#24 - How much of your time at work is spent on doing work that leverages your core strengths?

Posted March 10, 2023 in
Digital Sales and Marketing Coaches Digital Sales and Marketing Coaches

Chris Marr

Global Coaching Perfomance Director


Hey y'all,

Did you read my letter this week?

TL;DR: To be happier at work we need to craft our work so we spend the majority of our time on work the leverages our core strengths.

The questions are: 

  1. Firstly, are you crystal clear on what your strengths are? If not, you should do that first. Initially, I recommend taking the StrengthsFinder 2.0 and the Authentic Happiness test (my results below).
  2. Secondly, are you continually assessing and aligning your work with those strengths (recrafting your work)?

As with all of these types of assessments, it’s good to verify the results, and Seligman provides a set of helpful criteria to confirm if these truly are your ‘signature strengths’:
  1. A sense of ownership and authenticity ("This is the real me")
  2. A feeling of excitement while displaying it, especially at first
  3. A rapid learning curve as the strength is first practiced
  4. Continuous learning of new ways to enact your strength
  5. A sense of yearning to find ways to use it
  6. A feeling of inevitability in using the strength ("Try and stop me")
  7. Invigoration rather than exhaustion while using the strength
  8. The creation and pursuit of personal projects that revolve around it
  9. Joy, zest, enthusiasm, even ecstasy while using it.

Seligman writes:
"If one or more of these apply to your top strengths, they are signature strengths. Use them as frequently as you can and in as many settings. If none of the signature criteria apply to one or two of your strengths, they may not be aptitudes you want to deploy…”
What I've learned about myself is that I get frustrated when I don’t have time to do what fills me up: reading and researching, going deep into new topics, joining up what I’m learning, writing and developing my own ideas, and then teaching what I’m learning to a group of people that truly want to learn.
And so, when we’re unhappy at work, instead of thinking we need to find a new job, the first best thing to do is to consider our strengths, look at the work we’re doing, and ask ourselves:
  1. How do I feel when I don’t get enough time at work to apply my strengths to the work I’m doing?
  2. As a percentage, how much of my time is spent putting my strengths to work in a valuable way?
  3. What’s one thing I can do to ‘recraft’ my work so I can increase the percentage of time spent putting my strengths to work?
Naturally, over time, things will slip and you’ll find yourself continually checking in on your work and what you are spending your time doing, making sure it’s aligned as much as reasonably possible with your strengths.
You have more control over this than you perhaps think you do, and I encourage you to take total ownership and responsibility for this and get active in your own pursuit of happiness at work.
Don’t expect anyone to do it for you:
  • Do the assessments and get to know yourself better
  • Recraft your work to suit your strengths
  • Continually check in and come back to these questions
  • Take ownership of what you are spending your time doing at work
And if you are a manager of people, know this: people will stay longer if their strengths are recognized and used in a valuable way.

Marr's StrengthsFinder 2.0 Strengths

  1. Learner
  2. Intellection
  3. Relator
  4. Input
  5. Connectedness

Marr's Authentic Happiness Strengths: 

  • Your Top Strength - Love of learning
    • You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.
  • Your Second Strength- Modesty and humility
    • You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special, and others recognize and value your modesty.
  • Strength #3 - Perspective wisdom
    • Although you may not think of yourself as wise, your friends hold this view of you. They value your perspective on matters and turn to you for advice. You have a way of looking at the world that makes sense to others and to yourself.
  • Strength #4 - Curiosity and interest in the world
    • You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery.
  • Strength #5 - Creativity, ingenuity, and originality
    • Thinking of new ways to do things is a crucial part of who you are. You are never content with doing something the conventional way if a better way is possible.

I'd love to get to know you better - what are your core strengths and how are you leveraging them at work? 


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Winnie Anderson
I don't remember all of my strengths but the top one is Maximizer. I finally embraced that this year and it's helped me understand why certain clients and projects drain the life out of me. I've been turning down projects and clients that won't allow me to do my best work or leverage that key strength.
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Chris Marr
Winnie Anderson  Good for you, Winnie :) 
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