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From Average to Amazing – how to truly play to your strengths

From Average to Amazing - how to truly play to your strengths

Who are the people who have stood out for you?  What impressed you?  What created their success?

Identifying these people and what made them shine, can be extremely valuable for our own growth and achievement and encourage us to look for our own strengths.

I’ll always vividly remember my first client visit with a new manager.  My boss listened intently and then delivered our sales pitch so skillfully, explaining how our systems and processes set our agency apart in the busy field of temporary recruitment.  She stood out in our agency and in our industry, being recognised and respected as one of the most professional agents of the time. I was proud to learn from her and always particularly noticed her communication skills.

I don’t think anyone turns up just wanting to be average.  Our dreams vary but whatever we strive for, we want to do it well.

So, is there a pathway to amazing?

YES!  The key is to identify and use your unique performance strengths.  When we use strengths that come naturally to us, we feel uplifted and often experience a burst of energy. This energy supports our confidence and it’s so much easier to give star level performance! When we focus on our weaknesses we’re destined to mediocrity.

Evidence can be seen in a large research study which found that when managers formally highlighted their employees’ strengths to them, performance rose on average 36%.  In strong contrast, formally highlighting the employees’ weaknesses led to an average drop in performance of 26%. Our strengths are well worth taking seriously.

Focusing on Strengths is a direct pathway to high performance

Finding your strengths pathway

“What are your strengths?” is a common interview question and each of us probably have some standard responses up our sleeve.  We also often talk about “playing to our strengths”.  But are you identifying your true performance strengths?

The secret is that the strengths that will most help us to achieve and sustain “amazing” aren’t simply what we do well.  We need to look for what energises us and what we feel most often inspired to do!

To start identifying your performance strengths, think about these questions:

  • Which tasks do you always prioritise – because you enjoy them?
  • What activities give you a real sense of energy and engagement and meaning?
  • What are doing when you lose track of time and feel 100% engrossed?
  • What do you do that evokes respect and admiration from others?
  • What strengths are often involved in your successes?

Follow your energy and look for high performance moments

In summary, when you are using your core strengths, you’ll feel like you’re being true to yourself.  You’ll feel energised and you’ll find that high performance follows.  You’ll likely also find that you can learn and develop faster in areas that are a strength for you.  For example, if you are great with detail and enjoy technical tasks, you’ll probably find it both interesting and fairly easy to learn to use complex new software or systems.

We encourage you to test the power of performance strengths with these three tips:

  1. Spend at least some time every day doing things that you’re good at and energise you.
  2. If possible, delegate or ask for support with activities that don’t play to your strengths.
  3. If there’s an opportunity to take on a project that is in your strengths zone – grab it with both hands!

If you’d like some help identifying your performance strengths, please get in touch – we’d love to help.

Best wishes on your strengths pathway!


 About Debra and Kate

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