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***NEW*** Discover and Use Your Personal Strengths

When people don?t know their strengths, they devote time, energy and resources trying to improve their weaknesses. Yet, it?s proven that to succeed in any endeavor, people must use their natural strengths.

The problem is, less than 15% of people ever take the time to discover what their personal strengths are. And only a mere 2-3% learn to use their strengths consistently. What makes other people want to work with you? What do you enjoy most in your work, or business? What comes to you naturally? What keeps you focused on a specific task or enables you to multitask? What helps you bounce back after setbacks?

You significantly increase your chances to succeed at work, in sales and in leadership when you discover your personal strengths and use them repeatedly until using them becomes a habit.

As a leader, did you know that to inspire people to believe in your vision and for them to act on it, as if it were their own vision, you need to use your personal strengths 50% of the time? If you use your positional power more than 15% of the time, you become manipulative and those you lead work out of fear instead of inspiration.

If you use your knowledge power more than 35% of the time, you become overwhelming and intimidate those around, thus making them afraid of contributing or analyzing what?s wrong.

One of the exercises participants in my on-site leadership training seminars (where participants work in the same organization and know each other relatively well) helps them discover what makes them successful in creating a positive team environment and keep all team players at all times.

In groups of threes, I have each participant write down his/her top five strengths ranging from well organized, to goal oriented to punctual to caring to humorous. Then I have the other two members of the group write down what they know or consider as their colleagues? top five personal strengths.

When that is done, each individual shares what he/she wrote as main strengths and then listens as the others tell what they know or consider as the individual?s strengths. Some of what individuals write as their strengths is affirmed by their colleagues. Other strengths, not listed by an individual, are highlighted by their co-workers. It is fascinating to watch people discover their strengths.

Here is a partial list of personal strengths that have been attributed to the effective leaders, successful entrepreneurs and college football coaches that I have had the privilege to work with:

Honest Punctual Optimistic
Intelligent self-initiated Loyal
Goals-oriented Forgiveness Visionary
Determination Enthusiastic Competent
Organized Motivated/inspirational Confident
Active Persistent Patient
Responsible Decisive Go the extra Mile
Flexible Positive identity Learner
Commitment Focused Team player
Caring Disciplined Encourager
Dependable Integrity Positive attitude
Self appreciation Knowledgeable Hope
Experience Wisdom/common sense Faith

What are your top five?
Ask your colleagues or family members (but not teenagers) to tell you what they consider as your personal strengths.

Once you become consciously aware of your key personal strengths and make it a lifetime goal to use them all the time, you will increase your productivity, be more pleasant to work with and save yourself the pain of trying to improve non strengths. We don?t succeed by using our weaknesses. We thrive by using the full potential of our strengths.

By Dr. Vincent Muli Wa Kituku, motivational speaker and author of Overcoming Buffaloes at Work & in Life is an expert who works with organizations to increase productivity through leadership and employee development programs. Contact him at www.overcomingbuffaloes.com or (208) 376-8724

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