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  • Anne

Using Your Strengths

Updated: Feb 27

Use your Strengths to achieve your goals!

One of the things I like most about the CliftonStrengths framework is that ultimately the point is to leverage your Strengths to DO things like accomplish goals and solve problems. What does this mean? If you recall from my last blog post (https://www.strengthsuniversity.org/blank/talent-x-investment-strength), you take your talents and develop them into Strengths. The next step is putting those Strengths into action.

Now developing your talents into Strengths is a process. Realistically it could take your whole lifetime to use each of your talents in a near-perfect fashion every time, but you certainly don’t need to wait until your deathbed to start using them. Hopefully as you progress on your journey into Strength, you’ll become more aware of how you’re using your talents productively and ways they’re getting in your way. This information is extremely valuable when putting them into action.

Gallup has made a handy-dandy worksheet to help explain how this works:

Individual Development Plan. Put your Strengths into action!

I don’t actually love this layout, but it helps you visualize the process. First, start with the green arrow “Goal or Objective.” What are you trying to do? Get along better with Betsy? Finish a project? Find a better job? Finally get the house cleaned? Get a 4.0? It doesn’t really matter how small or large the goal is (although if it is big, I would encourage you to break it down into smaller steps to better dissect it and create a workable game plan).

Second, think about your Top 5. Which ones do you think would best help you achieve your objective? The form has room for three but that’s just a guideline. Maybe there’s only two that really stick out to you, maybe it’s all five. The important thing is to think about how each talent theme might help you reach your goal. I think that weird arrow thing in the middle is a funnel…or maybe a bandana…IDK!! The point is, you’re directing/funneling/bandanaing your Strengths toward your goal.

Finally, decide what specific steps will you take to leverage your talents to achieve the goal. When I say specific, I mean specific as in the S in SMART goals. If your goal is to get your house cleaned (after months of saying you will), telling yourself you’re going to use your Strategic to be more strategic about cleaning isn’t super helpful. Exactly what will you do? Decide the best order to clean things? Enlist your spouse to do certain areas because they’re quicker or don’t mind that particular chore? Hire a cleaning service to do some of it?

You want to create action items for each of the Strengths you plan to use so by the time you cross them all off the goal is complete. Again, you want to harness your Strengths to make things easier for you. If you find yourself coming up with 50 action items that’s going to be extremely overwhelming. Look at the overall goal and break it down into more manageable sub-goals. Actually, that would be a good goal in itself.