Raw or mature? We all have our strengths and weaknesses, but how can we ensure that our behaviour falls into the latter category more often than the former...
Have you ever met someone who is a great communicator? The person with communication as a top strength in its mature form has a gift for putting their thoughts into words and saying just the right words. But when they use their communication strength in its ‘raw’ form they are too talkative and tell stories that are long and disruptive to meetings. We all have strengths. The issue is if we use our strengths in a mature (positive) or raw (detrimental way).
You will experience dramatically different results depending on where you fall on the raw / mature spectrum.
What about the analytical person who is great at looking into a problem and understanding the situation from every angle? In the mature form, they use their strength and ask insightful questions to thoroughly break down a situation.
However, when they use their analytical strength in its raw form they may ask so many questions that mean you can't even finish your thought. You'll notice that most of their questions derail the conversation and are not relevant to understanding the issues. I'm guessing this sounds familiar because we all have moments when our strengths (and the strengths of others at work) run the gamut from raw to mature.
Our strengths are neutral, meaning that no particular strength is better or worse than another. The focus is to identify our strengths, use them more often and be aware if we are using them in their raw vs mature form.
As you leverage your strengths in the mature form you will even feel your life improve. Gallup’s research on strengths over four decades shows that when employees refine their natural talents to develop them into strengths and are given the opportunity to do what they do best every day, the effect on individual, team and organizational performance is powerful.
They are more productive, perform better and are more engaged. Specifically, people who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job. Teams that focus on their strengths are 12.5 per cent more productive. Gallup’s research shows that people have greater success when they have the opportunity to lead with their strengths and focus on what they do best. The result is people who learn faster, work harder, advance further and stay longer.
Questions to consider as you identify your strengths and move from raw to mature:
1. What are your top five strengths? You may want to take the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment to help you identify your strengths.
2. How do each of these strengths work for and against you?
3. What’s the impact when you use each strength closer to its mature form both on your and your co-workers?
The more consistently you use your strengths with a positive twist you will have new opportunities emerge and things will seem much easier.