When we operating from our strengths, we’re working with our most powerful assets – the skills, thought processes, and ways of connecting that we’ve honed most successfully. At Reach Remarkable we operate around a strengths triad, three areas that when developed and combined contribute to a high level of functioning and performance.
Strengths of the Mind
In reality just about everything we do involves our brain, but here we’re thinking about the mental or cognitive strengths that contribute to high performance – like self-control, resilience and persistence for example. It’s not always obvious that we can develop in areas like self-control, with many of us considering this kind of capability to be in the, you either have it or you don’t category… but it’s not, and neither are many other strengths of mind that we might consider to be in same category. Taking self-control as an example, you’ll find plenty of commentary here on the blog.
We consider strengths of mind to relate to ‘How we are’ – how we approach a task, how we deal with challenges, how we learn, and so on.
The eminently quotable Albert Einstein suggested:
“Most people say that it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.”
Where the mind is about ‘how we are,’ character is about ‘who we are.’ The way we relate and involve others, whether through teamwork, curiosity, judgement or other character strengths. I like the view that there are no bad strengths, it’s just a matter how much we use, or don’t use them. Teamwork is great strength when you need to achieve something as a team, it’s clearly less appropriate when you need to achieve something alone.
Character then informs the way that people know and relate to us.
Finally, our functional skills like leadership, project management or software development help define the role that we take, and our competency in achieving that role. Most of us think about going on a course, and learning generally, being about this kind of skills development. Alternatively, learning ‘on the job’ is a popular approach to development at work. Both have their place, but alone, neither are likely to lead to skills mastery.
Finally, when you start combining these three areas of strength, you get important results. Well aligned mind and character strengths, lead to authenticity; the combination of strong character and skills leads to work engagement; and finally, well developed strengths of mind and skill shows us our path to mastery… and a person who is engaged, authentic and masterful is high performing.