How often have you invested in a personal growth training in order to improve something you felt you were not good at? Perhaps it was marketing, sales, personnel management or public speaking. Whatever the area, we feel as if we are required to do battle with what we do not do well.
As it turns out, the majority of people around the world feel this way. In the groundbreaking book Now, Discover Your Strengths, and the newest release, Stand-Out, author Marcus Buckingham finds that across all ages and cultures, people are more concerned about their weaknesses than their strengths.
We believe that our weaknesses matter more because we perceive them to be holding us back rather than emphasizing our strengths which are what we use to advance ourselves. That’s nonsense, say the authors, and I agree—widely held nonsense and nonsense nonetheless.
Instead, they suggest that the better strategy is to play to your strengths, building upon your core talents, and using them to work around any weaknesses. After all, you can spend lots of time working on something to improve yourself; however, if it is not time spent building upon a strength you already have the results you get will be adequate. On the other hand, if you emphasize your natural talents by improving them you have a chance of being extraordinary.
As the author explains, “Unless you have the necessary talent, your improvements will be modest. You will be diverting most of your energy toward damage control and very little toward real development.”
Marcus Buckingham and his partner Donald Clifton identified 34 strengths and then created an online assessment that you can take upon purchase of his book. You can either purchase Now, Discover Your Strengths or Strengths Finder 2.0 to get this information. To delve deeper, we recommend the new book by Buckingham, Stand Out, which analyzes the interplay of your top strengths and teaches you how to make a bigger impact.
At Edge of Change we offer many different tools to help you work with your strengths. One unique product offering was developed in conjunction with a Gallup representative in order to understand the different strengths and how they work together. We offer this tool to leadership teams so they can learn to leverage the strengths of everyone and achieve maximum effectiveness.
Please call our offices at 541-344-8639 for more information.