The Best Way I Know to 'Activate Your Greatness'
I felt light-headed, my heart was beating fast and my palms were wet with sweat and anticipation. While I'm pretty sure I looked composed, I felt completely vulnerable.
I wasn't sky-diving, giving birth or
appearing on national television. I'm almost embarrassed to tell you
what had me so nervous, but I will.
was meeting with a consultant to review my assessment results. It was
2001 and my employer had asked the entire team to complete them. I
wasn't sure that I wanted to hear what 'this guy' (The Consultant) had
Luckily, the consultant was
very effective. My fear turned into wonder and interest. He
emphasized my strengths and revealed potential growth gaps.
results were accurate and helpful, providing insight about how to use
my strengths. They revealed "truths" about me that I'd never seen in
writing. It felt ground-breaking!
"The real tragedy of life is not that each of us doesn't have enough
strengths, it's that we fail to use the ones we have."
Now, Discover Your Strengths, Marcus Buckingham
A 'How to Activate Your Greatness' Master Class!
Reading the information in my assessment results was empowering. They were a "Master Class" in how to master me! This kind of information puts me (and you!) in charge. Up to that point, I'd been trying to speed up my development, on my own, through:
1. Trial and Error. Trial and error can be a rough and tumble, time-consuming approach. It can result in positive growth, but progress can be slow.
2. Looking for Good Mentors to Learn from and Model Myself After. Mentors can speed up development, but it can be hard to find effective and committed mentors. I've only had a couple of good mentors in my career so far.
3. Thinking That Others Would See My Potential. I wanted bosses, co-workers, friends, and family to take an interest in my development. But unfortunately, most people are better at pointing out weaknesses, not specific strengths. That tendency is prevalent in our culture.
"Globally only 20% of employees feel that their strengths are in
play every day... (this helps us) begin to understand why
8 out of 10 employees feel somewhat miscast in their role."
Now Discover Your Strengths
Assessments provide powerful insight
about your strengths and development areas. With this kind of
information you can move forward faster, and with confidence.
Since my first exposure to assessments in 2001, I've become an Assessment Expert. I now certify other people, lead assessment-based workshops and coach leaders. I debrief Assessments with others every day!
"We cannot focus on the weaknesses of another and evoke strengths.
You've got to beat the drum (of strengths), and when you do,
you'll be a strong signal of influence that will help them
reconnect with who they (really) are."
Activate Your Greatness: Some Things I Learned About Myself From My Assessment Results...
Here are a few of the things I learned about myself from that first assessment experience:
- Strengths: I'm
an assertive person who loves to solve problems and is willing to take
risks. I never meet a stranger. I handle change with ease, and I have a
million ideas. I was aware of some of these strengths but was unsure of them until I saw them in writing in my Report. WOW!
- How Others See Me: Whoa,
I can overwhelm people, talk too much, and become a
self-promoter. I never knew that I could come across that way to
others if I overuse my strengths. But I can see that now. Knowing
this helps me manage myself because none of those things are what I
- My Stress-ors: I hate to go slow and not to be able to think outside the box. No wonder that last job was so
stressful! I wish I'd known this before I went through that! I'll know
better next time...
- My Motivators: I do love to
learn; I need to be a product expert and to be able to get results.
I'm going to look for ways to do more of this...
- How to Manage Me: I
need to make decisions, move fast, and have direct, quick
conversations. I also do better when my manager provides regular
feedback. Now I understand what I need, I can ask for more of this.
- Specific Development Opportunities: I
talk to think, so I can take too long to make my point. I can also come across as insensitive and impatient! Those are areas I can work on, now that I
"Flow...(comes from) taking pleasure in using your own
skills to contribute something of value to the world."
The Psychology of Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
The Three Best Assessments to Help You Master the Activate Your Greatness Habit..
tried, tested and taught MANY different Assessments over the years. I have come to trust these tools: the DISC, Workplace Motivators and the
Hartman DNA Assessment, measuring three views in the TriMetrixHD Assessment.
Are you activating your greatness every day? Is your team?
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