Playing To Your Personal Strengths

Posted February 19, 2013 by Kristi Royse in On the Ladder

Our personal strengths are expressed through the activities that we look forward to doing. They are the activities that leave us feeling fulfilled and empowered. They tend to energize us even as we get exhausted doing them.

  • Wouldn’t it be great if we got to play to our strengths all of the time?
  • Or how about even some of the time?
  • What percent of the day do you get to use your strengths at work?

Our strengths create the platform from which we can all excel.

What I see so often with my clients is their efforts at trying to overcome weaknesses rather than creating roles that play to people’s strengths. I have to continually remind them that this is an ineffective way for driving sustainable personal growth and sustaining organizational health.

Identifying and harnessing your unique strengths fosters excellence.

Unfortunately, most of us have never learned to recognize our own strengths. This is particularly true of women in leadership roles.

Sometimes we discount our strengths as unimportant because they are second-nature and come easily to us.

Other times, our strengths are the sea in which we swim, and we don’t even know they are something of great worth.

  • How often do we really stop and assess and acknowledge our strengths?
  • How often do we celebrate them?

Gallup polled 1.7 million employees in 101 companies and amazingly enough found this:

  • Only 20% of employees working in organizations feel that their strengths are in play every day.

Most bizarre of all is that the higher an individual climbs the career ladder the less likely she is to believe she playing to her strengths.

Following are five steps to help you tap into the unrecognized and unexplored areas of your strength potential. Armed with a systematic process for gathering and analyzing data about your best self, you can improve your leadership.

After you have mastered these steps and are playing to your own strengths, you will be able to engage your team to do the same.

  • Step One:  Ask for Feedback – What are the strengths that others see in you?
  • Step Two:  Identify Your Own Strengths – Take time to really think about this and write them down.
  • Step Three:  Use Performance Assessments
  • Step Four:  Recognize Patterns – Stay present and look for patterns in what you do – these tend to indicate where your strengths lie.
  • Step Five:  Put Your Strengths to Work – Once you’ve identified them, play to them!

When you are using your strengths regularly, you become a powerful, effective leader, and experience greater success, and greater satisfaction. You are also more likely to be able to help other women discover and use their strengths.

As a woman in a leadership role, how do you feel about your ability to play to your strengths? Do you feel pigeon-holed in a job that zaps your energy? Or are you one who gets energized in your role at work? Please comment and let me know how you are doing in this area!

About the Author

Kristi Royse

Kristi believes that leaders create success by inspiring their people to greatness through vision, communication, trust and teamwork, and that female leaders are uniquely positioned to develop this greatness in themselves and others. CEO of KLR Consulting, Kristi is a nationally-recognized speaker, executive coach, facilitator, management consultant, and trainer. Since 1987, Kristi has been coaching executives to be stronger leaders and helping organizations optimize their most vital resource - people.