Assess Your Strengths

Assess Your Strengths

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  1. Learners will be able to describe their own strengths.
  2. Learners will be able to reflect on how their strengths could help them at work.

What are you good at? We all have strengths and talents, but we don’t always take the time to explore them. While having chances to use our strengths can make us feel more satisfied with our lives, we have to know them to use them. In this lesson, first, we’ll talk a little about what strengths are. Then, you’ll take a strengths assessment to learn about your own strengths and how you can use them in your future career.

What do you think your strengths are? How do you think you’ve used them at work or school in the past?

Strengths vs. Talents

When most of us think about our strengths, we actually tend to think of talents instead. Talents, like being a good singer or being able to run fast, are important to our identities, but aren’t technically strengths. While talents can improve with practice, they’re usually limited by our genetics - it’s a lot harder for someone who’s 5 feet tall to dunk a basketball than someone who is 6 feet tall.

two people playing basketball

Strengths, on the other hand, have no natural limits. Our strengths, like gratitude, bravery, and leadership, help us understand how we think, feel, and behave. Using your strengths should make you feel energized and genuine. Since we are more likely to enjoy doing things we're good at, knowing our strengths can help us find the best roles for ourselves. And since strengths, unlike talents, don't have natural limits, it’s important to approach our strengths with a growth mindset, or the belief that we can get better at things. By approaching our strengths with a growth mindset, we can improve on the things we’re already good at as well as our weaknesses.

Have you ever worked with someone who only focused on your weaknesses? How did it make you feel?

Why are strengths important?

In the last section, we talked about how our strengths can make us feel energized and genuine. But while it's important it is for us to know our own strengths so we can grow them, it's also important for us to be able to advocate for jobs and roles that focus on our strengths instead of weaknesses. Here are a few reasons strengths are important in the workplace.

1. When we use our strengths, we feel like we're good at our jobs.

Our strengths are valuable tools we can use at work, but tools are only as useful as they are relevant to the task. A hammer is helpful when you need to nail two boards together, but if you try to use it to open a can of green beans, you'll end up frustrated. Being able to use our strengths at work makes us feel like we have the right tools for the job, making the work feel easier and making us feel better about our abilities.

Tools with traits on the handles

2. When our employers focus on our strengths, we feel valued.

Have you ever had a boss who only tells you what you're doing wrong? It doesn't feel very good. When our employers focus on our weaknesses, rather than our strengths, it can feel like we can't do anything right. As you learn how to take advantage of your strengths, they can help you advocate for yourself in situations where others don't see them as clearly.

A long strengths list and a short weakness list with the emphasis on the weakness

3. Our strengths allow us to continue to grow.

Finally, our strengths are always growing. Unlike talents, strengths have no limit, so as we practice and continue to use our strengths, they get even stronger. As our strengths grow, they can help us access new professional and personal opportunities while being our most authentic selves.

A plant growing into its authentic self

Take the Assessment

Next, you're going to take a strengths assessment. It will take you about 20 minutes to complete. This assessment will help you discover your top 5 or 6 signature strengths. When you're ready, click the button below to begin.

Below, copy and paste your strengths from the assessment.
How do your strengths compare to what you originally thought?
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