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  • Writer's pictureMartin Benefer

Are you Playing to your (Preferred) Strengths?

Updated: Jan 26

We all have our strengths. And playing to them certainly helps us be more effective.

But are you playing to the strengths you value most or merely to the ones that others value in you?...

Recognise the Limits of your Strengths

Like it or not, not only do our strengths shape what we can do, they also shape how we are seen.

From a very young age we become known as 'the fast one', 'the clever one' or 'the helpful one'. And as we grow, so does the list of labels – we collect new ones and reinforce the old ones.

We not only build our strengths, we build our sense of identity - both in our own mind and in the minds of others.

Before we know it, our strengths can also be our limitations! Pigeon-holed as 'the data guru’, ‘the science guy’, ‘the organiser’ or even 'the carrier'!

All fine if the labels enable you to live true to who you are and play to your preferred strengths. But what if they hold you back from pursuing what you really want?

Qualify your Strengths

Not all strengths are created equal! Some strengths are valued highly by others; some will be core to you.

Some strengths will come easily to you; others take work to attain. Some open life up to you; others may do little for you!

Ask yourself:

  • Which strengths would you like others to see and recognise more?

  • Which ones, if acknowledged, would open up new opportunities to you?

  • And which strengths merely serve a purpose?

Reveal your Preferred Strengths

There are a number of reasons why your preferred strengths may be hidden: It might be the environment you're in, the expectations of people within it, or the role you've been asked to play.

It might be circumstances... But it might be you!

Maybe there’s a reason you’re seen as the go to person for X, Y or Z. Maybe people see what they’re used to seeing.

And maybe you’re used to showing them what they expect to see.

Ask yourself:

  • What could you change to let them see a bit more of what you value?

  • What would this open up for you?

  • And what might you fear by doing it?

If you know what you value in yourself and yet feel limited by what others value in you, then you have a choice:

Keep playing the same game by the same rules, using the same strengths; or take a chance - make a choice and reveal the strengths that you prefer.

Good luck!


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