3 Replies Latest reply on May 21, 2014 4:45 PM by Samina Azad

    Knowing Your Strengths: How Important Is It?

    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?

        • Re: Knowing Your Strengths: How Important Is It?
          Peter Bonk

          Don't be in such a hurry to drop competition!  It can serve you well.  Hope to see you (again) in Dallas.

          • Re: Knowing Your Strengths: How Important Is It?
            Abdul-Hafiz Sanni

            That was like you sitting between my heart and brain to write what I would always want to read. Samina, can you led me help with understanding my psychology. I am very religious in Islam and have spoken to audiences multiple times very successfully to inspire fear of God, faith and morality. It seems I am so good in that. But I am a lab technologist. I am very zealous about knowledge, skills, excellence and success with my job but am not sure I am attaining that as soon I had wished. I want to grow. What do you recommend? I want to speak on my job, do my job as excellently as I do Islam.

              • Re: Knowing Your Strengths: How Important Is It?
                Samina Azad

                You should definitely find out what your top five strengths are (easiest way is to take the test that comes with the book "Strengths Finder" by Tom Rath, available on amazon.com) Once you know your strengths, see if they line up with your daily activities in the Lab and if you are using your strengths at work. If not, think about what you could change and talk to your supervisor about changing/expanding your current role.