So You Know Your Strengths, Now What?
You’ve taken the time to find out your strengths. Either your company hired a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, like me, or you’ve done some self-exploration and took an online assessment. Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step, but you may be asking yourself, “What now?”. Sometimes organizations or individuals take the time to find strengths, but then the information goes unutilized. What starts off as an excellent way to learn more about yourself becomes just an anecdote or a fun-factoid. Here’s how to move from learning your strengths to actionable change in how you go about your daily life.
It is time to deepen your knowledge about who you are and what drives you. CliftonStrengths gives you an excellent base in which to start your journey. You now know that you have a strong potential for talent in the area of Relator, or Communication, or Achiever, or one of the other strengths. Your next step is to learn more about what that strength means to you. Two of my favorite ways to do this: learn and join a community. For learning there are a ton of resources available to you. You can read blogs or books, watch videos, join LinkedIn or Facebook Groups or, my favorite, listen to podcasts about your strengths. Here are some excellent sources to learn more about your strengths:
Blogs and Websites:
Published weekly, the Gallup Called to Coach series is a tremendous repository of insight into the strengths and how they show up in real life.
My strengths colleague Lisa Cummings has a resource-rich site under LeadThroughStrengths.com
Another strengths leader is Becky Hammond and she has a great blog series
On Twitter there is an active thread under @CliftonStr.
LinkedIn Groups you can find StrengthsFinder – I Know My Strengths!
If Facebook is your jam then search for the Group “Called to Coach” that is a great forum to ask questions.
The book that started it all, “Now Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham & Don Clifton
The updated version with the CliftonStrengths 2.0 assessment, “Discover Your CliftonStrengths” by Gallup and Tom Rath
“Go Put Your Strengths To Work” by Marcus Buckingham
“Strengths-based Leadership” by Gallup and Tom Rath
“How Full is Your Bucket” by Gallup and Tom Rath
“Are You Fully Charged” by Tom Rath
The Gallup Strengths Center is a terrific launch pad. In addition to the Called to Coach series, they also have the video snippets for each strength. I use these all the time in training, and they are in a bite-sized format that works well if you want to highlight a strength in a team meeting.
Now that you’re becoming an expert in what it means to have your strength (that’s right – only you can be the expert on you), you can start putting your strengths into action. As an example, Achievers have the drive to reach goals. For an Achiever to crush their goals they need to know the rules of the game. Think about it like the Super Bowl. What would happen if all the players showed up and had no idea who was on their team, what the rules of the game were and there was no end zone. It would be chaos! What would the point of the game even be? Achievers need the yard lines drawn, the playbook and the goal posts to play the game and they need to know how they can become the game’s MVP. The same is true in business. For an Achiever to enjoy her job and do well, she may need to ask her supervisor for more structure like a timeline, scope of work or project guidelines. She may need to set mini-goals (like downs) to get a project through to completion.
Learning about your strengths and applying what you’ve learned to you is a lifelong journey. I encourage everyone to take 30 minutes a week to learn more about what makes you tick! I promise you that you have 30 minutes for self-improvement. I utilize that “fun” Austin daily commute to listen to podcasts. Take some time out for you to learn what drives you so you can start to apply your strengths to your daily life. Research shows that you’ll be all the better for it. 😊