Strengths: Element 1 = Energy

As we mentioned in our previous post, some people seem to have more energy for a particular task or type of activity than the rest of us.

You know the type - they show up early, don't need caffeine or energy drinks.  They seem to always be up, ready for action.  For them energy is quickly and easily renewed.  We're that way too when we're operating in our areas of greatest strength. Our strengths are those activities that give us energy, employ our natural talents, and engage us at our passion.

I'm sure you've noticed that in some of your friends.  Don't you have friends that seem to be able to talk on the phone all the  time or work on the computer (or their car) all the time without tiring?  They focus on one activity to the exclusion of anything else.  They're engaging an area of strength.

Your core strengths energize you. In fact, we are all energized or drained to some degree by our activities, projects or the people we’re with.

Servants By Design

Some years back I took a personality evaluation called Servants By Design [1] offered by an organization called Your Unique Design.  It's based on Christian ideas about how we are created and what is natural to all of us.  It was the first tool I ever encountered that explained different ways we are energized or drained.

The tool has three sections describing your passions, interests and strengths in several different ways.  Those three sections are:

  • Your Personality
  • Your Design At Work
  • Your Life Tips

This post will discuss a part of the section Your Design At Work focusing directly on your strengths.  This presentation of strengths is different than many of the other strengths tools I've used.  The authors group activities into subjects.

Subject Matter

The subject matter groups are:

  • Data
  • People
  • Things

The tool lists six to twelve activities under each subject group. Some examples of the different activities that belong to each group are shown in this table:

Data People Things
Synthesizing and Theorizing Mentoring, Advising Calibrating or Designing
Comparing and Checking Serving and Attending Manipulating or Forming
Compiling and Reporting Instructing, Teaching Driving or Operating

There are others, but you get the idea.

Of course they also color code the results as well with GREEN for highly energized, YELLOW for neutral and RED for, well you know - red.

This section of the report helps to identify the activities (and as a result, the subject group) that energizes you, does nothing for you, or brings you down.  For example, I'm energized by teaching, training and cooperative decision-making; all activities involving people.  I'm also energized by theorizing and synthesizing, which are data-related.  I only had one yellow and everything dealing with things showed up bright red on my chart.  I'm not much for fixing or building or operating.  I like things to work out of the box.  The point: you are energized by activities that fit into some mix of the subjects - data, people or things.  Staying in your energizing subject areas, doing your energizing activities enables you to effortlessly accomplish more.  When in this "zone" you seem to do more than others who are drained by the same activity.

Get in the Groove

Follow the Green to find your groove, be it people, data or things.  That groove provides you energy and helps you achieve more.  For me, energy comes from people, data is neutral and I need things to do their thing so I don't have to.  I'm a people person who can go to data in a pinch, but seldom things. I get energy from relating to people.  As you think about what energizes you, you'll start to identify your areas of greatest strength.

What energizes you?

Check out Your Unique Design.  Or just take a few minutes and begin to think carefully about those activities that you never seem to tire doing.  Jot them down. Ask your spouse or some friends for confirmation.  In our next post, we examine your natural talents.

[1] Servants By Design is a service offered by Your Unique Design ( © 2007 by Fellowship Associates.