengths, and will have belief in their personal brand.
So what are the easiest and quickest ways of identifying your strengths? Simple.
Ask yourself these questions and acknowledge your weaknesses:
What drains you?
When and where are you slow?
When do you procrastinate?
Then look on the flip side and ask yourself:
What do you enjoy?
What makes you feel good?
When do you feel most confident?
How would your peers describe you?
How would you like someone to describe you?
What engages you?
Who and what inspires you?
Are you more introverted or extroverted? how can you use this to your advantage?
(Take a look at our feature on Dr. Brian Little's Personalities at Work!)
What environments do you like working in?
How would you sell yourself in a 1 minute elevator pitch?
As Lisa Cummings reveals in her TED talk, a staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged on the job. If you're not engaged, how are you making the most of your strengths? How are you pushing what you are good at, so that you are becoming even better?
The crux of identifying your strengths lies in knowing your weaknesses, but not allowing them to define you. Instead, you have to look at your skills from the opposite perspective and work out what will make you happy, what will make you confident, and ultimately, what will lead to your success.