Developing personal strengths is the key to long term success in any career.
They provide job seekers with new opportunities and help individuals find goals and passions while discovering new elements of their personality.
Often, failure to develop core strengths results in lack of motivation, a greater occurrence of burnout, and drop in career goals.
Productivity and positivity also suffer as a result, leading to a negative impact on workers even outside of the workplace.
To avoid these negative career and personal outcomes while focusing on the positive elements of developing skills, developing and improving your personal strengths is of utmost importance.
This article will help you identify your already existent strengths and assist you furthering them.
What are Personal Strengths? Definition and Practice
Personal strengths are innate or learned skills/characteristics that help an individual flourish in their environment.
They encompass a wide array of behaviors, such as the way one acts, thinks, or feels. Every individual has strengths that should be explored and understood for better application.
Strengths are incredibly important to positive psychology, as they allow people to better themselves while maintaining a positive outlook on themselves.
The strengths-based practitioner behind positive psychology, Martin Seligman, specified that strengths contribute to the embracement of 6 virtues that help individuals live fulfilling lives.
These virtues include wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence.
Our strengths connect us further with each of these 6 virtues. Each virtue also has a set of strengths attached to it.
This is depicted below:
- Wisdom: curiosity, emotional intelligence, creativity, and analytical thinking.
- Courage: perseverance, honesty, and integrity.
- Humanity: kindness, generosity, empathy, and acceptance.
- Justice: leadership, fairness, and equity.
- Temperance: self-control, diligence, motivation, and modesty.
- Transcendence: gratitude, optimism, passion, humor, spirituality, and hopefulness.
The strengths an individual possesses depends on their personality type, career, and current circumstance in life.
Virtually all careers can benefit from personal development skills, which allow you to grow, plan, and work toward your career goals.
4 Examples of Using Personal Strengths in Careers
Below are 4 examples of ways to utilize strengths in select careers:
- Surgeons and most physicians must have strong teamwork skills as they spend a large portion of their time working in groups. They must have stress management skills to overcome challenging situations. Finally, they must be empathetic when speaking to patients.
- Software engineers need a different set of skills entirely. For instance, technical skills like coding or cloud management are prioritized. They must be detail oriented and independent.
- Businessmen must obtain strong leadership skills to guide a team toward success. Being a hard worker and trusting one’s intuition are also beneficial traits to leaders in this field.
- Customer service representatives must be able to communicate effectively and have strong social skills. They should be able to sympathize with customers, even in stressful situations.
How to Develop Your Character Strengths
To develop any strength, you must first identify the specific strength you would like to acquire.
Once you do so, the way to develop this strength will vary, but a general guideline is provided below.
Personal and Professional Development Suggestions Based on Target Strengths
1.) Creativity– also try to find more than one possible solution to any problem. Add meaning to everyday tasks.
2.) Curiosity– go outside of your comfort zone by spending time with new people. Consider trying an activity that intimidates you for the thrill.
3.) Justice– debate others on whether local sentencing was fair or not. Speak with others who have a different opinion.
4.) Learning passion– spend time researching ideas that fascinate you. Read novels that intrigue you.
5.) Leadership– find new ways to boost employee engagement. Have your teamwork toward a common goal you agree upon.
As you can see, these examples all show ways to identify ways a strength is intertwined into your day-to-day life.
Developing a strength should start subtly by incorporating a mindset that revolves around strength.
Always ask yourself what action you can take to further strength, and when the opportunity for action arises, make sure to embrace it.
Embracing a strength looks differently depending on the specific strength and individual.
However, it would generally involve you finding ways to apply the strength to everyday activities, starting from those which are less meaningful such as consistently doing household chores, to making executive decisions with the help of your new strength.
How to Improve Your Personal Strengths
Focus on Productivity, But Do Not Overwhelm Yourself
You already have a strength, but would like to use it in new ways.
The worst action you can take for your personal development skills is to overwhelm yourself and constantly dwell on your strength development progress.
You just understand that the goal of the strengths-based approach is to incorporate these strengths into your routine naturally.
So each day, find a new way to utilize your strength for your benefit. But do not overwhelm yourself by overanalyzing your behavior.
This leads to a damaged self-image and sabotages your hard work.
Learn from Experience
From your own experiences, you can improve your strengths.
If you failed at meeting a goal, reflect and think about ways to apply your core strengths would have helped you in this potentially stressful situation.
