That question: “So, tell me, what are your strengths?”
Why asking that one question can increase confidence, reduce stress and help you perform better. Fact.
Interviews, pitches, any experience when you’re sat across from an interview panel – not anyone’s favourite experience I’d imagine, especially when the stakes are high. You do your homework on the company and the role/opportunity, you get your most stylish outfit ready and you prepare for those unknown interview questions. One that often comes up is the standard “what are your strengths?”.
What would be your answer?
Maybe you have a stock response on this. Maybe you (ahem) ‘cherry-pick’ the strengths you think the interviewer wants to hear to match you to the role or opportunity in question.
If you did have a mental list of things pop to mind, great. But stop a moment and ask ‘how true do those list of strengths feel to the real you?’.
You see, outside of situations like this, it’s not a question that is asked often. And it’s even rarer that we ask if of ourselves.
But, knowing your true strengths, talents and value is golden and here’s why.
When you are clear on the value you offer you will perform better in any situation.
Have you been in that situation where the pressure is on: a job interview, a first date with someone you really like, meeting someone influential in your industry. You’re trying so hard to impress that your mind races with the right thing to say and when something comes out you think “why on earth did I say that?” You’re in your head and all the time not bringing your best you to the table.
But studies have shown that when you know and affirm your strengths and the values most important to you ahead of any significant situation, your body chemistry works with you (rather than kicking in that fight/flight response that often sabotages your efforts) and so you are able to be more present. More you.
Test it out. Think of an event/situation coming up this week where you want to do yourself proud. Decide to test it out yourself.
– In advance, write down the attributes you’re most proud of e.g. I’m funny / patient / driven / intelligent. They don’t have to be attributes relevant to the situation/event, just the ones that feel most authentically you.
– Write down what people come to you for help/advice on.
– Add to the list the things that you value you most about you/your life. E.g. I most value my family / friends / my body / helping others. Write next to each of these why they are important to you. What emerges will be your core values.
– Right before your event, read and feel the words you’ve written. Remind yourself of you at your best. Remind yourself of the values most important to you. Watch your posture change. See a different perspective on the event ahead.
– Then reflect. Often stressful situations leave you lost for words, later finding the perfect thing to say but just that little bit too late. When you’re at your best, you’ll find you do yourself proud more often. Reflect on what went well.
Give it a try and share your experience with us in the comments below. Now, go forth and sparkle!
To your best week yet, Emma x