Friday, February 07, 2014

Finding Your Strengths

Last Tuesday I nearly pulled my hair out. All day long I was trying to fill out a very simple form for my employer to calculate income tax to put on my T4 slip. It was about mileage and using my car for work. First of all, I needed to gather the information I required, but it was all on file that included numbers on lines, on financial statements, lots of them! Not. My. Thing. Lines and numbers make me feel sick, they move on the page, turn themselves around and upside down and I will do everything in my power to avoid them. Isn't that why God made business managers?

The point is, we all have things we're good at and things we're not good at. I learned a long time ago that my work would be more productive if I worked to my strengths and spent less time working on improving weak skills. I think it happened when I hit a "certain age" and life seemed to be moving along quicker than I wanted. Then I came across a handy little book in one of my Masters  classes - Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. It was required reading for the program, but to my surprise it had a little code in the back to use for an online test. Once you take the test it spits out a report on your strengths and then it begins to tell you what you already knew about yourself.

What was confirmed for me? Well...
  • I have a craving to know more information. I like to gather it up and save it for a time when I can share it, discuss it and learn even more.
  • I like to work on projects and learn new things, I like the process of learning itself.  I need a challenge and get bored easily by routine tasks.
  • I find it easy to put my thoughts into words, written and spoken, and I love to entertain people with amusing stories.
  • I like to help people connect with each other and enjoy working with a team.
  • I'm able to strategize, connect the dots, taking lots of information and putting it together so that it makes sense to everyone.
Several years ago I attended Write Canada and had a wonderful time connecting to all kinds of people -  just like me. Not that all writers are all the same, but we do have many things in common. One special aspect was meeting other writers who know and love the Lord.
I remember one meal at the conference in particular. Someone brought up a subject, and one by one, around the table, each person started contributing something to the conversation, some little tidbit of knowlege they had read somewhere, seen someplace and filed away to be used some day in the future, perhaps for an article they need to write. I remember going home and telling my family, "You won't believe it! I'm not the only one who is like a walking encyclopedia!"

It's nice to belong. It's one of the reasons I keep up my membership in the Word Guild. I'm able to interact with a group of people who love to do what I love to do.  A shared passion which never burns out because it is continually reignited by interesting conversations, shared excitement for some new project and the shared gift of the Holy Spirit to unite us.

What are your strengths? What do you do best?

Kathie Chiu is the Executive Director at The Salvation Army Victoria ARC
You can find her regularly blogging over at


Peter Black said...

Kathie, I identify with you on so many areas, although aspects of your strengths are way beyond mine; I'm certain of it! I've attended a number of Write! Canada conferences and felt that I belonged from the very first time. TWG provides a collective venue for wonderful fellowship. Thanks for this enjoyable post. ~~+~~

Kathie Chiu said...

Thanks, Peter! Although some of those strengths have waned with the passing years and if it weren't for the app Evernote and my daily work journal, I would be a spaced out zombie! Blessings

Carolyn R. Wilker said...


How good to see you post here. A speaker I listened to lately said about comfort zones, which could be compared to our strengths. Ryan Avery said he likes to "expand his comfort zone."
Thanks for sharing.

Kathie Chiu said...

Thanks, Carolyn. Comfort zones are just so...comfortable, aren't they? But sometimes we have to be nudged out of them, I agree!

Popular Posts