What do you believe you do best? Why do you believe as you do? What are your key strengths, and what leads you to believe that they are strengths?
I am good at making people feel at ease. A strength in my professional and personal life is that I am personable and approachable. Why do I believe my extroverted and affable personality is a strength? Well, like it or not, we have a society that rewards extroverts and those who can build networks. I can float between many situations and genuinely enjoy myself. When I engage with others I am authentically interested in learning about them.
A few years ago at work, I took a leadership style assessment. The test identified me as someone who is naturally adaptive. I think that is very true and is one of my strengths. I am able to plan a situation and as changes occur, I often imagine some of the outcomes that the changes may create. I am extremely results-focused as it pertains to the situation at hand, so when I am thinking about finishing a project I do not freeze when something changes. I figure out how to reroute or enjoy the new outcome.
Here are 2 examples of what I am talking about. Once I planned a 10-day hike in the Alps. My husband and I realized we made a mistake and booked a hotel one night of the hike a day earlier than needed. OK, we could lose the prepaid night, find a new hotel, and now recalibrate the remaining part of the trip (6 more nights) or we could hike twice as much that day, get to the hotel and enjoy a free day. It was not what I expected for that day, but it worked out wonderfully as I got a day to relax in Italy. A professional example of being adaptive is when I first started at my job and I realized I was accomplishing my work in much less time than anyone anticipated. I used that free time to create a staff development program for technologists. The importance of staff development for campaign technologists was never considered something of value. Now we think of it as a priority.
Another strength I have is empathy. I think a lot about the people around me in a given situation. I try extremely hard to see where people are coming from and considering how other people’s behavior (including mine) can affect them. I am mindful of this strength because sometimes being too empathetic can be paralyzing.
My strengths tend to orbit around being: personable, adaptive, and empathetic. These strengths work well together as the let me work really well with people. In an earlier blog post about strengths, I mentioned that I am a good team member. I still think that is the case, and I believe I do so well on a team because I am personable, adaptive, and empathetic.