Are YOU Playing to YOUR PORTFOLIO of Strengths?

 In Career, Communication, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Personal Development, Professional Development
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Making Change and TRANSITION EASYer on YOURself!
Sharing a weekly Idea and Challenge on change and transition with YOU!

An idea for YOU!
Are you familiar with the phrase “Play to YOUR strengths!
Not only is it a phrase, it is a concept.
A concept that is becoming quite popular these days.
A lot of leading organizations are adopting it as their performance management system of choice.

One of my clients was exploring the approach with me recently in a coaching session.
After our call, she went and gave it a try.
When we reconnected again a few weeks later during our next coaching video call,
I could hardly believe the change that she had undergone.
More like a transformation.
Unlike in the past, where a lot of her focus was looking at, and working on,
things that required her further development,
she was now focusing mainly on her strengths.
A huge mind-shift, as she put it.
A new level of self-awareness of not only of what her top strengths were,
but on the whole concept and benefits of playing to one’s strengths.
And the results on the people on her team?
Apparently quite positive!
And you know what?
As she was describing the experience to me,
I could not help but notice the positive impact that it had on her.
I could hear her the high level of engagement and self confidence in her voice.
I could see it on the smile on her face.
She was beaming.

Wow!
Talk about a cool session.
What a great testimonial to the power of the approach.
So, I figured that maybe it was time to revisit the concept via a blog.

I had touched upon playing to one’s strengths in a previous blog;
ARE YOU PLAYING TO YOUR STRENGTHS?
MY TOP 10 LEARNINGS FROM PLAYING TO THEM WITH A BUNCH OF 10-YEAR-OLDS!

In that blog, I focused on individual strengths.
In this blog, I would like to focus on the whole portfolio.
What I call the POWER of the PORTFOLIO.
So, how does one play to their PORTFOLIO of strengths?

Well, the FIRST STEP is to identify YOUR individual Top Strengths.

There are a lot of tools and self-assessments out there to help you do just that.
One of my favourites is Strengthsfinder 2.0
by Author Tom Rath and the Gallup Organization.
YOU can buy the book which has a code in the back to take the self-assessment.
Or, YOU can go to their site and pay to just take the self assessment.

There are 34 possible strengths (or as they refer to them, Themes) using their framework.
Try and play to all of them,
or to too many of them,
and you are quite likely going to become quite busy,
and quite distracted,
and quite frustrated.
Not to mention, not likely to be all that productive or effective in what YOU are trying to do.
So, if you are not supposed to play to all of them
How many should YOU play to?
In this case, this approach, the magic number is 5!
So, not surprisingly, once YOU complete their self-assessment
YOU will receive a report that
identifies what YOUR Top 5 are.

So, YOUR mission, if you choose to accept it, is to become more self-aware of YOUR Top 5.
Those Top 5 are what I am referring to as YOUR portfolio!

Once, YOU discover YOUR Top 5, the SECOND STEP is to,
PLAY AROUND with them (i.e. use them).
You can “play to them” right away if you like.
But what I have found is that I had to play around with them first,
in order to really understand them.
I find that it is only by testing things out that I can figure out how best to leverage them.
Kind of like making the theory, real.

Start by using them more often.
Stop and reflect on the impact that they are having on others,
and on YOURSELF.
Are you having fun?
Do they seem to fit? Etc.
Pay attention to how they can be used to complement each other.
Etc.

As an example,
I will share mine.
And explain how they relate to each other.
Took me a while to figure it out and
I continue to find new ways to leverage them.
How cool is that!
(BTW. Everything in brackets is taken from the book or the report that I received)

My Top 5 (which also appear in the photo to this blog)
Are the following:

The IDEATION in ME.
“I am fascinated by ideas. A QUASAR flow of ideas. I am able to find
connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.”

The INPUT in ME:
“I am inquisitive. I collect information – words, facts, books, and quotations”

The FUTURISTIC in ME:
“I am a dreamer who sees visions of what could be.
I inspire others with my visions of the future”

The ACTIVATOR in ME:
“I believe that action is the best device for learning.
This learning informs my next action and my next. “

The RESPONSIBILITY in ME:
“When assigning new responsibilities, people will look
to me first because they know it will get done”

O.k. Those are them.
Now.
How do I play to them?
As a portfolio?

