Strengths Part 3

Welcome back to part three where we are looking at strengths in your workplace; your own and others.

A lot of questions I receive have been good insight, in terms of what we are looking for and what do we do about it if we really want to cultivate strengths as a group, as an organization or even encouraging some of those people who are shining, who are cultivating their strengths, to continue to shine.  It’s a great question.  What we see is, organizations that do this consistently are the ones who outperform their peers time and time again.  If you want to learn more about the literature, feel free to send me an email; [email protected] I’ll be happy to send you the evidence.

What do you do about it?  You may be wondering, how am I so sure that this works?  I get asked this when I work with teams and when people approach me after a keynote.  Bottomline is: We need to recognize and celebrate the greatness and the strengths within our people so they can continue to grow and cultivate it. If your company only values “natural talent” and degrees, read Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. You will soon realize such a mindset can be your organization’s downfall or even downward spiral!

So if strengths are everywhere, how do we keep cultivating them? Even when there’s no upward mobility possible, limited budgets, even more limited time, and pressure from every direction? Perhaps paradoxically, that’s when it’s all the more important to focus on them. Here are three important questions.

  1. Are strengths are being utilized?

Once you know your strengths, check Penn State free Strengths Tool, The Via Institute’s Character Strengths Survey, you can gauge if you and others are using their top strengths. I believe so strongly in this that every one of the over 250 people I’ve coached started with completing a strengths inventory so we ensure we keep leveraging strengths as opposed to pushing uphill with lower priority strengths. Know your own strengths, start talking about strengths and I encourage you to share this with as many people in your team as possible.

  1. Are you maximizing your strengths?

The second thing I want to ask you is to personally look at the strengths that showed up at the top of your list, how are you using them right now?  Are you cultivating these strengths in a meaningful way already?  If some of your top strengths are not showing up in your workplace, that’s tip number three!

  1. Is your team embracing strengths?

What can you do, starting today, that allows you and your team to draw richly upon your top strengths to the workplace?  If you spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else, why wouldn’t you want to?  Now that you have the results of your strengths tool, you know the roadmap to be successful – for yourself and as a team.  Ask your colleagues; what are their top strengths? Push to use strengths as a reference point for assigning tasks and projects. Acknowledge when strengths have helped and benefited the team. Make strengths an important centerpoint of team discourse and decision-making.


Share the strengths tool, this blog and video with your boss, colleagues and staff. Go on a quest to learn about your own and each other’s strengths. When we all start from a place of knowing and valuing our strengths, we can advocate and leverage them. Otherwise, we feel frustrated and may not feel valued.  This is one more thing we have control over. Why not exercise it?

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve