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"It doesn’t matter who you
are, where you come from.
The ability to triumph
begins with you. Always."
- Oprah Winfrey
Have you ever tried to do something
over and over again but, no matter how
hard you tried, you just couldn’t get it?
We put so much energy into overcoming
our weaknesses, we often overlook the
importance of cultivating our strengths.
“Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of
our talents and strengths. Instead…we become
experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives
trying to repair these flaws, while strengths lie
dormant and neglected.”
Now, Discover Your Strengths
by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
What are strengths?
“A particular way of processing
information that your brain is good at.”
“Consistent near-perfect performance in an activity.”
“A part of your brain that’s more
efficient than other parts.” “An activity that makes
you feel strong.”
“A combination of talents, skills and knowledge
that are consistently and productively applied to
achieve a desired result.”
If you were to
create a word
cloud to show an
would it say?
There are 3 raw materials
A talent is a naturally
recurring pattern of
thought, feeling, or
Talents endure because
they were “hardwired” into
Knowledge is a mix of facts
and lessons you’ve
Factual knowledge won’t
guarantee excellence, but
excellence is impossible
The ability to do
Skills are generally
developed through a
combination of practice
The key to building your strengths is to
identify your dominant talents and then
refine them with knowledge and skills.
Why is it important to identify your
Sets you apart from everyone else
Leads to greater personal and professional
Makes your life more productive and fulfilled
Helps you experience a feeling of “rightness”
How can you identify your
2. Self Reflection
Help you dig into personal insights
Give a better understanding and
description of your values
Let you know what kind of work
environment you will enjoy and
Show you how you can enhance
your strengths and develop your
A sure way to identify your
strengths and talents is
stepping back and watching
yourself for a while.
1. Spontaneous Reactions
1. How do you react to situations you encounter?
1. What strong connections keep calling out to you?
2. What activities do you want to repeat?
3. Rapid Learning
1. What do you learn more quickly than other
2. What do you have a desire to learn more about?
1. What activities do you feel good about?
4 clues to identify your strengths:
Using your strengths makes you feel successful
Activities you are naturally drawn to
Where you learn the most, come up with new
ideas, and have the best insights
Where you feel the need to spend the most time
Use the SIGN Method:
Use others to find your strengths:
What do others ask for your help with?
What do others want you to teach them?
What do you receive compliments for?
Simple but effective: just ask family, friends,
and coworkers what they think you’re
Don’t ignore your weaknesses…
1. Identify them
2. Outsource them
3. Systematize them
4. Minimize them
5. Improve them
“It takes curiosity, courage and a
sense of optimism in order to
determine and acknowledge what
you are good at. But when those
with your career
It’s rocket fuel
for your future
Like what you saw?
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Freedom Personal Development
“3 Ways to Identify Your Strengths and 4 Ways
to Handle Your Weaknesses”, June 18, 2009
“12 Essential Lessons to Maximize Your
“Discovering Your Strengths”,
Kathy Paauw, Organizing and
January 2004, Issue 47
“Identify Your Strengths”
Alma College – Academic
“How to Identify Your Strengths” and
“How to Manage Your Weaknesses”
Sources of Insight
“How to Find Your Strengths”
“Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6
Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding
Performance,” Marcus Buckingham