Sometimes our strengths help us soar. The time flies and we enjoy the activity so much that we can’t wait to do it again. However, sometimes those very strengths that give us momentum and energy become trouble makers. It is at those times we need to know our rescue strengths.
Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of people have ended up in the “basement” of their strengths. Their strengths are actually becoming a weakness and getting in the way. When our strengths are not helping us or others, our strengths are in the basement. Consider these examples.
Good to Great- Maybe you are great at driving change and improving processes, outcomes and projects. In the basement, you might forget to notice your success or drive your team too hard towards the “next improvement”. (See Maximizer in Gallup Strengths)
Listening and Empathy- Perhaps you are a really good listener and many people share their stories, emotions and distress with you. In the basement, you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by all the emotions swirling around you from those in need. (See Empathy in Gallup Strengths)
Switching Gears- Are you good at helping others out, chipping in, and switching from one task to the other? In the basement, you might find you are so generous with your time and enjoy so many different things in a day that sometimes you miss a deadline. (See Adaptability in Gallup Strengths)
When you think about your strengths. Which of your greatest talents might be getting in your way? Causing you trouble? Do you have a strength in the basement?
A rescue strength is one of your other greatest talents and can actually move you from that place of weakness back to a place of strength.
For Maximizer- you might turn to a relationship building strength to rescue you. Perhaps a strength where you notice other people’s talents and actually name them and celebrate their individual successes. (Check out Individualization in Gallup Strengths)
For Empathy- you might need to adopt a regular practice after you’ve talked to people who are very distraught. For example, standing up and going for a walk away from the computer and phone or talking to a good friend about something that is going well. (Consider Gallup Discipline and Relator)
For Adaptability- setting a priority for the day can help while remembering to do something you love. Starting with something that brings you joy, then setting a focus time on one task can really help.
When all else fails, turn to someone who has the strengths you don’t have and brainstorm how their strengths and your strengths could work together to rescue you both.
Let’s talk about which of your strengths is in the basement and which is your rescue strength. Learning to manage your strengths instead of them managing you is an empowering skill to develop.