What’s right with you? If somebody asks you, what’s wrong with you, you might have a quick list of weaknesses you can rattle off. But if they ask what’s right with you, can you rattle off a list of your strengths? Chances are, you might have a fuzzy idea about your strengths, but you might not have a label for them. In Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance, Marcus Buckingham writes about labeling what is right with things.
Label What is Right with Things
The strengths movement is about finding and focusing on the positive things. According to Buckingham, instead of negative qualities like poverty and violence, the World Bank now ranks countries by their overall level of well-being:
Fueled by this idea, the first stage of the strengths movement – the stage we are in right now – has been dominated by efforts to label what is right with things. Thus, wheras the World Bank used to rank countries according to their negative qualities, such as poverty, violence, and vulnerability, today it has developed a list of positive labels that capture a country’s overall level of well-being, labels such as social capability, economic self-determination, and sustainability of local customs.
Courage, Justice, Transcendence, and Temperance
Psychology used to focus on the negatives. Now there’s examples of focusing on finding and labeling the positive. Buckingham writes:
In the field of psychology, our descriptors all used to be heavily skewed toward the negatives: neurotic, psychotic, schizo-phrenic, depressed. Today we have redressed the balance and have added equally detailed labels to describe the positive. For example, Martin Seligman and his colleague Chris Peterson have developed their list of “Character Strengths and Virtues,” which includes such qualities as Courage, Justice, Transcendence, and Temperance.
Ideation, Restorative, Significance, and Connectedness
Finding your strengths is about finding your positive abilities and giving them a label. You can call on your strengths by name. Buckingham writes:
Similarly, Now, Discover Your Strengths introduced Gallup’s online personality profile called StrengthsFinder (since renamed the Clifton StrengthsFinder, in Don’s memory), which measures you on thirty-four themes of talent, with names like Ideation, Restorative, Significance, and Connectedness.
A Deep Need to Label What is Right With Us
We all know our weaknesses too well. We have a deep need to find and label what’s right with us. Buckingham writes:
Our hunger for these labels can be measured in part by the number of people who have taken the Clifton StrengthsFinder profile since 2001. The total is now over two million. More revealing still, each year this number not only increases, but the increase increases. More people took it last year than the year before, and more the year before than the year before that. Clearly, millions of us feel a deep need to label what’s right with us.
Key Take Aways
Here’s my key take aways:
- There’s been too much focus on what’s wrong with things.
- The strengths movement is about finding what’s right with things.
- Find and label what’s right with you.
- We all have a deep need to know what’s right with us.
- Shift from labeling what’s wrong, to labeling what’s right.
My Related Posts
- Give Your Best Where You Have Your Best to Give
- 6 Steps for Putting Your Strengths to Work
- SIGN – The 4 Signs of a Strength
- Volunteer Your Strengths to the Team
- Finding Your Key Strengths
- Fear of Weaknesses, Fear of Failure, and Fear of Who You Are
- 3 Myths About Strengths and Weaknesses
- 3 Revealing Questions for Myth Busting
- The Strengths Movement