We each have unique inherent talents that, when developed, become strengths. We sometimes refer to this as “unique genius.” Research by the Gallup Organization states that focusing on strengths makes you ten times more likely to feel engaged in your work and three times more likely to experience an excellent quality of life.
Focusing on your strengths in your business, body of work, and daily activities provides your greatest opportunity for happiness and growth. Leveraging your strengths is also your greatest opportunity to create value for others and to contribute to something bigger than yourself.
Finally, when leveraged in the right way your strengths are a competitive advantage and a key element for strong brand positioning as thought leader.
So how does one discover their unique inherent talents? Here are three ways.
There are a number of useful assessments that provide valuable insights about your strengths and how you best show up in and create value for the world. Here are two assessments that I use frequently in my business and with my clients because they are backed by research and immensely helpful for discovering, understanding, and leveraging your unique brilliance and leadership abilities.
The Gallup Organization created this assessment based on a 40-year study. You get a code to take the assessment quiz when you buy the book. The assessment requires about 15-20 minutes to complete.
This is the same assessment used in the Strengthsfinder 2.0 book. The difference is in the report that it generates. Strengths Based Leadership gives you a report with insights about how to best use your strengths when leading others.
How the World Sees You (Fascination Advantage)
Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Advantage assessment identifies how you best gain attention and influence people with your personality and gifts. When you buy the book, How the World Sees You, you get a code that gives you access to take the assessment. This requires about twenty minutes. Once you’ve taken the assessment you receive information about your primary and secondary advantages as well as your archetype (one of forty nine).
Feedback From Trusted Advisors
We often don’t see or quickly discount our strengths because they seem natural and come to us easily. Because of this, we either assume that they are not valuable – because society has placed in us a belief that something needs to feel like hard work to be valuable – or that everyone must have similar abilities.
For this reason, it’s helpful to get outside input to help us notice our strengths. An effective way to do this is to request feedback from trusted family, friends, colleagues and clients.
It may feel a bit odd, but the input your advisors can offer is invaluable. This is one of those exercises that you might be tempted to skip, but I urge you not to.
Best Self Statements
Here’s the process for creating your list of Best Self Statements.
- Pull out the results you gathered from the assessments above and any other strength-finding assessments you’ve found to be valuable to you, as well as feedback you’ve received from trusted advisors about your unique strengths.
- Use themes and ideas from your unique genius results to complete the following three statements. Write as many completions as possible for each one (ideally five or more each). Some of them may be similar or repeats.
- I show up at my best when…
- I serve others best when…
- I create the greatest value when…
- Combine and narrow down the sentence completions until you have ten statements that feel like they summarize how you show up, serve, and create value at your best. These are your 10 Best Self Statements.
- Display this list where you can easily and frequently refer to as a compass, filter, and reminder in your day-to-day pursuits.
Best Self Statement Examples
Here’s an excerpt from my own Best Self Statements.
I create the greatest value when I help others uncover, value, trust, and leverage their unique strengths.
I create the greatest value when I help others choose the best path forward or uncover alternative paths.
I create the greatest value when I facilitate clarity and confidence in others.
What about you? What’s one way you would complete the statement:
I create the best value when I….
Let me know in the comments.