Maybe it’s happened to you before. You’re sitting in a job interview and suddenly your interviewer asks you what your strengths are. You probably thought about it before. But to what percentage was your answer driven by what you thought the other person wanted to hear? And to what percentage were these really YOUR strengths? And why is it important?
More and more companies want to follow a strength approach. In my opinion this is a laudable goal, but I have not really seen it implemented with full conviction yet. But why do companies do it?
Studies show quite clearly that people who can use their strengths at work experience more positive emotions, have a higher level of commitment, see more sense in their work, build more positive relationships and are more creative. These are also all factors that increase the likelihood that an employee will stay with a company and not quit. This is a huge cost factor for companies and therefore the focus on an employee’s strengths is unfortunately often done for financial reasons rather than humanistic reasons. A lot of potential is lost as a result.
Strengths and values are connected to our sense of life. So if I can help a person to find out his/her strengths, the strengths that are part of his/her identity, also called signature strengths, then I can help him/her to lead a happy and meaningful life. A by-product of this is that this person has more energy, is more creative, forms better relationships, is psychologically healthier, is more resilient and much more. This of course also helps the companies. But if I only promote strengths that are conducive to a flourishing business from a company’s point of view, I miss this goal.
Now we are already in the area why it is important for each individual to know his or her strengths. To find out their strengths there are various tests, of which I can recommend the VIA Character Strengths Test, as it is the most researched strength test there is. But since we are looking for the signature strengths, which are those that are part of our identity, we need to go a few more steps. But for this we need the support of a second person. Ideally an experienced coach. Through questions and methods that involve the body, we then find out these signature strengths. The advantage of this method is that there is an alignment of body and mind. You can feel real signature strengths in your whole body. If you are interested, please write to me. This is a great work, which has already helped many people I have worked with to understand themselves better and to gain more clarity.
Another reason to know your strengths concerns our relationships. Recognition is important in relationships. Especially recognition for the strengths of the other person. This makes sense to me, because we value and appreciate the identity of that person. And who does not feel better when you are appreciated as a person? Couples who value the signature strengths of the other person have a higher satisfaction in their relationship, have higher commitment and they have the feeling that their basic needs are satisfied.
By the way, you can find more points in the fantastic book “Character Strengths Interventions” by Ryan M. Niemiec.
Do you know your signature strengths? And do you live them?
Have a great day, Stephan