How the micro skill of asking powerful questions can transform your career.
More than a decade ago I fell in love with the idea that we’re best when we cater to our natural strengths, rather than trying to round out our skills. This idea made so much sense to me, it lead me to study positive psychology, become a certified executive coach and eventually, to a position at Gallup back in the days when I worked for others. A deeply research-driven company, Gallup published analytics-backed book Now, Discover Your Strengths, which debuted StrengthsFinder, one of the best assessments on understanding your talents.
Although I’ve coached folks on a number of different assessments over the years, Strengthfinders was by far the most useful. Well, that is until the author, Marcus Buckingham created Standout, a new assessment, a more deeply honed version of the original work.
In order to promote yourself in any sort of cohesive fashion you need to understand your brand. And if you need to sell yourself at all — and you do whether you work for yourself or for someone else — understanding your strengths will make the job far easier. The world has plenty of ideas about what it thinks you should be doing. To avoid this distraction, start by going inside out.
Everyone has a kind of genius, a special talent or set of gifts. Discovering your particular kind of genius helps focus your attention allowing you to have a greater impact. If you’re lucky, you figured out your unique brand of genius at a young age. For others, it takes much longer to figure out how to use them effectively. Standout shortcuts the process by providing your unique combination of strengths.
For instance, I’m a creator teacher which means I love to experiment, creating new paradigms with others. When I read my report there was one line in particular that drew me in:
“You are drawn to researching the latest ways to learn and to teach, and you happily give feedback to other creators about how to improve their creations.”
And this one:
“You are thrilled by the potential you see in each person. Your power comes from learning how to unleash it."
These statements describe me well, validating my work, including my latest book. Knowing that I love to teach other creators the best ways to promote and support themselves allows me to ignore other kinds of work, eliminating distractions.
Rather than wondering how you might be most effective, Standout shortcuts the process so you can eliminate weaknesses, instead focusing on natural areas of strength. And, most people find their work much easier when using their strengths.
If you’ve been working on services, are wondering what kind of product you want to create or need to update your website, I’d suggest you grab a copy of this book. Be sure to purchase a new copy of Standout 2.0 as there’s a code in the back that’s one-time use.
P.S. I don’t get anything for promoting this book or if you use this link to purchase it. I'm sharing it because I truly believe it will make a difference in understanding and promoting yourself.