When you are at work are you often worried about all your human frailties, beating yourself up about everything that goes wrong, or are you rejoicing in your many and varied strengths? It seems to be part of the human condition that we become velcroed to concerns about not measuring up.

However it’s much more productive to focus on building our strengths.

It’s true that it is prudent to mitigate our weaknesses, especially when our job description demands that we handle things that we aren’t so good at. Mostly though we can play to our strengths, after all we usually find ourselves working where we have at least some level of competency that uses our strengths.

Here are four tips to making your days and self much happier at work and at home.

1. Grow a strength you wish to have.
If you really don’t know where your signature strengths lie, or you’d like confirmation of where you believe they are, a free and fun quiz is here, at http://viacharacter.org/. The top five are your signature strengths.

We know that things like gratitude and kindness are two things that are worth promoting because they make you nicer to work and a pleasure to be around. For example, those who feature love, appreciation, and gratitude are happier, and studies show they live happy lives.

Gratitude is one strength that is worthwhile developing. All you need to do is, at night as you are about to turn out the light, think of three things that went well in your day. This will take you away from ruminating on the things that didn’t turn out so well. And saying a thank you magnifies the power.

2. Share your strengths with a loved one.
Have your partner do the analysis as well ( http://viacharacter.org/ ) so you can better learn from each other.

The people who love us are more likely to appreciate our virtues than we might ourselves too.

Discuss how you see your strengths. Other people might be appreciating our strengths when we might just brush them off.

3. Be aware of overusing your strengths.
Suppose honesty is one of yours and you find people are walking away from you because you’re telling too much personal stuff about yourself (hey, being honest) when such information isn’t adding to the conversation but taking away from it.;)
Sometimes modifying your honesty with a bit of kindness oils the wheels of your work and personal relationships.

Or if you love learning, make sure you’ve got plenty in your schedule, but don’t over do it and waste too much time researching your area of interest. Google is a great servant but a very bad master.

4. In your teams (work), share your strengths.
Especially become good at spotting strengths in others and commenting on positive examples that you see in your colleagues. You don’t have to gush all over them, just notice a job well done.

Also, it’s a good move for teams to divvy tasks according to individual their strengths. For example, if one team member is strong in perseverence and self-regulation, perspective and judgement then they would be ideal for proposal writing – give them that task.

And there you go, four ways to play to your strengths at work and add more joy and harmony to it. Soon you’ll switch from dreading mondays to eager awaiting.


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