Be a Transformer

Transformers are not just for the movies! Sure, Transformers are animated action-hero robots who can change into vehicles and other useful objects as needed to battle evil doers. But whenever we use our personal strengths to transform a mundane task into a more meaningful experience, we are showing that we too have the power to be transformers. We can also do this for others when we help them recognize and use their unique strengths.

Figuring out how to use our strengths to transform tasks that we personally find boring or drainingcan even become its own fun and challenging game.  So is anyone up for a round of “Strengths Transformer?” The best part of this game is that everyone wins when we are able find a way to transform previously unappealing jobs into more engaging projects. So how do we start? Simply by asking what I call my “Magic Strengths-Activating Question”:

Based on what I know about my strengths, what can I do to make this project more interesting to me?

 Feel free to substitute the word “interesting” with “energizing,” “meaningful,” “engaging” or how about just plain “fun”?  Any of these words will do the trick and help unleash the strengths-activating magic. The next thing you know, another mind-numbing chore has been transformed into an opportunity to play to your strengths.

For example, one of my many roles sometimes requires me to be the final approver on a seemingly unending pile of applications. When the repetitive nature of the work starts to feel draining and overwhelming, I have learned to shift my focus to helping the individual people who have filled out the applications, rather than on the actual stack of forms. Even though I don't really love the administrative process of reviewing the applications, I love being the person who can help someone get closer to accomplishing an important personal or career goal. Behind each of those applications is a person with a story who I would naturally like to help since one of my own passions is helping people reach their dreams. When I focus on helping the individual applicants cut through the red tape and fulfill the program requirements, I am much more creative and resourceful because I have the opportunity to draw on some of my natural areas of talent such as Positivity, Strategic, and Includer (as defined by the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment) or Love, Perspective, and Fairness (as defined by the VIA Character Strengths Survey). I leave my calls with these applicants feeling energized and ready to take on the next challenge instead of feeling sorry for myself that I have so many applications still to review. And the applicants on the other end of the phone are also more energized and strengthened as a result of interacting with me at my helpful best.

So think about your own dreaded tasks and challenge yourself to a game of Strengths Transformer sometime soon.  Or be a Community Strengths Champion™ and support the people around you in transforming their challenges using the power of their strengths. The next time you or someone you want to help is procrastinating about something that you would really rather pass along to someone else, ask the “Magic Strengths-Activating Question”: Based on what I know about my strengths, what can I do to make this project more interesting to me? See what changes when you act on your answer. Your new approach will start you well on the way to playing to your strengths, no matter how far away you think you are from your dream life.

Yes, we can all be transformers...using the "magic" of our strengths.

If you have never taken a strengths assessment before, here are two great ones to try: 

Values in Actions (VIA) Survey: 

Clifton StrengthsFinder: