Asserting Your Strengths to Enhance Your Professional Productivity

The personality test industry is booming. From Buzzfeed quizzes to workplace evaluations, the current obsession with quick personal assessments is indicative of the nosy instinct to see ourselves from an outside perspective.

But time and time again, individuals stop the self-reflection once the evaluation concludes. You finish your test to find out more about yourself, but the results get lost in the shuffle of your routine. Ultimately, the feedback from assessments like Gallup’s StrengthsFinder test can and should be incorporated into your daily work to increase productivity and feelings of workplace satisfaction.

“When you’re operating in your strengths, you are six times more likely to be engaged in your job and you are three times as likely to report having an excellent overall quality of life,” business and personal coach Strother Gaines said at GovLoop’s 2019 NextGen Government Training Summit.

Gaines defined a strength as the ability to consistently show near-perfect performance. It’s a combination of an individual’s natural way of being and the time they invested developing those skills and talents.

The benefits of working within your strengths are tangible. Individual employees become sharper,rounding out the entire team. Knowing what strengths comprise your agency ensures that the right people are getting the right work and, if a certain strength is missing, demonstrates opportunities for growth.

Gaines recommends the name it, claim it, aim it technique to begin taking full advantage of your strengths.

The first step is simply identifying your strengths. Through self-assessment using popular online tests or other personal reflection, you can name the specific traits that you bring to the workplace.

Then, you’re ready to own your strength. This step is crucial yet challenging because claiming your strengths requires vulnerability. Owning your strengths and your authentic self makes it harder to deflect criticism.

And for those who think that acknowledging their strengths comes across as braggadocious, Gaines said that you must learn to overcome that.

“You have to be able to speak really clearly to the value that you add to the world and to your role,” he said. “It’s not boastful or bragging, it’s just what is.”

Once you’ve named and claimed your strengths, you need to learn how to utilize them productively. Strengths can sometimes turn negative if they overpower or impede you. Aiming your strengths means putting yourself in positions at work that meet your needs while highlighting your attributes. Find ways to take on the work that showcases your strengths to make it easier to show them off.

The name it, claim it, aim it method of embracing your strengths helps with applying your talents to everyday work situations. By understanding your strengths, you can direct them to solve singular problems and better understand how you fit in with others in the workplace.

Knowing how your strengths mesh or clash with your team’s makes it easier to collaborate. Your coworkers know which tasks to send your way and which ones are better delegated to a different team member. Creating this strength communication stream helps the entire team meet top expectations.

Through deep self-reflection or tools like Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, identifying strengths can help professional teams make the most of their 40-hour work week and help individual staff members rise to their full potential.