As a busy professional with a demanding career, you find yourself amidst a flurry of busyness, with a never-ending list of things vying for your attention. However, something about your work-life doesn't feel quite right. It seems lacklustre, monotonous, and lacking in excitement. Moreover, you feel drained and exhausted for no obvious reason, making you wonder if your work is a good use of your talents.
Now, let's imagine a different scenario: you're in the zone. Completely immersed and engaged in what you're doing, you're abuzz with energy, feeling unstoppable. You're challenged but feeling capable and enthusiastic about growth and development, and you're effortlessly nailing your to-do list.
This is the magic that happens when you're using your strengths.
Amidst the whirlwind of work-life, strengths can be a game-changer – we like to think of them as your ‘superpowers’.
But what are strengths exactly?
While most of us believe strengths are simply things we're good at, they are much more than that. Strengths come naturally to you and give you energy. They represent the best parts of your personality and the things that bring you joy.
Why should you identify your strengths?
Identifying your strengths has numerous benefits. Not only does it build self-awareness and understanding, but it also allows you to design a work-life that's more engaging, energising, and fulfilling. Moreover, uncovering your strengths can reveal unexpected surprises. For instance, you might assume that public speaking is a strength because you enjoy the limelight and are good at it, but if it drains your energy, it may not be a true strength – perhaps it's more of a skill or talent.
What’s the science behind strengths?
The understanding of strengths and the remarkable implications for work-life comes from positive psychology, the study of wellbeing and human flourishing. This research shows that using your strengths enhances productivity, performance, engagement, and satisfaction. It also fosters creativity and problem-solving skills while building confidence and resilience. Additionally, incorporating your strengths into your daily routine and self-care practices has been shown to boost wellbeing and reduce stress.
How do I harness the power of strengths?
Here are three essential steps to consider:
1. Discover your unique strengths profile*:
Psychologists have identified a core set of character strengths that we all possess to varying degrees, such as Leadership, Kindness, and Perseverance. Various assessments have been developed to help uncover our strengths, allowing us to benefit from the wonderful outcomes that come with utilising them. Seeking feedback from others about the strengths they notice in you can also be invaluable and revealing.
*Check out our Strengths Cards, designed using the most widely known model of strengths.
2. Use your strengths at work:
Consider redesigning your role or seeking work tasks and projects that allow you to leverage your strengths. Advocate for a strengths-based approach in your organisation. If you're a leader, prioritise tasks that align with your strengths and delegating those that don't. Dedicate more time to developing and honing your strengths.
3. Use your strengths outside of work:
Allocate time for activities that align with your strengths. Join like-minded groups or start hobbies that enable you to exercise your strengths. Prioritise self-care practices that bring you joy and allow you to utilise your strengths.
By taking the time to identify, prioritise, nurture, and use your strengths, you can completely transform your work-life for the better. Embracing your ‘superpowers’ can lead to a more fulfilling and impactful professional journey.