Monday, 11 June 2012

Why it makes sense to play to your strengths

Have you read Strengthsfinder 2.0?
It's a great book that sets out the theory of how it makes sense to play to your strengths.
It explains why focussing on improving your weaknesses, though understandable, is an ineffective use of your time. It reasons that even if you put loads of effort into improving your weaknesses, they may get to a passable level, but you will never really excel at them. Instead it recommends identifying your strengths and then playing to them, and as a manager, getting to know your team's strengths and highlighting and nurturing them.
They tell the story of how golfer Tiger Woods recognised that focussing on his strength - his amazing swing - would mean he was unbeatable, even if the other elements of his game were only average (for a professional).
He relentlessly practised and perfected the swing, until it became powerful and precise. It led to him becoming the youngest ever winner of the Masters in 1997.
This approach immediately resonated with me. A weakness I've carried through my career is my lack of attention to detail (something necessary in my field). I've developed techniques to manage it; re-reading with a fresh pair of eyes, using spell check and asking colleagues to proof read documents I've produced. But it always feels uncomfortable for me and no matter how much I kick myself when I make mistakes, I don't seem to be able to overcome my weakness.
Once I'd identified my strengths (through an online questionnaire that you access through a code in the book) I could see that detail was never going to be my thing and it would make more sense to focus on what I'm good at. According to the questionnaire, my strengths were: Futuristic, Ideation, Strategic, Activator and Significance. I think it summed me up to a tee.
If you're interested in learning more about yourself or your team, I'd definitely recommend buying the book.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting blogpost - so much so that I had to go and buy the book :O)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...