Congratulations! You’ve been on one of our strengths workshops (we’ve done a few recently!!) and:
- You know what energises you
- You’ve identified circumstances when you’re at your best
- You’ve discovered your top 3 strengths.
- You’re working to stretch one of them.
- You’re turning down that strength that tends to veer into overdrive.
- And you’re remembering to use another strength when you’d previously have used a weakness.
Wow. You’re doing a fabulous job well done. Really well done. This stuff isn’t easy. Important but not easy.
But it’s unlikely to last. Sad but true. Sorry.
Why? Because you’re making an enormous change and enormous changes are easily swamped by habit and environment.
As Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
The chances are that most of your life (whether you’ve been aware of it or not) you’ve been encouraged to adopt a deficit approach to your own development. Well-meaning parents, teachers, bosses and colleagues have been telling you, from a very young age that, to get ahead, you need to “fix that weakness” in order to be “rounded”.
And now you’re trying to do something very different: you’re working to be at your best every day…and that means developing your strengths. Yes, you need to address that one role-critical weakness….but mainly you’re working to become really agile at applying your strengths in an intelligent manner.
It can be really quite tough.
So, what can you do?
Create – and maintain – the “you at your best!” environment.
- Grab a piece of paper and scribble down some examples of you at your best.
- Then find some more.
- Ask around. People love being asked (once they’ve gotten over their surprise!).
- Then ask yourself: “what do I need to be like this every day?”
- Be really precise
The chances are you’ll say things like:
“To be appreciated by 1 person every day”
“Being with clients 25% more than I am now”
“Never doing filing again”
“To work for Stephanie, Josh or Gill”
“A window next to my desk”
“Working from home once a week”
“Going home on time at least twice a week”
Whatever it is, write it down and then, ask yourself:
“How can I make these things happen?”
Yes, it might sound a little unrealistic, maybe you’re asking yourself, “what world does Kim live in?”… and yet, my experience of asking clients to do this exercise is this…
Once they know exactly what it is they need, they make significant shifts towards them. Shifts that they could have made a long time ago but haven’t. Writing them down and asking yourself, “How can I make these things happen?” are the essential steps towards making them happen.
Give it a go. Start creating the “you at your best” environment today. It’s the best possible way to allow your impressive efforts so far to continue to flourish and grow.
And – you never know – you might be surprised at how easy some of them happen.
If you need any help, please ask. We enable others to be at their best every day. Some people even say that we’re at our best when we’re enabling others to be at their best every day…