STRENGTHS – Part 1 of a 3-part series!
Do you feel you are able to use your strengths every day in the most important areas of your life, in particular in the workplace?
Take a look at a really interesting report by the society of Human Resources Management just released. They asked people, are you satisfied at work? And, what is the most important factors that influence your satisfaction?
For many people, a key factor impacting their satisfaction was if they felt they were able to bring their strengths to work. And, if those strengths were valued. Only 37% said they were. Don’t you find this curious? What is the reason and what’s the impact?
I’ve worked with thousands of people as a speaker and hundreds as a coach. What I notice is that when folks share with me they aren’t able to bring their strengths to work, they’re more likely to be looking for other jobs, are less likely to speak positively about the organization and their team, and even less confident in their abilities. They are also finding other areas of their life where they can bring their strengths. After all, strengths are like a life force; they need to have someplace to go.
If you are a leader, if you own your own business, or even if you are a peer who is very invested, don’t you want to make sure that the other people who show up to work every day with you are contributing their best?
I want to share with you an invitation because this is three parts of a video series where we’re talking about the importance of bringing your strengths to work. I encourage you to sign up for my newsletter and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already because there’s more coming. For now, let me share the top three ways that people can decide if you are the recipient of their strengths, or if it’s going to be channeled elsewhere.
The first thing is that they can do is conform. This comes from looking at what others expect from them. In other words, trying to match strengths to an external norm. Often they ask themselves, “How am I going to try to live up to those expectations?” or “I guess I have to fake it until I make it.”
It may seem on the surface that’s not such a big deal, but what if there is a disconnect? I don’t know about you, but when I have been expected to be something that I am really not, it takes a lot more energy, focus, and concentration to try to live up to an external idea. More importantly, perhaps, there is only so much energy we can devote to externally driven motivators.
The next option is for people to conceal their strengths. When you conceal your strengths, you probably think there is no place for them, or that they are not valued. You keep them to yourself. When we conceal our strengths, we also conserve our energy. We bring it inwards. Instead of being outwards and effecting and benefiting our organizations and communities, we pull it inwards.
Here’s the third way. When people are really satisfied with what they do, they cultivate their strengths. The beautiful thing about cultivating our strengths is that we find ways where the strengths we know we have and that we have energy to use and to build, there’s a fit externally. (Click here to take the survey to learn about YOUR strengths)
My question to you is, are you cultivating, concealing or conforming your strengths? Your strengths are there, why not find a way to cultivate them? That’s what we are going to talk about in the next VLOG. For now, I encourage you to think about where your energy is focused.
To show other people how much you value their strengths, why don’t you send this video to them? Tell them exactly which strengths they have that you depend on and value. Remind them why they matter.