As we move into the festive season, it’s a perfect time to look for new ways to use your strengths to support your wellbeing, create enjoyable celebrations, and help your favourite people in the world use their strengths too.
I’ve created a playbook of ideas for how you can use each of the 75 strengths in The Strengths Deck. Of course, none of us have all 75 strengths in our Zone of Genius. So rather than try to use all 75 over the holidays, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by picking 2-3 things that you’re good at and enjoy, but don’t use very often. Then, using the suggestions below, or your own ideas, try using those strengths over the silly season.
And check your results – what effect did the use of your strengths have out there in the “real world”? And what effect did it have on you? If you got the real world results you’re after, and you’re feeling energised, engaged, excited, and fulfilled, keep using that strength regularly!
Ideas for how to use your strengths this silly season
Strengths are like superpowers for facing challenging or uncomfortable situations. Think about your strengths and how you can use them throughout the Christmas and New Year period to boost your enjoyment and support your wellbeing and help others use their strengths and enjoy themselves too.
- Accountable – try a new task that’s slightly outside your comfort zone
- Activation – volunteer for a task that never seems to get done until the last minute
- Amplifier – help the people around you see how they can use their strengths to make the festive season even better
- Analytical – look for common factors across successful Christmas celebrations – what makes them so great?
- Author – write a new Christmas story, or send catch-up letters or emails to friends and family
- Benevolent – do some random acts of kindness (RAOKs) or give to charity (if you’re looking for a great Kiwi charity to support, please consider Kindness Collective)
- Centre-Stage – how can you take the floor to enhance everyone’s experience?
- Changemaker – help your team/family change things so they have more fun at celebrations
- Collector – what can you gather together to make the festive season more fun and engaging?
- Competitive – set yourself a goal for your best effort yet – whether the best present-wrapper, the funniest Christmas joke, or the most beautiful platter of nibbles
- Composed – recognise when situations are getting tense, and bring your aura of calm to the fore
- Connector – make introductions at Christmas parties between people with common interests, values, experiences or other qualities
- Connoisseur – if you get a weird gift, how can you appreciate the beauty of the gesture, or some unique quality of the gift?
- Contextualiser – think about previous festive seasons and how they have influenced what will unfold this year
- Coordinator – take charge of the seating plan, the menu, or how the day will unfold, juggling personalities and needs for best fit
- Courageous – where is it important for you to speak up or act in accordance with your beliefs – it might be choosing to indulge less, or asking someone to be more thoughtful with their words or actions
- Creative – where can you bring some originality to proceedings?
- Curious – sit next to someone you don’t usually talk with, and find out their life story
- Decisive – monitor how a celebration is unfolding, and make decisions that will make it even better
- Deliberative – think about where a celebration often falls flat, and plot a course to avoid that this year
- Determined – before the silly season gets underway, put a plan in place to achieve your goals
- Empathetic – when you’re hosting a celebration, keep an eye on your guests’ emotional states
- Endurance – bring your stamina to the fore to help everyone get ready for the holidays
- Equitable – pay attention to who gets what (presents, attention, affection) and look for ways to uphold a fair balance
- Feedback – what insights can you offer to others to help them have their best silly season yet?
- Flexible – relax and enjoy the twists and turns of the journey through the festivities
- Forgiving – declare an amnesty over the silly season, so that if someone is momentarily rude or unkind to you, you will overlook their behaviour
- Grateful – set aside time to be grateful not only for presents, but also for the presence of those you love, and the hope and possibility of a new year
- Grit – use your persistence to overcome obstacles like crazy traffic, busy malls, and tight supply chains in your quest to tick off your Christmas list
- Harmoniser – bring your consensus-building skills to the festivities to smooth areas of conflict and unify the group in the celebrations
- Hopeful – the traditional New Year’s Resolution is made for this strength!
- Humble – look for ways to share the credit – if people praise your Christmas cake, acknowledge the people who gave you the recipe and taught you to cook
- Humorous – think of ways to diffuse tension when Uncle Norris or Aunt Mabel make it awkward (like they always do!)
