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My strength!

21st Jan 2016
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The pigeonhole was never designed to accommodate a soaring eagle like yourself, nor a turkey such as those you manage. So why are performance reviews designed to mould you as uniformly as a cog in the machine is forged?

Any entrepreneur knows to play to their strengths. Even in competitive situations, it's usually harmful to disparage the market contenders. Which is why we're contemptuous of our politicians and their schoolyard abuse. Likewise there's too much corporate emphasis on addressing weaknesses - or as I like to consider it, changing character traits.

Consider an example. It's not for want of trying that I can't play an instrument. Yet I can dance. The great performers have tremendous musicality, and even anticipate a bridge so as to deliver  the moves in perfect accord. So it makes sense to focus on the strength. However, HR too often wants to build a workforce which is the equivalent of the school recorder band. Even loving parents find that outcome to be ghastly.

After finding that close to three-quarters of polled employees feel they could be happier at work if they could focus on what they do best, workplace well-being expert, Michelle McQuaid, the VIA Institute, Live Happy and The Mindful Gap have partnered to launch a new strengths challenge designed to equip participants with tools to identify and leverage their strengths on the job.

To date more than 15 million people around the world have taken surveys to discover their strengths, but this challenge gives employees the tools to help them leverage their strengths no matter what their job description says or who they’re working for.

According to a study conducted by McQuaid and the VIA Institute, over the past decade employees have become increasingly interested in knowing and using their strengths at work. The study found that employees who focus on their strengths – the things they’re good and enjoy doing – are the most likely (65%) to describe themselves as flourishing at work.

During the Strengths challenge running from Feb 8th, participants will practice an 11-minute Strengths Habit and other skills that will revolutionize the way they approach their daily work routines.  Challenge participants will:

  • Create a small daily habit to develop their character strengths. 
  • Track online how they’re using their habit until 12th February 2016.
  • Report what impact their strength habit is having on their performance and wellbeing.
  • Be supported by a community of other people also practicing strength habits.

 “While studies like mine repeatedly show employees who focus on their professional strengths are more productive and engaged, there have been very few tools to help them develop those strengths at work,” said McQuaid. “With the Strength Challenge, we hope to give employees, and their managers, methods they can use to kick start the process. In the end, we hope to show the world, focusing on strengths has bottom line impact for individual performance and wellbeing.”

Anyone can sign up for the free Strengths Challenge here: http://michellemcquaid.ontraport.com/t?orid=10456&opid=1

Michelle McQuaid is a workplace well-being expert and author of new book, Your Strengths Blueprint. McQuaid specializes in translating cutting-edge research from positive psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies for health, happiness and business success.

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