The Power of Strengths: Building Better Working Relationships and Creating Opportunities

Feranmi Olaseinde

Feranmi Olaseinde

Dec 03, 20233 min read

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The Power of Strengths: Building Better Working Relationships and Creating Opportunities

In today's professional landscape, it's crucial to understand the power of working with others and leveraging strengths to create opportunities. Michael Bungay Stanier's book, "How to Work with (Almost) Anyone," provides valuable insights on this subject. As you reflect on your own skills and experiences, it's important to recognize that just because you excel at something doesn't necessarily make it a core strength. True strengths not only energize us but also provide a sense of fulfillment.

Rather than trying to fix aspects of your professional life that don't align with your strengths, it's more productive to focus on boosting the parts that do. A helpful exercise is to create a matrix chart that plots your "good at" activities and "fulfilled by" activities. Along the horizontal axis, list your "good at" activities from low to high, and along the vertical axis, chart your "fulfilled by" activities from low to high. This visual representation will unveil your strengths – the things you do well and find fulfilling. Over time, you may even discover new strengths that emerge as you continuously improve in certain areas.

One powerful tool for uncovering and leveraging strengths, talents, and successes is the amplify question. By asking yourself, "What am I already good at in this situation?" you can tap into your existing strengths and use them to foster growth, engagement, and better working relationships. The more you play to your strengths, the more fulfillment you will experience over time.

Building on the theme of leveraging strengths, it's inspiring to see world leaders recognizing the importance of entrepreneurship and job creation. Recently, the World Bank president visited an entrepreneur in Nigeria who has created over 1500 jobs. This visit aims to identify opportunities for job creation, particularly for young people and women. Additionally, the World Bank president will address energy needs and explore the potential for digitization, including renewable energy solutions.

This initiative highlights the significance of collaboration and leveraging individual strengths to make a meaningful impact. By focusing on job creation and addressing energy needs, the World Bank aims to foster economic growth and social development in Nigeria. This approach aligns perfectly with the idea of playing to one's strengths and leveraging resources to create opportunities.

To apply these insights in your own professional life, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Identify your strengths: Take the time to reflect on your skills and experiences. Determine what activities energize you and provide a sense of fulfillment. These are your core strengths. Seek opportunities to utilize and develop these strengths in your work.
  • 2. Collaborate and leverage strengths: Recognize that you can achieve more by working with others who have complementary strengths. Foster a collaborative environment where everyone's strengths are valued and utilized. By leveraging each other's strengths, you can create innovative solutions and achieve greater success.
  • 3. Embrace opportunities for growth: As you play to your strengths, continue to seek opportunities for growth and improvement. Be open to new experiences and challenges that align with your strengths. By continuously developing your strengths, you can expand your impact and create new opportunities for yourself and others.

In conclusion, the power of working with others and leveraging strengths cannot be understated. By focusing on our strengths and collaborating with others, we can create opportunities, foster growth, and build better working relationships. Whether it's in our individual careers or on a global scale, recognizing and utilizing strengths is key to making a positive and lasting impact.

Resource:

  1. "How to Work with (Almost) Anyone Free Summary by Michael Bungay Stanier", https://www.getabstract.com/en/summary/how-to-work-with-almost-anyone/47518?u=deloitte1&st=LIST&si=489 (Glasp)
  2. "World bank president to visit entrepreneur in Nigeria creating over 1500 jobs, address energy needs, others", https://nairametrics.com/2023/08/02/world-bank-president-to-visit-entrepreneur-in-nigeria-creating-over-1500-jobs-address-energy-needs-others/ (Glasp)

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