Did you know that developing your strengths -- those things you're good at and actually enjoy doing -- makes it eighteen times more likely you'll describe yourself as "flourishing" at work? Given most of us report we're just getting by when it comes to our jobs, how hard can it be to start doing more of what we do best?
Well you might be surprised.
Off the top of your head right now try naming your top five strengths. Chances are you'll spot two or three easily, but most of struggle to name five because we're often blind to some of the things we do best without the help of a strengths assessment tool like Gallup's StrengthsFinder or the VIA Survey.
For the strengths you can remember, now think about how often you've intentionally used them over the past few days at work? Studies suggest only 50% of us will have had the opportunity to do what we do best - to develop our strengths - each day as we go about our jobs.
Why is developing our strengths so hard?
Having taught thousands of people around the world to put their strengths to work the most common challenges I hear are: "I'm not sure where to start" and "I'm too busy right now". I get it. But don't these seem like the worst reasons in the world not to do more of what you do best each day and truly flourish at work?
So here are three, simple busy-proof steps you can take to make easier:
- Discover Your Strengths - If you can't name what your top five strengths are take the free, ten-minute VIA Survey. Knowing your strengths has been found to make you it up to nine times more likely you'll feel like you're flourishing at work. When you get your results don't file them away, put them somewhere you'll see them each day and look for ways they're showing up when you feeling engaged and energized by your work.
- Prioritize Your Strengths - Rather than working on all five strengths at once use the Strengths Circle developed by Matt Driver and part of the Positive Psychology Practitioners Toolkit to shrink the change and prioritize your focus. Follow the instructions on the worksheet below to make a graphical representation of the extent to which your top five strengths are currently used at work and the scope that exists to improve upon this. Then start by developing just one strength, so you can build up your confidence before tackling the rest.
- Create A Daily Strengths Habit - Now you know which strength you want to develop, keep the change small and create an 11-minute daily strength habit. Join the free global Strengths Challenge to be guided step-by-step to create an easy brain-friendly routine that allows you to start doing more of what you do best. Not only will you find more than 70 different ways you can put the VIA Strengths to work, but you can also access free strength coaches if you need additional support.
What can you do today to put your strengths to work?
Download your free Strengths Circle worksheet developed by Matt Driver for the Positive Psychology Practitioners Toolkit here.