Michael Herman

Software Developer

What Am I Good At?

What am I good at? What is my talent? What makes me stand out? These are the questions we ask ourselves over and over again and somehow can not seem to come up with the perfect answer. This is because we are blinded, we are blinded by our own bias on who we are and what we should be. But discovering the answers to these questions is crucial in branding yourself. You need to know what your strengths are in order to build upon them and make them better

Companies spend a lot of time and money making their brand perfect. As an individual you need to take the same approach. You need to take the time to discover what it is that makes you, you. and that means calling in help.

You cannot do this alone.

I have come up with a simple 3 step process to lead you to the discovery of your strengths. Perception is key, it is not only about how you view yourself, but how others view you. That is why this process includes the opinions of the people around you. These steps allow you to look from the inside out, you begin with asking yourself what you can do and then you find out what others believe you have in you.

Step 1: What are your 5 things you’re good at?

Take your time. Grab a pen and paper and go sit alone somewhere, somewhere quiet. Think about what it is you feel most confident in doing. What are the 5 things you know that make you special. Number them, write them down in the order of the level of confidence you have. Also, do not just write down one word, I want you to explain what it is that makes you believe you have that skill, that talent. I found the easiest way to do this was for each skill you choose give one example of a time where you utilized it in a beneficial way. It could be your organization with work files, it could be writing on your blog; just give some sort of example to validate that it really does deserve to be on this list.

Step 2: Ask 5 loved one’s what you are good at?

This step is to get that second opinion. Your loved ones always want to be supportive, and they know you best. They have been around you enough to have formed an opinion on what it is they think you are best at. When you ask for these answers, make sure they don’t just spout off characteristics, you are so nice, you’re really responsible, you make me laugh a lot. Tell them you want to know what it is that you bring to the table, what are the things that they would turn to you for help with.

Step 3: Ask 5 people what you are good at?

Now “people” is a very vague term, but this last set is the most important. You need to find 5 people who do not have the same biased that you’re loved ones will have. You need people who can look at this question more critically, finding these people can be a bit difficult. I found that the best people to turn to, are the ones you interact with for work, fellow employees, bosses, or clients, past or present. Ask them what it is about you that they found the most valuable. They don’t have the same outlook as your loved ones, they are going to respond quickly, it is more black and white for them. These answers tell you your most obvious strengths and talents, because these people do not have the personal aspect clouding their responses.

Step 5: Compare!

Now take all of these lists and COMPARE.

Are your answers much different from the other ones you collected? For me they were. My loved ones brought up things I never really considered strengths, while my colleagues and the other “people” I asked gave me skills I knew I had possessed, but not ones I felt as confident in. Knowing the strengths that others see in you, can open your eyes, it should open your eyes. Do not limit yourself. This process will allow you to see that you have more to offer.

As I said in the beginning we all are our own brand. And like any other brand we need to take the time to know what it is that our brand can do. Taking the time to ask around and discover what it is that you offer, is the perfect catalyst to expanding your horizon. It opens the door for new opportunities and for new ideas to form.

This is where what other people think of you matters. How they are perceiving your talents and your strengths is pertinent to your success. So allow these people to judge you and use their feedback as a tool for growth!

I advise you to go through this process on your own and then come back and let us know how the responses compared. How in touch with your own talents are you?

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