I’m a big advocate of focusing on strengths rather than skills when it comes to establishing a career you enjoy and can thrive in.
Skills are things you can do pretty well. You may even get praised for your capabilities in this area. But you don’t feel particularly passionate about using the skill. You might even dislike it.
So, it’s not something you really want to spend your whole career doing considering your career will probably last decades and take up the majority of your week. It’s a sure path to dissatisfaction, de-motivation and burnout.
Strengths are things you can do pretty well, you may even get praised for doing proficiently and engaging in the activity lights you up. It gives you energy, inspiration and motivation.
You come home from work fulfilled. You’re enthusiastic about refining your strengths even further. You’ve got the grit to keep going with it even during tough times. That will lead you to a fulfilling career full of passion, purpose and meaningful impact.
But how do you sort the skills from the strengths? How do you figure out what energises you? Strengths Profiling is the answer.
What Is Strengths Profiling?
Strengths Profiling is a tool Accredited Practitioners (like me!) use to help professionals figure out their strengths in the workplace. It helps people understand what to lean into when progressing through their career such as what to look for in their next job or how to demonstrate their talent during an interview. It can also highlight weak points to be aware of and work on through continued professional development.
This tool is able to garner such insights by assessing participants on 180 questions that cover their compatibility across 60 strengths. Yes 60! The strengths fall into 5 Strengths Families: Being, Communicating, Motivating, Relating, and Thinking. From this assessment a Strengths Profile report is produced that indicates where the participant lies for all 60 strengths, highlighting the top strengths to take note of.
The report categorises the strengths of the participant into quadrants:
- Realised strengths – The things you are good at, enjoy doing and already use.
- Unrealised strengths – The things you are good at, enjoy doing but don’t fully utilise.
- Learned behaviours – The things you are good at but don’t enjoy doing so are best to minimise.
- Weaknesses – The things you struggle with and don’t enjoy so need some work if they are a requirement of a job.
The report goes into quite a bit of detail, breaking down how to make the most of your identified strengths. Download an example here.
How Can It Be Applied In Career Management?
Strengths Profiling is so enlightening because it helps people understand how to make the most of their time at work. What is going to give you the satisfaction of a job well done? What is going to give you the energy and motivation to drive further success? You get a unique picture of you that just clicks.
This isn’t just nice to have. Understanding your strengths helps you to manage your career whether you want to move up the ladder or go in a completely different direction. The specific tangible benefits depend on whether you are engaging in Strengths Profiling as an individual, as a leader or as a team.
Benefits for individuals
After a Strengths Profiling session, you could experience:
- Increased confidence in your abilities
- Improved performance through unlocking your full potential
- Feeling more energised and engaged at work
- Clarity in terms of what to improve and how to develop yourself
- Clearer direction when it comes to your career choices
- An improved ability to explain what you’re good at
- The opportunity to use hidden talents
- An understanding of what fulfilling and meaningful work looks like for you
- Re-ignition of personal ambitions
Benefits for leaders
When you get a Strengths Profile as a leader, you:
- Learn what makes you a good leader and gain the confidence that comes with this
- Understand what would make you an even better leader, driving your professional development and the performance of your team
- Establish a leadership style that feels authentic so you can be consistent and effective in leading your team
- Have the words to highlight your progress and potential as a leader for upcoming reviews, promotions or opportunities
- As a bonus, if your team members also complete their Strengths Profiles, you’ll be advised on how to apply each team member’s top two strengths
Benefits for teams
A team can benefit from Strengths Profiling because:
- Individual team members discover their realised and unrealised strengths (gaining the same benefits as with individual profiling)
- The team understands each other’s strengths so they can collaborate and communicate more effectively
- The collective strengths of the team are defined, uncovering better ways of working, tapping into what drives progress and highlighting what to work on
- Team members can be assigned roles and responsibilities that play to their strengths and leverage what drives them
- Strengths Profiling can be delivered in a workshop format to engage the team in the understanding of their strengths and each other’s strengths
My Role As A Master Practitioner
The Strengths Profile framework is a psychometric tool developed through extensive research. While it’s very effective in categorising strengths to give a full picture of someone’s unique abilities, to make the most of your profile we have a debrief.
This enables you to take the data generated by the profiling process and apply it to your career to create a meaningful impact. Together we will discuss the what, why and how of taking a strength-based and motivational-focused approach to your professional life. Then we will go through the report and come up with strategies and clearly defined actions as to what you do with the information for improved enjoyment and performance at work.
Depending on where you are in your career journey, this could look slightly different. If you are feeling unmotivated at work, we’ll look at ways to re-engage with your job through your strengths. If you are looking for a career change, we’ll consider what your strengths indicate would be a good career path for you. If you are in the interview phase, we can weave your strengths into your interview answers, creating a compelling narrative about why you are a good fit for the job.
Ultimately, Strengths Profiling is about unlocking insights that guide you to greater workplace success and fulfilment.
Book a strengths profiling session as an individual, leader or team here.