Find Your Business Strengths and Use Them to the Max

workMany people are just going through the motions at work. In fact, a 2013 Gallup survey revealed only 13 percent of employees are engaged at work.? That means a whopping 87 percent are unenthusiastic about their jobs. This does not bode well for companies. ?That means that the vast majority of employees are not engaged; they are unhappy, lack motivation, and are toxic to the organization,? says strengths expert Katie Christy, founder of Activate Your Talent. One way to get out of the ?disengaged? 87 percent, says Christy, is to ?identify the areas you are, and are not, using your business strengths.?

Whether you’re an employee or a business owner, it is important to know your strengths and how to use them. ?Being an entrepreneur/business owner can be one of the scariest journeys one can take. It?s full of risk; you will constantly be required to step out of your comfort zone, and that is why it is important to pinpoint your business strengths,? points out financial coach Ty McLaughlin, CFO of OnceLogix LLC, which provides custom, enterprise-level, web-based applications. ?Pinpointing your business strengths saves you time and money. Finding out what you are good at will allow you to save time on having to re-learn a skill or job. It will also save your money assessments, job search, training and etc. Not that you don?t want to improve your craft, but if you pinpoint your strengths early on you will be able to sharpen the right craft.?

It?s only logical to find your business strengths. ?It is important to pinpoint your business strengths because instead of pouring time and energy into marginally improving weaknesses, we can clearly identify our talents and be intentional about bringing those talents to the forefront. As a result, we are more engaged, competent, and effective,? notes Christy.

First, be aware of the signs that you are not using your business strengths. Among these, according to Christy, are feeling de-energized; counting down the hours until the end of the day; a lack of joy and curiosity at work; and disengagement from the organization?s mission/purpose.

There are ways to find your business strengths–but that doesn?t mean it will be fast and easy. ?Discovering your business strengths takes time. On one hand, capabilities are developed over time. On the other, every individual has innate qualities that make us unique. Business strengths are a combination of our innate qualities and our developed capabilities colliding into a differentiated value,? says Mark Coleman, president of Convergence Mitigation Management. ??Identifying that value–and further–harnessing that value–can be achieved by 1. Self-Awareness, knowing oneself (who we are, what we stand for, what we believe in, how we want to be treated by others–and how we treat others); 2. Understanding how others perceive and receive us (i.e., what do others say about us? our behaviors? our character and judgment? what do our family, friends, and peers believe to be our strengths?); 3. The “Five-A’s”–Awareness, Action, Attention, Accolade, and Accountability– What do we tend to be aware of (what gets our attention), where do we find that we take the most “action,” where do we get the most attention from peers or partners, where have we received accolades, and what do we choose to be accountable for.?

Business coaches and business tools can also help you work on discovering your strengths. Christy, for example, suggests StrengthsFinder Assessment,? Gallup Organization?s online tool that helps individuals and teams to understand their unique talents and how to be more effective working together.

Here?s how StrengthsFinder Assessment works: It consists of 177 online questions that identify areas of an individual?s greatest potential. ?Once you have identified your strengths, it is important to notice how they show up in your daily life. I recommend dedicating one week to exploring your strengths- both personal and professional. In the morning, review the strength description so you understand the characteristics and tendencies,? says Christy. ?Throughout the day, take note of situations and interactions that call out this strength. At the end of the day, reflect upon your use (or lack thereof) of the specific strength. Repeat this process each day until you have worked your way through your top five strengths. This exercise will help you identify which strengths you call upon regularly and those that you need to work on incorporating into your daily routine.?