Master Your Strengths

strengths_01Simply put…approaching your life, work, growth and development through identifying, developing and mastering your strengths will get you farther, faster and with more fulfillment and joy than focusing on and trying to improve your weaknesses.

Great news – right? Unfortunately, the more common approach, and one that I bought into for many years, was to focus on identifying weakness or “gaps” as many employers like to refer to it, and then putting together a plan for your “improvement.”

The weakness focus isn’t inspiring and rarely produces outstanding results. The historical focus on weaknesses may be a key as to why so many are unhappy in their work and even in their personal lives.

I know from personal experience because I was promoted out of a job where I got to use my strengths almost exclusively. I was thrilled to get up and go to my job every day as the Director of Training for Robbins Research, Int’l. And I excelled like crazy and was promoted and promoted and promoted. The problem was that with each promotion my motivation and excitement diminished to the point that I had to drag myself to work everyday. Nevertheless, I kept trying to excel and I kept trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I was in the personal development field so I thought if I could just identify what limiting beliefs I had or if I could develop more skill, I would be able to fix my problem.

Until one day, I just decided I had to leave that incredible job because I couldn’t deny it for one more minute – I hated it! Truth be told, there was fall-out because almost everyone who was important to me thought I had lost my mind to leave such an amazing position. It wasn’t until a few years later that I was introduced to the Strengths Approach to work and life.

I felt like the heavens had opened up and the truth was revealed to me. I was finally able to understand what had happened. I had been promoted out of my strengths! And after the 3rd or 4th promotion I was spending about 80% of the time in my weaknesses and 20% in my strengths – no wonder I was miserable. Understanding this and orienting my work and life to be spent at 80% strengths and 20% weaknesses has been one of the most liberating things I’ve done during my 20+ years in the field of personal development and growth. Hallelujah!

What about you? How much of your time is spent engaged in activities that energize you? How much of your time is spent in activities that drain your energy?

What is a strength anyway?
  • It’s something that comes naturally to you.
  • It’s something that energizes you or that you can easily get lost in.
  • It’s something that feels authentic to you i.e. you don’t have to try too hard.
Master Your Strengths

I often hear people say, “My greatest strength is also my greatest weakness.” I whole-heartedly disagree with looking at your strengths in this way. However, it’s very possible that your greatest UN-MASTERED strengths will cause you problems.

Imagine what havoc Superman may have wreaked BEFORE he mastered his super-powers. An un-mastered strength can definitely work to your detriment and possibly even harm others.

super_powers_01I work with my clients to master their strengths, in essence to turn their strengths into their very own super-powers!

Just because you have a natural strength, doesn’t mean you have developed true skill with it or that you have learned how and when to use it to your maximum advantage.

There are three aspects to mastering a strength:
  1. Developing the awareness of WHEN to use a particular strength and when NOT to use it.
  2. Developing the awareness of HOW MUCH to use a particular strength and how much NOT to use it.
  3. Developing actual skill in using a particular strength.
How do you identify your strengths?

There are various methods that can be used to determine your top strengths but my favorite is an assessment called, StrengthsFinder, which identifies your top strengths out of a list of 34. You can purchase the book online or in any book store to take the assessment. However, I have found that having PERSONALIZED COACHING around the results is very important in helping you apply and benefit from the information.

Options for Identifying Your Strengths:
  1. Take the StrengthsFinder Assessment only (Top 5 Strengths Report) – Click here to purchase – $9.95
  2. Take the StrengthsFinder Assessment plus get a one-hour of personalized consultation with Master Coach, Debra Russell to help you understand your results and how to use the information to MASTER your unique talents and strengths – the StrengthsFinder Assessment is included. You’ll receive your Top 5 Strengths Report plus a one-hour consultation with Master Coach, Debra Russell Click here to book – $295

Whether or not you decide to pursue Mastering Your Strengths with me, my greatest hope is that you will pursue turning your strengths into your very own Super Powers!

~Debra Russell, Master Coach