I believe that one day we will look back at this time in history and be simply astonished that we tried to teach, train, manage, lead or even just live with people without taking into account their individual strengths. If you are wondering what I mean by "strengths," I mean the qualities and behaviors that we are good at and that we enjoy. Strengths make us feel more alive. If we are good at something, but it doesn't energize us and make us feel stronger, then it is not a strength. Strengths are more than just a feel-good topic. Here's what the latest evidence-based research says about people and their strengths:
- We are more creative, productive, engaged, and energized when we have the opportunity to work with our strengths.
- We all learn more and learn faster when our strengths are engaged.
- We are more likely to accomplish our goals and to bounce back from our setbacks when we use our strengths to help us move forward. (source: http://www.cappeu.com/Portals/3/Files/Why_Strengths_The_Evidence.pdf)
Of all the important things we know about strengths, it seems the main thing that we don't know is…why we aren't we doing more with the knowledge we already have about strengths? Our strengths are the best that we each have to offer. Now more than ever we need people to contribute the best of themselves so that together we can do more than just get through these challenging times but also create a better collective future. Many of the problems we face as individuals and as a society will only be resolved by the kind of energy, resourcefulness, and creativity that is generated by people who are passionately applying their strengths. So what are we waiting for again? And even more importantly, if you have not already started on the strengths path in your own life, what are you waiting for?
Discovering how to understand and use our individual strengths is eye-opening and life-changing for most people who have the opportunity to do so – but not nearly enough of us have had the chance. Many of us are languishing within environments where the powers that be are unaware of the power of personal strengths. If more of us truly understood the wealth we are squandering by not utilizing our own strengths and those of the people around us, we would no more ignore strengths than we would leave a water faucet running or allow a gas pump to spill out onto the pavement. And yet ignoring our strengths is just that wasteful.
Helping more people to discover and shine with their strengths is the reason for this blog and the purpose of All Our Strengths. I hope that the information, tools, and resources that you find here will support you in your personal strengths journey and empower you to help wake up the sleeping strengths in your family, school, workplace, neighborhood, or community.
Shall we begin?