When was the last time a friend or colleague said to you: “You are a good listener” or “That is a great idea, thanks” or “ I appreciate your insight and time, that was super helpful.”
For many of us, sharing out talents and strengths with others comes very easily. We generously give our ideas, hearts, abilities, knowledge, expertise and experience to others. What would happen if you turned that same generosity on yourself? What if you turned your talents on you?
Let’s look at two examples of turning your talents on yourself.
Perhaps one of your strengths is helping to create the conditions for others to thrive in their roles. You know how to ask the right questions, identify other people’s talents, and create the conditions for individuals to be successful. You instinctively know what feedback, boundaries, space and connections individuals need to thrive. Many people with this talent are incredibly generous and make sure their colleagues and family members thrive. However, sometimes they are not as good at creating the conditions for themselves to thrive. They may not be as good at asking for feedback, setting boundaries, or identifying the key collaborators and conditions for personal success. If you are good at helping others to thrive, what would it look like if you applied that same focus on yourself?
Or perhaps you have the strength of listening for the emotions of a conversation. You have this sixth sense of knowing how people are feeling even if they are not articulating their emotions. This emotional radar allows you to navigate conversations and support people in ways that is authentic and compassionate. You have deep empathy for others. Yet, people with this strength often struggle to name their own emotions and respond with self-empathy. If you are an empathetic listener, what would it look like if you applied that same empathy to your own emotions?
Turning your strengths on yourself requires recognizing your talents and then generously applying them to your own needs, goals and challenges. Turning our most generous strengths on ourselves is an important step in unleashing our greatest potential.
This week, try turning your strengths on yourself. What does self empathy look like? How could you create the conditions for you to thrive at work? What is your most generous strength? How could you turn that generosity on yourself?
Give the gift of your talents to you.