Exploring the strengths-based approach for Graduates – Part 3 of 4
During the last two blogs we’ve been looking at the strengths or personality traits that help you to perform at your best in your life and work. Firstly, we looked at the different ways you might be a strong EXECUTOR. Then we examined the different traits of a STRATEGIC THINKER. This time we’ll be discussing the different ways a graduate might fit into INFLUENCER category.
You may well ask: why do I need to know what my strengths are? Well, when we’re working to our strengths, we feel like we’re at our most content and efficient. We feel “in tune” – as if we’re doing what we’re meant to be doing. Working to our strengths makes for an enjoyable career!
Being specifically different about your similarities is key!
Of course, in a job-interview situation, being able to describe your strengths is paramount. But with the strengths-based approach you can go even deeper – you can differentiate yourself from someone who may have the same or similar set of strengths you do. That could mean the job is yours.
After considering the information in this series of four blogs, when asked at interview “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” you’ll be able to decide which type of a specific strength you best fit into and offer some real-life examples of your abilities.
Better still, if you know the aptitudes that the job itself requires, you’ll be able to be more specific. Let’s imagine the job entails collaboration with others; you’ll be able to prepare some examples of when you had to collaborate with your friends or colleagues and describe what you did in detail. Perhaps you had to carry out some in-depth research as part of a team and this enabled you to develop your collaboration skills? Make sure you have some real-life examples to give to your interviewer; then he/she will get the message that you’re perfect for the role!
Selling your influencing skills at your job interview
So, this time, let’s look at INFLUENCERS. How is your ability to influence different?
An INFLUENCER is someone who’s good at breaking the ice and building rapport with others. They’re friendly and can put people at their ease. They love meeting people, making genuine connections with others, keeping in touch and networking.
1. Activator – An activator’s strongest characteristic is being able to turn thoughts into actions. They’re raring to go and can’t wait to make a difference! They’re decision-makers, but they follow up their decisions with action.
2. Command – People who fall into this category are natural leaders. They’re assertive and like to be in control. When there are problems to be solved, they’re confident and can even be courageous.
3. Communication – People who are good communicators tend to be excellent presenters and are skilled at making conversation. They’re eloquent and able to express themselves clearly.
4. Competition – Those who are competitive constantly measure their achievements against the achievements of others. Competition motivates and drives them. They want to be the best and they want to win!
5. Self-Assurance – People who fall into the self-assurance category are confident in their actions and in their speech. They’re not afraid of hard work and they tend to be independent-minded – able to manage their work and their personal lives, aiming always for success.
6. Maximizer – A maximizer is someone who studies best practice because they’re striving for excellence. Maximizers are naturally creative and they look for ways to make a good performance into an outstanding performance. Only the best will do!
7. Significance – Those people who are driven by this theme enjoy having a positive effect on others. They’re the ones you never forget. They manage to make a significant difference in the lives of others.
8. Woo – People who ooze ‘woo’ are the ice-breakers and conversationalists who are able to build rapport easily and make lasting connections with others. They bring energy into social gatherings and they thrive on winning people over.
So far we’ve looked at EXECUTOR, STRATEGIC THINKER and INFLUENCER. Most of us have strengths from all four domains. Some may have more in one or two domains than another. Putting them together helps you to complete the picture of how your strengths work with each other and, importantly, how they help you compensate for your weaknesses.
Next time, we’ll be looking at the final domain, which has its own characteristic strengths of the RELATIONSHIP BUILDER. This will help you get a much more complete picture of your strengths as a graduate.