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The One Thing You Need to Know: How to Develop Your Strengths

We are starting a new content initiative called The One Thing You Need to Know. Sometimes I’ll be answering the questions you’ve sent to me, other times I’ll just be talking about whatever is on my mind that day.

“I feel that I understand what my strengths are, but what else can I do to not get sidetracked?” – Lisa, from Syracuse, NY.

Knowing your strengths is half the battle. It’s a very important half, but simply knowing what your strengths are without using them makes them utterly useless – you may as well not know them at all. So this question is an excellent one – and since we’ll be covering how to find your strengths in a future episode, let’s dive into how to develop your strengths once you’ve identified them.   Your strengths are yours alone, and no one can develop them for you. Click To Tweet

Only you know what your strengths are. And honestly, only you really care about what your strengths are. No one is going to develop them for you, because they’re too busy worrying about their own work. And that’s okay, because there are two things you can do to create a strengths-based approach to your work, and your life.

The first step is to stay focused. You know what your strengths are, but do you know how often you’re using them? Find a weekly ritual where you look at the week behind you and take inventory of how well you used your strengths that week. Where could you have done better? What did you hate doing, and could that have been avoided? Then look to the week ahead of you. How will you use your strengths in the future? Are there any areas of weakness that you can mitigate, or avoid altogether?  Your strengths are someone else's weaknesses. Click To Tweet

Second, if you find yourself being sidetracked by people asking you to do things that aren’t areas of strength for you, make them a part of the solution: offer up your strengths to them. So many people are looking for someone exactly like you, because your strengths are someone else’s weaknesses. Volunteer your strengths to them – you will be happily surprised at how quickly people will take you up on your offer.

Have you identified your strengths? Do you have a weekly ritual where you take inventory of how well you’ve used them?

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  1. Oliwaseun October 24, 2017 at 9:10 AM - Reply

    Great. Your books have helped me identified and confirmed my strengths. This short article is an excellent as my major problem now is remaining focused against all odds.

  2. Al Howell December 19, 2017 at 6:03 PM - Reply

    I just completed the Gallup Accelerated Strengths Coach program. Your insight into how to maintain a strengths-base development approach is very insightful.

  3. Marvin Ferguson February 6, 2018 at 5:02 PM - Reply

    My Top 5 are Woo, Empathy, Communication, Intellection, Positivity.
    My dream has always been to be on a stage, Speaking. But I can’t seem to get there. I realize because of the woo, there are many companies who would probably like a guy like me. I love meeting strangers. So, how do I find the best path ?

  4. Cinvas January 9, 2019 at 4:01 AM - Reply

    Hi Marvin,

    the first place to start is to be the speaker at all your family functions, birthdays.
    at the church you need to be in charge of a department or speak to the congregation on Sunday’s
    this is how you will gain confidence in your speaking to a crowd at large.

  5. Rich Kay March 27, 2021 at 6:49 AM - Reply

    Hi, Is the Go Put your Strengths to Work book/your work influenced or based on the big five factor model of personality (OCEAN)? Do you have a similar survey to the Strong Campbell Interest Inventory based on your strengths model? Thanks in advance. Rich

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