Leading with your strengths; a new year’s resolution you’ll want to keep

A very Happy New Year from all at Notdeadfish!

No doubt like most people at this time of year you are making some New Year resolutions. I'd be willing to bet most of them are about "fixing" something you're not happy with: shedding those extra Christmas pounds perhaps, or improving your terrible French.

This year, why not build on the positive, instead of focusing on what's not right? 

Leading with your Strengths: 7 Steps to Greater Happiness and Success

1. Commit to a strengths-based approach. Leading management thinkers are now arguing that your greatest potential for development lies in enhancing your strengths, rather than following the traditional management approach of tackling your weaknesses.

2. Find a quiet time to note the 3 things you believe you do best.

3. Validate and add depth to your initial assessment by taking a reputable questionnaire.  A good choice is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The world's leading psychometric instrument for understanding personality differences, the MBTI draws on the work of Jung to provide you with a framework for understanding not only your own but also others' natural behavioural preferences. For example, whether you prefer creating structure, visioning, analysing data or developing people and so on.

The MBTI can be taken online but results must be interpreted by an accredited practitioner – Notdeadfish have practitioners who can do this for you, as well as highlighting how your “type” affects your contributions to and needs from the workplace, and your leadership style.

4. Calculate what percentage of time you are using your strengths in your current work or personal life.

5. Decide how you will increase the time you spend using your strengths.  Make room by cutting out activity which doesn't come so naturally to you. For example by delegating it, renegotiating your role to exclude it, or redesigning your business to reduce the need for it.

6.  Watch out that you don't overdo it - our strengths taken to extremes can become weaknesses. For example someone who excels at creating harmony might find it difficult to criticise even where this is necessary.

7. Keep improving. Because they come naturally to us, it's easy to take our strengths for granted and to settle for good - even very good - when we could be going for great. Model yourself on someone using a shared strength even more effectively than you, take up a course of study or create a project to enable you to take your strengths further.