Welcome to The Living Room!

Welcome to The Living Room!

I'm developing this blog to foster a warm community of people interested in ideas, art, science and practice around personal development and flourishing.

I work as an executive coach, and founded a company whose mission is helping people to find success at work in a way that provides satisfaction across all areas of their lives (you can check us out at www.madeleineshaw.com.au).

Leadership, learning, the wonderful brain/body connection, presence, influence, emotions, thinking, effectiveness, flow and FUN.

I want to know more, and do more!

The world is our living room so let's get living.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

What are your strengths?

I've just come from a great session with a client where we were talking about how to use her strengths to improve her performance and results at work. We used Tom Rath's StrengthsFinder 2.0 to get a great Gallup report on her strengths and ideas for action. (No, I'm not affiliated with those guys but I use the tool a lot - and yes, if you buy it through my Amazon store - StrengthsFinder 2.0 - I get about 25 cents!)

Anyway, the theory is that if you multiply talent x investment (in time and energy), you get your results. According to Gallup's research, most people think they know what their strengths are, but actually don't.

So talking tennis, if you're Roger Federer, you are a 5 for talent and a 5 for effort, so you get a 25 for results.
If you've got Federer's talent but you only put in a 2 for effort, you get 5 x 2 = 10 (a waste of talent).
But if you're like me, you can put in a Federer-like effort but my 1 for talent means I get 1 x 5 = 5 (a waste of energy). Which explains why I don't play a lot of tennis.

It makes a lot of sense, then, to find out what our strengths are and play to them. My client this morning has incredible strengths in the areas of people skills and relationships.  She wants to grow her business and has been putting in a 5 for effort going for tenders where those skills don't really count for much.   Instead, she finds the work comes in when she has been in front of people, building relationships. Getting clear on her strengths let her build a business development plan that lets her spend a lot more time doing what she enjoys (and what works) and gives herself permission to spend a lot less time  slogging through data- and document-heavy tenders.

What about you? Are you playing to your strengths? Or are you depleting your mojo trying to force through your weaknesses?

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