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Know Your Strengths

Updated: May 19, 2020



Recently while presenting to a group of residents about the foundational keys to leadership, I discussed the importance of knowing yourself and leveraging your strengths. A brave resident shared how having confidence was currently a challenge and asked, ‘how do you determine your strengths?’. I tried to contain my excitement as helping people identify their strengths and develop towards their personal best is my greatest passion.


Immediately, I assured her it is a process, a journey inward that yields endless insights. If we are all honest, it is a journey that never ends! Every success, disappointment, life experience, project, volunteer opportunity, and job bring its own gift of growth. Having said that, it is important to complete foundational self-exploration to move forward with purpose.


I would like to take the next few moments to outline tangible steps you can take to determine your strengths and set them as building blocks towards continued development.


What are strengths?

At LIPSTICK we believe, strengths are a combination of skills, talents and knowledge that are unique to an individual. In most situations, they present as natural skills/talents that, with focus and time, develop into strengths. Our quest is to help you identify your unique skills and talents.


How do I determine my strengths?

When I started my career over twenty years ago, if someone asked me what my strengths were, I would have had no clue as to what they were talking about (LOL)! To not appear absurd, I would have rattled off I was a

  • hard worker

  • fast learner and

  • gifted at analyzing massive amounts of information to create improvement plans


Since I had not yet been exposed to leadership assessments or any personal coaching and development this knowing was completely from my work experiences at that time. It was not until 3-4 years into my career that I completed an assessment that began to craft my understanding. In doing so, my assessments confirmed some of my natural knowing and exposed me to strengths I had yet to understand.


You may be in a similar place. If so, do not worry here are a few actions you can take to determine your strengths.

  • Informal Assessment: Take a piece of paper and draw two lines down the paper creating 3 columns. Label the columns, Skill/Talent, Task/Project, and Passion (Yes or No) respectively. Reflect upon 3-5 tasks/projects you have worked on that were a success and brought you joy. What were the skills you used the most to realize success? When you utilize these skills do you come alive? If yes, mark ‘yes’ in the ‘Passion’ column. Next identify 3-5 people who know you well enough to complete this safe exercise about you and compare your answers. Are there any similarities? If so, more than likely these are your natural strengths.

  • Formal Assessment: The following assessments are available at no cost or nominal investment. They should take 15-20 minutes to complete. Upon completion you will receive the results of your assessment.


How does this help me increase my effectiveness?

Having clarity of who you are will enable you to shape a pathway towards success that honors your values and natural abilities. In times of stress this knowledge helps you focus on actions necessary to realize balance in your life. Completion of the assessments alone will not guarantee optimal use of your talents, skills, and knowledge. It is greatly beneficial to work with a personal coach to help you realize your greatest potential. A coach can help you understand the assessment results and partner with you to create a development plan.


We at LIPSTICK® would love the opportunity to help you. Please contact us at lipstickcoach.org regarding this topic or any other development opportunities.


Until next time. Be well my friend.

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Well-worth read!

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