The Surprising Benefit of Going Beyond Your Strengths

Here’s a contrarian nugget of wisdom:

Focusing solely on your strengths isn’t always the key to growth. 

Yes, I know it goes against popular opinion, but bear with me for a moment.

Imagine you’re in a job that encompasses several roles, particularly if you’re in a management or leadership position. Each role demands different strengths. If you’re a data analysis virtuoso, but you’re now leading a team, hammering away at your data skills isn’t going to make you a stellar manager overnight.

But here’s the kicker – your strengths can still be your allies in growth, just not in the way you might expect.

Working with our strengths is like cruising on a highway. It’s familiar, comfortable, and we can accelerate with ease. We’re in our element, and the results come flowing in. It’s like enjoying our favorite comfort food – instant satisfaction.

Now, consider you’re learning something new. It’s like navigating a winding, uphill road. It’s tough, unfamiliar, and the effort to keep moving can be a real grind.

This is where your strengths swoop in, like a trusty sidekick in an action flick. By continuing to work in your comfort zone while learning something new, you can harness the energy and confidence from the familiar to tackle the unfamiliar. It’s like having a seasoned guide accompany you on a challenging trek, bolstering your spirits and keeping you on course.

So, the secret isn’t to put your strengths on a pedestal but to use them as a springboard for learning and growth. It’s about striking a harmonious balance between the familiar and the new.

Keep these pointers in mind:

Acknowledge Your Strengths

First, identify your strengths. What comes naturally to you? What are you exceptionally good at? Make a list.

Pinpoint Growth Areas

Next, zero in on the areas where you need to grow. These could be new skills necessary for your current role or areas that pique your personal interest.

Craft a Dual Strategy

Develop a strategy that combines working with your strengths and acquiring new skills. For example, if data analysis is your forte and you’re stepping into team management, leverage your analytical prowess to monitor team metrics while honing your people skills.

Solicit Support

Tap into your network for support in areas where you’re looking to grow. Engage with mentors, attend workshops, or participate in online forums related to the skills you’re pursuing.

Applaud Your Progress

Monitor your progress in both your strengths and new areas. Celebrate your milestones, however small. Every step forward counts.

Your strengths deserve a thank-you for being the rock-solid foundation that supports your exploration. As you venture forth, keep in mind that growth lies in the delicate interplay between the familiar and the new. Don’t be scared to take the plunge.

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