Recently, I was reading an informative article about ten ways to improve your resume. One way that stood out for me was to focus on individual stories and to use numbers to tell these stories. It made me think about how we define our strengths. You would usually use words to define your strengths: creative, communicative, collaborative and cost conscious. Think about how much more informative, interesting, impressive and influential you would be to others if you used numbers to define your strengths.
Instead of defining your strength as creative, you can commit to coming up with three great ideas each day to be more positive and productive at work and at home. Rather than define your strength as communicative, you can set a goal to contact five professional and five personal contacts daily in person, by phone or e-mail to build and maintain better relationships with clients/customers, colleagues, family and friends. In place of defining your strength as collaborative, you can work with the five-ten key people and implement a ten-step process to keep each of your projects on time and on budget. You can define your strength by the amount of money that you save your organization in terms of efficiencies and innovations as opposed to defining your strength as being cost conscious.
You have many other strengths that you can define using numbers. One important strength is your level of success personally and professionally. Personally, you may define success by the number of family and friends you reach out to and are in contact with on a daily or weekly basis or the number of Facebook friends, Twitter followers or LinkedIn connections that you have currently. Professionally, you may define it by the amount of money on your pay stub; by the number of people who report to you; by the ages of the people you manage; by the number of cultures, languages and generations on your team; by the number of people who you influence; by the number of years that you have worked for an organization or by the number of people who you know in that organization. Finally, you may define your success by the number of people who you smiled at or the number of lives that you made a difference in today.
Another important strength is generosity. You can define this strength by how generous you are with your time and your money whether it is the number of hours that you volunteer or the number of dollars that you give to good causes on an annual basis.
Take a moment to define your strengths in numbers and discover that you may have strengths that you never knew you had or had totally forgotten.