What are your strengths?

I’ve previously shared this article “The Feedback Fallacy” by Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall from 2019; they say that “Learning rests on our grasp of what we’re doing well, not on what we’re doing poorly, and certainly not on someone else’s sense of what we’re doing poorly. And second, that we learn most when someone else pays attention to what’s working within us and asks us to cultivate it intelligently.”

Here is a really fun exercise to do if you want to raise your self-awareness, feel good about yourself and learn.

Ask a few (5-10) of your closest friends to answer the following questions about you (Watts and Morgan, 2015):

1. What one word or phrase describes me best?
2. What do you think is my greatest achievement? 
3. What do you value most about me?
4. What one thing could I do for my own benefit?
5. What do you believe to be my greatest strength?

Or simply ask them what your biggest strengths are.

Tell them you have been challenged to do this by me if you want an excuse – though I promise that your friends will enjoy doing this for you (in fact they will probably benefit from it themselves)! Get them to put their thoughts to paper and email or text you back (writing it down makes them really think about it). Then wait for all the lovely messages to come back to you.

When you have done this, here are some things to reflect on:

  • What did you expect that they would say?
  • What were you surprised about? What can you learn from that?
  • How can you use this feedback to strengthen those strengths?
  • What can you do differently knowing your strengths as others see them?
  • What impact can you have on others by using your strengths?

Next step is to write down all the things people have said about you – you can carry them around in your bag or wallet. When you need a boost, take them out and have a read.

Then you can generously thank all your friends for their kind words. As you know, I’m a big fan of gratitude (link here to article about the researched benefits of gratitude).

Finally – please let me know how you get on.

PS Did you enjoy this exercise? I use coaching tools like this when I coach individuals and teams. If you’d like to know more about how you can work with me, have a look here.