Understanding Others’ Strengths?

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skyscraper viewed from the groundUnderstanding Others’ Strengths: Do You Have a Good View?

Learning to value differences in others is a lot like looking at skyscrapers in the city. Imagine you can only view buildings from the sidewalks, looking up. But one day you are able to stand on the twentieth story of a skyscraper and look out the window. You now see the city from a completely new view.

That’s one of the benefits of learning to identify and value strengths in others:  you gain a whole different perspective in addition to your own.

arial view of large cityDeveloping this skill takes a little practice, but can be learned. In the process, check these sight lines to get a good view. Use them as you learn to understand and value strengths in others.

Sight line #1: Expectations

It can be tempting to expect others around you (your team members, your spouse, your family members) to see the world through the same prism you do. But they don’t. Their view, while different, can enrich your own, not detract from it. At the heart of understanding others’ strengths lies a simple principle: expect people to view life differently than you.

Sight line #2: Insecurity

Lack of self-confidence may prevent you from understanding others’ strengths. “How will I measure up? How will I fit in? What if there is not a special role for me?” You may even see others’ strengths as a threat. “If I avoid learning about others’ special gifts,” the thinking goes, “Then I don’t need to acknowledge them.” Some people may even take great lengths to deny or change others so they feel more comfortable with their uniqueness. Don’t be one of them.

Sight line #3: Exclusivity

You may be so convinced that your approach is the “right” way that you discount any other point of view, wrongly thinking your strengths are “best.” Exclusivity automatically assumes that others who don’t share your make up have a deficiency. (They probably think the same thing about you!) Don’t miss out on what others have to offer.

Sight line #4: Awareness

You may not even be aware of your personal strengths and differences – or uncertain about how to use them. Your perspective is shaped by a unique combination of environment, experiences, and natural strengths. So is the view of everyone around you.
Tap into theirs. By understanding others’ strengths, you’ll see more than just skyscrapers from the sidewalk. You’ll get a good view of the whole city.


Growth Point
Understanding others’ strengths expands your perspective.

Understanding is a fountain of life to those who have it. (Proverbs 16:22, NIV)

Prayer Points

  • Consider a co-worker, spouse, or a family member. In what ways might you inadvertently expect that person to view things the same way you do?
  • How can valuing another person’s strengths actually build your self-confidence, rather than diminish it?
  • What is the next step you can take to gaining a deeper awareness of your own strengths?


This article is posted with permission from Ministry Insights.  To learn more about Ministry Insights be sure and visit their website at www.ministryinsights.com.

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2 thoughts on “Understanding Others’ Strengths?

  1. Steve Bauer says:

    At a previous place of employment, we as staff, were given the opportunity to take the strengths based leadership assessment. We shared each others’ strengths and then the results were filed in a drawer never to be seen again. Honestly, that assessment was not very beneficial because no one knew what to do with the results. Later, I discovered the joy of working with colleagues not only in discovering each others’ strengths, but learning how to lead others based on their team members’ strengths. This is where you see the payout (maximum utilization). Leading one person is usually different than another. I am excited to pass this on to the next generation.

    1. Steve, your first experience is not unusual. There are often times when a great resource is simply not utilized. Finding the skills and strengths of every team member will maximize the power of any group. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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