Leading With Your Strengths

by Kylie Soderstrom

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 46 seconds

What if you knew exactly what your strengths are and was able to leverage them every day? What if your colleagues, family and friends knew how to use those strengths to enhance your relationship and achieve goals?

Many people make the mistake of focusing on their shortcomings or weaknesses, when our priority should always be to leverage our strengths. People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job, and teams that focus on their strengths are 12.5% more productive, according to Gallup Strengths Center. Innate talents and personality traits are meant to be used daily within relationships, work and hobbies. The issue is that most people don’t know what their strengths are or which opportunities to pursue that will emphasize those talents.

I recently took the Clifton StrenghtsFinder assessment, which is known as the “science of strengths.” This tool is meant to discover your top five strengths, learn how your dominant talents help you excel and begin your journey to better performance and higher engagement. The assessment presents 177 statements that consist of a pair of potential self-descriptors, such as “I read instructions carefully” and “I like to jump right into things.” You are asked to determine which descriptor best describes you and rank how accurately it describes you on a scale. You are only given 20 seconds for each response, which forces you to go with your gut instinct and avoid overthinking the decision.

Immediately following the assessment, you are given your top five strengths, the shared theme description for each and a personalized strengths insight. The personalized strengths insight is incredibly interesting, because it completely customizes that strength to best fit you.

For example, my top strength is “Woo,” which means “winning others over.” The shared theme description is as follows:

People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.

However, my personalized strength insight for Woo begins as follows:

By nature, you might be candid with others about your challenges, happy moments, and sad events. To some degree, you give freely of your time, energy, and expertise. Perhaps your open nature and willingness to share distinguishes you from others. This partially explains why some people may be attracted to you. Chances are good that you have a facility — that is, an ease and readiness — for speaking. Under very few circumstances do you struggle to find just the right word to express a thought or feeling.

The personalized strength insights are detailed descriptions of your signature talents and are compiled based on each response throughout the assessment. These are meant to give you an in-depth perspective into what makes you unique. This type of insight should be leveraged throughout your work environment and applied on a daily basis.

Companies should use assessments like this when considering where to invest one’s time, energy and attention. Studies show that the best place to start is in an area of strength, which increases productivity, optimism and overall happiness. It’s important to shift focus to strengths and set yourself up for success, in both work and non-work environments. 

Recent Posts

When to Contact a Social Media Agency

- April 01, 2017

In today’s digital world, social media is more necessary than ever. Brands are able to connect with their audience instantly and personally, making social media key to success in today’s digital world. The impact of real-data and intel to make informed business decisions makes social media a vital part of your business that can help achieve your company’s goals and objectives. With all this being said, a successful social media program takes resources and bandwidth to maintain, which is where some businesses fall behind. 

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 17 seconds

Read More »

Branding Bees: Social Pollination and Content Harvesting

- March 01, 2017

If we compare brands to plants and flowers, then marketing and communications can be likened to honeybees. In order to frame this analogy a bit more, we must first understand how bees work before explaining how it relates to marketing.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 34 seconds

Read More »

The Mary Kay Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit 2017

- February 14, 2017

There are few opportunities I cherish more than those involving the professional development of women entrepreneurs. When asked to speak at the Mary Kay Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit, I immediately thought of the women who influenced me and helped me achieve success in my career. I started as a young entrepreneur with the dream to one day own my own business.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 5 seconds

Read More »

Five P’s of PR Success

- January 30, 2017

I love using the mantra “prior planning prevents poor performance.” It applies to so much in my everyday life, but especially rings true as we get into a new year of marketing and PR campaigns. As we look ahead to the New Year, we reflect on how we did in 2016 and look for opportunities for improvement and growth.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 36 seconds

Read More »

HCK2 Discovery Day

- January 13, 2017

As we enter the New Year, students and recent graduates alike are preparing to take their bold next steps into the professional world with resumes and portfolios in hand. A task that can be as intimidating as it is exhilarating, landing your first job requires great preparation. With this in mind, HCK2 Partners opened its doors by hosting the inaugural HCK2 Discovery Day.

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 15 seconds

Read More »