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Have You Found Your Strengths?

Group Work.

What instantly comes to mind when you hear that statement? For some, group work feels like a dreaded nightmare; and for others, group work feels like an excellent opportunity to take control.

We have all worked with a group before, and we all know how we personally interact and react when faced with different challenges. We each have our own personality and we know what sparks a leader inside of us and we also know what makes us feel most intimidated. Often times while working with a group, it is common for us to lose focus and designate minor tasks to ourselves—leaving our natural talents untapped. How does this reallyimpact your life?

While we tend to devote our time fixing shortcomings, we miss the opportunity to allow ourselves to develop our strengths. A great question to ask yourself is this: Are you working toward your strengths?

I couldn’t tell you the amount of times people have given me advice of finding out what I’m personally best at doing now before beginning my professional career. Multiple people have told me the importance of finding my strengths now and to combine them with my passions. It is never too late to figure out what you’re strengths are and you’ll be happy once you do. If you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day, then you should allow yourself to exercise your strengths. Applying your personal strengths to your life has the potential to be extremely beneficial.

What is a personal strength? Your personal, natural strengths can be defined by a simple equation: Talent x Investment = Strength.

A talent is your natural way or thinking, feeling, or behaving and it is multiplied by where you invest your time developing skills and knowledge the most. This creates your strength. In the book, “The Power of Women,” there are four different types of personal strengths that are explained to help develop strong leaders.

Mental Strengths: Your mental strengths help you identify goals and paths to help accomplishments. Staying positive and driven helps ultimately lead you to success. Mental strengths contribute to maintaining optimism during tough obstacles.

Identity Strengths: Identifying your sense of self helps you create a connection and intertwine your work, social, and home life. Balancing your roles can help you understand how you define yourself as a person. Your identity strengths include helping you adapt to different roles based on your personal core values.

Emotional Strengths: Emotional strengths recognize triggers, help you acknowledge when to express emotions and balance stress. Training your body how to tolerate stress also helps you balance your feelings. You can build your emotional strengths by learning to perceive and understand others’ feelings as well as your own.

Relational Strengths: Relationships are key to building success, and maintaining those relationships involves a lot of communication and relational skills.  Listening skills during everyday conversations, and keeping an open mind of others’ perspectives and knowing when to be most compassionate.

Practicing your natural talents and exercising your natural strengths during your daily routine can help improve your work and social life by making you, and those around you, much happier and healthier. Working and living in a positive light can only build you up. With a boosting self-confidence level and a growing natural strength, your possibilities for success become limitless.

Contributed by: Kelbi Ervin, IWL Intern, UIndy 15’

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