How to Work Better in 2018, Part 2

    Image courtesy of https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/lupoianfla-51920

 Image courtesy of https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/lupoianfla-51920

*** NOTE: This post is part of a three-part series, “How to Work Better in 2018.” Click here to start from the beginning. ***

 

Introduction 

 Last week, I shared that one way you can work better in 2018 is to remember that your work isn’t your life. This week, I have another idea that will help you do your best work this year. And sadly, many of us overlook this one.

Are you ready? Okay then. 

Here’s the second way you can work better in 2018  -- work from a place of strength.

In the start of a new year, it’s a chance for us to refresh, to start again. A new year means we have a chance to remember what our strengths are, a chance to get clear on them again. But what is a “strength,” anyway?

 

Defining A Strength 

In their book Now, Discover Your Strengths (a must-read), authors Donald Clifton and Marcus Buckingham describe strengths like this:

  • Something you consistently and close to perfect every time
  • An activity that brings you a sense of joy or satisfaction
  • A combination of your talents, skills, and knowledge

They go on to say that people only grow in their areas of strength, not building up their weaknesses, and the way to lasting growth is to building your strengths and managing around your weaknesses.

Now that we’ve learned what a strength is, how can we move forward?

 

Ask the Right Questions

A great place to start working from a place of strength in 2018 is to ask questions of yourself. Ask yourself, “what are my top talents, skills, and areas of knowledge?”

Write those out. Edit them. Show them to a friend you trust. Then edit them again.

After you’ve asked the right questions and edited your answers, think about how you can keep adding knowledge and skills.

For you to grow in your strengths in 2018, maybe it’s reading a book on your industry. Maybe it’s taking a personality assessment like the StrengthsFinder or Enneagram to gain more self-awareness and action steps.

Here’s the truth — After you’ve asked the right questions of yourself, you have to plan out how you’ll nurture your strengths. It won’t just happen.  You have to take an active role in your growth; No one else will! (Read more on planning your growth.)

 

Put It Into Practice

So, there it is. That’s the second way you can work better in 2018 — work from a place of strength. Get aware of what your top talents are, then add in knowledge and skills to nurture your strengths. Build up your strengths and manage around weaknesses. When you do that, you’ll work better, you’ll make wise career decisions, and you’ll begin working with true joy and purpose.

You can work better in 2018, but you have to do the work to grow. My advice — Be willing to do the work; Be willing to understand your strengths.

 

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