Decoding my Strengths
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been so interested in personal development. This wasn’t the term I had used when I was younger, I used to describe the process as
Eager to learn about myself recently and to put my best foot forward in my new job, I decided to spend some time to complete a Strengths Profile. One of my placement year colleagues had suggested that I try it out after completing the Myers Briggs personality type test. It was my first time ever quizzing trying to understand my personality. I turned out to be ENFJ.
Strengths Profile gives you a complete understanding of your strengths so you can make the most of them at work, at home and in your relationships with others.
More information can be found on their website.
But that’s another thing I need to decipher in a detailed post; today I wanted to work through the results of my recent Strengths Profile. These insights have been helpful in both personal and career situations, highlighting the strengths I need to do more of and things I need to do less of.
💪🏼 My Realised Strengths
Reading through the details of each of these points (and reading them to Matt), I couldn’t agree more! I guess that’s why they’re called “realised strengths” because I am aware of them and use them to my advantage everyday.
- Time Optimiser: I have the world’s most organized calendar. Or I like to think I do anyway. 😆I don’t like wasting time and make sure that I am as efficient as possible every hour! The downside is that I’m always doing one thing after another, which can lead to not being in the moment and burning out fast.
- Planner: In order for me to get things done, I spend a lot of time every week planning my days, weeks, months. This links in with my top realized the strength of optimizing time! I’m known in my groups as someone who is organized and always come in with a plan, this can be fantastic (who doesn’t love an organized person contributing in their teams?) but can be negative – I have found myself stressed over things not going to plan and taking a pretty bad hit from it. I need to learn not to plan my life away because unexpected things happen sometimes for the better!
- Narrator: My family agreed with this the most. They’ve known how I’ve always loved sharing stories since I was younger, I still do this over dinner! Over the last year, I’ve realized that I love being a narrator so much that I’ve applied it to storytelling at events as a speaker.
- Writer: related to the point above, I’ve always enjoyed writing blog posts and sharing stories and things I’m interested in, in a written format. My previous summer placement manager had always described my writing as being adaptable to the audience and just “a pleasure to read” This means a lot to me because I had never really considered myself as a good writer (my English teachers also thought otherwise) so I’m pleased with my progress 💖
- Incubator: This is described as “enjoying daily reflections” – this couldn’t be truer. I love reflections, I do them daily on various different platforms online and in my own private spaces. That headspace is what I need daily to perform well and make good decisions.
- Mission: The term “finding your purpose” used to make me roll my eyes – what did that actually mean though? Up until 2 years ago, I felt like I had no purpose. I was floating around, doing my day-to-day things mindlessly. One day, I realized that I hated that type of existence and decided to really ask myself about my mission in life – that’s MINE, not anybody else’s. I mindfully decided to stop doing things that people wanted me to do, I started focusing my energy on things that got me up in the morning and have been living that way since.
- Gratitude: I ground myself every day with a few minutes of gratitude because I genuinely could not be where I am today without people and things that have happened. It’s all such a privilege! Gratitude has helped me in my tougher days and is something I want to always be
🌟 My Unrealised Strengths
These are strengths that I don’t use often, but when I do, I do them well and it is energising for me and others.
- Listener: I love 1-2-1’s where I can develop this further, listening to others point of views on things is always super fascinating! I come out with new ideas and perspectives. Something I’ve been trying to cultivate more of is listening to truly understand and not just to reply.
- Change Agent: This was described as, “You often become an advocate for new developments. Your enthusiasm for change enthuses others, who may otherwise have been more reluctant about the change.” I can think of numerous examples where I have been a change agent in projects that have helped bring them to life e.g. Code First: Girls or my Green Impact project during my placement year. I’m really glad to see this strength here – it motivates me to try and contribute to things I love and make a difference.
- Self-Awareness: This is what I’m doing right now! 😉The first step to making yourself better at anything is by starting at the center of yourself.
- Enabler: One of my favorite things to do is give others the opportunity to reach their potential, enable them with opportunities to do exactly that! I’m part of the Mentor Cruise programme where I’ve had the chance to do this across the world, but my value in paying it forward goes beyond formal mentoring programmes – I love doing it daily in both my offline and online interactions.
💙 My learned behaviours
- Prevention: Thinking ahead of problems that haven’t happened yet. Great in some cases e.g. in projects! But in personal life, it can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress. I have found myself falling into this trap sometimes – imagining of scenarios that may happen but probably won’t.
- Detail: Diving into the details of every single thing. Again, it can be great when checking for mistakes but I have in the past found myself in a loop of obsessively checking everything ensuring that it’s perfect before submitting.
- Strategic Awareness: “You are able to develop and shift long-term plans effectively. You try to ensure that you take steps to deal with whatever future circumstances may arise.” This links back to time optimization and planning – although a great skill to have, it can be difficult to stay in the moment which is arguably the most important.
- Judgment: “You have learned how to make sound decisions quickly and easily. You know how to assess the pros and cons of situations and have become confident in your decision making.” Sometimes I make decisions without the input of others but decisions are at times better in a group than doing it alone. Also if I’m being 100% honest, decision making is often stressful for me (I’m always worried about making a mistake) so I don’t enjoy making them!
💡 My Weaknesses
- Competitive: “Use less – Does it matter? Focus on the outcome you need to achieve and use other strengths. Do you need to win with clients and customers? Build great relationships and provide an amazing level of service.” I know I am competitive when I need to be e.g. during situations such as interviews where I need to be in order to get an outcome that I want. I see this as a strength when used correctly. That’s just how you get by in life! However, seeing this come up as a weakness has again helped with my own self-awareness, I want to work towards collaboration and community more so than competitiveness in other applications.
- Centered: “You may not feel confident in all situations. There may be times when you feel less composed and self-assured. Sometimes you may find that you come up against challenges which cause you to feel anxious or shaken up.” It’s human nature not to be 100% confident all the time, I know that I certainly am not! Recently, imposter syndrome has been kicking my butt which has caused a lot of anxiety but I’ve been doing my best to fight it. I need to try and not let these times get the best of me and continue to believe in myself!
💭 Final Thoughts
Taking my Strengths Profile was incredibly useful, I hope I’ve illustrated that it’s not only just beneficial for the professional environment but also in my personal life.
My workplace has also seen the benefits of decoding our strengths, and have actually encouraged us to complete a company-wide insights profile (similar to the Strengths Profile) to help us collaborate much more effectively. Pretty cool, eh?
I highly recommend spending some time completing your own Strengths Profile and/or the 16 personalities quiz – you can learn some awesome things which can have an incredible impact