2. Strengths and Talents

No, not for a talent show!

It’s amazing that most of us get through 12 or more years of education without ever identifying our strengths and talents. We step into the work world with “an education,” but often without a clue what we like to do or are good at. It’s well worth doing an assessment or two! And repeat the process for time to time.

My quick definitions (probably taken from Marcus Buckingham):

Talents: automatic, what you were born with
Strengths and Skills: things you learn

Now, Discover Your Strengths
First Published 2001

Most character habits and values are LEARNED! Strengths and habits are LEARNED. It’s great to build on what you were born with, but most valuable things can be learned. Things that fit or talents are the easiest to learn.

Two Aha ideas:

1. It’s incredibly easy to fail to recognize our own talents, or to not appreciate them. Because we are born with them, we don’t notice they are special. We expect we’re just like everybody else. The population is so diverse that we will probably never meet anyone else with our collection of talents. You are more unique than you first suspect.

2. Per the research from Marcus Buckingham and others, there are things that fit our strengths that are naturally easy for us to get better with. Conversely, it’s really hard for us to significantly improve in our areas of weakness. Since you can fairly easily get better in your strengths, don’t spend a lot of time trying to overcome your weaknesses. Mitigate your weaknesses, don’t try to turn them into strengths.

Within your Strengths, you most likely have a super-power that others don’t! Dig to find it, then use it to your advantage!

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