Happy New Year!
If you’re like most people, the new year brings deep personal reflection and ushers in renewed vision and purpose. We’re often most introspective when we’re considering the year gone by and dreaming about what the new year will hold for us.
In that spirit, we would all benefit from spending time thinking about ways in which we can build and leverage our strengths in 2019, both in our personal and professional lives. Our greatest successes are tied to our strengths-those naturally occurring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior we exhibit with ease, excellence, and enjoyment.
But how do build and leverage our strengths?
When we work with teams and organizations, we focus on helping each individual contributor grow in self-awareness, self-expression, and self-regulation.
What do we mean by those terms?
A person who is strong in Self-Awareness has the capacity to understand his thoughts, feelings, motivations, and behaviors. He can connect his successes and challenges to specific talents and strengths.
A person who is strong in Self-Expression has the ability to communicate with others about her strengths. She can explain her intentions, behavior, and preferences in light of her talents. People are more likely to understand her because she is able to articulate her own self-awareness to them.
A person who is strong in Self-Regulation has the capacity to anticipate and respond to others’ perceptions of her talents. She has the ability to refine her talents in a way that enables her to enhance the effectiveness of her relationship with others. She makes subtle refinements to how she uses her strengths.
Focus on Self-Regulation
Since New Year’s resolutions typically focus on improving areas of weakness, it’s the perfect time to think about the ways in which we can grow in Self-Regulation. (Note: If you haven’t taken the CliftonStrengths assessment to determine your Top 5 talent themes, make that you first to-do of 2019. We can help with that.)
Based on some of the negative perceptions that others often have of individuals with each talent theme, I’ve compiled a list of New Year’s Resolutions that might help us with self-regulation in 2019. I’ve tried to make each one specific and actionable.
Consider this a starting place for yourself. Some of these resolutions might not resonate with you, but whatever you do, make 2019 a year in which you work on self-awareness, self-expression, and self-regulation.
34 Resolutions for 34 Strengths
Achiever: Establish some boundaries for yourself. If possible, don’t answer emails in the evenings or on weekends. And definitely don’t answer email on vacation!
Activator: Before taking quick action, identify at least two risks. Play devil’s advocate with yourself.
Adaptability: Set one mid-range goal for each quarter in 2019 and schedule at least one action to get you there.
Analytical: Take time to analyze emotional factors affecting a project or initiative. If you don’t have any strong relationship-building strengths, ask a team member who does to help you think through the emotional climate in your workplace.
Arranger: When you are considering rearranging/realigning, whether it’s a physical space, a timeline or your team members’ priorities, make sure you act only when it supports your vision and mission.
Belief: When you feel confused, frustrated or offended by the action or attitude of a team member, ask him/her to identify the core value or belief that led to the action. We’ve all got hills we will die on.
Command: This year, focus on becoming a stronger follower. Make a list of the traits you would like to see in your team members and then work to demonstrate them yourself.
Communication: In meetings, wait to offer your input until you have listened to several others speak first. Study up on asking great questions.
Competition: Resist the temptation to make everything a competition. Instead, identify the 2-3 biggest wins you want to work towards this year, or the 2-3 biggest competitors you want to measure yourself against this year. Then focus your efforts.
Connectedness: Don’t miss the trees for the forest. Establish a system for managing the specific details and timelines of a project.
Consistency: Each month, choose one colleague or team member to get to know more uniquely. Consider how his/her needs might differ from the needs of the group as a whole.
Context: Spend at least 15 minutes each week planning for the future, setting goals and deciding on action steps to get you there.
Deliberative: When meeting with your team members, be intentional about disclosing some personal information about yourself. Your team members want to know and understand you too.
Developer: Instead of wasting time investing in those who don’t want to be coached or developed, identify the 2-3 most teachable and hungry team members and focus on their development in 2019.
Discipline: Do something new or novel once each week. Even if you need to schedule it in your calendar, do something to break up the routine every now and then.
Empathy: Be very discerning about sharing your emotional intuitions about others at work. Share only when you feel it’s necessary or beneficial.
Focus: When you sit down to work, come up for air every now and then. Set a timer on your phone to get up and walk around, drink some water or visit with a colleague.
Futuristic: Schedule time to reflect and review the past before making big plans about the future. Ask others for input if you lack the institutional history.
Harmony: Be very discerning about the conflicts you attempt to mediate. Consider whether your assistance will be helpful or if it would be overstepping.
Ideation: When you land on a great idea, immediately determine a plan for logistics and implementation. Don’t allow yourself to forget follow-through.
Includer: Identify one regularly-scheduled meeting you and your team members can do without and then cancel it indefinitely.
Individualization: Remember group needs in addition to the needs of each individual. When making a decision that will affect everyone, think of the group as an additional “individual” you need to consider.
Input: When you acquire a new resource, evaluate its worth before you archive it. Ask yourself if it will actually be useful or if it will improve on the other resources you already have.
Intellection: Identify initiatives or projects in which you need to work with others instead of working alone. Set time limits for your introspection.
Learner: While you are studying up on something new, identify at least 2-3 ways you could achieve tangible results in light of what you are learning.
Maximizer: In your quest for excellence, do not forget to praise team members for good work.
Positivity: Remember to take time to ask your team members about their pain points, frustrations, and disappointments. These conversations are important in building trust.
Relator: Set a goal to go to lunch with a new person each month-and make it someone you aren’t close with already.
Responsibility: Make a list of all the things you are tempted to feel responsible for, but are not actually responsible for, and place it somewhere you will see it every single day.
Restorative: Resist the temptation to try and fix everything. Each week, identify the 2-3 problems that are the most important to tackle.
Self-Assurance: Make a list of the people at work that you need, and remind yourself to ask for their input before you make a decision.
Significance: Set a goal to do one good deed each month in secret, so that no one knows the impact you’ve made.
Strategic: Do not assume others are understanding or following your train of thought. When you make a decision, make sure you also explain your thinking to others who will be impacted.
Woo: After you meet someone new, follow-up (text, call, email, lunch meeting, etc.) to show you are interested in more than simply winning him/her over.
And there you have it!
Did these resonate with you? We would love to hear from you about the ways you are planning to grow in Self-Regulation this year.
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We help leaders and organizations build happy and healthy workplaces, prevent low employee engagement and lead with a strengths-based approach to personal and team development.
Copyright © 2000, 2018 Gallup, Inc. All rights reserved. Gallup®, CliftonStrengths® and each of the 34 CliftonStrengths theme names are trademarks of Gallup, Inc.