Knowing your strengths in times of uncertainty
Things are difficult and uncertain right now – the UK has had three Prime Ministers in a matter of months. There’s the war in Ukraine with Russia. Costs of petrol, gas, electricity, food and more are all increasing. Inflation is rising. Interest rates are going up, announced by the Bank of England this week, to 3% in the UK. None of this is compensated within our wages or salaries.
It’s stressful there’s no denying that . Whether you’re on a low income or a high income or an average income – this does impact us all, but it’s also important to acknowledge it impacts us to very different extents. Some are struggling to pay for transport. Some are being forced to choose between heating their homes and feeding their themselves three times a day. Some will be choosing not to have expensive holidays and buy lots of luxury items right now. Some will be wondering how to keep their businesses viable with increasing utilities. I suspect most of us will also be thinking how to make the Christmas season more affordable this year.
So what does this all have to do with strengths?
When we know our strengths, we can deploy those with confidence and positivity. When we have the confidence and positivity, we can find ways to get around problems. That’s a challenge when it’s the mind we need to change, and it’s a practical challenge when the prospects of not affording our increasing bills is real. But nevertheless, knowing our strengths changes mindsets.
When we know our strengths, we understand why we are unique. We understand why different people don’t think like us. Why we have different values. It also means we can look at other people and their strengths and value what they bring, and especially the strengths that we don’t have.
This week I had another great mentoring conversation – we’ve been working together for almost nine months and in the beginning of our mentoring relationship, we did some work on knowing your strengths using Strengths Finder 2.0. This week, the mentee was recognising how two of her top five strengths (harmony and fairness) were playing out in the team’s culture. Half the team have been there for a long time, and half have been there less than twelve months. It’s no surprise to either of us that the team is in a storming stage, as Tuckman describes in his theory on the stages of group development.
And what the mentee could see, was that both some of the new and old team members see her as a) a safe place to speak and b) know that she will do the right thing by them, whatever that may be.
In knowing this, the mentee is coping with the storming phase perhaps more than she would have done if she hadn’t been able to know and acknowledging her strengths.
Do you know what your strengths are? If you’d like a conversation about strengths, feel free to get in touch.
Much love, Liz