Play To Your Strengths

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Work is serious business. Are you having fun? Do you know what makes work enjoyable? 

Do you know what you enjoy and what your team enjoys?

Staff engagement is one of the best known metrics when it comes to measuring potential output from a person or team. So what affects engagement is a great place to start.

Many factors can affect engagement, although possibly the greatest one is how much somebody is enjoying what they do. Enjoyment is greatly increased when we are working in an area at which we are very good at and where our natural strengths and abilities are utilised. Knowing your team's strengths helps you to ensure that the right person is doing the tasks that they are best at - which helps them to be more effective, as well as more engaged.

A great way to define a strength is to look at tasks that you are not just good at, but great at. Oftentimes you will know these because you look forward to doing them and it is easy to get lost in once you start in the flow of work. Probably one of the best indicators, other than sheer enjoyment, is the level of satisfaction and quality of work that you are able to turn out - work that leaves you feeling satisfied and motivated.

Some of the many ways to find out what your strengths are:

Make a list of work you really enjoy doing and look for common themes

Look at your hobbies and what you choose to do to ‘relax’ when you have spare time

Ask your friends what they have observed

Consider tasks you really do not like doing - look for trends

What work do you find yourself volunteering for? 

What makes you happy when doing it?

What stretches you and challenges you while also satisfying you when completed?

What situations, relationships, jobs are you naturally drawn to?

Make a list of what you think your strengths are and check the accuracy of it against what you do over a week of work.

Do a Strengths Finder test.

All of the above work, to varying degrees. Like most information, it is what you do with it - what action you take as a result of having it - that makes the biggest difference.

If you or a team member is not enjoying work, discuss whether it is just a patch that needs going through, or if it is something fundamentally deeper. I love the "Steve Jobs philosophy" of “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Working in your areas of strength is not only more enjoyable and engaging - it is actually a life altering and improving stance. What steps do you need to take?