- Improver – make little tweaks throughout a party so that it becomes even better as it unfolds
- Integration – if people around you are getting hung up on details, remind them of the overarching principles of the festive season – connection, community, gratitude and generosity
- Integrity – act kindly in alignment with what is important to you
- Interpreter – how can you break down complex ideas or concepts to help others – maybe you could explain to kids how and why celebrations differ throughout the world
- Intervention – take action when you see ways to head off problems before they develop – check the oven temperature so the turkey is ready at the planned time, or restock the drinks fridge early so that it doesn’t “run dry”
- Leadership – look for situations where someone needs to step up and provide guidance and direction – perhaps marshalling the troops to set and clear the table
- Legacy – what can you do this year that will have a positive echo for years to come? For example, you could establish a new tradition of including charitable acts in your celebrations
- Lifelong Learner – make a wishlist of books you want to read and share it with people who you exchange gifts with
- Listener – it’s easy to get caught up in the rush, so look for ways to slow down and really engage in a conversation with someone
- Meticulous – whether it’s getting crisp corners and beautiful bows on the gift-wrapping, or perfect symmetry in laying the table, your attention to detail can elevate the celebrations
- Mobiliser – many hands make light work, and you can use your strength to inspire people to get involved in preparations and packdown
- Open-Minded – have you got groups with different ideas of how celebrations should be done? Your ability to see all the sides can help identify common threads
- Optimistic – sure, it can be stressful, but with your upbeat outlook, you can help everyone expect for and create the best celebrations yet
- Original – use your unique insights to create something that’s never been seen before, whether a new way to decorate the Christmas tree, or a different approach to celebrations
- Overcomer – the holiday season can present difficulties; plan ahead for how you will get yourself back on track when you encounter obstacles
- People Developer – how can you create opportunities for people to hone their potential this silly season?
- Personal Growth – look for ways to gather feedback and insights from others, and apply it to enhance your skills and knowledge
- Personaliser – use your ability to spot people’s individual characteristics to tailor your approach with them, and help others do the same
- Perspective – if your family gets bogged down in a disagreement, use your ability to see the various viewpoints to help everyone decide how to move forward
- Persuader – how can you use your influence for good this festive season, helping people to align their thoughts and actions?
- Prepared – get your “emergency celebration kit” ready – such as matches for lighting candles, extra gifts for unexpected guests, sticking plasters for when Grandpa slips with the carving knife, and paracetamol for Boxing Day morning!
- Principled – use your values to guide your decisions around who to spend time with and how you’ll spend your time together
- Problem-Solver – when things go wrong, as they inevitably will, how can you step up to the plate to not only fix today’s problem, but stop it happening next year?
- Purposeful – look for opportunities to do something meaningful this silly season, such as creating memories with loved ones
- Quality – how can you take your passion for excellence and apply it to planning, hosting, and participating in celebrations?
- Rapport Builder – smooth the awkwardness for the new person at the celebrations by taking them under your wing
- Rebound – whatever setback you face, no matter how big or small, use your determination to “bounce forward” to make progress towards your goals
- Reflection – use your love of deep thinking and conversations to really engage with others at the celebrations
- Relationship Developer – who do you want to become closer to? Look for opportunities to connect with them, offering and receiving support over the festive season
- Self-Assurance – how can you use your confidence in your strengths to boost your energy, engagement, and achievement over the holiday period?
- Self-Aware – take time to reflect on and understand how you are feeling, and how that drives your actions and your use of your strengths and weaknesses
- Self-Control – look for opportunities to manage and regulate your emotions, appetites and behaviours
- Social Intelligence – use your ability to spot and understand emotions in yourself and others to help everyone interact effectively
- Storyteller – there are so many opportunities to demonstrate this strength! Why not share your favourite childhood memory, or create a new tale that expresses the Christmas spirit
- Strategic – think ahead about what could happen and use your “big picture” thinking to plot a course to maximum enjoyment for everyone
- Stretch – how can you be more adventurous this silly season? Maybe it’s trying out a new holiday spot, taking up a new hobby, or meeting new people.
- Support – use your ability to spot people’s needs to offer assistance to make the celebrations even better
- Systematiser – in the chaos of Christmas, your ability to bring order will make everyone’s lives easier, whether organising the Secret Santa, or assigning dishes for the potluck meal
- Team Player – as you pitch in to make the celebrations a success, your willingness to work as part of the team will inspire others
- Time Maximiser – you can put your time-maximising strength to good use by packing out your days with all of the work, social engagements, preparations, and celebrations that come up at this time of year
- Vitality – as you let out your inner kid and join the celebrations whole-heartedly, you’ll give others permission to do the same
- Welcoming – your acceptance of others will create a sense of hospitality and friendship, ensuring no one feels left out of the celebrations
What else can you do to make your festive season a success?
To a great extent, your approach determines whether or not you will enjoy success. I recently published an article that gives you five ways you can choose your approach to the festivities. One of the ways is how you choose to use your strengths – and you can use that and the other four ways together to make this your best year yet!
Curious about how to use your strengths?
Any discussion of personal strengths would be incomplete without me letting you know about The Strengths Deck.
I created it to put the power of strengths in your hands. If you want to learn about your unique strengths fingerprint and how to make the most of your amazing strengths, click the logo to find out more, or make a booking for your free, 30-minute call to talk about how we can get your strengths working for you.