Our top 5 signature strengths are like a SAIL that create momentum in life and business.
Ask yourself what successes have you had in your past or present life–any prizes or awards that you have been given are indicators of strengths? Maybe you won the science project in 7th grade, which could point to an analytical or ideation strength. What about winning homecoming queen or voted most popular in school? These could indicate WOO (winning others over).
But a history of success is not the only marker of success.
What comes naturally to you, or, what is your authentic gut reaction?
One of my golfing buddies loves to drive the golf cart. I’m amazed by how easily he finds shortcuts around the golf course. He has a strategic strength. That strength helps in his golf game as well as running his home health care business.
When utilizing your strength, you will feel energized. If you are good at something but still feel drained doing it then it’s not a true strength. One CEO I coach says, “If people lined up at my door all day long to help them fix their problems, I would be in heaven.” But people with the maximizer strength would likely hate that job. Maximizers get an emotional charge making something already good into something great.
Determine what activities drain you and what activities make you feel invigorated.
If you look forward to an activity or want to learn more about an activity then it is likely a strength. Tennis, coaching, and speaking are three activities I love. I get excited when I’m scheduled to do these activities. I’m constantly reading, watching, and learning how to do these activities even better. These three activities allow me to use my top 5 signature strengths–focus on the ball, my coaching clients priorities goals and priorities, and the topic in my keynote.
Individualization is the ability to come up with a unique strategy with my tennis opponent, my coaching client, and speaking audience, whether its made up of corporate clients, business owners, church group, or youth campers. My achiever and competition strengths help me work hard to achieve goals and win as well as help my clients to win in life and business. My command strength enables me to to take charge on the court, help my coaching clients face conflicts, and be charismatic when speaking to a large audience.
A great tool besides the Strengths Finder 2.0 assessment to discover your character strengths is the free online assessment at www.viasurvey.org. Or you can list your top 5 activities that answer the SAIL concept.