In the right context with the right application, your strengths can
accelerate your confidence in leadership and life.
As a leader, it’s likely you’ve taken an assessment or two identifying your personality, temperament, or strengths. What was your take-away? Did it change you? Your answer to these questions is either contributing to or detracting from your confidence.
Honestly, assessments can feel uncomfortable. After answering a few questions, you’re presented with adjectives, descriptions, and titles that now become part of how you can envision your identity. We don’t like labels. However, greater awareness can be a powerful confidence builder.
My personal strengths story is recounted in the book “Living Your Strengths” by Gallup Press and paraphrased here:
“I served on our church board for 4 years before we finally took StrengthsFinder. With the help of a coach, I learned more about myself and colleagues in one evening than in all our previous years together. It was the most meaningful and significant time we spent together.
I gained new confidence in my peers. I knew their strengths. I knew who to look to when faced with a difficult problem and who would resolve conflict. I knew who needed a lot of information to make a decision and who needed very little. And I knew my own role in relationship to those of everyone else.
This knowledge built trust, opened communication, and promoted efficiency. For a board that made decisions for a church of more than 8,000 [now over 25,000], that’s crucial. It’s the best thing we ever could have done as a team.”
Before StrengthsFinder, I was a quiet observer. My stay-at-home mom status felt insignificant next to the male executives and senior staff leadership. I cautiously contributed to conversations when I mustered courage to speak at all. I had no confidence.
One assessment changed everything. It can for you, too.
Here are 3 ways activating your strengths builds confidence:
- Confidence saying yes and no. As a leader, your strengths are your filter for saying yes to work that aligns with your strengths and no to things that don’t. While every team needs all hands on deck from time to time, organize your daily work around the 2 or 3 things you do best. In his book, “Next Generation Leader,” Andy Stanley describes two secrets of leadership: (1) The less you do, the more you accomplish. (2) The less you do, the more you enable others to accomplish.” The best leaders aren’t well-rounded. They hone in on what they do well with crystal clear focus.
- Confidence in your teammates. One of the most valuable opportunities you have as a leader is to know and coach the strengths of your team. Strengths give you a language to communicate and understand one another. You can confidently guide your team and rearrange tasks and roles to fit them best. Better performance is the natural outcome of putting your strengths to work, and you will see it individually and as a team.
- Confidence in your uniqueness. According to Gallup’s latest statistics, the chance of another person sharing your exact strengths profile is 1 in 33 million! God wired you this way. He created you to do the things only you can do in the way you do it. When you live out this truth every day, you can’t help but be more confident that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Confidence is the fuel that lights up your strengths! An assessment gives you information, the power is in the application. That’s where you find your confidence. I’m now a Gallup Certified Strengths coach and recommend these starting points:
- Take StrengthsFinder if you haven’t already! The online version is available HERE.
- Unlock your full 34 report for a full picture of your strengths. You can upgrade HERE.
- Consider coaching for you and/or your team to activate that confidence.
- Develop the daily habit of using one of your strengths to build its capabilities.