Wednesday, April 6, 2011

as clear as mud

Remember grade school? Remember getting back your test results in math, history, or science class? Remember wishing with every fiber of your little kid heart that you did well and got a gold star? 95 questions right - 5 questions wrong. Sure you did a good job but 5 questions were wrong. I believe this is the beginning of focusing on The Wrong instead of The Right. We spend more time looking at our weakness then our strengths.

To be clear, I love looking at the wrong and fixing it. It's part of my Restorative strengths. My Restorative strength has been identified through Gallup StrengthFinder assessment. This online resource tool is "based on a 40-year study of human strengths, Gallup created a language of the 34 most common talents and developed the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment to help people discover and describe these talents. The goal was to start a global conversation about what's right with people."

In the book, authors share that people should basically give up what they don't do well and focus on their strengths. The assessment takes 20 minutes. In the end you get a report on your strengths. My top five are: Restorative, Futuristic, Command, Intellection, and Input. What are yours?

Once you know your strengths, revisit your resume and online candidate profiles. This is a whole new context to reframe what you do well. More then likely, your happiest or most productive times at work involve you using your strengths. Your next move is to build success stories around your strengths and share.

Holler your online communities (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) about your next success story, emphasizing your strengths in the workplace and the positive impact of your results. Give prospective employers something to chew on. Demonstrate your value. Celebrate your accomplishments.