You can learn to spot strengths in yourself and others daily. Signs of strengths can be observed in any conversation if you watch and listen. When you notice over time, patterns emerge. You can use them in any situation; conversations and communication with others; when networking; or simply for your own self-reflection.
Strength spotting is defined as “the act of recognizing and identifying the strengths that a person may possess, through a process of naturalistic observation in day-day settings, or through more formal assessment approaches” (Linley, 2008)
When people know their own strengths and the strengths of others, they are better equipped to leverage them together.
Some strength spotting methods
Childhood memories What do you remember doing as a child that you still do now – but most likely much better? Strengths often have deep roots from our early lives.
Energy What activities give you an energetic buzz when you are doing them? These activities are very likely calling on your strengths.
Authenticity When do you feel most like the “real you”? The chances are that you’ll be using your strengths in some way.
Ease See what activities come naturally to you, and at which you excel – sometimes, it seems, without even trying. These will likely be strengths.
Attention See where you naturally pay attention. You’re more likely to focus on things that are playing to your strengths.
Rapid learning What are the things that you have picked up quickly, learning them almost effortlessly? Rapid learning often indicates an underlying strength.
Motivation What motivates you? When you find activities that you do simply for the love of doing them, they are likely to be working from your strengths.
Voice Monitor your tone of voice. When you notice a shift in passion, energy and engagement, you’re probably talking about a strength.
Words and phrases Listen to the words you use. When you’re saying “I love to...” or “It’s just great when....,” chances are that it’s a strength to which you’re referring.
To do lists Notice the things that never make it on to your ‘to do’ list. These things that always seem to get done often reveal an underlying strength that means we never need to be asked twice.
Langley Group. Strength spotting tips from Average to A+: Realising Strengths in Yourself and Others, by Alex Linley