Discover Your Strengths

Published in Womeninc, October/November 2006

by Diana Gabriel

As you ease into the final quarter of the year, consider how you have been living from a perspective of curiosity and possibility. Has this perspective led you to any discoveries about yourself or others? Are you taking risks and stepping into that space of possibility? What has that been like for you? What has gotten in your way of living from a perspective of curiosity and possibility? There is still time for you to readjust your alignment, so that you are living more purposefully from this perspective into the end of the year.

Something that might help as you consider these questions is an awareness tool that will you help you discover your signature strengths. When one operates from – and leverages – their strengths, they function at their personal best. This holds the greatest possibility of living and working in flow, which often leads to greater satisfaction and happiness in all aspects of your life. You start noticing and focusing on the best in other people. In my coaching work, I have found that people who are clear about their core values, their life purpose, and who operate from their strengths, are the most likely to be grounded in their personal power and be effective in their daily lives.

The development of the Clifton StrengthsFinder is the result of research on top achievers, by Don Clifton and The Gallup Organization. Their research includes more than two million interviews with people from virtually every profession, career, and field of achievement. The result of their research points to three basic findings:

  1. Top achievers understand their talents and strengths, and build their lives upon them.
  2. They manage their weaknesses.
  3. They invent ways of developing and applying strengths in areas where they want to improve,achieve, and become more effective and improve their performance.

Your strengths are the innate gifts or talents that you were born with, which means that when you get the results back from using them, they will not be a big surprise to you. However, naming the strength and claiming the strength, provides you with another choice about where you spend your time and energy. For example, operating from your strengths requires less effort on your part and provides an ease with activities that you are focused on. Your motivation and energy can be maintained. Consequently, you can sustain your efforts towards achievement and excellence, which can increase your overall success in being in alignment with who and what you are about.

You can discover your own strengths by taking a short assessment through the book Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. In addition to the strengths assessment the book fully describes 34 positive personality themes or strengths. The book explains how to build a “strengths-based organization” by capitalizing on the strengths of the individuals within the organization which can easily be translated into how we operate in others areas of our lives.

Once you know your strengths and begin to leverage them, think about what possibilities might exist for you, coming from a strength perspective. How might your day or life experience be enhanced if you operate from your strengths? Ultimately, how might operating from your strengths focus your curiosity and enhance your possibilities? I believe that we all want the opportunity to express the very best of ourselves and to be challenged to keep reaching for more. Equipped with knowing your core values, life purpose and strengths you have the best tools for stepping into the possibility of being your personal best.

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