In my career-focused coaching sessions, folx often express a desire to better understand their strengths. In this post, I share a straightforward process to gain insight into your strengths by asking others. Implementing this approach is simple and will enhance your self-awareness.

I think you’ll like it, especially if you’re eager for this kind of feedback. But you might also think it will feel slightly awkward. Or you don’t want to impose. It’s normal to feel a bit hesitant about asking for feedback.

I encourage you to try it out. Based on my own successful experiences with this practice, I can confidently say it will provide you with perspectives and useful insights (it can also help supplement strengths insights you have from a formal assessment, such as CliftonStrengths).

Feedback from other can help you identify strengths you might not have recognized and validate the ones you were aware of. All of this you can apply to your career journey.

We tend to undervalue our strengths

I’ve observed that many of us have an awareness of our strengths. Yet, we often undervalue them. We might think, “Oh, that thing that I do naturally and effortlessly, doesn’t everyone do that?”

Nope, this is rarely the case.

We might dismiss our talents like showing empathy, communicating clearly, or identifying potential pitfalls in a plan as something everyone can do effortlessly. They can’t and they don’t. Each of us have unique strengths that we may not fully appreciate. Hearing about our strengths from others can help us internalize and appreciate them more. It can also shed light on blind spots and areas where we might need to improve or develop further. We can gain insight into our strengths by asking others and understanding how they perceive us.

How to ask for feedback on my strengths

If you have the pleasure of working with others, whether as part of a team or in ongoing collaborations, ask them for their perspective on your strengths. This process not only helps you but can also strengthen your professional relationships by fostering a culture of openness and mutual support.

Here’s how:

#1. Select people to ask.

Select 3-4 people you trust and ask if they would be willing to help you out by answering a few questions about your strengths to support your professional growth. When I’ve done this process in the past, I have asked colleagues who have interacted with me regularly enough to have a decent sense of how I approach my work and relationships.

#2. Offer to reciprocate!

Offering to provide feedback in return shows that you value their input and are willing to support their development as well.

#3. Ask questions to ask to elicit information about your strengths.

You can ask these questions or others:

  • What 3 words describe me at my best?
  • What is a positive impact I have?
  • What skill do I have that is most useful to our team (instead of team, you can substitute partnership, working relationship, unit, etc.)

A final plug for asking others for feedback

Knowing our strengths helps us make strategic career choices, can increase our confidence, and allows us to take on projects that align with our natural talents and abilities. This is true at any career stage.

Gathering feedback from colleagues can provide a clearer picture of your strengths. I acknowledge that doing so can be a bit nerve wracking, even with people you trust. But I promise you’ll gain more self-awareness from these insights.

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