I get a lot of questions about how to align your CliftonStrengths talent theme of Self-Assurance with your career. In this series, I break down one strength per episode so that you can add to the insights from your StrengthsFinder report and make a better match between your job and your strengths.
– If you’re exploring as a manager, use this series for career development ideas and even new clues about responsibilities you could give a person with this talent theme so that they can show up at their best.
– If you’re exploring for yourself, use this as a chance to build a reputation for your strengths so that you’re more likely to be given assignments that live in your strengths zone.
The talent theme today is Self-Assurance. You’ll get three layers to chew on:
- Career Branding
- Red Flag Situations At Work
- Fresh Application Ideas
Career Branding For Self-Assurance
You probably already have a reputation for what you know. If you imagine your resume or your LinkedIn profile, I bet it’s full of “the what,” which are things like job titles, skills, knowledge, expertise, or the degree you earned. What’s missing in most profiles is “the how,” and this is where your StrengthsFinder talent themes live. This is an overlooked use for tools like LinkedIn, which is not just for job seekers.
I bet you are just like my StrengthsFinder training clients, where you don’t see your teammates and customers every day. That’s why LinkedIn has become so important for career branding – because it’s the tool your teammates, customers, and vendors use to go look you up before a meeting – to see who they’re about to talk to. And rather than only telling them what you know, you should also give them a peek at how it is to work with you. So here are a bunch of adjectives you can consider using in your career branding and your LinkedIn profile.
People who lead through Self-Assurance are often:
Red Flag Situations For Self-Assurance
These are the company cultures, interactions, or situations that feel like soul-sucking drudgery to someone with the talent theme of Self-Assurance. They might even make you want to quit the team. So I’ll give you a couple of these to be on the watch for — because if they fester, you might get the urge to quit the job or become detached at work.
Here are two red flags for Self-Assurance:
- False Collaborations. If you lead through self-assurance and you’re partnered up with another person or another department when your opinion doesn’t really matter, it will drive you crazy. You will already know a direction you’d propose, and if your ideas constantly fall on deaf ears, you’ll feel totally soul-sucked by it.
- Hand Holding. If you work with someone who needs constant hand-holding, it will wear you out. You work independently and you expect others to at least try to figure it out on their own before leaning on you. And if you feel like someone is trying to constantly hand-hold you, you’re likely to resist and feel as if they’re treating you like a child or a newbie or a dummy.
3 Fresh Application Ideas for Self-Assurance
These are ways to apply the talent theme of Self-Assurance at work, even when the job duties on the team feel pretty locked in. If you’re listening as a team manager, be sure to have a conversation around these ideas. You’ll both be able to come up with places to apply them.
For someone who leads through Self-Assurance, put this talent to good use with one of these options:
- When a critical issue comes up, think of the person who leads through Self-Assurance. This doesn’t mean to dump all of the problems on them. It means to look for situations where a lot is riding on the decision or execution (good or bad). Rather than being scared and hesitant as many would be, someone with Self-Assurance can confidently handle the challenge without getting ruffled.
- Watch for change that makes others nervous. Think about things like process changes, re-orgs, or mergers that make others fear that they’ll be redundant and lose their jobs. This is the situation where you can put the person with Self-Assurance out front to show people how to confidently and resiliently flow through major organizational changes.
- Assign this person to responsibilities that benefit from no second-guessing. Those with strong Self-Assurance have strong instincts and can move forward quickly. If you need someone who will not hem and haw over a decision, make this person your go to.
So there you have it. It’s a quick tour for building your career through the talent theme of Self-Assurance.
Here’s Your Personal Branding Homework
- Go take action on your LinkedIn profile with the career branding section. Challenge yourself to write one sentence in the Summary section of LinkedIn that captures how you collaborate as a teammate at work.
- Then think over the red flags to see if there’s anything you need to get in front of before it brings you down.
- And finally, volunteer your talents through the application ideas. And if you’re a manager, have a conversation with your team members about which of these things sound like something they’d love to have more of.
Andrew’s Top 5 StrengthsFinder Talent Themes are Strategic, Futuristic, Learner, Relator, and Ideation