This is a great question, possibly the best question you can ask yourself in relation to your professional career. This question determines how you evolve in your professional career, what results you are going to obtain, and also, your level of happiness in your professional responsibility. The question was first asked by Donald O. Clifton, an American psychologist, and president of Gallup, and considered the “father of strengths-based psychology”.
Most of us have had to discover what we are really good at through trial and error. And discovering your true talents in this way is a long and hard process. I gave you clues on discovering what you are really good at in my post: “5+1 ways to discover your talent”. But without a doubt, the best option to find out what you do better than 10,000 other people is through the Clifton Strengths online test. Created by Donald Clifton himself, this test scientifically measures the intensity of your talents in each of the 34 Clifton Strengths themes.
And this methodology clashes head-on with the approach that most of us have received throughout our lives: IDENTIFY OUR WEAKNESSES AND CORRECT THEM TO IMPROVE OUR PERFORMANCE. It has been shown that the best way to improve your performance is to discover what you are really good at and focus on enhancing those real talents much more than correcting weaknesses.
As Donald Clifton himself said: “Our greatest opportunities for development are not in fixing our weaknesses, but in basing our potential in areas where we have a natural pattern of strengths.”
Knowing your talents is the first step. Applying and investing in them supposes a radical change in your results.
As Gallup has shown, PEOPLE WHO FOCUS ON THEIR STRENGTHS:
- They are three times more likely to say they have an excellent quality of life
- They are six times more likely to be engaged in their work
And GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NATURAL TALENTS through Clifton Strengths will help you:
- Increase your confidence and empowerment, through a deeper understanding of how you can use your talents to succeed
- Simply describe your talents to teammates and others, using common Clifton Strengths language
- Improve your performance at work and on the go using proven tips and ideas, on how to apply your Clifton Strengths to every part of your life
- Succeed despite your weaknesses, with concepts and strategies that help you manage, not correct, what you’re not doing best so you can focus on making the most of your strongest talents
I finish with a quote from Donald Clifton: “what great leaders have in common is that each really knows their strengths, has developed their strengths, and can call on the right strength at the right time”.