Imagine being stranded on a deserted island with a group of other people. Imagine working together to come up with a survival plan of action. Once such a plan is agreed, the work would then be divided among the group, with everyone being assigned tasks and responsibilities by matching them to the skills and capabilities available.
Building on the group’s strengths to survive would be key. Awareness of weaknesses and limitations would be unavoidable, but in such a scenario, focusing on what cannot be done would only serve to demotivate the group, and seriously undermine its chances of survival.
Work in any organisation is no different. People are hired according to their skills and matched to the needs of the organisation. It is by building on the strengths of each employee, and the combined strength of the entire workforce, that an organisation thrives.
Contrary to our group stranded on a desert island, organisations can also count on the added benefit of being able to communicate and network with the wider worldwide web to ensure that the best human resources are secured. A thriving workforce is made up of workers on whose strengths it is possible to build and grow. The more strengths the better, both for the organisation but also for the worker.
Workers who recognise their strengths and continue to build on them are more likely to be promoted or to expect enhanced prospects of mobility.
Whilst it is in the interest of an organisation to train its workforce, the buck should not stop there, and everyone within the organisation should take more initiative to curate their own professional development and build on their strengths.
To achieve this goal, the following strategies can be effective:
Follow your instincts
Instinctively, we all know where we shine. We all know that when given one task over another which one will make us feel good and we will do well, over other tasks which we dread starting and can leave us feeling frustrated.
Your strengths help you approach work with a positive attitude and leave you feeling accomplished. ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work in your life’ is a quote attributed to Confucius.
While it may seem too optimistic to expect to find a job where 40 hours a week are totally enjoyable, we can all identify with those aspects in our work where the tasks we are doing make us forget we are working, because we are actually enjoying what we are doing, and this is generally when we are utilising our strengths.
One of the first actions you can take is a strength finding exercise. If you were asked to identify your top 3 talents, what would your answer be? Does it come naturally? Do you have to think about it? If you do, then you need to take some time to identify where your talents lie, and how you want to take them to the next level.
When asked to share some of his secrets of success, the business tycoon, Warren Buffett states: ‘By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.’
Choose an area for growth
Once you have identified your strengths, you will come to realise that there is more room for growth. The desire to improve your performance or move up to the next level in a certain area will become stronger.
Sometimes it’s a well done from our manager, or a colleague coming to us for advice that finds us reflecting on how we can become even better at what we do by reading up, investing in professional development, or even undertaking further studies.
Research and testimonials attest that work places which build on the strengths of their employees will also improve as a result of overall health, wellbeing, job performance, and productivity.
From a personal perspective, all actions taken will go a long way to actualisation and self-improvement, and from a work perspective, we can always discuss our goals with management and human resources. You will find that on most occasions, they are more than willing to help.
If you’re looking to build on your strengths with the right organisation for you, Ceek is here to help. We not only look at your present skills and talents, we also look at what can be developed to take your career to the next level. Get in touch with us today to discuss your career potential!