We're given a lot of advice about how to perform our best at work. We're told that you have to be well-rounded in order to succeed or that you should constantly solicit negative feedback about yourself. However, many of these ideas are often founded on dogma which can be ineffective in actually helping us to improve our lives at work.
Extensive research suggests that there are three proven things you can do right now to win at work. By understanding these simple concepts, you'll be surprised at the ways you'll be able to improve and the unique contributions you'll be able to make.
1. Redefine strengths and weaknesses
When you ask for the definition of "strengths" and "weaknesses," you'll typically hear that strengths are what you are good at, and weaknesses are what you're bad at. You might also hear that you're the least qualified person to identify your own strengths and weaknesses.
Luckily, none of that is true.
Think about the skills you're good at, but really hate — things that, because you are a driven and responsible adult, you can do well, even though you don't enjoy them. In fact, you may even feel like they drain and drag you down.
You may be the best public speaker at your company, but if preparing for a presentation leaves you in a cold sweat and you're miserable while you're presenting to a large group, you shouldn't consider it strength, no matter how "good" at it people tell you that you are. If you hate something even though you're good at it, it's a weakness, not a strength. It weakens you, and nothing that impairs your ability to be better can ever be a strength.
Therefore, a strength is an activity that strengthens you. You often look forward to it and time seems to fly when you're actually doing it. And when you're done, you feel proud, satisfied, maybe even energized. Using this insight to reflect on your unique strengths is the first step to winning at work.