Strengths Are Like Superpowers, Master Yours (Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 4)

By Lori Howard

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)

Volume 2 Issue 4, February 22, 2010
Strengths Are Like Superpowers, Master Yours

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In This Issue:

Strengths Are Like Superpowers, Master Yours
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Strengths Are Like Superpowers, Master Yours

No matter what your life, your dreams, it is important to know what you do well.  What are your strengths?  Do you know? 

I like to think of strengths as our very own superpowers.  We must know how to use them.  We can use them for good or for evil.  We can use them to pursue our own goals and dreams and to help others.

If we haven’t mastered our strengths, if we don’t know how to wield them effectively for our purposes, they can become our weaknesses and undermine us.

Think of someone you know who is very observant and detail oriented.  They do precision work.  They obsess over quality.  We need these people, we need these skills – they give us quality work and beautiful things.  But these same attributes, applied to the wrong situation, can suddenly become a drag.  Overly analytical, slowing down progress, giving us a detailed price analysis when all we need is a quick “finger in the wind” estimate.  You see?  Good vs. evil.  Superpower to Achilles’ heel, because the person didn’t know any better. 

So what can you do?  How do you master your strengths? 

Step 1: Know your strengths – by name.  What are you good at?  Do you know?  One quick way to find out is to ask the people who know you, who have some experience of you, in whom you trust.  Try this quick assessment: Send an email to 3-5 friends or coworkers and ask them what are your top 3 strengths and your top 3 skills.  Let’s define strength as a character trait that you possess, and let’s define skill as something you do well. 

Want a more scientific approach to finding out your strengths?  Pick up a copy of Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath, and you’ll have access to your own personal strengths assessment based on their extensive research.

Step 2:  Now that you know your strengths, be conscious of when you use them throughout your day.  Select one strength to focus on over the course of your day.  Ask yourself: is this attribute needed here?  Does this situation benefit from me engaging this strength?

Also notice when you DON’T use it.  Ask yourself the same questions: Is this attribute needed here?  Would this situation benefit from me engaging this strength? Would using this strength make it worse?

Step 3: Take one whole week and practice the use of that one strength.  Look for opportunities to use it, and observe the results.  Focus on mastering your strength, learning when to use it, when it helps, and when it doesn’t. 

Step 4:  Repeat for Step 3 for each of your strengths over the next month or two.  Master your superpowers.

Now, what are your strengths? Your superpowers? I invite you to discover your own strengths and practice using them.  Then, visit my blog to share what you learn as you master your own superpowers.

Post your thoughts below!

Recommended Resources

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a link to the StrengthsFinder 2.0 website, so here it is: www.strengthsfinder.com.  It’s one of the few assessments with some research behind it that you can take yourself. 

Contact Me

I welcome your feedback, comments and questions. Also, if you’re interested in contributing to this Newsletter, email me your submissions.

Tell me what you think about this newsletter by posting a comment below.

website: www.coachforabetterlife.com
blog: CoachforaBetterLife.wordpress.com
email: Lori@CoachforaBetterLife.com

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Copyright 2010 Lori Howard. All rights reserved.

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Client Stories

 I was looking to make large changes in my life, both job and city.  I was a happy midwestern resident for nearly 30 years but wanted to see what life on a coast was like and get a dream job.  This was a tall order and going into it I thought I would have to make large compromises on parts of my dreams to get any of it.  

I went to Lori to help me achieve these dreams.  It was the best decision I made.

She focused on two things right out of the gate:
  1. clarify my goals, both personal and professional
  2. get me to stop selling myself short

These twin achievements allowed me to approach my hunt with confidence, patience and focus.  My original dream job was to try and combine my technical joys with a personal one.  I enjoy large scale data processing with cutting edge tools, music and baseball.  Through the tools Lori taught me and helped me unearth in myself I got that gig that would have fallen into day dream territory before our work together.  

And yeah, there's platinum records on the walls of my lobby and I have tons of data to process.

Pat Christopher, Intelligence Engineer, Seattle, WA