Friday, January 16, 2009

Strengths Revisited

I’ve been doing some work on strengths. Even though I’ve written about strengths before here and in my newsletter, there’s always something that strikes me as useful in the revisiting.

Take the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire if you haven’t. You can also identify your strengths by considering the things you’re good at; then ask what strengths enable you to perform well. For example, are you someone who mixes easily at cocktail parties? Is it because you love people, are curious about what they have to say or like to learn things from new people? Is it something else?

Once you’ve identified your strengths, or some of them, consider how you use them across situations. Perhaps you’re a spiritual person who sees beauty in all things and can point this out to others, can bring beauty into the lives of others and can impart peace by your mere presence.

Once you’ve considered how you use your strengths, consider how you might use them differently. It’s well known that people who use strengths in new ways feel happier, more fulfilled and more vital. Say you have zest as a strength. It’s more common among youth, so it’s pretty cool to have it as an adult. Can you bring your enthusiasm for life to someone and pump them up? Can you bring that zest to a situation that sometimes feels a little stale or tedious (perhaps to a board meeting or a road trip)?

Maybe you’ll be surprised at how you can use your strengths in ways you’ve not previously considered. Like many things, improvement comes with exercise and use. And, of course, age.
Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

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