Throughout all ages, there has always been a need to develop those areas that you are good at. In today’s challenging economic climate, this approach has never been more important.

It goes without saying that if you are good at something and that something is useful – then do it. If it isn’t useful, then perhaps look for a way to make it useful. This is something that we all know and yet not nearly enough of us actually live by it in our daily lives.

Too many of us go against the age old proverb – ‘a jack of all trades is a master of none’. Why invest so much time in making ourselves average in certain areas we were previously weak in, if that time could be better invested in making ourselves the best in our field in something we are already strong at?

So how best to build on your strengths?

  • Identify your strengths – you might be aware of them or need input.   Get feedback from peers, family or managers.   Take personality tests such as Belbin, Myers Briggs and so on. At this point, weaknesses will emerge as well, giving you a balanced picture.
  • Relate back to what you are currently doing – do your strengths help or hinder your current performance? How can you use your strengths in the role or situation you are currently in?
  • What do you want to achieve – set goals for yourself and then plan backwards to establish how you can achieve them.
  • Spend time learning – a minimum of 15 minutes a day will add up over a life-time. Create a focused learning plan which you can update and compare against.
  • Measure and review – make sure you can see progress.  In some cases such as weightlifting you can easily measure by how much you can lift. For other cases it might be harder, but a simple out of ten benchmark could be good e.g. you give yourself a 7/10 for presentation skills, then 6 months later you feel you are 9/10.   Better still get other people to rate you.