Samina Azad

Knowing Your Strengths: How Important Is It?

Discussion created by Samina Azad on Mar 13, 2014
Latest reply on May 20, 2014 by Samina Azad

Research by Gallup shows most people are either unaware of or unable to describe, their own
strengths or strengths of the people around them. It is unfortunate because the
strength based approach improves your confidence, performance, direction, hope,
and kindness towards others. Over the past few decades, Gallup has been researching how talent can be
applied in a wide variety of roles and professions and found that the vast
majority of people don’t have the opportunity to focus on what they do best.
People who are not in the “strengths zone”:

  • Dread going to work
  • Have more negative than positive interactions with colleagues
  • Tell their friends what a miserable company they work for
  • Achieve less on a daily basis
  • Have fewer positive and creative moments


Gallup’s recipe for Strength:  Strength = Talent x Investment


Talent is a natural way of thinking, feeling or behaving

Investment is time spent practicing, developing your skills, and gathering knowledge

Strength is the ability to consistently provide near perfect performance


Aligning yourself with the right task can be easy when you
are in the strengths zone. Research shows that most successful people start
with the dominant talents and then add skills, knowledge and practice to the
mix. The raw talent serves as a multiplier in this case. With investments, we
can be great in the areas of our natural talents. Investing on our weaknesses
on the other hand can get us to a mediocre level at best. Why settle for being
mediocre when you can be great at what you do?


Does knowing your weaknesses help? Identifying the areas in
which you are clearly lacking can help avoid major roadblocks. For example, if
managing details is not one of your natural talents, you can figure out ways to
help you keep track of the details. If you don’t like managing your daily schedule,
use electronic planners, reminders, etc. If possible, you can also team up with
someone who has more talent in the areas you are lacking. Strengths Finder by Tom Rath

goes over the 34 common themes of talents. After reading the book, you can

take a test to assess your five main strengths/talents.


People change over time however scientists have discovered
that our core personality traits are relatively stable throughout life, as are
our passions and interests. On that note, I took the Strength Finder test ~5
years ago and then again last year. The first test assessed “Competition” to be
my top talent and last year’s test showed “Strategy” to be the top talent and
“Competition” still in the top five. I am curious to see if I can shake off my

“competitive” attitude by the third test in 5 more years!


Any thoughts or comments on the strengths zone?