There are many ways to find a person’s strengths. It is possible to invite them, for example, to use some of the many Strengths Assessment Tools. Whatever approach you use, it will then be important to help a person to focus on three things.
* Their Strengths.
This is what they do best.
* Their Successful Style.
This how they work best.
* Their Specific Contribution.
This is the specific contribution they can make to, if appropriate, an employer, customer, or other stakeholder.
Imagine you are helping somebody go through these stages. Here are some questions you can ask under each of these headings.
Getting Feedback From Other People
If appropriate, you can also invite the person to get feedback about their strengths from other people. This can provide a good reality check, but two points are worth mentioning.
* They are to choose people they respect.
It is not 360 feedback. Why? Peak performers are extremists. They do some things extremely well and are not always appreciated by everybody. That does not mean they should dilute their talent, however, to be more ‘middle of the road’.
* They are to ask people to be honest and, if possible, be super specific when they give feedback.
Here is the kind of framework that people can use to give feedback about the person.
Bringing It All Together
Bearing in mind all the information that has been gathered, you can now help the person to do three things.
* To clarify their strengths.
* To clarify how they can build on their strengths and manage the consequences of their weaknesses.
* To clarify their best contribution to a potential employer.
When tackling this final exercise, they can focus on their As, Bs and Cs. Here is a guide to these three themes.
These are the activities in which they consistently perform superb work. Ask the person to give specific examples of where they have done this in the past. They can also list activities where they believe they have the potential to achieve peak performance.
These are the activities in which either: they have the potential to deliver As, but aren’t doing so at the moment; they were once able to perform the task to a high standard, but now they get bored and this affects their work; they can perform the task to a reasonable standard, but will never hit the heights.
These are the activities for which they have little feeling or aptitude. They may make fundamental mistakes or may have no interest or desire to learn.
This is one approach. The links below provide other tools that you can use to help people to find their strengths.
* Gallup’s StrengthsFinder.
Here is a link to Gallup’s StrengthsFinder.
* CAPP’s Realise2
Here is a link to CAPP’s Realise2 tool.
* The StrengthsPartnership’s Strengthscope.
Here is a link to the StrengthsPartnership’s Strengthscope.