Your Professional Superpowers and Why They Matter
It’s happened to all of us: you’re in an interview and when they ask, “What are your three greatest strengths?”…you find yourself at a loss. Your resume is on the table with a detailed list of your accomplishments, so why is it so hard to answer this question?
Many of us struggle to identify and communicate the value we bring to our work and our team. Some of us cringe at the thought of bragging about ourselves, or we might feel like we genuinely have nothing to say. Whatever the cause, learning to let go of this pattern of humility is critical to advancing your career.
What Are Your Superpowers?
Your “superpowers” are the special skills and natural gifts that make you successful in what you do. The things you excel at might be effortless for you, but could be quite daunting for someone else. We tend to assign low value to the tasks that are easy in our eyes and higher value to the tasks that we find difficult, but your contributions are essential to the success of your team.
Your superpowers are the “golden threads” of your story, because they have a significant impact on who you are as a human being. The golden thread is what you want people to remember about you, and when you identify them, you gain a clear idea of your role in an organization or on a team, a better sense of your purpose, and a deeper understanding of your own value. When your golden thread comes through clearly, you take control of your story by boldly declaring the value of your work.
How Your Superpowers Benefit Your Team
High-performance teams are greater than the contributions of any one individual.
Identifying your superpowers allows you to bring your highest value to your team. You can more clearly determine whether you should take on a task yourself or suggest another team member as a better match. Many of us feel like our value lies in how hard we are working, but this is a “limiting belief” that is not advancing your career, and could actually be holding you back quite a bit. Why should anyone have to work twice as hard at a task that someone else could accomplish easily? By making space for others to do what they are good at, you give them a chance to shine and you increase productivity for the team.
A team of people who know their superpowers is like a well-oiled machine: everyone understands where their strengths are needed. When you are clear about who you are for those around you, you gain confidence to step into your role without hesitation. This not only increases efficiency for your organization, but adds significant value for your customers. Let go of the desire to be a jack of all trades, and let your true strengths shine through in what you do best. Your superpowers are unique to you, and your team needs them in order to be successful.
How to Discover Your Superpowers:
It can be hard to discover our superpowers because they are so ingrained in our lives that we often take them for granted. So, consider your moments of success and achievement… what patterns or similarities connect these moments like a “golden thread’?
Think of 3 different stories: a story from early in life that influenced who you are, a story of a time when you felt a deep sense of pride in an accomplishment, and a time when you encountered a difficult situation and overcame adversity. Now, consider the following questions:
- Why was this important to you?
- What did you learn?
- What were you doing? What resulted from that experience?
Now these become the foundation of your Superpowers. Connect with your leaders, mentors, peers and friends in this discussion to deepen your understanding.