Research indicates that when people work to their strengths, they perform better and are happier than when the emphasis is on improving weak areas. Now that I write it, that sounds pretty obvious. However, the performance reviews at work have always had a question about areas for improvement. Even my personal projects tend to take on a weak area rather than building up a strength. How would our attitudes and self-image be different if we gave ourselves credit for what we’re good at instead of criticizing ourselves?
At my day job, people in my division recently assessed our strengths using a method from the Gallup organization. It is called the StrengthsFinder. While you can take the test online for a fee or by buying the book, we initially did this just by reading the descriptions and picking the five we thought seemed most like us. My reading-based selections and the online test’s top five were about the same. It might be interesting to have a family member or close friend read the descriptions and see if they pick the same ones for me.
I should mention that the themes in the Strengths Finder test are mostly about talents or tendencies regarding interpersonal interactions and learning. It doesn’t really address physical talents like being a natural athlete or having good ear for music, even though those are also strengths.