Every single one of us is working more independently than ever before. We can thank the pandemic for that, which also means we have to do a better job of managing ourselves. Working from home means breaks to throw in a load of laundry, make a snack, run the vacuum, pet all the dogs or just daydream. It’s hard to stay focused when there are so many distractions…a lot of times of our own creation.
If you want to be effective working from home, the office, or a motorhome on the road, you need to know how to adapt how you work. How do you play to your strengths and offset your weaknesses?
Identifying your strengths
The best way to discover your strengths is to ask those around you, and we don’t mean your mom…unless she is brutally honest, then yeah, ask her.
Most of us have a general idea of what we’re good at. For example, some of us (Kim) have the ability to connect with people on their level and immediately set them at ease. Kim would also tell you, she is easily distracted and can’t stay focused for long periods of time…so long meetings are never going to be productive for her or anyone else.
If you want to play to your strengths, then you need to understand how to make those strengths shine and work for you.
For example, maybe you are great at leading meetings and engaging people, but your follow-through is lacking.
Perhaps you are a great communicator, but your writing is shit. Are you super practical to the point of sucking creativity out of everything you touch?
Self-awareness is so incredibly key when managing yourself.
Making your strengths work for you
One of our core values is “work smarter, not harder.” It’s a lot easier said than done, but if you can master it…you’ll be unstoppable.
Let’s look at those strengths again.
Strength: Great at leading meetings and engaging with clients.
Weakness: Follow-through and driving things forward.
Solution: Have another team member on your call to take notes and detail out action items. If that isn’t possible, record the meeting so you can go back and map out next steps. Immediately following a meeting, set aside 30 minutes and send a recap to all attendees and the action items that came out of the meeting. Utilize a calendar or a task app to assign yourself follow-up reminders or activities.
Strength: You are a phenomenal communicator and own the heck out of a room.
Weakness: What the hell was that sentence you just wrote?
Solution: Hey, sometimes we just come off better in person or via Zoom. If writing things succinctly and clearly isn’t your strength, then utilize a member of your team to proofread things for you. Since you can’t always rely on someone else, you need to start writing daily to build your writing skills. Follow these tips.
Strength: You are practical to the point of identifying every little thing that could go wrong and then identifying a workaround.
Weakness: Practicality is also the killer of big ideas. Being so focused on the minuscule details means you often miss the big picture opportunities.
Solution: Gut check yourself. If you find yourself questioning everything and planning for things that will likely never transpire…then you need to take a step back and breathe. Set up brainstorms with other team members or bounce ideas off colleagues to help you think more creatively. Invest in creative exercises to assist you in thinking or approaching projects differently.
If your weakness is marketing, give us a call, and we’ll turn it into a strength for you, your company and team. See what we did there.