Numerous people have come up to me, often,
and mentioned, how disciplined they find me.
At first, I was a bit surprised.
There is so much going on in my head at any one time.
So many ideas (IDEATION) that I have trouble summoning up the discipline
to focus on only one item.
My mind is all over the place.
For every project that I finish, I will start another 10.
I also literally have stuff all over the place.
A post-it note here.
A picture there.
A half-finished poster there.
The “quasar” flow of ideas from the definition above does not sound like
a very disciplined state of mind.
I could come up with ideas until the cows come home.
And the INPUT in me will keep me busy researching and exploring and archiving them.
Speaking of archiving,
Check out the walls of my office.


Can you say distractions? 😊

All that ideation and input does not leave me a lot of time to make the ideas real.
And ideas are only helpful if they can be leveraged,
by making them real.
Disciplined?
Are you serious?
And what about the FUTURISTIC in me?
Supposedly;
“working hard on pondering the future and what it might offer…
can consume a large part of my waking hours.”
Not just working hours but waking hours. ☹
And I am trying real hard to get my 7-9 hours of sleep in.
Yikes!
All of a sudden, finishing 1 out of 10 projects was starting to look pretty good.
Given how I seemed to spending most of my time;
Exploring things in the present, exploring things in the future and researching and collecting things.
Not much time for action.

And then I thought about it a bit more.
Although I come up with 10 new projects.
I do finish 1.
Like clock work.
Even ones that seem a bit scary at first.
i.e. my first blog over a year ago; DAVE’S TOP 5 LIST: MY DREAM JOB
But I do it.
I decide to do it AND I do it.
Through rain and sleet and snow.
Good weather or bad weather.
I do it.

Well that is where the ACTIVATOR in me comes in.
It is my “passion for making things happen (and often impatience when they don’t)”.
That has allowed me to make some of these ideas real.
As mentioned, even when I am afraid that my ideas might not work.
The Activator in me keeps me moving forward.
And the new ideas that result then spur on others.
And if that is not enough to keep me moving forward,
The RESPONSIBILITY in me, reminds me, that
“I take psychological ownership of what I say I will do”
Note to self: Keep committing to taking action. 😊
Oh! And guess what?
The “vivid mental images of the coming months, years, or decades”
As seen by the FUTURIST in me “often impel me to move to action” as well.
Oh. And one more guess what?
The one project that I do finish.
It often has a little something in it from the other 9 that I don’t finish.
A quote or a picture or a lesson learned.
Taken from my archives. Thanks INPUT.
And thanks IDEATION for all the great ideas to explore and archive in the first place.

So, there YOU have it.
An example to hopefully make it real for YOU,
A bit of a long winded one,
But what can I say. I like to tell stories. 😊

So, YOUR mission!
Try YOUR Portfolio on for size.
Play with them.
See and feel how they fit.
And in no time at all,
YOU will be playing to them.

And that brings us to STEP 3?
Once YOU become more familiar with “playing to YPUR strengths”
You will want to start looking into complementing them with the strengths of others.
Yes, OTHERS and their Strengths are another part of YOUR portfolio.
A portfolio of team members and/or colleagues and/or peers and/or friends etc.
Whose strengths will complement yours.
And YOURS will complement THEIRS.
I believe the term is
INCLUSIVITY. 😊

My challenge for YOU!

My challenge for YOU is pretty straight forward.
Either buy the book and take the self-assessment
Or, just pay to take it through the web site.
Just give it a try.
And then, when YOU get YOUR report back.
Just give them (YOUR top 5) a try.
Play to them.
Start to become more self-aware of them.
Most importantly, the impact they have on You,
after all, they are YOURS.
And the impact they have on others (a.k.a. becoming more socially-aware).
And when I say “They”,
I mean all 5 of them
All 5 of YOUR strengths.
And the connections between them.
Between YOUR PORTFOLIO of Strengths.
Have fun!

Oh and, once you have your portfolio of strengths identified.
You might start asking YOURself.
How do they tie into my leadership style?
Great question.
I will try and answer that one in one of my next blogs. 😊

Oh! and by the way.
If you would like to gain a better handle on leveraging YOUR “Portfolio of Strengths”
That might make for an interesting topic to explore together in one of my
“Experience Coaching with Dave” Sessions.
The details are below

Enjoy the challenge and,
Here’s to making change, EASYer on YOURSELF!

Cheers

Dave 

Career Transition Coach &
“HALFTIME” Life Journey Coach

 

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 Appendix: Some extra resources to help YOU!
(in case YOU want to dig a little deeper on this TOPIC)

My way of helping YOU make change and TRANSITION EASYer on YOU😊

Strengthsfiner 2.0 by Tom Rath (the link to more info on the book and the self-assessment)
https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/home/en-us/strengthsfinder?utm_source=strengthsfinder&utm_campaign=coming_soon&utm_medium=redirect

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