Also, look to see the ways others adapt to situations. Implement strategies that coworkers with similar strengths use.
You may have to ask them, but most of the time, simply observing their behavior is enough to see how they apply their strengths daily.
Stay Positive and Motivated
Having a source of motivation can be extremely beneficial in your strength development journey.
Find an inspiring and honest reason why you would like to gain strength.
Is it for career progression? Do you wish to develop mental toughness through the journey? It can be any reason as long as it resonates with you and keeps you motivated.
Additionally, you must stay positive. There may be times where identifying your strengths is difficult, or applying soft skills can be complicated.
Understand that is a part of the journey. In the end, you will be satisfied if you persevere through these moments instead of giving up.
This will also build up your persistence, and if you truly need outside help, ask for support from your loved ones.
Benefits of Improving Personal Strengths
Strength development allows you to understand yourself better. Thus, you can set clear boundaries with others.
Additionally, gaining skills such as leadership forces you to find ways to communicate effectively with your team.
People with interpersonal skills also understand their team better and wish to create seamless streams of communication so everyone remains on the same page.
Problem solving skills are beneficial to nearly all careers, and they allow individuals to flourish in a wide array of environments.
When learning any skill, you will inevitably find problems with your initial approach and may have to adapt.
When doing so, you are simultaneously learning to skills: the initial skill you set out to learn and problem solving.
Build Your Self Awareness
When developing a new skill, you will find out more about yourself.
You will see which abilities and strengths you have and how to utilize them to your advantage in your skill development journey.
Additionally, you will find any weaknesses you might have to work on.
Doing so increases your self awareness and helps you understand new ways to apply your strengths.
Helps You Understand Other Perspectives
Once you understand your own strengths, identifying other’s strengths and weaknesses becomes easier.
As a result, you begin to emphasize with those around you. Listening to others becomes more natural when you are self aware of your strengths.
This is so because you are confident enough in your own abilities, so you do not seek outside validation. Rather, you can focus on understanding other perspectives.
Allows You to Identify Areas for Improvement
Before you start analyzing your strengths and building skills, you may already have a rough idea of your weaknesses.
However, your understanding of your weak points develop further once you begin reflecting and thinking analytically about your strengths/weaknesses.
Understanding your strengths can also serve as a motivation to initiate improvements in your weaknesses.
Increase Your Positive Vocabulary and Positive Self-Talk
When reflecting on your strengths, you have the opportunity to find new positive language to describe yourself.
This applies to both writing about your strengths and the way we think about your abilities.
Positive self talk has also been proven as a way to increase positive behavior.
Greater Appreciation for the Areas You May Have Previously Undervalued
You may not fully understand the way your everyday behavior contributes to your strengths. The activities which you find odd or negative may be contributing to your success.
You begin to understand which habits are productive and positive and which are negative during strength analysis.
This comes through connecting your strengths/weaknesses to your behavior.
You may be surprised that certain activities allow you to apply your strengths, but it is always helpful to understand yourself and your habits. The habits you previously judged may turn out to be the key to your long-term success.
Frequently Asked Questions About Improving Personal Strengths
How to Overcome Weaknesses?
Overcoming weaknesses first starts with recognizing and accepting them. After all, you are human.
Next, build a support system around you. It is beneficial for you to have someone providing you with advice on overcoming weakness.
This can come from someone who has already overcame the flaw or someone who knows lots of information about the particular weakness.
How Can I Use My Strengths to Help Others?
Make sure you are able to communicate well with the rest of your team or with your coworkers.
Through communication, you can provide feedback to individuals and lead them toward a goal. Motivate those around you by reminding them of the goal you agree upon.
Then, you can use your leadership, analytical thinking, and empathy skills to benefit those around you.
How to Enhance Your Strengths in Life?
Firstly, identify your strengths. Look back on your successes and ask yourself: what skills or traits helped me achieve this? Once you understand your strengths, seek new ways to apply them.
This could mean going outside your comfort zone or using your strengths in social situations with new employees or employers.
Overall Conclusion Of Improving Personal Strengths
Skills are necessary for every aspect of a career. They make up a part of your personality, contribute to your motivation and passion, as well as play an important role in your relationships (even those outside of the workplace).
When you decide to improve your skills or develop new abilities, you choose to further your career and improve yourself as a person.
Investing in yourself will not only make you a more efficient employee and more appealing to employers, but it also allows you to be more successful and satisfied in your day to day life.