Feeling lost? Evaluate Your Strengths to Maximize Your Career

This is part 3 of a 7-part series on “Reclaiming Your Voice At Work” that explores the different reasons our voice and impact weakens over time and strategies to reclaim it.

Whether you are an introvert, extrovert, ambivert or omnivert, we each have amazing traits and aspects of ourselves that can also jam us up if not managed and nurtured.  These traits can be our strongest tools or our biggest downfalls in determining our career growth.

Through increasing your understanding of how your style and strengths can affect your career, you’ll be more in control of how you show up and maximize your impact!

Good Day, Bad Day

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase “dark side.”  The meaning can vary, but overall it has a negative context.  I would argue that by embracing both sides of us we’ll be more self-aware, which is the number one predictor of success for executives. Instead of squelching our dark side, we can learn to be aware of it and manage it.

A few examples of how our strengths can turn into perceived weaknesses:

–       One of my strengths is being Futuristic.  On a good day when I leverage this skill well, I’m seen as visionary and strategic. On a bad day, I can be viewed as a dreamer and oblivious to the current state.

–       If you are naturally Cautious, you’ll be seen as a great risk manager and in control on a good day. Which, on a bad day, can be viewed as timid, not innovative and slowing progress down.

–       If Empathy is your strength, you will be seen as understanding, relatable and connected. On a bad day, you may be looked at as soft, lacking business sense and too concerned with how people feel.

So, as you audit your top strengths try this quick exercise:

–       Divide the sheet into three columns.  

–       Column 1, list the strengths.

–       Column 2, list all the positive ways these traits could be viewed.  

–       Column 3, list all the negative perceptions people could form about these traits.  

Be aware of the potential triggers that may move you from good-day to bad-day zone and work to mitigate those.  

Be You and Pace Your Strengths

Focusing solely on your weaknesses doesn’t get you very far, and can leave you feeling discouraged and depress your voice and impact at work.  Gallup’s research shows that by focusing on your strengths you are three times as likely to have an excellent quality of life. Not too shabby!  

If you haven’t taken a personality or style assessment, I highly suggest Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment.  It’s simple, actionable and empowering. You can purchase it directly from Gallup here. If you would like support on your journey, I’m a certified Gallup coach and can work through the assessment with you in more detail. I’d love to support your journey!

My top strategy to keep your strengths out of the red zone is to pick your pace.  The quickest way to a “bad day” is to let your strengths run wild. You can pick your pace by measuring what the situation calls for.  Consider the meeting, event or task that you are approaching and determine which of your strengths are needed and in what dose. Adjust as necessary during the situation.  

Don’t be fake.  Be intentional.

Claim Your Strength

When we claim who we naturally are, people will trust us more and we’ll maximize our impact.  Today, focus in on one strength to let shine and pace your use of it appropriately. Keep me updated on your progress – I know it’ll be BIG!

Peace and Progress On Your Journey,

Anna

P.S. Next week is week 4 of 7 and we will discuss how the culture of an organization can affect the power of your voice.

P.P.S. Join the conversation on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram this week.  I’d love to hear your comments on how awesome/poor leadership has affected you, the ideas that I am sharing and any suggestions you have for me and our community!

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