Knowing Your Strengths Helps You And Others
By Darius Harris, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
One of the hardest feats for many people is figuring out their personal strengths. The benefit of knowing what you’re good at is that the information can help you in your everyday life. It can also help you help others. Below are a few tips to help you identify your strengths.
Ask family, friends, and coworkers about your strengths
Self-examination can lead you to a few answers, but getting an outside opinion will help you either solidify your strengths or shatter a few illusions. Be sure to choose people who will give you the truth and not sugarcoat things. The people that we spend most of our time with can see our strengths in ways we may not recognize. A popular tool that many people are using is “Reflected Best Self Exercise.” This exercise, which has data about it all over the internet, allows you to request positive feedback from significant people in your life. With that feedback, you can then synthesize it into a cumulative portrait of your “best self.”
Do some self-reflection to discover your strengths
Have you taken the time to reflect about your strengths? Ask yourself what activities give you joy, what are your favorite hobbies, and what are some activities that you can’t go without. More than likely, those are areas where you are most talented.
Recalling 3 memorable moments when you were “at your best” can also help get you started—consider:
1) the very recent past (e.g., the COVID challenge!);
2) a highlight from the past year, where you felt “on top of it”; and
3) a significant lifetime memory, where you felt proud of yourself.
What strengths did you use during these occasions?
Take assessments to find your strengths
There are many online assessments you can take to gain insight about your strengths. “HighFive” has a career assessment, and the “Values In Action (VIA)” web test is pretty good, as well. If you want more comprehensive results about your strengths, then the “Highlands Ability Battery” and the “StrengthsFinder” assessments are solid virtual options.
Finding strengths by being more active
Getting involved in various activities is a great way to discover your personal strengths. You may even find hidden talents, because you had never been exposed to a certain activity before. Being more active in pursuit of your goals can also help you to determine your strengths, as well.
Finding strengths by keeping a journal
If you make a habit of updating a journal on a regular basis, it will force you to think of your strengths and accomplishments. As you look through your journal over time, it will reveal the things that you are interested in the most. It may also reveal, through objective reflection, your strengths.
If you are seeking to discover your strengths in a potential professional role for the future, be sure to check out Stride’s Career Prep options to learn more!