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April 2013
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Avoiding Strengths Overplayed: Think Orchestra, Not Soloist

Posted by: Trudy Bailey, Development Consultant, Capp

 

In this final blog for our dedicated Realise2 Blog Month throughout April, I turn my attention to strengths overplayed…

 

Using our strengths enables us to enjoy endless benefits such as increasing our performance, goal achievement, happiness and confidence – and the list goes on. Be honest though: have you ever overplayed one of your strengths?

 

I am sure it was with good intentions, but sometimes, we may find ourselves not knowing when to dial back on our view, ethical conduct, or the quest for something new.

 

Some of our strengths may stem from our background; it may be hard to even contemplate taking a step back as we feel we may dishonour who we are or those whom we have role-modelled. However, I know that you know it doesn’t always serve you well!

 

If we don’t take our foot off the automatic pedal sometimes, we may find our strengths lose their energy. Let me overplay my Narrator strength and give you some examples, based on the Realise2 families:-

 

Relating – My extensive experience with Realise2 tells me that we are often caught out here.  The words: “But I love reaching out and connecting with people” echo in my ear. Working with people all day can be exhausting and time out may not be easy, especially if you have a family too.

 

Why not try using your relating strengths in parallel with other strengths? So, for example, think about the power of Esteem Builder and Creativity, or Empathic Connection with Resolver. This will help you move people towards their goals rather than simply ‘relate’.

 

Being – Ummm, how can you overplay the strengths that define how you like to be? Think about what it might look like when your Moral Compass is guided so strongly; that your way is the only way, or when your Humility leaves no room to showcase your own worth?

 

My other favourite is Unconditionality. Everyone wants to obtain advice from someone who doesn’t judge them and their queue of supporters can extend long into the evening!

 

Motivating – All action and no motive? What are you driving, changing and growing towards, and whom are you going to inspire?

 

Make sure you are clear about your purpose before turning up the volume dial on your motivating strengths, as they will be focused towards something meaningful and the energy will be sustainable.

 

Communicating – It is so crucial to be able to communicate effectively with others, but often we get stuck using one style. This then becomes a little tiresome for you and others on the receiving end.

 

Have you had one too many emails from the Scribe, too many stories from the Narrator, or been a tad bored of the opinions of that person blessed with Counterpoint? Try to find a variety of ways of communicating so you can connect with others’ preferences.

 

Thinking – If you have organising strengths – for example, Planful, Order, Detail - then I am sure you deliver your work with enviable Excel spreadsheets, and on time.

 

It is worth just checking though whether occasionally the 80/20 rule or even 90/10 rule will suffice.

 

Overusing these strengths can lead you to be stifled in your career as you are too focused on the smaller things.

 

Above all, think of your strengths like an orchestra, rather than a soloist.

 

On their own they certainly deliver; but using them together creates a beautiful harmony of movement that varies in pitch and performance, allowing both the conductor and audience a more fruitful and engaging experience.

 

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One Response to Avoiding Strengths Overplayed: Think Orchestra, Not Soloist

  • Trudy Bailey says:

    Thanks and others could learn from you. I also like to thank those that help create my success and given me the opportunities, however small that have made a difference.

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