Scott Jack

'Why Talented People Don't Use Their Strengths'

Link: Why Talented People Don't Use Their Strengths, Harvard Business Review

I’ve always had limited cognizance of my talents and strengths and find it very hard to see them as valuable. But according to this HBR article by Whitney Johnson, that’s the norm. In fact, the skills people are hired for are ‘rarely listed on their résumé’. We’re much more likely to value the skills we’ve worked hard on than the ones that come naturally.

So how do you go about recognizing your strengths? Johnson lists 3 questions:

  1. What exasperates you?
  2. What compliments do you dismiss?
  3. What do you think about when you have nothing to think about?

And she points out this method used at CVS:

Brett Gerstenblatt, VP and creative director at CVS, has his team take a personality assessment, then post their top five strengths on their desk. Brett wants people to wear their strengths like a badge. Not to tell others why they’re great, but to remind them to use them.

Honestly, my first thought was this would be useful to remind me why I’m valuable. Building confidence and trust in ourselves as well as in the skills of our co-workers can have a powerful effect.

Understanding and acknowledging each person’s strengths can be a team-building exercise.

Seems like there’s a lot of potential in workplace exercises like this.

#personal development

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