IS SELF AWARENESS ONE OF YOUR STRENGTHS?
Superman’s secret power
Many consider superman to be the ultimate superhero. He is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and he knows that his one weakness is kryptonite. What really makes superman great is that he is a self-aware leader. He knows his strengths and he leverages them in his quest for peace. He is also fully aware that kryptonite is his weakness. Self-awareness is a strength that all great leaders have learned to leverage. Superman epitomizes a leader who knows how to leverage his strengths. Superman’s super power that very few talk about is his awareness of his own strengths and weakness.
What about you?
Do you fully utilize your strengths in your current job? Do you really know what those strengths are? Most people answer no to both questions. In fact, people tend to have a better grasp on their weaknesses and areas for development than they do on their strengths. Having worked as a coach and internal organizational development consultant for over twenty years I was constantly frustrated with most organizations approaches to coaching and development. Too much focus is placed on fixing employee deficiencies and not enough emphasis on leveraging existing strengths. I founded Groove Management with the goal:
To help individuals and organizations to maximize performance by focusing on their strengths.
I believe that focusing on maximizing ones strengths and applying them to the work that one does is the best way to enhance performance and career progression.
How to get a better understanding of your strengths?
Most of us have a pretty good idea of what we are good and bad at, but we often confuse that with what we like and dislike doing. Yes, we tend to prefer to engage in tasks and activities that we are good at, but at work we tend to do what is required of us.Utilizing a psychometric assessment tool is one good way to get a better understanding of once strengths. Not all personality assessments are created equally and some focus too much on identifying deficiencies.
In my coaching and development work I have recently begun to use the Leading Dimensions Profile as my main assessment tool. The LDP is a relatively new assessment tool, which can serve multiple uses. The 95 question online assessment provides a very easy to understand snapshot of an individuals approach to communicating, learning, resolving conflict and exercising influence over others. There are two primary factors, achievement drive and their relationship drive, which are then supported by ten dimensions.The LDP is a good first step towards building great self awareness. With the help of a coach an individuals can begin to articulate their true strengths.
How to begin to leverage those strengths?
Once a clearer picture of ones strengths has been established the next step is to audit ones current role. The key question to ask is:
Am I able to leverage my strengths on a daily basis in my current role?
If the answer is yes, then there is good alignment between the role and the individual. If the answer is no, two things are happening. One, the individual is expending extra energy to do their job and their job satisfaction is most likely low. Two, the person has not considered other ways to approach the job that would leverage their strengths to get the work done. In many cases where there is poor job alignment with ones strengths this process leads the individual to consider other jobs or in some cases even other career tracks.
Building greater self-awareness is critical to an individual's development. With self knowledge an individual can have their own form of superpowers. While they may not be as impressive as superman’s, knowing what one does well can be a real competitive advantage in the work world.