Lean into Your Strengths with Self-Awareness

Welcome to the Leadership Vision Podcast, where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a Strengths-Based approach to people, teams, and culture.

In this episode, I’m going to do something that I have wanted to do with Brian and Linda for quite a while. What I’ve wanted to do is find a way to help you as a listener get a behind-the-scenes look at what we do at Leadership Vision. Brian and Linda are so good at working with individuals and teams and every time we’ve tried to record an example with clients, it’s always felt a little bit fake. So, what I thought I would do is just spring this on them and use me as the subject. As you’ll hear, there’s a couple of things that I’ve really been wondering about myself, about my Strengths, about how I interact with the world, and I wanted their opinion as people who have known me for quite a while and who really care about me. I thought it would be fun to essentially simulate, but also for real, what it’s like to be in a 1 to 1 conversation.

I love how this episode about Strengths and self-awareness turned out. Nothing was planned or scripted, and what came out of the conversation were some really helpful tips and things that anybody can do to better understand how they operate and perhaps maybe grow in a certain area. Enjoy!

Nathan’s Strengths

The two strengths I’m thinking about the most in this 1 to 1 conversation are my Ideation and my Communication. I love ideas. Ideas come into my head faster than I know what to do with, sometimes you can give me one idea and I’ll spin off 10 related ideas. My mind is always looking for connections between ideas and the next one. My whole life, I’ve been told that it’s mostly helpful for others, but sometimes it’s the opposite of that, where I might come up with too many ideas.

And so when I think about that and as it relates to like my Strength of communication, I’m a very verbal processor. I love talking things through things; a lot of my ideas get processed in real-time. How might work with Leadership Vision help someone in my position and more specifically me? How can I lean into my Strengths with the help of self-awareness?

Leaning into Your Strengths with Self-Awareness

When you become more aware of your Strengths and how they’re showing up in your interactions with others, you’re better able to ask questions like, how am I coming across? How am I communicating in a way that’s actually interesting and helpful to others? What is the work that I need to do versus what is the work of others? Brian discusses three processes for leaning into this work.

1. Internalized

The first one is an internal process. It’s really important for every individual to understand, realize, and accept their process for internalizing life. How are you internalizing information, relationships, emotions, how you talk things out, etc? Whatever that internalized process is like, name it, understand what feels good about it, and understand where the dissonance lies.

2. Interpersonal

The second one is an invitation, an interpersonal process. Get an outsider’s perspective. Ask someone who cares about you for their objective perspective. If you’re familiar with the language of Strengths, use the language of Strengths to share how you’re feeling and how you’re interpreting things. This back and forth with another person can give objectivity and clarity.

3. Improvisational

The third process is improvisational. Give yourself permission to improvise, step into your arena all over again, take in new insight and information, and improvise within a new context and try again. Improvisation is simply an invitation for you to practice without a plan, just an awareness. The internalized process and the interpersonal process give you a chance to be more mindful when you have the invitation to improvise and try again.

Tips for Building Self-Awareness

Sometimes we ask questions because we want answers, and oftentimes with these Strengths conversations, we’ll say things like, what is your invitation? As you’re reading/hearing these things, how do you answer the invitation to grow as a leader and figure out some of these processes?

  • Write down your internalized process and then beneath that, name two characteristics that are part of your internalized process, the ones that you’re most familiar with.
  • Write down your interpersonal process and then beneath that, write down two people’s names. Who in your life can give you objective feedback? But also, who motivates you or inspires you to do better?
  • Write down your improvisational process and then list two opportunities where you can practice this next.
  • Finally, take time to reflect on all three of your processes. What can you improve? In this reflective process, we can ask ourselves, how can I improve on the next challenge that I’m facing? Who do you need to hear from today about this idea? And what type of person are you? Once you’ve gone through the exercise of wrestling with these questions and your processes, you can better know how you will show up for someone else.

Lean into Your Strengths

How are you leaning into your Strengths through self-awareness? What are your internalized, interpersonal, and improvisational processes? We’d love to hear from you and learn more. Send us an email to connect@leadershipvisionconsulting.com or connect with us on social media, or comment on this blog.

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 PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherSpotify, 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!