3 Questions To Quickly Discover Your Skills And Strengths

I was talking to a woman the other day about a mutual acquaintance – someone I was meeting for dinner that evening.

“Do you know what Philip’s greatest skill is?” I said. “He can call an end to a meeting or conversation quickly and efficiently. It might be a bit abrupt, but he keeps it the right side of brusque, so you don’t feel put out. He’s great at managing his time.”

So, being the straight-talking lady I am, I mentioned it to him over dinner. He seemed surprised I’d seen it as something he did particularly well – but that’s the way with a lot of people:

Their skills and strengths are recognised more by those around them than by the person themselves.

And as skills and strengths are a key element in your personal brand – as the diagram shows – it’s worth considering what other people might see in you.

To find out, ask yourself three questions:

  • What is it that people come to me for help with?
  • What is it that comes easily to me that others have said they find hard?
  • When I’m in a meeting with others, what comments have been said about how I work or what I deliver?

What to do with the answers

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a common thread runs through all three answers – in which case, you definitely want to plonk that at the heart of your personal brand.

Alternatively, if you come up with three different answers, try exploring them more deeply; are they three distinct skills or strengths (in which case, consider putting them in order of how well you do them) or do you once again find a common theme that you can focus on?

One final piece of advice

It’s unrelated to discovering your skills and strengths, but if you ever find yourself in a meeting or conversation that could do with being wound up, here are three phrases Philip told me he uses to great effect. (Accompanied, in my experience, with a warm smile but a look of determination.):

  • “You must be very busy.”
  • “I’ll let you go.”
  • “I’ve bored you enough.”

Then exit stage left.

Why not leave a comment below to share a) ways you’ve found useful to discover your own skills and strengths or b) your own phrases for drawing a conversation to a close?

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