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Never Underestimate Your Strengths


There’s a saying in my house . . . never, ever, underestimate your competition. With that said, and with those words firmly ingrained in my mind, I can more readily espouse the idea above. In my mind, it is important to both respect my competition and have faith in the power of my strengths. In short, my strengths should not be underestimated.

I have a friend who carries her StrengthsFinder report in her purse folded up in a now dog-eared square. When she needs to remember what makes her special, where she finds her strength, or how she excels in social situations of just about any kind, she unfolds her report and rereads it. This brief exercise prompts her to reflect on her past successes before a big meeting, when she’s having a dreary day, or conversely after a big accomplishment to further bolster her “on top of the world” feeling.

As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, I have the opportunity to discuss people’s strengths and their weaknesses. We all have both because there is no avoiding it. We cannot be great at everything. The difference between the very successful and the moderately successful folks is how they view their weaknesses. Weaknesses are something to be managed around, not denied or avoided completely. At the same time, weaknesses should not be overestimated.

Some of my coaching clients express nervousness about learning their “All 34” strengths. They fear that the bottom of the list will expose them and make them vulnerable. In fact, when some coaching is possible, the opposite is true. Instead of considering how these weaknesses need to be hidden or “worked on,” we discuss how they have been successful by partnering with others or how they have used one of their strengths to compensate for a weakness in the past.

Embracing our strengths, flexing them like muscles to increase their power over time, and recognizing our imperfections but not dwelling on them, are what the great leaders do. Do you know what makes you great? Are you able to manage around your blind spots and deficiencies?

For more information about understanding your strengths and weaknesses go to


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