Focus On Your Strengths

Many of us are familiar with the process of an annual performance appraisal. I was taught to follow this format:

• Look back
• Review the good and bad
• Look forwards
• Set goals, focus on areas for improvement

Sounds like a plan!

Perhaps there is another way? Consider this approach:

• Look back
• Identify what you are good at and and enjoy doing
• Look forwards
• Plan to do less of the stuff you don’t enjoy, or are not good at, and more of the stuff you are good at

Let’s face it, its easier to spend time doing what you’re good at. It adds more value, causes less grief. Hopefully there’s someone else in the organisation who loves doing the stuff you don’t. If not, go external.

We’re all good at something. Are you aware what your strengths are? Here are some clues to help you identify your strengths. You know your good at something when:

• Time flies by when you are engaged in this activity – you’re in ‘the flow’
• What seems difficult to others is effortless for you
• Others seek you out to assist them with this activity
• Your hobbies and outside interests include this activity – for example you are a member of Rostrum because you love communicating with others or your personal blog page looks amazing because you love design
• Some of your greatest triumphs have been built around this strength – the great deal you negotiated, the project you managed

Any bells ringing yet? You may not be able to identify your strengths right now, but it is imperative for your future success and achievement that you begin the process of discovering ‘your gift’.

Do you spend the majority of your day in that activity? Many of us may be aware of our strengths, but are in a role where we are not able to fully exploit them. Change this. Actively seek out positions that allow you to use your strengths on a daily basis. This may take time, and involve some risk, but the benefits are huge.

As the body of human knowledge expands exponentially, it is no longer possible to be a successful ‘generalist’. No single scientist can grasp all the key concepts of such a broad field. In the field of medicine, specialists are becoming more and more focussed as their areas of expertise become more complex. The point is, specialists are in demand. And it is highly unlikely that you will develop expertise in a given field if you are not passionate about it. On the other hand, if you build your career around your area of expertise, you are leveraging your strengths to offer something truly special, and valuable.

Often business owners start a business to allow them to indulge in their passion. The keen fisherman opens a Tackle Shop, the amateur photographer turns professional. Along the way, the business of business can overwhelm them and the passion may be lost, or pushed to the background. Businesses succeed when they are built and operated with passion and when their owners are specialists in their field. Are you the best at what you do?

Richard Everson
Small Fish Business Coach Murrumbateman

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See you later.

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