E-Journal: Playing on Your Strengths by Nicole Hutzul

1. Brief summary of the main points covered

On a recent Monday afternoon, 30 Jan, 2023, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop by Nicole Hutzul, an expert in transformational sales, management training, sales coaching, and revenue generation strategies. The workshop was about “Playing on your strengths.” Nicole opened the session by emphasizing the significance of focusing on one’s strengths instead of weaknesses. She also introduced us to the “Standout Assessment,” a personality assessment tool created by Marcus Buckingham and his team, which helps individuals recognize their strengths and areas for growth and development.

2. Insights gained from the presentation

The workshop provided me with several key takeaways, including the importance of focusing on strengths for better performance in both my personal and professional life. I learned that when individuals are able to use and develop their strengths, they tend to feel more motivated and engaged in their work, leading to improved performance and greater satisfaction. I also learned that focusing on strengths can lead to better team dynamics and a positive work environment that fosters creativity and innovation.

Nicole talked about the conventional approach of leadership, which focuses on fixing weaknesses, and how this approach can lead to decreased motivation and engagement, and may not result in significant improvement. She then introduced us to the concept of strength-based leadership, which focuses on developing and leveraging the strengths of individuals and teams, rather than trying to fix their weaknesses.

According to Buckingham, leaders who focus on strengths are more effective, engaged, and productive, and can create a positive work culture that enhances overall organizational performance. The approach emphasizes that everyone has unique strengths and that these strengths should be identified, developed, and leveraged to achieve success and satisfaction in both personal and professional life.

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“You grow most in your areas of greatest strength. You will improve the most, be the most creative, be the most inquisitive, and bounce back the fastest in those areas where you have already shown some natural advantage over everyone else your strengths. This doesn’t mean you should ignore your weaknesses. It just means you’ll grow most where you’re already strong.” Marcus Buckingham. Photo: Unsplash

Another key highlight of the workshop was the introduction of theStandout Assessment” by Marcus Buckingham. The assessment is designed to help individuals identify their strengths and how they can use them in their personal and professional life. The StandOut Assessment is different from other personality tests in several ways:

  • It focuses on identifying a person’s strengths and areas for growth, rather than just labeling personality traits.
  • It is based on the theory of strengths-based development, which is a more positive and proactive approach to personal development.
  • It uses a unique model of two-factor strengths, which helps individuals understand how their strengths work together in specific situations.
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The “Standout Assessment” developed by Marcus Buckingham identifies 9 strengths-based roles. These roles are based on an individual’s strengths, preferences, and natural tendencies, and can help individuals understand their unique skills, values, and passions. (https://www.marcusbuckingham.com/)

I was thrilled to take the assessment and see my results. My results showed that I am a “Creator and Connector”, which is described as someone who is creative and inquisitive. The description stated that I am drawn towards making things and that I have a natural curiosity about people and their unique skills and experiences.

  • Creator: You are a creative person. What form this creativity takes will depend on your other traits and talents, but whether you write, paint, sing, complete projects, or make presentations, you are drawn toward making things. Each thing you make is a tangible sign that you have made some sense of the world, and that you have organized the chaos in some useful way.
  • Connector: You are a naturally inquisitive person, always asking questions about each person’s background, experience, and skills. You know instinctively that each person brings something unique and distinct to the table, something, no matter how small, that might prove to be the vital ingredient.

3. Reflect on how the workshop may impact my career path as a strategic marketing planner

Reflecting on the workshop, I can see how it may impact my career path as a strategic marketing planner. By focusing on my strengths as a “Creator and Connector”, I can bring my creativity and inquisitiveness to the workplace, and use these strengths to better connect with my colleagues, clients, and stakeholders. This, in turn, can lead to better collaboration and communication, and help me develop innovative marketing strategies that will benefit the organization.

In conclusion, the workshop by Nicole Hutzul was a valuable learning experience that provided me with valuable insights into strength-based leadership and how it can impact my career. The Standout Assessment was a powerful tool that helped me identify my strengths and how I can leverage them in my personal and professional life. I am confident that this workshop will have a positive impact on my career as a strategic marketing planner, and I look forward to applying what I learned in my work.

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