In the previous blog we posed a question, "How did I get here?"
It's a relevant question. It's being asked often. Is it unfortunate? I would submit, it's NOT…people are searching for a deeper purpose. A meaning. Whatever brings that question on…there's a trigger or an accumulation of triggers that make someone's situation untenable. Whether the question is being asked from a professional, career, or personal angle it still has the "I" embedded in it.
For those asking themselves that question, your opportunity will be to go through a similar exercise as the emerging generations should be going through as they make their way toward adulthood. What are my gifts? How do those gifts translate into a purpose, a calling?
Your career choices at the end of the day have a great impact on your personal world and those around you. You have a good day "at the office" and your world seems brighter. You feel content. People around you notice, and chances are, they appreciate being in your presence (not to be confused with "presents" - a GIFT!) On the other hand, you have a bad day "at the office" and your world seems less bright. Here too, people around you notice, and chances are, AVOID being in your presence.
Granted, you should expect "good days" and "bad days" after all, this is life! Not all days will be perfect. What you should aspire towards is a consistent rhythm of good days, so, when an occasional "not – so – good" day appears, you can easily move on. Your opportunity is to feel like you're "in a zone" of effectiveness – where you are maximizing who you are and the gifts you possess. So how do YOU get there?
"Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation." Aristotle
Objective: Identify your gifts and put them to words (themes) that resonate and are core to you.
Why is it important to name "it" as opposed to feel "it"? Being able to name "it" has powerful implications for what you can do to get into "your zone of effectiveness." It allows you to have words that can be shared with others and if you are part of a team, you all can begin to speak a common language or have an understanding and appreciation for what each person brings to the group.
Knowing that research has supported a link between leveraging gifts / talents / strengths, the same research has determined there is a STRONG connection between:
1. WHO people are AND what they do best.
2. WHAT people do best AND how people feel.
3. HOW people feel AND how people perform.
In other words, GIFTS lead to PURPOSE, which leads to MAXIMIZED IMPACT!
So being able to name your gifts in "actionable" terms or themes will allow you to work towards moving forward!
Objective: Appreciate the power and opportunities your dominant themes give you and help you accept responsibility for developing them.
Every once in awhile when I have a client who has completed an assessment and the results don't jibe with their perception of themselves, they react in a way that is not surprising, "That's not me." "The results are flawed." Or, "I had a bad day."
Maybe. Assessments, after all, are "indicators". Assessments also are a window into the assessee's "world". Or, maybe not. Which is why I encourage my clients to share the "gift-based" assessment results with a couple / few people who know them well to get their feedback. I encourage my clients to share the results with people they know at work and those they know on a personal basis (i.e. non-work). More often than not, the feedback they receive supports the findings of the assessment. Then, the client's mind is perhaps a bit more open to move forward.
When you open yourself up to learn about your gifts, your opportunity will be to have an OPEN-mind and to learn more about yourself. No accident, recently, I Tweeted my definition of OPEN - Opportunities Possibilities Exist Now! Assuming you have an OPEN mind, the most basic question for you to answer after taking the assessment is – What does this assessment say about to me? A good starting point that may involve some effort to process.
As a result, understanding the outcomes may require another set of eyes / ears to help interpret the results. For example, if the assessment comes back and it does not have a theme identified in someone's "Top 5" that might be considered core to their current role, they reject the results, or, become dismayed. It is for that reason, starting from this position of openness you will be in a better position to "Claim" the results. Another way to think about is...
Assessments are like x-rays. You get an x-ray and someone trained / skilled to interpret the results does just that. Like a radiologist, they will pick up on the nuance being displayed. Leave the interpretation to an untrained eye and you risk seeing nothing, or, nothing of significance, or worse, mis-diagnosing what the assessment says.
In this case, the set of eyes / ears / expertise may be in the form of a strength coach. Which is why I define a coach as someone who "Helps the eye see what can't be seen, the ear what can't be heard, and the mind process what can't be processed."
"The more people consider thinking about their gifts, the more they will notice how their gifts contribute to their success. And the more aware they will be of their potential for even more success." Gallup
Objective: Intentionally invest in the development of your gifts by identifying specific actions to "flex" your gifts to accomplish goals, reach desired outcomes, and better respond to situations that happen every day.
Now the "work" begins. The amount of "work" depends on the desired outcome. How much of a gap exists between where you are today and where you want to go, and whether the special combinations of gifts you possess are capable of helping you achieve the objective.
This aiming can be directed by four key questions:
1. What does success look like?
2. What needs to be done?
3. What gift(s) has / have the most natural connection to your goal?
4. What specific strategies / actions can you take?
You have a great opportunity to intentionally tap into your gifts and discover new ways to build on your areas of greatest potential. You may need additional resources, assistance to help you plan, map, track your progress, and make adjustments. It may require doing things differently. Developing. Examining. Experimenting. Exploring. Learning. Practicing. Could this be done on your own? Possibly. Possibly not.
If it appears you'll need additional resources beyond your own "line-of-sight" to get you where you want / need to go, lean in on a strengths coach!
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
Interested to Learn About Yourself or Your Team? Mark is a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach and TotalSDI Facilitator and happy to discuss your situation / team.
About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
Based out Roam - Buckhead - 3365 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 1400 (2nd Floor), Atlanta, GA 30305
Can meet at other Roam locations if appropriate: Alpharetta; Dunwoody; or Galleria