strengths and working with them

It’s a funny thing that our whole society is geared towards weaknesses. Much of our school years are spent trying to make up for deficits, instead of focusing on strengths, and I didn’t realise how weird it was until I started working where I work now. Strengths based leadership is based on a theory that says that if we all work towards our strengths, we’ll be happier and thus more productive. If we know what those strengths are, and know what those of our fellows are, we can work towards them, and help mitigate their occasional downfalls.

What does this all mean? Well, at work it means making sure that you can do what you are great at every day. For me, that’s research and writing (yes, I love those things). For another person, it’s ticking everything off the list (that’s some people’s idea of heaven). You’ve heard of the saying, “it takes all kinds and conditions to make the world,” right? Well, we think it takes all kinds of people to make a successful business (and, by extension, a happy home, depending on what you’re doing).

For example, my strengths are Input, Relator, Adaptability, Restorative, and Individualisation (in order of strength). Input as number 1 means that I love collecting things, and for me that’s information. I research everything, I ask a ton of questions, and more importantly, I love to communicate that information. I love to corral all the information into easily digestible snippets. If I ask a lot of personal questions, it’s not malice – I just want to know. As far as I’m concerned, there is no such thing as too much information. I want all of it. I think that’s why I studied a BA, and why I love my job so much (product researcher and copywriter). I get to do what I love and what I’m great at every single day.

My other strengths, Relator and Individualisation, refer to people. I like people, but I like to make strong, one-on-one friendships with people (that’s how Relator works for me). I’m not great with crowds, and my idea of a nightmare is being made to go to a party where I know no-one. But put me in a situation where there are lots of strangers (like a new work environment), I will be happiest making friends with different people, one at a time. Individualisation helps me see all the little things that make both people and things different to one another. These three strengths working together, means that I tend to have informed, intuitive insights into people, and make really good friends (if only one at a time).

Just think. What would you do, if you could do it every day? Do you think that you work to your strengths, or try to fight your weaknesses? Are you doing what you love? What you’re meant to be doing, in some form or another?

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