Marcus Buckingham, the world’s foremost authority on strengths-based management and leadership in the workforce, states that “when you study lastingly successful people, you find that they have one thing in common: they focus on their strengths, and manage around their weaknesses.”

I first read Buckingham’s book “Now discover your strengths” many years ago now and fell in love with his philosophy of focusing on our strengths.  It was a relief to me as I never felt that I was successful in trying to improve my weaknesses. When I am coaching new graduates, I talk to them about identifying their unique strengths and selling that to prospective new employers.

So what is a strength? Counter-intuitively, a strength is not what you are good at and weaknesses are not what you are bad at.  Rather, a strength is an activity that strengthens you, therefore it leaves you feeling energised, passionate and fulfilled.  Hence, you may be good at something but not really enjoy doing it.  For example, some people will say that one of my strengths is giving research presentations.  I hate presenting and come away feeling drained afterwards, therefore presenting is not one of my strengths!

Unfortunately, we have grown up focusing on our weaknesses. For example, 77% parents will focus on their child’s worst grade and try to help them improve that.  In workplace performance reviews, the majority of the discussion will also focus on areas to improve.  Buckingham discusses that this is because we are fearful of our weaknesses instead of honouring our strengths.  So we need to unlearn our need to focus on weaknesses and look for opportunities to develop our strengths.

To learn more about Buckingham’s philosophy on strengths watch the video click here.

After you watch the video, you can visit standout.tmbc.com/leanin and enter the code LEANIN00 to take the test and discover your strengths.

If you would like to learn more about how I can help you identify your unique strengths, click here

Maree Ferguson, Director Dietitian Connection