We’re refining our podcast and have some really helpful and inspiring episodes lined up for you. Until then, I wanted to share something that will be helpful as you think about what you want to accomplish this year.
When we ask clients to give us an example of how they see their Strengths show up, we almost always get the same response. They ask, Where? At work? At home? With my friends on the weekend pickleball team?
While it’s certainly true that our Strengths manifest differently depending on the context, there’s probably more that’s the same than different. How we can draw from all our various life contexts to grow in self-awareness?
Self-Awareness and Strengths
Self-awareness is essential for many reasons. It helps us to know ourselves better, recognize how we show up in the world, and understand how we can contribute to an organization. Self-awareness also helps us to discern if we even want to be part of an organization in the first place! Strengths are just one tool for us to gain greater self-awareness. Thinking about how Strengths cross between different contexts can also be a helpful exercise.
Recently, I read the book Stretch by Scott Sonenshein. He’s a Rice University social scientist and the book aims to rethink what we need to succeed and how to do more with what we already have. The book identifies key ways for people and organizations to work beyond their resources to achieve higher performance. Based on in-depth research in psychology and management, Sonenshein shows how to accomplish goals, find success, and live a richer life.
How Do Your Strengths Show Up in Different Contexts?
In a chapter about mixing it up, Sonenshein details the importance of taking what you’ve learned in one area of your life and applying it to another. It reminded me of how our Strengths can show up in different contexts and what we can learn from them.
Try this brief activity to start thinking about the different contexts of your Strengths:
- Pick one or more of your Strengths. If you don’t know your Strengths, just pick something you feel you’re really good at.
- Pick a context.
Here’s an example from my personal set of Strengths and contexts:
One of my Strengths is Maximizer® (that’s the one where you strive for excellence above all else.) At work, I always want to deliver a 5-star experience on our website, to our clients, to my colleagues, and to everyone who interacts with Leadership Vision. At home, I want to deliver that same 5-star experience to my family, be it through a family dinner, an afternoon outing, or a big vacation.
I also have the Strength of Adaptability®. What I’ve come to realize is that I tend to deliver those 5-start experiences not from sitting down and writing out a perfect plan, but from having an idea of a plan (I also have the Strength of Ideation®), getting started, and adapting and adjusting as I go along.
When I read Stretch, I thought about how some of my best experiences both at work and at home come from a combination of my Strengths. I wondered, how I can use that insight to create more successful outcomes more often? For example, at work, if I plan, and plan, and plan, and never actually do anything, well then nothing get done. Similarly, if I plan so much and then become rigid about executing that exact plan, I fail to notice what’s going on around me.
Your Strengths in Different Contexts
Think about how you show up in various situations and life settings. What works really well and what can you transfer over to work well in a different context? We’d love to hear your thoughts – connect with me at email@example.com.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.
If you’d like to be featured on the Leadership Vision Podcast, let us know how you are using Strengths and what impact it has made. Contact us here!