Leverage & Refine Your Skills in 5 Steps


So, what does it mean for you to refine and leverage your skills? See, your unique personal strengths are expressed as what you’re good at and what comes natural for you.

To get more of what you want out of life you need to intentionally do more of what you’re good at.


Step 1) Complete Career Type Tests



It’s beneficial to complete personality and strength finder assessments to reveal your top strengths.


By completing these assessments, you’ll get a clearer understanding of your skillset to work better as an employee, student or business professional.


Since this is a site of resources, I’m providing links to 11 (free) useful career self-assessments online (with options to purchase full unique assessment results for some).


The time frames range from 5-20 minutes in no particular order.


1) www.mbtionline.com (Myer-Briggs Type Indicator) ($50 for real test or knock-off click here)

2) https://profile.keirsey.com/#/b2c/assessment/start (Kerisey Temperature Sorter)

3) https://www.myplan.com/assess/values.php (Myplan.com)

4) https://openpsychometrics.org/tests/IPIP-BFFM/ (Big Five)

5) https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/how-the-enneagram-system-works (Enneagram of Personality)

6) https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test (16personalities)

7) https://careerwise.minnstate.edu/careers/clusterSurvey (iSeek “Clusters”)

8) https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip (MyNextMove)

9) https://www.assessment.com/ (MAPP Test)

10) https://www.truity.com/test/holland-code-career-test (Holland Code Career Test)

11) https://www.predictiveindex.com/assessments/behavioral-assessment/

(PI Behavioral Assessment)


The results of these career tests give you a great deal of insight into understanding your interests, strengths, weaknesses, emotional intelligence, personality traits, values and lastly motivations more clearly.


The best industry practice is to take these results to an employment advisor/specialist who will deeply interpret your results and advise you on choosing or changing careers.


This article is not here to motivate you to work on your weakness and leave your strengths to collect dust.



This-post-right-here is dedicated to teamwork!

“What does it matter about weaknesses when you can work with others whose strengths compliment your own?”
– Articulate Tee

Next time you have a project or partnered task at work be sure to implement this strategy

and watch the team become well-rounded in action. It’s not advisable to partner with people who have the same strengths as you because the team becomes unbalanced and conflicted.


Just team up with other people who have the opposite natural abilities and strengths.


There are three layers to being good at something (starting with the outer layer): skills, behaviours, attitudes and beliefs (read more here).You have a skill and to sharpen it you need actively use your strength to amplify your skill which is or isn't a success based on your attitudes and beliefs of your outcomes.


I mean... it only makes sense for me to outsource tasks (like accounting) for my company because I can’t stand dealing with numbers, but, if I have to I will).


In my case, I will outsource tasks to an accountant for regular tax completion and audit protection.

“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.”
― Marilyn Von Savant

Step 2) Identify your top 5 strengths then rank in order of most to least used


You may not exactly know how to identify your strengths so here are some tips to making your list impactful and valid.



a) Use your self-awareness and know yourself


b) Ask very close friends and family


c) Assess past failures and attempts


d) Assess all successes


e) Outline qualities or skills that come naturally to you (like breathing air)


Step 3) Identify your top 5 weaknesses then rank in order of biggest to smallest


If you’re interested in leveraging your strengths, you need to also shed light on your weaknesses. Once they are identified select the top two only and work on them.


This work creates a wider foundation for success.


How?


The work pushes you to perform at higher levels of efficiency which then leads to you being more well-rounded with powerful concentrated strengths.


The highlight: Get even better at what you’re already good at first and then take time to focus on improving your weaknesses.


**As an employee use your list and look at your job description to see if any of your strengths are being utilized within your body of work or personal brand.


Step 4) Invest and focus on top 2 strengths and weaknesses


So, as we discussed above first you’ve shortlisted our strengths and weaknesses. The next steps are to choose what type of competitive strategy you’d like to apply, luckily there are seven ways to create your edge.


**I paraphrased the sections about individuals only**



a) Cost Leadership Strategy: Low prices work for large companies like Wal-Mart but is rarely a desired choice for individuals to accept as payment for time, product or services.

b) Differentiation Strategy: As an individual, you focus on what strengths, uniqueness or talents make you positively stand out from the rest of the group.

c) Innovative Strategy: You gain a competitive advantage by discovering and offering innovative ideas and strategies for the company. The more your ideas are winners for the company you’ll automatically gain your edge.


d) Operational Effectiveness Strategy: As an individual, this looks like creating new systems of operation or analyzing data in new ways for the company. By excelling at your craft and working in a high-efficient manner, you stand out from those that are doing things in ineffective and inefficient ways.

e) Technology-Based Competitive Strategy: As an employee, embrace new technology and learn to dominate it so that you stand out to your employer compared to those employees who are slow to transition into new methods.


f) Adaptability Competitive Advantage: Key takeaway: being open to change. As an employee, inquire about cross-training to create value and keep strengths current. You first need to adopt a growth mindset to become an adaptable being.

g) The Information advantage: Everything that you need to succeed comes through knowledge and information so seek the latest technologies, strategies and data to keep steps ahead of your peers.


- For the full descriptions including company perspectives then click here


Step 5) Leverage your skills and fuel personal and professional growth


To stand out you’ll need to take unexpected actions. To stand out you’ll need to go beyond the boundary of “normal”. In return, you can expect to gain a competitive advantage.


Ask yourself these questions and write down your response to create a list of potential skills to proudly flex and leverage opportunities:


a) Do you have a combination of skills that many others do not have?


b) Do you have individuals in your network that others do not have access to?


c) Do you have access to resources that others do not have?


d) Do you have experiences or an experience that others do not have?


e) Do you have a specialty that others do not have?


f) Do you have a brand that is low-quality or high-quality work compared to others?


g) Do you have people who could speak on your sharp skills compared to others?



Conclusion:


To start, use career, personality or strength finders to gauge where your interests and strengths lie.


Use the results to make a shortlist inventory of your skills by listing your strengths and weaknesses to motivate and push you towards taking action.

Whatever strategy you choose to take to leverage your strengths, remember that there is no overnight success.


As human beings, we tend to shy away from hard work but that’s exactly what you’ll need to do to identify your strengths and weaknesses accurately.


Use s.m.a.r.t goals to track your leveraging progress. By tracking your progress in real-time, you will be accelerating your personal growth and leveraging abilities in no time!


“Our denial of our weakness is as profitable to our opponents as our unawareness of our strength.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Thank you for taking the time to read this post in its entirety! It means so much to me to be able to aid the community with powerful and actionable knowledge and information.


- Articulate Tee

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