What’s your Offering To The World?

Do you recognise your strengths? 

I don’t just mean the skills and capabilities you’ve learned through school and university, but also your innate capabilities that help you navigate the world. 

Often these are the things we find easy – and because they come easily to us, we undervalue them. We assume that everyone else thinks/ does/ acts like this too, and finds it as easy as us. 

But they don’t, and it’s these strengths that come together to really help you to add your unique value to the world. 

Some of the strengths I often see overlooked by women working in tech are: 

  • empathy
  • collaboration
  • organisation
  • listening 
  • influencing
  • facilitation

Given the male-dominated tech environment that we work in, it’s not surprising that the skills that are undervalued are often the ones in which women typically shine. Not necessarily deliberately, but because these skills are ones that are just not noticed enough to be recognised. 

When you honour these capabilities alongside traditional technical and problem-solving-focused skills, new approaches and ideas emerge which add huge amounts of value to the tech world.

I first realised I had strengths I didn’t recognise when I took a strengths evaluation assessment called Gallup Strengthsfinder. It told me my top 5 strengths, judged against a huge amount of data they had gathered from the corporate world.

One of those strengths was “arranger” – the ability to take in loads of different variables and optimise them so they all fit together.

Some examples of how this comes out in what I do is: 

  • when there’s a list of things that need to be done, my head naturally works out the optimal order to do them in, so that they fit together and make sense.
  • when I’m shopping for food I’m scouting for ingredients and fitting them together with recipes I know.
  • when my husband gives me a list of things he fancies doing, I’m figuring out how they fit into the things we already have going on.

I always thought that everyone did this because I’ve always done it without thinking. But apparently, they don’t!

Once I discovered this it started to explain why I got so frustrated with people. Couldn’t they see they were overcommitting, or that if they just switched the order things went in it would make so much more sense!

It also explains why I’ve tended to find myself in operational roles – being the oil in the cogs, keeping the wheels of the organisation moving!

As soon as I started to notice this as a strength it helped me get better at explaining how I did things and the value I brought.

And when I look at my strengths as a whole, valuing what I bring has helped me to get clear on how unique I am and what I have to offer the world. 

What are the skills you have that you undervalue?

If you’re not sure I definitely recommend trying strengthsfinder!

The easiest way to do it is to buy the Strenthsfinder 2.0 book for around £20, which gives you access to the assessment and provides you with your top 5 strengths, along with descriptions of all 34 strengths in the book. 

You might also find it useful to ask friends, family and colleagues what they think your strengths are – it can be really useful to get someone else’s perspective on you! 

If you want to get more support to help you understand the value you bring, come over and join the discussion in my Authentic Visibility for Women in Tech Facebook group or if you’d like some personalised one-to-one support book a one-hour Visibility Profiling session.

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